Diving into the Abyss of Agony: Five Years Amidst the Torture

By: Behnia

For years, she has tasted the bitter essence of a life weighed down by the sorrows inflicted upon her by those she loved most – sorrows that have slowly ensnared her, pulling her towards the clutches of impending death. Whenever she speaks of those dark days, her words reek of despair, and the terror of her husband’s cruelty takes root deep within her. Her life orbits around a pain that hungers for retribution. The cost of her freedom is the “ruin” of her brother’s household, as she was married off to her brother’s wife’s brother.

She lives in constant dread, her days and nights haunted by the fear of failing to satisfy her husband’s desires, and the looming threat of a blade severing her lifeline. Her husband, devoid of mercy, has issued dire warnings, threatening to end her life and bury her beneath the earth’s cover, hidden from all eyes, should she dare to disobey. The fear of being murdered by her own husband, leaving her children motherless, holds her captive, forcing her compliance with his every demand.

Laila has reached this day through the actions of those she held closest to her heart. Her father and brother, driven by their own desires, have transformed her into a wilted, barren tree, where the promise of spring and rebirth has become a distant memory. She has implored her father and brother repeatedly to rescue her from a man who knows no mercy, but instead of support, they’ve chastised her, claiming she no longer belongs in her father’s home. The vibrant life she once knew has been stolen by the cruelty of fate. Abandoned by her own family, she’s now at the mercy of a man who understands nothing beyond the satisfaction he derives from her exhausted body. The word “marriage” now fills her with dread, for it has branded her with a harrowing destiny.

Laila, a pseudonym for her anonymity, descended into a heart-wrenching nightmare when her father, coerced by circumstances, married her off to her brother’s sweetheart’s brother, locking her within the confines of her husband’s home. These four walls held nothing but misery and darkness for her. She was barely a teenager then, her hands still bearing the innocence of crafting homemade dolls, teetering on the edge of leaving behind the carefree realm of childhood. Before she comprehended the weight of “marriage,” her cheeks had already lost their color, and she was bestowed as a bride. Now, at the age of 20, she is a mother of two. Her children are her reason to endure the agony, so they won’t be cruelly torn from their mother’s embrace, as she once was.

Her family’s rash and unjust decision transformed the joyful days of Laila’s youth into a festering wound. Despite her ignorance about life beyond marriage, she became a bride. On the day they intended to conduct her marriage, in exchange for her brother’s wife, she repeatedly prostrated herself at the feet of her brother and father, imploring them not to hastily wed her to a man she knew nothing about. Yet, her pleas fell on deaf ears. Instead, her brother uttered, “Who are you to refuse marriage? Have you filled your heart with those rowdy youths? Who could be better for you than this man?” Those words still echo in her ears, and because of these deceptively accepting words, she can never forgive her brother.

Before her wedding, Laila relentlessly attempts to persuade her family to agree to cancel her engagement. Yet, her brother, consumed by the fear of losing his own beloved, compels her father to disregard her pleas. Breaking the engagement with her brother-in-law would also jeopardize his sweetheart’s family’s willingness to bestow her upon him. Her brother sacrifices her for his desires and adamantly refuses to sever the coerced bond at any price.

Laila’s life plunged into darkness and despair when her family arranged her marriage to a stranger she had never met. Her ordeal began that very day, as her fiancé harbored sinister intentions, determined to bind her to him in the cruelest way possible. An opportunity presented itself when the house lay empty; he intruded into Laila’s room and, despite her vehement protests, subjected her to a horrifying sexual assault. “My mother was away, and everyone else had gone out. I’m not sure how he discovered my vulnerability, but he came to our house. I decided to confront him, to tell him that I did not want this, but my words only ignited his anger and fury,” she recounts through tear-filled eyes.

From that traumatic day onward, Laila was forced to confront the true, terrifying nature of the man destined to be her husband in just a few days. She confided in her mother repeatedly, desperately seeking understanding and support. However, her mother’s response was disbelief, and she shouldered the blame herself for the terrible incident. With her mother’s indifference, Laila lost her last pillar of support and felt utterly voiceless. She could do nothing but silently endure the unfolding nightmare, resigned to the grim destiny her own loved ones had decreed for her.

A few days after that incident, the wedding ceremony arrived, a day of joy for everyone but her. Laughter and celebrations filled the air, yet she couldn’t escape the tears that welled in her eyes. While everyone else reveled in the festivities, only she understood the dark days awaiting her after the wedding. She confided, “Everyone could see my restlessness and my gloomy face. They wondered why I was so sorrowful. Sometimes my friends came to ask me why my mood was so down.” Her friends, unaware of the torment in her heart and her entrapment with a man who not only denied her the love and care a husband should provide but also subjected her to inhumane and unacceptable treatment, remained oblivious.

Laila couldn’t find her voice, trapped in the clutches of fear. She was still a child, far from the legal age, and had no understanding of the horrors that might befall her if she spoke up about her husband’s actions. But one thing was clear – if she did, she’d lose her place in her father’s house forever. So, she bottled up her fears and pain, choosing silence, yet within her, those sufferings and anxieties festered like an unhealed wound.

In that solemn ceremony, four individuals pledge unwavering loyalty and enduring companionship, vowing to support each other through life’s highs and lows. Yet, within this quartet, one soul remains eternally deprived of joy, shackled by a web of deceit – Laila. Her husband failed to honor the solemn oath he took; he brought her no happiness and abandoned the pledge of loyalty. With tearful eyes and a heavy heart, they dispatched her to her husband’s abode, a place where she would endure the darkest of days.

Upon bringing her to his home, her husband subjected her to physical abuse, seeking vengeance for the days of their engagement when Laila had ignored his words. He imprisoned her within the four walls of their house, a cell where only he could bear witness to her suffering. A year elapsed in the relentless agony of her existence, and his cruelty intensified with each passing day.

During this period, Laila became acutely aware of her husband’s transgressions, including his affairs with other women. Despite being a victim herself, he always accused her of wrongdoing. She laments, “I can’t even go to a shop just two steps from our home. If I do, and he discovers it, he drags me to the shopkeeper and angrily demands to know what we were doing.” She finds herself entangled with a man who unabashedly acknowledges his misdeeds, proudly asserting that he is a man and can act as he pleases.

Day and night, Laila yearned for an escape from her husband’s torment, but the agony and suspicion never relented. Her hope for a brighter future faded as the days dragged on, and then came the unexpected news – she was pregnant, trapped even more firmly in her husband’s grasp. When her family learned of her pregnancy, they refused to rescue her from this living nightmare. Laila remained ensnared in an unending cycle of suffering, now a mother of two. Her heart brimmed with love for her children, and she held on to one last wish: to raise her son, when he grows up, as a compassionate soul, unlike his father, and to spare any innocent soul from the mental and physical torment she endured.