by Dalia J.
(Roanoke, Virginia USA)
I am an immigrant, and I turned 21 a month ago. I live in a house with my mother and brother. I was physically and psychologically abused by my brother ever since I was a child. My brother is a control freak and demands that I don't have any friends. I can't go out, and I can't celebrate or be happy about anything. If I'm seen to be satisfied, he will threaten to kill me. Then if I stand up for myself, he would fist punch me in my face, head, and kicks to my body, calling me names, accusing and telling me that I am becoming American.
My mother is a weak person. She cries all the time, gives him the excuse of being a man with a penis, her only son, and since I was born a female, it is alright for me to get abused, and I should accept it. She tells me that it is my fault. It always ends up my fault because I choose not to endure the situation. If she cared about me, she would've kicked him out or disciplined him a long time ago. This abuse has nothing to do with being an American, and there is nothing wrong with being an American period. I am a student who can't wait to graduate and start a new life away from them, and they're taking it away from me.
They are religious and cultural and have no respect for women. According to what my family told me and how my family raised me, it is okay to kill a woman if she disobeys any religious or cultural rules, and they always remind me about that. They ever tell me that it is their home and their customs, knowing that I don't have any support to live on my own.
I never felt safe in my life. I am always worried and terrified for tomorrow. They made me hate myself and wish to die every day. I have made lots of mistakes and each one I paid by getting hit and pushed around like a nonliving object. I hate my brother, and I wish him dead because he is a coward who likes to hit and threaten women, that way he proves himself as the man in the family.
Not long ago, my brother beat me severely, so I called 911 because I thought he was going to kill me. When the police arrived, my mother and sister forced me not to say anything and just say that it was a small argument and that nothing happened. I hate myself. I was also sexually assaulted by a police officer more than a year ago, because of my family and fear of blame and what they would do to me. I did not go to a hospital or report it, and I had to suffer mentally every day to the point where I acted and made stupid mistakes because I didn't know who to talk to or what to do. My brain stopped working. Ever since, I cannot trust any police officers, lawyers, judges, and or my family. No one understands or tried to help. Others blamed me for everything, and I still blame me.
I tried taking my own life, but I am a coward. There is no way out. I'm called a whore, a liar and other names most of the time by family and law officials. I cannot speak my mind, share opinions, have friends, or live as a human being with rights. I am losing hope day after day. I want to die, and if I know someone who would help me with such a thing, I would have been out of this miserable life long time ago. What is the point of living? They say life is beautiful, I have not seen any of its beauty and I doubt there is any 'good' in it. No one cares, understands or wants to help. I wish I die this moment and get this over.