Story of Jana
My name is Jana. I am a girl that got married at the age of 12. My childhood wasn’t filled with good days. My parents were divorced and my father was married to another woman. All my days were extremely tiring especially with me working on the fields. After a long day, I used to get back home to have insults hurled at me. I didn’t experience any childhood phase. I wasn’t even able to go to school; I don’t know how a school looks like. If I lived a childhood like the rest, I might have went through better days. I have nothing: no friends and no education.
My parents forced me to get married; I didn’t give consent to get married. He was my stepmother’s 45 year old brother. One day, I came home to see everyone praying the “Al-Fatha” and that was it. I got married with no other choice. I went out of my parents’ home in a black robe. I didn’t get a wedding. I started crying; they sold me. My dad had debts to be paid. At the time, I thought I would run away from my parents, but my husband did not treat me well.
I wasn’t able to feel the emotions of love. He used to go back home from work to beat me up and scream at me. I work at home and his parents used to always come and annoy me.
I got divorced and got married for the second time at 14 years old. At a time when girls my age were still in school, I was getting married for the second time. I felt it was extremely difficult for me, and I was more scared than I was during my first marriage. He loves me a lot, but I don’t. I’m scared that one day, after me bearing his child, he would throw me out.
Sex, for me, doesn’t mean much. Though, at least, it gave me my one-and-a-half year old daughter. She’s the only person in my life who entertains me when I’m lonely. I bear everything for her. I bear the insults, the beating, and the injustice because she’s my whole life and so she doesn’t live the life I lived.
Now, all I care about is how to satisfy my husband, how to raise my daughter, and how to fulfill my duties as a wife. I really want to give my daughter the chance to get an education, which I wasn’t able to have as a child.
My husband and I don’t agree on anything. We just sleep side by side on the same bed by night and argue non-stop by day. He keeps reminding me of my past: how I was married before him and how my parents are Syrian while he’s Lebanese. I once tried to divorce him, but it didn’t work out since he threatened to take away my daughter and accuse me of prostitution to his cousin who works in the government.
My experience with marriage wasn’t too good, and I don’t advise any girl to get married at a young age. She should get engaged for a year or two to get psychologically ready before getting married.