This I Believe

Nura - Des Plaines, IL, 60016, Illinois
Entered on December 21, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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By: Nura Shadid

As a young girl I was very interested about the world around me. My parents came here from the Middle East so we were brought up very differently. At a young age I knew that I couldn’t talk to boys because little girls like me weren’t supposed to be doing those types of things. Please tell me what type of bad things a 5 year old girl would do, where I couldn’t be around boys my age. Growing up I lived by that rule. I was always afraid that my dad would catch me saying a boys name then scream his head off till I would cry. So I always was cautious about the words I would say, or the actions I would take. I was afraid of my own father. They never told me what would happen if I did, I always just assumed that I would be screamed at and grounded till I would be arranged to marry some old man that needed a green card. Never was there a sign that me and my sisters were told to follow, just a simple sentence: don’t talk to boys. Never was there a consequence or direction that would occur. So at the tender age of 13, I learned to lie. Lying was my life. When going to my friend Dana’s house really meant going to Dan’s house, or when “kid” replaced the word “boy”, I knew that I was being dishonest with myself. My whole life was a lie. Every word that would come out was a lie. When coming home from my friends house, I could feel the guilt eating me up inside. They have so much trust in me, if only they would have told me what would happen if I went against their rule, I wouldn’t be so addicted to lying. It felt like a drug just slowly killing me, changing me. Never did they take me down a road with signs. Assuming became a big part of my agenda. I assumed that they would find my husband and I would just have to give them a nod in agreement. I assumed I couldn’t date because they never flashed a sign that I could have a boyfriend. I assumed that I would not be pursuing my dream of being a famous photographer, because girls like me don’t have dreams, girls like me didn’t have futures. We were bred to breed. We were bred to clean. All I want is a sign. To tell me that there are dark skies ahead, to tell me that I don’t have a future, to show me who I will become. I believe in signs.