Here’s the thing. I have a bit of a track record for falling in love with abusive men.
I’m vulnerable, sure.
An easy target and “primed for abuse”, as they say.
What makes me so vulnerable?
I’m pretty fucking sure a messed up upbringing might have something to do with it.
My upbringing was profoundly oppressive – thanks to both parents – and living in the Middle East.
I am the only daughter to an Iranian man and a Scottish woman.
My father is the typical “Middle Eastern Father” stereotype, moody, unable to show affection, over protective, controlling and impossible to please.
The only time my father made eye contact with me was when he was lashing out at me.
He is a complex man. All the ways he primed me for abuse is a struggle for me to put it into words at the moment.
So for now I’ll say that he taught me to accept the “darker” side of masculinity.
The result of having a father like him is that I am mainly attracted to men that really, fucking scare me.
My mother was brought up by her militant, catholic grandmother.
She is neurotic, self-loathing, completely oblivious to her own internalised misogyny. The head-fuckery which she was proud to pass on to me as her “teachings” – so that one day I might become a good wife.
My mother has all kinds of mental illnesses that moulded me to who I am today.
The stories about her are disturbing and I am building up the courage to share them one day.
Some of the things she taught me were things like – all men are evil and that woman-hood is nothing but suffering.
As a result of having a mother like her I feel worthless, ugly, fat, unlovable and a failure as a woman.
As well as being controlled and abused by both parents, I grew up as a second class citizen.
I lived in the Islamic Republic of Iran for 7 years, from the age of 12 to 19 years old and the experience for me, a teenage girl was totally unbearable.
I could write endlessly about the injustices for women and girls living in Iran, and I will get round to it…
(Spoiler: I ran away from home, got back to to the UK and was homeless for a while)
I know there are people who are far worse off than me…but looking at the shitty cards I was dealt, it’s obvious that I never stood a chance in love and relationships.
I lost the game before it even started – right?