Muslim Girl in America

I'm an American girl, born and raised, and a Muslim.

The Labels Runneth Over

on May 4, 2013

I’ve been labeled a lot of things in my life. Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Friend, Best Friend, Colleague, and more.

I’ve been labeled a good daughter and sister when things were going well.

I’ve been labeled a shitty daughter and shittier sister when things are rough and I’m the perpetual verbal punching bag.

I’ve been labeled useless by those who used their fists against me. I’ve been labeled the same by those who use their words against me.

I’ve been labeled a bitch for trying to be successful and want a career.

I’ve been labeled a good Muslim because I fast and pray and think of God throughout the day. I’ve been labeled a bad Muslim and troublemaker because I am unmarried still and, at times, I have sought my own way to the path I believe God has created for me.

I’ve been labeled a terrorist by those ignorant souls who see my tanner skin and “foreign” name, and don’t realize how much I truly love America and how much I weep when bad things happen to my fellow countrymen/women.

I’ve been labeled a whore by people who think to define goodness and badness, as if they have that right over God, and who don’t realize that I have yet to even be kissed and have not yet known what it feels like to be truly wanted and desired by someone.

I am weak, it’s true. I, for many years, was even weaker and scared of the sound of footsteps down the hall. And those who have known me my whole life still put me down to raise themselves up. And I let them. I always will. I always need to, in order to keep a modicum of peace. Those are more labels: peacemaker and protector. I take the hits so others don’t have to, so others will feel better about themselves, and never hear an apology. If it wasn’t for the blood binding us together, I would cut them out of my life for good, just to go through a week without feeling like a shitty label at some point of it.

I am worthy of love and, though I haven’t found someone who wants me yet, I still have hope they’re out there. And will be my partner and provide me with the labels I look forward to having: wife and mother. I have hope, I always will, and it’s that hope that helps me sift through the shitty labels and look for the good ones waiting ahead. I know in my heart I’m a good and decent person, and I have excellent friends (I’m talking about you, MJ) and a lovely mother who help me wade through the shit together.

Sometimes, all you need is someone to wade through the shit with you, you know?

-M

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