In the Shadows of Men: Searching for a Man



I began searching for a man who could give me shade and comfort, a man whose comfort I could not live without. God was living inside me, silent and immobile, not providing any comfort. I was filled with distrust while a storm raged around me. I was searching for support that could shoulder me and my burdens. As soon as I felt closeness and support from someone, they would evaporate in front of me, floating away like water vapor in the cold.

I was plagued with loneliness. From all sides my ears were flooded with the words of the whole of society: “You will not be able to do it alone. You have to find a man to protect you.”

I resisted those words and tried to deflect them, but they invaded my depths. I hadn’t known life any other way but with a man to protect me, to complete me. I was nothing without the shelter provided by a man.

I also feared the men who awaited me on the other side, the predatory men looking for an opportunity. How many close male friends of mine transformed into wolves after my divorce? How terrible that image of a wolf man waiting to find a space where he can drag you and dig his claws in.

How many male idols broke in front of me, belonging to those I thought were virtuous and righteous? How many women transformed into jackals right before my eyes, laughing in my face and digging in their claws, attempting to distort me because, in an instant, I had become dangerous. I became a threat to other women because of their husbands, believed to be awaiting his wife’s absence so he could fulfill his lust for me. I was surrounded by hyenas while possible friendships and promised company fell away.

In an instant, I became like a contagious disease. Everyone tried to stay far away from me. In another sense, I was like an uncovered sweet in an open marketplace where flies, attracted by the sweetness, gather to feed… and then contaminate.

Divorce became a divorce from society, not just from the man. As if leaving the flock makes the sky smaller, no matter how spacious it seems. It remains a sky controlled by preset rules. The moment you leave your flock, you deserve only to burn at the bottom of the abyss. Those continuous cliffs plunging to the bottom of the abyss become tunnels of darkness. As soon as one ray from the sun breaks through, a new darkness prevails.

I was sent on a journey to the depths of that barren, rugged abyss—a journey that continued for years. Moments passed like hours. Days stopped moving forward, as if time were stuck in place, like a clock with broken hands. It continued to beat—tick tock, tick tock—but the hands didn’t move. Yet the time passed and passed, on me and through me, and I became lost in its mazes, not understanding or knowing what was going on. I dug within those depths, trying to find an exit, but as soon as I found a rock to hold my feet, I fell again, to an even greater depth.

How long can a human endure such difficulties? The endless attacks that come from all directions, infringing? The street dog the neighborhood boys are always kicking simply because they can. Everyone racing to assert control, as if she is chattel or a slave.


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