mother of the hustle
my mother’s story is probably not my story to tell, but in a way it is my story as well. where do you start the story on the founding of rome? do you start it with the early kings? or do you start it with the story of cleopatra and the Egyptians? these integrals parts that without which the story cannot be understood or appreciated. our personal histories are never our’s alone, one day my story will be my daughter’s to tell.
my mother is the second oldest daughter of a family of 7 daughters and one brother. Her family is Iranian, but immigrated to Pakistan before her birth. My mother was the most beautiful daughter, but being beautiful comes with sin.
every time i ask my mom for details about her childhood abuse i feel like historian trying to piece together a story based on old newspapers and twon hall records. she’s blocked out so much, lost, or doesn't totally trust me to divulge these details. i get the “maybe when youre older” but you’re never older to your mother.
from the clippings i gathered i know my mother was abused. by uncles, by men on streets, by men in her society as a whole.
But what i know for a fact about my mother, is that she hustled.
My parents had an arranged marriage, but my dad still had to pick my mother. my mother told me she was a magnet for men, and she used every drop of charisma and charm she had to ensure my dad would pick her. my mom never loved my dad, and even when she’s complimentary to him she views their love as more of familial at best. so why did she work so hard to win my father? She wanted her daughter in America, and my father’s american college education ensured he would return there.
my dad began cheating on my mother when i was a child. she found a receipt for a flower delivery when i was three years old, but what could she do?
she kept control of the marriage in anyway she could til she couldnt. in part as a result of my dads infidelity,in part because of her own mental health partly because she had a daughter who ran away from it all.
My mother, whose family had nothing was about to be reduced to nothing again. And she wouldnt fucking allow it.Within 9 months of her divorce she would lose the spousal support due to my father’s lawyers maneuvering. And within those 9 months she got remarried.
Sometimes I feel like i am a result of my mother’s trauma.
from an early age my mom told me to marry rich, to only crave stability from a partner, my mother yields such an unwavering self assurance its borderline narcism.
as ive gotten older ive slowly owned this crown handed to me by my mother. my face has started to slim out and my body has slowly started to mold into a mirror of her’s. my mother is a sexual magnet, and ive inherited that. and its less about beauty and more about charm.
i constantly think about if i were to have a daughter would i become my mother.this cold, unattainable ice queen.
who tells stories about herself in a removed quality so that, even though you’re sharing personal details theres no intimacy.
for a long time i never recognized my mothers trauma, of having to build your whole life out of nothing. I acted like her beauty was something easy to control. but my mother, the fire sign, is a forest fire. it destroys and creates.
being “the most beautiful daughter” made her a target for harassment and sexual advances. her beauty drove her mad because she needed to control it. a nose job, a boob job, fillers, botox, bulimia, anorexia. these are all parts of my story now, but they were originally her’s. when i admitted to my father my eating disorder, he told me his fear that my mother’s issues were slowly becoming my own. we never see ourselves in our mothers growing up. we are our “daddy’s girls”. in puberty we fight with our mothers and their antiquated sense of womanhood as we forage our own definitions. but we are our mothers. we are their trauma. their issues with men their issues with themselves. we are their mirrors, exactly the same but the exact opposite.
if i were to have a daughter would i teach her the hustle? was it worth it? to be a magnet? to be this impossible flame? i don’t know. i can’t know. but we arent a new story from our parents. we are their story, just as much as they are our story. my mothers trauma is my trauma so is your’s.