In the Shadows of Men(excerpt)

Exceptional – Had a similar experience when I was able to observe a painful moment with my father when I was 7 years. I finally saw that the “you can do better” was him being his father and his battle with his father and really had nothing to do with me. Good on you Ms. Harash!


I started to walk when I was very little, my mother always told me. As a continuous warning, my grandfather would tie a rope around my ankle and tie the other end to a black iron rod planted deeply in the ground. I still remember the rod’s shape and size. For some reason, the memory of this doesn’t bring me any fear. I don’t remember if it hurt me, and I don’t remember if I ever tried to untie the rope and escape. I don’t remember anything except what my mother told me—that my grandfather was forced to tie my ankle because the neighbors had to keep bringing me back home. My grandfather repeatedly said, “This girl is not a girl made for this life.”

This phrase echoed throughout my life. Though we told this story many times, laughing about it, the rope stayed with me. Whatever I did, I…

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