I feel 50% foreign because I still don’t understand the Danish society. But I hope that one day I will feel 100% at home here. I came to Denmark illegally.
My father was subject to political persecution, so my parents arranged a marriage for me. I was 14 and my husband 19. The next eight years my life was in his home in Denmark. I did not go to school, did not learn Danish, and I had no friends.
The only people I spoke to were my and his family. After having been turned down for asylum three times, I finally got a residence permit in 2011 and was sent off to language school. For the first time since arriving in Denmark I had the opportunity to be with other people. In 2009 my husband married his second wife. Polygamy is quite normal in certain regions of Iraq. They claim it is written in the Quran, but I don’t understand why men are allowed to have multiple wives, when the punishment for a female adulterer is death. When I found out that he had married again, I refused to talk, eat, and drink, and was hospitalised for ten days. Later on he moved me into a flat in Brønshøj, and I did not see him for four months. I think he moved in with his other wife and their three children. During that time I began to open up, got my first friend and felt I could finally breathe again. But I had to move back in with him. My residence permit is only valid if I am with him and I am afraid to lose it. I did report him to the police, and since then he and his family have treated me alright. But it is hard to go back when you have tried to be free.