The relationships we inhabit can shape and define us, and how we see ourselves. Who we choose to love and let love us matters, because in the wrong hands, we may suffer from neglect, abuse, oppression, and even, the total loss of self. One of the most difficult decisions is to know when someone we love is no longer serving us, or worse, actually causing us harm. What does it take to break away, and how do we know when to do it?

This is a story about love, but also co-dependency and the very complicated nature of emotional abuse. But more, it’s a story about how one woman used her own oppression to find her voice.

My guest today is Reema Zaman. Reema is an award-winning writer, visual artist, actress and speaker, and the author of the memoir I Am Yours. She is from Bangladesh and immigrated to New York When she was 18. When she was 25, she fell in love and married into a relationship that shifted the direction of her life. She writes and talks about what it is like to fall into emotional abuse as well as how to find your voice when you come out of the darkness.

More about Reema:

The 2018 Oregon Literary Arts’ Writer of Color Fellow, Reema Zaman is an award-winning writer, actress, speaker, and author of the critically acclaimed memoir I AM YOURSI Am Yours debuted on the Powell’s Bestseller list, alongside Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming. Born in Bangladesh and raised in Thailand, Reema’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Vogue, The Guardian, Salon, Guernica, Shape, and elsewhere. Reema has the honor of partnering with the International Rescue Committee and Girls Inc. to serve key causes and empower the next generation of leaders. As the only Reema Zaman in the world, she is easy to find on social media. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter and learn more at

About Face is a member of Bear Radio, the premier English-speaking podcast network of Berlin.

Music for this episode was provided by Miss Kenichi