RHODubai Star Chanel Ayan Tearfully Reveals She Was Circumcised at Age 5: 'I'm Starting to Heal'

·4 min read
RHODubai Star Chanel Ayan Tearfully Reveals She Was Circumcised at Age 5: 'I'm Starting to Heal'

Chanel Ayan disclosed a heavy piece of information about her past on this week's episode of Real Housewives of Dubai.

During a hypnotherapy session, Chanel tearfully revealed that she and her older sister were circumcised as young children and their family had no idea.

"At 5-years-old, my aunt and my grandma came to pick us up to take us to another town," Chanel told the therapist as she held co-star Dr. Sara Al-Madani's hand. "And then the next morning at 6 a.m., I didn't know where I was going whatsoever and then they took us to this man's house and they just tied us on the bed and we were circumcised."

The Kenyan-born model has previously shared details about her traumatic upbringing, including the fact that her father beat her. However, this was the first time she went further into the specifics of the abuse she suffered.

"I don't have a lot of memories because I feel like I block things," Chanel told the therapist.

Chanel Ayan/Instagram Giudice Wedding Gallery. https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg8PkzoOwf-/?hl=en.
Chanel Ayan/Instagram Giudice Wedding Gallery. https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg8PkzoOwf-/?hl=en.

Chanel Ayan/Instagram

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The mother to 20-year-old son Taj then recalled growing up in her own home with her parents and siblings, which included a lot of tears from her own mom.

"The crying, the sadness, the beatings," a weeping Chanel said while holding Sara's hand. "That's what I remember. A lot of pain."

As her therapist continued to unpack her previous trauma, Chanel went deeper into the description of her physical and emotional wounds.

"We were tied in the legs," Chanel shared with the women. "Couldn't pee. Couldn't move. When we needed to pee, they would carry us and put us on the grass. I just didn't understand what the hell was going on whatsoever and my mom didn't know that that was happening to us."

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF DUBAI -- Season:1 -- Pictured: Chanel Ayan
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF DUBAI -- Season:1 -- Pictured: Chanel Ayan

Chris Haston/Bravo Chanel Ayan

Sara, who initially suggested the idea to attend a hypnotherapy session, thought this revelation could be part of why Chanel has had trouble meshing with certain ladies in the group.

"This explains about her behavior and how she is," Sara told the cameras, noting how this would make Chanel a better version of herself.

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THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF DUBAI -- Season:1 -- Pictured: Dr. Sara Al
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF DUBAI -- Season:1 -- Pictured: Dr. Sara Al

Chris Haston/Bravo Sara Al Madani

Because her vaginal area was sewn shut, Chanel needed to have the circumcision medically fixed.

After meeting now-husband Christopher, Chanel — who was a virgin at the time — went to the doctor so she could be physically intimate with her husband.

"I couldn't have sex," Chanel shared. "And then I had to wait until I healed."

Despite the hardships, Chanel revealed she has tried her hardest to find the silver lining in all of this.

"I've tried to understand," Chanel said in her confessional. "The reason that I'm talking about it is to bring awareness to it and I want people to understand this happens every single day, and if that's my mission, maybe that's what I should be doing."

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Chanel then revealed to the ladies that her father also unsuccessfully tried to sell her into marriage at age 14. "It didn't happen because my sister protected me," she explained.

"I actually love life, that is the sad part," Chanel continued. "I like to be happy. I have a good family, so I'm not going to say I'm a victim because I really am not. I have a good life. These are just the saddest things in my life, but I have a good life."

After breaking down her past traumas, the hypnotherapy aspect of the session finally began. Chanel was seen relaxing as Dr. Peta Cavanagh asked her to stand in a large garden and envision a majestic tree of her life.

The doctor then asked her to "break down" the tree with her eyes remaining closed — and almost immediately, Chanel appeared to feel better.

"I feel lighter," Chanel shared. "It's like the mountain is off my shoulder. I'm starting to heal. I'm starting to understand that I trusted people that hurt me, and they don't have power over me anymore."

As the session concluded, Chanel revealed that she had finally found forgiveness for those who once hurt her.

"I've chosen, for the first time in my life, to forgive them and accept what happened to me," she said. "I still have a lot of life and I still have a lot of love to give to myself."

The Real Housewives of Dubai finale airs next Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.