Jul 8, 2008

Days of my life... (A look in the past)

Disclosure: This post, will be dictated through the eyes of a Rambling 15 year old girl, many of my initial thoughts displayed here, have since changed, as I have now become a wiser Rambling Saudi Wife :D Nothing I say here is meant to offend anyone, and I do apologise in advance for anyone who takes offense to anything said in the following post. I remember it all began in Damascus Syria, when I was 15 years old. My mother had just forced me to move there for a year, and I could not stand the country! I hated the people! I hated everything about it! Pre-Syria I was a chubby little girl, I always had this smile planted on my face, saying 'Hi' and 'Good morning' to everyone I passed by. I loved giving away hugs to everyone. I loved how I looked, and never felt self conscious, as my mother would always remind me that I was a beautiful girl, and made me feel like a princess at all times. I was teased at times, and can still remember being bullied my entire 6th grade year, as the girls thought of me as a 'rich snob'. I wasn't anywhere close to that, they just hated that I wore things they couldn't have (and it wasn't on purpose, I just wore whatever was in my closet- or my sisters much NICER closet). I entered high school, and everything changed. I saw myself change, from being with my mom 24/7, and sitting with her all the time, I became someone new. I became very distant; I found a new circle of friends, friends that thought it uncool to sit around mommy dearest. My grades dropped, I was skipping classes, I was a whole new (not-so-cool) me. My dear mom feared she would lose me, she felt that I was changing too fast, and that if we stayed in Toronto much longer she would lose me forever. She spoke to her family, and for some odd reason planned a vacation to Syria. I was OK with it, as long as I would only be gone for a month. My mom assured me that we would be back, and that this was simply a vacation. I was excited, and looked forward to seeing a new country. Syria I remember arriving in Syria, the airport was awful and filthy. I could not understand anything anyone was saying, and was awed by this weird culture. They made us pay them money to enter the country (something I have since heard they do to everyone!). I remember leaving the airport building and being engulfed by the most disgusting stench in the world, it smelt like a sewage system- the worst kind possible. I felt sick to my stomach, and already wished I never came to this God forsaken land. The cars were outside waiting for us, and we were taken to this flat that was quite disgusting, we could not believe the people got such filth ready for us. Ok! It wasn't dirty, but there was NO washroom, or at least the washrooms I have been used to. There were HOLES in the floor to relieve ourselves. We slept that first night in tears, and in shock. First thing in the morning my mom went out and came back an hour later with cars, and had us move to another flat. This one was much more like it, it was lovely, and they had REAL washrooms. The floors were marble, and shiny. There were TV's. There were all the regular amenities we have come accustomed to. This was more like it! There were no fast-food chains anywhere. I had to buy chocolate bars such as snickers under the table! I was not happy, I missed Toronto. I missed my friends! When my mom finally broke the news to me that I would not be going back to Toronto, I was in SHOCK, I cried, I locked myself in my room. I remember the first day I threw up. I was trying hard to get attention from my mom, and was ready to get it whatever way possible. I remember not eating food for 18 days0 save one green apple! (Yes 18 days) My mom was going crazy, but refused to send me back. I was still angry, and even began to cut my self (inflicting pain upon myself), I used to sit out on the balcony with a knife in hand, staring out at the stars (I wasn't used to being able to see stars), and scrape my arm, till it was bleeding. And even after it bled, I would continue to just cut myself. I did not feel the pain. (I still have a faint scar on my arm from those stupid days). Another stupid attempt at attention was to overdose on pills. I sat in my room one evening, and took out a bottle of medication. I remember popping one pill after another. Until the bottle was empty, I became drowsy, and did not know what was happening. I remember seeing my mom come to me, slap me in the face to get me coherent. She saw the pills and started screaming for help. They rushed me to the hospital, and the doctors had to pump the pills out of my stomach by inserting a tube down my nose. I remember hating my mother to death. She was evil in my eyes, and I thought I would never, ever want to see her or speak to her ever again. I would continue to refuse food for months to come, and would only eat small amounts if any. After a while I began eating, but I would vomit it out within minutes of eating it. I was 15! I did not know what bulimia was at the time, but looking back at it, that began my struggle with this disease, a struggle I still fight till this day. I lost weight. I was once the girl with the pretty face; I now became the HOT girl that should become a model (I am 5'9" tall). As a teenager, that kind of appreciation meant the world to me. POST Syria We later moved to Kuwait. I loved it there, enjoyed myself very much, made lots of friends, and was always out and about. Once again, I forgot my mother, refused to spend time with her, as I felt she was the enemy. I was a teen having fun, with a great body (thanks to bulimia!), out doing all kinds of water sports, and just having a blast. I remember getting in trouble with my aunt and uncle that came from Saudi to make my life hell. I got beat by my uncle, treated like trash by my aunt, as they felt that as a young girl, I shouldn't have been out, shouldn't have had male friends, and the list goes on. Forcing me to leave the house, and live with one of my best friends for 2 weeks! My mother went crazy, she was lost, and she did not know what to do, should she stand by my side? Or pledge allegiance to her family? She knew me well; she knew that she taught me well, and that I would not do anything crazy. She stood by me, she gave me her shoulder, she gave me her heart, she loved me unconditionally, and that is when my dear mom became the center of my world again. We became close. Although I will never deny the pain I put her through, I made her life miserable. Yet she stood by me, and loved me none the less. For that I will always love her. She means the world to me. We moved back to Toronto, me a much wiser 18 year old girl, ready to start my University life. (now that I have my own daughter, I understand what she did much better, and know that she was looking out for my best interest; I love you mama) Here is a poem I wrote for my mother when I was about 19 years old... Mother Dear… This is a poem for you, my mother Who has dedicated her life to us, Who has taught every one of us, That hard work is work needed, To succeed in the future, Hard work, that will never be, Forgotten. This is for your determination, To make sure we live life So that we may be, Honoured and respected Someday. This is for taking us across seas, and back So that we might get a better insight into the world. This is for your strong mind, That made us love God And what God has given us, So that we may not take life for granted. This is for you my mother, Who has seen me to 19. Thank-you. By: Om Lujain As for my bulimia, I have tried very hard to steer clear of it, but it is an illness, at times after I finish eating, all I can think about is how can I get to the washroom without anyone noticing. I have become an expert I don't even need to stick my finger down my throat to relieve myself. I have been bulimia free since I found out I was pregnant, I was not ready to hurt my baby, and later after I had her, I knew she needed all the nutrition she could get through my breastfeeding's. It has been over a year and a half now, but I will never deny that I have urges to take the easy way out, and just vomit to shed the extra lbs.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think it is very brave of you and I also believe it is therapeutic as well.:) We all go through our struggles in life and what counts is how you deal with them.

    I, personally think, you have dealt with it the best way possible and especially at a young age too! May I ask, where was your dad? And where is he from? You don't have to answer this of course, if you don't want to.:)

    As for your bulimia, I am glad to hear that you are better now. Although, I do understand your struggle with body image. I think we all have our weight struggles and difficulties dealing with it. I know I do but I am not a bulimic nor anorexic but more of an emotional eater.

    You know, people assume that when they see someone really thin, that only they have the weight issue. I have always believed that when someone is living their life in obesity, that is a HUGE weight problem. I never thouht that such people liked to eat but rather they have a problem dealing with their lives and use food to comfort them.

    I know from self-experience. Before I got married, I weighed A LOT, believe me. Now, I am still struggling with the 25 pounds gained from pregnancy of the two boys. Working on it and I know eventually I will do it.......it gets tougher as you get older......:(

    Going back to your post, that was a lovely poem dedicated to your mom. You know, you mention you understood your mom when you had your daughter. Soooooooooo true!! I only understood and realized my parents when I became a parent myself! Life is funny, isn't it?

    (I will leave a comment back on the "Mona" post).........:)

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  2. You probably had your reasons for hating Syria. 15 years old is quite fragile age and then the emotional turmoil might have helped to intensify your hatred for the country and the people.

    But now as a grown-up person you should be able to make the distinction and disassociate your then state of mind from the place. I empathize with you and would have felt the same if I was you and even more; but I wouldn't be as blunt as to portray the whole country and the people as filthy and unlikable.

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  3. Manal- thanks 7abeebti.. I always love your feedback (and look forward to it :) The Bulimia will be a lifelong struggle, and is more of a mental one, as long as i stay strong up there, I should not resort to it enshallah... as for working out.. the funny thing is I LOVE TO WORK OUT!! I get this amazing high out of it, I love to walk outside, but being in Riyadh kinda stops all that, you can't just take a stroll around the neighbourhood. The gyms are cool, but then again there is the constant worry of where my baby will be when I workout. (when i go to shargiya I do go to the gym- 2 hours a day.. lol.. Allah ykhaleee mamati el 7elwa) Everyday I feel closer to her.. its an amazing bond il7amdlilaaah... I will be sending you an email enshallah... ttys hon!

    Dubai Jazz- Firstly I thank you very much for visiting my blog, (much appreciated). You are correct, my frame of mind has changed, and all those negative comments about Syria were the ramblings of my youth, and I wrote it in the past tense... as I hated it... but do not hate it now... I was not trying to be offensive to anyone, but kinda giving my story- blast from the past.. lol) I will edit a bit and make it clear for anyone else that reads, that I am not anti-Syrian.. and to tell the absolute truth, now that my mom is not within ear shot.. lol.. I do have some fond memories of the country and its people...

    Thanks again for passing by.

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  4. Oh, thanks for the clarification! I’ve been a silent reader of your blog for quite sometimes, the reason why I find it interesting is that I lived in Riyadh for a year before and it’s good to keep in touch with the place. I was taken aback by your mention of Syria, didn’t know you had any connection to the place.

    I know you meant no malice toward anyone, heck, you probably didn’t expect Syrians to be reading your blog!

    Poignant post btw, I am sorry you had to go thru all this….

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  5. lol.. its all good Dubai Jazz.. I guess my reference to Syria did some good... it lured you out :P

    As for Syrians... my husbands Maternal Grandmother was Syrian (Allah yr7amha).. I haven't met her, but I was told she was a great woman... so I know there are plenty of good Syrians out there... :)

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  6. Everyone goes through their times. Some have a harder time than others.

    I had it very rough as a kid, got involved with bad people on a couple of different continents, but finally got past it all and have a lovely wife and two cute little boys, Masha'Allah.

    It all works itself out in the end. But, I think there is still some of it that sticks with you forever, it is just how you deal with it that makes the difference.

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