If I just sit still and smile none of them will know. I’ll hide my sadness again behind these pearly white teeth that I just got whitened. I need to face my problems not hide them. I need to challenge my demons and fight until one of us wins. I look at the bottle of pills on my desk and I see an easy way out. I wish suicide wasn’t a sin. I can repent all my other sins but if I succeed at taking my own life, will god ever forgive me? I failed to many times not to succeed this time around I know just how much I need, how long to wait, where to be, who not to call. But do I really want this? Will this pass as well? This feeling of emptiness and loneliness? Will I be okay this time around? I need a break from my life. I’ve hurt so many people, so many friends out of selfishness and self-loathing. Can I hurt them like that again? Make them see me at my weakest, behind locked doors and barred windows? Maybe last time was a scream for help, but what will it be this time? A cry for help or the end of everything as I know it or maybe even the end of me?
When I was young I dreamt about what it meant to be free and now I might just know. I would stay awake hours after my bed time, laying next to my sister in the guest bedroom since it was the safest room in the house, and we couldn’t hear the bombs falling from he sky outside. I would lay awake imagining my life at this age. As a young women in this big big world. Let us just say, I couldn’t have imagined the life I have now. From being depressed to having the greatest friends of my life to being a sister in my sorority, my life is nothing like what I imagined it would be. By this age I believed I would have found the person who was going to love me forever and look after me. When I was young my mother told me that I didn’t need a man until I graduated from college or law school, but now I know she was wrong. It is kind of sad that I believe that now but I feel like it is a huge part of college and part of being a young adult to have someone to care for and for you to care for. I’ve had a few relationships that were nothing serious, I had and still have relationships that last hours and have no emotional connection or effect on me. See, my fear of never being loved prevents me from opening up to people and trusting men. If a guy asks me what’s wrong I would look at him with a smile and say “nothing, nothing at all!” However, in the past few months I have meet two great guys, who I consider great friends, who I have found myself opening up to. It wasn’t easy, but they made it easy for me. I look at these guys and I know I can never date them because one has a girlfriend and one doesn’t see me that way, but they have restored my belief in men. And for this I am forever grateful to them!
However, my fear of intimacy and being weak in front of someone prevents me from really letting go and trusting people. I treat the men I meet as predators. I always assume they want nothing but sex from me or any other female they talk to. Maybe you can blame the places I meet these guys: bars, parties, pregames, tailgates, etc, but I still cant seem to be nice to guys. I try not to talk to guys outside of these environments because Im scared they would prove me wrong and my whole mentality would change regarding males. Honestly, I know there are good guys out there, but they never seem to be good around me, and maybe I bring out that side of them with the things I say and do. But again, I am super grateful for the close guy friends I have and the amazing girlfriends who keep my life filled with love and laughs.
Drink one, drink two, drink three. Now I’m crying because I realize you love her and I think I love you. They tell me I do, but I wouldn’t know, now would I? I drunkenly text you asking to see you but you know better so you don’t respond. I know you are with her, so I run back into his arms to feel loved for the night. Back to him and his dark brown skin, black hair, strong arms. I’m safe with him. He loves me like no one else ever can but I can’t get myself to love anyone but you. Now I smell like him, not like you, I can taste him not you. He is here and you are not. But being the big girl I am, I will get over you and she can keep you. She deserves you.
I’m done investing my emotions in cold unresponsive people. My friends told me to take a chance, a leap of faith, to trust a little. I did and got hurt. I’m done making people feel special, I’m done making people feel like they are my world. If I don’t mean that much to you, you shouldn’t mean anything to me. You guys work based on my insecurities, the way people who hate you do. So yes, I’m done with all of this. And maybe you were right, people don’t change, it doesn’t seem like you ever appreciated the people in your life and you don’t seem to appreciate them now. I’m done.
Babe lay down let me take your breath away. I kiss your neck, your hands tied together and I pushed them behind your head. You try to fight it but you cant, because you really don’t want to. My red lipstick leaves marks all over the skin on your neck and chest. I kiss you once, I kiss you twice, I kiss you three times. The animal in you begins to emerge as I kiss down your chest. I tell you that you are mine all mine, make you feel special, treat you like a man should be treated, tell you that you’re amazing then I leave my mark on your neck. You tell me that me taking control bruises your ego, but baby all I really want to do is bruise your neck and lips. Music playing loud but I can still hear you breathing hard; you are so cute when you are weak.
Complex thoughts complicate my mind with every smoke filled inhales I take. I stand by your side, facing the street and you tell me to talk. I’m as silent as i can be. You want to know what is bothering me and why I wont share anything with you. See, what I’ve learned from people is that people hurt you. It happens to seem like every time I open up to someone they turn around and hurt me. I might not seem like the sensitive type but I get emotional very quickly. The simplest thing, word, comment, anything, can make me sad. If I feel ignored by one of my friends I fall into this depressed mood that lasts days. It’s not a feeling I like.
Crying my eyes out and weeping over how much I hate myself pretty much sums up my Sunday night. I looked in the mirror and I just wanted to crash my head in to so I no longer had to see my reflection. I wanted to change my face. I wanted to smash glass into it, cut it open, and just not have it be the way it is. I thought if I did certain things, and dressed certain ways I would feel better but I don’t. I began to yell and I fell to the ground bouncing my heels on the ground. I was so angry with myself for not looking good. I felt like I was missed by Gods touch. Not saying that god or genetics were to blame, I didn’t go to the gym everyday and had a little extra calories so it’s entirely my fault.
No one will ever want me. I’m simply not good enough. I’m never anyone’s first choice; I am what they settle for. And I get it; I wouldn’t want to be with me either. I’m not smart, not funny, not pretty, over weight and not a nice person. Besides, being depressed and fucked up doesn’t add to my appeal. This past weekend just further proved all my theories about myself. I was a bar dancing with a relatively attractive guy, when all of a sudden he saw my friend and just left me to go talk to her. Yeah, that wasn’t fun. To feel better I found comfort in the arms of a male friend. That didn’t help my self esteem either. Maybe I expect too much from guys, but see I really don’t have high standards. I can’t have high standards. According to some people in my life I cant do better then what I have already. I should settle for average. And maybe I should. I was never good enough for my parents so why should I expect to be good enough for anyone else?
Darling I’m praying that I will spend hours standing by your side while you shine brighter than he ever can. I feel as if my voice gets prettier every time I talk to you. My life seems as if it can last eternity every time you smile at me.The innocence in your face and your boyish charm captivate my mind, my soul, my whole being. I want to corrupt you so good boy. I want to penetrate your mind and innocence and send it flying away. I want to take your naive self and turn you into the man you need to be.They all think im crazy, saying your not my type but im a firm believer in change. I can turn you into anything I want, have you love me more than yourself, break your heart then patch it up again. Make you dependent on me. Have you feeling lost with the idea of not having me. Having me lay on your bed, in your arms, reminding you how amazing you are. How grateful the world is to have you. Kiss your lips, your neck, place my hands on your shoulders and sink my nails into your flesh.
You leave your mark on my white cold looking skin. Im yours. And all I want is you at this moment. You are at a loss for words, breathing heavily, eyes rolled back. The feeling of euphoria and endless satisfaction. Darling, im praying that I will spend hours bragging every time your name is brought up.I want to let you know I will appreciate the man you will become. The man who isn’t intimidated by a strong woman, a woman who makes you feel like a man with all your strength and grace. Darling, just contemplate, this can all be yours if you just give in to your temptations and give into me.
Focusing on what is important:
Every now and then I have really bad days. They are so bad that I cant get out of bed or function like a normal 19 year old. On days like that I feel as if the pores of my brain are open and receptive. I don’t talk much on those days so it forces me to hear much more then I usually do. I’ve recently had a few days in a row where I felt completely paralyzed, emotionally that is. I was numb, frozen, unable to feel the slightest and most basic emotions, sadness and happiness. My friends and family took notice and kept asking what was wrong. I wasn’t “being myself” they said. I wasn’t doing what I normally do, laugh, making jokes, being the life of the party, etc etc. It seemed funny to me that this has become the norm that they have set for me. It was only a few months ago that the norm was depressed me, the Muna who didn’t talk much, was always sad, was always in a bad mood. It kind of makes me smile that now my friends and family are used to seeing me smile all the time.
Recently, I have discovered that the things I could have sworn made me happy actually don’t. I had this whole mentality that if I went out more, talked to more people, got attention from more men, bought more cloths, didn’t stress about school, if I did all of that, I would be happy. But I’m nothing but a naive 19-year-old college girl. In the month since I’ve been back, I have become distant from my religion. I have noticed it, my close friends have noticed it, my family has noticed it, and everyone who is important in my life have noticed it. This unfortunate fact makes me extremely sad. My good friend and mentee, Donia Atia, knocked some sense into me, so to speak, this past weekend. She reminded me of the importance of prayer and dua to my success and happiness. She reminded me that if I wanted to be happy, I needed god in my life. I need my religion. I’ve noticed that I am happiest when I am closest to my faith. So given this fact, I asked her to point out to me every time I did something religiously wrong, and to keep reminding me of why we are on this earth. Starting this weekend I began to make some changed to my lifestyle and my social life. Im trying to stray away from places that will tempt me to commit sins or at least away from people who tempt me to act reckless.
It’s remarkable how much I wanted it. He told me not to beat myself up over not getting what I wanted but I couldn’t let it go. Every minute or two I would check my phone to see if you had called or texted back; I wanted you because I couldn’t have you and you knew it. You played along. You played the game well and made me wait but when you finally came, you were beyond ecstatic. Fighting each other in the sheets, fighting our better judgment, giving in to what we needed at the moment. My perfume was lost on your body and your cologne lost on my sheets. My lipstick stains covered your collar, your lips, and cheeks. It was such a beautiful thing to see my light pink lipstick all over your dark skin, it was like I was yours and you were mine. It was sweet while it lasted until I realized it wasn’t you who I wanted, you this that I have been craving. I now know I was trying to find myself in your arms and trying to avoid bitter rejection. He says its not because I hate rejection, but it is what rejection means to me. When you left that night I couldn’t sleep, I need to justify it to myself, what I did, what I have just done, what I put myself through.
Darling lately I have been confused. I can’t seem to keep myself from drowning in my own mistakes and sorrows, but every time I look up, you are there, so I know Im fine. Honestly, it hasn’t been easy these past few weeks since I’ve been back. Going from up to down to up to down, a non-ending cycle, a wave, a repeating disaster. I am a disaster. But you say you love me regardless and I dont know how. I’ve hurt you times and times before with my selfishness and hardheadedness but you still hold my hand every time I fuck up, which is almost all the time. They can all tell something is up but none of them bother to ask whats wrong, but you do. You see me somehow, maybe it’s because I trust you or love you or just really depend on you for my happiness. So after every cigarette, after every cup of coffee I look back to see if you are still there. After I’ve destroyed any self-esteem I had, I look a you to build me up again. I try to build myself up by trying to find myself in the arms of different men, but it always seems as if I can only see myself clearly with you. When the night terrors hit, and I am frightened, scared, cant sleep, I cant think of anyone I want to talk it over with but you. You are my life line, so thank you darling.
I am a Palestinian female with an open mind, how dangerous am I? You tell me. I let nothing stop me from getting what I think I want at the moment that I want it. I live by a code where as long as I’m happy at that split second of a moment, I’m fine and doing the right thing. Living this way has caused me to hurt many people who I had no right to hurt but did so out of amusement. But, but, but, guilt and regret are for the weak and I hate to think of my self as weak, so I refuse to feel guilt over my decisions. In the past few weeks my experiences and journeys have made me realize that the only way I’m going to be happy is acting and living in the moment and not thinking about the future and what it might hold. You can say I am being reckless but I think that is the point. I simply do not care about the future because it does exist to me. Growing up in a war zone and going to bed every night as a child not knowing if I was going to wake up the next morning has started to shape the way I view life. See, to me I don’t know if I’m going to live till tomorrow, so why should I worry and feel guilty about things that make me happy?
Hiding in plane sight, the devil in us fools us all. The perfect disguise, a scarf, to hide away all her sins. I hate to generalize but they say what people hate the most is what they truly are. She hates liars, she calls them hypocrites, but she is the greatest lie. I used to watch her, observe her, study her. She is the definition of optimum gracefulness; she is my definition of beauty. Her confidence can shine even in the darkest of rooms, and her smile lightens up everyone’s life like the moon lightens up the desert sky. She is beauty and grace; she is exactly what they want her to be. She is a lie, make belief, a dream, an achievement. In her light so bright I dim and disappear, and the side of me that is too scared to go against such a graceful force takes over. Her powerful body movements capture the room’s attention. I’m stuck in her shadow once again. We fight for a while, she wants to take over, she wants to lead, but being a dream, unreal, make belief, she can’t stay for long. It’s to exhausting to fool everyone all the time. How can she stay when the real me is around? Sometimes she dominates and they only see her, but lately I’ve been fighting my way to the spotlight, I’ve been fighting her. She cover our neck to hide the marks, I show my wrists to show our scars. We fight again over who takes whom and who get what day of the week. Sometimes I just let her win, because they really do like her more than me. She is an alter ego, a made up character, a devotion to mankind. Her lips as sweet as the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden, with one little bite to the right bottom lip. Its swollen and now she has to lie to herself about what happened, as if it wasn’t real. We fight again over what she has done, but for once she lets me win and lets me help for once.
I miss being on my own, away from a secured household where everything is just fine because mommy is taking care of it. I miss the feeling of missing my family. I miss being dependent on myself. But as my mother recently mentioned, how am I really on my own when I’m financially dependent on my parents, emotionally dependant on my friends, and psychologically dependent on my anti-depressants. So am I really on my own? Well I sure do think so. In the past 2 months I have gotten the best advice from several people close to me, and that advice is: to not be dependent on anyone and to do what makes me feel happy. It sounds like a cliché and something you might find in a fortune cookie, but really when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Why should we let people, religion, morals, and society hold us back? If we want to do something that makes us happy without causing pain to others then why the hell not?! I have a utilitarian view on things, and I believe maximizing personal happiness is important and that it actually helps achieve maximum overall happiness. My uncle who was visiting from Greece a few weeks ago sat me down to talk about what made me depressed. My uncle is a very educated and intellectual man. Being an Arab male who lived most of his life in a western country and married a non-Arab, non–Muslim women, he has a very interesting view on things. When we were having our little chat, he kept on reminding me that we only have limited time on this earth and that we really need to make the most of it. He told me to choose if I wanted to spend my life sad or happy, if I wanted to live my life or watch it from the sidelines. I told him I wanted to be happy and live my life but didn’t know where religion fit into all of that. He told me not to let religion hold me back. As a Muslim it is really hard to do that. Not to letting religion hold us back is hard, because Islam is not just a religion but a way of life. My uncle told me to experiment with whatever and everything I wanted to try because you know, we only live this life once. I took his words to heart and I’ve been trying to be more fearless in my decisions and actions, but religion still gets to me. I love my religion and my Muslim way of life, even though I do sin, a lot! It makes me a hypocrite I know but it’s fine. As my sister likes to remind me, Allah loves his creations. He loves us no matter what and all we need to do is repent our sins and ask for forgiveness. I’m not quite at the stage yet of letting go of my current life style and ready to take on the full responsibilities of being a Muslim female, but I think I’m getting there. And I think, this way of thinking and observing life is really what makes me feel on my own and dependent on myself.
These almost painful flashbacks really get to me. I see it clearly. I was a mess but you still loved me. I’m dressed in a white sundress and my hair is down, flowing down my back. You hold me and try to calm me down. You tell me its going to be alright and you will be there when I cant decide what version of myself I want to be. You will still love me. You hold me in your big arms and I cant breath, I’m panting, shaking, about to faint and you hold me up. I look at you and I don’t understand how fortunate I am. I yell at you to let me go and I place my hands on your firm chest and begin to push you, that’s when you grab my arms firmly and press them down. You tell me to stop; you yell at me, you begin to scare me. I see my fearful face in your hazel green eyes and I begin to cry. I try to run away from you but you follow me to apologize. I hate you all so much. For the hundredths time I am the victim. It seems like I can’t get a break from anyone. You finally catch up with me. You push me to the wall and try to calm me down. Your hands are on my waist pressing hard and it’s not helping. You try to kiss my neck to calm me but I yell at you to move. You have never seen this amount of anger in my eyes and now you are scared. I slap you across the face and walk away. This time you know what’s best and you don’t follow me. I get a call from you a week later apologizing for what you did but I can’t even think of anything to do with you. You violated my space and I swore never to give another male the chance to do that to me. Your type appeals to me but I need someone I can control not someone who can control me. I eventually forgive you for trying to calm me down and losing your temper. Your charm appeals to me and I like your devilish smirk. You are bad and it’s so good. I hate myself for missing you.
I don’t know what appeals it to me; it just makes beautiful sense. Every shape, every color combination, every fabric, every everything just fascinates me. I’m actually fascinated by many things; talent, fashion, shoes, faith, beauty, the human body and love to name a few. Talent fascinates me the most. You either have it or you don’t, unlike the other things mentioned, where you can learn or gain them in some sort of way. Well not really, but you can gain faith and learn to love but you cant learn how to become talented. You can increase your talent through various methods, but the essence must be there to start with. People who are talented get to me. I envy them for their talents, but I appreciate them for it as well. Fashion, oh fashion how much I love you. Clothes, shoes, makeup, handbags, everything just make me really happy. They help us disguise ourselves in society. You can tell a lot about a person by what they choose to dress and present themselves with. I am fortunate enough to go to a school where going to class in sweats isn’t really a “thing”. Personally, I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing sweats to class, and on days where I wear a hoody and tights I feel socially un-presentable. How can someone expect a professor to take him or her seriously if they show up in sweats, which by the way I think is extremely disrespectful to the professor.
I care a little bit too much about my appearance sometimes that it effects my whole day sometimes. There are some days where I don’t leave my dorm room because I don’t feel like I look anything close to what is socially acceptable. It’s a bad habit and I know, but how we dress, look, and smell is really important and vital to civilized society. Personally, I wouldn’t touch a guy who doesn’t care about his appearance with a 10-foot pole. I’m not saying that he should be self-centered and spend hours on himself, he just needs to know that wearing a button down is better than wearing a t-shirt, that suits are the sexiest thing a man can wear, and the smelling delicious makes him irresistible.
The human body doesn’t fail to stun me constantly. What our bodies are capable of doing from growing to fighting away harmful viruses makes everything about the human body amazing. I find beauty in the human physical appearance. I think there is nothing more beautiful than pure soft skin, the back of our necks, and hands. I love to observe people working with their hands being it’s building something or playing something, I just love to watch them make use of their hands.
This is a topic that is really difficult for me to talk about because it hits too close to home. However, I think it’s about time I made a post about since it’s such a huge part of my life and it affects me in almost everyway. As they say, old habits die hard, especially when they are imbedded into who you are and who you have grown to become. I can blame society or the media for everything, but I wont. It’s a personal struggle that most people face and it talked about a lot, which is a good thing, but it helps nothing. The problem still exists regardless. Poor self-image and bad self-esteem have contributed greatly to my depression. My sister likes to remind me that everyone has days where they just hate themselves, but it seems like I have a bit too many of those days. Deep down I do love myself because my friends and family love me, and I trust their judgment, but I do have some days where I cant see anything good in myself. My poor self-esteem has led me to have two eating disorders. Eating disorders are tricky, they are easy to hide and really tiring to have. You can say I’ve had an eating disorder since I was 13 and despite my numerous attempts to get help, it really hasn’t improved much over the years. What was harder than dealing with an eating disorder myself was watching someone close to me deal with anorexia nervosa. She had it bad, so bad that she went through a phase where I could literally count her ribs and back bones. It scares me to think that I almost lost her to anorexia, that I almost lost her to an eating disorder. It seemed that no matter how many times I told her she was beautiful, she never believed me. She knew about my eating disorder and tried to help but I just got better at hiding it from her.
Many girls in my high school had eating disorders and they were very discreet about it. I tried to be discreet but once you lose 23 pounds in less than 2 months people start to notice. I blamed it on getting tighter pants and tailoring my shirt, but my friends knew what was up. My mother began to take notice my senior year of high school and would always tell me that being a size smaller isn’t going to make me any prettier or happier. Once I left for college everything changed. See, I see things and actions as sedatives, and I saw my eating disorder as a way to take out my anger. Living in a dorm made things harder for me, so instead of avoiding food I began to binge eat. It’s something really hard for me to talk about because I am ashamed of myself for even falling victim to such a habit. My family took notice and didn’t want me falling into old habits. They wanted me to be healthy. I used to dance in high school almost everyday and go for hour-long walks, and college changed that. It was hard to explain the situation I was in to anyone because I was so ashamed of myself. I couldn’t love myself any longer because I wasn’t close to “ideal” in my own standards. This change in behavior led my old eating disorder to return. I told no one about it. People just saw the difference and reacted positively to it so I didn’t mind.
The thing with eating disorders is that if you have one it doesn’t automatically mean that you are stick thin, which is also why it’s delicate and easy to hide. So the whole point of this post is to open this subject up for discussion and to let my friends know that I will understand if they are going through something like this. I have been there and dealt with people who have been there. And yes, sometimes I look into the mirror and hate what I see. I dont think I’m beautiful in anyway but I’m fine with that. So what if I’m not the prettiest or the thinnest, honestly, all I want to be is the happiest.
His eyes, ocean blue and filled with endless hope that one day he will be worth more. I watched him as I grew up and grew as tall as him. He was big and toothless. He set a bad example of what men are supposed to be like. He talked too much, lied a lot, yelled for no reason, didn’t understand, and didn’t love me the way I wanted to be loved. Maybe that is why I am so needy for male attention and I commit sins to receive it. Growing up, the only time he noticed me was when I fucked up. Being called to the principle’s office, hitting my sister to hard, not doing my homework, ignoring my mothers calls, not respecting him as the “man of the house.” I was a troublemaker and you can say I still am but in a more moderated sense. I crave adrenaline rushes and it’s always about the story. I always seek comfort in my male friends and acquaintances when I’m in trouble, as if they were going to do anything about it. Maybe its just I want to show them the weak side of me. Show them that I’m not always the mean bitch they are used to dealing with. Often times, seeking this comfort backfires. Most of the time, males don’t care about your bullshit and your drama and why you are having a bad day. It seems as if I never learn. I ALWAYS turn to them and they ALWAYS leave me disappointed. But then again, I’m very accustomed to disappointment. He disappoints me all the time. He doesn’t say the right things, he doesn’t make his emotions clear, he doesn’t acknowledge all that I do and say for him. Maybe I just don’t get the being that is the Arab man. See, it seems that their pride blinds them and prevents them from moving forward. So they are stuck and they are pulling us back from fully understanding life. They don’t understand women. They don’t understand them emotionally, physically or psychologically. The reasons for this are many. We are brought up in societies that tell us to segregate the sexes, send them to different schools, not to teach them anything about sex or the opposite sex, creating frustration in both sexes. Being deprived from the most basic and humanistic thing, true and meaningful relationships with the opposite sex, up until marriage really does affect the way the sexes interact with one another and with each other. This frustration becomes apparent during the marriage. I’m not saying that in order to have a great sex life you need to have pre-martial sex, what I am trying to say is that if there was discussion about sex and an understanding between the couple, than they could lead very healthy sex lives. A friend of mine and her fiancé actually sat down and researched sex and how to make the other climax because they were determined to have a great sex life that involved the both of them. Mistake me if I’m wrong, but what I have noticed about sex in great proportion of Arab marriages is that there is no focus on the female climax what so ever. Yes, it’s a universal problem, but it really isn’t addressed at all in the Arab world. I know females who brag about having a great sex life but have never climaxed. How is that great exactly? To them it’s all about pleasing their male partners. If they were taught in school or by their parents what their bodies and their partners are supposed to do, they wouldn’t be so ignorant about sex. Even my non-Arab, non-Muslim friends brag but have never climaxed, so it’s not just an Arab thing. But when you search for the root of the problem you find that it’s due to the lack of education about sex.
This is something that has been on my mind for weeks and is something I’ve been dying to write about. It’s something that hits close to home for me as an Arab female living in a male dominant society. See, If you ever walked down any street in Palestine that is occupied by young males, I promise you that you would hear “on your mothers honor” or “on your sisters honor” yelled out. In modern Palestinian society, it is a distinctive thing to swear by the “honor” of your female family members. It is as if a family’s female’s virginity defines the family and all that they do. Everything is revolved around sex. It’s crazy, insane and fairly disrespectful. Females are expected to be virgins on their wedding nights. This is mainly because of culture not religion. The reason I say this, is because there really isn’t stress on males to be virgins on their wedding night and if it were really religion that came first and not culture, there would be stress on both sexes to remain celibate until marriage. To me this is the worst kind of oppression. To hold both sexes to different standards is ridiculous. Also, many males believe that they own their female family members virginity and believe they can use it as a threat or an insult. This is beyond degrading for women. Putting religion aside and just looking at culture, it seems that modern Arab men are behaving in a very barbaric and nomadic way. Barbaric in the sense that everything revolves around sex. The way they comment on the way females dress, to the way they believe that any male, no matter their age, has more power than any pre-menopausal female. When women are still fertile, they are still a threat to their families name and “honor” because if they get pregnant while not married, they would bring shame to the family. They are behaving nomadically in the sense that they are acting in a very tribal way. What I mean by this is, honor and family names where important to nomads and people who belonged to tribes. You can say that the whole tribal tradition still exists in Palestine but I would not have expected that their crazy old-fashioned traditions to still exist with them. When including religion into the equations, it gets complicated. The reason for this is because Palestinian society is made up from mainly Muslims, but there is a huge Christian presence. Both religions do teach and promote chaste and celibacy, but they differ on a few things when it comes to women. However, no matter the religion, culture always takes over. See personally, I don’t think it is morally wrong to have premarital sex, no matter your gender. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you human. Yes, religiously it’s a sin but people commit sins ALL the time. So why are we so hard on people who have sex before marriage.
Like a gust of wind your presence hits my figure. All I want is for you to shine darling and you do. I tell you a story and you smile. I laugh at your reaction. It’s beautiful and pretty. I still want you I guess even though I tell my self otherwise. I think you know I’m all yours. And I think you know I want you to be mine all mine and no one else’s. I just want to drop my life and watch you. Watch you as you talk to me, watch you being the beautiful creature you are. I want to study your face and your hands. I want to study you. Darling please.
It’s tantalizing, exotic, erotic. It is everything they said it would be. I can taste it on my tongue and I am breathless. So this is what all the buzz is about. I get it now. Baby I get you now. And now I know what I’ve been missing out on. Now I see you crystal clear, I see me with new eyes. The scent of my life is sweeter yet more bitter, a beautiful contradiction all at once. Now I have to explain this to them and why I did what I did and why I have to leave you behind now. I’m done, I got it and now I’m finished with you. I’ll love you forever and always just not now. You try to calm me down and I’m screaming. You try to hug me but I push you back, I am disgusted by your embrace. I don’t want this anymore, I lied. You fall on your knees begging me not to turn away, not to break your heart for the fifth time that day. You still want me, I’m surprised. I’m in your white button down, I smell like you, and why is this suddenly becoming hard to do. I need to leave because I simply cant stay. Baby please let me go. You are grabbing on to my arms telling me not to be so narrow minded, not to leave you behind but you already know I’m gone. You call me to tell me I need to stop with this self-destructive behavior, and I need to stop physically pushing people away. I need to keep still for more than 10 seconds. I should stop and think.
Being jetlagged isn’t really the greatest thing in the world. My sleeping habits since I’ve been home have been ridiculous and it kind of reminds me of my sleeping habits when I was severely depressed. I used to spend more then 18 hours a day in bed. It was physically impossible for me to get my self out of bed on some days and on others, I didn’t have the willpower to be proactive in my own life. I was standing on the sidelines watching my own life pass by and I was paralyzed, I couldn’t do a thing. I missed classes for weeks at times and I missed meetings and appointments regularly. You know, typical depression stuff. Thanks to the amazing progressions in science, we now have anti-depressants :) As of now, I have been on Prozac for about 10 months and I have been on abilify for about 3 months. Funny thing is for 6 month I refused to take anti-depressants. I didn’t want to have to deal with the side effects and I really thought my depression was just a phase. However, as part of my early return to UVa from late medical withdrawal, I had to work with CAPS on an effective plan to deal with my depression, and part of that plan was anti-depressants. One of the best decisions I have ever made was agreeing to get on Prozac. For anyone who is familiar with Prozac, you would know it takes a REALLY long time to start working effectively. It took me 5 months and being bumped to 80mg of Prozac to feel its affect. Despite being on a high dosage of an anti-depressant I was still severely depressed. I suffered an extreme nervous break down in early February and I was hospitalized. It was one of the most horrifying and emotionally stressful experiences of my life thus far. After my hospitalization, my parents and my deans thought it would be best if I took time off from school and some time away from Charlottesville. At first I was sad that I had to leave the only life I knowing the United States and I that I had to move back in with my parents. I also wasn’t allowed to go home to Palestine because I needed to receive proper treatment. It wasn’t fun. For once, my parents were witnessing my depression first hand. I have always been good at hiding it from them, even though they new I was depressed, but they never witnessed it in action. My parents were horrified. My mother tells me I was like a live corpse around the house. My skin was always pale, I didn’t talk much, I wouldn’t make eye contact, I was always yawing even after sleeping for more than 15 hours straight, and I had no energy to hold a conversation. My mother tried to take me on walks but I never had the energy. I was ALWAYS exhausted. I also felt illiterate. It was difficult for me to concentrate on anything so I couldn’t read or write coherently. My life took a positive turn in early March. My psychiatrist prescribed abilify to me to boost my energy levels and to stabilize my mood. I began seeing the change in less then a week after I started taking it. I suddenly wanted to go on walks on my own. I was laughing and enjoying my time. I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Depression didn’t seem so scary anymore and I knew I could overcome it. Even today, I have bad days were I stay in bed all day but my friends and family get me through it. The support and love I have gotten from everyone during this whole ordeal as been inspiring. Even my dean would call me weekly to check up on me and to remind me that UVA needed me back in the fall. As of now, I am enrolled for the fall semester and I cannot wait to get back to my life, to my friends, to my sisters, and to my school.
Sometime last year I had a very interesting conversation with a college mate of mine. We were discussing the headscarf and what it meant and symbolized in our cultures. Even though we were both Middle Eastern and Muslim, we had completely different thoughts on the veil. In my opinion, the headscarf should not limit anyone; it should not limit who your friends are, where you hangout, and what you do. Many people disagree with me on that one but to each their own. See, in my culture, the headscarf is more of a traditional symbol than a religious one. You might try and disagree that in Palestinian culture it isn’t traditional but take a look around, veiled Muslim women are not all the image of modesty and chaste. We do not dress very modestly and we do not act very modestly at times. And this statement doesn’t include everyone, but what I have seen lately it includes the majority, including myself. See I am not criticizing the females in my culture because I understand. I wear the headscarf mainly for religion but also because it is socially unacceptable for females my age with my background not to wear it. As for my friend, in her country, women only wore the headscarf when they were fully ready to take on the religious responsibilities of the headscarf. I shared a little story with her about a friend of mine from back home that took her by surprise. See, my friend was veiled and she dated, a lot. She was also somewhat sexually active with the men she dated and some of them even were allowed to see her hair. This took my college mate by surprise. She was speechless and confused. What confused even more was when I told her I went out to bars and nightclubs on the weekend with my friends. See, her idea of veiled Muslim women is that we sit at home all day being oppressed and worshiping Allah (swt) 24/7. I kind of wish the last part was true though; my faith isn’t that strong and I would love if I had the strength to resist doing a lot of what I do. This conversation with my friend brought about a topic that I love to discuss and that is the desexualization of Muslim women.
This is a piece I wrote on 11.11.11. Reading it now really gets to me. Just the state of mind I was in was very dangerous and terrifying. Things always get better, and i wish i knew that while writing this.
Walking to class everyday seems to get harder and harder as my lungs grow weaker and weaker because of all the smoke I inhale. My body wants to mirror my soul, it wants to damage its self from the inside out. After every bitter tasting drink and after every methanol cigarette, im left feeling empty yet satisfied. I do it to myself. And every time I see the scares on my left wrist, I crave the feeling of a blade cutting my white flesh. I want to watch my blood spill as if it was going to purify me from the inside out. I crave the endorphin rush after a good hit. I’m lusting for the adrenaline ride after every harmful hateful fight. When im left alone in my room or outside, drowning in my tears, lossing my breath, i almost want to give up completely.
Hello lovely readers,
I feel really silly and very scared writing this but to overcome my trust issues, I need to be fearless and write this online journal where I share almost everything about my life. For starters, Im Muna Sharma: A rising 2nd year at the University of Virginia, a Palestinian female, a sister of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, a Muslim, a feminist. I was born in Savannah,Ga and moved to palestine when I was 5 and returned 12 years later, in 2010, for college. I spent a year and a half at the University of Virginia, and during that time I took two medical withdrawals, at the end of spring of 2011 and beginning spring of 2012, due to sever depression. (wow, i almost never share that with anyone!) Truth is, no one could tell i’m depressed because I am good at hiding it. Even my closest friends tell me that if they didn’t know me well, they could never guess I was depressed. But that is the beauty of a smile it can hide anything you want it to.Moving on, I like hiking and nature, and I love the country side. I love honesty and I beg you to be honest with me and keep in mind I will never judge you. I let people into my life easily, but it takes me a very long time to trust them. I am very insecure and I lack confidence ( only my really close friends knew that about me!) I have commitment issues when it comes to relationships, and I dont seem to trust men until they prove to me that they are trustworthy and worthy enough to be in my life, even as friends. As of now, I am in great place, I have been soul searching for a while and I am at ease with my self. I am no writer, even though I aspired to be one growing up, and I have horrible grammer and spelling. At times I like to say that i really dont care what people think, but honestly I do. My favorite question is “what was your first opinion of me?” so go ahead and answer the question and let me now , and remember I LOVE honesty and the more you share the more likely I am to love you forever :)