If you woke up this morning with a new, slightly disconcerting feeling that perhaps the world isn’t completely fucked, get ready to be set back on the path of despair and disenchantment. A sophomore at the University of North Carolina is currently on “trial” in the school’s Honor Court for “disruptive or intimidating behavior.” Her crime? Claiming she was raped. Talking about rape.
This post is not to describe or portray a current feeling or experience I’m going through, rather a feeling I know way too well. See, there is always that someone, that one person, that somebody that you love. Someone you feel as if you are addicted, obsessed, crazy about. And it’s natural, when we fall in love the same parts of our brain associated with being addicted to something lights up. So we are basically addicted to those we love. When we love someone or rather are addicted to someone, wither we really know him or her, or only saw them once, we see that person in everything we do. We find them in the music we listen to, in the people we see at libraries or anywhere really, in the meals we don’t have an appetite to eat, in the way we speak. We find them everywhere. Here is something I found on Tumblr that pretty much sums all this up:
It’s a beautiful thing to find that someone in everything. Yet, it is one of the most painful and distracting thing anyone can experience, especially if you don’t have a chance with that person or don’t really know him or her. And how does that even work anyway? To love and be obsessed with someone you don’t really know or talked to once? Well, chemicals in the brain. I’m not going to sit here and explain the science behind love and obsessions, but what I do know for sure is that our brains choose who we love. We can’t pick who we fall for. So if someone doesn’t like you back, don’t take it personally, it’s just your chemicals don’t match. And that is kind of sad and cruel. How can you have these raw, real, sincere emotions for someone and they don’t have any feelings what so ever for you? It really is unfair but it’s also beautiful when you do find that one person where their chemicals like you just as much as your chemicals like that person. It really is one of the most beautiful things.
When we are addicted to someone, it is really hard to let go of him or her. It makes us naive at times and just plain idiots at other times. We put our selves through so much pain either seeing them with someone else or not seeing them at all, but we put up with it because of hope that one day they will love us back. We put ourselves through non-intimate relationships with that person just to be closer to them and get to know them better in hopes that either we end up not liking them or in hopes that they will fall for us if they saw the real us. But it doesn’t work that way. I truly believe you either love someone or like someone from the start or you can never truly love him or her. Yeah I know, I sound naïve sitting here talking about love at first sight, but all the relationships I have been exposed to, there was chemistry from the start or love from the start. My parents for example, the moment they saw one another they knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with each other. Stories like theirs make me believe that love at first sight does exists, and it justifies the obsession I have over that one guy. But I know it’s really stupid of me to believe that the person I love will love me back, but my parents never warned me about the addictions with a heartbeat.
I like to create things. I really do. I’m not very artistic in the sense that I can draw and create things with my hands, no, I create things, or rather tell stories, through the pictures I take. I’ve always loved making up stories, writing stories, and telling stories. Since I figured out that my true passion lies in photography I saw it as an opportunity to tell the world about the things that rush through my mind, the emotions that rush through my body, and the secrets I keep inside. I use photographs to tell these stories since I know I’m not that great of a writer and I can never truly portray these thoughts, emotions, and secrets through pretty words.
I like pretty things. Yet I also like really dark things. I like mystery, so I try to portray that in the stories I tell. In my first themes photo shoot, Innocence lost, I told the story of a virgin discovering her sexual side, from the thoughts that come to a person’s mind, to the actions that person takes, to actually expressing those sexual needs and wants. It kind of tells a lot about me and how I think. I truly believe if we look at everything and anything close enough, it will lead us back to sex. The way we dress, smell, think, act, body language, etc etc it all leads back to sex. And I love sex. I love talking about sex yet this doesn’t mean I have a very high sex drive, it just means I’m trying to understand people though sex. I’m currently working on my second themed project, which is going to have a male as the lead character, so I’m super excited to discover that side of me and to see how well I can portray the way men my age think. I’ll hopefully be working on it this weekend, so keep a lookout for the photos when I post them.
To John, I always have you in mind while going through a rough time. This is for you, darling.
So the past few days have been tough, really really tough to say the least. I was hospitalized for yet another attempted suicide but I wont go into the dirty little details that led to my hospitalization, for now at least I wont. What I do want to write about is how all that has happened has opened my eyes wide open. From the people I met to the life changing advice I received to the personal growth I have experienced at the facility, it has all changed me. And you guys know I love telling stories, so here is my story:
(Side note: I’m so thankful I’m alive to be able to write this post.)
“The afternoon I got there I went straight to bed. The rooms were small, painted yellow, and looked like a dorm room. It was depressing. I also had a roommate who didn’t speak much English so we barely spoke. I was disconnected from the world via social media. I wasn’t allowed to have anything with me but the clothes that were on my body. No cell phone, no laptop, no tablet, no iPod, nothing. The only way I could contact the outside world was through the telephone in the hallway.
I got through my first night by sleeping it out. I was exhausted from the previous night in the ER, both physically and emotionally I was beat. My body was aching, my head pounding, and my mental state was beyond horrible. I was still suicidal. I contemplated ways I would be able to end my life in the facility but I couldn’t come up with anything with the materials I had and be successful at doing it. I thought maybe I could drown myself in the sink or hang myself from the shower, but both of these would have been hard to implement, so I didn’t. Every time I spoke with my parents they would cry. They didn’t understand how things got so bad that I wanted to end my life just like that. Without any goodbyes, no suicide note, nothing. I couldn’t explain it to them or anyone. I just wanted to be gone, dead.
The next morning I got up at noon, and was forced to attend the group therapy meeting. I sat alone in the corner avoiding contact with anyone. I didn’t want to get to know these people, why would I? I have enough crazy in my life already. The nurses tried to talk to me and make me smile but I couldn’t, I didn’t want to smile. I tried to convince my doctor I was ready to leave and go home. I needed to leave that place. I believed that I couldn’t take another 24 hours in that place. But let me tell you, I’m so happy they denied my request to leave. My psychiatrist played a bit with my meds and added a mood stabilizer; he told me he wanted to keep me to monitor my behavior and mood. I got through that day and night by sleeping as much as I could. Lena and mama visited me that night and that made me feel much better. It was nice to see them and I was finally smiling.
The next morning I was up by 7am. My body couldn’t take anymore sleep. I went to the first of the five group meetings where I got into a little argument with one of the nurses. We had a talk and she asked me why I wanted to die because if I didn’t go to the ER I would have died. She kept on repeating that if we took the problems out of our lives we no longer felt the need to kill ourselves and end our lives. She looked and me and asked what I thought and I told her that that was bullshit because I am the problem. I’m a horrible person and many of the people who were closest to me have made that clear to me after getting to know me. I know that might not be true but I truly believed it at that moment. She proceeded to ask me if I thought I was pretty and smart, and my answer was, of course, NO! The whole room was shocked and went on telling me how pretty I am. This of course agitated me even more so I left the room. I couldn’t handle being lied to by people I didn’t know.
Since I was all slept out, I spent most of my day in the common room. Most of the other people there were engaged in personal conversations that they tried to include me in but I just wouldn’t speak to anyone. I just wanted to leave. That evening, after begging the nurse all day to see the doctor, the nurse informed me that I wasn’t going home. I began to cry and scream. I couldn’t stop; I wanted to be home with my parents. Later that evening both my parents came to have dinner with me. So we had dinner then played cards as my dad filled me in on the latest family drama. It made me so happy to be around them and see their full support and understanding of my illness and me. I got through that night just fine. I was starting to feel the meds kick in. The next day I woke up to what I thought was going to be a manic episode. I was full of energy, happy and ready to take on anything and everything. At group I spoke up, smiled at the nurses, and engaged in personal conversations with the others. I got to hear their heart breaking stories and what led them to want to kill and harm themselves. All of a sudden my problems didn’t seem so big and horrible. Some people don’t have enough money to pay their bills, other don’t have the money to feed their kids, others cant even see their kids because of their ex-wife, and others just simply didn’t have anyone to turn to.
After going through the day talking to almost everyone on my hall and having dinner with my parents again, I began to see and feel hopeful. I didn’t have a manic episode; rather the medication was starting to work. I stayed up most of the night thinking about what I have learned over the past couple of days and the people I have met. And I came to a realization. I then saw that there are three things some people need to be “happy”, or at least what I to be need to happy. Those three things are: a support group, faith, and positive thinking. I cannot begin to explain how these three things can get you out of anything. If you have some one to turn to, it can be anyone; it just lets you know you aren’t alone. If you have faith in a higher power or faith in the goodness of people or faith in animals, anything really, then you have something to keep you going. Use that faith to find a meaning for life. Instead of always thinking “oh im worthless” “oh nobody loves me” try not to think at all or think positively! Keep things that make you smile around you. For instance my nurse told me to print a few of my pictures and put them up and when ever im feeling sad I can look up at them and say “hey, I took that, I might not be worthless after all!” It’s important to change how we perceive ourselves.
I left this afternoon and came home to a home cooked meal and my family. I had time to spend with my parents and sister and it was amazing!”
What I have learned in the past few days is that mental illness is real big issue that goes unnoticed a lot! People don’t choose to be sick; they don’t choose to be in facilities like the one I was at these past few days. People get sick for various reasons and all they asking for is some support and love from the people around them. I know im not sick because I want to be, however, I can change my thought process and self-destructive behaviors. I know what I need to do now to change my life and I know it wont be easy but if I want to have a normal healthy life, I need to change.
And you know how weak I am. you know how things hurt me more than they hurt the normal person. So thank you. I guess you win. Tonight i sleep.
Im working on a big themed project and I want an original piece to be inspired by the idea i have and to inspire the photoshoot. I looking for something on a piano or violin. If anyone is interested in working with me or to know more about the project, email me of facebook message me. It will be tons of fun, i promise!
“We were not created to please the creation”
and still after loving someone for who they are, they hurt you. Some people can’t handel the pressure, does that mean they were ever your true friend?!
When I read love quotes I feel sick to my stomach. “Ahh this makes me want to vomit” is the recurring thought in my mind as I go through my tumblr dashboard between classes. I can’t help but feel sick over love quotes and relationships. Yes, I am being bitter because the person I loved didn’t love me back. But you know what, I deserve to be bitter for a while. I’m going through yet another phase where I hate myself over something I have done. I feel ashamed and pitiful towards myself. It is by far one of the worst feelings anyone can feel you know. Feeling sorry for yourself is as sad as it gets, really. I often find myself feeling sorry for me and when I come to try to find the root of this self-pity, I find that it lies in me having low self-esteem. I need constant approval, from the people I care about, to feel fulfilled. I need my close friends approval, my parents’ approval, and my sisters approval for me to feel like I have done something great or even good. I constantly try to impress the people I love, and honestly, sometimes they aren’t impressed by me and it makes me really sad and disappointed in myself. This, ofcourse, is due to two main factors: first, my upbringing, and second, my low self esteem.
Growing up, I was always compared to my sister, who happens to be borderline perfect in every way possible by the way. Yeah Lena, I’m talking about you! She was the top of her class and the in the top 10 of the all girls school we went to. She has always been prettier than me. She has always had the better friendships. She always kept her room neat. She was good at hiding her anger so she got along with everyone and everyone either loved her or looked up to her. I looked up to her, but I couldn’t let her now that, ofcourse. We often joke about how I would replicate anything she did and how much she hated it because I always wanted to be like her. Anyway, point is, from my parents, to my aunts and uncles, to my cousins, to my friends, to the teachers throughout my school years, everyone always compared me to my sister. I was, and still am, the rebel child. I do what I please and I often get myself in a lot of trouble, but hey, I know how to have a good time. As a kid I cared more about being popular and gaining social acceptance than grades. I was bullied as kid in elementary school and this led me to become a bully myself in middle ad high school. Im not proud of the things that I have done to other girls and guys my age, but it was all part of the “cool” act I was putting on. My parents had huge expectations of me, like going to college and getting a Law degree. However, their expectations began to decrease once I got to freshmen year of high school. I began getting behavior reports regularly, my mom was in the school office at least once a week, I got suspended 3 times, and on top of all of that there were boys and social media drama. I was trying to establish myself as “Queen Bitch” of my school and make an identity for myself that didn’t come with “Lena Sharma’s little sister”
Things happened, people came in and out of my life, I changed schools, enrolled in the IB program, changed my friends, began thinking about colleges and grades, and I turned my life around. My grades went from D’s and C’ to B’s and A’s. However,even at my new school I was being compared to the great Lena Sharma who got a 7 in Bio HL, and who everyone loved and thought was beautiful. But the difference at my new school was that I simply didn’t care as much about being compared to her, I was proud to call her my sister and I was super proud of all her accomplishments. However, I still cared a lot what people thought about me. It escalated from my fear of never being good enough for my parents to not being enough for anyone, period. I always thought I needed to lose a few pounds off here and a little off here, I could always study harder, I can always date a cuter boy, I can always improve because I was never quite there. Yes, I know its good to want to improve, but, there should be a place where one should be comfortable with oneself and in their own skin, but i never seemed to have found that place. When it came to colleges, my parents were POSITIVE was not going to get into Duke like Lena, so what do you know, their first choice for me was UNC-Chapel Hill. Needless to say, I didn’t get in there, and thank God I didn’t, because I cannot imagine if I have gone to my sisters schools rival school.
When I got to college, my self-esteem began to get worse than it already was. I was no longer in the same small community where I knew everyone and everyone knew me. I had to build new friendships with strangers and I was horrified. “What if they don’t like me?” “What if I’m not good enough to be their friend” “OMG I’m not half as smart as half the students who go here” These were the typical thoughts that went through my head on a daily basis. It was tough and I craved social and personal acceptance then more than ever. Along with all this fun stuff came depression, then my bipolar diagnoses, the withdrawals, the self-harm, and the weight gain and loss.
It has been quite a journey honestly and I have learnt a lot along the way. I still have days were I feel worthless and like I’m not good enough for anyone and some recent events in my life have proven me right about being “too much to handle”, but you know, as long as my best friend and my family love me, I can deal with everyone else, or at least I hope so.
I guess there is a reason I am attracted to broken things. I find beauty in things and people who have been through suffering and pain. It makes them special to me and beautiful in my eyes.
1. Your best friend has seen you at your worst and they still love you. They have no need to see you looking pretty or together all the time. You could show up in curlers with the biggest pimple ever and they'd still accept you.
2. Your best friend has probably been around longer than your boyfriend. They are reliable, loyal and entrenched in your life.
Questions I have received from anonymous people: I have no way of responding to you guys except here since I don’t have your names or emails. So here are a few of the questions I have been asked regarding my blog and posts:
-Is there anything you aren’t comfortable writing about? Like a personal experience you haven’t shared? You seem like you share everything with your followers and friends so I was just wondering if there was anything personal you haven’t shared. Thanks! Yes, actually there are a few things I have only shared with my really close friends since they needed to help me through them. There are also a few things that only my family knows about me, and those are things I can never share publicly.
-I loved your post about being in love and I thought it was beautiful! I was wondering how you are still friends with him, and did anything ever happen between the two of you? Like anything sexual?! Thanks and keep up the good work! Thank you darling! Nothing ever happened between us, and nothing ever will. We don’t have that kind relationship. It was hard being just friends with him, but I knew I would rather have him in my life as a friend then not have him at all. It takes patience and honestly, at times it is really painful, but again, the advantages of having him in my life where more than not having him. Also I would like it if i didnt get anymore questions about him.
-The Muna I knew was strong, unbreakable, and confident. What happened? You are still the beautiful person I knew back in high school. What changed? Well, I got sick and that changed everything.
* This is for a photography project im working on
I had/have alot of guy friends, and yeah the tend to trust me (i think and hope so) and we talk about things openly, things like sex, money, girls they like, hookups, guys i like or they like, food, video games, school, religion, etc etc. However, I cant help but feel like there are somethings they won’t dare say to my face. So I was wondering if the guys who read and follow my blog might give me some insight to the male mind and how guys think. You can share a story or a thought process or anything you want. Also, please send it on anon if you can. I’d rather not know who sent what. Leave your thoughts in the comment section. My tumblr and facebook friends can also comment.
Things to think about while sharing: Love, Religion, Sex, Relationships, and Lifestyle.
Thanks loves xx
This photo says it all! Its easy to just have sex but to open up to someone, to let them into your mind and soul, to expose yourself like that to someone is to really be naked and fully exposed emotionally and psychologically. It’s a beautiful thing.
This post is dedicated to my dear sorority sister, Katie.
“The Hijab, what does it mean to you?” I have been asked this question numerous times, and with all honesty, I have given numerous answers. The hijab is part of who I am. I have had it on since I was 10 and I wore it at such a young age because I was afraid of dying and not going to heaven. My parents begged me not to wear it but I really wanted to, and my parents, it being in their nature to let me make my own decisions, let me do what ever I wanted. The hijab is part of my identity. How you might ask? How can a piece of cloth be part of my identity? Well for starters, to me, sometimes it is more than a piece of cloth around my head and neck. I say sometimes because honestly sometimes I feel like I wear it for only traditional reasons rather then religious. But that is only sometimes. Other times, I feel it brings me closer to Allah (swt) and my faith. For those who know me and follow this blog regularly, you know I have struggled with my faith a lot over the years. I have sinned in many ways and I am not the cover girl for Islam, but I still love my religion and God more than anything in my life right now. I often feel, it is this love that justifies what I do, because it makes me think “oh because Allah (swt) loves me, he will forgive me for my sins.” I know it is wrong to think this way but being human and imperfect, I can’t help but think this way sometimes. But this post isn’t to justify why I did or do what I do and have done in my life, it is about the hijab and what it means to me. I have struggled a lot with the hijab since I’m in a Pan-Hellenic sorority, a went to a southern school, and I like parties. But I still love and try my best to respect the hijab as much as I can. So before you go on judging me, remember Islam is a religion of acceptance, love, and forgiveness.
The hijab gives me the personal space some women search their whole lives for. “Personal space? Whaaaat?! How can something that makes you dress a certain way and cover your body, even when it’s hot, give you personal space?” Well, it’s easy, it allows me to show or not show what I WANT to show of my body. It allows me to hide my body from the eyes of men I do not want seeing my body. It protects me as a woman, it protects me as a human being, it protects me. Yeah, I know I sound like a hypocrite since I wear tight clothes, semi-see through tights with short skirts and shorts, but honestly, even when I dress like that I feel that it’s better than showing off all my skin, at least to me it is. This isn’t to say that women who don’t wear the hijab aren’t protected, they are, and they have full control over their bodies, if they dress the way they want because they want to not because society and culture makes them dress that way. And the same goes for the hijab, if it’s a personal choice, it is liberating, if it’s not, then that is when it becomes oppressing. Also, I know many women who don’t cover their hair but dress in very conservative ways, more conservative than hijabi’s do, and that is also a form of giving themselves personal space.
I choose who I want to see my body and hair. I choose who I want to share gods gift, to me, with. Because honestly, the female body is one of the most beautiful things created and it’s a blessing to be able to enjoy the sight and touch of the female body. So I decided to be selective in who gets to enjoy my body, and this to me is empowering like nothing else can be. As a feminist, I usually get criticized for wearing the hijab. “ How can you be free if you wear something that holds you back?” Well, it’s easy, it doesn’t hold me back; it makes me stronger and makes my voice heard. It gives me the power to show or not show my body. It gives me the power to either disappear or shine in a room. It simply gives me power.
I often try to explain to people what being depressed feels like and I often find myself lost for words. For the past two days I have been in this haze, this “not feeling like myself” phase, this unstable non-ending mood swing. This morning it reached it’s peek and I was in horrible shape. I called my sister, talked to friends, sat with my parents, spoke with my therapist, and finally slept to get my mind off of feeling depressed. Later in the afternoon I spoke with an old friend who gave me some great advice. She told me to “tap into those emotions and turn them into something beautiful!” So i grabbed my camera, tripod , and head scarf and began taking pictures of myself. I began to tap into the sad emotions i was feeling. I put my camera on self-timer and shutter so it can snap 10 pictures at a time. I had Leonard Cohen playing in the back ground and I just tried to feel and represent what i felt through my body. I captured some of the emotions that I think can really help some people understand what a depressive episode feels like. As they say, a picture is worth 1000 words, so here are the pictures that I can never explain in words:
* to get the full experience, look click on the photos to see them enlarged and individually.
They told to me to not dream so big, not to let my mind wander off. They told me I wouldn’t go beyond this city, beyond these borders. As a Palestinian female, I was born to become a young mother and housewife. I was born into a family that shamed women who wanted to look pretty either for themselves or other. Calling them whores if they wore makeup or tight jeans. I grew up in a town where you couldn’t walk down the street on your own, if you were a female, not because you might get attacked and not because you might get hurt by the Israeli soldiers, No! It was because of that “what will people say?” mentality. I come from an extended family that has the reputation to marry multiple wives and get involved in illegal activity. I came from a society that blamed women for anything bad that happened to them, either it being directly or indirectly. As a Palestinian female, I was born to be nothing more than a victim.
“No one will marry you if you don’t have a pure and clean name!” I often heard this phrase from my mom, aunts, friends, schoolmates, teachers, and random ladies at weddings. They were trying to implant this idea into the mind of young girls that if they weren’t perfect in the eyes of society, no one will ever want to marry them, and ofcourse, a female is worthless if she isn’t married! Because I mean, how can any women be anything other than a wife and mother first?( this is me being sarcastic!) Oh she has her degree medicine, cool, it would like nice on the wall next to the photo of her 5 kids. See, here is the problem with the society I come from, no matter what you achieve as a female, from winning awards, to starting your own business, to giving birth to a human being, it means absolutely nothing because you are just a lady. What does it mean to be just a lady? Well, it means you are a second-rate citizen, a second-rate human being, and second in any and every aspect. “Oh it’s dinner time, oh well lets feed the men first then we will eat” I cant even count how many times I heard this line and I don’t get it, why would you want to feed them first when you were the one who cooked and prepared it! “Oh they do so much for us” um, no, sitting at a coffee shop all day talking about people isn’t “doing so much for us”! It is insane.
Here is something that I figured out after I graduated highschool, during the summer before I came to college, it is that sexism begins with the women of society. I was with my cousin at our family’s hairdresser; she was getting ready for her engagement party. Her soon to be sister-in-law, who tagged along, was telling us a story about how her sister’s husband was upset with her over her recent pregnancy. I was surprised, why would he be mad at her over her pregnancy? As she continued the story, I found out why. She was expecting a girl and her husband wasn’t too pleased with the news. “How can their first child be a girl? Who is going to take care and protect this girl?” my cousins’ future sister-in-law began to say. I was outraged! I got into a discussion with her and really saw how ignorant some people can be. Not that the gender of the baby is not decided by the mother and not that having a girl first isn’t the end of the world! She continued to blame her sister and kept on saying, “ if she keeps this up, he is going to leave her!” As soon as I heard her say that I knew she was a hopeless case. See, I am one of two girls. My parents had difficulties getting pregnant and once my sister was conceived they were overjoyed! It took them 7 years to have their first child and this put a lot of pressure on both of them. My grandmother tried to convince my father to remarry so he can have children. My father actually loved my mom so he was outraged at his mother request. “She is the love of my life, and wither we have children or not, I’m going to spend the rest of my life with her!” He told his family. Once my mom gave birth to Lena, everyone was happy and congratulated my mother by saying “congrats, hopefully the next one will be a boy!” “Um, okay, thanks” my mom would respond. And she began to feel the pressure. Once she got pregnant with me, everyone just assumed it was going to be a boy. Once I was born, to their surprise, I wasn’t. My mother had a few medical difficulties after she had me that prevented her from having any other children. My father’s side of the family was very upset. They returned to telling my father to remarry because he needed a son to carry the family name and take over the family wealth. My fathers response? “ My two girls are worth 10 boys each! I’m going to give them the best life I can, give them the best education I can, and they will hold my family name!” (Side note: I love my father so much for saying things like that, as an Arab man who was being pressured by his family and society!)
My father kept good to his promise; my parents sent us to private schools, made sure we got nothing bellow A’s, gave us everything we wanted and asked for, loved us unconditionally, supported us, and supported our dreams. My parents pushed my sister and I to be nothing less than the best we can be. My father had his own dreams for us; he dreamed of Lena being a well renowned doctor who saved lives for a living, and me, a lawyer who defended the oppressed. Only one of us stuck to his dream. Lena is now a medical student at UNC-Chapel Hill. She was the 2nd on her graduating class in high school, went to Duke University for undergrad, and is now studying medicine, which has always been her dream along with my fathers. As for me, I have always been the rebel child. I tried my best to maintain my B+/A average; I got into the best public university in the US, the University of Virginia, went there for 2 years and figured out it wasn’t what I wanted. Through all that I have been through, with my illness and trying to figure out my life, my parents have been by my side. When I told them I was passionate about Photography, my mother told me to apply to Art schools. Whenever I’m working on a project, my father likes to sit next to me and watch me edit the pictures; he likes to see me at work.
As a Palestinian female, I was born to be nothing but a victim. However, my parents and God chose another path for me. My dreams where bigger than that town, that city, those borders. My dreams are as big as the world and I wont be content until the world becomes my playing ground. I wont ever settle to be just a housewife. I was born to make a difference, and that is exactly what I am going to do.
*As a side note, both my sister and I are keeping our last names, even after marriage, as a form of respect to my parents and all that they have done.
A Photo of my family during our family vacation to the Bahamas.
VOTE FOR NUMBER 18 IN THE DOCUMENTARY CATEGORY TO HELP MY BERY VERY TALENTED FRIEND WIN. THANKS XX
Happy Valentines Day my loves! I’m not a huge fan of this holiday but for those in love and in a relationship, it’s a great day filled with love, kisses, good food and sex. Yes, amazing passionate sex. Well I would only hope the sex two people in love are having is amazing, because if it isn’t, that would be really sad. I mean, sex and reproducing is the reason we fall in love, right? Evolutionary speaking, we fall in love so we can provide a healthy and supportive household for our offspring to live in. Religiously, we fall in love with that one person so we can complete half our religion, have sex with only one person, have children and give them a good and religious upbringing. I don’t know why we fall in love but we do. But this post isn’t about love though; it’s about sex and what we will do, as sexual beings, to have it and get it. In this post Ill be sharing stories I’ve heard as a college student over brunch, at pre-games, during girls night out, and over facebook. I will be changing the names of everyone who is involved. So enjoy this post, it tells the story of college relationships and how sex plays a huge role in being a college student.
Story #1- The virgin in love:
Jessie and James have been dating for about 6 months when they decided to have sex for the first time. James, an average looking guy, was very patient with his hot 10/10 girlfriend, who was afraid that having sex would change their relationship. So the first time they decided to have sex, they had “technical difficulties” where James couldn’t get it up because of all the pressure and all of the foreplay. This, ofcourse, made Jessie cry because she felt as if he couldn’t get it up because he wasn’t attracted to her. The tried again the next night and got it done. They were in love and both experienced sex for the first time together. It’s really sweet, I know! They both weren’t good at it since they were both virgins. However, a year and a half after having sex, James still complains that Jessie isn’t good in bed. “She just sits there” he tells me, “and makes me do all the work.” Jessie is into romantic, slow, guy on top, kind of sex, and from my understanding, James just wants quickies all the time.
Story #2- The friend of a friend:
Alex and Tommy knew each other through alex’s roommate. Alex, who gave off an innocent vibe through the way she dressed and interacted with guys. Alex was a virgin who wanted her first time to be a one-night stand. She was in town before school started and not many people where in town. She wanted to start her school year as a new person and that meant having sex. Tommy happened to be in town, relatively attractive, and seemed to be into her. After hanging out one night, Tommy tried to make a move but was interrupted by a group of friends. The few nights that followed, Alex decided she wanted him. She texted him telling him to come over but he didn’t. A few days passed and Tommy texted her saying he wanted to see her. She was already busy with other friends she hadn’t seen I awhile so she told him she would text him when she was free. She got herself supper drunk, and called him at midnight. As soon as he walked in he was surprised to see her in a sexy nightgown but he tried to be a gentlemen about it so he walked in and just sat down. Alex knew what she wanted and just sat down, looked at him and things took off. He had no clue she was a virgin and I don’t think he know till today that he took her virginity. Alex talked to me about that night and gave me all the details of what happened, and what stood out to me was that his “guy parts” where small, and this surprised her because of his ethnicity and the stereotype. Alex’s friend often joke that it wasn’t the greatest start to her sex life, since Tommy was horrible in bed, but they also say that she should thank god it was small, you know as it being her first time.
Story #3: The bar pickup:
Liala had a tendency to sleep around. She liked having sex with different men every weekend and it made her feel empowered. It was a Saturday night, and as per usual, Liala was at a bar on the corner, however, there weren’t many people there. It was around 11:30pm and she began to get bored so we went up to two guys and asked of a cigarette. They were both equally unattractive but one had braces, so she knew which one she wasn’t taking home. After the cigarette she asked them both to dance and as soon as she got on the dance floor ditched the brace-face. 3 minutes in and she was already grinding on Lex, who happened to be an African American man with a beer belly. A few minutes later they were making out on the dance floor, when he pushed her to the wall and told her they HAD to get out of there and go back to her place since he had a roommate, brace-face. They had sex for 4 hours, and according to her he orgasmed 3 times in those 4 hours. He passed out on her bed and she didn’t like sleeping next to strangers so she slept on the couch and kicked him out at 7 am. She ofcourse was drunk enough not to care how he looked but damn he was great in bed, so she says. Well he must have been since they became fuck buddies for a few weeks until he told her he was falling in love with her.
Story #4: “Do you even go here?”
Jim was a pothead. All he did at any given day after sunset was smoke weed. He didnt have a fake ID so he couldn’t go out to bars with the rest of his friends so he either stayed in for the weekend or went to frat parties. On one Friday night, he was sitting outside minding his own business when a girl appeared out of nowhere. She was just starting to hook up with a guy and for some reason she didn’t and left. She ran into Jim and asked him if he had seen her wallet that she dropped earlier. Jim, being a nice guy, tried to help her find it. As a reward she kissed him and things went from there. She told him what happened with the other guy and that she was visiting from another school for an athletic event, so Jim saw a nice opportunity. They had a nice night together, she wasn’t great, she just laid there. The next morning she sneaked out and Jim thought to himself that it was great having a one night stand until a month later when she texted him that she might be pregnant. First thing, Jim had no clue how she got his number, second, he was freaked out. Apparently she was having “irregular” periods but wasn’t really pregnant, so this story had a nice ending, for Jim that is.
Story #5: “I woke up sore and dehydrated!”
Ella asked her good friend, Bill, to accompany her to a date function for her sorority. Ella’s best friend was also supposed to go with her boyfriend but at the last minute, they canceled. So it was only Ella and Bill. They had been friends for a couple of months and had never talked about sleeping together since they were just friends. At the date function, Ella had one to many drinks, and Bill was very bored so they decided to leave and go back to her place to hang out for the rest of the night. Once they got back, they began speaking and Ella had a point to prove to him, so she began seducing him. She took him back to her room and they had awkward sex. Bill was so uncomfortable that he couldn’t even finish. To Ella, it was one of the worst sexual experiences ever, but apparently it was great for Bill! He texted her the next day saying “ I woke up sore and dehydrated, I think I had a good night!”
CHECK IT OUT THIS IS GREAT!
As I sit here, at the same cafe I have lunch at every Monday and Wednesday, many things cross my mind. I do most of my work here and I get a lot of reading done here between my classes. I usually see the same people here every time I come. You know, the sweet African-American lady who rings up my coffee and bagel, the Arab looking guy who just freaks me out, the cute Asian girl with a great sense of style. But today, unknown faces of people in suits surrounded me, well, it is the business school after all. But two people stood out to me in particular, and they took me back to a bittersweet place. It was two young adults, both from Middle Eastern decent, who were meeting for lunch. It seemed to me like they were just friends from the friendly hug they shared. They sat down and began to enjoy their lunch and I just watched them. Yes I am aware that is kind of creepy but I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t hear anything they were saying because I had on headphones but they seemed like they were deep in conversation about something personal. The girl was beautiful, with her naturally tan skin and dark curly hair. The guy, kind of out of shape but he had that Middle Eastern charming look, with his facial hair and dark wide eyes. It seemed as if the girl was more into the lunch date then he was, but it was obvious he cared about her from the laughs they shared, to the “accidental” hand and arm touching that took place. It was a cute thing to see and it made me smile; it reminded me of my close guy friends back at UVa. It took me back to the lunch and coffee dates I used to engage in every day. It took me back to smoking cigarettes in the cold in front of the library. It just took me back to bittersweet place.
this might be the saddest song i have ever heard. If you are feeling down and need some music to go along with your mood, this is a perfect song.
“I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
Those were the reasons and that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left.
Ah but you got away, didn’t you babe,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don’t need you,
I need you, I don’t need you
and all of that jiving around.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, “Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music.”
And then you got away, didn’t you babe…
I don’t mean to suggest that I loved you the best,
I can’t keep track of each fallen robin.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
that’s all, I don’t even think of you that often.”
In the spirit of Valentines Day, I have decided I would write a little about love and my experience with loving someone who didn’t love me back. I’m sure many people have experienced that “I loved them so much it hurt” feeling, the butterflies in your stomach feeling, the on top of this world feeling. Yeah, it’s amazing to be in love. Apparently the brains of those in love are like those who are on cocaine. Watch this video to understand some of the science behind love.Not to sound too cliché, but love is a mystery. It really is. How do we choose who we fall in love with? Why do we love people who don’t love us back? Is there really one person in this world for everyone or is there more than one? Do soul mates exist? If they do, WHERE IS MY SOUL MATE?! Kidding. But really, what determines who we fall in love with? Islamicly, I guess, you shouldn’t fall in love with anyone except your significant other, whom you marry and live happily ever after with. Maybe that is why Islam doesn’t allow dating, to protect us from getting hurt. I’m not going to go into detail about the role religion plays in love or what religion says about love. That is too complicated of a subject that I do not know much about. Point is, as a modern Muslim woman living in a western society, I have experienced what it felt like to be in love. I can sit here and attempt to write pretty poetry trying to describe what love is like, but I wont, for everyone’s sake. But what I will do is share a story, my story, and talk about how dealing with heartbreak along with everything else in my life felt suffocating.
“I meet him about a year and a half ago. I randomly ended up at an event he was at. I don’t know, maybe it was that I was feeling like giving up or maybe because I needed someone to love me, but as soon as I saw him, I knew. I knew I would fall deeply in love with him. He seemed broken and I needed to fix him. Weeks passed and I randomly saw him around until one day I ended up at the library after a long day of thinking about him and trying to get over him. There he was, sitting on his own looking beautifully broken. It began there. Weeks later we became Facebook friends but didn’t really talk much. Fast forward a few months to April 2012; I was still crazy about this stranger I couldn’t seem to get over. I needed to let him know. I needed to let him know. I NEEDED TO LET HIM KNOW. I went to Virginia to see him, but to my surprise I couldn’t say a word to him. So I prayed, I prayed every night. I wished on every star. I begged god every day to either help me get over him or to bring him into my life. Then came summer, and it was time for me to go home.
By this time I had given up. I was never going to be in this guys’ life and he will never know of any of this. Days after getting home, jet lagged and all, he messaged me, drunk off his ass. I thought that the universe was playing some sick joke on me. The day I decide I want to move on, he comes into my life. It was the beginning of something life changing. This kid I was in love with, who loved someone else by the way, became the thing that kept me going. He got me through summer and back to UVa. He became my best friend. I knew he was in love with someone else but I couldn’t help but pray, wish and beg, still. I would cry every time he talked to me about her. I would cry after every time I saw him. I was heart-broken and tried to find myself in the arms of other men. I became immune to the affection other men tried to show me. I knew what I wanted and I wanted him. The more serious he got with his girlfriend the more I loved him. I would text him when I wasn’t sober to see him, but he was smart enough never to come. On one Friday night, after fighting with another old friend of mine, I texted him. I had to let him know. He was a no-show so I ran back to the arms of the frat boy who claimed to love me. Every morning I would wake up feeling disgusted with myself for allowing myself to do the things I did. Maybe love does drive us crazy, but along with bipolar diagnoses and the mixing of other drugs with my meds, I was defiantly going crazy, and it was all because of him.
One October afternoon, after we met for our typical 12:15-2:00 lunch date, we walked to the Lawn. I decided to tell him then that I “liked” him. His reaction? “Get over it” it was very sweet and romantic as you can imagine! I wasn’t expecting anything, well I knew realistically he was never going to leave the girl he loved for me because he isn’t that type of guy and he wasn’t going to cheat on her out of principle. So it was a horrible idea but I had to let him know. The weeks that followed where a disaster. He wouldn’t talk to me; didn’t respond to my texts, phone calls, messages, nothing. During this time I was planning my departure from UVa. I wasn’t feeling well and I was in bed for a week. I was on suicide watch and CAPS called me multiple times everyday to make sure I was ok. I needed him, as my best friend I needed him, and he wasn’t there. I began to shift my emotions to another male friend of mine who I thought was a good person. Little did I know that was the worse idea I had ever had. That didn’t end well but it ended before it started.
When he found out I was leaving UVa, he tried to get in touch with me. Something huge was happening that weekend and he needed help. I ran to help as fast as I could. We spent time, and I had my chance, when he was weak, to try to seduce him, but I didn’t want us to have that relationship. I knew I needed him in my life as a friend, and sex would have changed that, so I didn’t do a thing. Weeks passed and I left UVa. Mom got sick and I didn’t have time to think about getting over him. Although, he helped me through it. When I went and visited in January, I went to dinner with him and his girlfriend and that is when I saw that he was truly happy and all I wanted was for him to be happy. She made him happy and that made me happy. So I decided then that it was time to let go completely. So I did. And now, a month later, I still love him, as my best friend.
I often think about how different my life would be if I ended up with him. Not being with him made me sad but it also enabled me to be part of a great friendship that I wouldn’t trade for the world.“
So that is my story about falling in love with a guy. It was the most sincere feeling I ever felt and I only hope that one day I could love someone else like that and be loved back.
“There are more stars than there are people. Billions, Alan had said, and millions of them might have planets just as good as ours. Ever since I can remember, I’ve felt too big. But now I felt small. Too small. Too small to count. Every star is massive, but there are so many of them. How could anyone care about one star when there were so many spare?
And I don’t want to rush into anything, darling, my feelings are still sore from the last guy who didn’t love me. Let us drink to how cruel life can be sometimes, but let us also drink to new beginnings and good friends. Let us take little puffs of the last cigarette you have behind your ear. Let us take small puffs of life. It would be nice to win for once, to get the guy in the end. It would be nice. I’m not going to claim that I loved you best, but I kind of did, and sweetheart you know how it all went wrong because fate likes to play games. You sit there crying telling me all you want is for one girl to love you from the start and to love you and only you and sweetie, I said, you don’t deserve to say that. You had a chance with a girl who put you first, who wanted you, only you and nothing or anyone other than you, and you said no, you were already in love. You were in love with what now seems like a bad choice. You had a girl willing to save herself for you, to give love only to you, to make love only to you, but the way life works, we never get want we want. I never get what I want.
Im just sick a tired of this same shity feeling. Im so tired, I need to sleep, but im in too bad a mood to sleep. There is something about the weekend that makes me sad. Yes just simply sad. I wish they had a pill for this. That would be nice.
I received an email from one of my old high school friend asking me if I thought she had an eating disorder. She explained her routines and what she did and wanted to know if it classified as an eating disorder and if I thought she should seek help. Lets shift back a month ago, when I posted a little post with info about what it means to be bipolar and the different types of bipolar disorder. Just like there are many misconceptions about mental disorders, there are misconceptions about eating disorders. So shifting back to the email I got from my high school friend today and the events of the past couple of days, I have decided to write a little about what eating disorders are and the different types of eating disorders. I hope this post will be helpful to either you the reader or help you help someone you know who is facing this battle.
So lets take a hypothetical character and let us name her Grace. Grace is a young adult female between the ages 12-24. She likes food, like most people do. Sometimes she goes on crash diets for days or weeks. She loses the weight she wants then goes back to old eating habits. Sometimes Grace likes to indulge at an open buffet and eat until she can’t breath. Sometimes Grace likes to exercises for hours at a time. Does Grace have an eating disorder? Well it’s hard to say. See an eating disorder is developed when someone’s relationship with food reaches an extreme level, and most of the time it becomes so extreme to the point it either affects the person wither physically, mentally, or emotionally or all at once. Please note, all of this is from what I have read about and understood about eating disorders.
What are the different types of eating disorders? Well there are three main ones: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating. These are all serious illnesses to have and if you or anyone you know is dealing with anyone of these, please try to receive the help you need.
Now we will look at each disorder separately starting with anorexia nervosa.
What does mean to be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa? It means that a person, age and gender aside, thinks they are over weight or “fat” and this leads them into starving themselves. Most people with anorexia will consume less than 1000 calories a day, exercises extremely, use laxatives, or vomit to help them lose weight.
I found this on a the Everyday Health website and found it very informative:
“People with anorexia nervosa tend to:
- Maintain a weight that’s more than 15 percent lower than a normal body weight
- Have an intense fear of gaining pounds
- Have a distorted image of their bodies
- Deny that they have an illness
- Among women, stop menstruating for at least three months in a row”
Anorexia is the most deadly of the three disorders.
Now moving on to Bulimia Nervosa. What does it mean to be bulimic? It means someone binge eats and then either forces themselves to vomit or exercises for hours to burn the calories from the food they consumed. Or they might use laxatives or fast for days. The binging part of bulimia is different from simply overeating; people with bulimia feel out of control when binging and eat way beyond being full.
Also found this on the Everyday Health website:
People with bulimia tend to:
- Binge at least twice a week for three months
- Feel as if they can’t control eating binges
- Think constantly about food and their weight
- Eat in secret and very quickly
- Binge until there’s no food left, someone interrupts them, or their stomach is very uncomfortable
- Feel guilty after the binge and may purge, drastically restrict food later, or exercise excessively
Binging and purging can lead to imbalances in electrolytes, dehydration and maybe even sudden death.
Now for the last of the three, Binge Eating. What does it mean to binge eat? It means someone over eats and cant stop themselves from eating. It is often called emotional eating or a food addiction. Unlike bulimic individuals, binge eaters do not purge, excerice to extremes or fast.
People with binge eating disorder tend to:
- Binge at least twice a week for at least six months
- Binge in secret
- Binge during a negative mood
- Feel uncomfortably full afterward
- Often feel distressed, guilty, and depressed after binging
- Be overweight or obese
I have personally dealt with bulimia and binge eating at different times in my life. I have been trying to receive the proper treatment that I need. I do believe that with all this support, therapy and right medication, I can over come this.
“A friend of mine sent me a link off of your blog and I have been waiting for a really long time for you to add this to your page. Im a former UVa student, just like you. I graduated in 2010 and i’m sure we never meet but I needed to reach out to you. You remind me of my sister. Weird, I know, but here is the twist: she died in 2011 from an overdose. She also had bipolar II, as i know now. She was only 18 when she died and tried over and over to ask for help but no one ever took her seriously because she was usually happy and we all thought she was being overdramatic when she got depressed. She refused to get help on her own and without the proper support system, she felt stuck. In her suicide note she explained nothing. I blamed myself for her death. I, as her big sister, I couldn’t help her. I had no clue what she was going through. I felt lost and didn’t understand how someone so young can do something so damaging to others. After she passed away, my parents got a divorce and I moved to South Carolina. I began researching about bipolar disorder after she died and began volunteering at the Psychiatric Wing at the hospital here in the city I live in. Here is another twist for you; Last year I found out I was also bipolar, and I have bipolar II. I never connected the dots but working around psychiatrists all day, they notice things. I know you are wondering why Im sending you this. Well, every time I receive an email notification that you have posted something I smile because I know you didn’t kill yourself. I wish my sister was as strong as you are. Maybe she would have been alive today receiving e-mails from strangers thanking her. Keep up the good work. you are changing lives. If you don’t mind, I would like your help. Im not the type to write and go public about my illness, so I would like you to help me share my story. People need to be aware of things like this. Please share this with as many people as you can. Take care of yourself and Keep writing.”