Is it a mere coincidence that my fate unfolded as it did? After I brutally discarded my ex-finace and broke his heart, I was met with the so-called fruits of life (wealth, praise, luck). Yet in an ironic twist, such ‘fruits’ didn’t bare any meaning in the long term. Is it a coincidence that another great man, the Sheik, came into my life…and isn’t it ironic how this great man can only ever be a temporary bliss? Is it ironic how I get all this admiration from numerous men, yet I am so deeply isolated in my thoughts and emotion? There is a reason for everything. I accept my fate.
My mind comes backs to dear person I once met in my life. A short encounter, yet a meaningful encounter. He told me of an old proverb (from an unknown source). He said there are many disabilities that are not visible to the eye. For instance, we often view people with disabilities as someone who has a visible problem, such as being blind, handicap, etc. We look at these people and feel thankful that we are not in their condition. We pity them. Indeed these people endure hardships. But we also fail to look at disabilities that are not visible to the eye, such loneliness, pain, depression, hopelessness. There are many forms of pain, and suffering….and often they not visible or known. I do not pity myself. What I endure is something that I can, thankfully, manage. But my heart often cries for those who cannot manage. There are people with worse conditions who do not even protest or seek help……I wish those people all the best, for their courage. When I say I am suffering, I am not asking for help……I am thankful for this, ironically. Pain opens my eyes, to the light from the darkness.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
If this is Your way of punishing me for the terrible things I did in the past, then I accept it. But I just ask, in perhaps a selfish way, of how much longer will I be punished? Perhaps I deserve it. Perhaps I don’t even deserve to know how much longer I must endure this suffering. But I know You did this for a reason, and I am so thankful for all the experiences in my life, both good and bad, because I know You are doing the best for me .
5 years ago, I met a met a man whom I deeply hurt. He was my lover, my life partner, a man who was the light to my darkness. He was like a Sufi poet, who was devout in his love. Like that of Akbar the Great Mughal Emperor and his love for his non-Muslim wife Jodha, he accepted me for who I was. He had so much love in his heart, so much love to give. He asked for nothing in return. He only asked that I hold his heart in mine. He proposed that we make a family together, and stay together as husband and wife. So for almost 3 years, we lived like husband and wife being engaged, and we dreamt of having a family. Like any true lover, he sought to protect me. I saw how he truly would fight against his own life to keep me safe and protected. But those were ideal times. The reality is that I was full of darkness and hatred, and I introduced my sorrows into his honest heart.
My ego killed not only us, but it crushed his soul. I left him. I left him alone, without any emotional support. Yes, I had the ideal love, a man who gave up his life for me, lovingly and sincerely. A man who put me first. A man who accepted me as I am, and was willing to do whatever to protect me, fight for me. And suddenly, because of feeling I needed to ‘live my life’ I abandoned him.
The sad part of our story is that I was a selfish, egotistic person when I was with him. I didn’t appreciate his love, his kindness and his generosity. I was dominant in our relationship, which he enjoyed. He made the money, he paid the bills, but it was me who decided what to do with the money. I made all the decisions, which didn’t bother him at all. Yet all the decisions were to benefit myself. I never thought of his needs, which his only need was that I keep him in my heart. I only thought of myself throughout our relationship. He tried so hard to please me. He cooked gourmet meals for me, he bought whatever I wanted, he made love to me to make sure I get pleasure in abundance and before his own, and he made every effort to enjoy the same hobbies as I, such as reading and writing. Yet despite his perfection, I was so blind. I criticized him, I put down his confidence, and I made him feel like he was worthless. If I deserve any punishment, the punishment should be severe. I deserve the worst for what I did.
So yes, I had a man who loved me more than himself, who moved across the world to start a life with me. And I left him. He invested money and everything he had into me, but mostly he invest his heart. His heart, which I broke and abandoned. After we seperated, he wrote to me beautiful letters. He would ask me to reconsider my decision – he asked me to come back to him
After I left him, I was quick to do whatever I wanted. I jumped right into another relationship, with the Sheik (like my ex, also a client). I had everything I thought I wanted: freedom to do whatever I want, a generous Khaleeji lover, all bills and expenses paid, generous amount of savings, my own place, etc. But then I realized how miserable I was. I traded a perfect man for a fake life, a life of insignificance. And what is the cause of all this? My ego. The very idea of needing to cater to myself is the biggest evil in my life. In the process of ‘bettering myself’ I neglected so many people – and inevitably I neglected myself in the end.
So I sit here, with money, material abundance…everything I thought I always wanted. But I realize how deeply unhappy I am, because I have nothing with true meaning. Material things give temporary happiness, but it brings zero meaningful or wholesome feelings. What is missing in my life are things that money cannot buy. The things I desire are family, good friendships and love. And to have a family with security and protection (something I didn’t have) I desire stability with the man I love — a man that I once had, but I threw him away. So now I am being punished. Punished for my selfishness. And I deserve every tear that I’ve cried. I deserve every moment of loneliness and wondering if life is even worth living if I have to continue this way.
The irony of it all, I have someone. I have my Sheik. Is it Your way of testing me? It this my punishment? Is it Your intention that another amazing, perfect man entered my life? And it is just a coincidence that he can never marry me or give me children? If so, I accept Your punishment. I accept my tears. My Sheik resembles my dear ex-fiance in that he does all that he can to please me, and does so lovingly and with sincerity. Bless his heart. Anything I need, he gives it with pleasure. The Sheik’s infamous words to me are, “Min Ayouni ya omry,” which min ayouni essentially means ‘from my eyes‘ in Arabic, or in English interpretation, “It would be my pleasure to do anything for you.” We cry in each others arms when we discuss our future. I swear to myself that I will leave him, and at times I’m often determined to do so. But the reality is I am so attached to him. Every part of my life has been incorporated with his life. Yet at the end of his studies, the truth will become reality: we can never be together. I love him, but I cannot bare the idea that our love will never blossom into something truly symbolic: a family.
I have tried to leave him, and I did so with full determination. But when I leave him, he will not let me go. He will come to my feet and kiss them. He will take my hands and say, “Slap me, hurt me…do whatever you want to me….but don’t leave me.” He feels the pain too, how can I punish him for something that pains him perhaps more? And lately, he says what I thought I wanted to hear: “I will marry you, we can have children.” He knows that’s what I want. He wants it too, and we talk about having a girl first. But there are too many politics that will result from making our love official.
I don’t want to imagine the consequences of our love. The consequences are only more pain and hurt. If our love remains, then we lose love in other ways. Our happiness will bring pain for others. How can I be selfish and ask for such a thing? If we get married, we must stay here (in the West). Staying here means that he will lose his family, his career. Staying here means our children will have only one set of grandparents, from my side. Staying here means we are isolated and alone from the loving arms of family members. Staying here means our child will grow up with an uncertainty of cultural traditions, because sadly my own culture has got contaminated by mainstream Western ideology. So I tell him, “No. I will never marry you and live here.” Do I want to raise my child in an environment where it’s ‘cool’ to be materialistic? Do I want my children to grow up without structure from a strong-knit family? No. It makes me saddened to imagine having a child experience the same life I did….the same circumstances and ideologies that indoctrinated me to believe that being ‘independent’ and ‘sexy’ was something to embrace, when in reality it lead me into prostitution and money addiction. There is no way I want to stay here, the West, in an isolated family. So the Sheik and I… we cry more, because hope is against us. There is no chance for us to be in Saudi either without hardships. Family acceptance is another hurdle, a hurdle that I understand. Although Saudi culture is rapidly changing and giving into Western ideology, I do understand the urgency to preserve whatever’s left of the ‘old’ ways. Our love is a classic example of how the cruel forces of politics and society are preventing us from establishing our basic desires.
So, I understand Your intentions. I just ask, please let this suffering be over, because I have learnt my lesson. For the past 2 years, I have understood my right from wrong, and Inshallah, I will change it, with Your help.
I adore films and poetry. Many classic tales illustrate the pain of a forbidden relationship, such as the classic tale of Laila and Majnon in Persian/Indian/Arabic Folktales. An excellent Bollywood film that portrays such forbidden love is, “Veer Zaara,” where Veer and Zaara are very much like Laila and Majnon. The song below (in 2 parts) from the film has powerful lyrics that illustrate the strength of love and sorrow. “Why is there a tradition of cruelty?”
“If I see your face, I will forget all my sorrows” — 2:33 seconds