Chronicles of the Lonely: Chapter Three–The Move pt. 1

The situation with my family wasn’t ideal. My parents were starting to struggle with being apart for so long, and my brother and I complained every time we had to trek down to my dad’s house for the weekend. The strain was unbearable, at times. I was halfway through second grade, very much still enjoying school, when my dad came across a private school similar to the one they had us attending. This one was much closer to him, and we could all live together.

Much to my chagrin, halfway through the academic year, they pulled us out of our school and enrolled us in another. There was very little conversation with me or my brother about it. One day I was telling fantastic stories in a class full of people who weren’t really listening, and the next, I was saying goodbye and hopping in a car that would take me away from everything I found comforting. In a world without wifi, I would never talk to any of them again.

My first day of school was all kinds of awful. It was far worse than even my wild imagination could depict it to be. The school was tiny. I walked into a second-grade classroom that housed five students and a teacher wearing the brightest orange lipstick I had ever seen. In my terrified eyes, not one face seemed friendly.

I don’t remember every second of that day, two things are unforgettable: the spelling test and lunchtime.

During lunch, the other girls in my class were in the bathroom with me, putting on lip gloss from tiny tubs they had in their pockets. They asked me if I had one, and I said I didn’t like makeup. Two of them rolled their eyes and walked out of the bathroom. I followed them to lunch and sat with them, and one of them started talking amongst themselves. I couldn’t really hear them.

Finally, one of them looked at me and asked, “Are you a Blossom or a Bubbles?”
I didn’t immediately realize what they were talking about. Powerpuff Girls had just made its debut. They saw the blank look on my face and started laughing. A few seconds later, it clicked. I tried to tell them, but one of them held her hand up at me and told me it was too late. I let it go and fell silent for the rest of the break.

The other incident happened with the psycho with the orange lipstick. We came back to class after lunch, and she announced that we were having a spelling test. I didn’t know a single word. I hadn’t had time to study, and no one had informed my mom. I tried to explain that I couldn’t take it, but the teacher yelled at me and forced me to take it. Of course, I tanked harder the The Green Lantern did in the box office.

When our time was up, she snatched the paper off my desk and told me I needed to study, next time. She wrote a big red ‘F’ on the page, showed it to the whole class, and walked away. To a total nerd, this was the equivalent of someone telling me that I was getting a piece of coal for my birthday, and nothing more.

I went to the bathroom and cried until my mom came and got me.

Chronicles of the Lonely: Chapter Two–1997 pt. 2

For a while after that first panic attack, things were quiet. I had trouble falling asleep, but I didn’t break out into overwhelming terror. I just lay in bed for hours, staring at my ceiling, until my mind finally let me find its off switch. I pretended to be alright during the day and bristled whenever they wanted to send me off to bed, but nothing substantial happened.

This brings us to the second pivotal event of 1997: my brother’s carrot accident.

My brother was just two years older than me. He had always been far smarter, but his poor decisions–though farther and fewer in between–have always been worse than mine. He decided he was hungry and went to the fridge and pulled out a bag of carrots. To be clear–these were not baby carrots. They were long horse-feed carrots, which were simply inedible to him. He needed his carrots chopped onto smaller pieces, or he would not eat them. So he went in a drawer and grabbed the biggest knife my mother kept in there.

Now, this may not have had disastrous results if he had just cut it like a normal person–carrot on its side and chopped into little circles. Instead, he held the carrot straight up and attempted to slice it in half. I stood behind him silently, just watching. My mom was in the bathroom.

And so, down went the knife, through the carrot, and into his finger. He had pushed it extremely hard, and blood was pouring out of the cut. It fell all over his clothes and the floor. He screamed and dropped the knife, but I didn’t do anything. I just watched him cry. I didn’t say one word.

My mom came bolting into the kitchen, and he was eventually fine, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it that night. I couldn’t let it go. I blamed myself entirely for not helping him or stopping him. I should have done something, somehow. I fell asleep, but I woke up in the middle of the night yet again. It was the weekend, and my dad was there with us, but I didn’t go wake them. They wouldn’t do anything. I didn’t help my brother, so why should they help me?

This attack was longer than the first. The tears ran out, but I was still struggling to breathe or calm down. The sun came up, and I still hadn’t managed to shake it.

I heard noise coming from outside the plastic sliding door. My parents were awake. I immediately closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep just seconds before my dad opened the door. I laid there perfectly still, and after a few minutes I opened my eyes to see if he was gone, but he wasn’t. He was standing in the doorway quietly, and when he saw me open my eyes, he laughed.

He said he knew I was faking sleep. He told me to get up for breakfast, and then walked away.

This was the day I learned how to pretend I was okay. At six years old. Of course, it was impossible to do this successfully every time, but that first time worked out just fine, and I saved my tears for the next time they were all poking around in their own dreams.

I didn’t have another panic attack that year, but my problems with falling asleep would continue on almost every night without fail, forever.

This was the most significant year of my entire life. It was the year I became who I am today. It was the year I developed a mental illness that I didn’t understand. It was the year the word “bedtime” had begun to make me more anxious than anything else. It was the year depression lured me into a trap, swallowed me whole, and never let me go.

Circa 1997–It had me at goodnight.

Chronicles of the Lonely: 1997 pt. 1

My first depressive episode happened in 1997, just after I turned six years old. My parents were living apart, because they wanted my brother and I to attend a private school that was far away from where my father worked. My brother, mother, and I lived in an apartment by ourselves, and dad showed up on weekends. There are two incidents that happened this year that laid the groundwork for how the rest of my life would go.

I’ll begin with my first midnight dreary panic attack. I remember this night down to every minute detail. The apartment we were in had only one room, and my mom usually slept on the couch with the television on. I was asleep, and just as we entered the witching hour, my eyes opened. I hadn’t woken up from a nightmare. I had been sound asleep. I just couldn’t drift off again, and a feeling of extreme fear washed over me. I was terrified, and I didn’t know why. There were no monsters in my closet, no boogeymen hiding under my bed. I didn’t know what was making it hard for me to breathe. Before the tears settled in, I got out of bed and went out to my mother, hoping she would make it stop. The Brady Bunch had taken over Nick at Nite, and the amused laughter emitting from the television sounded sinister to me.

I gently tapped my mother, but she didn’t wake up. She was a heavy sleeper. I tried again a few more times, until her eyes opened and she looked at me groggily. Trouble was, my mother always took several minutes to come out of her sleep coma enough to understand what was actually going on, but I didn’t understand that, then. My panic amplified everything going on around me, and it sounded like she was yelling at me to go back to bed. She turned away from me and closed her eyes again, leaving me to kneel by her on the floor alone.

I sat there for a few minutes, just a six year old confused and terrified of everything and nothing. I went back the bedroom, closed the door, hugged my knees and cried, making sure I made no noise. Silent tears were just cascading down my face. I was alone, drowning in the noise bursting through the door from the television set.

I cried until I managed to fall asleep. She didn’t remember it in the morning, and I didn’t speak of it.

It was the first of a series of terrible childhood nights, but more on that later.

The Evolution of Emptiness: Chronicles of the Lonely

For a long time, I’ve wanted to open up about what happened throughout my childhood and young adult life, about the things I haven’t been able to let go, about the things I can’t stop resenting people for. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve put all my effort into forgetting and moving on, but I’m constantly suffocated by memories that I’ve never been able to verbalize wholly. I’ve told some things here and there to close friends, but not everything. Everything would be too heavy–too abnormal. It would be an embarrassing burden.

But this is my website, and this is where I’m going to say it all; chapter by chapter, the things that have caused irreparable damage that I have struggled with my whole life will have to be exposed. None of you know me, anyway.

I’m sorry, mom and dad, but 27 years of silence have just culminated into true desire to end it all right here, even with my wedding three weeks away. Even with my wedding three weeks away, the loneliness is endless.

And away we go.

Things We’ve Lost in the Fire

Our country is divided–this is fact. The tension between the right and left has never been so intense. The differences between our ideas have always been drastic, but the fire that’s been ignited since 2016 is nowhere near stamped out.

And I have no intention of arguing either side. It doesn’t matter. I can respect any political opinion a person might have, but there is a caveat with that: every opinion is okay as long as the result of that opinion is oppressive to the free will of someone else.

Let me explain. You can believe that there are two genders. Fine. You can believe that homosexuality is a sin. Also fine. Have at it, but outlawing rights that do not affect your life is unacceptable. The definition of a fascist regime is the expulsion of the freedom to live however a person sees fit, even if it does not cause harm to the rest of the community.

Trying to equate the expression of one’s identity with a political opinion that, that identity is unnatural or a sin is illogical. We are who we are. That is exactly the same as saying that someone who identifies with a certain religion can be quieted because another person finds that religion sinful or unacceptable.

This country was built on freedom of religion, expression, and identity. Stifling someone’s freedom to express any part of who they are goes directly against everything it stands for.

Believe what you want. Trying to force left or right ideas on others is wrong. You’re just not allowed to purposely attack people for being who they are.

It really isn’t that difficult to understand.

Mr. Miss. Mrs. Madam’s Married to a Man

There are still many customs we liberals tend to take part in despite the blaring antiquated sexism that they carry. One said example is the shift of a woman’s title based on her marital status.

She’s still a virgin southern belle without a man waiting in the wings for her with his trust fund? Let’s call her Miss.
She’s thrown the bridal bouquet over her shoulder and hopped into a limo for a honeymoon in Prague? Add a Mrs. to her title and pencil in his last name.

Now let’s look at our better halves.
He’s a college freshman from the slums of Philly who can’t talk to girls without soiling himself? He’s a Mr.
He’s the CEO of a company with a harem in his back pocket? That man’s a Mr.
He’s twelve and handing out invitations to his elaborate Upper East Side birthday bash? The kid is…a Mr.

No matter what the marital status of a man is, his title does not change. He is his own person, whether he has found a life partner to wed or not. He is the dominant of the two. Why should anything about him change just because there’s a woman he has deigned to marry?

That would be blasphemy, dear.

Yes, one can use the argument that “Mrs.” is used when two women get married as well, but this new development does nothing to change history or fact. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) wasn’t even struck down until 2013. Aside from that, female same-sex marriages account for less that 2 percent of legal unholy unions in this country. The majority of our “Mrs.” population has found alleged true love in a man, thus subsequently changing their titles.

It’s ridiculous how even the most personal part of a woman’s identity, her damn name, is subjected to change according to a standard created by a delightful band of misogynists who don’t even realize that they’re misogynistic.

At least the last name change has become increasingly unpopular. More and more women are keeping their own surname after getting married. It’s the problematic nature of title change that seems so invisible that NASA’S satellite couldn’t pick it up if it was dancing on the moon.

How about we just do away with all titles? Aren’t they a tad bit pretentious anyway? Let’s just put “The” before all our names. It would be a total self-esteem booster.

The Hend Salah.

I like it.

Dig Two Graves: My Debut Novel

I am officially a published author! Check out my debut novel: Dig Two Graves.

Jezebel is a court-appointed psychologist who runs an underground female trafficking empire. To justify her actions, her victims are solely those whom she deems immoral. Now, she is being framed for a crime she had only intended to commit. A detective has placed a target on her back, and her time to catch her predator is quickly running out.

This novel centers around an “anti-heroin,” who works in a business generally operated by males. The book creates a moral paradox to challenge the concrete conceptions of good versus evil. It is a psychological thriller that explores the effects of fictional representations we use to replace painful realities in our mind’s psyche.

Click the photo below to find out more and order!

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The Parent, The Child, and The Depressing Disconnecting Difficulties

The bond between parent and child is incredibly fragile. A truck load of people think that it’s a relationship that’s difficult to break, but it really isn’t. It’s not difficult at all. It just takes the right combination of words and a faint whisper of condescension on either part to burn it to bits. This becomes even more likely when they differ about issues they feel strongly about.

You shouldn’t assume that your baby cake will turn out like you or think like you simply because you raised them. You shouldn’t assume that your parent will understand your point of view just because you think it’s right.

Throw in a little doubt about the authenticity of one side’s depression and you’ve got yourself a cage match ending in a lifelong fall out.

The key to preserving that relationship is accepting that people are different. Some of us are hyper religious and some of us aren’t. Some of us are logical and some of us are creative or abstract. Our opinions will sometimes contradict each other. Our politics can be worlds apart. As long as no one is disrespecting another person’s existence, no one has the right to be angry.

So message here is: fix it before you can’t.

Outrageous Opinions of Old: Of Race and Privilege

I am not a writer for social justice. I do not fight the denigration of basic moral codes and I do not work to eliminate complacency. I do not incite political action.

Most of all, I do not blame any person for the actions of their race, and I do not at all hate white people or even the WASP elite.

But I feel compelled to discuss the ridiculous reality that there are people who actually believe that racism is rare or nonexistent.

I realize that extreme sensitivity toward each other must die if we ever hope to achieve peace, but do not be so condescending as to claim that privilege does not exist–that people are not significantly treated differently based on the color of their skin and the nature of their beliefs. The content of their character is often overlooked.

I am the first to point out that I have privileges that many others do not. I come from an extremely rich family. I am very, very fair. If I am not wearing a headscarf, I pass easily as just another white girl. Unlike my brother, I have the option of stepping out of my other-worldly celestial stereotype almost flawlessly.

But I do not. I wear my scarf like he wears his skin. Blacks, Arabs, Muslims, Hispanics, South Asians, and many others, we are marginalized groups, and we are judged so harshly when we point out someone’s actions as “racist.” We are too sensitive. We are looking for a fight. We just hate white people.

Nothing grinds my gears more than the constant claim that we are compulsively assuming that all acts of unkindness are acts of racism. Not everyone who does bad things is racist.

To this, I will concede. That is true. Not everyone who does bad things is racist, but please do not spout your bullshit bigoted holier-than-thou god-complex-induced spiel depicting this situation as a mass of angry people victimizing themselves.

If you have never been pulled over without cause, if you have never been searched multiple times at an airport because of your skin color or clothes, if you have never been afraid of a police officer, if you have never been watched in a convenience store, if you have never lost out on a job you deserved because of your name, you cannot begin to understand what it means to constantly try to discern a friend from a foe. Almost all the racists have two faces. Just ask Hamlet. They’ve been given a face and they make themselves another. I plot twist the meanings. It’s still there.

And for all the people in the back nodding indignantly as I write this, I have a criticism for you, too.

There is nothing more counterproductive, insulting and bigoted than trying to compare the severity of your consequential pain created by a racist society to others. It does not make you better, to be more marginalized. It does not make you more rightfully indignant, to believe that other people’s socially ignited upset is collateral damage in a system specifically geared to destroy your group above all else.

It does not make you cooler to be hurt the most.

And for all others, if you truly believe that there is no white privilege, no systematic adulation toward white men regardless of their icky mistakes, then consider this:

This U S of A was built on the death and enslavement of those who already populated it, and the very people who caused and perpetuated this genocide have had their faces carved into a stolen land. They are celebrated for the success of outrageous agendas. We have a real-life example of how we justify the means so long as we enjoy the ends; We still until this very day celebrate the voyage of a man who did nothing but murder droves of people whose only crime was to show kindness to a bloodthirsty warmonger.

Let me sell you on Columbus Day, where the weekend never ends, there are no Miserable Mondays, and friendly all-inclusive neighborhood cook outs are hosted to mask the unpleasant underlying white guilt.

Batteries not included.

The Coworker Conundrum: The Foul Fight to the Finish

Having to work with others is perhaps the most aggravating part of being in the work force. The attitudes, lies, passive aggression, and ridiculous expectations can work, work, work, work, work your nerve to no end.

Here are some tips on how to defeat those snarky, pseudo-professional, jerk-off coworkers that are high off their own hubris.

Passive aggressive clap-back emails that won’t get you in trouble:

“As per my last email…”
“If you’d more closely examine your records…”
“Duly noted, however…”
“I’ve copied others on this email in order to clarify further…”
“In the future, I would be more comfortable if you…”

When snitches get stitches, but haven’t fallen in double ditches:

“I feel that the reports to higher up faculty was an unnecessary detriment to a healthy work environment.”
“Our working relationship is being affected by your tendency to unnecessarily involve others.”
“Your actions are leading me to believe that you are unhappy with my work.”

When you’re being given ridiculous and condescending feedback:

Act stupid until they’re dizzy: “Can you explain that more?” “I’m hearing you, but I don’t understand.” “What does that mean?” “Why?” “Why?” “Why?” “I’m still not following.” “This isn’t clear.” “Why?” “Why?” “Why?”

When all else fails:

FUCK THIS SHIT. I QUIT.