»To heal, I had to kill your voice »
You may not care, not may you even bother, but I have been seeing a therapist to finally put an end to my bulimia. There comes a time at a certain point where every person suffering from this hideous disorder has to choose. Either saving her mental and physical health condition or kick out the person who causes this distress from her life if this person do not wish to listen and cooperate.
Until that day in June, I still had hope that you would hear me out. Until that beautiful and yet very traumatic day for me, I still hoped that we will get to talk and you will hear out my pain, my frustration, my helplessness before taking the plane back to Paris. Until that day I still hoped I am wrong, that my mother’s choice wasn’t poor after all, that you were actually a good doctor, a good gynecologist. A good gynecologist not in the eyes of strangers, for you are considered as one of the best gynecologists in the South of Lebanon. But have you been a good gynecologist for your own daughter? Have you been a good father for son? Have you been a good husband for your wife?
I am ashamed to say that that day by raising your hand on me, insulting me for another time , shamelessly in front of your own mother, by trying to hit me with your car out of anger, you almost lost me. You almost lost me and I finally admitted to myself that my own dad is a psychopath and that he doesn’t actually care about me. I admitted to myself that by coming back to Lebanon depressed, ill, anxious, jobless, even though fresh graduate, I ended up being a bad investment to you. Because this is how I was labelled that day. A bitch (faltene in Lebanese) and a bad investment. The last and only message you sent to me was on June 4th when I was already sitting and still shivering in the plane, asking me to see a psychiatrist. A gynecologist asking his own daughter to get out of the house and to see a psychiatrist. How does that sound to you dad?
This was actually the first time in my life I dared to bark at you. I almost never got into a fight with you throughout all my childhood. Because very soon I realized that when things escalate, I would end up with bruises that would ache for the next couple of days. Because the last time we got into a big fight because I wanted to sleep over at my aunty’s place, you hit me so badly. I wonder what would have happened if my uncle didn’t move the corner of that table from my way when you threw me at it. Scary.
I later realized that most of my screwed relationships or ill relations were due to the fact that I would just shut up. Either out of fear, out of shame or out of disbelief. After all my dad loves me and yet he wouldn’t hesitate to beat the shit out of me if things escalated. He wouldn’t hesitate to constantly repeat that my mother is crazy, uncontrollable, that in spite of the virtues she has, she is a bad example of how a woman should behave with her husband. I am not revealing the details of what I know about you and her out of respect but how dare you say such things about my mother? I have been getting angry all these years whenever I see you complaining about her. Whenever you would complain that she wouldn’t cook good food for you, that she wouldn’t join you for your friends gathering, whenever you would label her as stupid when you argue over things and her opinion differs from yours. Whenever she refuses to bow to something she doesn’t agree with. Whenever you give her examples of other women who according to you treated their husbands properly. May I ask you a question in this case? Why did you marry a foreigner in this case?
I am digressing as usual. I have too many things to tell you. Now that I can finally pour everything out and now that I am too far away from you to get beaten or to be cut out financially I will say it all. Or almost all because I will surely forget something.
I could not forget all the times you would insult my brother and label him as a stupid idiot, as a failure, as a shame to the family , as someone good for nothing. How dared you say these things to your own and only son? How dared you beat him in front of me till blood starts pouring out of his nose in front of me and my mother? How freaking dare you ?
I have many thing to say. I genuinely believed that you were working your ass out for us to get good education. You know dad, ironically in on of my French essays, I was writing about the pros and cons about pursuing your higher studies in Lebanon, be it in a public or in a private university. In no way I regret that you sent me abroad. I am actually grateful for you. But the reasons you sent me weren’t because you loved me, they were because:
-you wanted to hide the truth from people to avoid talks. Your daughter had harsh bulimia and she was doing pretty bad. Her grades were lower, she has been skipping school, she was losing it. She had to disappear from the radar for a while right?
– you wanted to fulfill your unfulfilled dreams from one side (apparently the fact that you met my mother in Ukraine prevented you from going to Paris for your studies?) -you wanted to brag about yourself paying for your daughter’s education abroad to your friends and surrounding. Because apparently your reputation counted better than caring about your daughter’s mental health, the risk of infertility caused by successive vomiting and weight fluctuations, the risk of diabetes, the risk of irreversible teeth erosion.
But… who am I talking to if you didn’t care?
So yes dear dad, beside the fact that when I moved to a foreign country and was having a cultural shock, I had to deal with this shit also. I am extremely grateful to God that on the other side I was blessed with my university classmates, was blessed to meet good friends, and was lucky enough to fall in love with what I was studying and open enough for friendship and new things. I am also lucky that I was accepted as I am, that nobody pointed out at my weight, that I was just accepted as I am.
Yet beside this, I was dealing with homesickness, I was lost, I was scared, I had questions, I had many things to say. But I was afraid to disappoint you. I decided to try out on my own.
By the end of my bachelor I absolutely wanted to come back. For the simple reason that I missed home and because before leaving for France you promised me that whenever things would get too complicated to carry, whenever it becomes too heavy on my shoulders, I could always come back. So when I got a negative reaction and a clear signal that you are not going to stand my ground if things get hard when I come back to Lebanon, I felt very scared and insecure.
It was exactly at that time that I got accepted into the Lebanese house at cite universitaire in Paris.
I shall tell you dad that these were the best 3 years of my life. Yet my contact with Lebanese people was very complicated. I was actually experiencing a huge cultural shock. After 3 years at Cergy, with only French and Japanese people around me, in an environment where I was fully accepted and wasn’t viewed as a target but as an equal human being, I landed into an environment where I would constantly feel being stared at, especially by guys. I would get very upset but would think maybe indeed something is wrong with me. I had so many questions to ask, so many comments to report to you when I was living there. I am very grateful to the few people who befriended me for whom I am, and for the few guys I met at this house who persuaded me that you can still have cool Lebanese guy friends in Paris.
But I won’t hide dad that I got sick of feeling uncomfortable and not being able to bark or say whatever. Meanwhile you would only talk to me to blame me for not being able to find a job, for thinking about an eventual sports career, for basically trying things. What I haven’t told you also is that I had a big heartbreak and was very depressed at some point. I loved this guy a lot and yet I wanted to apply to Japan.
At the end of the day, I made it to Japan and I lost the guy. But it’s not about the ending. It’s about the fact that I was having a whole bunch of things to deal with and you were simply absent. You didn’t even know what I was studying. You would send money without any comment.
So when I came back to June, I came back in a pitiful state. And you chose to throw me out. Because how would you explain to people that your investment seems to be risky after all?
I went back to Paris, spent all the money on my therapies, yoga, contortion, on medicine, on basically anything that would pull me out of this hell. I wanted to become healthy again and to get back to who I truly was. I found a job meanwhile but got fired at the end of my trial period. I sent you a message that night in despair. ‘’Dad I lost my job. Please help’’. I wanted you to text me and to tell me that it’s ok . I wanted you to tell me that it’s alright. I wanted you to reply. You never did. My therapist was right. You are a psychopath. Oh and yeah I did wanted to sue you for what you did in June. But I was told that I would never win the case… Because you are a famous doctor and I am just a spoiled brat right?
Anyways, I spent 3 months jobless, trying to figure it out. Trying to build something. If my friends weren’t here for me to back me up both morally and financially I have no idea how things would’ve turned out for me. After all coming back home wasn’t an option anymore. I guess you told my brother that you will squeeze the shit out of me if I dare to come back right? So I figured out my life would be hell if I think about Lebanon. I carried on with my job hunting, got the extra needed certification for my new career and finally found another cool job. Then came Corona Virus. For a moment, I forgot that we weren’t talking anymore. I got worried about how things were going for you. So I asked you by sms to take care of your health. No reply.
A couple of weeks later, I lost the job due to the Corona virus lockdown. I sent a message asking for help. I needed to hear that it’s alright, that I can make it. No reply.
This was the moment I shot you in my head. This was the moment you died for me.
And what a sad death it is dad. And the worst part of it, I am not sorry for killing you. After all you already buried me 9 months ago.
Ironically the day I mentally killed you was the day I was finally healed.
Rest in peace dad. I still have couple of things to say but I guess you don’t care anyway.