Terror + Civil War = No Development

9/11 did not start terrorism.

Before the NY tragedy gave global TV screens seizures, terrorism had been inking many history books in blood.

When terrorism begets war, life stops. Fear thwarts development. An entrapping mismatch between your emotional and chronological ages is born.

I was chronologically eight when terrorism ate my country alive.

Memories of besiege

I recall bombs exploding. The onion on my nose amid tear gas. A neighbor agonizing on the floor. The morning a bomb was found in my school.

Slain politicians, artists and journalists. Blown-up banks, theaters and courts. kidnappings. Houses broken into. Wives raped before their husbands.

A five o'clock curfew, to cheat insignificant death, completed the besiege.

Hey kid, stop being a kid!

Barely good at multiplication, our political inclinations were questioned. Mere partisanship rumor attracted trouble. Murder was an option.

Forget summer camp. Buses were stopped, emptied and all passengers shot because parents refused to deny their kids beach time.

No expeditions in a country with surreal history, culture and scenery. No sleepovers. No summer concerts. No youth-forging experiences. No growth.

Young, dumb and full of crumb

I went to the club the first and last time at 16 — the only advantage looking older entailed. I had no idea I was fresh meat amid a wolf pack.

Peerless, I basked in mingling with all these, at last, grownups. While they were getting a close-up preview of their prey, to decide on my price tag.

It wasn't until I caught my then-best friend pocketing money, after promising my body for so and so, that I cut ties with everybody and that milieu.

Bend over or I tell everybody you're gay

Love in all this?

• At 14, I fell hard. Like all firsts, my ribs were wood, his love fire. Five years later, I was sternly told my love wasn't reciprocal, losing custody of my 100 letters.

• At 15, a guy sodomized me bareback in my sleep. I revolted. He slapped me and boarded the only cab available at midnight. I had to walk two hours home.

• At 16, I befriended the only openly gay guy in my uptight school and town; public crucifixion ensued. Besotted with a "straight" guy, I failed high school.

Catching wind of it all, mom sentenced me to 2 years in our Guantanamo home.

P(r)ay the gay away

Classmates were paid to report my every move. People I liked. Air-kissing Judah clones. Kittens exploitative of that one occasion to roar like lions.

Reaching my critical-thinking-challenged mother, rumor was fact.

Her violence was nothing new to this punching bag. But unfair accusations and spine-tingling insults had become too redundant a meal on the menu.

I could hit back, emotionally and physically. My faith says otherwise.

Keep your amenities closer

Privy to mom's dirtiest secrets, a word to my hotblooded, honor-obsessed uncle could destroy her. But why have her killed and he imprisoned?

My only crime was reenact, as a teen, "vices" she'd committed as an adult.

I get she had to keep me on the straight and narrow. Yet pepper spray, public diary readings, police calls and prison threats were unnecessary.

Problems in bulk

Locked in. Attacked. Imploding. I, gradually, lost my zest for life.

My contagious joie de vivre ceased contaminating even me.

My Cortisol skyrocketed. My eyes dimmed. My swimmer's build ballooned. Seeing me on a rare outing, a former crush exclaimed "WTF?!?"

It's times like these you wish earth swallowed you alive.

What now?

Today, I realize I've survived my hardship share. But at what price?

At best, I feel like a fragile kid in an adult world bigger than his body.

All I know is violence hinders your emotional development. War cripples. The depletion of opportunities to shine casts a bleak veil on the future.

It seems to be too late ...


  1. terror:
    it is usually a remote experience for me, except the first time, what we call here "la crise d'octobre" when the FLQ(front de liberation du quebec) set up a few bombs kidnapped a few and killed one...leaving us with the army tanks and hordes of soldiers patrolling the region. it made quite the impression on my young mind, as i was nine. probably that's when i started to feel an innate hatred and distrust of the federal government, and a sympathy for the separatist. i still consider myself a separatist to this day, even if this is to remain an utopia.
    my next experience was the olympic games in munchen, when the israeli athletes were killed by the OLP. this tainted my enthusiasm for watching the games, and made me somewhat of a pro-israel at the time. but i now feel the palestinian situation is long overdue to be resolved, meaning i wouldn't give israel carte-blanche, you know...
    then algeria!!!
    and this went on for so long, the killing, the disappearances, etc... we have a large algerian community in montreal, so... pretty hard to ignore this situation as it was pertinent here. what could have been a reasonably progressive society, reverting to...well, no comment. you know my position about religion, any one of them.

    aside from those few months during the crisis here, nothing much to report. we're pretty much pacifists, or complacent... over here. so, to imagine growing up in such circumstances is unconceivable to me. i have felt and still do feel empathy for those who go through it, but as i said before, it is remote from my daily reality.
    you're a survivor!!

  2. @ Ticklebear: I didn't know about Quebec's own share with civil upheaval until you mentioned it. I guess what's done is done in such instances, despite the unnecessary and inhumane casualties.

    What's unfortunate is how much of an underachiever one feels when looking at the accomplishments of people of the same age living elsewhere. It makes one feel like a loser and rightfully so.

  3. it was short-lived but the resentment endured. since you speak french, here's a vid recap:


    to make something of oneself, one needs inner strenght, but favorable circumstances as well. so don't yourself a loser. opportunites seem absent in your case, unless you'd be willing for some compromises. don't go there.


  4. Salam, GAG.

    I have often felt like giving up, but I cannot and you know this best about me. War is a horrible thing and I am sure it can cause great pain, however, is this something I do not know. 911 wasn't a war for me and the bitter war being fought seas away doesn't effect the daily life of Americans.

    I do not say this to suggest that I am insensitive, but to imply that I am super-sensitive to your feelings. I understand all of the emotional and physical abuse that you speak of as my mother was not the kindness of people when it came to discipline.

    But it is never too late... Wars my bruise & cut, emotional & physical abuse may hamper development, but it is never too late. Being taking by someone that doesn't love you and only wants instant sexual gratification can scare you but it doesn't destroy us!

    Rebuild... If you have to do it pebble by pebble - rebuild. Refocus your energy... Take what has developed and use its energy to power your future and let no man nor state tell you what is possible.


  5. It's never too late. Just think of one important thing: through your recounting of what happened and still happens to you and your life, you've succeeded in building a vast network of, yes, friendhship, although those friends remain virtual ones for the moment. I do consider myself a friend, if you granted me the honour to call myself so. As for maturity, well, I think you grew up too fast, what with that dirty war going on around you, and all that inforced virility stuff prevalent in all the Mediterranean countries. But when do we really grow up? When do we reach maturity? I hope I never get there. I'm quite happy to be like I am, slightly immature, a boy in a man's body (and still, tall and thin as I am, calling it a man's body is quite an euphemism). Of course, my own uprising in what we Austrians call 'die Insel der Seligen', the 'Island of the Blessed', makes me utterly different from you. Nonetheless, I do feel a certain connection with you, if only because you share your most intimate personal developments with me through this blog. I often thought it was too late, even with my sheltered little life. And I always discovered that it wasn't true. My feelings go out to you! Or, as that other ridiculous woman has sung: 'Résiste... prouve que tu existes' ;-) (My France Gall revenge for your citing Céline Beurk Dion)

  6. @ Ticklebear: WOW! When I think everybody here, except for my newly-well-read brother, thinks Quebec has never known trouble. I found the reading of the manifesto live on TV touching. Glad tension has receded, or has it ever?

    You're right when you say one needs inner strength to evolve. I believe I have a decent amount of that. What I lack is outer compassion and gentle encouragement, especially in my house.

    To have mom call me a worthless loser hurts like nothing else, especially considering she knows I had been plotted against and slowed down more than once in my journey, whether it was academic corruption or professional favoritism.

    All I want is to stop torturing myself with how circumstances made me deviate from the path I had planned for myself. I need a lucky break, I guess. You know?

  7. @ Tony:

    Rebuilding is tough when you have cement with no water. You hope it rains, but with the current global warming thingy, rain has become as scarce as merit-based opportunities. Rebuilding is as tough when you have plenty of water but no cement.

    One thing's for sure, your support as well as the very presence in my life of those loving people I met online, make restructuring the past a lot easier.

    You, guys, have given me what my own mother, family, friends and society denied me for more than a quarter of a century. It is thanks to all of you that I am filling in gaps and growing more confident in knowing you have my back.

    So, bear with me if some of my posts sound heavy; it's just like acne is cleansing of whatever is wrong inside of us. This is where I dare say things I had to keep bottled up for, at times, my own survival.

    This blog and I would be nothing without all of you.

  8. Hi Wil,

    I have one day in my life so far to compare to 10+ years of being a victim of terrorism/war. People in the U.S. always say "you know where you were when it happened" (9/11) and it's true. I meet new people and if it comes up, they remember the most mundane things; what they were eating, their emotion prior to realizing what was going on, etc... what if we all had 10 years of it. I cannot empathize because it is so far from my personal experiences.

    I think that is why I have read parts of your blog and have barely commented Wil. I pride myself on being an empathetic person (something I believe I have picked up from suffering so long with depression). It is true that I have been victimized in my life, but have not had to grow up with it day in day out. And I think in lacking empathy I'm at a loss for how to relate and comment.

    Anyway, boo hoo me. So I cannot empathize, I must have something to say. You were saying to Ticklebear that you need a lucky break. I wanted to say that rarely is there such a thing until you begin to make circumstances favorable for luck to strike. But is that the American in me talking? Please tell me honestly... am I that ignorant about what it's like to live somewhere else?

    Oh yeah, and you're not a loser. I barely know you and can say that you are currently accomplishing so much by putting your story, thoughts, beliefs and feelings out there for (currently) 50 followers and who knows how many others to read. You have a gift as a writer and it's so awesome that you are sharing that gift.

  9. I feel you deeper and the connection is strong. Even tho I know this is an outlet for you, it is sometime difficult to not get wrapped up in the emotion of you! You are as powerful as the very sun that provides us light and sustaining energy. I feed from you as you feed from us! I am always by your side!


  10. you never failed to impress me on your every post and i was like an addict who always checks on you whether you have a new post or what hehe.

    my experiences are no match to you,wow,i salute you,after all that, and here you are so proud and so brave,you are a good example of a person so strong...i wish i could be like u...

    have a great week!

  11. Just another, short word. I join Story's encouragement when he says you're a gifted writer. You are. Try to construct on that. I understand you deeply as I always considered your country to be a gift from Heaven ruled by, well, corrupt idiots, to put it blandly. Circumstances seem to counter-steer everything you try to build. Don't give up! Someone like you should have all the official encouragement and help he needs, and I know you will have a hard time to find it where you are living right now. But keep in mind: you're a surviving victim, not a loser. You are not responsible for what you're going through right now. I also join Tony who tells you he's on your side. I am too, I'd give you my force if I could. As things are, all I can do is send you all my love from the other side of the Mediterranean.

  12. @ Dieter:

    Your comment is most comforting. For once, somebody thinks it OK to be childlike with the pressure to be and act like a grown-up man, in a macho culture! All my life, I had to face ridicule for being 'immature', while the things I've seen and experienced would require 9 lives to encompass. Many people tend to confuse childlike and childish; I'd like them to understand that some of us simply didn't have time/space to grow up. As for writing on here, you have no idea how much it is helping me rinse off past trauma; it's like a purification bath, an exorcism of the soul, therapy sessions ... and all of you are making it possible. So, you're beyond e-friends. You're life-savers, sanity-keepers ... you are the real owners of this blog! J'aime bien France Gall, MOI! :D As for dissing Céline, Ticklebear is oh-so gonna bitch slap you. I need pop corn. nom nom nom ;)

  13. you'll notice i haven't said anything, this not being my blog.
    but there was a "tsk-tsk!!" on my part, and a virtual slap...
    he'll feel it, eventually...
    karmic retribution!!

  14. @ Story:

    No worries if you can't empathize with the situation, Lisa. It is one of those things one has to live to fully understand, but I wouldn't wish it onto my worst enemy. It just shook apart a people that used to make one.

    Things have dramatically changed because of terror. Creative potential (artistic, intellectual, industrial) died, the country's brains left for Europe or North America, the line between friend and foe became too blurred, and the rest of us were either killed or waiting for death.

    Americans aren't ignorant. They simply couldn't have known about what was happening here, since many are so trying to survive that they hardly have time to even travel. When my friend Angelo worked 80+ hours/week, I was surprised and utterly touched he made time to chat with me. So, Americans may not know how different living here could be, but they're certainly sensitive to the human condition.

    That's maybe why certain events leave me somewhat indifferent, because I've seen more cruel. I mean, even seeing one of our presidents assassinated live on TV paled in comparison to other tragedies. Nothing beats walking to school amidst decapitated heads on the floor, I guess.

    Thank you for the compliment, dear one. I figured this story, among others, has to be told. Maybe someday soon?

  15. @ Tony:

    You're an example of making it work against all odds I look up to, my Tony. Putting up with my sugar-high moments the way you do is so endearing that makes me smile everytime I think about it. I can't wait to, finally, eat those yummy recipes you make I don't know where from! Now, squeeze me into your super hectic schedule; I need to bug you on Skype. ;)

  16. @ Mac Callister: I am honored by your kind testimonial and sweet compliment! I apologize for the gap in between recent posts. I can't be as prolific or writing-savvy as my new friend, Mr. Dieter Moitzi, but I promise I'll post more often. ;-) Thank you for your presence on here.

  17. @ Dieter:

    This coming from an accomplished writer is truly flattering! What I will always remember is that writing brought into my life inspiring people like yourself. :-) My country is, indeed, beautiful but I hope it had its share of fair coverage internationally. We barely had time to dust ourselves off after France had left that we fell prey to another crippling predicament. But the raw and natural beauty remained intact, and so did the history, culture and essence of being from here. I'll miss all that when I leave.

    En attendant que tu viennes visiter un de ces jours, je te remercie du fond du coeur. :-) T'es un amour!

  18. @ Ticklebear: What do you mean this is not your blog? YOU, mon Ticklebear adoré, made this blog! I won't specify how ( because I am sure you always forget about your generous acts) but I know better. w!nk

    I guess no weaves will come off huh? Wigs, maybe? :D

  19. well, it's official:
    i'm alzheimer!!!!
    i have no clue what you're refering to...

    as for what's coming off, how about pulling some armpit hair?

  20. @ Ticklebear: LOL The only hairy people on here I know are you, Angelo and I. And I had to go bald under the arms. :p

  21. I doubt that there are many humans that do not have some sort of monster in their closet either controlling what should be a care free and natural life or just waiting for a selected moment to breathe out just enough rancid smell of memories from the past to keep them stuck in tine.

    When our mind feels the need to stop and take cover...it in so many cases forgets to start up again or return...this is where the ever so popular label of PTSD comes from.

    A trauma can and will preserve ones mind until something or someone finds a key to unlock it. Then and only then can one move forward.
    As far as your thoughts about being 16 in mind...it is a time when your mind chose to preserve itself in a secret place, for whatever reason.
    Your sharing your thoughts here on your blog substitutes for what a journal can do in a cathartic way for victims of any type of abuse. It helps to open doorways that may lead to that initial secret place.
    The support I have read through your loyal followers is commendable, as through the strength of each one...you can find a genuine care and concern that you so long to have now and throughout your life as a child.
    Funny how things seem to find their reason and rhyme... through our sufferings we manage to find, somewhere along the way...true friends, genuine love and a renewed self~

    I would dare to say....those things are the silver lining and what we should be thankful for~
    We cannot change the past...but we most certainly can change the future through how we allow things to affect our present~

  22. Hey! I'm hairy too! The only problem is me being a woman! Darn! Life can be a bitch! Anyway...

    I'm sorry to continue in french, but... your post is to serious for writing n'importe quoi.
    Il est vrai que je commente rarement ici, parce que ta réalité est à des années-lumière de la mienne, et je ne voudrais pas paraître déplacée en écrivant des inepties sur des sujets qui me sont étrangers.
    Mais ce qui est certain, pour appuyer certains de tes followers, c'est ton immense talent de writer. Tu décris les choses de façon à ce que je puisse "connecter" avec ta réalité. Bien sûr, je n'aurai jamais le même back ground, je ne saurai jamais vraiment ce que c'est que de vivre dans un pays en guerre, et encore moins ce que c'est que d'y devenir adulte!

    Nous vivons, ici, dans des contrées privilégiées. Et en plus, je suis un être privilégié par la vie, vivant dans une contrée privilégiée! Je ne dis pas cela pour narguer, mais pour tenter d'expliquer mon ignorance et mon absence de mots face à la situation que tu décris plus haut. Je ne puis que compatir en me faisant une vague idée de ce que cela peut être, mais je suis certaine que mon imagination dessine une réalité beaucoup plus colorée et douce que ce que la vraie situation est.

    Mais grâce à tes mots mon horizon s'élargit. Dans le fond nous sommes tous les mêmes. Nous avons tous besoin d'amour et de reconnaissance et avons tous la nécessité de s'accomplir d'une façon ou d'une autre selon nos réalités respectives. Et juste à voir le nombre de lecteurs qui prennent le temps de commenter tes billets, je pense que tu as trouvé un fameux moyen à travers ce blogue de t'exprimer et de "connecter" avec des personnes d'un peu partout.

    C'est la beauté du web. Un jeune algérien, gai et arabe qui réussi à toucher une quasi quinquagénaire straight canadienne! Non mais... vive internet!!

    Et j'admire beaucoup la façon que tu as de parler de choses qui ma foi, sont vraiment personnelles et intimes, sans jamais devenir impudique.

  23. Do you feel desensitized to death or is it more cruelty, like you said? Do you think that has changed the way you handle the death of loved ones? Do you think you are more equipped to handle the worst of the world (human-to-human violence - is the worst of the world to me) than smaller things in life? ...hope you don't mind my digging.

    I'm not wondering if you are not hurt by the death of loved ones. I just wonder how you deal with it after all that you have seen.

  24. Oh my goodness. After reading your post and all the comments, where do I start?

    For some reason, the words that I heard in a short animation film called 'Father' by Sebastian Danta come to mind. They may seem completely irrelevant but as part of the stream of consciousness, I share them:

    Speaking about his father, the animator/author says:

    "He didn't speak much because he had such a deep regard for words".

    When I heard that, I just went 'Whoa...". We don't speak because sometimes we just can't. There are no words. But if and when we do find the words, oh my, what an impact they have. And so we too have a deep regard and respect for them.

    Perhaps this is the relevance? That you have found the words to speak of the unspeakable? And it has somehow helped some of us at least to find our own and speak of our own unspeakable experiences?

    I remember once sipping cold wine and nibbling on fine hors d'oeuvres at a party hosted to watch an aeronautical display of military aircraft. I remember still feeling the thunderous roar vibrating through my body long after the aircraft had disappeared leaving a thick cloud of smoke in its wake.

    I also remember contemplating then, the irony of being thus 'entertained' when, in other parts of the world, such sounds and the horrific effects of the aircraft that make them rain a daily, if not hourly, terror upon some people. On some level, I sensed the horror of it and wondered how those people would ever recover.

    I could go on. About similar and somewhat disjointed threads of awareness, of awakening but it would take forever.

    My own life, though never lived in a political war zone, did journey its first 19 years in a field of domestic terror. I spent many years of my life wishing my father dead, interestingly enough, not for his brutality toward me but toward my mother which was incomparably worse. For years, I would cry in bed many nights because of my helplessness and from the pain of what was happening to my mother.

    How does one ever recover? How does one reclaim the innocence of childhood especially when it was snatched from them at such an early age? How does one prevent a damaged childhood from affecting their relationships as an adult? How does one even become aware of the effects of their childhood? In other words, how does one 'grow up'?

    I'm not entirely sure but I do believe that 'growing up' has nothing to do with the loss of innocence. If anything, it's about regaining it.

  25. Hey there, it's me again! I've just received the 'I Love Your Blog' Award, and blah blah blah, well, a long story (don't wanna squeeze it into YOUR blog-space). But in order to receive it, I was asked to nominate 15 of my favourite blogs. Of course, you're in the list. Dunno what that award is worth, but I just wanted you to know that for me, receiving is nice; handing it over to you is more than that. I send you all the best feelings, Dieter.

  26. @ Dorothy: You're right. There was a monster locked in. That monster dared hang out with the only openly-gay guy in town, because the monster despises injustice and roots for underdogs? That monster rebelled against his conservative society and walked all over its norms at 16. Today, the monster is still there - just wiser and more subtle about demanding tolerance.

    Come to think of it, I could have gotten killed for waving my freak flag at a time of political unrest and random revenge killings disguised as terror acts.

    My emotional emancipation got, indeed, paused by the series of trauma. But, it's safe to say that this blog, and the lovely people who honor me by their presence and contribution, is slowly and surely completing the puzzle. I feel blessed! :)

    BTW, nice post of yours about sex under the rain. ;-)

  27. @ Lucrecia: Tu es la bienvenue pour commenter, quand tu veux, Lulu. Tu es, tout de même, l'une des premiers a avoir ouvert le bal, sur mon tout premier billet. :)

    Je sais que mes sujets ont tendance à être parfois lourds, mais je suis fait d'autant de gravité que de délire. Or, tu es libre de dire ce que tu veux ici. Cet espace t'appartient aussi. Eh oui.

    Et puis, je ne me lasse jamais de vous lire tous, car je n'ai personne à qui parler sauf à vous. Vous avez accès à ce qui ne se voit pas en me regardant. Grâce à vous, j'apprends beaucoup sur moi et dors mieux en sachant qu'en vous, j'ai trouvé une oreille attentive.

    Dieu du ciel, je frôle le style Harlequin là! Au secours!

    Tu vois? Je t'avais bien dis que les pitbulls ont disparu. :) You wanna take part in Ticklebear's armpit-hair-pulling craze? Team Ticklebear. :D

  28. @ Story:

    I have been blessed, and cursed, by a too-strong-for-my-own-good sense of empathy. So, I can't see something wrong and remain indifferent. That's why I stopped watching the news lest I should have a heart attack. It's just that, sometimes, people whine about things too petty to be detected by your sympathy radar. It's all right if it makes me come across as snotty and aloof.

    Death of others scares and saddens me, but not my own. I came to this world amidst death, as my father had passed away shortly before my birth. As a believer, I know death is the only thing in life we have no control over. I think of my own death as deliverance - bottled breath finally released. The only death I seriously dread is that of my mother; I'd like for she and I to treat one another as mother and child before either joins the Eternal.

    I have been fed unsolicited violence ever since I was in diapers. So, it goes without saying that I loathe violence, especially when the other didn't provoke it. This blog is an outlet for my accumulated anger; even I wasn't aware of how much this sanctuary of mine means.

    Pacifist and gentle by design, babay. :)

  29. @ Thought Bubble Ten:

    My words are unfaithful to the horror inflicted upon my then-still-rebuilding nation. Thankfully, what remain are bad memories and feeble verbiage to try and describe the mess in which we had found ourselves in the 90's.

    Civil wars create animosity, perilous to the prosperity of a people's mentality, self-image, international reputation and unity. The same had happened in Lebanon and is happening in Iraq now. And it is impossible to devote a therapist to each surviving citizen or bring the children of one nation back to facing adversity hand in hand. *sigh*

    I relate to your grudge against your physically-abusive father, even if I could never hate my mother - my ultimate source of all possible forms of torture. No feeling kills a child, under such dire circumstances, more than the feeling of helplessness in the face of such brutal monsters. When you have nobody to restrain the beast, you become super human and grow up too fast for anybody's good.

    Much like geniuses are said to stall at a certain age, when, abuse survivors stop developing because the fast growth they had to do was only to defend themselves against abuse. You'll see them toughen up when attacked, either by standing there unmoved by the hits or by screaming their guts out, then crumble in tears and self-pity as they lick their wounds. All of history's zealots have been exposed to abuse in its multiple forms but found no love to make them balance out their tragedies' aftereffect. Some of us take the high road and wait for the day God seats them next to Him and explains why things happened in that order. :)

    Kudos to you for formulating probably the wisest and most sensible philosophy on earth: "Growing up has nothing to do with the loss of innocence. If anything, it's about regaining it." You're SUPER cool in my book for saying that! ;)

  30. @ Vange: A part of me knows it's not too late. It's the world that can't put its had around how some of us need to be treated kindly by giving us the chance to blossom.

    Tired of looking like a triumphant tree with no roots ...

  31. @ Dieter: Aren't you adorable? I am honored by and appreciative of such a generous gesture! Your heart is noble, my friend. :)

  32. Wow, you are an amazing writer first off- when I was reading this, I felt like you were releasing yourself through words and it translated beautifully onto your screen. I don't think you need to regard yourself as stuck in the body of a 16 year old, I think you can look forward and use the pain from the past to transform you into an even more amazing person. And like a country torn apart from civil war, you can also rebuild yourself and conquer the conflicting demons within yourself. I find your story honestly inspiring. You are a beautiful writer.


  33. Actually, my fear and hatred toward my father have long gone. It started to dissolve when I realized that he really had no control over himself.

    I mean, cruelty is an outcome of a loss of control, of almost intolerable fear which stokes the thoughts and actions of bullies and tyrants.

    Whatever had shaped *his* childhood? Who was he going to blame? And does this chain of blaming ever end? Can it ever be resolved? Never.

    There is no blame, no 'answers' - another wonderful line that was in that film, Father. "There are no answers. Only choices".

    And I have the awareness and thus the control to not let the fear and the pain trouble me anymore. At least, to the extent that I'm aware of it. My father, didn't have that awareness and control. I know that now.

  34. PS The more cruel, the less control.

  35. "BTW, nice post of yours about sex under the rain. ;-)"

    Many thanks...I was happy to see your thoughts on my comment list~

    Life never promised anyone anything. Our parents brought us to this world and in most cases should have never been given that right to reproduce as they as I mentioned in many cases were themselves still uneducated and children themselves.
    Bottom line....we are here and we must use our own mind of presence to direct us toward a new way of thinking and learning about what life can offer as opposed to holding onto and dwelling on they why's of our parents and their actions.
    Think of life as a drawing board....our parents may have started the drawing...but we are here to change it and or complete it as we see fit so that our children can benefit and appreciate what we have drawn...so that they can continue it for their children.

    **~Opening your heart to your own failures ...allows you to forgive others for their own~**

  36. Wilmy~~~

    Yet ANOTHER strong, moving, and insightful post!! Little by little we, as readers and friends, are privileged to witness what thoughts, memories and emotions are traveling through your mind, and your heart.

    I would never be able to comprehend what it would be like to exist in such a state of fear and constant upset! I understand you feel that this along with other situations has stunted you personally and I don't deny you that because I believe being in these kinds of situations, especially as a child, DEFINITELY contribute to how one develops. I wouldn't place too much emphasis on being emotionally immature though because you are quite mature in so many other ways. I do understand that part of which you speak. You know, I have always thought I was a late-bloomer and it used to bother me but I have come to realize that it has actually been a blessing for me...think of it that way.

    Funny thing by the way, that you should mention me in one of your comments, referring to the hours I work/ed and made time to talk with you. I was just talking about the work thing with a guy from Brazil who said that Americans are slaves to the work here. Any comment?


  37. @ angelo di gioia:

    i used to be like that, having 2 fulltime jobs, day and night, and still carrying on a personal life, involving family, clubs, friends and sex...
    where has all of that energy gone?
    i now give one job the bare minimum, which is still more than some others...

    i must say there is no passion in what i do now. maybe that's where the energy has gone...


  38. eventually all the bits come together and all the glue and duct tape just reinforce the material. ~_^

  39. @ Ticklebear...passion most likely is a small part of it my friend but I think as we get older and smarter we realize we don't need to kill ourselves to live a good life. Speaking of passion though.... you feel the passion is gone out of your work...it's only been redirected....to your blogs :)


  40. @angelo, I work in a major city in the U.S. I have started out every job saying I'm only going to put in my hours and wind up becoming a slave to the job. Why? Because every job I've had expects more of me than what they pay me for. I have no idea if that is an American thing. It is certainly a sad thing.

  41. @ Story, perhaps you have not found the proper position for you. I am the lowest paid in my department, yet I am the happiest and most productive. I listen to my coworkers complain that they do not make enough money then watch as they do very little though the day to warrant a raise in pay. I can pay my bills and have a roof over my head thanks to my paycheck. I am content because I love what I do. It should not matter what the company wants to give you but what you give the company. You may not think it, but it is seen in the long run and may take awhile to be rewarded, but isn't it better to be pleased with oneself than by what others think?

  42. @ angelo di gioia:
    amen to that!!
    except, i don't earn a living with that...
    pity though,
    i'd like that!!!

  43. @ Dating Diva: Ah, to have that slender, yet meaty, figure of my sweet 16 again! ;) I am healing by writing and receiving supportive feedback on here. For the longest time, I got so used to nobody listening that my demons were seldom allowed out of their closet.

    I'm glad I'm gradually opening up and am even more glad to be blessed with such contributors who are, let's point out here, the real owners of this space. :) Thank you for the humbling compliment, sweet Dee. :)

  44. @ Dorothy: I'm sure you hear it more often than the Olsen twins eat, but I absolutely enjoy your writings! ;-)

    THANK YOU FOR SUCH AN ACURATE OBSERVATION! I was telling my friend Angelo, last night, how our parents were not equipped to be parents, so they rallied through to provide us with a roof, clothes and food, thinking that's all we needed. My own mother grew up somewhat poor, so she thought by keeping me fed, dressed and sheltered, she was catering to all my needs. Whereas I've always prefered to live on affection and kindness than on caviar and champagne.

    You're right. We must finish, to our liking, the drawing our parents have started! Doesn't hurt that I can draw. ;)

  45. @ Thought Bubble Ten: Makes perfect sense. There needs to be a point in time one has to break the vicious cycle of blaming the past for the present and the future. I, for one, am starting to think I'm writing on here to let go of the hurt, which I wouldn't want to inflict upon my kids, if I ever have any.

    Some parents, like mom, burden their kids with their broken pasts. Tell me about it only if it is to teach me a constructive lesson, not push my empathy levels to uncomfortable levels and fill my heart with grudges.

    You did the right thing by seeing things from your father's perspective. It, certainly, helps feel less anger towards the person when you realize they didn't have anyone extend a helping hand to them.

    I think what, you guys, taught me is to put my differences with mom aside and try to help her let go of her own demons. The woman is exceptional on all levels, and just needs to feel safe enough to breathe out her acquired erroneous defense mechanisms.

    Thank you! :)

  46. @ Angelo:

    Whatever unrest I have been through, your presence in my life erases lots of it. The fun and deep talks we have are priceless to me. Plus, my country's political unrest pales in comparison to the hard time you give me everytime you have the impression I'm messing up. Knowing you are there makes the journey more enjoyable. :)

    I may not have told you this, but I was devastated to see you work 80+ hours a week. I thought it both unfair and inhumane to be this overworked to secure a roof over one's head, to keep one's stomach fed, and to live life dignified. You see, when I win the lottery, I'll give you a big fat daily check for keeping me company. How does that sound? ;)

    In the mean time, stop pretending to inquire about foreign perception of America with hot Brazilian co-workers, blinking your eyelashes like a camera lens to charm the shovel out of the Portuguese-tongued's hands, with you more-blue-than-blue eyes! :D

  47. @ Andrea: I am reassured you say that. I need me a Kevin of my own then, huh? ;-)

  48. @ Ticklebear: Told you we need to find you a hubby to bring back the passion you say your life is devoid of. When do we start casting?

  49. @ Angelo: You're absolutely right! Remember the "4 work days. 3 fun days" reform idea I, once, told you about? I think it's time we rallied to get it into action. 2 days of rest (only ONE in your case this year and mine last year) isn't feasible anymore!

  50. ChagrinD'amourApr 29, 2010, 6:47:00 AM

    Hi again
    I've been there too, my friend Maybe I'm the one who feels ur pain more than any other on this site,we share blood and land. reas some of the comments but couldn't carry on,too much for my eye!And hey,stop intimidating me and making me copy/paste woords in my billingual dictionary,I'm tired of ur so-perfect language,u'r putting me in shame!
    For the "loser" thing,are u f***** kidding me!u'r very thing but a loser.How many Algerians do have ur Enlish-and sure French-potential? Iknow this friend of mine ,who was harrassed by all of his neighbourhoud,school and college mates for being gay,or pédé,you know.However he's one of the most active and successful people I've known in my life,he's the one Ive been always jealous of.Now he's leading a fabuleux-destin.In fact ,he got his own bureau of translation in the capital.Despite all the prejudice,the trauma,and the frustrations he went through,he,on the other hand, is brilliant in his other lives..What I want to say is you MUST see the brilliant side of the moon(Pink Floyd huge fan here!),you are more than who you think you are.First thing to do :get the hell out of your secluded world.Hopre you start writing "happy "things désormais
    question:what should I do to have my name highlighted in blue?

  51. @ chagrin d'amour:
    as i was reading your comment, when you mentionned that successful friend of yours, i expected you would say he had found success in some other country, but no, he has achieved success in algeria. good for him. but, has he found happiness? and you know of what i mean when i talk about happiness. was he able to achieve this more personal and private part of his life?

  52. So glad that you are posting again. I find it amazing that despite war and terrorism the part of your story that expresses the most pain is your personal life, especially what you endured in your own home. It makes me sad to hear the stories of your pain, but I think that you will help many people by sharing your stories (and hopefully help yourself to heal too.)

  53. ChagrinD'amourApr 29, 2010, 4:39:00 PM

    @T.Bear I don' think so,he told me he gave up passion and went for lust.He even got married!!I know he cried a river inside.My point of you is u may lose at some things but u may b better at others.it's true we can make choice though all the pain.We should see the full half of the cup.I'm trying to help here.

  54. @ chagrin d'amour:
    je presume ici que tu parles francais, d'apres ton nickname, so...
    tu dis qu'il s'est marie!?! selon moi, c'est un echec social, ou il n'a pu s'affranchir des pressions sociales. c'est vraiment desolant. je puis dire, avec l'experience, que le succes professionel n'est pas garant du bonheur. et si un homme rentre a la maison pour n'y voir que le resultat de sa propre hypocrisie, y a de quoi devenir suicidaire, ou tres aggressif envers sa conjointe.

    en fait,
    ce n'est pas tant lui qui me fait pitie plutot qu'elle, alors qu'elle ne sait pas quoi dans quoi il l'a embarque. lui, il a fait son choix...

    if i assumed wrong and you need the english translation, no problem...
    really no problem!!!

  55. @ tina:
    of course he's helping.
    look at all the comments he gets.
    i guess we've all got something to say, and we all need something, which we may get here.

  56. @Wil, you can't take mine! I waited too long to find him ~_^ and he still has something up his sleeve for next Tuesday! I'm getting so spoiled, he even helped rearrange my living room today, granted it was to figure out how to accomadate HIS furniture...

  57. Your life sounds so much like my husbands. Not only was he sexually abused by his father he also lived in Lebanon during the war, late 70s early 80s. After enduring a couple years of this he father sent him away to a boarding school in Cypress - where he stayed for 4 years, alone, no family, no visits - he has never recovered from the way his childhood shaped him. It will always be in everything he does. I'm sorry you had to grow up with so much turmoil in your life.

  58. ChagrinD'amourApr 30, 2010, 1:54:00 AM

    @TBear :French,English all work fine for me.That's why I'm Algerian,lol.J'adopte ton point de vue a mille pour cent.c pour cela que je suis tjs single. Notre société est un univers parallèle à la votre,rien de commun ,quand tu reach un certain age ,tu DOIS te marier,je connais plusieurs qui l'ont fait par pression,et comme toi ,je ne sais vriament pas comment diable ils mènent leur vie conjugale et pas moyen de le savoir!Wil peut le confirmer,je crois.

  59. @ Chagrin D'amour: Hey, welcome back :-)

    Now that we're (more or less) able to talk about it (?), I'm curious to know your experience with what we had been through in the 90's.

    You know as much as I do that only effeminate guys get harassed; if your friend displayed outer macho behavior and burped macho discourse, he would've been considered a "man."

    A présent, ceux qui cèdent à la dite pression en se mariant mènent une double vie épanouie. Grâce à Internet, ils passent leur temps à s'exhiber sur webcam. Ils se couchent plus tard et se réveillent plus tôt que leurs épouses afin de satisfaire les besoins de l'homo qu'ils ont dû étouffer.

    Remarquez, je préfère cette option à ce qu'ils assouvissent leurs désirs auprès d'inconnus même pas fichus de se protéger, ou des assoiffés de scandales qui risquent de ternir la réputation du gars au travail et/ou au quartier.

    C'est pour cette raison que je fréquente plus personne. J'ai eu ma dose, étant adolescent, des "hétéros" hypocrites qui s'affichent avec toi (et te séduisent) pour attirer des filles qui, sans toi, ne leurs adresseront jamais la parole; j'en ai eu aussi marre des soi-disant "amis" gaies qui touchent de l'argent derrière ton dos, en promettant à tel ou tel de te convaincre de coucher avec.


    To get your user name highlighted in blue, you have to enter an URL to your web page if you have any. But the way it is now looks fine to me.

    Glad to hear from you.

  60. @ Tina: Sharp sense of observation! I've always, literally, rolled with the gratuitous punches but always crumbled at the lack of emotional support in my own home. I've always said it and will always repeat it: my biggest tragedy is my relationship with my mother ... or lack thereof. Many other things seem to pale in comparison; hence my coming across as unaffected by "less damaging" issues people often complain about. Glad to hear from you again.

  61. @ Andrea: Not your Kevin, but one with many of Kevin's attributes. ;) He's moved in with you? Great news, babe! :)

  62. @ Sheila: Your husband must be a strong man. Look at how he's turned his broken life around by marrying you and giving life to such cute kids (one of whom should never be given coins as pocket money hehe)!

    How do you deal with his bursts of past trauma leftovers, if any?

  63. ChagrinD'amourApr 30, 2010, 9:45:00 PM

    a whole lot to talk about:
    1- in the 90's I was a college "dude",needless to say the times I had to wake up earlt to catch the bus to the capital and been ordered back home from some troop in ma district and the times we had to stop the texti because of some military operations looking for presumed errant terrorists and the times we were told to cancel the travel because of a slaughter in the Cheffa hell road...
    2- U raised 2 different points :when u talked about"des assoiffés de scandales qui risquent de ternir la réputation du gars".boy! I had this thing with the love of my life,the one I've loved more than myself and who betrayed me,so simply, even if we never met,the next days ,all his horde started harrassing me ,thank god I was strong..the second pointwhen u tackled the friends"qui touchent de l'argent derrière ton dos, en promettant à tel ou tel de te convaincre de coucher avec".what's wrong with these peopleI was told that this is frequent in my city too,some people who trade kids for money!!Anyway I know now what uve been through,maybe I was luckier I was never gotten close to in my youth..
    3-Question: do u belive in exclusive "active" homosexuals in our society.As for me,I've never considered them gay ,they're rather perverts,all of them have multiple relationships,they only look for fresh meat without caring about their "victims" future,all of them hae families and kids and a normal life..for me the people who suffer are the true bottoms/versatiles or rather "queers,the holes,the bottoms the faggots"!What u think?

  64. i came back to check if there;s new post from you hehe(am i too demanding?LOL)

    have a great weekend!

  65. @ Chagrin D'amour: I am sorry to hear about the ordeal you had been through. I think we should all make a collection of narratives, preferably in English, describing our experience.

    I wouldn't wanna pry into your private life, but why did the guy's friends harass you? And how would you call it betrayal when you two had never met in person (or so I gathered)?

    As for profit-oriented "friends," I had just turned 16 when I realized they were striking business deals behind my back, promising certain guys to convince me to sleep with them. I always root for the underdog, and those "friends" were stigmatized because they were effeminate and flamboyant. Naive little me was dreaming of decent love, while all they did was flirt with any guy with a car to end up in his backseat. Today, I can say I am glad I severed my ties with them.

    Double standards exist in the gay community, too. Much like the more girls a straight guy scores, the more of a man he is considered, a gay top will always be considered a man, since scoring both males and females adds more manliness to his resume. On the other hand, the bottom is viewed, especially in the Arab World, as a submissive slut only used to satisfy the top's wildest sexual fantasies.

    That (Arab) men consider themselves straight just because they top then go home to the wifey, but treat the bottom as less of a man is infuriating. I think all bottoms should go on a strike and stop spreading their legs to educate the poo-pushers, for once! LOL

  66. @ Mac Callister: Ah, the current post left me feeling drained but a new one is cooking. :-) Something 180° in tone compared to this very one. I am sure you'll find something new to read next time you visit. Have a relaxing weekend, busy one! :)

  67. ChagrinD'amourMay 1, 2010, 12:19:00 AM

    the poo-pushers.yeah that's really what gay sex is all about.lol.
    I've been writing my story for myself" for almost 10 years(yes that love lasted that whole time) the first months were an earthly hell. The first time in my life my eyes fall for this cute slander creature who u think could never hurt...the demon in disguise...he was all but respectful to me..I thought that at last I found love, the first man who exchanges glances with me( alas not à la Sinatra!)I waited and waited ,he never showed interest...I did everything,to sum up, to get him ,all I got in return is cold and haughty looks..he seldom made moves towards me..I decided to give up despite my feelings,he seems to look for me..I got back to him and this time dared to talk him,belive it!Yes I did but I didn't know I'll regret that for the rest of my life:that time I shaked his hand ,a human hyena(known as a pedophile here) appears and witnesses the act..my love shared that moment with me but simly went his way..another day,after a week of stalking him in vain, I run into him in some place and dared also to talk,I wanted to finish the pain,he didn't even try to make it easy for me,I couldn't say any thing except for some social courtesies ,there ,too out of nowhere appears this mister..I los my mind..I went to to beast ,grabbed his arm and nearly killed him (in front of all people)I kinda confirmed the sin!...a wake up followed after and severed "all" ties(the talking glances) with my son of gun!I can't count the times ,he turned aroung me tryingto get me back(not for love but for pleasing his ego of a matcho );I forgot to tell u he's a policeman with zero education level!!What followed is another episode,all different,facing the harrassement of some pedophiles,some I know as friends of my elder brother,Even though,no one was knew of my gay sexual orientation!Since then I've grown up, a lot but at what price?that's grosso-merdo my ordeal..now I'm still single,still gay,still dreaming of love, of a shelter

  68. @ Chagrin D'amour: Aww, poor chap! Your story resembles mine in some aspects. That's what you get for falling for a cop. ;) Why don't you create a blog of your own? I'm sure it would be interesting! I'd read. :)

  69. You have lived through so much, it will do nothing but make you stronger and wiser than all of us in the end.

  70. ChagrinD'amourMay 1, 2010, 5:08:00 AM

    a blog? oh no I told u previously writing was just a phase: when u have no one to share with, u write to urself.My journal(that I still keep for memories counts more than 500 pages!a novel already).I've done with it now. No longer need to write

  71. @ Rae: If it doesn't make me stronger and wiser, I hope my experience proves beneficial to others. :-) Thanks, Rae.

  72. @ Chagrin D'amour: I see. Maybe somebody might relate to your experience, learn from your mistakes without committing them, or simply become a pal who knows better?

    But since you say writing is not for you anymore, what's next?

  73. ChagrinD'amourMay 1, 2010, 11:37:00 PM

    I think it's the dilemma of every Arab gay guy so I'm not in the palce for giving advice for any1.What's next? u'r asking an intriguing quesion mister,kidding....nothing watching vintage gay porn,comedy sitcoms,music,daydreaming,loathing myself, see? a lot to do

  74. @ Chagrin D'amour: Wouah, tout un programme, en effet! :p

  75. Wil-- what a great name you have-- I followed this over from our mutual home, RJ, and you're a fascinating read. Like one of your earlier commenters, I as an American feel the guilt of one who can't sympathize. But I also know we all carry our different burdens and the fact that they're heavier somewhere across the ocean doesn't make us feel our own any less.

    That said, I've done, in my small way, some of what you're doing now-- writing in order to dig out from under the rubble of the past. It's a long and deep process, but it doesn't seem you have any trouble being honest with yourself about what's happened to you, and your sense of humor about it all is pretty amazing and speaks volumes about your perspective on your own experience. I hope that soon your words get you through to seeing it is not, in fact, too late. (Where I live you'd be considered incredibly cultured for being trilingual alone; and liking Amelie?! Oh! The friends you'd have.)

  76. Wil,
    forgot to say Thanks for the post on Amelie. I rented it and loved it. Actually got Kevin to watch part of it as well before he went to work and he does not go for foreign films at all. He enjoyed it! Now to get him to sit down to Pan's Labrynth and the million other films I like.

  77. Olson Twins eh....ha~ I have heard everything now~

    It is so nice to hear you compliment yourself about your ability to draw~

    Throughout all of these sharings and supportive thoughts...I have noticed one constant...we all seem to be gaining some type of stremgth from each other.

    In leau (possible typo) of your pains, horrible memories and experiences in your life....by sharing those exact events...look at what you have accomplished.

    Who ever said nothing good comes from bad...has simply never reached out and touched someone in simply just being themselves and ridding themselves of what their past was~

    Onward & Upward~

  78. u have such a traumatic past but u dont seem to be daunted with it, i salute you. i thought i had the bigrst trauma in my life but i was wrong. well, thats the spirit, fight fight and fight!

  79. Wil,
    I continue to remain in awe of your strength and the unyielding force within you pushing you to carry on despite the many tragedies you've been through.
    Do understand we are your virtual family, you are not in this alone.
    Much love to you my most enlightening friend, cheers!

  80. @ Ticklebear....yes, what a pity we can't ALL earn a living at what we love to do best... but one never knows, right? Look at Perez Hilton? :D


  81. @Wilmy.....honestly, I don't deserve the praise you are giving me my briend....but I will take it and run with it! I also hold in my heart the talks we have had. I have to correct one thing though...you have helped me more than I help you...now can you help me stop batting my eyelashes at Brazilian hotties!!!

    P.S. Got my vitamins and joined a fitness center :)

  82. @ angelo di gioia:
    as for perez, never mind!! he's a porker, an overated "celeb"... and annoying beyond belief!!
    oh my! did this sound judgemental?
    as for looking at those brazilian hotties, go ahead!! enjoy!! some of them are damn hot!! what am i saying?!? they're all hot!!!

  83. That's a sad frigging story, dude. I'm sad that you had to go all through that crap. There's gotta be a bright side, though. No?

  84. @ gumbosolo: The notion of tardiness is omnipresent, with domestic violence + sexual abuse arresting my development, civil war robbing me of 10 years of my life, and academic corruption slowing down my ascension by 3 years minimum. So, no matter what I achieve, it will always happen later than planned. So, I am sort of in self-sabotage mode right now. But I appreciate the flattering compliment and thank you for your visit and contribution.

  85. @ Andrea: I am glad you and Kevin liked 'Amelie.' Even if flagged as too cutesy, it is a feel-good movie that never fails to comfort me. Kevin sounds like a good catch and a welcomed match to you. You deserve the happiness, babe! :)

  86. @ Dorothy: Shania Twain did sing "There's no way but up from here," indeed. Oscar Wilde also put it nicely when he said "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." Thank you, Dorothy, for gracing this space with your wisdom. :)

  87. @ imelda: The degree of suffering is relative. I am sure many people have experienced worse things. If we compare ourselves to those in better places, we feel like losers. If we compare ourselves to others in less enviable places, we can get borderline arrogant. The best is to compare one's achievements to one's possibilities and see how these correlate. Thanks for your visit.

  88. @ Kimmy: Speak of a pleasant surprise. Hey, Kimmy! :) What's comforting is thinking that all past trauma is but preparation/conditioning for future world-changing responsibilities. I just hope it will be used positively. Thank you for calling yourself family. It means a lot. :)

  89. @ Angelo: I don't know how I am helping with all the times you threaten to kill me, but all right. :D However, you have every right to charm overalls off of Brazilian hotties. ;)

    P.S. You know of Perez Hilton's existence? Spray-paint me shocked! And FYI, Perez doesn't like blogging. He likes making tons of money by creating hype around celebs.

  90. @ Acadia: The bright side to all of this is the awesomeness of the people who, now, live at this Blog(h)otel. :)

  91. @ Wilmy....just trust me on this one my briend....sometimes things are not as they appear :)

    P>S> I am not a total media turtle you know...:D, and yes, I also know WHAT kind of blogger he is. I should have been a little more specific :)... but thanks for the lowdown.


  92. @ Angelo: I hear somebody is refusing to consider working from home. Whatever happened to those dreams of building empires floating on air? :)

  93. Wil,

    I have to say, I am floored at your honest and wish you the most heartfelt sympathies for all you have experienced in your life. I applaud you, for coming out and telling your story to everyone that has the privilege to read. I have to wonder, if any of this has inhibit you in any way in finding that you have grown or rose above all you have been through? Seeing that you have the power to inspire everyone here in some way to improve and reflect upon certain personal issues in their lives.

    Again, thank you for sharing. There is power in your words. I have become inspired reading from you. Thank you.

  94. @ AIDY: Thank you. Nice of you to say.

    Trauma, in general, slows down progress, and we already know how slow a process progress itself usually is. When trauma hits you in a series, no matter how much you advance, you'll always be (or feel like you are) behind.

    You live in the US. The average 27-year-old American has achieved way more than I did. And I couldn't care less for what the average 27-year-old guy in my country has achieved, because it always hovers around material possessions and bribed entitlement.

    My initial reason for writing this post was to pour my heart out and free it of decades of pain. If it inspires, I'll know it was as beneficial to others as it has been to me. This blog is not just another space filled with words; it is my coming-of-age moment that I delight in sharing with perceptive readers like yourself.

    Thank You :)