A Life Full of Secrets


Many times I have thought about writing down my memoirs, but thinking about the stories of my life always took me to deep and far pensive thought that my feelings can no longer transform from thoughts in my brain to written words.

Many hours of reflection, of the obstacles and the reluctance, in meagreness and poverty, of attempts at development and success… etc. I felt this is the time to sit down and revisit some of the moments in the past so I can be able to put some of my pain into words and share it publicly. There will be some people who will read about my feelings and tragedies, and can relate. And maybe from there we can start change.

From the beginning of my childhood I was told that I was a very odd person. Whether it was my behaviour, intelligence, emotions or my social relationships. I would always look for the sensitive pieces in those around me so I can interact with them in the gentlest and smartest way that wouldn't hurt them. And it was this quality in me that exposed me to being exploited many times by those closest to me for sexual and materialistic deeds. I was still nine years old when I was sexually assaulted by my brother in front of his friends and then afterwards his friends would force me into having sex with them I tried to refuse a few times, but they threatened to tell every boy in the neighbourhood that they have screwed me if I didn't agree to do it with them. It scared me in a way that I had no choice but to surrender. 

It was because of the uniqueness of my emotions that I would blend in with people around me especially my female friends, because they were confident that I will not harm them in any way which made them trust me. It was also this that led to my male friends to envy me and they were always trying to use me even though I was a nice pure clean young man. 
On top of that I always supported my family both emotionally and financially because I was always working and was an excellent student.

One day I was on my way home from work around a small hill near my home a friend of mine and three other guys railroaded me and beat me up and smashed my scull with a stone and took all the money I had I didn't not even know two of the guys. And then they forced themselves on me in the most violent way.
Now I know why I didn't have it in me to write about my memories because my whole body shiver when I look back at all the bitterness I have been through! What was worse was when I tried to turn to the police for help unfortunately when I told them what had happened to me, they said “What can we do? You like being screwed” as if I brought it on myself! Then another police officer asked his colleague while rubbing his hand against my cheek “What do you say we hold him captive for tonight?”

After that; strange incidents started happening in my life but it was weird because this time I could feel my heart beating and I felt in love! What happened was my friends fell in love with me twice but it didn't last long because of social reasons and one of them was really serious about our relationship but his family forced him to get married because the religious and social structures were really dominant and no one in a Kurdish community had any understanding of sex education let alone homosexual matters.

I was always known as the decent and smart guy. I always passed with excellent grades both in school and college. After graduating I started working at a company whose owner was the brother of a very close friend of mine. I was offered the job six months before getting my degree. But later I understood his intentions, and found out that he likes me! Even though he had a family and two kids; he still wanted me because he had feelings for guys just like me but he had followed the Kurdish traditions and forcibly got married to a woman.

Despite that; I started working and I noticed that he paid way more attention to me than he did to the other employees in the company by giving me a raise and promotion, and even inviting me to sit with his family!

But after a while, I didn’t accept any of the special treatments and the raise in the salary. After one year and a half he called me and confessed that he was crazy about me and would do anything to keep me the way he wants. I asked “What about your wife? How can I look at your kids in the eye? How can I take your money? Is the money an exchange for sex or for the work I do?” After three months of arguing; he threatened that he will accuse me of embezzlement and stealing from the company and destroy my reputation!

 

7 months went by with me feeling upset but fortunately at that time I met a really nice guy through the internet who supported me a lot and told me to ignore what those around me say. But I could no longer handle it and decided to leave the country even though I really loved that guy. I had no choice and the pressure got to me so I decided to turn to one of the countries in Asia to pursue my education leaving behind the guy whom I truly loved.

There and at the age of 22 I didn't know exactly what it meant for two guys to be in love and how it is perceived in the outside world! For that I started to get to know myself step by step and started to get to know the gay world especially through science then I thoroughly got to know my feelings and emotions.
There, I met a really educated and handsome guy and we were together for a period of two and a half years. I learned a lot of beautiful things from that guy concerning all aspects of life but after I had finished my study I had to go back to my country. I still remember the way me and my boyfriend were weeping onto each other during my departure at the airport and reminisce in the good times with smiles and tears!

I came to the realisation that us gays because we are from Iraq; we can never be happy. We don’t have the opportunity of living abroad, and we can’t live in our own country because we face so many questions from people ask about everything. Starting from what you do and eat, and ending with why I’m not married! Which is a question that I have no answer to. This kind of life affects us mentally and emotionally. That’s why when I hear stories about guys killing themselves in my city; I believe it. Because I know we can’t be who we are, and can never live the way we want

After finishing my study I went back to Kurdistan and attempted at developing my scientific researches focusing on cancer and kids with special needs which is why I was invited to many countries to develop my abilities and exchange ideas, and that made me, my family and Kurdistan proud .

After some time of being in Kurdistan, and going to the gym, I ran into an old friend there. He waved his hand at me and said “You are back?! Oh how much I missed you!” We hugged and that brought back a lot of feelings inside of me. I think inside both of us. From time to time he would say “Ugh how long do we have to stay in this country? I wish we could leave this place soon and live together away from everyone. Would our dream come true?” And I would take a deep breath and say “If we have each other's backs; all of our dreams will come true. It won't be easy, but we can't give up until our last breath.” He laughed and said “God you are so cute! Give me a kiss come on!”. That was the first night we kissed and hugged after six months reconnecting and getting close.

After that we shared everything from joy to sadness, we even started supporting each other financially. When I first went back, I wasn’t doing well financially but he supported me a lot until I got back on my feet and be able to settle.

Every time I got an invite to travel outside of the country; I would choose the most beautiful thing to buy for him, he would always want to pay me back for it because he knew how broke I was, he was so sensitive. Our best times were when we traveled together and it was his first time getting out of the country, and I remember his mom telling me to take care of him, that her whole life depends on him because his dad had died a long time ago. 

 

After four years of being together, I had to leave again to pursue my PhD. and that was the start of a lot of heartbreak and sadness! We even started planning that he’d get into another program in the same country.

The closer my departure was; the more we spent time together. We spent the last few days in my room, taking so many pictures. It was like we felt like we’re not going to meet again.
I went to the airport with my family and some close friends. It was very hard for me to say goodbye. I hugged them so many times. And with teary eyes he said “We certainly should live for each other, we can’t give up, right?” … God! Thinking back at those times make me want to hit my head against the wall so I can shed a tear. If I knew it was my last time looking into your eyes I would have never left you and wouldn’t have let us go through all that pain!

Days went by and I settled in my place. One day I was missing him, and asked if he could send me those pics that we took before I left! He sent a few pictures from our last night together that we took without clothes. When I saw them I cried really hard, I screamed and called him! He then went to eat and said that he’ll be back after that. Then I suddenly got a message from his Facebook account! It made my stomach clench! His older brother was writing and saying things like  “What are these pictures? We trusted you but you violated our brother? If I had you in front of me right now I would kill both of you with one bullet!”

- Right now while writing this story; my tears are blurring my view and my whole body is shivering! Telling the story is easy but going through that tragedy that we went through, not a lot of people can keep it together at such times! - 

I was continuously crying and afraid to contact anyone. I was hoping nobody would hear about it.
After four days one of my brothers called me and insulted me in every possible way. He said “This is our educated son? The son we were all proud of? You faggot! If I knew you were a faggot I would have killed you with my own hands before you left!”.
Things couldn’t get worse. Now all my family know, everyone knows. But the only thing that mattered to me was the safety of my boyfriend!

After a few weeks one of my close friends contacted me and said that he knew everything, he told me that my boyfriend has ran away, his mom helped him so his older brother wouldn't kill him, and that my family is aware of the whole thing and the problem is really big. He said that my boyfriend went to him asking for help, and that he gave him money to run away to Turkey.

Knowing that my boyfriend is safe eased my money a bit, but I was still very worried that problems between my family, and my boyfriend’s conservative family would develop into a rivalry.
I kept sending messages to my boyfriend on Facebook, until one day he answered me out of nowhere and said “Don't worry about me, I am doing really well in Turkey, I have made a few friends and have paid for a boat with a few other families, and we’re planning to go to Italy. 

The idea of him traveling through the sea where a lot of people are drowning was terrifying. I tried to convince him to seek asylum through one of the embassies or UN agencies, but he suddenly went offline. I completely lost touch, I couldn't eat or sleep, I went through hell! 

One day a friend of mine who had helped my boyfriend contacted me and said that my boyfriend's mother has had a stroke and now is unconscious, her sons threatened her and beat her up because she helped my boyfriend run away! I said “I swear if my boyfriend finds out he will go back immediately, I hope he doesn't find out. Because I know him and I know how much he loves his mother”

My anticipation was correct, a few days after that my boyfriend sent me a message and said that he heard about what happened to his mother, and that he will go back and not care about what happens to him. He said that he’s in Germany now, and that he will try to get the proper documents to go back as soon as possible. I didn’t know what to think! His brothers are threatening him, my brothers kept threatening me. He went back, and I haven’t heard from him since. I am afraid to go back because of our families and not being able to afford going back. 

We haven't done anything wrong, we are humans who have different desires. Our friendships and connections with other people prove that we are very good people and we are always helping others around us. I’m a promising young science researcher, and it’s hard to find someone with my skills in such a young age, but because I have different feelings and that I’m gay, people look down on me.
But I’m strong, and I believe in myself and won’t lose hope. I will keep fighting. And I want to tell my boyfriend:

I’m waiting for you..
Our dreams will certainly come true one day..
Be certain I await you..