A Tale of Death .. A Tale of Life

What I want to write is the story of my own life. A story that is more death friendly and is close to death rather than life. Death doesn’t find itself only in the form that people see in general, death appears in different forms and in every inch of life and existence. When you breathe, eat, and drink that is life. But at the same time when you feel your own absence, absence not in a physical context but in a metaphoric context, it means that you feel your existence and lack of it at the same time and there isn’t any meaning left in your life, this is a kind of death that you feel and notice. I have had this type of feeling for the period of twenty five years. That there is no meaning to my existence, I wasn’t brought to this world to live and feel alive, but I was brought so I can feel death and rewrite death with my life.

The start and development of this feeling was hand in hand with my growing up and association with the outside society. I remember those times when I was still a five year old kid with my friends we played with remainings of war weapons or sticks and stones, since our childhood was during the civil war in Kurdistan; aside from these things we didn't have anything else. At those times I was a blonde kid with light skin and pinkish cheeks, and was raised with tender, and that is because I got sick from the age of two and I was watched carefully by my family.

And that era which was the era of the upraising of the Kurdish nation in 1991, access to hospitals and medications were really scarce and my family was losing hope but after a long time I got better. And with growing up and opening myself up to the society and being out with the neighborhood kids I was given the nickname "Sibel Can" because of my beauty and delicacy (Sibel Can is a beautiful Turkish singer), and beside that during playing with some of my friends especially those older than me would hold my cheek and kiss it, at that time I didn't understand any of this. What was that feeling that I felt?

These thoughts became an uncomfortable mental issue for me that made me go outside less than before, because every time I went out these things happened again. And because of this I was associated more with the girls my age in the neighborhood. But my association and getting along with them gave me a nice feeling, especially that they never hurt me.

After all this a feeling started growing inside of me that was different from a masculine feeling, many years of pain and fear later I discovered this feeling was "homosexuality". In my childhood I never had the ability to distinguish these feelings and I could never talk about it, because these feelings were forbidden and not allowed in an eastern and Islamic society like the Kurdish society, as it had strict consequences which is why I had to carefully watch my behavior and speech. 

We had a neighbor who had two sons my age and I was very close with them, during summer nights they would sleep on the roof and I would visit them most of the time and we would play until late at night. At that time I was about nine years old, and they had a brother who was nearly fourteen years old, one night their older brother came up and told me "Come sleep on my bed until my brothers come and hide under my bed" I trusted what he said and went with him. Under the sheets he reached his hands to me and started touching me, to be honest;  I had a good a good feeling that I had never felt before, but I was really scared, scared of what could happen, so I had no choice but to push him away and "defend" myself because  if his brothers walked in on us or his family saw what we were doing, we would face severe consequences.
But he was stronger than me, he held me tight and we became intimate. He promised he won't tell anyone, and for my own reassurance I asked him again not to tell anyone. In a short period of time we repeated this a few times and it gave me a lot of pleasure and I was eager to doing it.

One day their house was empty and he invited me home and hugged me from behind, then he took off my clothes and hugged me. I had an overwhelming feeling, my heart was racing, my whole body was shivering, and my mind went crazy, after a while I felt wetness on my back, up until then I had no idea what "cuming" is and I thought he had peed on me, and my dark days started from there and everything changed between us and my fears multiplied moment after moment.

He broke his promise and told this to one of his relatives, and both of them started threatening me with revealing the truth to the entire neighborhood and my older brothers, and I didn't have the power to protect myself from this in any way, for the sake of protecting my reputation and my family's and my own safety I had no choice but to do what they asked for.

After a short while this got around between the neighborhood boys and they all called me a faggot and anyone who wanted to have sex with me they would threaten to tell my brothers about it and leave me no choice but to obey, they all knew that my weakest point was threatening to tell my brothers and revealing this secret to them because they all knew revealing this meant ruining reputation, and in Kurdish societies no wreckage of reputation will go away without blood and at the end of this my punishment would be nothing but death. That reality is still true now. And if it has changed for any other matter; for homosexuality and sex it has stayed the same. And since then I entered a life filled with the taste, color and smell of death. 

I knew that I had to live in a life of being scared and petrified, a life where death is in my every second and every angle and hanging on to my silhouette. This fear got bigger day after day until at the end I become a really introvert person and apart from going to school all of my time was spent at home and even my going to school was done with great fear and I would secretly go through other neighborhoods away from the people who had asked me for sex, or I would leave the house with a few friends who despite knowing all those things still respected me.

Everytime I walked home alone I would remember those threats. Every time I went to school I remembered the first school I went to, to learning my first letters of the alphabet, because every time I remembered that I remembered one of the worst days, when two guys with the worst manner attacked me in the school bathroom, and aside from the pain, I didn’t' feel anything else. and aside from crying I had nothing else in my power.

These actions perpetuated day after day because of being scared and threatened, and despite all the efforts I was taking into protecting myself and keeping myself away, reputation in eastern societies are tied with love and sex which can only be between a guy and a girl with the approval of their families, which in my opinion is one of the sacred gifts that god gave as a curse to these societies. People who don't follow these rules are sentenced to be killed to maintain the honor of that family as a part of their religion in a  Kurdish society.

I got my acceptance to study in college, and fortunately this meant getting way from my city and going to a college dorm. 
My friends in college were really good and respected me a lot, I didn't know what would happen if they knew what has been done to me before, how they would react, but I put all my effort into not letting them sense anything.

At second stage of college I was in a deep mental problems, because my past was always becoming an obstacle in front of the dreams and plans I had for my life. During the period of college I visited two psychologists to get help and to escape my mental crisis. But because I never spoke about the real issues all the treatments were temporary. 

After college I visited a female psychologist, without mentioning the real issues, and I described the obstacle in my life.
She asked about the real obstacle and said what is the real issue?
I told her if she only wants to treat me with a drug prescription then it is better that I leave!
She said until I know the real issue I can't find a good treatment.

Talking about the issue for me was not an easy thing to do. I was sobbing and my eyes were filled with tears. I wanted to talk about it a number of times, but it was like there was a lump in my throat and I was losing my ability to speak. The psychiatrist said "You are in a safe place, and beside me; no one else would know of the things you talk about, and to talk about it close your eyes or look at the wall and pretend I am not here, and that you are talking to yourself". I did just that and talked about that worm that has been eating off my brain from my childhood. After a long conversation she said "You have the right to legally press charges against them because legally rape is against the law, this act is a shame on their part not yours because they did the inhumane and unethical thing." I refused this route and I didn't want the problem to go to court, because this would lead to people knowing about my problem. She then suggested that I write down those incidents as a story, read it a few times or she would read it to me.

After a few months of taking daily treatment I was starting to feel better I was starting to feel the impact of the assaults diminishing that was taking over my life before, with getting better and escaping the mental suffering another feeling was growing inside my brain without shame and guilt but this was still a secret because people's view about homosexuality hadn't changed.

After these incidents I started a new life with a much more calm mentality. Since then the idea of writing those incidents like a story or a novel was stuck in my head for the sake of contributing and displaying lives full of fear and bad luck. The lives of homosexuals!

While I was thinking of all this, I met my first love. The first in my life that had the same interests and hobbies as me. Because of the society; in a way his past was similar to mine. Without feeling fear or guilt we became two people in true love and each other's halves. For a few months, we secretly continued and our love and respect for each other was above all. But after that because of the recession and the political crisis in Kurdistan which started fall of 2015, he and many other young people in the country took off to the countries in Europe and now he is living in one of those countries as an immigrant. 

During twenty five years of my life this is the first time that I have felt such relief and happiness. And his departure hasn’t had a bad influence on me beside except my longing to meet him again and start a life with him. I don’t know what the future holds for me but after all this, I have found my way, and I have to work for the sake of homosexuals and show those images that society doesn’t want to see and deem shameful, and whether I do this secretly or publicly, I have to do it.

Despite knowing that if I was ever outed to my family my punishment will be death. I have to continue. I don't bring shame on anyone and I do not feel ashamed. I want to be seen the way I want, and I will work for a free society, free not just in a political sense but free in all its meanings for everyone. 

For all that... I want to say "Thank you" to my psychologist that lighted the way for me. I want thank my boyfriend and tell him that I hope we will meet again.