We don’t always like the choices we’re given, but what’s beautiful about humanity and this age of being is that happiness and fulfillment are a choice.

TW: suicide, abuse

That morning was a haze. 3 days of no sleep, locked in a room at home with no access to the outside world, I stared at my open wound on my wrist and wondered why have I not gone through with it?

The only things which were keeping me alive for years were taken away, in the blink of an eye. I was no longer master of my universe, they made sure to remind me I never really was.

And yet, and yet, something beyond my comprehension was keeping me alive, and full of hope.

Was it God?

Was it the universe?

Or, was it stubbornness?

I’ve looked for that answer a majority of my life, and failed to find it even then and there. The emptiness persists, yet a beam of light has been shining through it: so small and easily dimmed on those dark days, but consistent and always there.

I then stared, into nothing. I’ve never felt more hopeless nor emptier than I did at that moment, and really couldn’t cry or reflect on the misery I was in.

Numbness is meant to keep us alive, after all.

As I sat there and took in the silence of the morning, I saw her leave the house, my oldest brother followed.

all I recall was my heart clenching.

A rush of anxiety took over me. I could feel every hair in my body rise, there was such a rush I felt my heart was going to pop out of my chest.

Something was wrong.

While to some it’s normal for people to dress up and leave in the morning, my brother was shaven; the man hasn’t shaved or left the house in months, let alone at such early hours with the sun barely up. He was dressed in traditional clad he hardly wore outside of funerals or family gatherings, he was dressed to meet with authority.

A knock on my door snapped me back to reality, but in the 3 days I’ve been in here, no one but her (my mother) came into the room just the day before.

I still recall that moment as she waltzed into the room towards me. She sits next to me and strokes my hair and I feel like my body was slowly being covered with slime.

“My poor girl, you’re suffering. I hate to see you suffer… If only you’d obey me and listen to my demands, then I can make all of this go away”

I mustered whatever energy I had left in me, and using my cut hand, I swatted hers off.

“No”

“You will regret this, jew”

I still take pride in being able to fight back. I was the last of her children to “break” and proved I’d never be.

Hasn’t she realized it by now?

When they broke into my room, beat me up, and told me they’ll be taking away “all the rights we’ve given you so far”

I chose death.

She made sure I knew that my universe is under her control, and unless I do her bidding, I would bever be “free”.

and I chose death.

I chose to take my life before they did.

And that was choice #1

I guess… It was stubbornness that was keeping me alive. and spite.

The door opens, and it was my Yaya, who’s been with us for over 20 years. She has seen me grow up, she has seen first-hand the physical and mental abuse we endured. I never understood why she stayed, but on that day, I was so glad she did.

She brought me breakfast, a cup of juice and a sandwich. But that was not all she brought.

“They’re going to court”

“Did they find my passport?”

“They were looking for your passport, I hid it with me. I also have your spare car key, and your wallet. It is not safe for you here anymore. You must leave.”

At that stage, my whole life collapsed.

The court, in Qatar, issues paperwork such as a “travel ban” on women.

It really didn’t matter how old you were, or what status you held. In some enclaves of the Arab world, guardianship means you’re always someone else’s property.

I briefly cried, without tears in my eyes it felt more like an agonizing scream.

I was already working full-time, and behind their back, studying Law full-time.

They forbade me from studying Law.

“No man would want an overly educated woman”

“You’re getting too old

That day, they took both away.

and now, they wanted to take the world…

What choice have I left. What was there left for me?

I had no friends, she managed to isolate us from society and I never really bothered to fit it.

I had no family, they abandoned us once my father died, and I never heard from them, or desired to, since.

The only things I truly had were my work, my pride, and a large world to explore.

all gone, except…

Choice #2

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