28 Aug 2016

I have a past.

‘I have a past’, I said.

It sounded strange, I felt awkward as soon as I uttered it, as if I was a fugitive or someone with a juvenile offence record.

I met with a group of single parents I found on Google meetups. The group is all about single parents with young children meeting up at fun places in Dubai to keep the little ones entertained and to provide support for one another, conscious of the fact that a lot of single parent families are immigrants and in most cases without friends and family in the city.

I was talking to one of the single mothers and she asked me where I was from, I explained that I was originally from Kuwait, but that I just moved here from the UK ‘I didn’t want to go back to Kuwait, I sort of.. I sort of have a past there, a past I don’t want to return to’. She nodded empathically and I felt something in me break.

I looked at all those single mothers; young, beautiful, highly intelligent, all leading successful careers and all fed up! Fed up with the stupidity of men, the abuse in all its forms physical, mental and emotional. Fed up with men’s laziness, their lack of appreciation, the lies, the dishonesty, the cruelty, the endless lame excuses. Fed up after years of being taken for granted, after years of juggling the responsibilities, the house, the children, the jobs, the finances. Fed up with cultural expectations and social conditioning, fed up with taboos and shame and stigmas.

We all had to die a thousand times in order to learn how to live, I thought, as I watched those young mothers take their children’s hands and play, carefree and happy. We all had to say yes, be buried under a million wrong yeses before we finally learned how to say no. But once we’ve tasted the power, the sweet power of saying no, there was no turning back. Men suddenly became small, irrelevant, a boring after thought not
worth the mental energy, a sad little play thing no longer of any interest.