Confessions of a Saudi Diva: FAQ’s about Life Challenges

life challenges

life challenges

I’m a firm believer that there’s no point in dwelling over the past or remembering negative life challenges and stories or even talking about them.

At the same time, I feel that I need to do something to heal and renew my soul. We all have negative life challenges whether from difficult parents, toxic relationships or major life traumas. I personally don’t like to discuss these bad memories or incidents. This is because I believe that this only refuels them. It helps them re-appear again in my life, which is the last thing that I want.

However, this blog and its culture posts offer some form of therapy for me and insight for my readers. Therefore, I feel like I should write about some of my past life challenges. Who knows, maybe if I get them out of my system and onto this site I will be at more peace with myself and those around me.

I grew up in a dysfunctional family. My parents didn’t really get along yet they were living under the same roof. Both my parents were very controlling, massively over-protective and extremely self-centered. As I mentioned in a previous post, I always had financial support but no emotional support. This hasn’t changed until today.

My mother would make the Philipina housekeeper tag along wherever I went, even at the mall. And no I wasn’t a child or a teenager at that point. I was actually in my mid and late twenties 🙂

At 17,  I wanted to go to an all-girls summer school. However, she made my middle sister attend the course and join me just so that I wouldn’t go there alone. The funniest thing was the fact that my middle sister was above the age range for that school. Nevertheless, they took her anyway since they mainly care about profit so the age wasn’t an issue. Another ironic thing was that my sister was the epitome of an introvert. She was extremely anti-social, shy and introverted. LOL

Despite that, she didn’t say a single word to my mom about not wanting to attend summer school with me or preferring to stay at home and not socialize. I guess she was too scared from my mother’s strong character and bossy attitude.

When I went to University of Bahrain, my eldest sister was finishing off her masters degree at the same University. So we would commute together from home to Bahrain on the causeway for a one-hour or more drive. But then my sister was done with her studies at that University (and I guess wasn’t working or job hunting) and guess what? She continues to join me in the commute to Bahrain a couple of days a week (as per my mother’s strict instructions). Actually, she enjoyed it because it gave her something to do. She felt like the big responsible sister (and boss). She was extremely influenced by my mother’s personality and even saw her as an ideal.

My parents weren’t social. They lived in a bubble of their own creation. That way, they could control us as they liked since we had no idea of what was going on in the world around us. That’s why, we grew up so sheltered and naive. These days, I try to socialize more often, but I still need time for myself every now and then. Because socializing on a daily basis drains me and makes feel tired and exhausted.

I’ll never forget that time when I asked my mom when it would be OK for me to travel on my own. I was in my early to mid twenties at the time. Her response was: “when you’re forty.”

Now before you fall off the chair laughing, let me clarify that quote to you. Basically, because she was a highly controlling and over-protective person, she couldn’t fathom the idea of any of us being independent or living our life to the fullest. So as a way to protect us, she would set these strict and unrealistic rules that we need to follow. The reason she chose the age of freedom as forty is because she’s fully aware that by then, any woman would be too tired or mature to do any crazy things or live her life to the fullest and have a great time while doing so. She had a point, a very valid one too. (joke).

In eight days, I turn 36. Did I manage to do some solo travel since leaving home? I would say that I have done a couple of nice trips, but since I was too focused on career and making it in the city, I didn’t do much traveling. These days, I have a very strong passion for wellness travel. I want to do all types of wellness retreats and healing-centered trips. It feels like I need at least five years of that just to regain part of what was lost in my years growing up with difficult and manipulative parents.

The same goes for life experiences. I need to have an overdose of “ordinary” life experiences just to build a solid and confident character like everyone else. I’m trying hard to reverse the damage and the lack of independence by putting myself out there and taking as many life lessons and hits as I can. And despite it being a few years since I left home, I tell you that I’m no where close to achieving that target.

We all need time for ourselves, space to recover and heal from past life challenges, traumas or negative situations beyond our control. How do you go about healing yourself? do you practice yoga? Reiki? energy-healing? Ayurveda? or do you just replace bad memories with good ones and try to move on?

Eid Mubarak…

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1 Comment

  • Nada says:

    Hi Iqbal,
    Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to read my culture posts. I actually just got back from a wellness retreat in Bali and I will be writing about it soon. I would love to visit an authentic ayurvedic clinic. Thanks for sharing the link.

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