“Every pain, every loss and every sorrow takes us on a path to evolve.”
I am a queer woman who was born and raised in Iran between the late 60s and late 80s and I was molested by three different men from the ages of 5 to 10. This put me on a path of self-discovery and taught me resilience.
From a very young age, I knew I didn’t fit in but I never knew why I was different. My parents loved me unconditionally but I felt trapped inside my body. When I was five I had my first encounter with a child molester who was a friend of the family. He threatened me that if I told my parents they would give me away and I would never see them again.
I was scared but for the longest time, I thought maybe I liked to be molested, maybe I enjoyed it. He finally moved on and left me alone. Then two years later, it happened again with a distant relative who was in his 20s at the time. By this time I knew not to tell anyone because he’d move on eventually, which he did.
Three years later, my aunt’s husband found me alone and there it was again. Only this time my parents found out and decided to keep me away from being alone with him. They never told my aunt though, nor did they confront the man who did it.
They wanted to protect my aunt so her marriage wouldn’t end. They wanted to protect the family’s reputation, too. Many knew but they all kept quiet. After that, I went to bed every night and begged God to take me away. I tried to kill myself when I was 14 by taking painkillers from my dad’s medicine cabinet. I lived with shame and resentment for years. Partially because I felt too weak to stand up for myself and partially because I knew if I continued to be attracted to women and my mother found out, it would kill her.
I left Iran when I was 21. My parents moved to Canada after me. Finally, when I was 30, my mother (after many failed attempts to get me to marry a man) asked me: Are you gay? What happened next came as a shock. I told her I was. She looked at me and said, “Why did you have to carry this weight alone for so many years? Don’t you know how much I love you? Don’t you know how much your father loves you? We love you unconditionally.” Then she held me in her arms and we both cried. My parents’ love gave me hope.
I embraced meditation, spirituality, and writing. As I write stories I laugh and I cry and each time I write I learn a little more about life. Each time I write I travel in between time and space. Every pain, every loss and every sorrow takes us on a path to evolve.
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