Well, I have decided to
open-up a little more to this wonderfull Community and tell a little bit more about
my dark days, specially my teen years, colledge and my work and addiction to online games, which led to my final collapse or breakdown that I went through leading up to my two suiside attempts in 2004 and last year. this might be a very boring long read so bewarned, I apologize for that.
My parents did a good job of raising me, they were kind, warm, protective and they have given me everything that I ever wanted. I had a warm & clean place to stay in, food on the table and they were good rolemodels too. there was no problem there.
The first time I noticed something was wrong, I was 7, and some boy at school
opened my pants and touched me in private places, I wasn't sure what he was doing at the time and didn't tell anyone about
it, I thought it was just a one-time thing and it won't happen again but I was so wrong. when I was 8 I remember boys following me while I walk home from school to my home, I didn't know why, they were teasing me and making fun of me and how I look, I didn't know what it meant at the time, and I didn't know what they wanted. as I grew older things became more clear, in school I was labeled to look like a girl. when I was 10 people in and out of school said I looked like a girl. I knew I was a boy and I didn't understand why would they say that about
me. I didn't tell my parents about
it because I was too ashamed of them knowing this so I tried to act as if everything is normal but they eventually found out.
Things started to get worse as I got older, by the time I was 14 boys started
openingly, even infront of other boys ask me to have sex with them. boys at my class would make fun of how I look every single day, I got so used to the idea that I started to accept the situation. I was kind of a shy person so I could not defend myself infront of them, I didn't know any smart comebacks so I accepted being teased, I even started to imagine that I might be a girl who is traped in a boy's body. at home when my parents are out I started to cross-dress, I wondered what it would be like to a girl, I was really confused and scared I didn't know what I was anymore. even my close friends, instead of defending me from the other boys who I could not defend myself from started making fun of me too, they even wrote a song about
me , that says I get raped by 3 boys in an abandoned house and they keep singing that song to me over and over untill I get sick of it. my parents eventually found out about
what was happening through the school conseler who was very concerned about
me. the school conceler used to ask me if someone was touching me , I was afraid to tell but eventually I did so he asked me to tell the story to the school principal, I showed him where I was touched and all he did was just give a small speech to the boy who did it and nothing happened.
Well the nightmare ended when I was 18 and left school and that wreched town. the place I studied school in was saudi arabia, and later-on I understood why all the boys were doing that to me, it's because all goverment schools in saudi arabia like the one I attended separate boys from girls, girls are shut -out from boys in saudi arabia in general and boys end-up having a gay life throughout school. I thought that I looked like a girl but in truth it was just the sick society in saudi arabia that made me think that way. so when I was 18 I moved to jordan and started my colledge life leaving all that bad history behind me , well at least for a periond of time. I lived a decent colledge life, lots of friends fun and hobbies, but I wasn't good with the girls so I had only male friends. after being shut-out from girls for 18 years I didn't know how to deal with them at all, and plus I was very shy I would tremble in fear if a girl decides to talk to me and I would just be speechless.
but the nightmare came back, when I graduated and was ready for work, my parents who were still in saudi arabia urged me to go back and find a job there, I didn't want to do that I wanted to find a job in jordan because I didn't want to go back to that place ever again, but knowing you get paid 10 times as much for the same job if you work in saudio arabia, and after much persuasion from my parents and my uncle I decided to give it a shot. and so I did, I found a job with a reputable computer company, but it was never eazy. I had to spend about
4 months working with no pay, before starting to get a low paycheck, just half of what a graduate would get as per company standards and policy. I had to work twice as much as everyone else just to get noticed, it took me 3 years to get noticed and get a the standard pay-check a new graduate gets when he joins the company, I impresed my managers greatly offering to do stuff outside my job descript
ion, staying late everyday and offering to help anyone in any project that needs help. but that wasn't enough to impress the saudi branch manager who had his eye on me the day he took office, which was 6 months after I started working. he would yell at me for no reason, call me names and make fun of me at every oppurtunity he gets. he wanted me out of company to make room for his fello saudi people, I can understand how he feels that I am am outsider and it would the country good to have a saudi take my place, but I worked hard and I thought I derseved my position because of my contributions to the company. things really got started going bad after I got my promotion and the standard pay-check that a new graduate would get, so he started inventing new ways embarasing me and putting me down. on wednesday the branch usually gathers for breafast and infront of everyone he told me to take a cucumber, I told him I didn't want one but he said take it , you need it so you can shove it up your ***. I was so humilated by that specially it was infront of all the employees, he continued this behavouir with me, started to tease me on how I look like a girl etc remiding me of all my bad days at school that I thought I had put behind me. it was clear that it was either me or him in that company, but he's the branch manager and he is well connected to the owners of the company, I told my managers about
this but there is nothing they could do to stop him. he kept complaning about
me that I don't work hard enough and that I should be replaced, I fought back working harder, as much as I could to proove him wrong and proove to my managers that he was just a lier. things kept going worse though, when I was promoted I was given the title "system engineer" and I was supposed to work on the technical stuff within a team of 2 supporting the whole country. but my american coulegue who was handeling the sales side informed that he is quiting because he is fed up also with that branch manager and the lowpay he is getting, he had found another job in australia and my managers decided that I should take over the sales responsibilites as well as the technical ones untill they find a replacement for the sales guy. after my american colluge had left, things became really hairy, I had to cover sales for 3 cities while also trying to be a system engineer working on technical issues. I was torn apart, I was doing installation, maintenance, writing proposals, following up on marcketing leads in 3 cities. what's worse is that the branch manager knew about
this and used it against me , started complaining that I am useless to his branch where I am actually based and that I spend more time working on other cities, so after 5 years my managers decided I should move to head office and away from that branch manager. it sounds like a good thing but it wasn't, it was known that the well connected branch manager was going to become the CEO soon, it was only a matter of time, so if I moved to the head office I won't be safe. so I decided it's time to look for other options, I also didn't want to re-locate to another city as I had great support in my city from relatives, friends and activites I used to go aerobics classes and play football with my friends on every weekend so I was happy there I didn't want to loose all of this, so I found the perfect opportunity, a co-worker had left the company to form another competing company so I jumped ship with them after 5 years, some of my conditions were a more decent salary which I got, and also not to be re-located from my city.
Sadly after joining the new company, and after 1 month going by, I was put in a project in riyadh, the capital in saudi arabia. not knowing anybody there and not knowing how long I would stay there I didn't make any freinds or try to indulge in any activites I stayed at home, everyday I came back from work to an empty appartment, no friends no life this is when depression started kicking in I think but I didn't reliaze it was depression. I noticed I started to cry at night for no apparent reason, I started making long distance calls to my parents to feel comfortable but as soon as I droped the phone I would feel empty and alone. there was no way to meet women in riyadh, as I said because women are shutoff in saudi arabia. they even would not let me in the mall on weekends because it's for families and couples only. I started getting really boared then I found this add on TV about
an online game, a role-playing game with a viritual world and community of people. I thought I'd give it a shot and I'm sorry that I did. I have played video games all my life in a controlled manner not distrupting my life or stoping me from doing my dututies or responsibilaties so I thought it would be ok to try an online game what could be wrong in that? yes I did feel bad knowing that I was 29 at the time and thinking that I might be too old to think about
games but I told myself what other things I could do here in Riyadh? it was boring here and it sounded better than watching the usual boring TV all night. so I started playing this online game, at first I would spend an hour or so then get boared then do something else or watch TV then go to sleep so I can wake-up the next day for work. slowly this game started creeping up to me, the hours increased, and I started to meet new friends online through the game, we even formed our own clan inside the virtual world like everyone else was doing who was playing the game, we started to have scheduals, we had our own website and forum organizing things soon I was the clan co-leader and our clan was growing. my hours on the game started to increase more and more as my responsibialties inside the game also grew. I started to think about
what I am going to do inside the game while I was at work. work slowly started to get less and less interesting everyday. my job was once so exciting and I always felt energatic and full of enthusiasmin now it seemed dull and boring. I stoped staying late at work, when it's five o'clock I am out of there, and if there was a business dinner I would be so upset about
it because it meant i will be behind in the game. the game started owning me , more and more I used to get very high adrelanin rushes throught my body while playing specially if there is a fight between the clans or a big event. the game started consuming me and I didn't feel it. I started loosing wieght, and even going down the stairs I feel dizzy sometimers because of the little food I was eatung. suddenly I noticed I was living in a shell, which is the game and everything else seems to get in the way, not just work but eating and sleeping. I started to sleep less and less, I would sleep at 4 AM durring weekdays, wakeup at 9 AM go late for work, my manager wasn't very happy about
this and complained many times but I didn't listen I just made up exscuses, he was a good friend so kept giving me chances and covering for me with the CEO because he beleaved in me, he knew what I once was and how I used to work so hard in the old company and knew that I should be able to get things toghether, but he was so wrong. for 2 years this continued, and even though I was always late for work I still worked hard durring those hours, but it was not hard enough because I was loosing focus half the time, now that I look at it I was like a drug-user, nothing more and nothing less. my mind was screaming with pain and exaustion from the lack of sleep and too much going on for too long, for 2 years I kept killing myself slowly, at work and at home. I even abused the weekends, which were thursday and friday for us, when I get back from work on wednesday I would keep playing till I fall apart and cannot see the computer screen anymore usually at thursday afternnon. then I collapse into my bed but I can't fall alseep for hours because my body is so exausted and worn-out while I keep thinking of the game, eventually I would fall asleep but only sleep a few hours before I wake-up again early friday morning and jump on the game again, then collapse again at 5 AM saturday morning to my bed then wake up a few hours later at 9 AM to goto work, feeling confused and tiered and not interested in work at all just wanting to sleep more. I would do this every weekend, I stoped calling my parents and they started getting worried about
me but I told them everything is ok they wanted to come visit me but I said no, I didn't want anyone to come to my home and see me like this, I felt it was better if things continued as they are because I was also so into my addiction. eventually these crazy weekends started taking their toll on me and one weekend I just could not goto work on saturday morning, because after playing so much I could not sleep at all, and was feeling dizzy and my mind was racing with thoughts about
the game, so I decided I should call sick, that was the first time I lied about
being sick, I just wanted to relax I felt it was ok to do that because I was in no shape to go to work in my condition. so I slept that day durring the working hours, woke-up and continued playing, the next day I went to work as usuall. this started to happen more offten not every single week end but on average two times a month. co-workers started to visit me at home on such days to see how I am doing, they were worried about
me , I lied to them and pretended to be sick. but I think they knew something was wrong. co-workers started to show me that they care, they were nice to me and they tried to understand what is going with my life, they knew I was staying late but they didn't know what I was doing, I lied to them I told them I was just chatting with online friends. it felt bad, but for me it was just another justification so I could continue my addiction. all their efforts failed and I continued doing what I was doing. one day I had one of those really bad weeekends, so bad I could not go to work for a second day, also calling sick. my client who was upset for me not showing up for two days in a row while there was a critical project with dealines underway urged me by phone to show up to work but I said I could not, it was imposible, he complained to my managers they tried to persuade me also but I told them I can't, I was so worn out I decided that maybe I need a break from work because I am not feeling well. so I asked my manager for leave without pay, he beged me not to do that, because they can't find another person to replace me in such a short notice and they have dealines for the project, but at the time I didn't care, I think all what I wanted was to stop working and spend more time on the game and sleeping, my job started to feel pointless to me since I have saved a decent amount of money anyway, so I told him I must go on unpayed leave wheather he likes it or not, that day I think I lost a good friend of mine, my old manager who always covered for me and protected me and helped me in my career. we would still be friends but not the same as we used to. so I got my unpayed leave as I wanted.
I left saudi arabia and moved in with my parents in jordan, I got my computer with me so I can play there too, I spent all my time playing and they quickly understood what is happening and what I didn't tell them. they knew I was addicted and sick and needed help, I denied it and just ignored them, but just to please them I saw a doctor a few times but didn't follow up much. after 3 months of playing, I decided to go back to work, so that I can get my parents off my back. so I went back this time I said to myself I will control how much time I spend on the game so that it won't distrupt my life, but again I was so wrong. it only took one month for my manager to notice that I am back to my old habbits again, and he told me upfront if you continue this road I cannot commit you to any projects specialy after what you did to the last one where you left us hanging by a thread. sadly I didn't listen, one day he called me up, and told me I'm sorry but I cannot cover you anymore, the CEO knows you are going late to work since the client sent a compalint letter, we are letting you go there is nothing I can do, it was only a month after going back to work and I didn't get payed for that month. instead of feeling sorry for myself I just felt everything is ok and afterall I could just play the game and nobody bothers me here, so I spent 4 months playing untill my residence in saudi arabia finished and I had to leave, so I picked up my stuff and my computer and headed again to my parents in jordan, continued to play games for another 4 months untill may parents went almost crazy, yelling and shouting at me everyday but I ignored everything they said untill out of the blue one day, 3 guys came to my room picked me up from my computer in my bejamas, and put me in a hospital as per my parents request.
at the hospital I felt so humiliated, and was angry at my parents. I refused to co-perate to the doctors, and they made me stay involitarily for a month, and after that told my parents to make sure I stay away from the internet for 6 months. even when I was out of the hospital, back at home I felt i was in jail. after living 3 years dependant on the internet, now I have to sneak out of the house and goto an internet caffee just to connect with my online friends and see how they are doing. my game account was still there waiting for me , i started feeling like I'm crazy, I had all these thoughts about
the game racing through my mind all the time and I could not play not even for a minute because I could only do that from my PC where the game is installed and our house was disconnected from the internet as per the doctor's orders. I kept begging my parents for 6 months and I refused to do anything productive in my life, untill finally I started getting better and slowly my parents convinced me to seek work. luckly enough for for me , one of my co-workers
opened a branch for my old company in jordan, I met him and things started to look bright again, I was sober for 6 months and now I back to work again. I felt a little rusty though after what I have bin through. sadly only after a few months at work I managed to convince my doctor and my parents to play the game again, you see I never lost my lust for the game and my account was still there waiting for me , and all my online friends where wondering where I was and so I managed to start playing again , but the doctor said I should play no more than 2 hours per day. but that was not enough for me , so I made a deal with my parents that I would play 4 hours every other day because the game activities cannot be done with less than 4 hours at a time. so I continued working and playing for a number of years, even though the hours where strick I was still thinking about
the game while I was at work and most of the day anyway. even on the days where I was not playing I still secretly contacted my online friends by e-mail or forum just to plan things and organize things. I only lasted for 2 years working this company in jordan untill the manager had to stop my pay, because I was not perfomring very well, which is because of my lack in interest in work. in 2008 my parents and uncle persuaded me to go to egypt to see a famous doctor there, only it was a trick, after I landed in the airport I was taken to a hospital there , and stayed for 4 months of rehabitalation to get my life in order.
I got back from egypt, got back to work for 2 months with the same company I was in but no pay because they could not find me a project to work on, that was my manager's execuse, and I was not comfortable with the line of work I was in , so I decided to quit and find another job, today I am sober for year now, and been looking for a job for the past 5 months with no luck.
that's my story..
Post Edited (Akram) : 5/2/2009 2:39:41 AM (GMT-6)