Hello. It’s time to share my ultimate secret with the world.
My name is Khalid.
I’m from Qatar.
I’m married to the most beautiful angel in the entire universe.
And I’m afraid of the world. Terrified. Petrified. So scared to the point where I created different identities depending on where I am in the world.
And now I decided to not be afraid anymore.
Let me tell you the story behind my breakdown.
Tuesday, September 11 2001.
I was 12 years old.
I was recording a radio show in Qatar. (I used to record and present radio shows in Arabic).
The sound engineer cut the sound. “The white house was blown” he said.
The first image that came to mind was that of alien ship in Independence Day blowing up the white house.
I didn’t have nay reaction but shock and confusion; “what does this mean?”
Muslims became an enemy. People with similar backgrounds to mine are terrorists.
“Am I a terrorist?” I kept wondering. “Am I a bad guy?”
My dream of going to college in the US was shattered. Why? “Because they’ll strip search me in the airport in front of everyone”. I’m too fat and self-conscious about my body image to be humiliated in front of people.
My skin tone became associated with terrorism. So did my name.
I dissociated myself from people. “What if one of them, or their relatives, or friends, was a terrorist, and then I was labelled as a terrorist by association?”
From 2001 until 2006, I was fucking scared of the world. I hated my background. I hated every religion.
I was fucking terrified.
I didn’t want to go to the UK in 2006, but I did anyways.
I chose “Management and Mathematics” because I really didn’t care about college or life or anything.
I went to Sheffield.
That’s when the identity shit began.
Due to my ability to perfect the American accent (I did live there as a kid, anyways), I decided to use it to my advantage.
To be accepted by people – to not be labelled as a terrorist or a fucking Arab – I began the biggest lie of my life.
My name was K (short for Kevin) in public. (But in Banks and college and official paperwork, it was Khalid.)
In public – with general folks and drug dealers and grocery stores and …etc – my name was K (short of Kevin) and my last name was Chadwick.My mother was American (Catherine). My father was a fucking, disgusting Arab who left my mother when I was 3.
I kept his lie, even when I started my A-levels and went to college in Ireland.
But now I’m not afraid anymore. (Technically, I’m not afraid of fear anymore).
I can’t hide behind a fake mask just to satisfy the world.
I’m a good person (I’ve been told). I like to help people.
I chose Medicine to help people. That’s all.
I might’ve been born in a different country, in a different culture, lived in multiple countries throughout my 27-years on this Earth, but I promise you I’m not a bad person.
Fear crippled me.
Fear pushed me to take drugs (and I still take drugs) just to hide my fear and show the world who I really am – a genuine smile never leaves my face because I have the ability to blend in with everyone and talk about everything.
I’m a great listener, but fear forces me to live in utter anxiety.
Anyways, I hope you don’t hate me for being who I am.
Thank you for reading.
p.s. I don’t edit my posts. I write and post immediately.