Skip to content

6- Tightrope

We had been in the villa for three weeks, and while life was lonely and difficult we had at least settled into a routine and acquired some basic appliances. I continued to cook on the electric, swap meet stove that shocked me and heeded his advice of using a wooden spoon while cooking. When he announced the arrival of a used washing machine this was cause for great celebration. Workers lugged it up the stairs to the roof where clothes would be washed and hung to dry. Washing laundry in the bathtub, ringing it out and carting wet, heavy baskets two flights up, was wearing on my pregnant body. Living in this harsh and unrelenting  place was like walking a tightrope. Days were spent sitting on the floor, opening the brown plastic window to catch a glimpse of air, waiting eagerly to leave the villa and walk two blocks to retrieve the boys from school.  Cooking meant working with a short list, a large pot and frying pan to make something that reminded us of home.In the back of my mind still looming was the fact that I was 8 months pregnant and needed to find a doctor and hospital for delivery!

When I agreed to move to Riyadh during my 8th month of pregnancy, my mother pushed me to wait until after delivery. She brought up questions about medical care, qualifications and standards in facilities, something I knew little about. She was the Vice President of patient care services for two hospitals, this was her field of expertise. At this time in life I could not be deterred  by anything and felt an urgency to follow him. I had heard many things about Saudi from my sister and felt that delivery would be fine, even better than in the States. As we stood in the New York airport saying our last goodbyes her face must have mirrored what she was feeling inside. My mother, my mentor and best friend, broke into tears, her face looked worn and tired, the signs of aging that had never been evident now flashing in between her sobs. I hugged her and told her that everything would be fine as I moved through the gate and boarded the plane.

My ideas of delivery had been shattered upon entering the villa and understanding our new living conditions. His words were clear “I want you to live the hardest life possible” and so my anticipation for this birth was now no longer frivolous, maternal excitement but sheer panic and fear.  I had made several attempts to make an appointment, calling from Um Abdullah’s downstairs phone only to have the parties on the other end hang up each time. It was finally decided that a visit to the hospital was in order.  I stood at the counter as people walked past and were checked in for their appointments. I patiently waited, smiling and nodding at conversations although I knew none of what was being discussed. I used my American body language to indicate a need for service but somehow as 15 minutes passed I had grown no further to meeting this goal.  The receptionist’s face was fully covered by a black piece of material, except for her large brown eyes that peered out from two small slits.  She looked at Saudi women and men, helped them make appointments and laughed as she spoke to her counterparts. I didn’t understand how I could possibly be missed, but waited until the last person walked away. I spoke to her but she continued to avert her attention and finally after my inquiry about an appointment she said “NO“. I looked to the men’s waiting room where he sat with my older boys, giving him a nod and a curious look. He approached the woman at the counter, speaking kindly  to her in Arabic. I was then given an appointment and told to sit and wait.  I walked into the women only area with the little ones and took a seat.  I looked around and saw what would become a normal scene for years to come.  Madam sat holding her expensive designer bag, leafing through magazines, as if totally unaware of her children who fussed, cried and jumped from one chair to the next. A small framed lady who appeared to be from India, held a newborn, wiped toddler noses and tended to the numerous children scattered around the room. They looked at me and stared, an American woman, black abaya and scarf, small blonde girl seated on my lap chattering away, another toddler holding onto my abaya and two boys who were not allowed in the women’s waiting room but who continually stood at the entrance asking for mom’s attention. Finally after an hour of waiting a lady appeared and called out loudly “Madam Leen, Madam Leen”

I was ushered to a plain, small room where a lady sat behind a brown desk. Her white lab coat indicated she must be the doctor, although she did not bother to introduce herself or inquire as to my name. She spoke in an abrupt tone,  Investigations??  She didn’t glance at me but repeated in a dull monotone voice,“your investigations!” I was tired, nervous and could not imagine what that meant. I looked at her trying to grasp at any small grain of compassion in her face, she repeated again,“I need your medical investigations!”   It then occurred to me that she needed the files from my OB in the states.  She called the nurse, ordered several tests and stood to leave the room. I sat in the chair looking at her lab coat as it made a swishing sound against the door and that is the last time I saw her until my water started leaking and I entered the hospital 3 weeks later.

209 Comments Post a comment
  1. Are you working on the book, Lynn? 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    February 21, 2016
  2. This is terrifying!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • Looking back it was, at the time again I just kept going but it was awful. I woke up three weeks later to water leaking and well a whole story! not fun

      Like

      February 21, 2016
  3. That seems a nighmare

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  4. Lynn, I can;t fathom how you agreed to leave for Saudi during your pregnancy where you had to go through such a cold treatment. Perhaps you may not have anticipated the quantum of changes.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  5. Oh my gosh, what a nightmare! I don’t know how you did it. You had a lot on your shoulders! More than I could handle. Thank goodness you don’t live there anymore.

    Like

    February 21, 2016
  6. Lynn, I cannot imagine what you felt knowing you were going to give birth in such an inhospitable situation. The arrival of a baby should have been a happy time, not one of fear and loneliness. So heartbreaking to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • It was scary and the doctor was not nice, I could not call my mom had no phone and was terrified to every deliver there again!

      Like

      February 21, 2016
  7. No, No, No—The hardest life possible “he said to you” beyond a monster Lynn! DO you ever think that you may have attempted an earlier escape if afforded that opportunity? xoxoxo Bestie 2

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • I was not fully awake and still felt the blame was with me!! I was so brainwashed for so many years. My oldest son begged me to take the kids and leave when he and his brother went to University in 2005, I could not. one time when Osama asked me why I stayed, interesting words flew out of my mouth I said that God would destroy me and I would go to hell if I left him! Osama was so mad and tried to convince me that was not true. YEars of being told to worship, not go against him etc. The first villa was like prison or it seemed like it. So, broken down to nothing and living in fear. Answer to your question- no. Even now I see why I stayed, fear, at least being with him I knew where he was, what he was doing etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 21, 2016
  8. They treated you horribly, Lynz. What kind of people are they? You have had patience.
    I yelled to a doctor only because she told me to be at 10 at cabinet and I got in one hour later…

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • They are not nice! I finally after years met a British mid wife who helped me with last two births. The dr. are cold and rude!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 21, 2016
  9. Heartafire #

    This is such a disturbing circumstance Lynz. So far from familiar surroundings with no apparent cooperation in the adjustment. My heart goes out to you. I hope you always remain safe and comfortable. This is an amazing text, written with subtle but powerful details.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • thanks so much! It was written months back but I am introducing these old stories for those who missed them and also editing and changing them for the book! that sounds so funny! Sorry haha thanks for reading!

      Like

      February 21, 2016
  10. You are so right about the Arabic ladies and their children..it’s like they are nothing to do with them! Those poor tiny ladies that looks after their homes & children are amazing. The children are so out of control!!
    What a world you entered hey? 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  11. Thank God you and your baby came through this in one piece…

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • I look back and feel it was so scary he was tiny and the dr. left us she was mad at me because I would not agree to medication at that point, wanted to wait an hour or so see if labor came! so 30 hours later she came back!!!

      Like

      February 21, 2016
  12. Wonderful story from a terrible time. Thank goodness your children didn’t have any health issues!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  13. Oh, this is something I cannot imagine living through – I wish you didn’t have to, but what an amazing thing to have done.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  14. Wow! I’ve noticed you and your family moved around a lot while in the Middle East. You went through SO much over there! How’s the book coming along? I think you should include recipes in it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  15. Anita Kushwaha #

    I remember this post from a little while ago but it’s just as chilling now. The lack of compassion both privately and publicly is hard to fathom. Lynn, is it true, you’re working on making your posts into a book?! This is fantastic news! Congratulations and keep going! 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • Thanks Anita, I am trying. Last Thursday I posted a beginning to a book. If you have time can you read it and tell me what you think. I would start with it and then move back to when I met him. then onto the years of living in Saudi.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 21, 2016
      • Anita Kushwaha #

        Oh wonderful! I will certainly go back and see if there was a post that I missed last week. If ever you need a beta-reader, please don’t hesitate to ask! It would be my pleasure to help in anyway I can. Yay, I’m thrilled for you. I know it’ll be hard work, but hopefully a therapeutic experience as well! xo

        Liked by 1 person

        February 21, 2016
        • I will try my best and just do it! Thanks Anita, I do not know about writing, but want to get my story out there as real as possible. It is a huge task and I am hoping I can do it! xo

          Liked by 1 person

          February 21, 2016
          • Anita Kushwaha #

            The realness of you writing is what speaks to people, so you have nothing to worry about, mon amie! This is amazing! 🙂 xo

            Liked by 1 person

            February 21, 2016
          • Thanks so much dear!

            Liked by 1 person

            February 21, 2016
  16. Hmmm… I’m guessing they don’t like Americans over there? Very rude.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  17. That sounds awful, Lynn. There’s nothing worse than unfriendly medical staff when you’re worried about your health, not to mention expecting a baby in a new country where the language was a factor! Why were they so rude to you, was it because you weren’t from Saudi? That’s sounds so hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • I don’t know! The drivers, maids, nurses were amazing! It was like we were sharing this bond of being foreign and treated badly! The nurses were the people who were lovely! Doctors are seen as so important and you do not question what they say to do. After delivery I met an american nurse she said that they do not like american ladies because they question what doctors are doing!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 21, 2016
      • Wow that sounds tough when you’re not really encouraged to communicate with your doctor. I would not do well, I have too many questions and opinions. At least the nurses were nice!

        Liked by 1 person

        February 21, 2016
        • Yes that was the issue, my water leaked and she told the nurse to give me an enema and all of this medicine, not telling me but I could understand enough to know. So I dared to ask her, she looked at me like I was crazy! So I said I wanted to wait and she left and did not return for 30 hours!

          Liked by 1 person

          February 21, 2016
          • 30 hours! Unbelievable. That sounds so hard to deal with!

            Liked by 1 person

            February 21, 2016
          • It was so ridiculous moving at that time but wasn’t sure what else to do. Finally I ended up having all of the medicine anyway and going into labor!!

            Liked by 1 person

            February 21, 2016
          • Well, you did what you had to do at the time, but who thought things would be so difficult over there? I hope the labor was quick!

            Liked by 1 person

            February 21, 2016
          • well they gave me med. and then contractions started back up, It took a few hours and then the dr. felt things were not moving along quickly enough, she put something into my IV again without permission. I had hmm hideous pain, convulsing and had to push, they said no no no but my body just pushed, my son came out and he was only 5 pounds! So, thank God he was ok! The next delivery I didn’t go in until 35 weeks! I was so scared.

            Liked by 1 person

            February 21, 2016
          • Oh my, 5 lbs? I’m glad he was OK. That sounds like a really difficult delivery! I’m glad things were OK after that.

            Liked by 1 person

            February 21, 2016
          • I am so glad he was healthy and he is now 22 and my self proclaimed middle child! haha

            Liked by 1 person

            February 21, 2016
          • haha cute 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            February 21, 2016
          • 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            February 21, 2016
  18. I can still remember when you left to move over there…. At the time I had thought it would be such a great adventure for you, and I so wished we could move there also. It hurts my heart to know, now, how awful your time there was. I still treasure my memories of visiting you there. I had no clue of what you were truly going through.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • When you visited things were getting very bad! I was so happy that I got to see you it was a bright spot in my life! I also felt I was going to this special place and it would be amazing! xxx

      Like

      February 21, 2016
  19. Really don’t know how live that life. I really don’t. I would have high tailed it out of there so fast. I do understand you had no choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  20. Again, the shock and horror of it all, makes me shudder. x

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  21. This all makes me so sad and angry. Sad for you, angry at the inhospitable people and that wretch of a man that put you in that situation. Please keep forging on with the book! I really do believe it will help many woman out there who may be in a similar situation. Love and Hugs, Lynn!

    Liked by 2 people

    February 21, 2016
  22. Wow, it always amazes me to read these posts. Such drama involved, and the interest remains with me waiting until the next continuation. Thanks Lynn. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  23. Even I remember to have read this before Lynn, I really felt with you. So tough and in another country, where you didn’t understand anything, either the culture or the language. Big hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  24. So sad at how you were treated and he accepted treatment of you as normal…to bad men can’t give birth just once and in a foreign land….your the most bravest woman I know…..I bow down to you….kat

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • You are the sweetest woman I know and I hope one day that you and I can sit and chat and take a walk in the Palouse! xxx

      Like

      February 21, 2016
  25. Lynn, the first time I read this (many months ago)I was so angry. (And I hardly knew you then.) But now as I read it once again, I am truly overcome with sadness that you had to endure this treatment. And I am relieved to know you are safe and I can chat with you whenever I want. And encourage you to publish your amazing story. One more thing- Guess what I made for dinner last night? Your chicken pot pie! For the third time! And it gets even better with practice. Take care and we’ll talk soon. Clare

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  26. Did he actually say that he wanted you to live the hardest life possible? And if so, why????

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • oh yes he said that regularly I don’t know why. he said so I would appreciate every little thing. I was a spoiled american girl!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 21, 2016
  27. Oh thatz terrifying Lynn… Thank god you came out of it…

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  28. If someone believes in karma and such, I’d say you’ve atoned for all the past sins twice over. Misery compounded over time. In relation to all the other poor women trapped out there, and those who have fallen victim to emotional abuse, your story may inspire them and give them hope or perhaps see themselves in your story. Have you considered looking into your local domestic abuse agency and sharing with them your experience? That might also help your healing process.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • when I first arrived in my home town I went in and saw someone. I wasn’t sure if it was abuse, so I went in! then when I moved to my little town I spoke with them as well. After he left this time and was physical I also went back in. they are very kind and a nice young man sat with me and we chatted. He calls me every month to check in on me and see if I need anything! so, yes I have had contact with them. thanks dear Karina!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 21, 2016
  29. Bloody hell Lynz. I am telling you. Save all of this for a book and you will be a best seller I PROMISE!!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
    • Thanks Cameron you are so sweet! I am trying my best to put a book together. Not having experience writing it is tough but trying! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      February 21, 2016
  30. omtatjuan3 #

    why did he insist on making you life hard… that doesn’t sound good

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  31. This is the worst nightmare a pregnant woman could ever imagine. No support from husband, and dirt-like treatment from strangers. It really takes a lot of courage to continue life. You are a great inspiration. I believe your book too, will be able to inspire a lot of women out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  32. So hard to read this and see such little compassion. If I was your mother, I would have cried too.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  33. How frightening! What an awful way to give birth! You are amazing!

    Like

    February 21, 2016
  34. Oh that doctor doesn’t sound friendly at all. I feel so bad as well as terrified because of the situation you were in Lynn.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  35. Lynn, what a story! And you are one tough lady. I was completely drawn into your story. You are one fantastic writer and I look forward to your book…….love Khush

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  36. Oh Lynn! I can imagine how your mum must have felt 😦 And that was such a nightmarish situation for you! I really wonder what gave you the strength to go on and put up with him ?? I probably would have fled that place 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    February 21, 2016
  37. I thought it immediately and saw it also in the comments: The worst nightmare for a pregnant woman. Not only being in the worst living conditions but also pregnant and left outside alone. The worries must have been overwhelming.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 22, 2016
    • I look back and it worries me now and I think how awful it sounds but at that time I was just limping along trying to keep going. I think the shock of the living conditions kept me confused for a long time! It was scary during the delivery and the next birth I did not see a dr. for months I was so scared. Thanks for reading Erika! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      February 22, 2016
      • When you left for Saudi Arabia you trusted that all would be taken care for or at least that you are not left alone with eveything. So I understand why you did not worry before. I can only imagine the shock about what you found after and in what life and situation you found yourself in. Hugs, Lynn! 💖

        Liked by 1 person

        February 22, 2016
        • thanks dear Erika for your insight and understanding! I felt he was a good provider as he talked about how he was all day and night. That I guess was part of the brainwashing, “That is the kind of guy I am” “I always look our for my family not like other guys” etc.

          Liked by 1 person

          February 22, 2016
  38. This made me terribly sad Lynn.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 22, 2016
    • I look back now and it seems like a movie not real life. I was so nervous and felt sick and alone! I hate to say I did not go in until almost my ninth month in the next pregnancy and that was because neighbors intervened!

      Like

      February 22, 2016
  39. This must have been terrifying. And since I’ve read about the delivery, I know it doesn’t get better. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 22, 2016
  40. I continue to be shocked at your awful situation and how he treated you in Saudi. Yet you have enough emotional strength to write about it. About your writing, you have a special talent of knowing when to stop a particular narrative which gives it a sharp focus. Bravo to the budding author in you!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 22, 2016
  41. You definitely have a way with writing and you are so close to compilation for your book. Your stories should be told. Sending hugs your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 22, 2016
  42. I cannot say too much Lynz my temper is flaring !! I just hope and pray he is is living the “Hardest life possible!! “xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    February 22, 2016
  43. As the saying goes, mom knows best. Hindsight, I know you wish you’d listened but it’s moments like those that help us understand our own children during those times when they don’t heed our warnings. There’s something to be said about seeing and experiencing for certain things for ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 22, 2016
  44. What a scary time for you, especially having already delivered in the U.S. and knowing what the experience should be like. In this case, ignorance definitely would have been bliss. Love reading your words, Lynn! Keep it up! I see not only a book, cooking show, and recording contract, but a movie as well! 😘 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    February 22, 2016
  45. I can imagine how terrified you must have been. Making things so hard for you is inhuman, the thought of living like that a virtual prisoner is so upsetting, I can imagine how it is for you re living this as you write but the good thing is it’s all in the past and you have a wonderful future to look forward to.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 22, 2016
  46. Wow! I have to tell you that this is a movie. I would so go see it. Dang it! Please turn a script in.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 23, 2016
    • Thanks so much. People tell me” Do not say you are not a writer, you are Lynn! ” haha well I don’t feel like one and it is hard to come up with the words! So I am trying and so lucky to have so much love and encouragement!! Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

      February 23, 2016
  47. I think this may be the first post I read on your blog. It’s just as gripping the second time around.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 23, 2016
  48. I can’t believe he would actually want you to live the hardest life possible. That is just so hard to comprehend Lynn…

    Liked by 1 person

    February 24, 2016
  49. A terrible nightmare!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 2, 2016
  50. Finally catching up – again – this is so graphic, I actually felt panic. You’re writing is really going from strength to strength and you have a lot of isolated ‘episodes’ now. I think tis is the time to begin collating what you have into a semi structure for this book, which just has to happen (never mind the book, let’s get working on the movie script)
    Off to search for some more that have slipped my net – if I don’t have time to comment on them all, I will read them xxx
    P.S. you have a shout on my latest post that I have done for your Friday friends xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    March 2, 2016
    • Thanks so much for the post! It is amazing and you are so sweet! I will use the cool photos and write about you!

      Like

      March 2, 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Fly 'n Things

A random flight through some of my extraordinary flying adventures

Merry Motherhood

Musings of a first-time mommy

Live Out Crazy

Shreya Jindal

Life of Hayley

Making the most of my twenties

Fictionista

Flash Fiction / Musings Of Darnell Cureton

sorryless

Partake Or Nawh?

for a rainy day

Reading essential: a cup of tea.

Loveyashian

Love in the air...you feel that!😍

Beth Warstadt

It is no small thing to offer respite to a weary soul.

Luna

Every now and then my head is racing with thoughts so I put pen to paper

Bernadine’s Bakery

Delicious recipes from me to you

M.B. HENRY

Following the Path to the Past

KaylaAnn

Write, Drink Tea, Live Life, Repeat

Popsicle Society

It's all about you

CoffeeMamma

Just a Mom that loves her family, coffee & blog.

Stephen Page

Author: The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

My Online Empire

One = All = One

%d bloggers like this: