I had a family intervention last week, I don’t think it’s the first one, yet I don’t remember the one before. Anyhow, it came as a result of me finally deciding to come out to my father about my drinking after almost 9 years since I introduced it into my life. So you’d guess how my very conservative, moderate yet religious father would feel.

It’s almost as if I had slapped him on the face, actually I didn’t, he slapped himself in the face; waiting for me at 2 am to come home so he can smell me -not the first time- and actually confront me about it this time. And this time I decided to say yes dad, I had few drinks.
We talked and talked, and I don’t remember much about it except that I lied and said I am a social drinker, “dad I had few glasses of wine at dinner with my friends” of course there was no dinner and no wine, it was vodka and 6 glasses of that. At the end I felt bad about breaking his heart and went to bed.

Next day, I didn’t want to get up and face the family because I knew the news will travel fast across the rooms of our home and the borders as well. To my surprise mom was ok, and dad was ok too. I was comforted, yet felt it was a false sense of comfort that would go soon. And of course that’s what happened two days later it came; the family intervention.

Dad came into the room where me, mother and my brother were hanging out and said “now we have to talk about razan’s problem”, I complained that it’s a lousy time since I just got news of my raise. No use, he was adamant to have the “talk” and so he started.

To my shock, mother just learned about it then and started her own drama scene of “now this!! What’s next!!” and I was like…drama it is, I gave in and started the discussion.

Argument after argument, as I tried at first to keep stance to be as truthful as much as could get away with. Nope, bad idea, they just can’t handle the truth so be it. Starting with, “I don’t think I will stop drinking” and ending up assuring my dad that “consider the subject closed” implying that I will not drink anymore. He just couldn’t handle anything else, and believe me I tried.
Before that came the most interesting part of the intervention, the what-if-you-don’t-stop part, dad’s resolution came with my complete shock, he said:
“do whatever you want to do, but know this, if you were ever caught drinking while driving; that neither I or any of your brothers will give you support, because then you’ll bring shame on this family and it would be the end of my relationship with you…period”

Yep that was it!

I mean what the hell, is that all he can say? I always imagined this session would be extremely hard on my parents with lots of drama and resolutions but I never thought it would be anything like this. The next few days were extremely normal, like nothing happened at all. Weird weird too weird. It got me thinking about my next-would-be-intervention. Sexuality of course, the next taboo is more like it. And I imagined dad saying:

“do whatever you want to do, know this, that if you were ever to be pregnant without a husband; that neither I or any of your brothers will give you support, because then you’ll bring shame on this family and it would be the end of my relationship with you…period”

And no I haven’t thought of the one next to this session, too early I say?!!!
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Razan Khatib

Razan Khatib

Playing at the intersection of culture, technology, and values. Trying to structure my thoughts and share experiences, learnings, and insights. Co-founder of @spring_apps
Amman, Jordan