Thanks to all who posted whether you agree or not, I think more dialogue is good, healthy even.
Clearly, if you read the comments, we have a ways to go. Some of us unfortunately still continue to grasp for that desperate desire to put down others.
Some sadly, treat this as a somewhat sport even. This is most disconcerting, and were I to once again venture into the area of "Pseudo Expertise", this time not as an amateur Asiatic Cheetah-ologist, but as a "Pseudo Psychologist", I would venture the highly contentious but nevertheless possibility, that the obvious mental trauma that is caused by being an "Untreated Iranian" in today's world that worse, contains today's Iranian History, is damn tough.
I know that it was excrutiatingly difficult, when in 1987, I first came to terms with the real possibility that I would not be returning home to Iran as planned, and take up the middle class mantle my Father had prepared me for. No cush job, courtesy of my father's connections at Sherkat-e-Naft as planned. No living in the house upstairs from my parents' 2-story apartment building just off Mirdamad. No picking up a nice new European automobile from the factory and driving it to Iran through Turkey and selling it in Iran for twice the price. No investing in traditional Ghashghai tribe herds of sheep and goats and camels and horses and seeing those profits quintuple with every rise in the price of meat and wool.
None of that.
Instead, I was now expected to adjust to a new life. One in the San Francisco Bay Area, where dot coms and high tech companies hired and fired at the whim of every new 20-something CEO, pointlessly puzzling Mergers and Acquisitions, and the ever failing or succeeding IPO.
But, even in 1987, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley was no match for Tehran. How could you compare barely yawn-worthy mediocrity, to sweet and superb excellence?
In my mind, in 1987, the US in general, and the Bay Area specifically, sucked. The realization that I was trapped here and would never go back to Iran quickly turned to prison-panic attacks, night sweats, sudden blurred vision, momentary loss of balance, and almost-fainting sensations. I was sure I had cancer or some other unknown disease.
After a short visit to the Doctor, a clean bill of health in hand, he asked me about my stress level. To which of course I automatically lied the traditional Iranian man's lie, "No, I am not really under much stress..."
Nevertheless, I took his referral and went to see a Therapist.
Within the first 2 out of only 4 visits, what came pouring out of me, was nothing short of stunning. The sweet release that can only come from speaking to a complete stranger about the immense mental and emotional burden I was carrying around in my subconcious head, was overwhleming.
I still remember the genuine sweet pain and quality of that first cry I had, in the car, after my second visit, when I realized what exactly had happened to me. The exact true cost and real effect the Revolution had had on me. Just how far down I had managed to bury my real Iranian self. Into my new American self.
Allow me to describe the cry, so you don't trivialize it.
It was the hardest cry I have ever cried.
We all remember breaking our favorite toy, or being punished by our favorite parent (come on! It's OK to admit that one too!) and running to our room and burying our face in the pillow. We may also remember the quality of a good cry we have had, when an uncle or aunt, or more often nowadays, a close friend passes away from cancer, or some sudden tragedy.
But let me tell you, nothing but nothing comes close to the cry you will cry when you finally accept and decide that you will not go back to Iran, when you let go of her, and say your final goodbye. I;m not talking about not going back to Iran, but saying good bye to the concept of Iran, the concept in your head as you realize you live here, and won't live there again.
That kind of cry is one that you will have only one final time as an adult. The cry that begins with a trembling lip and tears that will surprise you with their heat, surprisingly as salty as you remember them being as a kid. Soon, as the dam bursts, you will explode into the "Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!" of such loud volume, with deep yawning sighs, as you catch your breath.
You will end this cry with no less than 30 minutes of "hegh... hegh... heghing". What Americans call sobbing.
At the end, with a final sigh, you will unclench your hands from the steering wheel, start the car up, carefully back out of the therapist's parking lot, and drive the safest most courteous drive home you have ever driven.
By the time you pull into the garage, you are resloved, and will sleep a sleep worthy of the big baby you are.
My "Pseudo Expert" theory about all this?
Simple, if you've cried the "Cry of Iran" in your life, you don't tend to leave hurtful comments on websites. If you haven't yet cried the "Cry of Iran", you tend to lash out.
My conclusion: Every one of us apparently and with very good reason, needs therapy. The sooner we all have that "Cry of Iran" in the parking lot, the better.