Following a previous interview, here, LIVE!, at LBF, it's now time for our second guest to share her secrets with us. Linalone has been a member of the Lebanese blogosphere since Feb. 13th, 2005. She got us worried, more than once, about her and all the suicidal thoughts she's been having. A couple of weeks earlier, we met, talked a lot, and she spoke of all the things that were bothering her. Her answers were honest, spontaneous and personal. Time flew by quickly, and all that was left were these words... Ladies & gentlemen, meet Linalone!

Eve: I guess my first question is: How did you discover about blogs and decide to have your own? Why did you choose this nickname in particular: linalone, lina-lone, lin-alone?

Linalone: I’ve always felt that my name was Lina in another life. Linalone is, as you guessed it, an association between "lina" and "alone". It's a nickname I’ve used for ages. I discovered blogs through a blogger/journalist in his fifties. He is really interested in this phenomenon, and follows blogs regularly. He did create a blog himself, although it’s been a long time since he last updated it. He recently wrote an article about bloggers and the situation in France. I became interested in blogs through him. I visited several blogs, including yours and LBF, and decided to create one for myself, especially that I’ve always written strictly personal essays, and was thinking of publishing them without revealing my identity. What better solution for this than a blog?

Eve: From a personal point of view, you- unlike many- treat your blog as a blog should be treated: totally forgetting that strangers are reading, and engaging in deep personal details about yourself. Is this why you've been refraining from participating in the blogger meetings?

Linalone: Since the beginning, as I already said, blogging has been a means for intimate expression to me. I really don't mind tackling political, social or other subjects in public, but there are things that cannot be approached openly, such as one's soul-searching; things we prefer to keep not just in our hearts but for persons who understand, and whom we rarely meet in our daily life. I’ve always shunned away from blogs whose authors refrain from opening up, which lack a personal touch and prevent me from invading their private life. I admit that it's mainly because of what I write in my blog that I’ve been avoiding Lebanese blogger meetings. What's more, these last few months haven’t been easy for me; I didn't feel like seeing anyone. I hated to impose my sullen mood on others. I should mention though that I went to the first meeting at Second Cup: I was the first to show up, but I was feeling so down that I decided to stay alone in my corner with my uneasiness. I watched you while you got to know each other, discussed different topics and ordered your coffee…

Eve: You once said: "Je n'arrive a écrire que lorsque ça va vraiment mal." (I cannot write unless I feel very bad). What is it about words that make them so inseparable from sadness to you? Are they a place of refuge or a source of empowerment?

Linalone: Yes, generally speaking, I only write when I feel down; and this is more than obvious in my blog. But at the risk of repeating myself, I should say that I’ve felt really down in the last months, and it wasn’t until recently that I managed to escape from this circle of pain and feel better. Words are an excellent way to express oneself and let off some steam; it's a way to which I’ve always resorted since childhood. In school, whenever I used to feel down (which was very frequent), I pretended I was writing down class notes, while I was actually writing personal stuff. This is what I usually do too when I’m in public.
However, I rarely update my blog because I’m a procrastinator: I prepare a lot of posts which I don’t end up posting because of this. In any case, thanks to writing, I can see things more clearly.

Eve: In one of your posts, you said: "I feel angry about this life and about our oriental society that is dominated by males. But the strange in my situation is that in spite of this I have focused all my anger on women." What is it that upset you about these women? Is it true that in the case of each one of us, there is one single woman whom we spend all of our lives loving, hating and getting rid of her shadow: "a mother"?

Linalone: In general, sexual abuse victims project their anger on persons from the same gender of their abusor, not the opposite. However, this wasn't the case with me. When my uncle molested me at the age of 12, I managed to suppress the shock, which didn't appear again until I became 17 years old and began to consult a doctor (coerced by my parents) to see why I hadn't started to menstruate yet. However, in the meantime, I had completely rejected my feminine identity, and I prayed (or rather hoped, since I'm not that much of a believer) not to get my period nor to have children. Ever. I hated being a woman, and did everything I could to conceal it (large shirts and jeans, very short hair, loneliness…). At that age, my only activities were reading and writing. I was a bookworm, and I had read nearly all the books in the libraries at my house and school. But anyway, I digress.

I hated the way women resigned themselves to their destiny in our society. I disliked being told what to do. I couldn't stand it if someone did something, anything, that I could have done myself. In short, I like being independent, which is rarely the case of oriental women. I like being strong; contrary to all the women in my family - especially my mother, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and even classmates. It is true that my father has a strong personality, but it was my mother who tended to hide behind him, a fact that greatly affected my attitude towards her. I used to do everything I could to piss her off, and not look like her (only personality-wise, since physically we look extremely alike). She wanted me to be a perfect little girl, but well… it didn't happen. I know she loves me and wants me to be happy, but the pain she (unknowingly) made me feel is much more than the love she gives to me. Any intimate feelings between us are just impossible.

Eve: So, why have you given up on life already? What is it that you were expecting and didn't get out of it?

Linalone: I cannot deny that I'm an ambitious person, although I've never dreamt of wealth or glory. All I wanted was to be independent and have a quiet and happy life. Yet, this didn't happen. I don't want to go into details, but even when I lived abroad, I was still dependent on my family members even if it was only moral dependence. I didn't feel free, for they were always present in my life, despite the long distance. What a strange feeling, especially that they never intervened directly in my choices or my life. Not once did they ask me where I was going or what I was doing, but this didn't keep me from feeling suffocated.
I don't blame them for my profound discontentment. It's not exclusively their fault. No, haram.

It's just that life has disappointed me. I did not like it. Living, or rather staying alive, was a real chore! I had to face many problems, which helped me build a strong personality while at the same time increasing my revulsion at this life with each problem I encountered. I've been through times where I felt I was no longer able to face anything, where I gave up on everything and had only one thought on my mind: death! I tried to commit suicide three times, and my parents never knew anything about it. The first couple of times, my body contained such a large quantity of antidepressants that 3 boxes of pills did nothing but put me to sleep. However, the third time in Belgium, I was treated for a whole week. Words cannot express the bitterness I felt each time I woke up after these attempts, and the reaction of those who discovered about it afterwards, without mentioning the post-attempt crises. Oh well, I eventually learned to live with that. Recently, I started to feel alive again, because I met someone, and because I confronted the above-mentioned uncle, and thus got rid of a heavy burden I have been carrying for 13 years.

Eve: What do you expect from your readers? In a way, are you writing so that somebody out there listens?

Linalone: I write for myself first, then for others. What I expect from my readers is to read, try to understand and if possible… leave a small comment (I admit I don't comment that much myself).

Eve: What do you look for when you read other blogs? And, in this context, what other blogs have caught your attention & what observations do you have regarding the Lebanese blogosphere?

Linalone: I expect nothing but taking pleasure in reading other blogs. Among bloggers I enjoy reading are: Khaled, Hache, Ben Kerishan, Eve, Wahed Iftiradi, Le Hammam, Callipyge, LBF, Delirious, Nazawat, Ebles, Maha & Rasha, and others.
I think most Lebanese bloggers lack a personal touch. It's politics wherever you go! I watch the news religiously and read five newspapers per day, but frankly that does it. This is enough politics for me!

Eve: In what circumstances would you decide you had enough with blogging and want to move to another experience?

Linalone: Leave the blogosphere? I don't think I will, just because I will never stop writing, even if I was my one and only reader.

Eve: Enough with all the blog chit chat, now let's order some dessert, shall we?

*Linalone smiles and takes another sip of her cup. She definitely is a tea person*
You have your chocolate cake, and let me enjoy my tea :-)


At Wednesday, November 23, 2005 9:37:00 PM, Blogger a h m a d said...

It is an interesting interview, thanks Linalone for sharing all this with us. I really appreciate your honesty; too bad I never got the chance to read your blog because of my forgotten French. I wish you the best in your life, I am sure that if we believed truely in our dreams, we can realize them. We only need to work persistently... :)

Thanks Eve for giving us the chance to know Linalone closely. :)

At Thursday, November 24, 2005 7:49:00 AM, Blogger Maldoror said...

Don't look back in anger :)

At Thursday, November 24, 2005 10:13:00 AM, Blogger zwixo said...

I see how the blogosphere succeeded in doing what most families in Lebanon replace with TV; Communication.
I admire Lina's openness and courage. I guess she noticed that by writing about her sadness, she teleports part of this sadness to paper... or screen, which always helps to face it: it's better when I'm looking at the enemy before the battle.
And you're right: there's definitely too much politics in the blogs, that's why my next post will be about society: dedicated to Lina. Have a nice day.

At Thursday, November 24, 2005 3:48:00 PM, Blogger IronMask said...

أخبرتني لينالون منذ مدة انها أجرت مقابلة مع إيف ومنذ تلك اللحظة وانا انتظر ان تنشر المقابلة، ليس لأني اريد أن أعرف المزيد عن لينالون، فأنا اعرفها جيدا ولكني كنت اريد ان اعرف كيف ستكون التعليقات على الصراحة التي تتميز بها لينالون دائما، ولمن لا يعرفها اقول له إنها فتاة جريئة هادئة كما ابتسامتها رغم انه يمكن لي ان اسمي تلك الابتسامة بالأبتسامة الغاضبة، ولا ألوم لينالون على غضبها، فمن حقها أن تغضب، ولكن اقول لها ان أبتسامتها جميلة و عليها أن لا تتوقف عن الابتسام

شكراً لإيف على المقابلة التي بذلت فيها جهداً واضح، و بتمنالها يوم تعمل فيه مقابلة مع الممثل جورج كلوني

At Thursday, November 24, 2005 9:17:00 PM, Blogger Eve said...

لا، شو مين جورج كلوني هيدا.. بففف. غير عمّار ما بقبل ;-)

At Friday, November 25, 2005 9:00:00 AM, Blogger Ramzi said...

Thank you Eve for these interview and thanks Linalone for your frank honesty.

As I don't know french, that blog has always been impenteratable to me... until now.

At Friday, November 25, 2005 12:50:00 PM, Blogger Assaad said...

I really found the interview content "Very Interesting". I admire the honesty of Linalone who lets us sharing a big part of her personal life details. Moreover, this interview leaded me to Linalone blog where i found several subjects i like to comment (and in my favourite language French :D).
Wish you all the best linalone.

Thank you Eve for this excellent interview which shows again and again How Talented You Are!

PS : Eve when are you going to interview Kathem El Saher ;) ?


At Saturday, November 26, 2005 7:44:00 PM, Blogger linalone said...

hi Guys, i want to thank you for your nice comments. I will do more efforts to write ... in english.
Special thanks for Eve, for choosing me for the interview and for translating the answers that were all in French.

At Sunday, November 27, 2005 6:56:00 PM, Blogger arch.memory said...

What a wonderful interview! It was such a beautiful surprise to me. Eve, excellent probing questions; and Linalone, thanks for the honesty and openness in answering them, like many said. I too don't follow your blog since it's in French (and my French seems to be limited to Dalida songs), but I'll be looking forward to your English posts (unless I do stick to "work on your French" as my recurring New Year Resolution).
All the best of luck, and Eve, please keep them coming!


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