Cast Blog: #SHAHS

Reza and Lilly Are Both Pathetic

Recap: The Shahs Peace Summit

Recap: Recipe for Disaster

Asa's Profound and Cathartic Trip

Recap: Reza Pops The Big One

The Return of Lochnesa

Mike: I Will Marry Jessica Soon

Reza Dishes on His Engagement

Recap: Make a Run for the Border

Mike Shouldn't be "Scared" of Other Religions

Recap: Turkey with a Side of Apology

Mike's Inner Struggle

Lilly's Disrespectful Behavior

Mike Takes GG's Side

Recap: Outed by Chihuahuas

Reza: "Lilly Doesn't Understand Friendship"

Lilly's Battle with Foot Boogers

Recap: Always a Lady

Recap: A Little Too Much Diamond Water...

The Shah of Bull Sh--

Reza: "I Wish I Had Kept My Mouth Shut"

Ep 8: Persian Empire Divided

Will Mike Put a Ring on It?

Reza Learns the Power of Apology

Recap: Shah-etiquette

MJ Owes GG a Genuine Apology

What MJ Did was Wrong

Loch-Nesa vs. MJ

Asa's Juice Disaster

Recap: Persian Pride?

MJ's Moral Compass is Way Off

An Offer Lilly Can't Refuse?

Recap: Homo-Not-So-Genius

Mike's Disappointment with Reza

Asa: "I Definitely See Why Reza is Irritated"

Reza on the Fight: "I'm Not Proud of It"

Lilly Needs to "Get More Real"

Reza to Lilly: "Get Off Your High Horse"

Cry Me a River

Mike: Master Negotiator

Lilly: Ain't Nobody Got Time for This

Reza and Lilly Are Both Pathetic

MJ explains her absence from blogging and discuss the learning experience that was this season.

I want to thank you for your comments. I read EVERY SINGLE one on all cast blogs; your voices are being heard.

I hadn't written because I was unsure where to start -- or end. I am still so angry, but then I realized that I'd better move THROUGH this here with you, whom I consider my comrades.

Looking back on this "season," AKA the last six months of my life, I've learned a lot. I'm grateful for every bit of it and look forward to more that I have to learn. If I may say for the time being, to hell with every coward who stabbed me in the back, for reasons that I have not determined despite trying.

One of the lessons I'm still learning is that even when I think I'm stepping up to defend myself, I'm still holding my tongue, out of respect and to take the high road. As deep I have dug for a straight answer, manipulation and power plays are Reza's best maneuver. I feel naive to write this, but I never in a million years thought that Reza would have a reason to turn into such a malicious human being. And to the person he refers to as "a friend." I didn't know people were capable of such, and it has been a growing experience. Everything that I want to write I would rather confront face-to-face to the people who spoke and acted on me. I've been absent from here for a reason, and it's because I want to confront my accusers face to face.

All along, I've been thinking that I should hold my tongue until I get to confront them in an arena where they would be brave enough to be accountable for their true colors, intentions, and actions. But they are ALL cowards. Yes, Reza and Lilly are both pathetic, lying, scum-sucking, contradictive, underhanded cowards. Part of me is fuming when I sit down to write because I re-visit the morally reprehensible, false, and repeated character assassinations of my friends and acquaintances. At least, I appreciate and find some vindication that a vast majority of you are seeing right through the scheming, lying, back stabbing that I've been feeling all last year.

I've always been one who wants to hear everyone's take on things and sometimes that makes me think I'm too open minded to speak my own mind. I think I got it from my father and wanted not to inherit the traits I didn't like about my mother.

However, I'm not willing to silence myself any more. Taking the time to commence the blog has been the toughest part of all. Every time I sit down to write, I am so angered and disgusted by the things that have happened. I'm not here to make a single excuse. But I am going to express the emotions that I'm feeling. Before I go into it, I want you all to know that it's a relief that you can see through the true colors of my "friends." Someone recently tweeted me a photo quotation that reads, "What doesn't kill me makes me more awesome."

My take on GG finally meeting up with Reza:

Reza was so self righteous and dismissive. He didn't show up with an open-mind, while GG's demeanor was humble, pliant, and vulnerable. I saw right through his insincere preach about how he's no better than everyone else. Too bad he was just using that to manipulate GG into convincing her that "every time you have a feeling it doesn't need to have a grand discussion." Sit down and shut up, you're not Dr. Phil. Reza, like the rest of us, is neither trained or equipped to understand, relate to, or advise Golnesa on what she was going through. None of the rest of us understand what makes a person become physical. He is totally out-of-line to conduct himself from such a position.

My lunch with my mom is hard to watch. But after I watch it again, I realized the experience helped me learn so much about myself and it's helping me as an adult to understand what experiences shaped my thinking from early childhood. I don't want to repeat an old negative pattern, and I don't want to lose the opportunity to improve my relationship with my mother.

Am I creating new boundaries with her? Yes.

Am I creating an emotional barrier between her stuff, which is toxic for me? Yes.

I'm working on that and she, too, can learn about herself through what she gains from therapy. But I never saw her connect so quickly to what Dr. Michelle pointed out to her about "Vida's pain, being her pain." My mom was never given that opportunity in a mental health setting like we have with Dr. Michelle.

Also, I strongly believe that my individual therapy is very different and separate from that which my mother and I seek.

My take on the OMID vs Mike fight:

Everytime I see Mike or Omid walk through a door, my heart smiles; they were both raised as outstanding gentlemen, with solid values and they both truly exude that energy each time I see them. Except tonight.

Mike f---ed up. I had to watch this over and over again to be able to see it from both perspectives and I know I don't have to chose a side, but if I did, it would be hands down, Omid's side. Sorry, Mike. I was there for the whole thing, the WHOLE thing, and yes I expect more from you.

Mike's temper got the best of him, and in turn, he ended up mishandling his personal business with both Golnesa and Omid. The thing is that in our group we need Mike to step up for GG, but instead he dogs her in how he talks down to her. When Mike thinks he's being all love to Golnesa, he's repeatedly misfiring. The reason why I'm going H.A.M. on Mike is because REALLY I need him to step up. Maybe he'll read this and we'll get somewhere. The way he CHOOSES to communicate with GG is usually counter-productive and since he is the patriarch of our group, I expect Mike to hold us together in situations like this.

Anyway, back to the fight between Omid and Mike. . .both of these men were lied to and influenced by a something that's all too contagious in our group. It is being a target for inaccurate, grapevine gossip that creates unnecessary World Wars. What I remember most from this night was how patiently and calmly Omid remained seated in his chair while Mike was like a baby snake prematurely spewing venom to an innocent victim. Omid even told Mike repeatedly how much he looked up to Mike before this ambush. The damage still runs deep between Omid and Mike, but they better fix it.

OK, I gotta sign off for now, but will be back super soon!!!

Asa's Profound and Cathartic Trip

Asa opens up about her expereince at the Iranian border.

Thank God that I'm a captain's daughter and grew up on boats and hovercrafts and do not need anything inserted to not get sick, LOL! Reza and Golnesa are cracking me up here. Hahaha!

Yachting all day on the same waters my wonderful father sailed in his youth. Such a wonderful day hanging out with my friends. Away from the B.S. and in this beautiful place enjoying each other’s love and company. Princess Island was so relaxing and charming. Every restaurant was a seafood restaurant, and I was in heaven! When I saw the tears in Merc's eyes, I could feel that she was ready to “go there.” I am so proud of her rawness about what she wants and her needs. After all, how can we achieve something we can't even visualize or speak of? I am here for her for strength, love, and support through thick and thin. She will be a wonderful mom!

By the great power of Destiny and Will, Reza, my Mom, and I were able to find a way to make a personal pilgrimage to the border of Iran, where all of us and our ancestors were born. It was such a long, intensive, and at times dangerous journey there, but this was nothing compared to the 30 years we have been waiting to go back home.Without getting too political, I wanted to explain to those who might not fully understand our inability to safely go to Iran. The fact alone that I am a political refugee is not the only reason. While I'm a very proud Iranian and feel a great responsibility to shed light on all the wonderful things about my culture, I also feel socially obligated to be honest about the things terribly wrong with the government of Iran. Iran sadly is a tyranny and deals with political dissidents (that's anyone with an opinion) as criminals. It jails, tortures, and executes its own citizens for simple expressing a political opinion. Think about all the individuals, comedians, talk show hosts, or journalists expressing various opinions here in the US about the president or government... In the US it's called freedom of speech. Well, this freedom does not exist in Iran. The number of “political” prisoners and executions of the latter is staggering. So, somebody whose art deals even mildly with such things and is considered “Islamic Feminist” going to Iran safely is pretty much out of the question.

Back to our beautiful pilgrimage to the center of my heart. Throughout the whole day, my Mom, Reza, and I were like silent warriors. We were all dealing with our own personal emotions throughout the journey while also in the collective experience. On the flight and the bus ride, it was sheer excitement. Then on the last leg of the journey in the Kurdish car, we all lost it. Listening to our favorite old Persian song on our iPhone and nearing the Iranian border, tears of joy and sadness starting falling endlessly.

It was so incredible for me to have my Mom, who sacrificed everything in her youth to make a brighter future for me and my brother, with me. I could feel her pain and joy and see it in her eyes. Reza and I really bonded on a primal level, and I will never forget these moments we shared together. I felt that we were making this pilgrimage for all immigrants, all refugees, all displaced people in the world.Then as I got out of the car and smelled the familiar air, a feeling of complete joy and euphoria came over me. I was not sad anymore. Nor was I missing it the way I used to. I surrendered all those heavy feelings right there on that earth. As I said, when you embrace the big monster, it melts away.

We all have landmark events in our lives. This was one of mine. Going to the border of Iran with my Mom and Reza was one of the most profound and cathartic experiences of my life. I am forever grateful and enormously blessed to have been able to have this experience. And I’m thrilled that I was able to share it with you all.