May 18, 2008

Tracing change…

I have always had temper. It’s part genetic from my father and my late nana, and part developed by other people’s expectations of me. A stubborn young girl with temper and annoying arguing skills was never what my parents signed up for. I would say lucky for them I had short attention span, but they always perceived me as a give-upper who simply lacked persistence! Talk about how hard it is to please parents.

My father tried to tame and train me like they do with wild horses. He would yell and scream, sometimes talk saying that I am a GIRL, and that girls should behave in a certain way. He would grind his teeth and say I should not have that temper and that I should be more submissive and perhaps say “na3am” and “7ader” more often. I always used to argue that I should only say them when I meant them, and that some people simply did not deserve to be told those words.

Exactly eight years ago I stopped being that girl. It started with a simple conversation that repeated itself in a bigger pattern for the past eight years! He said “let’s go have lunch”, I said “but I am not hungry just yet!”, he said with his once charming smile “mafeesh 7aga esmaha keda, hatakly ya3ne hatakly”, I smiled back and said “7ader”.

People I know were amazed at the transformation. The wild horse analogy was actually said by a friend who insisted that as much as I liked his “control” and willingly submitted to it, it would eventually kill my spirit once I realize I have given my freedom to the wrong person. Little did I know to believe those words! This is not regret, it’s just hindsight.

I no longer had that hot temper; I mean it was still there, only suppressed. Thing is, it was suppressed by my own will; I loved him and I learned to say “na3am” and “7ader” because it pleased him, isn’t that what “good girls” do. Little by little, I lost touch with who I was. I cancelled my own thinking and adopted his, and I silenced any inner voices and ignored all instincts willingly. Keyword here willingly.

It only made sense to believe him when he said I was inadequate, sometimes he didn’t even have to say it, all he had to do was give me the look, and I would jump through hoops to see that smile again. Not in the literal sense, because I have been told that even through it all, it always seemed like I had the stronger character! Now, I think it’s probably because he’s always been the weaker character, but he managed to suck his strength out of me.

The girl who used to get too angry to let anyone tell her what to do started containing her anger and doing as told! I learned to sit silently and watch him steal my anger and say words that would hurt me, only I never answered like I once would have. Instead, I would bite my tongue and refrain from saying something I would never be able to take back.

He taught me that! He took me from one extreme to the other; from someone who would blurt all the shit she had in mind to someone who would weigh every word before speaking it. It may seem healthy, but it’s not! Not when it’s done that way, and not when you suppress that much. My short attention didn’t let me dwell, and I wouldn’t have allowed myself to have doubts anyways.

I thought I was happy, I thought I had it all! And when his masks started falling one after the other, I was in a state of shock that my mind stopped functioning. I believed him when he blamed it all on me, I even apologized. I hate him for that. Yes, I do not hate him for the cheating or the humiliation half as much as I hate him for this. Sometimes I even hate myself for letting him do it to me. I am not sure if I can possibly forgive him or myself for that part.

When I finally saw him for who he was… (I tried but I could not find words that would describe any of my feelings… pages and pages would be written but I would still not be able to put it in words)

I thought I would never heal. I remember times when I couldn’t lift my body off the floor because I felt too weak to move a muscle. I remember times I wanted to die despite my fear of what comes next. I saw how frail I have become because of him; I could no longer relate to the girl everyone said was strong and independent! All I saw was a weak weak person who did nothing but cry out of pain, yet did not have the strength to stop her abuser from abusing her. I hate that person, I still do.

Through the past year, I have come a long way. I would say I healed, but I know better. I just know how to hide my wounds and pretend they are not there anymore, but I do know exactly where they are and sometimes I check on them hoping they wouldn’t feel as sore. As much as I seem to have talked about all of it, I don’t remember ever talking about those hidden wounds. They’re too specific and too painful that I think I will never be able to talk about them because I hid them so well I no longer remember those details as clearly, this is why they haunt me leaving me unable to speak.

I don’t know if this counts as an upside, but I think I learned how to control my temper. He taught me what every one else failed to teach me, in the cruelest way possible. It cost me a lot to learn how to think before I start yelling words I would regret later. I learned the hardest way possible that rash decisions can have drastic consequences. And now, people who have not seen me in ages can tell the difference, they see “wisdom” that did not just come with experience, but came with so much negativity!

In the past week, I have been losing my temper way too often for my recent taste. I yelled at my sister over the phone two times and hung up on her. I still think she deserved it because she knew I would get upset and perhaps counted on my newly found “wisdom” to stop me from reacting the old way. However, I surprised myself when I changed my mind about the decisions I was about to make in my anger, and instead talked to her when I saw her later like it was no bog deal.

I am proud of finally being able to behave rationally to an extent, but I am not specifically happy about how I got there. More importantly, I am not happy at all that I do more silent treatment when I still find myself upset. I learned to not expect much from people, but somehow I am no longer able of telling them what I want of them. This is something I found out today as I took my time thinking and reflecting on my so called anniversary.

18 comments:

Shimaa Gamal said...

The thing about men is that they try to convince us, women, that they are capable of love. They start defining love and we start following their definations. A man would probably make up a big fight if you crossed one of his lines. A man will do his best to control that untamed horse. And because we, women, really love we are always willing to change as far as this change will grant us the happy satisfied smile on their faces.
Widsom comes at high cost, baba dayman ye2oly en el 7agat elly howa mesh 3aref ye3lamehlay bokra el zaman ye3lamehlay and always end that phrase enoh mn el a7san eny asma3 el kalam badal ma el zaman elly ye3alemny. He was right fi 7agat keteer, though eny mn el noo3 elly bey2ool 7ader we na3am.
It is good though to learn how to control anger, maybe not in the very same way you supress your feeling but maybe you could find a middle road between the bursting and the supressing.

insomniac said...

i will never understand men anyways!

el zaman mesh bas bey3allem, beyrabby kaman :))

i am trying to learn about the midle ground, but i guess i am just worn out for now... ahoh, mesh waraya 7aga!

hesperia said...

what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.
we r all bound to feel real beat sometimes, and then we drag all the past hurt and blame ourselves and others. and while you may think you're "healing", true healing comes from 2 things: complete forgiveness of yourself and others, and true acceptance of yourself and others.
while that may seem easier said than done, it is all about self decipline and determination, which i believe (although i dont know you) that you greatly posses :)

gjoe said...

Inso,
7'alas..mesh adra as7ateml aktar men keda..7aram...kefayaaa!
reading your posts amazes me everyday how similar we are..In every damn thing. I have these creepy thoughts that I am reading into my future..La2 begad ya inso..and I think about your posts a considerable amount of the day. I swear to god, a couple of days ago..when you had this post about your mom's convo with your friend, i started to talk about it to my sister..and i found my tone getting tenser and i was refering to myself.

And the way you say your parents try to discipline you ( i am currently in that phase) and that you willingly gave in to your X..la2 mesh moken..I have never been in a relationship before..bass when I picture myself with someone..I picture myself giving my all to him and sacrificing even the person I once knew. It seems that I should learn early on..

I don't know if to thank you, or to stop reading your posts because they get to me like an arrow in the heart. Oh well, Thank You!

I cannot describe the similarity in personality aktar men keda :)..my parents have always told me that I am unique though :P

insomniac said...

hesperia,

i think that in practice, real life is not as clear cut as all the words you said!

people heal, everyone heals really, the time they take differs big time tho. what doesn't kill u makes you stronger regarding that particular kind of pain, and even then, it can change something about you or kill something in you... all i am saying is that yes, it made me stronger, but it also made me more vulnerable in other ways, and it did change so many things in me other than my temper and anything else i might have mentioned...

as for forgiveness, it's not just hard, for it do be done without grudges, u need time and space, u need the pain to wear off so u can gather the needed strength to forgive and accept... i can say i am half way there, but i know i won't reach complete forgiveness because i will never have that much space... i don't think it's about either discipline or determination... it's about moving on when ur ready, you cannot force that to happen; every time i forced myself to do it i relapsed!

thank you very much for your comment, keep coming :)

insomniac said...

gjoe :)

mesh 3arfa 2a2ollek eh!!! bas akeed ur being a gemini is one of the reasons you're reacting this way to my post; your imagination is making you relate to my story because perhaps our personalities have a few things in common... (i am in my analyzing phase these days)..

but really tho, whenever i read or watch a movie i react that way with the character that sounds like me the most!! sometimes (back when i had enough time) i would continue the book/movie in my head with me as the main character... ok, that's too much information :))

hey about giving all of u to the one you love... i always thought that way, i lived that way!! i don't know if i should advise you against that because i still thinking that it's the way to do it... so i will just wish you well on that :) we ya sety ya rab ur future yeb2a a7san men my present, ba3d el shar 3aleeky ya3ne :))

oh, and ma3lesh mesh kol kalam ur parents ghalat, i hate to admit that sometimes they have better vision (i will deny that if reminded by it the next time i argue with my parents)

silent observer said...

Oh Shit!
I love this post

insomniac said...

thanks!

ummm, sorry!

Anonymous said...

just a little comment to what Hesperia typed

what doesn't kill you can scar you for life

& Insomniac
the wild horse analogy..boy that was a turn on!

hurricane_x said...

"They’re too specific and too painful that I think I will never be able to talk about them because I hid them so well I no longer remember those details as clearly, this is why they haunt me leaving me unable to speak."
*SIGH*
Some details r never forgotten insomniac!

Well, it seems good how u ended up being "so called tamed" or "wise", yet u ended up there using supression and happiness-it-brings pleasing people which will one day lead to a collapse and going back to ur unleashed state. Maybe not that drastic but u'll snap from time to time which totally opposes the "wisdom" word!

What I say is not "fal7asa" but that's what I did, and I ended up with a disfigured wisdom.
Conclusion: I'm too confused to say!
But sure u learned a lot, and it's a painful experience, and I guess we all need some kind of...dunno...treatment!!

Sherif said...

Making a compromise is actually a need .. in order to handle our whole life ..

I'm not talking about the other gender .. but also friends, relatives even of the same sex as well.

We can never tailor people to our desire .. hence, the only way is to find a middle gound to stand on ..

So why only men? someday you'll turn into a beautiful mum .. and too much fidgeting will drive you mad .. but then, you can never throw them out of the window ..

It's only because of one thing .. you just love them .. in this way you keep silent ..calm .. and I never call it submission .. but rather tactfulness ..

This my first visit to your blog .. I'm afraid I become stuck to it ..

regards

insomniac said...

anon,

yep, keyword "scars"...

really!! whatever!!


hurricane,

they are not forgotten, they are just pretending to be forgotten!

as for snapping from time to time, i do! but it's depressing how i snap le gowa!! i suppress it even more... i hate it, i liked being angry and showing it, now i suck it up... i wanna get angry again before i lose my mind!!!

u said it right, "disfigured wisdom" is what i have...


Sherif,

making compromises that contradict with your principles and beliefs is always the wrong decision whatever the reason u made those compromises for... trust me!

i am not sure i understood what you say about the one day u'll turn into a mom... i AM a mom!! i have two restless kids who already drive me nuts and for whom i compromise a lot things i wouldn't normally even consider! i admit, being a parent changes a lot of things.... but it's the kind of change you cannot resent regardless how painful it could be!

thanks for your visit, ur welcomed to keep coming

Sherif said...

insomniac

I'm sorry I didn't know you're already mom ..!!

Nothing mentioned here or there by the way :))

I like your blog .. I think I'll keep reading your past posts ..

I don't know if you prefer reading Arabic and if you do, you're most welcome to my blog

All the best

insomniac said...

sherif,

it's all over my blog that i have kids... i just don't feel like a mother, i feel like i am another child!

i have photos of them on the blog!!

but it's ok, ur new here :)

and i checked both of ur blogs and i know i will keep coming :)

Jade said...

I think you are better off where you are now. Yes, it's wrong to be the suppressed, passive person that you became with him - but at the same time, loosing your temper & being angry a lot - is nothing to Love...
Tame your own self now that you are on your own - decide when & why it is right to get angry & when not...
You're getting better & you'll keep getting there...

All My Love,
J

insomniac said...

you're sorta right jade!

i just feel confused at the moment; too many things going around me and i can't put my hand on the right emotion to display... angry was useful that way, now i have to consider being angry kaman!

nevermind..

thanks anyway dear

Dino$ said...

wow.. so there are ppl around the world who experience the same things ! I try to justify their actions and hurtful words and the continuous criticism every single day of your life.. no matter how hard you try they still try to mold you to be THEM or maybe even to stop you from making their own mistakes...

Today i saw an old man passing the street with his son ( around 17 yr old) and as i was about to turn my car into the parking they were passing the entrance and i didn't honk.. i saw them i slowed down..

The old man with a serious and "disgusted" face tightly grabbed his son by his arm and pushed him so he would walk faster.. He did it because he was afraid i would run him over.. and he did it so naturally and the son didn't even react.. he just had a "reaction less" blank face...continued walking next to his dad as if nothing had just happened.. as if he was used to being treated this way for no real reason... truth is i was not going to run him over.. and i did see them both... and if he just patted him on the back and said " habeebi sayara" it could of been a happy moment..

Most parents can't express themselves properly.. their love can cause major psychological problems that might never heal and that you will carry on for the rest of your life..

I just wish that i can someday feel that i am the daughter they wanted me to be.. that i turned out okay.. that maybe at some level i made them proud..

AT the end i remember that they are our parents and we have to take in thier love no matter what form it is given...

even if its a huge gazma in your face :) take it with love :P

nice post

insomniac said...

Dino$ :)

welcome to my blog :))

yeah parents are hard to understand most of the time... but hey i am a parent too now, i pray day and night i won't be another version of my ma!