December 30, 2008
I am usually not the person who does that kind of end of year contemplations, and I am definitely do not do New Year’s resolutions either. However, everyone I know (and even those I don’t) seem to be taking the time to give 2008 a general overview!
It’s sad though how a lot of people keep counting the misfortunes that happened in the ending year. I mean, come on, there must be some good stuff that happened; otherwise, it would feel like a whole year has been completely wasted!
My friend told me it’s almost impossible to find anything good that happened in 2008 globally! I won’t try to prove her wrong; I’m too tired to do exhaust my brain cells. Instead, I decided to figure out the good things that happened to me in 2008.
It took me a rather long tour on my blog reviewing the posts I wrote since January! I rather find myself feeling the same about this year like I felt about August!
Anyways, I will be more specific about things that happened through the year which I consider positive…
I made new friends, I’m really grateful!
I managed to make more personal space for myself; I went to the movies a few times and been to a couple of music concerts, which is a big deal to a single mom!
I had two reunions with childhood friends; one in Jan, a 5-day trip to Luxor & Aswan, and the other in Aug, a 4-day trip all through the North Coast (Cairo, Alex, Matrouh, North Coast, Cairo)!! It was great meeting up with those guys again; I hope it happens again soon.
Kept my job for more than a year now with continuous positive feedback (aside from my daily morning tardiness :$). Managed two banquets for companies within the same field, and made good contacts with people from our Head Office, can’t complain at all!
Decided to start the D Blog as my way of giving something positive back, and this blog has earned me two precious friends (I know, it should fall into the friends category on top)!
I floated! (that was one hell of an accomplishment!!)
Went to Art Therapy and enjoyed it!
Had a kickass virtual birthday, and had dinner on the same day with my two best friends D & H :)
Caught up with M during his brief visit to Egypt and managed to have the most interesting conversations with him!
Became an auntie to two cuties; H’s baby boy on Oct13 and D’s baby boy on Oct18, two Libra boys! May God bless them and grant their mommies the patience to handle their Libra quirkiness!
Finally, through all the above, I have come to know a lot more about myself and my capabilities, I set a few rules for myself to live by and lived up to most of which, and I somehow managed to accept a lot of things that I never thought I would find it in me to deal with!
Alhamdulilah, I am grateful for all that. I can feel a slight bitter aftertaste because of all the other bad things that happened through the year, but I am willing to let go of it. This is why tomorrow; I am taking the day off so that my friend (and blog partner) and I would get the chance to bid this year farewell by sealing it with one good day at any cost!
Year 2008, farewell, thanks for all the laughs, really!
December 28, 2008
It just hit me!
Like any self proclaimed narcissist, I am aware of my qualities because I strongly believe that I should nourish and enrich them; not just that, I am also aware of my flaws because by embracing them, I learn how to not let them cloud my judgments and try to keep them under control.
It helps me learn about myself when I talk to people; when I hear their opinions and compare them against mine and see where I can relate and where I just can’t. I don’t always share what’s in my mind in the midst of that process, and sometimes I don’t share at all, but I definitely learn a lot.
A lot of people told me I am very emotional and passionate, and it goes both ways whether it’s about something I feel positively or negatively about.
I know friends who would intentionally provoke me into an argument just to watch my face turning red as I get carried away to make my point! Sometimes, while presenting my case, I catch a smile on my friends’ faces that goes “there she goes”, which could make me pause with embarrassment while sometimes it just makes me laugh as I realize they’re doing it on purpose!
Whether people do it on purpose, and whether I am catching on to their tricks, either way I always get passionate when people (mostly those I am on friendly basis with) lure me into an argument. It’s one of my things I suppose!
Ironically enough, although everyone I know keeps telling me that my passion is one of my biggest strengths, I keep finding out how it is my biggest weakness as well!
I don’t have an off-button for it. Sometimes I act like a crazy emotional neurotic (and sometimes hormonal) version of Don Quixote as I go on and on explaining things and proving points to an indifferent audience. It drives me crazy that I can’t help it even when I know I am being pushed on purpose just to be drained out of my strength.
Needless to say, I feel pathetic as I watch myself drawn to one futile argument after the other just like a moth to flame! I tell myself I should stop; that I should take a moment to pause hoping that moment would baffle those who want to use my passion against me. I tell myself that by always replying, I sometimes end up dignifying someone’s false claim, and that sometimes the best arguments are the ones unsaid! Sadly, I rarely go by that plan, and the few times I actually do, I get too angry and sometimes I even burst in tears!!
Talk about deadly passion!
Now, what’s your biggest strength? Could it also be your weakness?
December 25, 2008
Who knew depression can pile up and sneak on me all of a sudden at the very time I would normally think I even passed Phase V: Acceptance!
I was fine, I was alright, and I was accepting, even embracing my life and finding my little joys. A friend of mine was telling me a while back that he was impressed at my ability to shake off the negativity by getting involved in whatever distractions that come my way instead of wallowing and sulking in my bad mood.
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?!!!
Thanks to my mother for wanting me to reconsider “saving my marriage”; I can’t believe her! I can’t believe she’s still forcing me to have that discussion; I’ve been speaking my heart out all through the past time, wasn’t she listening!!!! I mean hello, the whole blogsphere knows how I feel about that marriage and they don’t even know me; what’s wrong with my own mother and why the hell can’t she just understand, accept and support me? Why is it so freakin’ much to ask?
And oh no, not just that, she’s saying that my dad has hope I would change my mind under his thick layers of disgust at my x. Seriously?! Although there is a considerable degree of untruth to everything she says, especially assumptions she makes about my father; she has successfully managed to alienate me from talking to him!
She is scaring the crap out of me. The fact that someone so close keeps reminding me of how hard raising those two boys will be without a marriage, and the fact that she keeps stressing that I won’t be able to do it and that they will grow up to resent and blame me for it, just cripples me and sends me back to my worst place.
I’m back to my worst days during the end of my pregnancy. Of course I don’t cry as much, but I’m choking on my words every time I speak, and I feel like I really can’t breathe, and I am so close to having a panic attack right at work that I keep rushing to the washroom because I don’t want people to see it happening!
Thanks to all the stress and the fear to which she’s exposing me, death does not sound half as scary as raising my kids; how freaky is that?! If I die my kids will idealize me and they will definitely love whatever memory I leave behind; sounds much better than “hating me for ruining the home they could have had” ME!
You know what ma; if I am such a lousy person and an extraordinarily horrible mother, take over, please. I will completely shut up about all the mess you’ve made; I will not share any of my therapist’s opinions of you or your role in how I picked the notorious x.
Who am I kidding? I can’t just sit back and let go of my boys for either you or him to raise them so that you’d get off my case. And neither can I go back to him; sadly my personality is too strong for his taste, not to mention that I cannot hide my contempt for him.
When you push so hard, you make me wish I were as submissive as you are, but it’s not in me to live that way, and I am sorry but I am not that crushed or broken to let people decide for me how I should live my life for anybody’s sake, even my kids, ok!
Please stop scaring me, I can’t take any of it anymore and I feel so freakin’ alone and I am sick of looking for support because I know that at the end of the day, I am completely alone in this and you’re taking away from me every ounce of strength I need to do it on my own and alienating me from everyone! I can take it from him, but coming from you, it just stinks!
December 24, 2008
I don’t believe in regret; to me, it simply does not fix things, it just makes one feel worse about things that are most likely too late to change. However, there are always times when I wonder “what if..??”; I always find it intriguing to think, like it’s my own mental exercise.
Since all my drama began, I would have those thoughts from time to time:
What if I never befriended him?
What if I never believed his lies when I first called it off?
What if I walked out when it got complicated?
What if I called off the marriage like I wanted to when it kept getting complicated?
What if I never agreed to move in with his family after his father died?
What if I never forgave him when he first screwed around?
What if I had decided to stay?
I have a could-have-been answer to each of those, but I really have peace with what really happened versus what could have happened.
But in my darkest hour, one very persisting thought haunts me… what if I never had kids with him?
Every time I find myself asking that question, I realize I’m hitting rock bottom. Don’t get me wrong I love my children, they’re probably the only real thing in my life.
The thought starts creeping in by me thinking “had I not had children with him, I would have walked away for good and never had to look back or be forced to sit and have all those futile arguments”. After all, most of the time I seem to manage not to cross ways with those I don’t like.
Then, I feel horrible having those thoughts in my head, and as I start blaming myself, I hear the other voice justifying “but they deserve better than such messed up parents; and let’s face it, aside from their crazy father, you know you are far away from the perfect mom they deserve. You wouldn’t be wondering what if they were never there if you were a decent mother; but you too want the easy way out, perhaps you’re not much better than him”
What I hate the most is that the silly voices in my head are right; I am a lousy mother, the only thing that makes me a good parent is being compared to him.
Now, I should shake off the silly thoughts, and tell myself it will be over; that there are so many reasons behind it all, and that most of which must be good because my kids are two amazing, cute and innocent children who must not pay for the stupid choices I made. I should tell myself to get it together and stop wallowing in those dark thoughts and go try harder at being a better parent.
Well, if you can’t right now, then it’s ok, send Beem to the club with your parents, put Mocha to bed, and go eat away your bad mood with your friend.
Must get ice cream on my way home.
December 23, 2008
When I was little, I didn’t realize I had a good childhood because I had (and still have) so many issues with my parents. I still find it confusing whenever I think about it; no wonder I confuse myself all the time!
My father was hard on me; he was always too strict because he thought it would make me a better person. He had ethics and principles that he practiced most of the time, except when anger got the best of him. The man who taught me that words once said, cannot be taken back, was the very same person who'd shoot words at me and make me spend so many sleepless nights crying before we'd start giving each other the silent treatment!
It could have been about feeling guilty, or simply because we were not ready to communicate, but we could go on not speaking to one another for as long as it took! One look at his face could tell how much more angry words he would be holding back and one look at mine could say how I thought I'd never forgive him. Truth is, I guess it mostly hurt because I knew I couldn't love him any less.
My father taught me a lot without knowing. He taught me to hold back my anger when I know I can't handle the consequences of letting it out. He taught me that we can get badly hurt by those we love, but it hurts even more when we know we can't do but forgive them because we can't imagine our lives without them. But most importantly, he taught me that forgiveness does not come with begging for it; I never begged for his, and he never begged for mine, but somehow we seem to be doing just great!
My mother on the other hand never had my father's strong character or presence. She tried to use his authority for her benefit, but it never served her the way she hoped for; in fact, it made her look less powerful! My only way of getting over my mother's hurtful words is by talking back to her face and confronting her with whatever nonsense she spoke; my logic had always beaten hers. I have always tried to use silent treatment out of my guilt for talking back at her, but she just never let me; she always said I had a cruel heart because of that!
My mother taught me that sometimes fighting back, as frustrating as it can be, helps you get over such fights. Sometimes it just helps to know you gave as much as you took, or not; after all, my mom and I are never on good terms for a long time.
My x was a lot like my mother; he’d shoot heartless words like there was no tomorrow, while I was more like my father, I’d keep piling up and strictly watch out for whatever words coming out of my mouth. Moreover, I barely ever snapped like my father; not just because I didn’t want to return the hurt, but also because I never wanted to beg for his forgiveness like he begged for mine.
He always said I was too proud and unforgiving. He just never got it; he was the one person with whom I was not that proud and he never had to beg for my forgiveness! Ironically, he always begged for it and it made him feel less proud, so he thought I was too proud to forgive him!
I always thought I was unforgiving. It took me quite some time to realize that I actually have it in me to forgive. Sometimes all it took was knowing that no malice was intended, sometimes it was because I could return the harm and get even, and sometimes it just happened because I was given enough time and space.
I’m sorry, I don’t have it in me yet. I am not angry like I once was, and neither am I hurt; I just remember too many things that I know you’re not sorry for, or at least not the way you should be, and that means you’re still the kind of person I can’t forgive.
I have moved on, and even evolved a bit... I don’t hate you, and I obviously can stand you, but I lost that magic that made you seem flawless to me and I honestly do not want it back.
Why can’t we just write “The End” here?
Why do you keep pushing? You’re confusing me, you’re trying to make me feel guilty, but what you do not get is that all your tactics will never make me want back; being away from you is the one certainty on which I am rebuilding my life, and it’s not about forgiveness, so please stop begging for it.
December 20, 2008
When I was growing up, nobody bothered explaining!
They told me stories from religion and those from fairytales, all conforming that “good things happen to good people and that bad people always get what they deserve”, nothing could ever question that logic.
In the great attempt of encouraging me to be a good person, they forgot to bring my attention to the hardships good people have to face before they get the good they deserved. They forgot to teach me that “good things come to those who wait”, keyword: wait; they forgot to teach me about patience.
It took me 25 years of being an average good person –a very impatient one though-, to realize that I misunderstood a few important facts about life. I was “good” because I did not want bad things to happen to me. My goodness was all about inflicting no harm on others; the point was that no one would do to me the things I never did to others. If I disliked someone, the most damage I could do was showing it by not paying any attention to them; that made sense in my head because it was better than being a hypocrite.
In the process, the person I harmed the most was I. I was not a good person as far as I was concerned, but I didn’t see it because when it came to others I was my own weird version of all the fairytale characters I liked! I could not harm others, not intentionally at least, but I did harm myself, both intentionally and unintentionally! Needless to say, bad things came my way even when I thought I was being good.
It didn't stop there! The agony and the pain of thinking I was good and being so messed up blurred my thinking for quite a long time! Since I was never really the depressed kind of person, anger was my outlet. Seeing good people I know, having their own load of hardships did not help either; it was extremely beyond me to understand or accept that bad things do happen to good people. I kept getting angrier and more resentful of everything around me, and I became my own worst enemy.
Of course being married to a crazy person who manipulated all that to his own interest and being pregnant and hormonal twice in less than two years did not help at all!
It took me a bad marriage, and all the things that came along with it to find my way and learn so many lessons I did not even know I should learn! Around the past couple of years, I redefined my understanding of life and people.
It was such a revelation to figure out that life is not as black and white as I thought it was. Although actions speak louder than words, things people do cannot always be explained from a black/white perspective! People are not necessarily all good and definitely not all bad! It's more like supply and demand but in a more complicated way because the factors defining those curves are not in anyone’s hands to control.
That was my hardest lesson to learn. Bad things happen to good people! It was hard to accept bad things, to understand that how I react to them can either help me understand the how’s and why’s or can leave me confused and angry forever.
Patience on the other hand is still something so hard for me to practice, I usually distract myself until things pass, or tell myself to just sit there and wait for the reasons to prevail, but I wish I would be patient more gracefully, I’m still working on that.
heights… it’s manageable, but it gets to me from time to time…
insects and spiders… tried working on my fear by killing them, but I get too hysteric throwing shoes at them and then I get to scared their spirits would haunt my shoes…
becoming another version of my own mother… or my kids resenting me like I sometimes resent her…
death… only because I know it will come when I’m least ready, and because now I have two people depending on me…
growing old… the helplessness and the loneliness scare me, plus, women in my family DO NOT age gracefully…
that my decisions, especially the bad ones, would come back and haunt me…
losing loved ones, either to death or to disappointment followed by detachment and letting go…
looking back and feeling that my life was a total waste…
December 17, 2008
I hate being condescending; condescending people usually get on my nerves and give me strong urges to punch them in the face, but sometimes I am severely provoked and I find myself doing it.
SALESPEOPLE DRIVE ME INSANE!
Yes!!! I’ve said it. I don’t know if it’s this country and its collective culture or it's global, but for the love God, I need a break from all the sales phone calls, I don’t have it in me to be pleasant and appropriate both in my professional life and in my personal life all the time, I too need to practice my right of being obnoxious!!!
I do not mean to undermine salespeople or their profession or the science behind the whole theory of selling; hell, I’m a huge consumerist, I would normally be a salesperson's best friend in a perfect world!!
But let me just clarify a couple of things here…
Being a business grad, I kinda studied some of that; however, I am really not in the mood of saying big business jargon, partially because I’m a bit rusty here, but mostly because this post is not about showing off my rather limited knowledge.
I was taught a few sales principles that every salesperson, as well as his/her employers (most of which I’ve known of are idiots who know/practice nothing of those principles) should be aware of…
- Sales is NOT marketing… marketing is the backstage for sales; they complete one another, but they are definitely not the same… any half decent academic book can simply explain that!
- Salespeople MUST know their customer… before you call in a company offering your product/service, ask about the company you’re calling; it may sound like no big deal to you, but trust me, it will save you unnecessary embarrassment and heck, it might even make the conversation a bit more interesting or you might learn something new!!! And if you’re at the mall or whatever, and you notice a married couple (the rings theory), don’t approach them with a stupid greasy smile about timeshare or such crap while they're both wearing their angry faces or struggling to discipline their kid(s)! And FYI timeshare: BAAAAAA
- Salespeople MUST be honest… for the love of God, whoever said you should lie or hide facts to make your product/service look/sound flawless is a big fat jerk who could have been really successful, but it’s not guaranteed that you have the same kind of evil wits they had to pull it off yourself!! I –as well as the next potential customer/client- prefer to know the cons of whatever it is you’re offering before the pros; this way, I can never be really disappointed when I expect something to expire within a certain period of time! I appreciate honesty, and I doubt any other reasonable person wouldn’t!
- Salespeople MUST have wits… now, being honest does not mean you have to make the truth sound as dull as it might be; you can simply focus on little perks in your product/service that would appeal to your potential customer. Be smart and use decent humor, but don’t push it; no one likes a jerk who says lame jokes and laughs at them!
- Salespeople MUST know when to STOP… please, do know when to stop pushing, because once you lose the attention of your audience, there is no way you're getting it back, and then it gets really humiliating and annoying; so just know when to back off!
- Salespeople MUST be pleasant and polite… even when you’re turned down, maintain the smile WHILE backing off; be a graceful loser, no one likes a sore loser. And if you’re turned down rudely, trust me, it will embarrass the other person much more if you keep your cool and just walk away with your head held high; rude people are either angry people who are likely to feel horrible after such reaction, or crazy people who would take it against you and keep giving you more rude words until they cause trouble, you see, the customer is always right ;)
Now, I completely respect and communicate with any salesperson who contacts me –either at work or while I’m out on a personal errand- who knows and practices those rules; even when I don’t need the product/service, I politely say "thank you" and smile.
On the other hand, I have serious issues with those who don’t, and sometimes I turn into my angry b**** mode and make that salesperson feel like crap by stating in so many ways how unprofessional they are. I really hate doing that, and I feel horrible afterwards (unless the salesperson was a super jerk who pushed buttons other than my intolerance for unprofessionalism). I feel bad because I hate that some people might mistake my attitude for me being less appreciative of people working in that field, especially that it’s a common misconception that sales people are not as cool as marketing and advertising people!
I don’t hate you good salespeople out there; as a matter of fact, I love you, and I love buying things from you, sometimes I am even too impressed by your qualities that I spend money on things I may not really need and it still feels good, and I even spread the word!! See, I am your best friend for real, just do not take me for grated.
December 14, 2008
"You've come a long way" That’s what two of my friends whom I’ve got to know through this blog have told me when they last heard about my last encounters with the x. They said they were proud, and hearing that from two people who have not even gotten to see how it was when I first started, I couldn’t help but feel much prouder.
That’s the thought that came to mind as he kept calling.
Flashbacks of me crying nonstop since it all started, memories of utter confusion and self-doubt. Small details that haunted me and took away my peace, I remember them all! Not as painfully clear as I thought I would always do; they don’t bring as much pain, almost none, but they are quite the reminder of what I’ve been through.
Like the few hours before my c-section… and before that, the long drives with my pregnant belly and tears blinding me. Like the stitches that kept coming off post surgery from all the weeping and sobbing. Like the public humiliation caused by all the lies and the insults. Like his girlfriend walking towards me and rubbing it in and the dentists who used such information to harass me… millions of small details that caused so much turbulence and led me to believe I could never bounce back.
So I guess yes, I never thought I would reach indifference. I spent too many hours wishing for revenge and hoping I’d see him painfully regretting all of it. My ego visualized scenarios of him asking to have me back and me harshly rejecting him and hurting him twice as much as he hurt me. There were times I even motivated myself to move on by imagining the negative impact it would have on him to see me taking control of my own life without him. Until recently, I would occasionally wish him terrible things when it gets too annoying for my taste, and then I’d silently blame myself and shake off the negative feelings or write about it when it was too much to be shaken.
Until he actually asked me to return to him, I did not realize it would mean NOTHING to me the way it did! My ego did not even gloat about it; it seemed to shake its non-existing head without the least signs of interest, who knew! I found myself smiling to myself, for indifference felt much better to me than any possible revenge I could possibly plot or hope for! I am grateful that way.
So no, you don’t have any hold on me whatsoever, and it feels liberating to really know that you can’t get to me like you once did. It’s not fulfilling that you keep asking me to reconsider, it’s rather discomforting because it makes me worry my continuous rejection will make you react violently. Men do not take rejection well, something about male ego… and let’s put it this way, you’re not the sanest of men, not even close.
When you keep asking dull questions that should give you hints on my so called romantic life, you make me wanna laugh! You wouldn’t understand, all those who smile at me like they know better do not get it either. My romantic self is brain-dead, she’s on life support and I am too afraid to declare it, but I know she would not wake up, and I am completely ok with it; it makes me feel safe that way.
And no, I don’t want a divorce so that I can get married, I dread marriage now, not just because of the horrible experience or the lessons I learned in the process, but also because I know I would lose my kids to you, something I can never live with… but would you know about that!
Stop trying to talk me into being with you, stop trying to talk me out of divorce. There is no chance in hell I would reconsider. Had you known me better, you’d know I would not compromise on that one; that’s what happens when you marry solely for love, you have no reason to stay once that love is beaten out of you :)
Let me enjoy my peace, and go look for yours elsewhere for I have none to offer you.
Last night I went to bed thinking about redecorating my room. I am already buying a placard and bunkers and I was considering changing my bed. Also, my mom said something about how stained my walls seem to be, which gave me courage to say that I HATE the yellow with passion and I would really like a new color; I really don’t know what I was thinking choosing that shade. In my defense, I was pregnant and depressed and someone said yellow was cheerful, it’s not, it actually makes me wanna poke my eyes when I am headachy and have to look at yellow walls!!
I ended up having a weird dream of my x. Actually, the dream was more of an extension to his occasional calling and my redecorating ideas. We were furniture shopping and he kept stopping at bedrooms and choosing stuff he’d buy for us!! It freaked me out and I asked him why he’d be buying me a new bedroom, and he said because he wanted me back. I swear, that had a nightmare effect on me that I woke up and rushed to bathroom and kept washing my face with ice-cold water telling myself over and over again I was not going back to him.
Then we had that phone call today. Apparently, I’m somewhat psychic, he was supposed to get the keys to the apartment we planned to move into when we first got married, and he called asking if I wanted to join him. After I gave him my it’s-non-of-my-business attitude, and after he kept saying that he was planning to furnish that place so that the boys and I would move there, I couldn’t help remembering my dream/nightmare of earlier. I’ve been noticing how he’d subtly hint to the old days when we were love birds and I have politely and also subtly pointed out that he shouldn’t. That was when this happened…
Me: ok, you call a lot, and I am too busy to meet and discuss our divorce settlement, so how about we do it over the phone?
Him: come on, such things cannot be discussed over the phone
Me: trust me, it should take less time than your daily calls, and I meant we should talk headlines and meet to discuss details later, at least so that both of us would be prepared…
Him: we’ll disagree, and it’s harder to convince you to stay on the phone than it is to make you stay when we’re sitting somewhere
Me: I wouldn’t count on that if I were you
Him: shayfa, adeena ekhtalafna
Me: ok then, until I figure out when we can meet stop calling
Him: (bla bla bla, I really don’t remember what he said)
Me: (bla bla bla, I was probably answering his bla bla)
Him: ok, law 3ayza nenfesel, yeb2a by February, I don’t have money to settle el mo2akhar before that
Me: but I told you so many times before, I do not want that money; you can put it in a fund for the boys, or use it to furnish that apartment if we should move there, but I am not taking money from you
Him: bas da law 3ayza nanfesel…
Me: ok, let me say that clearly enough, esmaha nettala2, nenfesel has a nos nos kinda meaning, like how we are now, we’re separated but we’re neither married nor divorced…
Him: (in a weird tone) ok, nettala2, ma3 enny shayef enaha fekra ghabeya…
Me: (thinking NOT AGAIN) we elly e7na feeh da mesh ghabawa!!! It’s not right by any means, so please don’t make me go over it again!!
Him: (in a cautious and hesitant tone) ana mesh asdy nefdal keda, ana asdi nerga3…
Me: (oh my God, NOOOOOO) no… no!
Him: but why, just talk it through without losing your temper…
Me: you’re asking me why? Ok, how many reasons do you want???
Him: khalas, no need to humiliate me
Me: (feeling bad for a split second that I squished his ego) ok… so what is your divorce settlement?
Him: ok then, I plan to pay for the boys’ education, medical care, clothes and such needs plus a monthly allowance, I just don’t know how much I can commit to yet…
Me: (really?!!!!!) in that case, I think it’s ok, thanks…
Him: right… so when do we meet?
Me: I’ll contact my lawyer and ask him to prepare the necessary documents, and will call you
Him: is that it?
Me: (I don’t want any mushy BS about the way we were) hey, I gotta go, my sis is calling, mocha needs a change, salam
Him: tesba7y 3ala kheir
Me: wenta men ahloh, bye
If he really meant it, and if he was as hurt as he sounded, then I am sorry. I just don’t think it’s ok to live with someone whom I no longer love, trust or respect. There is nothing he can do that can fix that, but there is a million other things he can do to fix whatever happened between us by being a good father to his boys. He’s still the immature man who tried and almost broke me, and I doubt he’s good father material, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t close my eyes real hard and hope for the best; after all, I can’t waste my kids’ chance of having a half decent father.
Something tells me he will end up being his same old self, and I will end up ranting about it here.
December 4, 2008
Coming from a religiously conservative family, I was brought up to take extra pride in my faith, even though I did not necessarily understand it enough to practice it properly. Almost everyone in my family (from both sides) has a meaningful name influenced by religion.
My dad gave my sisters and me very unique names that make people go “ohhhh” when they know our names; they are simple, short and have quite the religious significance.
Mine however is not exclusively Islamic, it goes back to Jewish origins; a fact which makes it easier to pronounce than my sisters’. My father’s name on the other hand is esm morrakab; meaning, he has two names to count as a first name, more like the western verion of middle names, only everyone I know acknowledges his second name since the first is Mohamed, which is pretty common in our culture.
Until college, I used to go by my first name and my father’s middle name. That combination made my name sound perfectly neutral; people couldn’t guess my religion and accordingly treated me cautiously in fear of offending me.
I won’t go through with the whole issue of whether religious tolerance exists in Egypt or not; it’s fair to say that some people (either Christians or Muslims) are tolerant of the other religion, while some others simply aren’t. As a child, it was confusing, and it led to a huge deal of misconceptions that took me quite some time to overcome (not in a traumatizing way though).
I resented by name, because it made people ask me too many questions. I really wanted a simpler name that did not raise so much questions and wonderings before people started getting comfortable.
Until I got veiled!
I was confronted by how cruel society can be, judging people by their looks. I realized that my neutral name and non-significant appearance shielded me from awkward moments. I realized it was a blessing having been treated with extra caution!
And no, it’s not the expected group of people who judged me, whatever that is. Against the general assumption, I travelled to the US the next summer, and I barely had any troubles because of my veil. Average Americans, aside from the “notorious” political agenda (which is not up to me to support or condemn), do not judge people based on their looks the way people do in Egypt (and perhaps the Middle East). We are such racists and bigots and the sad part is that we hide it under thick layers of fake religiousness and liberalism which we barely practice when unwatched.
Please meet those who judge me…
- Strictly religious Muslims who consider what I wear not hijab, and expect me to dress more modestly, and
- Pseudo-Liberals, either Christians or Muslims who seem to be very appalled by my veil!
Now I won’t go defending my choice or my religion because I don’t think those who judge me or my likes would either understand or appreciate what I have to say. All I can say is “SHAME ON YOU”, both parties.
“Religious Muslim Practicers”, you should know that “الأعمال بالنيات”, you should know that “الدين يسر، و ليس عسر”, you should “بشروا و لا تنفروا”, and if I am that offensive to look at, you can totally “غض البصر”!!
And “Liberals”, shame shame shame, the people who had passed the “liberal heritage” to you fought for big notions like “freedom of choice” that should be accepted without consequences, but what can I say, you were obviously never involved in such fights and simply cannot appreciate the trophy, freedom!!
I find both parties hypocrites, who miserably fail practicing what they preach and give their causes a horrible horrible names.
It used to hurt and offend me when I felt mistreated because of my veil, but then I realized something; it’s a unique way of blocking all the fakers and pretenders who can’t handle but judge me based on my appearance rather than my personality. To those people, I say it’s really your loss, touché!
December 1, 2008
It’s extremely funny to see how someone’s tone can switch from soft and inviting to obnoxious and offensive when they know they are definitely failing to get to you. It’s even funnier to take it with a smile and find fulfillment in their anger as they withdraw. Priceless!!
Now let’s rewind a bit to get to that point…
He calls every day, more than once, and I answer, but not every single time. I answer because I like to confront my feelings and defy them; I know my dislike for him is huge, and I am taming my anger and discontentment and forcing myself to be civil around him until I can fairly say I reached indifference. Someone once told me I was my own worst critic that way; because I keep pushing myself to do the things I think I should do.
I told a friend of mine last week that my x’s tone is not making me feel comfortable; it’s like he still wants me back and he’s trying to be extra nice and sweet to make me “fall in love with him all over again”!!! He has no clue!
Throughout the week, I noticed how he’d call and start out by saying he was checking on the boys, and then he would babble on and on about his daily activities until he finally noticed my lack of interest with all my “hmm” and “aaah” that are not even synchronized with whatever he’d be saying.
He tried everything; he tried provoking me into arguing with him, to my surprise, I was not even tempted to honor his argument by answering or even saying a remark! He picked things that would annoy me, and it kinda did for a while there, only I managed to shake them off in less time than it took him to finish his sentence!! It was more surprising for me than it was for him! He ended up saying “damek ba2a te2eel awy”… I said in my monotonous tone without noticing what he was saying to begin with “ahuh, ghaleban”. We stayed silent for God knows how long until he realized there was nothing he would do to make me talk to him and just said “ok, I’ll talk to you later”, I just put my cell aside and resumed working on my excel sheet, like he never existed.
My recent indifference reminded me of that poem.
Confronting myself further, I wrote an email to a friend describing how I felt; how some of what he said kinda got to me, why I think they got to me, and how I told myself they shouldn’t. I admit I was a bit more upset after finishing the email, may be because I confronted myself way too much, but I soon forgot all about it having to finish up so many reports and go home to my babies.
Sitting on my bed and browsing away on my laptop, he called again. More or less the same scenario; soft tones hiding millions of futile ways to get under my skin, but I learned the trick, ignoring him is much easier when I am distracted checking my reader. He started the most pathetic thing, reminiscing! He kept talking about the good things he remembers of me, things I once did out of love, not because I wanted anything in return, things I would do again for anyone whom I care about half as much! And I was barely listening, so I didn’t know when it was my cue to say “aah”, so he was like, “do you remember?”, I instantly answered without thinking, “remembering does not make much of a difference really; it’s all meaningless now”… I did not say it to spite him or hurt him, I said it because it was how I felt!
That was when the tone altered dramatically as he turned into his most condescending tone “bey2olo elly maloosh mady we zekrayat, maloosh mosta2bal bardu”… I went BLANK!!!!!!! Normally I would have said something sarcastic or twisted his words to make him sound like an idiot, I would have found millions of way to use his own remark against him; instead, I didn’t even care the least to think of something, it just didn’t matter! He gave me his upset and hurt tone as he said “salam, and thanks a lot for the motivation, tesba7y 3ala kheir”, to which I replied “bye” and hung up.
After hanging up, it hit me that indifference has such a sweet sweet taste that’s only appreciated by those who stop caring. Either that or I have become numb. No complaints though, alhamdulilah.