May 31, 2008

On flowers...

Someone I know is not that much into flowers because they wilt and die. But isn’t that what happens to each and every one of us?! We grow old and die; we wilt and die at our own pace!! I don’t think it’s fair to hate something for doing the exact thing we do anyway!

I can understand though that we can resent things because we cannot resent ourselves. Moreover, we seem to share less postive things with flowers... things that are worth resenting if you ask me.

We tend to protect our vulnerabilities with layers of harshness and cynical atitude the way flowers –particularly roses- are protected by thorns...

Some of us have the looks but lack the character the same way some extremely beautiful flowers lack the the scent!

Some of us hide our malicious side behind fake glamour the way some flowers lure insects or other living things to devour them!

Like flowers, we need constant care in order to florish and blossom; otherwise, we develop anger and hate that would consume us the way weeds would surround flowers and feed on them!

But at the end of the day, I think flowers do it with more grace than us humans! They are practically dead the moment they are taken off their trees and put in a jar at the florist’s waiting for someone to buy them and pass them on to whoever receives them as a gift. We buy flowers when they have already died, yet they manage to still look beautiful and refreshing enough to convey whatever feelings we need to express.

Makes me wonder, how many humans do that? How many humans bring that much value into other people’s lives and take that little in return?! I think it’s something to think about when we come to consider our lives and our effect of other people’s lives, don’t you think?

I’ll leave you now with the song that inspired this post... Kamilya Jubran’s song, El Ba7r, lyrics of Sayed Hijab... here’s the verse...

بحب الورد فوق السور
و اعشق ضحكته الفانية
و احس فـريحته شوق مسحور
لناس حرة و حياه تانية

و احبه بين ادين عشاق
رسالة مهفهفة باشواق
و حتى و هو بلا اوراق
كتاب العشق ذكرى فراق

عمره فالهوى ليلتين
و عمره ما كان بعمره ضني
يرش هوى على الماشيين
و يتقاسمه مع الجايين

بحب الورد، احب الورد
و اعشق ضحكته و أنه
و احب الناس احب الناس
ماهم فيهم حاجات منه

May 29, 2008

On “harm”

In addition to my yesterday drama, I had not so great news regarding my divorce case. It’s to be postponed till next week for us to prepare witnesses who would witness on the harm caused by my x. The divorce case is called “طلاق للضرر” and apparently I have to prove harm!!

Having to think of witnesses to show for such a statement –preferably men as per the judge’s words-, I couldn’t help but think of the people –men- who know about the “harm”. Not much!! The count of people who know about the dirt in my divorce is very much limited; some people know there are problems but they don’t know how messy it has become and that it’s currently at court!!!

I can always count the readers of my blog whom I think make a bigger number than those who know in my real life!! The guys I know whom I told are around five, the girls are around the same number, my uncle and two of my dad’s friends!! I should have thought of that when I was being “harmed”!

So just to have people learning from my “experience”… To all the women who read this, for future reference, if your husbands get abusive, farrago 3aleehom khal2o, and make sure there are enough males watching!!! You just never know!

Anyways, I am not so scared about it; I came up with a good list of witnesses that I will pass to my lawyer and hopefully the judge wouldn’t have more requests before he spits out the ruling! I am glad that I have friends praying for me day in and day out and I am glad that the next time I go by the end of June, I will not be alone; I will have someone standing by my side whom I can hide in his arms if I need to feel weak and cry, uncle G.

On a lighter note, I was transferring my kids to a new nursery today. As I filled the application for each of them this is what I wrote under “Is there anything else you think we need to know about your child?”…

Beem: He’s stubborn and he has a good memory, but he’s easily distracted. His father and I are currently separated until the divorce is final

Mocha: He’s very stubborn and fidgety and restless, and he hates being left alone even when asleep. His father and I are currently separated until the divorce is final

I needed to write that last line; I needed that fact acknowledged to whoever reads it!! And I think their teachers should not press so hard on things like “what does daddy do?” and “how do you spend your time with daddy?

That’s it for the day I guess! Oh, and I am going to art therapy today, again. I’ve been told I could use more of that!

May 28, 2008

I don’t wanna talk about it!

I feel upset, hurt and angry. It’s so intense that every time I start thinking about it, somehow my thoughts keep taking me to unpleasant scenarios and conclusions that make me end up crying.

I am not even sure I can put it in well organized words because it is very chaotic in here in my head and in my heart; I wanna scream my brains and cry my heart out but I learned the hardest ways possible that it won’t make a difference. So I don’t wanna talk about it.

However, I will try to channel the negativity in another way; if it doesn’t work, then hopefully I will be distracted! So here it goes, the facts and the wonderings in no particular order…

Why has it become so hard for me to get my words out? Like I have millions and millions of thoughts that I wish I could scream out loud, but they’re trapped…

I am too sensitive; it makes it sort of unfair when I call someone insensitive because compared to me, a lot of normal people would be “insensitive”…

I get hurt so easily by those I love, and I always get too angry at them but I end up blaming myself... I always expect them to live up to my expectations; my expectations are too high for the average person to meet I guess. I have been told it is wrong of me to expect others to do for me as much as I do for them! Oh well...

I realized all that and I have been working so hard on toning it down… think more, but react less… don’t say I’m upset until I know for sure that I am, so that I can give myself time to calm down and think things through… but thinking can be tricky!

I feel like I lost my identity in my attempts of recognizing other people’s identities and being tolerant of them! Just when I start getting angry and I can feel my temper boiling up, I would stop and think what my words will do and I take off my shoes to walk in that other person’s shoes and in that process I lost track of events!!

But my shoes do hurt more!! Trust me, it’s not self pity; I don’t even know how to do that. The other person’s shoes are not painful; they may not be comfortable enough for them, but I am most certain they wouldn’t survive a minute in my painful shoes! I realize we have different shapes of feet and that the whole shoes/feet analogy is getting too smelly for my taste, but…

We are different; with all our similarities we are different!! I tried to see things from the other angle, but it pissed me off how I was patronized that way. Don’t tell me you know what it’s like, and for the love of God, DO NOT tell me you feel for me; you don’t. You don’t.

I said I didn’t wanna talk about it.

Look me suppressing my pain and anger. Look at me learning to suck it all up again.

Does it make you proud that I am growing up?? I am not growing up; I am getting old and dying inside. Don’t worry though; I won’t blame you or blame anyone else, I won’t blame fate and I won’t say “why God?”, I know why and I learned to accept it.

I just did not learn how to stop caring yet!

I mean look at the learning curve…

I learned to control my anger and put it on such a tight leash… and I can no longer vent or express my anger!

I learned to not cry… my eyes have come so dry it hurts way too much when I lose control and a few tears fill my eyes!

I learned to walk in others’ shoes… I can no longer walk in mine and I no longer know what it feels being me!

I learned that other people detach themselves as a defense mechanism, I learned how to detach myself… and here I am, completely detached from my own self!

So! I am not sure learning how to not care would be a great idea given how I take things from an extreme to another!

I don’t wanna be numb, but God help me, I am tired of the pain…

I don’t wanna be heartless, but my heart wouldn’t stop aching I can’t help but think that perhaps I am better off without…

I’ve been asked so many times about the things I want, and I always say that I find it hard to know what I want because it keeps changing! I will try to give it another go; perhaps if I think abstract, then what I want might not change that often!

I want to be me again… get angry when people offend me and give them a piece of my mind, express myself easily and clearly, and just be as impulsive as I can be, yet consider the consequences and be sure I can handle them… that’s who I think I was; a bit on the impulsive side, but let’s hope I’d overcome that!

I want to keep all the good things I have in me! I want to remain as considerate and caring as I am of those I love… I want them to care as much and not take me for granted… I want them to appreciate me and show it from time to time; I think I deserve that much.

Look at me, all I can focus on is what I don’t want again!!

I don’t want to feel as stuck as I feel right now…

I don’t want to hurt that badly by someone I care for… I can handle getting hurt by scum bags such as my x!! But people who know and see my pain; it’s just unbearable!

I don’t want to burden anyone with my issues… I am sorry blog readers if you’re burdened but this is my space and you came here willingly, and you’re also free to leave!

I don’t want to fight or struggle; it’s too draining and I already feel drained!

I am not even sure I want to post this, but I will anyway! Blogging has been how I get my unresolved issues out so that they don’t depress me, so that I can go by with my life. I am afraid that if I stop now, I will no longer be able to let anything out… so there…

P.S. sorry blog readers, you will be viewing some serious crap of the same sort unless something extraordinary happens… I am losing hope though!

May 27, 2008

Hoping for something extraordinary

My birthday is next Sunday.

My friend H was asking me what I wanted for my birthday, I told her I wanted something extraordinary. She made a sarcastic comment as she said she meant to ask about what I wanted for a birthday gift not a birthday wish.

I told her I didn’t have anything specific in mind, I told her that I would like to spend a few hours on my birthday with friends or something, away from my kids, and then go back to my kids and have another celebration with them.

She asked me if that was my extraordinary something, or if getting a divorce on my birthday would be better. I told her neither would be that extraordinary really; they would be a relief of course, and I would be grateful, really grateful.

Something extraordinary is not my birthday wish; it’s what I want on my birthday. When asked to describe what it could be, I said something that would give me more hope and faith that better things are awaiting me, that all the pain and agony I feel from time to time are worth their while. I want something that would make my heart bounce with joy despite all the scars.

I have faith that it will be ok, but I am not always sure that I will be ok when all is over; so I want to know that I will be ok, I want to feel it and see a glimpse of it on my birthday. It would be a good change since he managed to ruin 8 birthdays so far!! Yes, my last good birthday was my 18th, and when asked how old I am I pause a little because somewhere inside, I am still hung on that number; I feel the years that came afterwards were stolen, or simply wasted.

So dear God, please make only good things happen to me next Sunday; it would be great and I would really appreciate it.

May 26, 2008

Some anger for a change!

I just spent the last 10 minutes talking to the social worker over the phone apologizing for not going to the so called amicable settlement, amicable settlement my a**. Do those people not get the concept of futility??!! What the hell did she benefit making me feel so freakin’ vulnerable? Was her mission to make me burst into tears the moment I hung up? Or is it her job description to make me feel so desperate?? Screw her!! I know my situation sucks; I know all about it, God knows how many years I will live regretting all this.

Yes, years of my life have been wasted. Yes, perhaps even some more will be wasted. Yes, I am an emotional train wreck who feels like freakin’ damaged goods, thank you very freakin’ much.

BUT NO, I do not buy that you care for my kids’ best interest! Their own jerk of a father doesn’t give a damn!! He did show up in front of you to file a request because that’s the only procedure before it goes to the judge in charge! So NO, I will not let him see the kids “amicably”; I will do whatever the judge rules; because now that I know he has malice I will need to get some guarantees before he sees my kids. And NO, in the meantime I will not take time off from work to come and waste my breath telling the same story for yet another time. Do you people not get sick of hearing the same crap day after day?!!

You did not have to be rude or yell at me! You did not have to make me feel like I was unacceptably rude for apologizing politely. And you most certainly did not have to accuse me of not caring for my children! I was feeling guilty about calling you and saying I was not gonna make it that I spent hours trying to figure out nice non-condescending words to tell instead of implying that your efforts as appreciated as they might be, are what they are, FUTILE.

YES!! Your efforts are futile and such a waste of time and resources. Your whole department is another sad sad evidence on how people fail to communicate. You know that! You know your government job is like millions of other jobs that can be eliminated if the system was perhaps slightly more efficient, betala moqana3a if you will!! A made up reason to pay people who do not really accomplish much!! Just like the rest of out deformed governmental structure! So you console yourself by telling yourself a lie that you help people and make a difference, be my guest, just do not patronize me while doing that!! If you get your daily kick by seeing people talk their hearts out, news flash, half of those are liars and the other half pretend to be strong so that you and your likes do not see their pain and agony.

This should sum up that your job is again FUTILE and your experience is lame because it’s fake! Hence, your understanding of people is worthless to me; I don’t need to come downtown to your office to prove that I am a civil person who cares for my kids. So enjoy other people’s agony! Just for today, not mine.

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.

May 17, 2008

Cairo… Alex… Cairo, and in between…

Here is what I have been told based on the silliest looking scribbling EVER, I mean it; my artistic skills are below average, way below.

What or who is controlling your life and suffocating you that much and making you feel like you’re literally unable to breathe? You seem to desperately want to break free and you believe your life will be much better once you get rid of that control

You carry a lot of fear; too much fear! You hate the control and you long for it to be over but you have millions of fears that you suppress about that control and what’s to come next

Someone is burning! It seems like you decided to discard someone out of your life; there are lots of emotions involved in that decision, like you wish that someone would burn

You have sibling? Two?? You feel quite responsible for them, and you worry too much for them. Oh, you say you have two kids, makes more sense. You think you’re the better parent; you don’t believe you’re a great parent, but you are sure their father is that bad, I think this is the person I mentioned! You think your kids will have a happier life and will be able to play and enjoy life with him away

Then we talked some more! I said I didn’t feel like talking, and that the fact that I did not want to talk was somehow pissing me off because *ahem* I am a talkative person. I talked about how my parents, as understanding as they try to be, seem to never give up on the idea of me going back to him. I talked about how I can no longer cry my heart out to any of my close friends, not even to myself. I talked about how I got used to looking strong in front of others that I am starting to feel numb inside because it seems to be the only way I could hide my own weakness.

I don’t remember if I had ever said that in spoken words, I talked about his emotional abuse! How I believed all the lies he said about me and how I helped him turn me into someone I hated. How I built my world around him and gave up on my own life with all its interests and became so dependant on someone who tampered with my self esteem and made me doubt my own self worth. I don’t remember saying those words out loud before!!

That was when I was told…

It’s obvious that your decision to get out of that marriage was not merely emotional, which is good because it came with complete conviction, it came from the depth of your soul. It’s only natural because he was your biggest disappointment in life; you gave up on who you are because you thought that was how to love him, and he didn’t appreciate it or take care of you, howa fe3lan mass dammek, we sabek –sorryy- men gheir dam” *smile*

The pain you’re in now is because you’re feeling lonely; no one around you has the slightest clue about the pain and the damage you feel, because as much as it seems like you share, you have not really shared enough to unburden yourself. You want to do it alone, because you’re afraid you’d count on anyone then be let down again, and you know you’re too vulnerable to be let down at this point, so you want to stand on your own two feet alone, but it’s getting lonely because no one knows and no one understand the fears you have

The upside is that you know it will be over, you have that much faith that the pain won’t last forever, which is very good! But you need to also know that it will take time and that you have to be patient, and handle your fears so that you won’t let them ruin the good things you know you have

My advice to you is to hang in there! Be patient. Insist on what you chose; say NO to anyone who tries to make you change your mind or talks you into going back. You made the right decision, you will not take care of your kids if you go back to that marriage, as a matter of fact, what’s keeping you from doing better for your kids is the worrying and the burden of all this not being over. You made the right decision, now all you have to do is stick to it, no matter what

I haven’t been told something I didn’t already know, but being told that by a complete stranger who assumed some of the facts just from my juvenile crap brought me relief. The feeling that someone who had no agenda whatsoever, someone who had no reason to take my side told me I was right and confirmed my need for this marriage to end. Someone acknowledged my pain and validated it without showing me pity and without making me cry or feel vulnerable about any of it. I can fairly say it helped to hear my words spoken by someone who couldn’t care less.

That feeling made my lonely drive to Alexandria at around 9 pm more tolerable than it could have ever been with my fatigue, headache, and toothache and newly discovered blurry vision.

Generally, yesterday was a great day; my best friend D came from the states and I saw her for around 10 minutes before I got my above analysis, then I drove to Alex to see my father who had arrived from KSA, I did not fight with my mother and both my kids seemed happy. I was grateful, until he sent me a text making me get all paranoid and restrict viewing of my blog again!!

As for today, I was with my parents in the car when I heard my dad talking to one of the people who volunteered to help me reconcile with him! I heard how my father kept saying that he would never encourage me to go with the divorce if my x lives up to his promises and shows true remorse! I remembered the words I have been told, I remembered everything without really having to go through all the memories, and just like that I started crying.

It was 2:30 pm, random people in the street could see my face covered with tears I didn’t even bother hiding them by reaching for my shades; what’s the point?! I sobbed and I argued about how I needed my parents to know that there is nothing I want out of him but to let me go. I allowed my mother to see how much pain I was feeling, I allowed myself to feel the pain I was trying to hide. I told them I could no longer even play the game of saying that I am willing to go back if he lives up to my strict, hard and non-negotiable conditions; I no longer have conditions, all I have now is a desperate need of him to let me go.

My mom tried saying nice things, but she failed as always. I can’t say my father was happy about my emotional outburst. My dad called me stupid for saying they did not feel my agony, he mentioned how we should do all we can to maintain the marriage because that’s what “good Muslims” do. I cried even harder when I told him that Islam never mentioned that a wife should live with a husband against her will, my dad argued back that I should have good reasons to not want to share my life with that husband, then I asked him if all that did not count! He tried calming me down and said that I should not be that upset because there is no way my x would live up to any of it, but neither should I say “I want out no matter what he does to get me back”!!!

I don’t get it! I don’t. I hate how my dad uses religion against me that way. I know what he’s doing and I understand it, but making me feel less adequate religion wise because I want a divorce is not going to help me be a better Muslim. Remaining in this marriage for the sake of God is not going to help me practice my faith and keep it! I admit that getting into that dilemma is what helped me find my faith, but going back would cost me my faith and a lot of other things; my sanity, my self respect, my will to live, and me.

I tried to calm down and I engaged in different conversations as we met with other people, but every time I took a glimpse of my mirror image I lingered on how older I looked, how jaded and tired I looked! For the first time I could see how crying makes me look that way.

I wanted to drive all the way back to Cairo; why not, it was 6 pm and the road seemed clear and peaceful and I needed to lose myself in the speed and the music, but I didn’t even argue when the driver said I looked like I could use some rest. I dosed off for a while, but I kept opening my eyes to calls from the x and loud songs playing on my mp3 player. Until I finally woke up to this…

"و صلي عللي قلبك يحبه
تلقى زمانك ضحك في عبه
و داوى قلبك من اللي تاعبه
و الـلـــي لعــب به
و صلي عليه

و صلي عللي يحبه قلبك
و اقف في وجه الريح لقلبك
و اسعى فـ دربك، و مهما دار بك
و مهما طال بك هتنول مطالبك
وتدوق تحلي

ماشية السفينة والريح جفينا
و الموج خفينا، جوعنا حفينا
بس احنا فينا أحلام دفينة
بيها اتغفينا و بكرة تكفينا
و اليل يولي

بصلي عللي حباه تملي
و عللي علي حاسب يا خلي
الاقي املي اكتملي، ماللي
و الخير داخللي و أنا فـ محلي
و يا دي التجلي

و صلي عللي قلبك يحبه
تلقى زمانك ضحك في عبه
و داوى قلبك من اللي تاعبه
و اللـــي لعـــب به
و صلي عليه"

تجلي لـ كاميليــا جبـران**

I am calmer now, I realize there is o way in hell I am going back; I have come way too far already to even worry about being forced to go back. No one can force me into changing my mind, and no one can force me to share my life with him again. All I have to do is hang in there and do the best I can and keep the faith. I can do that, I will.

Until then, I am allowed to get upset when things stir up the way they did today, but I will always remember the words I have been told, and that song, and will pull myself together and move on.

** The lyrics are not hundred percent accurate and my eyes hurt too much to actually search the web, so please let me know if I am wrong on any of it… oh, and the song is worth checking!

May 13, 2008

Really flattered, but REALLY??!!

A couple of months ago…

R (as he walks in my boss’s office, he decides to stop at my desk): Good morning (my name) *a big smile*
Me: *smiling back, bigger smile* Good Morning R, how are you?
R: I’m fine, thanks for asking *maintaining the smile*
R (turning towards my boss’s office, then deciding there is more to be said, so he turns back to me): you know (my name), it’s always nice to start a day by greeting you, you have a nice smile and it’s a great thing to start a day with
Me: *definitely blushing, yet smiling* Thank you R, I’m glad you think so (then I realized I am too shy to maintain eye contact so I pretend to continue working as he finally walks into the my boss’s office)


R (lingering in the hall, waiting for my boss and another colleague so that they leave for a meeting, then he sees into my office through the glass and decides to walk in): Hey (my name), you know, you seem to be a very happy person *with his amazingly big smile*
Me: I do?!!!!! *smiling back, yet maintaining the puzzled look*
R: Of course! I did mention before that you have a beautiful smile; but I think there’s more to it than just that, you have happy air around you, and it makes your smile look radiant
Me: Thanks R, you really leave me speechless here (mumbling to myself: oh I wish you knew!!!)

I love R! I love it when he visits. He works in our office in Kuwait, he’s Canadian, and I think he’s one of the reasons why Canadians are known to be warm and friendly despite their cold weather, and he reminds me of my college days. He’s technically my boss, yet whenever I am sending emails that need feedback or simply for circulation, he always replies with a personalized “thank you” on his team’s behalf as well as his. And he’s a Gemini!

And no, he was not flirting; he’s my mother’s age! He’s just sweet by nature, which is something I find very refreshing. I think it’s the aura I see around him that makes me smile that way. He has good presence, and it’s contagious I suppose. It really means a lot that someone like him thinks it’s great to start a day with my smile.

Oh, and I am happy for the day… I mentioned so many times I was extremely easy to please; I think his words are good enough reason for me to change my mood from a dark shade of blue to shade of pink for the day.

May 12, 2008

Just another attempt…

It’s a well known concept that for therapy to work, you have to be honest with yourself before you're even honest with your therapist. Keyword is HONESTY.

I mentioned somewhere before that I have been to a therapist twice before I had come with the decision to end my marriage. The first time, my x was the reason I decided I should check if I did actually need help; he always suggested that I was delusional and crazy whenever I hinted to his affair, and for the sake of the argument, I thought I’d get a second opinion, and also a professional one.

The second time I visited was because I was overwhelmed by all the lies he tried feeding me. My instincts knew better but they contradicted with all my principals of having faith in the man I once loved and married. I needed someone to act as a referee and tell me it was ok to have doubt and listen to the inner voices.

The couple of time I visited my therapist, she said I was honest enough with myself that I did not need to go visit her again! She said I was 100% aware of how my mind worked and the tricks it attempted to play on me. She practically congratulated me for my ability of choosing words that describe my feelings and thoughts. She finally said that all I had to do to survive my dilemma was to trust my instincts and remain honest to myself. So far I have been doing that, until recently.

I am afraid I am not that honest with myself any more; I am hiding things from myself and I do NOT want to know them!! I am not even sure I can get them out in words to anyone; I try and I keep failing miserably and it makes me feel worse.

I can go and tell my therapist all that, I can even give her the link to my blog and tell her to knock herself out analyzing all of it. But I know there will come a moment when she will look at me that way and tell me to spill it, and I will run out of words instantly.

So far, I have considered blogging my way of self therapy; my way of acknowledging things even if I wouldn’t have to deal with them again, at least I knew I'd be getting them out. I don’t think it’s working as efficiently anymore.

I need non verbal therapy; I need someone to just read my mind and tell me they can see through and confront me with my thoughts and give me no room to confirm or deny. A friend suggested art therapy some time ago and assured me that despite my inability to draw a circle, I will somehow end up drawing something that would tell more than the obvious! I can so try that now, I need to try that now.

I never thought I would do art therapy because I always thought of myself as someone who can appreciate art, but never make it. My forte was expressing myself in words, and I am losing it!! When did words become so HARD?!!!

May 11, 2008

No sir, not a spring person!

I don’t know if it’s the beautiful spring with all its allergies that is causing these troubles breathing, it could be!

My insomnia is hitting twice as hard lately, without the clear thinking. Usually I spend hours fighting insomnia by thinking about millions of things until my mind just lets go and surrenders to sleep; however, these days my thinking is fuzzy and blurry. I know why; I am blocking so many unpleasant thoughts, I am avoiding thinking of things I fear and I think it’s crippling my mind and my thinking capabilities. This was never me, I always acknowledged all my thoughts, and I never never ignored them that way!

He sent me a message saying that in week, we could have been together for eight years!! I can’t believe he has the nerve to mention an anniversary with all that’s going on!! And in a blaming tone!! Seriously?!! We will be meeting 3 days after the said anniversary in court where I am sure I am either gonna start screaming or crying at some point!!

I find it hard to figure why I still get angry and why my emotions show that way!! And people drive me nuts when they say I am not over him because I react that way. People!! I AM OVER HIM, I promise. I am just not over the consequences of it all. How can I be when day in and day out I am reminded that I am still married to him? And how can I be over all this when the only way I can still tap into my ability of using words is when I am hiding behind a monitor!! I have become too quiet in real life, I am scaring myself!!

My friend H noticed that my eyes just seem to lose recognition of my surroundings when I am left alone for a while! She said they used to be brighter, and they usually are when I am talking, but once I stop talking and look the other way as I think of whatever, she can see them dimming!! She asked me to talk about the thoughts that I have at those moments, and found myself shaking my head and telling her I no longer recognized those thoughts!! They just take over my mind and my heart leaving traces of unexplainable sadness that show in my eyes without leaving a trace in my memory.

I would call my therapist and set a meeting to check if I have hit some serious mental instability just yet, but I am not willing to talk to anyone about what I have in mind! I just said I have no definite recollection of it, but I know I can get it all out if I put my mind to it. Except that I don’t think I want to. I am afraid of finding out whatever makes my eyes go dim and sad; I am afraid if I knew it, it would take over my soul and leave me without my ability to be ME.

May 10, 2008

I have every right to flip…

ماما: كلمي صاحبتك و عقليها، إنتي عارفة دماغها ناشفة و فيها عند الدنيا
ن: لا يا طنط، هي اه دماغها ناشفة و عندية بس ليها حق و حضرتك عارفة
ماما: بس برده، هي لازم تفهم إن أنا و باباها مش عايشنلها على طول و تبطل تقول الكلام اللي ينرفز ده... دي دلوقتي أم، فيه أم تقول مصلحتي اهم دلوقتي و تقول محدش هيلويلي دراعي بولادي
ن: يا طنط هي متقصدش حاجة وحشة، هي قصدها تقول إن مصلحة الولاد من مصلحتها
ماما: ده بدل ما تعمل زي (م)... ماهي البنت قرفانة و طهقانة من جوزها بس مش هاين عليها تقلق أهلها و تحسرهم عليها حسرتنا على صاحبتك ام دماغ ناشفة دي.. دي حتى (م) ماعنداهاش ولاد
ن: يعني يا طنط يرضيكي ترجع له بعد كل اللي عمله ده
ماما: أنا عارفة انه واطي و اليل الأصل بس ما هييه اللي اختارته
ن: يا طنط يعني هي اتجوزته غصب عنكم، مش انتو برده وافقتم
ماما: ماهو الكلام ده اللي باباها بيقولهولها و بيقويها
ن: يعني يا طنط هيبقى كلكم عليها، و كمان هي اختارت غلط بس ده حتة اللي بيتسجن بيجيله وقت و يخرج
ماما: ماليش دعوة، تستحمل عشان ولادها، مش هتلاقي أحن من باباهم عليهم و كمان أحسن ما تشيل لقب مطلقة

That is what my mom told my friend N so that she’d “talk some sense into me”. I flipped when N started telling the conversation. I was at the office and I started getting angry and then I started yelling and crying. Bottom line, presteejy etmarmat.

First of all, I do not understand how comfortable either her or my father would be if I go back to a person whom she referred to as “waty we aleel el asl”!! Moreover, I do not want to ruin M’s heroic image for mom, but seriously?!!! M has soo many loose screws!! She literally told me to go back together and start dating other people to give him a taste of his own medicin!!! So this is better for my parents’ morale now??? Tab te3bo awy fe tarbeety leeh????

And finally, if I should sacrifice for my kids’ welfare, why can’t she take it easy on me for my own welfare?!! Am I not her child?? No sacrifice is expected from her side at this point; all I am asking for is good old understanding and support!!

No no no, that wasn’t finally!! What’s with the “laqab motalaqa”??? Seriously!!! My own mother thinks the same way this sick and twisted society does, I can get that; what I can’t get is feeling that she’s judging me despite knowing all the facts and the background stories she practically lived with me!!!! She makes me lose hope in this society ever becoming more evolved and accepting.

I am mad at her in so many ways. N tells me to take it easy on her because as a mother she’s aching for me, and that even as she spoke she was in too much pain for me. I have no sympathy for her that way. I’m sorry, but she can’t use that kind of twisted logic to deny me any sympathy or support that I very much need and then find it in me to “take it easy on her”.

She judges me, and she makes my life harder on daily basis and then she says big phrases like how her life is shattered!! Look me ma, my life is totally shattered for real and I am sucking it up and I am trying to find things in life that make it worth living. You can’t say you ache for me and hurt me that way. I am mad at you and I know that I can’t tell you that to your face anymore; you will never understand, so what’s the point? So when you sat next to me and asked me how the last court session went and I told you I’d tell you later, I meant never. You can call the lawyer and tell him all about your ungrateful daughter all you want, just let me tell you this: don’t expect people to take it easy on me, when you –my very own mother- are the first person who starts labeling me that way.

May 8, 2008

Borderline Numbness!

Waking up… the same tooth ache, the same bad mood, the same disturbed soul, the same lingering to things that were never there, the same lack of faith in the goodness of people and the fairness of the system, the human system…

However, no anger, no sadness, no desperation, no tears, no wallowing and curling in bed until things get better… they might not get better; for all she knows, it could go downhill from there!!

Washing her face… water hurts; it burns her eyes! But why? She hasn’t cried, her eyes did not cry, her soul might have, but why do her eyes hurt while her soul feels nothing?!! Do the eyes miss the tears? Has the soul gotten used to pain?

She couldn’t pray properly. Her mind was distracted with millions of incoherent thoughts as she said words she did not hear in her head because of the noise, she couldn’t even say a proper prayer asking for what she wanted! But what does she want?! She’s not really sure! She says she wants it to be over, the pain, the worrying… but doesn’t she know there will always be new kinds of pain and different kinds of worrying, at least she knows where she stand from THIS pain and THIS worrying… the devil you know…

Her son woke up, she smiled and kept making him laugh and took her time changing him and getting him ready. She kept kissing him and hugging him and telling him it will all be fine. Was she trying to give what she needed, a sense of security she no longer feels and perhaps not even able to provide?

As she drove, she played the same song over and over and yet over again!! This song made her heart feel lighter yesterday; she wants to feel light, she wants to listen to words talking about how you eventually get what you want when you do what you can and have that kind of faith. Her mind wouldn’t stop with the conflicting thoughts, and her annoying tooth wouldn’t stop hurting, and she no longer feels the lyrics of the songs, she’s just enjoying the tune and the good voice!

She tried to get in touch with the optimist side of her; it’s weird that she’s both an optimist and a pessimist, but she’s used to all those contradictions. It will be over, she knows, but she wants to punch whoever tells her that now because it is ridiculous when people tell her things like “cheer up, it will be over”, she knows that, she’s not stupid, she just hates that it’s not over yet and that it’s consuming her energy. When people tell her that annoying cliché phrase, they make her feel like she’s a wimp for feeling pain and letting it show in something as subtle as a frown! Did it sound like she got angry, naaa, she didn’t!! She just mumbled “whatever” as the she moved on to the second thought…

So what’s the worst that could happen? If optimism is not working for now, let’s see what the worst that could happen is and prepare for it! Guess what… she knows somehow that it will be ok, how twisted is that?!!! She does not trust people or their judgments, she does not trust the system that people put and apply, but she trusts God now; she knows she has been acting out of good intent all along and she knows it should count for something. But why isn’t she feeling the peace she was enjoying a while back, it’s disturbing her to be neither angry nor peaceful.

She’s been thinking about that for a while now… has she been unconsciously numbing herself? She was aware she was avoiding pain by wearing smiles she did not feel, and pretending to be ok when she was not, but she did not want to numb herself. When she said she did not want love, it was not about numbing her heart, it was about her fear of all the things that come with love that she is not ready for, and it’s ok that way.

But right now, she’s looking back at the past months and she’s starting to notice how she has changed; how she spends forever weighing words and thinking about things and behaving in a way that makes people call her “3a2la”(wise), but she’s not!! She is not “3a2la”(wise), why can’t anyone believe that?!!

She’s in too much confusion and pain that she can’t really share anymore, and she can’t let it out either; so she is burying it somewhere so deep and pretending it never happened. She keeps telling herself that if she says she’s happy and pretends to be happy, she will not feel the pain. But instead of it working, it’s killing her spirit in a way. So far no one can tell her spirit feels like wilting, but like cancer, it will suddenly show and hit everyone, starting herself… and by then it would be too late to be cured.

All she wants is to hide in the arms of someone she trusts, but she can’t! She doesn’t trust enough people with her weak side anymore! She feels much worse when her weakness is exposed, and she has already eliminated some people who did not handle her weakness properly, people she still loves and really cares for, but she hates being around when she’s feeling that way. As for the very few ones left, she fears being a burden to them; she doesn’t want them to worry, and she’s afraid they would get bored at some point if they stop worrying.

This leaves her alone; alone is good, she always thought so, believed so. But she’s starting to feel lonely too, more like incapable of dealing with her emotions, so instead, she casts them aside and pretends they are not there. She’s not hurting; she’s smiling, she’s joking, hell, she’s even being sarcastic!! But in reality, she’s only multiplying the distance between her and anyone who can see through to her soul. She’s realizing it could be the first step towards numbness, and she’s half scared and half indifferent!

May 5, 2008

26 going on 50!

They say there is wisdom that comes with age, but I rather think that growing up is different from growing old. I know people who are older than me, yet do not seem or behave maturely. No, I don’t believe age brings wisdom, and I always hated that about our culture; giving the elders more respect and credit than they sometimes deserve. I think you earn respect by your actions, not age. This was not what I wanted to talk about anyway! Actually, what I wanted to talk about is the opposite!

In the past year, I have grown up in so many ways I surprise myself!! I have experienced feelings I never thought I would experience, I have let go of feelings I thought I would take to my grave, and I have ignored some feelings I never thought people should ignore.

I buried some hatchets and decided to take higher roads, I learned about feelings that were nothing to me but words… I learned about regret, patience, and forgiveness.

I learned a lot about time and space in relationships, even practiced it in a way!

I walked in so many shoes that did not belong to me, and I’ve come to realize that mine is definitely not the most painful despite how much it hurts sometimes.

I learned that sometimes sadness and hurt hide behind anger and rage, and that in such case, I should express the anger and rage, but not let them take over… just vent them out so that there is room for the sadness to be felt, take its time, and then subside.

I guess I grew up a bit since I turned 26, which should be a good thing I guess. Only I feel I also grew older, which makes me rather sad. It makes me sad because one of the things I knew I always wanted was to never grow old that sometimes I knew it kept me from growing up!! I guess I had a lot of catching up to do this way. In my case, I think bad experience brought me some wisdom, and wisdom is what brought me age!!

May 3, 2008

I still care!

I was told on the phone that you’re in town. I was told in an ironic tone -that I did not notice at first- to call and check on you. As much as I remember how angry and disappointed I was at you when you were last here, I found a tear rolling my cheek as I asked for your number in a shaken voice.

I still care! Is it because we have the same blood? Or is because you were my idol for too long? Or is it because you’re the closest thing I ever had to a brother; as a matter of fact, you were always my brother figure! So is it because I need a brother right now? I don’t know. All I know is that I miss you, regardless of how angry and disappointed I might still be. I never lie to myself about those things.

I just don’t know what I would say if I get a number and dial it and hear your voice! I don’t know how I will sound. I don’t know if I will tell you “wa7ashteny awy” with my sincere childish tone, or I will just go with “3amel eh” with my cold and distant tone; either way, I know that I miss you.

I don’t know if I will go out and meet you. If I do, will I burry myself in your arms like I always did, or will I just shake hands and watch your eyes accusing me of being cruel and unforgiving like you did last time as you said that you never thought I would give up on you?

I did give up on you, I admit it. I got you off that pedestal so suddenly, and perhaps for all the wrong reasons. But the moment you got down to be on the same grounds I was, I saw all your flaws and all the pain you caused to those who loved you before those who didn’t even bother. That was when the beautiful image I had of you got stained and ugly. It shook my faith in all the people I loved, because one day you were my favorite one of all.

I still care! Even when I see you now for who you really are; a selfish child who still thinks it’s “cool” to lie, in the body of an immature middle aged man, making a mess and causing pain, and crying because no one cares about you anymore. A person who accuses every one of things that are only half true because the other half is what you did! But I care; I still do, only I am not sure if I can show it, or if it would make much of a difference. This is why I gave up on you; I realized caring would not make a difference. I am sorry... If it means anything, I miss you, and I still care.

I wish I could go back to the days when I used to run around the house with you chasing me and finally carrying me so high until I started screaming out of both, fear and joy. I wish I could go back to the time when I used to sneak into your room despite all the warnings to wake you up so that you’d spend time with me. I wish you could meet my kids and relive those days in a few hours, but I am afraid this will not happen, and it breaks my heart… because I still care.

I know I shouldn't be shocked!

I’ve been thinking about that since last week.

My kids... they need to interact with the x and his family whether I like it or not. It’s not just because I must keep them out of the “battlefield”, and it’s not because they need him, it’s more because they need to NOT romanticize him or his family.

I find it a bit selfish because I know I will never be ok with either one of my boys missing their daddy in a way that would make them put him on a pedestal and idealize him. He does not deserve that; God knows what he deserves. I will not help him make a hero out of himself.

As for my kids, I think it’s better for them on the long run to not have a pseudo big image of him or his family for that matter. They should learn to know, deal with, and accept them for who they are. I think that learning to do so early on will help them build character. If it makes them “grow up” sooner, then be it.

I was driving while all those hit me, I don’t remember why or how, but I remember that I saw the day when either of my kids would want to propose to the girls they would want to marry. I wish my dad long life and good health, but even then, they will need a father. I just hate to say that my father isn’t theirs; I wish he were, but he’s not. I don’t want them to have no memories at all when they have to ask their own father to be with them, I don’t want them to feel awkward approaching him. I think bad memories of him beat no memories at all this way.

So, now that I tried to explain what I had in my head, I can say it made sense that way to arrange for Mocha’s Birthday Party outdoor to leave my x no room of saying he couldn’t be there. I invited two of my friends and their families who can handle anything nasty he does on that day.

My dad said he was totally ok with it, except that he did not want to be in the same place with my x, so he excused him self and asked me to invite his best friend (my dad’s) instead to make sure there will be someone to look after us. I know where my dad comes from; he does not want to be there if my x or his family do anything provocative and leave him no other choice but to react.

So, I called his aunt, and in my most polite tone, I told her that all are invited to Mocha’s BD on Monday and that I will get back to her on the exact hour today. I asked her to bring the x’s little cousins (12 & 6 yrs) because it will be a kids’ party. Could I be any nicer?! Yes! To her, I should call my x and invite him. I told her I couldn’t because he had just sent me two annoying text messages earlier that day, and given that, I find it hard to interact with him at this point and that perhaps the whole birthday party would be a start of us learning how to deal.

The civil x of mine has been calling non stop since 9 am, waking me and mocha up and something about him calling over and over seemed violent, so I switched my phone to silent and dosed off for a while longer. I woke up to the most annoying text!! He’s practically telling me to “save my money”, that he will not show up since I should have invited him instead of sending the invitation through his aunt, and he said something about me having to explain the things I do to my kids one day, and that he's looking forward to that day.

Now, I know he’s a pig and that I should not expect from a pig to be anymore than itself, a nasty dirty manner-less pig. What keeps pissing me off is that he does it all while finding ways to blame it on me still!! Could he be anymore immature and irresponsible? Is there an English word equivalent to “اليل الأصل” that still keeps the essence, because that’s what he is.

I really hope what goes around, comes back around and bites him really really hard. Until then, I am making the Monday birthday anyway, my kids will have fun and so will everyone who shows up.

May 2, 2008

My Mochaccino <3

1- When he wakes up after a good sleep, he keeps opening and closing his eyes to check if I am there, then starts stretching with a big smile on his face… if I am still asleep, he sits up then throws himself at me causing me to wake up all startled!!

2- Whenever my cell phone rings or there is music, he’d sit up, starts moving his whole body while clapping! He also claps when asked to!!

3- When I’m taking him out (carrying him), he waves my sisters goodbye as he hears me saying “bye ba2a

4- When I come back from work and my baby sister is carrying him, he literally throws himself at me, and hugs me back when I hug him, it melts my heart!

5- When he’s bored of staying with me in my room and either one of my sisters walks in, he sits up and starts clapping and tries to jump so that they take him, just like a puppy!

6- When I am too busy cleaning up or doing whatever, he loves opening up the bag where I keep my socks and he knocks himself out playing with clean socks rolled around each other like small balls, just like a kitten!

7- When I am on my bed using the laptop and he’s playing on the floor right next to me, he keeps looking at me to check if I am watching him as he starts moving towards my shoes in an attempt to play with them, sometimes he stops and sometimes he just gives me a charming smile and starts playing with my shoes!!

8- When he’s tired from crawling and walking, he comes to my bed and leans and keeps making begging noise so that I put him on the bed next to me, then he squeals with joy and claps once he’s next to me!

9- Whenever any of us sits close enough with food on our lap, be it a sandwich or yoghurt, he starts making hungry noises and wouldn’t calm down until he is eating whatever it is!

10- I don’t think he likes cheese! He loves tomato, and would do anything for me to let him eat napkin!

11- He loves playing with all of Beem’s toys, especially when Beem is not home! Actually, he’s extra ctive and happy when Beem isn’t around…

12- When Beem is back from an outing, he smiles and cheers as he walked in and intentionally bumps his head to Beem’s as Beem rushes in to greet him, when they are playing together, their favorite game is crawl-racing, I like watching that!

13- Yesterday, as Baba and other family members were gathered to pray, he slept on his tummy on the prayer mat as to imitate them!!! I couldn’t believe it!!!

14- When either my sis or I are not paying enough attention to him, he keeps making peek-a-boo attempts until we notice him then he runs/crawls away :)

15- He sings himself before he falls asleep a long never ending “AAAaaaAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaasa” symphony :)

May 1, 2008

Ya saba7 el “kheir”

I woke up to this at 6:30 am!!!

"كل سنة و موكا طيب و بييم طيب، شئ محزن الحال ده.. لله الأمر من قبل و من بعد.. أنا حزينة والله"

It’s from his youngest aunt, the one with whom I broke bread on daily basis!!

I don’t know how to respond!! Should I tell her that I am even sadder that people with double standards like her exist!! Should I tell her that part of all this is because they brought him up to expect from people what he is incapable of practicing himself?? Or should I just tell her that I have more reasons to be sad since it's my years that were wasted on his account!!

Yala mesh mohem!