September 28, 2008
There are a few aspects of my divorce and my feelings about it that I never discuss. Some because they are too private, some because they are too painful I have decided to block them and force myself to forget them. It’s easy to understand that some things will forever remain private, and I have my peace with never discussing those matters. As for the painful ones, I think it’s best to burry them where I can no longer remember, even if it means that from time to time they will cause me to have some thoughts that I will never find words to express.
My most reoccurring thought was “what if it was me?” I understand that it takes two to make a ruin out of a marriage, I really do, and in that sense I acknowledge most of the mistakes he accused me of. However, a voice in me always shouted that his reaction, his chain reaction of humiliation, the pain he inflicted was too malicious and it made him the bad guy at the end of the day. My friends and loved ones echoed that voice and repeatedly told me to stop being silly and that no behavior of mine could possibly make anyone behave that way, but my secret wondering always lingered and found ways to haunt me at my weak moments, only I never expressed it half as eloquently as it was said to me yesterday even though I never spoke of my wondering before!
Yesterday, someone put on the unbiased hat and spoke those words to me. Yesterday, for the first time, someone found the words that describe one of my worst and most haunting thoughts; and not just that, but also out of being a good friend advised me so calmly on how I should approach my divorce for once and for all before I ended things.
“Before you proceed with anything, take a moment to think of things from a perspective that I know could be painful for you, but you have to do it for the sake of your kids. I know things have come to a point where you can’t re-love him or cherish a good memory, but you owe your kids that much before you eliminate their chances of having a normal relationship with their father.
Since I’ve got to know you, I have been wondering what could possibly make anyone do all that to you. Perhaps there were things you did, words you said that broke your relationship, after all you were in love, and you married for love. There is always one thing at least that must have broken such a bond, it could be too small and insignificant for others, but it could have had a huge impact on him. I know there are things I would not accept of people, no matter how much I love them, and I think it applies to each one of us.
Next time you talk to him, ask him about the moment he started drifting away from you, ask him what caused it, and ask him about a specific incident with its details. Don’t take answers like 3asabeyetek or esloobek, only accept an answer that includes an a moment, a specific incident that made him pull away, because once he pulled away, all the other things would make sense, at least to him. If he does not give you an answer, then he is the asshole I think he is, and leaving him was definitely the right thing to do, and you should never look back and wonder. However, if he gives you that very specific answer, take the time to think about it without bias, and start weighing everything that happened from that point forward all over again, perhaps then you’d be more willing to give him a chance.
I know it’s not something you would want to do, going back to him, but I also know that you love your children that much. Can you do it?”*
Needless to say I cried hearing all those words –and more- being said to me so plainly and directly, silent tears kept rolling as I curled on that cushion feeling so cold. I pulled it together and controlled my tone of voice as I said “Do you know I ask myself that question every day since it all fell apart? Do you know I never stopped wondering if it were me? You know what, I will do what you suggested, even as I know that 90% chance he will not give that answer! I will do it, not because I would ever consider going back to him, I could never do that. You don’t know how much I love my kids, but I do, yet I would NEVER go back to him. I will only do it for me, to have something to shush those thoughts and stop them from haunting me”
My friend did not leave me in the midst of my tears, my friend talked to me about random things that made me really laugh and made sure I hung up with a smile on my face to wake up with a clear head for a change. Yes, I will do as my friend suggested, but I am sorry, even if it turned out that it was me, I will not go back to him, it is over that way, and I will do everything I can to make sure it ends sooner rather than later.
* Of course my rephrasing of those words is not accurate, and I must have skipped more words, but I guess I covered the general idea.
September 27, 2008
He called today. He called from a number I did not recognized so I answered. I had the same feeling I get whenever he calls; anger, disgust and hate. He’s the same person who makes me feel sick, that I could tell even though his words were different. He wants a civil divorce; he says all my rights and those of my kids’ are granted except for sha2et el 7adana. He said I could consult whomever I want and that it was not a limited time offer like he previously mentioned. He said he wants a clean ending. Call me whatever; I want to believe him… I need to believe him.
His words made me cry. I kept crying as he went on and on over the phone saying the same things he usually says. My friend says he knows me well; I say he never knew me, he just knows how to hurt me, and he’s really good at it. I cried because I saw snippets of my past seven years, I felt them slipping away and I realized my loss when I didn’t feel his. I kept crying, until I could just take no more, so I gathered all my strength to maintain an indifferent tone as I said “khalas, I get your point, I’ll talk to my dad and my lawyer and get back to you”. He said “kol sana wenty wel welad tayebeen wel osra be kheir, salemeely 3al welad le7ad mab2a ashofhom”
I talked to my dad while we were in the car going to his cousin’s for iftar. I told him I needed to go through with that civil divorce he suggested, I told him that we could talk to my lawyer and arrange all the documents that need to be signed in order to make sure he won’t take back any of his promises. My dad was too cynical to buy any of his words, and he was too rigid to let go of the whole apartment thing. He says it’s my right to have that apartment, even though he insists that I do not move out and even though he had already decided I would not step foot in it! He says it’s a matter of right and wrong and that it’s 7a2 adaby!
I usually confirm with such ideal notions my dad speaks of, but excuse me, I am too tired to maintain that status. I need closure, I need it more than anyone could guess. I am willing to waive all my rights, I am even willing to consider waiving those of my kids as well to get it. Call me selfish, but I need my closure, I NEED IT. Why can’t I have it when he seems to have already had his. I don’t think I will be waiving a right; that apartment is his, and I know that in a perfect world, it would be my kids’; but it’s not a perfect world, why don’t we all wake up and smell the stench!
It’s called sha2et 7adana. My right to live in it ends when my custody rights end. It’s a temporary right that I don’t even want; it’s not worth me remaining in this mess one minute longer. I cried again as I talked to my dad. This time I cried because I could tell that his sense of right and wrong was keeping him from seeing my desperate need for closure. At the end of the conversation I made him promise that he would at least discuss it with my lawyer and that the conversation would take place in my presence.
I know my x is one hell of a liar, and I know it could be one of his tricks. But like I said, I need to believe that he meant it when he said he wanted a civil divorce; if that makes me an idiot, then I’m guilty as charged… I am an idiot, a tired and a confused idiot who wants out at any cost.
September 25, 2008
I have a head cluttered with thoughts again… so I will put them all here in no specific order; the good and the bad. I will put them for the sake of reference; who knows, may be some day I would talk further about any of them.
I just love R! The other day, I was too sleepy at work and I had to send tons of emails to too many people in which the two common things were 1- that they were all men, and 2- they were all my superiors! So to avoid confusion, I started all mails with “Dear Sir”. Minutes after I sent my mail to R, he responded saying “Thanks! P.S. Inso, my name is R, not Sir!”… It woke me up for a minute or two, put a smile on my face and then I continued being sleepy! I could have replied saying “Dear R, I love you”.
I am my father’s daughter, I just am! Everyday I stumble on a thought that makes me realize I take a lot after my dad even more, despite how people keep saying we have nothing in common looks-wise!! What no one ever noticed before is that even though we do not share the head shape, skin color, eye color or shape, nose (thank goodness), mouth; we do share the same faint dimple on the chin!!! I just saw that resemblance a few days ago and it was like a revelation (I did mention on so many occasions that I am easily amused)!!! Other than that, we share too many things character wise, it scares me yet somehow reassures me in another way! I say it proudly; I am my father’s daughter, with all his annoying flaws, or at least most of them!
I enjoy my kids’ company beyond measures. I know I rant a lot about missing my own space and the little things I can’t seem to do with them being so dependant on me; I guess it goes back to me being restless and easily bored generally. However, truth is, I spend my happiest moments tickling, laughing and playing with them and I feel the safest when Beem hugs me saying “ba7ebik ya mAmmy” or when Mocha holds on to me to feel safe! I hope it will forever feel this way, and I hope I could be the best mother I could be to those two.
I still can’t find it in me to forgive him. I manage to speak of him without calling him names he very much deserves, but I can’t seem to even be willing to forgive him. Every time I think of my status and pray to God for all to end, a part of me wanders away wondering “howa 7asses howa ad eh zalem?! Wala faker eno keda bey7afez 3ala beet howa haddo? Wala faker eny momken fe yoom arda arga3lo?” and I refrain from cursing at him in my prayers and just say “يا رب ارفع ظلمه عني و لا تجعل مني ظالما أو مظلوما”. The worst thing is to feel oppressed and helpless; kelmet zolm is more than just those two. الحمد لله
No matter how more accepting or wiser I get, I will never NEVER understand people’s ability to inflict harm on others. It’s just beyond my ability to understand, let alone accept. This makes me too vulnerable to people’s constant deceit; however, it scares me that the day may come when I learn how to accept it, because in my head it means I would be capable of it at some later stage after which. I think too much!
Whenever I sleep right after prayers, my last prayer is always for my late Nana and to see her in my dreams. I can’t remember when it last happened; however, three nights ago I saw her in a terrible nightmare, it filled my heart with pain and fear instead of peace, and made me no longer wish to see her in my sleep. May peace and serenity find her and keep her company.
My best days at work are when I work REALLY hard. I feel active and my mood and attitude are noticeably better!! I hate boring days where I just stare at my screen and browse away!
Words just fascinate me. I appreciate thoughts, but my appreciation for words is just indescribable; it impresses when thoughts are described in the right words. This is probably why I fall too hard for kind words to the extent that it might take me longer time to see that they could be fake. Not just that, cruel words have such a huge and exaggerated effect on me; they make me dwell too hard for my own good! What can I say, I’m such a sucker for words; may God protect me from those who know how to use them without really meaning them.
Every time, every single time I decide to follow local news 3ashan mab2ash “gahla” 3ala ra2y babaya; I end up realizing that I made one wise decision to live in my own head, detached from this scary scary reality. Everything around saddens me and makes me worry about the future and my kids; I worry that one day they will be in the same place I see people in, and it just disturbs me. It leaves me to my defense mechanism, meet denial and cynicism. So please, stop giving me newspapers to read, sometimes ignorance is a blessing.
September 21, 2008
I feel too much weight, invisible weight yet its presence is very much felt…
It’s pulling me down, limb by limb…
My feet are too heavy to lift; I can’t seem to walk…
My arms are too saggy to carry themselves, let alone carry things…
My fingers can barely move to type, not even slowly…
Even ideas, they seem to be too heavy to float in my head…
I can move, but my movement seems to be in one direction; downwards…
I just can’t lift myself up anymore…
Like one of those marionettes hanging by its strings, the only thing that keeps it from surrendering to the weight of gravity and falling are those damn strings...
Only my strings are invisible and there's no way to tell how long they will carry me, with all that weight...
Will I be falling soon?
I wish I were a marionette; at least then, I wouldn't be wondering...
* Picture credit goes to Evaluna. Thanks.
September 19, 2008
I look at older photos I have of him and previous posts I wrote about him and I feel like it was just yesterday when he could barely say a word or two! Now, ma sha2 Allah mesh beyeskot!
Here’s a sample…
Me: A Avion, 2ool yalla!
Him: mesh ha2ool avion
Me: tab hat2ool B Bateau?
Him: mesh ha2ool bateau
Me: wala C Cadeau???
Him: la2 mesh ha2ool cadeau ba2a!
Me: tab 2ool D Dolphin
Him (finally getting the trick): mesh ha2ool
Me: wala E Étoile!!
Him: ha2ool KOFTA (this is what he says when I start asking him to repeat stuff after me!)
Me: enta KOFTA
(my sis getting in the room)
Me: yalla ya beem warreeha ennak bet2ool avion
Me: B Bateau…
Me: C Cadeau
Him (getting all excited): CADEAAAAUUUU
Sis: tab ya3ne eh Cadeau?
Him (bekol telqa2eya we theqa): TAYARAAAAAAAAAAA
Mama: 3amal zay abdel Fattah el Ossary, 7anashon!!
Beem aleel el adab:
Me: battal le3b fel telefezyoon ya beem
Me: ha2ool le geddo 3aleik
Me: ha2olo ennak we7esh we bete3mel ghalat!
Him: ha2olo enek enty we7sha we bete3mely ghalat
Me: ha2oom adrabak
*me standing up and walking his way*
*him running to hide at mama’s or baba’s* gaban!!
Him (with the biggest, most adorable smile on his face): ba7ebik
Me (going all AWWWWW): ana Kaman ba7ebak awy awy awy
Him: ana ba7ebik awy awy awy (we lama yeb2a rady 3an mocha) we ba7eb mocha Kaman (we lama yeb2a beynam 3ala nafso) we ba7eboko koloko
Me (holding him so tight): ana ba7ebak aktar
I love this kid!
September 14, 2008
I know I am expected to see you in the upcoming days; be it the court ruling that you see the kids or whatever it is you might try to do to crash into Beem’s birthday, although I know you’re too much of a coward to do the latter.
I don’t want to see you; God knows, your face and everything about you disgust me and fill me with a strong urge to throw up. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to it. I have a few words I would like to tell you face to face and see their effect on you. I want to see that fake hurt look that I know hides more rage than you could possibly convey as I go on saying the words I so carefully choose so that they hit where I know you’d be sore. Yes, I know your wounds the same way you know mine, and because of everything that’s been going on in my life, I have decided to blame you instead of me for a change, even if someday you were my choice.
Except that my friends -my good friends who know how my tone of voice betrays me when I start getting all angry as I speak of what you’ve done, and how my face turns all red and how my body starts shaking like I’m having a seizure- tell me it will only make me vulnerable to whatever you might have to say in reply. They tell me my words will not get through to your sick twisted mind and that you might actually mistake all the above for care or unresolved feelings.
So here it goes…
Since the night you sat me down and tried to brainwash me into thinking that it was all me, that I’ve been such a horrible horrible wife who have driven you into a dirty affair, since that night I’ve been constantly judging myself. All through that past year, fragments of our life together keep flashing in my head whenever I see quite simple things that happen through regular ordinary days, like couples fighting, like me standing in a crowd upright because there is no shoulder to lean on, or someone of those who know about it telling me that I am definitely too good for you. I would remember our small fights, and even our big ones and I would remember that even when I gave my worst reactions, the ones I would take back, I never offended you as a husband. Even when my tone of voice got too high for your inflated macho ego, even when I gave opinions that sounded more like orders to your insecure self, even when I kept crying and looking the other way as you said your lame sorry’s… I never disrespected you. My sisters and my mother implied on so many occasions that perhaps I might have, but between you and me, you know better. You know I stood by your side literally though thick and thin; I won’t name the incidents because it’s not like me, but you know each and everyone of them, not out of gratitude, but out of your hidden inferiority.
All through that time, whenever people from which I am distant tell me “… but there must have been good days”, I nod and murmur “of course there was…” only I no longer remember those. I know they must have existed but, I am sorry the things you’ve done, the horrible pain I somehow still feel under thick layers of pretense that I have recovered, make it impossible for me to focus on one good memory. The few times I could actually do that, tears came rushing from my eyes, because I couldn’t remember the specific moment, I just remembered it felt warm and felt like home, and then I remembered none of it was real… how could it have possibly been real? If it were, you would have left me before you had it in you to hurt me that way. And another thought haunts me… what if it was real? The thought that it could have actually been real will forever haunt me and scare me from ever feeling that way again. Thanks to you, my heart is crippled and my faith in romantic relationships is entirely shaken for you have forever tainted my perception of love and marriage, I resent you for that.
I tried; God knows I tried to tell my self that perhaps you’re a good person, and that all this is a result of a mad chain reaction of anger, stubbornness, and people getting in the middle. I tried so hard to tell myself that there’s a good person in there who would respond to my sincere pleads to end things in a civil way, but obviously that person is another figment of my disturbed imagination, just like the whole persona of you for which I have once fallen.
You’re not a good person; you have no morals or ethics or conscience. انت معندكش حتى كرامة و لا نخوة و لا أي حاجة من اللي بيوصفوا بيها أخلاق الرجالة. No man, no true man would do that to his wife no matter how horrible she was. No man would abandon a wife he has repeatedly abused, humiliated and badmouthed to people, and then refuse to let her go, but rather leave her that way in an… an unmarried/undivorced status. No man would find honor or manhood in such behavior. You and your likes give men such bad bad name. This is the exact thought that comes to mind every single time I am filling an application where I have to identify my marital status.
I would say you give fathers a bad name too, but I wouldn’t call you a father to begin with. You call and send text to tell me you would like to participate in whatever birthday arrangement I plan for Beem, seriously???? We ya tara hatsharek be eh, be ta3atofak, since we’re in Ramadan?!!! Is that supposed to make any sense? That you want to be a part of a birthday plan when you don’t even know what your sons look like now, that you would not recognize them if they pass you by in the street?!! You want me to buy that you would chip in a party and buy a gift that would dazzle a 3 year-old when you never bothered to support him or his brother financially for over a year now!!! And don’t even dare mentioning the lame a** alimony that wouldn’t cover one eighth of one kid’s expenses. And don’t say I sent clothes, you know the crap you sent and for whatever its worth, I sent it back, perhaps you need the money you would return them for, because I know my kids don’t need them. I thank God a million times they don’t need your gifts or your money, and I hope they never ever need them or you for that matter.
I wanted to tell you, I had to tell you that I spend a lot of time reliving the past year day by day. And in every moment I see phantoms of us reliving painful moments of hate, I realize it’s never really been me, and that it’s been you, all you. I am not denying my own share of mistakes, I admit them, and I won’t even justify them by saying they were unintended because I have sincerely apologized when I thought an apology was due, I paid my dues, one after another. My biggest mistakes however remain; choosing you, believing you, enduring you, doubting my instincts, shunning my doubts, and giving you the other cheek even when I did it knowing you’d slap me even harder… you’ve shown me the weakest version of me, and my biggest mistake was that I let you.
I’ve been thinking it through and through, trying to know where I went wrong and learn from my mistakes, but I somehow realized that it’s impossible to learn from those mistakes. I would not know which mistakes not to repeat in an argument with a loved one or a spouse because I am not sure I can ever give my heart or my name in marriage to anyone once I break free from your chains. My fear of choosing wrong or being blinded by love would forever stop me from being in a situation where I might repeat any of those mistakes.
So if that’s why you don’t want to let me go, to make sure I won’t move on and give my love to whoever would deserve and appreciate it, rest assured. Trust me, the wounds and the scars are way too much for anyone to understand, let alone heal.
How does that make you feel? How does it feel to know that you have destroyed something in me? Makes you feel good, honorable, more of a man??? I know your sick delusional ego would make it feel that way to you, and I will try to have my peace with that for I know that whoever reads those words, even if it were you reading them on the web not knowing that they are meant for you, whoever will read them will be disgusted at you and see you for the disgrace to humanity that you are.
I tried to find it in me to forgive you because it’s Ramadan and it's time for maghfera. I tried to practice forgiving, but I found myself wishing you none of it for you have done nothing to deserve it and I think that even forgiveness has to be earned.
(I know… so much for the whole Ramadan spirit I was trying to get into! That’s why anger IS a deadly sin.)
September 13, 2008
It baffles me that I keep saying things and contradicting them; how I give up on things yet still hold on to whatever it is that ties me to them. It gets twice as confusing because I barely know what I want to start with.
I say I don’t want the things everybody else wants, but I can’t find it in me to push them away when they come knocking my door. I tell myself that I can do without, but I secretly miss them as my stubborn self takes over and shuns them away. I do it proudly and I tell myself I know better, but do I, or do I just behave that way out of utter pride and narcissism?
And when it gets hard for me to take, I let my mind play its vicious tricks; I consciously project my fears and insecurities into others’ behaviors, my worst and most fatal defense mechanism. I focus on my flaws and magnify them and tell myself it’s impossible for people to get along with me, I build walls to shield me to hide behind them safely so that I can break down and cry away from people’s sympathy. But why can’t I give in and cry now that I had built my walls? Arn't they thick enough? I am too tired to build them thicker.
Why aren’t things simple? Can’t I just want to be happy and leave it at that? Yeah yeah, happy is relative and so is everything, and knowing me, I’d probably roll my eyes at too many things life offers me in an attempt to give me that so called happiness. Why can’t I stop being so picky about every particular thing?
My good friends tell me I am picky because I should be, because I deserve the best, but I am starting to think they tell me that because they ran out of words to soothe me. May be I should stop being picky, or perhaps just stop expecting anything to come my way and give up on all of it.
Sorry for the morbid mood.
hopeful, disillusioned… nostalgic, bitter… optimistic, cynical… smiling, miserable… comfortable, restless… sleepy, insomniac…
in case the last word didn’t give it away, it’s me; all me!
it doesn’t even make sense to me, yet somehow it does!
I am not even sure I can explain… I think I’ve lost it, and I don’t even know what it is really…
September 11, 2008
For some reason I played it all in my head yesterday as I was dosing off and had I not been too tired to react, I would have gotten completely angry, but I ended up sleeping on that thought and waking up with a headache and an urge to throw up.
Whenever I heard stories of sexual harassment, I always thought “had it been me, I would have given my harasser a piece of my mind.” Truth is I never did! It’s disappointing to find out that I am not everything I’d like to think I am, and it makes me somehow mad at myself for being too shocked at your behavior.
Damn, I was caught off guard; I trusted you, I liked visiting and I enjoyed our chats, even the rather unfavorable ones. I thought you were skilled, well educated, sophisticated, and most importantly good mannered and had ethics; apparently I was badly mistaken and I am mad at myself for that.
I am MUCH younger than your daughter you pervert, I even perceived you as the sweet grandpa I never had!! EWWWW.
How could you –or anyone else for that matter- know of the mess my life currently is and take such advantage of it? It’s low and I find it impossible to understand, let alone accept!
You were told half of the story and you came to offer and adult’s opinion and I thought I made it clear that your advice was appreciated yet invalid. I was nice and sweet, and more importantly grateful for your kind words, little did I know!
Every time I remember our conversations and how all your remarks were dirty hints that I simply didn’t get because I am such a naïve person who still doesn’t get how people could be so twisted and sick. Arrgghhhh.
And it baffles me how you actually know my x and how it didn’t even disturb you that I might call him and that it might –just might- outrage him. Or was it him who made it sound like I was that cheap? I really don’t wanna know, I guess the fact that you know him well should have warned me, but the stupid utopian in me never assumes the worst of people.
I hate you. You disgust me, shame on you and your likes.
And I am angry at myself for not confronting you. For being too shocked to even look you in the eye and give you one of my glares. I keep remembering how I withdrew and how I tried so hard to pretend like I still didn’t catch on to your grossness and walked out promising myself I would never come back.
Now I need a new dentist because my temporary filling is decaying and I am starting to feel pain again, and the pain brings back those obnoxious memories. Uff.
September 8, 2008
Ramadan is taking its toll on me; it’s the first time that I find fasting that disorienting! It could be due to the caffeine deprivation since I have been guilty of some serious caffeine abuse during the past year. No craving, just utter disorientation!
I am too tired, exhausted actually. I sleep more hours that any self proclaimed insomniac should, I am too ashamed of myself, and I am even considering changing my name to sleepy-head.
And I haven’t even gotten all spiritual yet like everyone else seems to be! I am not sure my faith is that much intact that way. It adds to my guilt that I’m having terrible music obsession when everyone else I know is listening and/or reading Quran! It feels wrong somehow!!
Too many thoughts are crowding my head and I am too woozy and drowsy to even think or write them out of my system! Ramadan me3aslag ma3aya awy awy, and I can’t get into the whole Ramadan spirit, I am starting to feel so incompetent and that something is seriously wrong with me!
I do not blame Ramadan, I blame the people who overrate their joy and make it seem obligatory to feel the same way. Well, I don’t feel the spirit of Ramadan, so sue me!! And while I’m at it, I almost never feel that spirit, and neither do I feel that of El Eid! To me, it’s all about the social pretenses one has to go through to make loved ones happy (as well as not so loved ones) and it takes away whatever spiritual sense left in me, assuming I had much aslan!
I would wish you a blessed Ramadan, except that obviously it would sound too cliché coming from me, since you know better :-/