Falling at Fajr


It seems like all day, maybe even all weekend, I have been carrying around a feeling of dread.  It feels like in some realm a line was crossed, and things which may have been reversible up to that point are now fixed.  I fasted my 10 days for Rajab, concluding Saturday night. At maghrib I made salat and then made dua, pouring out my fears and desires to Allah.  I had so many things to say, and particular things to ask, and I laid it all before Him.  Since then, I have been feeling guilty, and I don’t even know why.  Do I feel bad for wanting anything at all, because it betrays a certain lack of sabr?  Do I feel guilty for wanting something that might be bad for me, even though I do the best I can to use wisdom to discern what I want and need? Do I feel guilty for asking Allah for ease, because it means I can’t handle His tests?

This morning I woke up just after 3 AM, feeling horrible.  I was dreaming about my husband’s relationship with his shaykh, which currently seems to be in a questionable standing. I guess what has been going on has been making him rethink his beliefs and spiritual course, which is understandable.  Even though he is coming to conclusions (in some ways) that I had already established, I am troubled at how far a departure this is from the person I’ve known him to be.  I already was feeling like life as I have known it was shifting in ways I couldn’t keep up with, now I have to adjust to my husband going though an intangible metamorphosis.  Maybe that was the final piece that dropped my heart into despair?

I feel like things are not going to work out….at least not in the direction I would prefer them to.  I had two pictures in my mind of the outcome for my husband’s situation: him leaving and I being left on my own to redefine my future; or him staying because we were able to get a house and move on in some semblence of normalcy (even if it meant him being on probation). Now it seems the option that is being leaned toward is him starting the probation now, without a proper home, without security that his mother will continue to finance his living arrangements if he is unable to find a means to do so on his own, without a reasonable assurance that will we be able to get a place of our own.  Of all the possibilities I’ve been sifting through since his arrest and trying to plan around, this was not one of them. I feel very upended about this, and with the fact that we were not given very good vibes about being financed for a home this past Friday I feel like my heart is stuck in a tar pit. I can’t say that my dream the other night about my job helped that in any way.

Hope lives by being able to create a picture of a future we can believe in, and anchoring ourselves to it during difficult times. I have to admit, I did have a lot of futuristic panoramas to hope in. Being the planner-girl I am, I thought I made sure that every possible outcome had an “after” I could invest in, to keep my spirits buoyant through all this.  With what’s shaping up, I find I didn’t have a scene for this one.  I know time will pass and outcomes will be revealed, and I will move through this to the next phase inevitably. However, I feel like I’m travelling that path hopelessly, because I had not put together a back-up plan for what’s actually taking place.

I’ve already prayed fajr, and I have to work later today.  Tomorrow is the pivotal day, and I expect my husband will continue to deliberate between his options until he has to actually go in and declare a position.  His choice will affect me, whatever it is.  I am not even really sure if I am ready to handle any of the choices he might make, so long had I hoped this day wouldn’t actually come. Even during my dua Saturday night I asked that all this be made to disappear.

I even feel guilty for wanting a generous rescue.  I feel guilty for being frightened when something can’t be changed.  In some ways, the way I am feeling now, the terrifying dreadfulness and ache of regret, is almost exactly the way I felt when I lost my daughter. No matter how much I wish and wish something would alter the events that have already passed through time, I am faced with the conclusion that nothing is going to change back to what it was.  Nothing is going to look the same as it did before, and the only option before me is to try to find a meaningful place in my new reality. Either that, or get stuck in my attachment to memories of the past and live a life of counter-productive fixation. That’s really not my style, though.

I know this is a rambling sort of post, but I need to do it for my own sake because I’m just not ready to lay back down and try to go to sleep with all this heaviness inside my soul.  I remember when I was a child, I had one of those books that come with a 45 speed record (actually I had several of them). The one I am thinking of in particular was Disney’s The Black Hole. I remember in the story how the captain and his crew were basically trying to deal with the inevitability that they were being sucked into this black hole, which they feared would take their lives.  They were not sure what was going to happen or if they would survive.  As they got closer and closer, it became harder and harder to believe they might be able to escape it (although they had been trying all along).  In the end, they passed through the black hole, and made it to the other side safely.  They were in a totally unfamiliar realm, and they realized it was going to be very challenging for them to move forward and continue to survive, because for all they knew they were the only living creatures in this new universe. However, they were thankful to still be alive, and hoped they could make a way forward somehow.

I feel like that now. I feel like the black hole was something I had been falling toward, but hoped I might be able to escape somehow.  Now it really feels like escape is a non-option.  I don’t know if I’m going to survive this transition (emotionally, mentally), but I have no choice but to try.  Even in my best attempts of trying, I have no idea what it will look like until it happens. It feels like trying to drive while blind, and yet hoping I get to my correct destination safely.  It seems like even if that were to happen, the route there will be perilous either way.

I’m still not ready to go to bed. I still feel sick inside. I know staying awake will only sabotage my ability to concentrate at work later today, but I don’t know what else to do. I was hoping writing about my state would draw out the infirmity, like it has so many other times.  I guess this is one of those instances where there is more emotional poison inside than I have words to expel it with. If I could cry I would, but my feelings are more along the lines of “horrified” than depressed.

Ya Allah, I praise you and may blessings surround Prophet Muhammad SAWS.  I already feel like I ask You for too much, and can’t repay all that You have already given. I feel ashamed to even ask for one more breath.  But you are giving me breaths, you are giving me hours and days and a future as You like.  Ya Allah, please give me some glimpse of the beauty in my future, so I can cling to it and survive what’s present.  Please show me a bit of what awaits me on the other side of this test, so  I can continue to be brave and patient and fighting with all my strength; so I can find enough motivation to not give up when it feels like giving up is the only option left. Amin.


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