I can’t believe I skipped the whole month of August. I thought I would write at least one entry….at least I intended to several times. Suffice it to say that after my previous post I had a difficult time recovering from the emotional scramble I was in.
After I wrote that I realized what a problem I had with loneliness. I realized that if anything, it was the one, remaining unconquered fear in my life that still had the power to rule my thoughts and feelings. I knew this wasn’t good for me, and I knew that if I didn’t face that fear and find a way to overcome it, I would continue to be its slave for the rest of my life. Such things cannot be merely outgrown, or surely I would’ve done it by now. I also knew that the only was to truly bring it into submission was to immerse myself in the worst case scenario, so I did something that to me was very frightening: I asked Allah to push me over that cliff. I asked Him to put me in that last arena, so I could learn to triumph over this last weakness.
I really believe He answered that dua, because the events that unfolded soon after were very triggering in this aspect. Yet, I still don’t know how much I’ve progressed.
I started to try to have as little contact as possible as I could with my husband. This was very difficult for me, not because our interactions are always satisfying but because he was the only human I had consistent interactions with. The absence of that showed me how shallow my support system really was, and how dysfunctional I was without one. I knew that I needed to build one, but I also knew that the only way to overcome that feeling of “disconnect” was to be able to find Allah and connect with Him. Since I’m the kind of person who is better oriented toward what is concrete and tangible, and Allah is neither, this was nearly impossible for me. It is much easier for me to find Allah in creation, but the hard part is always making sure I don’t give creation the adoration meant only for Allah. This is difficult for me, I admit.
So that task, in itself, has been challenging enough. Then, Allah decided to cue to my lonely past. Funny, I thought I had worked through a lot of those things, so when my friend suggested that I try to re-establish a connection with my biological mother (when I had no idea how or where she was, in addition to the fact that my previous and several attempts to do so in the recent past had gone unanswered) I thought it was going to be very perfunctory.
Instead, the process brought up so many emotions for me. They weren’t the pleasant kind either. I didn’t have any hard feelings for her, but just a glaring reality that even if I did find her, she may not stay in contact. She may move into another sphere of her own life and lose touch with me again, and I would be left wondering in my primal self why I wasn’t good enough to keep her around. That was magnified by the fact that I also gained access to my half brother and half sister, who were both adults now. They have their own lives, lives I wanted to very much be a part of, but they also could walk away someday…and inside I would be thinking (because I’m sick this way) “it’s all my fault”.
Allah says He never gives any difficulty without ease. If anything had to make me face why loneliness was so hard for me, well here it is. Yet, out of the blue an aunt who was more myth than man randomly contacted me for the first time in my life with a mission not dissimilar to the one I was currently on- namely trying to understand her past to bring peace to her present. You see, she also was raised by her maternal grandmother, and too many other similarities in our lives and experiences came out of that. I was able to have an enlightening and heartwarming conversation with her, and in so doing found the strength to face this insurmountable mountain ahead of me.
Speaking of mountains, that’s another thing I’d like to mention: since I’ve started this blog my experience of life has been one of falling and crashing to the ground. Strangely, since this latest breakdown, I’ve not felt that way. I’ve felt like I am on the ground, like I’m exploring the scenery nearby. I can’t say I’m able to describe it more than that, but the peril of always feeling weightless has seemed to end. It’s a new chapter I guess.
So I’ve been working through these emotions and triggers, most times ineffectively. I need more help with it, because it’s so deeply rooted. It’s so deep, in fact, that things I would never expect to tie into it become a major focus. Here’s an example: I have been having regular cycles since May (Praise be to Allah, that’s the longest I’ve had consistency in that area since I went off the birth control in 2010). Essentially, I’m working! This is a good thing. However, this most recent cycle I realized that my ovulation day was almost going to mirror the cycle I conceived my daughter Nadhiyrah during, back in 2003. I ran the numbers and it was readily apparent that if I conceived, I would be due around the time she was born (early next May). I became attached to the idea of achieving this, because it would almost be like re-doing that pregnancy…only with more mindfulness and appreciation. Perhaps it would even be another daughter? Oh, how healing this could be!
So I tried with all my might to make this happen, and on paper all the variables were in our favor. As I endured my two-week wait, I mused about why it was so important to me to have another daughter, beyond the fact that I had already lost my first one. The recent reunion with my family of origin had me thinking about generational patterns and lifelong wounds, I realized that the drive and need in me was so deep because it was a way for me to re-write my own past. To raise a daughter (and it has to be a daughter, since I am female) and keep her, cherish her, love her without abandon and raise her to adulthood myself was a way to undo those very things I did not get from my own mother, even my own grandmother who did raise me.
Unfortunately, I did not get pregnant this cycle. Yet, I feel that Allah was very intentional about that fact. I don’t feel it’s because He wants me to suffer, or rub my scars in my face, but rather to show me what’s going on with this loneliness thing for real. He’s been showing me exactly where it came from and why I am this way, and He’s showing me all the ways I’ve been trying to fix it myself. He’s no enabler now, is He?
So I am trying to take these lessons as they come. I am trying to connect with Him, instead of humans. I am pressing myself for my true intentions, not the fluff I convince myself of out of vain attempts to manage my own life. It’s really hard, because I’ve been stripped raw in a lot of ways, but I can’t rebuild the same archetype that was failing me before. So, I feel frustrated and somewhat lost because my cheerful and confident imani outlook on life has been replaced by a confused yet determined handicap.
Allah is showing me the way. During the two-week wait I also began reading a blog (that I found by googling 12 dpo) about a lady who had struggled with infertility. The blog covers several years, and she had two miscarriages before finally conceiving her son, who happened then to be born at 26 weeks gestation. She detailed all the familiar heartaches of infertility and struggles of raising her baby to not only survive but thrive. I’m at the point where she is now pregnant with her second child (however these are all last years posts, so I don’t know how it all ends up). In reading her stories I realize that I cannot find a way forward hanging on to what I never had, wish I had, or will always want. I will only find a way forward by having gratitude for what I do have, and Allah has given me so, so much. When I truly focus on that the way I should, I realize how embarrasing it is to even want more, or to think I need more. I realize how poorly I manage what is already mine, and how I never deserved it. This shows me how much Allah truly loves me, that He even gave me as much as I have, in spite of my utter incompetence to appreciate it fully. And that love is truly a constant…and becomes more tangible the more I reflect on it.