Tag Archives: pain

10 Day Time Bomb

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Sometimes some of us are given a situation in life that forces us to take a hard look at ourselves, and reluctantly admit that we are not the person we thought we were or had hoped to be. I am at that place.

The past 10 days have been like the rapid-fire sequence of bombs detonating inside my mind and heart. Sure, it may have all began with what I referenced in my last post about my ex husband wanting to remarry, but it recently culminated with his nikkah yesterday. In between those two crazy-making revelations I endured a severe illness which left me completely weak in my body and mind. Ironically, the ex who was causing the great heartache with his choices was also the only person helping me while I was sick, so in the end my emotions and thought processes were left severely short circuited and unreliable.

I admit, finding out there was someone else out there who cared about him, and who he cared about, made me jealous. I would try to salve myself in various ways, but the bottom line is still the same: they are happy with one another. They are happy because they found love and are no longer alone, and I am unhappy because I am alone and don’t foresee any love life in my future. I resented them both for it, and that showed me how pathetic I really am when it all gets boiled down.

It’s been years since I’ve felt jealous of anyone, so I was really caught off guard by how strong it can be, and how compelling. Jealousy wants to tear down the happiness of others, or somehow inject itself in where it doesn’t belong to feed off of what it can’t destroy like a parasite. Jealousy isn’t even satisfied if you give it what it wants, because it has to give up what it has now just to take it….and jealousy never wants to let anything go.

I went through all those reactions about my ex; not just once but multiple times. In fact, I can still feel the burn inside my nafs from where it is still smoldering, like the underground coal fire in Pennsylvania. It feels at times completely out of control, where my emotions have raised a coup with their drive to have my ex husband back for myself…for him to belong to no one else. Yet I know that chasing that idea down would make 3 people miserable in the end, and perhaps two of them (though it’s hard to admit) deserve the chance to find a renewal of happiness with one another. I was wronged by my ex in various ways, but perhaps Allah will be merciful and keep them from wronging each other.

It is a very difficult thing to accept, to move forward from, when I believe as I do that I won’t get any such redemptive chances (in the context of another relationship). All I have is a hard look at how low I can really go when life gets that real. I can only hope that the illness I went through -as severe as it was- served as some sort of expiation to offset the ugliness I’m seeing in myself.

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I Will Not Give Up Just Because it Gets Hard

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Last night I came to learn that my ex husband, from whom I’ve only been divorced for a matter of weeks, is making plans to remarry a sister he met online as soon as possible. While I certainly expected him to move on to someone else eventually, I have to admit that the quick turnaround for this stunned me. And there is a part of it that hurt me immensely.

I don’t think I was hurting because I felt like I lost him. No, I already dealt with that idea when I decided to divorce. I knew that giving something up means you have to be OK with it being out of your life for good.

The thing that hurt me was that the whole situation seemed to cheapen the marriage we did have- more specifically, who I was to him. He has a lot of high praise for his new love interest, and he describes her in such a way as to make it seem like I had been nothing more him than a half-hearted wannabe heathen. It made it seem like all the sacrifices I made for him, all the love I offered him, everything I gave no matter what the cost amounted to nothing. And that really hurt, because I know, and Allah knows, I gave 200% to that marriage. In fact, the only thing that gave me comfort in walking away from it was knowing that I could not have possibly done any more than I had. I walked away bled dry; loved out.

And it certainly doesn’t help to watch him go happily forward with someone who cares about him, while I continue to wrestle with the task Allah has set before me of coming to terms with being single for the next X amount of years, and living without that comforting companionship.

So I initially felt crushed, because a part of me believed that though things ended as they did, he would remember me as someone who was extremely loyal, caring, and devoted. Instead, it appeared that someone else can offer more of those things than I did. That stabbed my heart, and made me wonder if all the heartwrenching dedication I freely and abundantly gave him was nothing more than a waste. Thinking of the prices I paid (and made my children pay) in the process, it was unfathomable to me that everything I did for the sole purpose of having someone love me and stay by me, would only end up showing me that the love I was purchasing was not sincere at all. How then will I come to terms with myself, for not having figured that out before now?

I went back over my older blog posts this morning, trying to look at things from other angles. In one of them I wrote “I will not give up just because it gets hard”. That’s what I really need to hang on to right now. This new development, though hard and painful, is not something I’m going to let shake me from the direction I’m trying to go in. After all, all the hard, hard work and sacrifices I am making now, I am doing those for myself. They won’t come back empty, they won’t be for nothing. There’s a blossom in me, a beauty seeking to come out, and I will not let it be hindered even if no one in the world sees it but me.

Yeah, I’ve been through a lot. I’ve taken more than my share of hits, perhaps. In the end, it’s not breaking me but helping to build me…and that’s exactly what is needed right now. When it’s done, I will be me in the fullest and most spectacular of ways. Praise be to Allah.

Allah is The Answer

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My middle son misses me. He called at all hours of the morning (the time difference did not help), crying and crying. I felt so helpless, being so far away, but I completely understood what it feels like for him. The best I could do was stay with him on the phone until he was able to calm down and put his mind on other things.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from today. It was important for me to find my mom’s old house, and the apprehension in what may lie ahead kept me from getting restful sleep. When it became apparent at 9 AM that there was not going to be any more opportunities for me to go back to bed before I had to check out, I went ahead and gritted my teeth and got ready for the day. I mapped out the street she lived on, then went to the nearby garage and retrieved my car. I drove from Hyde to Mission to 24th, and found a side street to park on.

Just as I remembered, Lilac St was nothing more than an alley. I wasn’t sure if I would remember her door by seeing it, but I was going to give it my best shot. I slowly walked toward the alley, uncertain if it was a good neighborhood or not. There were a lot of trendy places on Mission just around the corner, but alleys always seem kind of scary. I proceeded cautiously, and was relieved to see there weren’t many people around. Some guys were just taking a smoke break from the back door of the restaurants that lined the alley, and others were residents unloading things from their storage spaces.

The alley itself was colorfully painted with one graffiti mural after another. One one telephone pole were three faces of middle eastern looking men, and on the next were three women in hijab. Most of the alley was lined with sliding doors that led to either garages or storage areas. There were not many entry doors, and as I looked at each one I could not hone in on which might have been hers. What was clear was that this seemed to be an area where artists congregated, and that explained why she -with painting being a consuming passion of hers- would’ve chosen to live there.

I walked the entire length of the way searching for the impossible. I recalled that my brother had told me once that the building itself used to be a train station that was converted into living units, but none of the structures appeared to fit that description. When I reached the other end of the alley, I felt disappointed and lost. I turned back around, hoping that the alternate view might trigger a flash of memory to help me find what I was looking for, but that didn’t happen.

I returned to my car feeling defeated. This was something I felt I needed to do, and I couldn’t even do it. I sat in the driver’s seat and began weeping profusely. Something so simple, yet so elusive, can hurt so deeply.

“It’s only natural to want to have a mother in my life…”
Yes, it is.

“I didn’t deserve what happened…”
No, you didn’t.

“I didn’t do anything wrong!”
You couldn’t have.

The tears wouldn’t stop. The confusion burrowed deeper. The pain painted pictures before my eyes, and I hated it for being the very thing that was chaining me to the unhealthy habits I am struggling to break even now.

“Ya Allah, please show me how this loneliness, this constant loneliness that’s been a part of my life since birth, is really the best thing for me!”

I sat, trying to figure out a way forward. A way to heal and find peace from these deep scars. I kept thinking that finding my future was the answer, but the future is uncertain…..except for one thing: Islam.

Islam would be my way forward. Islam will help me find myself, and find my peace. It already has in so many ways, but the more I focus on it the more Allah will meet me where I need.

And so that’s where I wanted to go from that place, that empty alley which had no answers or comfort. I sent a message to a friend trying to find the way to the Muslims in San Francisco. While awaiting the response, I tried to find the information myself via Zabiha.com and Google. Both were inconclusive, so I was glad to get a reply with a general direction to move toward.

As it turned out, I ended up scouring the area I was pointed to block by block. I didn’t see any cluster of shops with signs in Arabic to indicate what I was looking for, so I thought I would just make due with popping into the nearby masjid to make dhuhr and from there go on my merry way. However, there was some type of event going on in that area, so the streets were being blocked off one by one. I couldn’t find a place to park by the masjid; in fact just getting out of the area and back toward the interstate was nearly impossible due to gridlock traffic and took almost an hour.

In the end, I drove to nearby Fremont to attend a zikr which was scheduled for this evening. I originally had planned not to go, but I felt like I needed something like that right now. I got into town and mapped the venue, which was located at a park. I decided to make my dhuhr there, and kill the time by eating a late lunch at a local halal restaurant. After that, I drove to the closest masjid and made asr, then returned to the park center for the night’s activities.

I am so glad I went. Being able to only focus on Allah and my iman was just what I needed, and it changed my state completely. Masha’Allah, they even served us a free dinner. The nasheeds lifted my spirits and I felt lighter than air after it was over. As I walked back out to my car, I looked up to see the wispy clouds sifting past a brilliantly shining full moon, beautifully set in the starry, cobalt sky. Alhamdulillah!

I located an affordable room for the night in town, which is where I am staying tonight. I like Fremont; it reminds me of the San Gabriel Valley where I spent half my childhood. In shaa Allah I will begin wending my way down the coast toward Southern California tomorrow. My trip will be coming to an end soon, so I hope I can make the most of these last opportunities toward self-discovery as I continue exploring the land I love.

Rainfall

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I remember when I woke up this morning and looked out the window that I was disappointed that it was still raining softly. It was certainly a morning to go back in a warm bed and forget the weather by sleeping in, but I went ahead and took my shower even though I woke up an hour too early from a very intense dream.

Fortunately, getting my son up and ready for school went seamlessly. I lost myself in random thoughts while I drove as the droplets pattered against the car’s roof, and I mused that perhaps we might have a happy Friday in spite of the dreary skies. This morning in particular would begin in a meeting with Jabiyr’s teachers, talking about his behavioral plan and how his first week at the new school had gone. Something they told me came as a pleasant surprise.

Jabiyr had been bringing home copied passages in his notebook all week. I had guessed that these were assignments given by his teacher, since any type of writing had been an utter chore for him before. In fact, he preferred to draw; and he actually did so quite well according to most. His teacher now informed me that the writing he was doing now was of his own choice, something he elects to do “for fun” during free time. Apparently, he claims he no longer likes to draw. He would rather write, and even the little perk himself confirmed as much when I asked him about it before he fell asleep tonight. I can’t help but wonder if this doesn’t have to do with something I had told him last weekend. He had caught me going through some of my old diaries from high school and asked me, incredulously, “did you write all those words?” I told him, knowing he liked to draw, that when you learn enough words to write a lot you can make a picture with them, and that’s what I like to do. I am tickled that he is exploring another creative outlet.

So the school meeting went well enough. I returned home and took out the trash and decided to go back to bed for a bit before leaving for work. The rain was still carrying on even when I awoke to depart. Fortunately there was a decent parking space available when I arrived at work, and given that it was almost lunch time I figured the rest of the day would progress smoothly.

The first thing I did when I got to my desk was take out some liquid paper and mark out “Patricia” listed as my middle name on the Social Security name change form that I had left there from the evening before. As soon as it dried I wrote in “Faridah”, and briefly thought about what my new name -my new identity- would mean for me. I smiled.

I went on to reply to some emails and get started with the day’s tasks. I wasn’t counting on being blindsided only a few hours later.

I am trying to lose myself in the innocuous details of the earlier part of the day because I don’t want to break down again. The way things transpired -and probably to most it would all seem rather silly- actually ended up ripping me apart until I found myself sobbing at my desk for a good two hours.

What actually happened doesn’t really matter. Intellectually I can recognize it was a very solvable problem. Emotionally, well…there’s the rub. Emotionally I was staring at a mirror with no one staring back. Emotionally I was no one, and any substance of my being was only felt as a burden, a chore, a dramatic mess, on others.

This place, inside me somewhere, that never seems to go away, took me over. This idea, this seeming reality, that all I’ve ever done is make others not want me- even from birth. I cried and cried, wondering what was so bad about having just a self that couldn’t hurt anyone, offend anyone, overwhelm anyone, or make anyone feel betrayed. I felt ashamed that I could do no better than have such a deluge at work. I’m supposed to be there to help others, how could I be so selfish?

Because all I want is a self. I want validation, acceptance, reassurance, and attention. Things babies and small children get naturally, but things I had to manipulate others into giving me. Things I still starve for even now. As I write this, the ache remains fresh inside, and it would be so easy to let the waters flow once more.

I took my oldest son out to dinner tonight, since the other two boys are with their respective fathers. He told me my guacamole was better than the restaurant’s. He told me about his goals to become a better basketball player. We ate and drank two virgin strawberry daiquiris each. I wondered how he saw me as a mother, if he felt I was meeting his deepest needs. I couldn’t think about it long because we were getting ready to leave.

On the way home, I didn’t need to use my wipers because it had stopped raining. I hope by morning light, I can say the same about the weather in my soul.

Grounded

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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.

Journey to Dust, Transformation to Ashes

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I feel like I’ve been in an emotional blender this week.  It started out as me being a spectator, just watching others do what they do. I maintained a numb distance so their actions couldn’t affect me, so I could stay focused on my own priorities in trying to sort things out.  As it was, I had been feeling confused about a number of things for some time, and I was just wanting to get to the bottom of it all without any distractions.

When my own efforts to discern the mysteries of my subjective cuing failed, clarity came from outside.  I can’t say that it was the picture I was hoping to see,  but at least knowing what type of storm has been raining down was better than wondering why I’m soaking wet.  It’s a shame,  I don’t feel that much drier even now.

I’m only human. I like tidy resolutions.  I want things to work themselves out without me having to make any difficult choices, because I fear making the wrong one and being loaded down with years of regret and the permanence of decisions that cannot be undone. I wish it was always that easy, but I guess that’s the point.  Choosing the easy option, or the only option, takes no effort. It doesn’t make us bend, break, or grow.  It is a safe course, but comes with the least benefit.  I think I can safely say so far, Allah hasn’t chosen me for that type of path through life. If that were the case, He wouldn’t see fit to give me so many opportunities to submit to Him.  In the end I know that I am glad I have been given these tests, and grateful to Him for the way He sees me through them.  Yet, I have to admit, sometimes the process gets me down…way down…into the darkest places. That’s where I happen to be right now.

I don’t come here much, but when I do it’s pretty bad.  I’ve been soaking in pain.  Coming home from work each day this week, I would spend hours sitting on the couch, encompassed by the tang in my heart.  I would talk out loud to myself (as though I were the only friend I have), trying to grasp the resolve to make whatever choices needed to be made. What makes it the most difficult is that I can’t see any outcomes that give me hope.

So, I feel like a failure. I feel like garbage and trash. I feel unloveable, unwanted, and worthless.  From the bottom of this pit, the only view I see is the one that validates these feelings. I think about my mother taking off when I was only a baby, and being only a tangential part of my life since then.  I think about how I struggled to make friends growing up, struggled to keep people near when all they could see is the level of my intensity which made them back away.  I think about how I still feel a deficit of close friends even now that my life is nearly half over.  I think about how my words, my thoughts, are just silent cries that often go unheard. I think about how much I have accepted in my marriages that I shouldn’t have accepted, just for the sake of not having to be alone.

Because after all, alone is how I’ve spent most of my life. Looking back into my formative years, and most of it is memories of being alone in my bedroom, trying to quietly occupy myself.  I remember trying, time and again, to reach out to my grandparents for attention, and only being met with exasperated disinterest. I feel shame that the deficit created made me into an attention whore on some level, as I entered young adulthood….but even then I still was cast away for being too extreme, too difficult to understand, unrelatable to most others.

Alone is how I spent the years of my first marriage, waiting night after night for a husband I loved who wouldn’t come home. A husband who had interest in pretty much anything else but me…even cleaning the house. I thought I finally found a breakthrough with my current husband, because he was the first person I couldn’t drive away.  Funny, he was thinking the same about me. I thought we would be peas in a pod forever.

At first, things seemed ideal.  I loved him to death, and I thought I was loved to death.  He had mistakes, flaws…it was to be expected. So did I.  I covered them, forgave them, overlooked them, shoved them aside. My love was so great, it would pay the price of any pain he caused me.  He owed me nothing, except a promise to stay by my side. He did stay, he’s been staying.  Yet, the staying has been akin to grasping a thorned rose with the tightest grip, like swallowing a blade over and over.  I started to weaken from the repeated cuts, and I thought it was my lack of fortitude that needed to be strengthened.

So I face this dilemma: have a companion who may potentially bleed me to death from 1000 slashes, or be alone.   I don’t think he’s doing it on purpose, or because he doesn’t care. It is happening because he is the knife, and it’s the knife’s nature to cut.  He can’t help it, no matter how much he tries to be soft and gentle, he is still only capable of what his nature will allow.  I can choose to stay close, at my own risk…but because my nature is something entirely different…there will be a price to pay.

Or, I could save myself, and heal what wounds are left.  I would be doing it alone.  I would be safe, sane, and intact…but isolated. I am not a raving beauty, that people are flocking to be near me. I am not a comfortable fit into society, that others find me palatable. I am overly analytical, socially awkward, emotionally brazen, and hopelessly anchored to literal thinking. I catch others offguard with my lumbering affection.  I repel others with my neediness.  No one is going to want to love me except those who are themselves unloveable…the guns, the knives, the arrows, the fiery ones of the world. They will accept me and take me and cherish me…but ultimately destroy me because I am nothing but paper.

Just paper, a paper full of words unheard.

Paper is not worth very much.  Paper just gets used and thrown away. That’s been my life experience as well.  Paper can only wound a sliver of a cut, but can be shredded so easily.  Paper is plain, unnoticed, nominal. Paper is fragile, flimsy, and vulnerable.

The value of paper is only as great as the words written on it, and so far the words I have have been of no value to anyone else. My life has been of no value to anyone else, except for what use I can offer them.  Tell me one person who cares to do something for a piece of paper.  At best, only the sentimental will preserve it and keep it safe…but I guess there aren’t many of those types around.

I know this is a bunch of depressing things to say.  I wanted to write it here, so that it wouldn’t stay written on my heart. I want it out, not in. I want it to be something other than my experience of myself.  Maybe, just maybe, once I can do that much,  I can find a way to beautify what’s ugly and bring meaning to what’s meaningless.  If I can’t, maybe someone else can. Maybe Allah in His mercy will.

Until then, I will probably stay crumbled into this ball, in the unnoticed corner.

Falling at Fajr

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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.