Wednesday, May 06, 2009

How this will end

Did I get saved today? I don't know. The guy who was supposed to come see me fell ill apparently. I suppose he got saved. That much I do know.

Whenever I feel happy for even the briefest period of time, something happens to bring me back down again. It makes me wonder if anyone else has such an efficient safety switch against happiness.

Still good things come out everything and I have decided to be dependent only upon myself rather than my parents or my family in general. Being a girl is a big enough issue without having to hear about how you're a burden.

There was a time I used to think that my parents are not like the countless other parents out there, that they are different and wouldn't bend to society when safeguarding the interests of their daughters.

Oh but I should have known that every ounce of trust I put in anyone or any relationship comes to punch me in the face.

It felt stupid that I cried. Thinking about myself lying balled up in pain made my cringe. It's enough for me to bear the physical pain. Emotional pain is torture. I take medicines for my pains but I don't know what to take for mental agony.

Deciding to be fully independent is a great thing but I don't know how I'll afford to live, to feed and clothe myself. It has hit me time and time again that on my own, I'm now one of the poorer people of this country. Obviously not poor but certainly, I have fallen down the economic ladder.

It's time to kick myself for listening to my parents, my family and friends (most of whom are going back themselves) and coming back from the UK. At least, it's not a sin being a female there or to work any menial job. I can't do that in this country.

I have come to a conclusion. It's cringe worthy to discuss ones financial situations on the www but nonetheless. To myself, I'll say this is my therapy blog. So! I'll stop eating. I'll get the cheapest lodgings, which my parents didn't allow but now that I'm no more their responsibility, I don't think it matters. At the end of the day, I bring myself down less than the whole world does.

Why am I going to do all this? I'm saving money to apply for the UK work permit, for which I'm eligible. I'm saving to buy a ticket and then leave. I am hoping to die in peace over there and have a nice unmarked grave most probably.

Since I'm a fallen angel, there are so many things that don't matter anymore. To know that no one loves you truly is a killing thing but also liberating. Then you can up and leave all the beautiful people behind who never needed you.

It doesn't feel bad anymore to be fat and ugly. It doesn't feel bad anymore to know that I was deluded into thinking I'm normal. Normal changes. Normal is relative.

At least I'll be free of conventions.

I want a Giraffe staring down at me

I came home for the weekend to relax and not think about my worries but my mother and aunt had different plans.

It didn't help that some couple of weeks ago my aunt called up late in the evening to tell me that I should consider my abuser cousin as a future spouse (thanks for keeping my trust like everyone else, mom). When I calmly asked if mother knew, the reply was that she was asking on her behalf. Of course.

The effort it took me to contain myself was more than I could bear. I cried all night. It started raining and then I just stood in the window for many hours until it was time for morning prayers. I don't know if I ever felt as faithless as I did that night.

Sometimes, I feel like it's not my life that I'm living but my life is being lived by everyone else. I don't want to get married but I have to because my mother and my aunts want that. I don't want to have kids but because I'm a woman, I'm expected to. I love someone else but I should jump into a marriage because that's what the society expects me to do.

So here I was in a better mood for the Labor Day weekend when my mother announced that there are two different people coming to see me for their sons. I really wished at that moment that I had not taken the extra day off.

Like all the rituals in this blasted place, one has to get all dolled up and be ready but for people like me, we have to hear how we're not beautiful and fat etc despite everything. Nobody cares how intelligent you are or how many books you've read or how much time you wasted studying.

As of yesterday, one of the people have asked for my hand in marriage (lol... the phrase smacks of barbarianism; oh, well!). It's almost 5 in the morning and I haven't slept a wink because I have been thinking and asking myself why I'm going to do this for my parents.

I've been asking myself for a long time whether it's right to marry just to make your parents happy? I don't even live with them anymore. It's true that our society requires girls to stay at home and then get married and stay at home. Basically, pass the weight to someone else.

It's more than that. There was a brief period when I wanted to marry the person I love and it's true that it made me want to have kids and what not but that feeling has completely been wiped out. I have been trying to tell myself that perhaps getting married will distract me enough to forget everything and that I'll enjoy it. After all, I don't know the person. It's another thing that when he sees me later in the morning, he might reject me. Part of me minds that because the whole of me knows that I'm not a cow or a sheep to be rejected but that same whole knows that's how we are treated and that's how I have been treated even by the persons who claim to love me.

Try as I might, I cannot convince myself. How can I fob myself off on someone like that? How is it expected that we will do things together in life without knowing each other at all? How is it expected for strangers sprung on each other to survive? It's not like we are living 30 years ago in our parents (and I suppose 40 years for his parents) time where everything was decided by someone else because you just didn't 'know better'.

Since yesterday, I have been trembling, not with fear but with a growing sense that I am going to lose my hope forever. I know that despite everything I still love just that one person. I have been hoping and praying that he will come around (thus proving that females are sentimental fools). Added to that is the fear that if all goes like society expects it then I am a hypocrite of the highest order, set to deceive someone in the same way that I fear I have been deceived. I don't know if this other person deserves it but who are any of us to judge.

The counting of hours is so difficult. No one has asked me what I need or want. I'll be skipping office for the 3rd straight day today for nothing. I am 28 and I still have to do things to make people happy when I know that they will still be unhappy no matter what I do. 

I am praying that on the way back to Lahore, I have an accident and as I'm flowing out of body, the thin, tall man stares down at me because it is my wish that he should be the last being I should see before I go.

That's how I treat my problems now. Death is my solution to everything. I am afraid of and for myself. 

Being stared down by a giraffe is my highest dream.

Friday, May 01, 2009

You Never Loved Me

My state might be summed up best in Rumi's following verses:

Sometimes I forget completely
what companionship is.
Unconscious and insane, I spill sad
energy everywhere. My story
gets told in various ways: a romance,
a dirty joke, a war, a vacancy.
It took me 20 years to forget and move on and learn to love.
I was just 3 or 4 years old when I was sexually abused by my cousin. I never told anyone for many years. Then I told my parents and my siblings. Before that only God, my cousin and I knew and I wished to take it with me to the grave.
It took me 20 years to stop trying to scrub the skin off my bones and spending hours in the shower to wash away unseen dirt.
20 long years wondering why it happened to me and if I deserved it.
I didn't tell anyone else.
I told you.
I told you because you told me that you loved me.
I told you because I believed that what you told me was true.
And now I'm wondering why I told you because you never loved me.
You threatened so subtly to leave me bleeding on the floor of lost love that I thought life would end without you. I didn't know I was so weak.
It took me 20 years to fight and defeat my demons.
What did I know that they weren't dead but just lying low to surface one night, stronger than ever to maim me?
I used to wonder what it was like to walk with your insides on the out and now I know and I don't like it at all.
As Rumi says once more,
A night full of talking that hurts,
my worst held-back secrets. Everything
has to do with loving and not loving.
This night will pass.
Then we have work to do.
How cruel is this world? I have always wondered. I know that I was much wiser when I was younger. I took risks but I was cautious. I never fell in love. I tried it and you knew it because you knew all my secrets. Then Rumi shakes some salt on my wounds.
I used to be shy.
You made me sing.

I used to refuse things at table.
Now I shout for more wine.

In somber dignity, I used to sit
on my mat and pray.
Now children run through

and make faces at me.
I gave them all to you against all the philosophers' judgments whispering out to me through the books I'd read and what I'd learnt from others.
Now I'm wondering if it was all about sex. Does the whole world revolve around it? I tried to give myself to you. God and you know that. Did you leave me because I couldn't? Shall I be a hypocrite and say it was my morals? But that would be a blatant lie.
For 26 years, I was a violated virgin and then you violated me again but I didn't know. So Rumi says,
Joseph's brothers did not see Joseph's beauty,
but Jacob never lost sight of it. Moses at first
saw only a wooden staff, but to his other seeing
it was a viper and a cause of panic.
Eyesight is in conflict with inner knowing.
Moses' hand is a hand and a source of light.

These matters are real as the infinite is real,
but they seem religious fantasies to some,
to those who believe only in the reality
of the sexual organs and the digestive tract.

Don't mention the Friend to those.
To others, sex and hunger are fading images,
and the Friend is more constantly, solidly here.
How long will it take me this time? I forgave you but I haven't forgiven myself. I forgave my stupid cousin too but it took me long.
Did I hurry in forgiving you because I loved you? Did I forgive you as compensation for my inadequacies? Because my fears didn't let you cross the final frontier?
Is this whole love thing about breaking and entering? You only love because you can break into someone?
But I assure you that my soul is broken and so is my body.
I'm only waiting for my grave as a last salvation. Everything is a punishment to me. To be not able to forget is my punishment. To love without being loved is punishment. To realize that everything was a lie is punishment. From the day I was born, it's been a 28 year punishment.

Isn't it enough God? Isn't it enough?
Punishment is to know that you fooled me. It's no punishment to be proven a dupe. I guess I always knew. Punishment is to be surrounded yet be so alone. Punishment is to pretend that you got something in your eyes.
The pretenses. Punishment is love becoming a habit. To love someone and think about their every second and even dream about them when you finally fall asleep. Punishment is dying so young. Punishment is losing hope. Again, Rumi says,
My worst habit is I get so tired of winter
I become a torture to those I'm with.

If you're not here, nothing grows.
I lack clarity. My words
tangle and knot up.

How to cure bad water? Send it back to the river.
How to cure bad habits? Send me back to you.

When water gets caught in the habitual whirlpools,
dig a way out through the bottom
to the ocean. There is a secret medicine
given only to those who hurt so hard
they can't hope.

The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.

Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you
or coming back toward you.
Unfortunately, Rumi never tells what that medicine is. Since he's dead, I won't get it. Nothing is curing this hopelessness. All will has taken flight. The butterfly thought it's wings were broken but it had flown away into the sun.
It may be said (Rumi seems to know much) that
The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.
When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you're not here, I can't go to sleep.

Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.
Now there's nothing. When I'm awake, you're there and when I fall asleep, you're waiting there as well.
Is it because...?
When I remember your love,
I weep, and when I hear people
talking of you,
something in my chest,

where nothing much happens now,
moves as in sleep.
Rumi doesn't say how it will end but I know. I've been hearing the echo of a cry for some time now. The echo repeated, the end is nigh. I wanted to die before you. That's true but I wanted to die with you near me. I wanted to die of old age. I wanted to die with a thought that I had been loved. But it wasn't to be. I said that I was you. I lost myself in you and now I can't find myself. You said it doesn't matter to me if you told me that you loved me but it did and it does. If only it were true. If only. I can rub my hands together in the frustration of loss, I can hit my head against the walls. I can jump off cliffs. I can drive into the river. I can turn and gouge out my eyes if only you loved me.
You never loved me.