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.
and
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.

1 comment:

Jeannie said...

You SURELY did NOT deserve that!

Why does is seem GOD does NOT protect the VERY ONES who DESERVE protection?

WHY?

Please don't be mad at me for wishing you (and prayer for you) healing and a good life. Please don't reject my plea!

YOU DID NOT DESERVE THIS! You deserve to feel vindicated! You deserved someone to look out for you! Someone to even the score, but then, that does not sound very pious.

Why SO many victims in this life? Does GOD really hear prayers? I hope so.