The Final Goodbye

I had a moment of realisation whilst away and perhaps from my last post, folk might have guessed that I was leading upto this.  It’s obvious now, for me, that this blog has reached the end of its purpose.

Its purpose was mainly cathartic and through it, I connected with many wonderful people who provided me with love, support and advice in their own ways.  There’s absolutely no regret in my mind for starting this, not only for what it provided me but also as a platform for other women (and men), going through life’s difficulties to connect.

The decision to end this blog has happened for a couple of reasons:

I don’t associate myself as a “divorcee” or really feel the need to pigeon hole myself into that little box anymore.  I’d rather describe myself as a slightly mad, fiesty but underneath it all, a warmhearted and wonderful person.

Secondly, whilst I haven’t been particularly bothered about people knowing about my blog, the focus of my writings is changing.  I would rather not talk about certain intimate details with people whom I don’t really involve in my life.  It’s surprised me  over the past few months that there are people reading this blog whom I wouldn’t have thought cared much about what I have to say; if I was to be cynical, perhaps it’s a way of keeping up with some gossip that my life may be providing.

Divorce ignited within me a passion for writing.  I will continue writing on a different platform and for those who aren’t directly linked to me but I have developed a connection with you through this blog, I am happy to share it and keep in touch.  You all know who you are so pop me an email and I will re-connect with you.  For others, whom I don’t really know but have been reading this, I apologise but I am aiming to keep the next blog fairly private from my personal circle so unless we have shared some communications, I won’t be sharing the details.  I hope this is understandable.

Through this blog, I am hoping to setup an initiative with an established women’s helpline to provide further support, whether it be religious or emotional, to Muslim women going through divorce.  One thing that has become clear is that we get lost in the process.  There is a lack of religious guidance out there but more importantly empathy from religious leaders .  This is something, through our helpline, which we hope to change.  Should there be an avenue where we can take this online then we will endeavour to do so and I will update this blog if it happens.

My email account will be active and I am happy to still provide support.  There’s something to be said about the power of an online community.  And to that community; thank you for your amazing support over the years.  Your own experiences and advice helped in more ways than I can ever express.  In return, I hope this blog has been and will continue to be of use to others going through similar situations.

It’s been four years of cataloguing pain, tears and heartache.  I’ll be honest, it’s probably taken me that long to stop feeling so angry.  However I can also see the wonderful opportunities that life has provided me which I would never have experienced otherwise.  Life goes on.  It takes time to find yourself again but once you do, the possibilities are endless.  We may never be the same but that’s not to say that we can’t become better versions of ourselves.

And on that note…..love and hugs.  Goodbye from me.

Balancing the Scales

I’m preparing to embark on another journey, a small one this time but one of the most significant I feel.  Prior to travelling, I met a group, who provided me with some valuable words.  I spoke about my past today, something I haven’t done in a while and whilst I didn’t particularly enjoy it, maybe it was needed.

One of the most important things I have come to realise is that I’m done with reacting.  This is a situation whereby there will always be emotions that run deep.  I may feel that I have conquered hurt, betrayal, abuse however the reality is that it can take something unsuspecting to trigger another emotion lying deeper.  Reacting gives my control away; reacting gives my control to those who held power over me five years ago and whom I have allowed to continue to do so.

So it’s time to forgive and move on.  I’m not talking about my ex – strangely that happened a long time ago.  But to clear the remains of negativity that has followed for so long.

My in-laws for one.  There have been a number of pieces which I have written about my relationship with them.  We live in the same city and we will frequent the same places.  I have a tendency to avoid going anywhere if I know they will be there.  The thoughts of how I would react upon seeing them used to play in my mind.  However they are my past.  They don’t hold any power over me nor me over them.

My ex’s (ex) friends.  A select few have been on the receiving end of my resentment for years.  But that only serves to affect me, not them.  Perhaps somewhere deep down they do care about their actions and carry some remorse.  Maybe they don’t.  I’ve come to realise though that the world is filled with more good than it is bad.  For that reason, I like to think they made an error in judgement and it was never done from some inherently bad place.

So it’s time to move on from these people.  My issues with them are done.  My writings about them are done.  With so many bigger problems around us, my energy and time can be spent on more productive things.  Peace and love.

 

Ghosts of the Years Gone By

Are we bored yet of my cheating saga?  I know, I know…..it’s old news.  But you see, that’s the thing, there’s layers to this drama.  It’s not a case that he got his jollies off, we ended and happy days, we both live our own future now.  There were a number of other players to this story and unfortunately, living in the same city, somehow we enter into each other’s lives once again albeit indirectly.

An acquaintance of mine I discovered recently had become good friends with one of the so and so’s that covered for my ex during his affair.  Now there’s a difference maybe between knowing about the affair and being too scared to mention anything because you don’t want to ruin someone’s marriage.  That, I can somewhat try to understand.  This was deception; phoning me and pretending he needed help with his broken car to get my ex out the house, kidding on they were getting together for my ex’s birthday and plenty more.  I asked for an answer from him when everything surfaced but like most cowards when called out on their lies, he couldn’t face me.  Infact the only time he’s had the audacity to try to get in touch is when he fell out with my ex and wanted the tapes I had of my ex in a compromising situation.

What my acquaintance does is his business yet I felt a surge of anger when I discovered their friendship.  We have daily interactions and whilst I respect him, ultimately he doesn’t owe me anything.  Speaking about it briefly with him, I felt that old humiliation resurface.  I cut the conversation short, feeling embarrassed at hearing my voice crack.  How they all must have laughed at me, I started thinking.

How they must all still laugh at me.

Sound of Silence

Faryal Makdoom’s recent outburst aimed at her in-laws has caused much furore amongst people and has seen a somewhat mixed reaction.  The usual mutterings ofcourse that private family matters should stay private whilst others applaud her for actions that very much go against Pakistani culture.

If true, I can’t say it causes me to raise eyebrows and if true then yes, I applaud her for being brave enough to break the silence that surrounds this issue.  For many of us who married into traditional Pakistani families, to be treated like a second rate citizen is very much part of the package.  When many think of abuse, we don’t particularly associate it with in-laws.  The reality is that there is a sinister control element which exists within our culture that trickles down from generations above.

I’ve had my fair share to say about my ex-inlaws in my blog.  My MIL is probably one of the most difficult people I’ve encountered in my life to date.  I suffered plenty of humiliation at their hands; from my MIL insinuating to people I was upto no good when I was coming home late from the mosque during Ramadan, my father in law telling my ex to kick me out and they would find him another to the magic moment when my MIL walked out of my brother’s wedding, telling everyone she could on the way out that I had shamed her by walking past her.

Yet despite all this, I can now also acknowledge my own failings.  Their actions caused me to become bitter and my bitterness prevented me from interacting with them on a level I should have.  My heart closed to them with each hurt I felt which in turn caused them to hurt me more.  If I could do it all over again, I would change plenty of things.  I can’t but I can learn from it.  Parents are a package deal in marriage (on both sides) so if they don’t want me in their family, I don’t intend to fight to be in it.  I’d rather wait it out for the family that will welcome me with love.

I hid all the difficulties like the good Pakistani daughter in-law I was trying to be.  Despite my MIL not having spoken to me properly for years, when asked how she was, I would give a polite reply to people and feign some benign story about my in-laws.  I was brought up not to air dirty laundry in public.  There were plenty times I would have loved to blast them on facebook and let the world know what God awful people they were but even back then, it seemed to lack class so I sucked it up and got on with it.  Maybe there was a better way Faryal could have spoken about it, maybe she shouldn’t have spoken at all.  Whatever side you’re on, the stark reality is that we do have a problem and there aren’t many people willing to speak up about it.  That in itself is the problem.

Once a Cheat, Always a Cheat?

Hearing about people cheat brings about an emotionally charged response from me.  Expected, no doubt, but I’ve also no doubt people underestimate how severe my repulsion is towards those that do it.  This past week brings me to my best friend who has entered into “talks” with a man who cheated on his wife.

She was nervous about telling me.  “I’m talking to somebody…..and you’re not going to like it”, she said in one breath.  My smile faltered.  He was somebody high profile who last year had cheated on his wife.  His wife upon finding explicit images exchanged between him and his female married boss, promptly went to the papers where her husband’s name was spared but the boss, not so lucky.  I suppressed, despite my inner self wanting to smack her, and listened.

He was remorseful.  She explained this wasn’t my ex who hadn’t held his hands up to anything but he admitted it all.  Surely people deserve a second chance if they’ve realised the error of their ways, she asked.  She wanted my advice as she valued me.  She wanted me to be straight.  She would cut it off if I didn’t approve because that’s how close we are….

I don’t approve.  In my head, all cheaters should be dumped in a pit and left to their own underground orgies.  To me, cheating is morally corrupt.  It’s not anything to do with the faith or faithless but rather to do with upholding good moral character.  Ir surprised me slightly as to how much internal emotion this conversation caused.

Things are tense between us.  I gave her my thoughts a couple days later and I won’t lie, I was emotional not logical.  We spoke again a week later.  It became clear to me that whilst she was hoping for my approval, ultimately it doesn’t really matter.  “Your situation can’t dictate my life”, she told me.

I’ve tried to understand what upsets me most about it all.  Perhaps I’m shocked that someone so close to me, having seen the repercussions from an affair, would consider entering into a relationship with the very person that caused that type of pain.  Perhaps I once again feel deflated by something I have come to realise; those who cheat carry on with life as normal, there are no real consequences.   But for those of us left in their path of destruction, it is us who continue to struggle with the consequences of their actions.

Attack of the Outlaws

I was looking forward to getting stuck into my book for half an hour before bed but instead I’m at the keyboard, venting out the frustration from today.  My ex in-laws reared their head via social media.  I don’t pay much attention to their lives so to see them commenting on a public profile of my brothers took me by surprise.

Irony was not even the word.  I realise the anger from my ex’s wife.  Essentially my brother helped me catch her, organised the meeting with her brother and ultimately supported me heavily throughout the cheating scandal.  The anger from his sisters however, I don’t quite understand.

They called my brother a “retard” which I find flabbergasting given the amount of stick they have had to take from society over their own special needs brother.  To use such an ugly word when it has been used in such an ugly way towards one of your own baffles me.

His new wife piped up in this bizarre online attack claiming to know my brother personally and adding her own words of venom.  I was tempted to ask if watching a video of her sucking off my ex suddenly made us all friends.  I refrained.

I’ve always managed to maintain the moral high ground, to this day, never retaliating despite the ridiculous number of things I’ve been subjected to.  People often mistake patience for weakness.  My patience is wearing thin.

A Spoonful of Sugar..

Those that read Lumps and Bumps, I’m pleased to say that I received the results from the recent biopsy and there is nothing untoward.  Tests have discovered a plethora of lacking minerals and vitamin levels so I’m on a cocktail which should have me fixed up soon.  Currently, still very tired but trying.

I won’t lie, at the back of my mind, I worried that I was slipping into some sort of depression.  I couldn’t account for my feelings of tiredness and as someone whose used to being on the go and fairly active, the lack of fresh air and good company was affecting my mood.  I reasoned with myself however, that I had dipped into that black hole once, when my ex left and this didn’t feel the same.  One week of medication down and things are looking better.

Around the time my ex left, I believe that I entered into a depressive stage.  However after tackling the issues surrounding the abuse and cheating, I’ve never had the misfortune of meeting the black hole again.  The black hole is horrendous.  There’s no invitation to enter, rather, it chooses to consume you.  It makes you wish you had never woken up in the mornings.  It makes you sit for hours and contemplate ways to ensure you might never wakeup again.  It makes life unbearable.    Hopefully, for me, a one off incident brought on by circumstances.  For those that suffer from chronic depression, I can’t empathise enough; nobody ever really gets to understand the depths of darkness the blackhole can take you too.