free stats Carmen's Web: Coming back (hopefully)
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Coming back (hopefully)
The past six months have been the most difficult, stressful, unbearable months of my life. I've been used to living a pretty tough life. Navigating through it has been unpleasant but I think I've managed well for the most part. When things got tough I'd be able to pull myself through by connecting to something pleasurable and so the bad times didn't seem so horrible.

This round of depression, however, has plagued me with a physical sickness that turned me into a walking, talking zombie. I really have no idea how I survived the past six months. How I managed to continue to go to work and perform my job, drive without getting into an accident (I'd blank out A LOT), not blow up into a blimp (I've gained 20 pounds, but it all went straight to my boobs so instead of looking fat I now look seven months pregnant), not lose all my friends. I've had terrifying panic attacks that made breathing difficult. I haven't been able to sleep.

I haven't tasted joy in six months. Not even fleeting joy.

And for what? For wanting to marry a man outside my faith. My mother hasn't spoken to me since June. We've gotten into loud screaming matches a couple of times between then and now, but she refuses to acknowledge me as a daughter anymore. My aunt hasn't cut me out, but I kinda wish she would. She's horrible! If I hear one more bigoted comment come out of her holier-than-thou mouth I swear I'll cut her tongue off.

My father has proven to be much more agreeable, but only after R said he would nominally convert. I explained to my father why I did not want R to convert, why I believed it to be unnecessary and hypocritical. He listened to me but told me that sixty years of indoctrination could not let him believe the way I believed. He didn't tell me I was wrong...he left room for individual interpretation but repeated one of his favorite quotes, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks". "Do this for me", he said, "and then live life any way you want". I hate compromising my principles but I've really got to pick and choose my battles right now.

My father, unlike all the other Muslims in my life, did not give me the bullshit that only Muslims will go to heaven. His objection to my impending marriage was not that Christians are infidels. When I mentioned to him the bigoted comments my aunt made about non-Muslims he told me not to listen to her madness. His objection did not even center on what the community or his family will think. His main objection was that he could not find an instance in Islamic history or sunnah where a Muslim woman was allowed to marry outside her faith. He wants to spend his last days on earth in the black-and-white realm, none of that gray area. I may not agree with the way he chooses to follow the majority but he's treated me with nothing but compassion so I have sympathy for his cause.

Poor R. He bore this time with much dignity. How it must have felt knowing your woman is always unhappy and you can't do a single thing about it. How it must feel "changing" your religion when you're so secure in your own.

I got really nasty with him at times and am sure attempted to push him away, but he stuck around valiantly. He gave me the strength I needed when I was just about to fall apart. He let me cry on his shoulder but refused to let me wallow in self-pity. And as corny as it may sound, he showed me that love really does pull us through the bad times.

So here I am now, attempting to start writing on this blog again. There was a time when writing here was pleasurable. Even if it was superficial and self-obsessed. Isn't that what diaries are for anyway? But when things in my life started to get really bad I was unable to take the criticism and bullshit that accompanies the airing of dirty laundry to the world. Now that my cobwebs have cleared (a little) I'm hoping my "I don't give a flying fuck what you think" attitude returns.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 1:01 PM
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Who: Carmen

xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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