Updates

WHERE I AM – Alone. I have moved out, finally, Eid al Adha. My husband helped me move my things to a new bedspace. Yep, just bedspacing. I did not want to get a room just to be left alone all the time. It’s a waste of space (and funds). 

My typical working day starts at around 5:45 am. That’s when I snooze my alarm. School ends 130 and I reach home about 2pm-ish, have lunch, take a nap, then go to tuition at around 4pm, then another one at 7pm. I’m juggling 3 jobs now that my dear hubby is out of work. I reach home 10pm, eat fruits for dinner, then work on my lesson for the following day. I work too much, but it helps keep my mind off you-know-what so I welcome the exhaustion.

Since moving I have learned to use the washing machine (that’s a milestone, mind you). I cook for 1, shop for 1, everything for 1. I have re-learned how to enjoy eating out alone, something that quite surprised me when just recently I realized it.

During weekends, it’s normally still work. Sometimes I get to go out with a friend, and her friends around the city. We go to the beach, do some barbeque-ing and go home brunch time the following morning. And then I sleep the whole day, hate myself for doing so, and cram for school work the following day. 

I lack sleep, too tired to cook a meal, barely have enough time to socialize or clean up my space…but am HAPPY. 🙂

 

WHERE HE IS – with her. They had their second big fight Eid Al Adha. That’s why he was able to help me move. He wanted us to get a room, because he said he will not go back to her anymore, but thankfully, we were not able to find a decent one. It puzzled me at first, with the thousands of available rooms here how could we not like one? Three days later, they were back together. That explains it, I thought. God is so wise, ain’t He?

 

When he decided to get back with her I told him not to come and see me anymore. Just tired of it all. But we talk everyday, say “I miss you” and “I love you” just the same. We just don’t see each other, and I think it suits both of us well. One day, one of us will get tired (if not both of us) and realize we have already grown apart. Until then, I accept this situation, as it seems this is where God wants me to be for now. When the time is right He will take me out and lead me to where I should be. What’s important now is that I’m healing – slowly but surely.

 

 

 

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Does Money Really Make the World Go Round?

I grew up in a simple family. We weren’t rich, but Alhamdullilah, we were never hungry. My parents brought us up with only the basic necessities. They gave priority to what was important, leaving luxuries out of the picture. Education was a major priority. All my brothers went to private schools. I didn’t but it did not matter – back then I did not know the difference. I’d like to think that it did me well. Studying in a public school made me realize I was luckier than most kids. I had classmates who would be absent for weeks just because their parents could not spare even a few coins for their school snacks.

In college I went to a private school and had friends who drove their own cars and had the latest gadgets (but I’m not talking about laptops or celphones, they weren’t in circulation yet heehee). The cool guys had ‘beepers’ – not sure if you can remember them, though. Oh how I wanted to have one! I remember saving up my allowance so I buy a blue transparent type. But by the time I had enough money, I decided it wasn’t worth it. Who’s going to beep me anyway? So I spent my money on school bags, and books, and food. Oh, and I treated myself to a movie occasionally. And I was happy.

When I started working and had my first paycheck, I thought that was too much money I could spend. I felt like I already had everything I needed. So I asked my mom to save my salaries for me, telling her that she can get any amount for herself should she need any. When I needed to buy a desktop, I got one. When almost all my colleagues had a cell phone, I bought one (more out of necessity than luxury, really). I think the only lavish thing I got for myself (if you could even call it that), were braces. Mostly, I spent money on food. My mom always told me to strip myself off everything else but never to feel guilty about buying food. I think that’s wise.

It was when I got married that I started realizing how important money was. Now I am starting to fear, not for my own but for my kids’ future. I get frantic when I use up all the money I have in my bank account. Who wouldn’t?

Thankfully, God always provides at the time when I need it the most. He has been good, and I have always felt blessed.

I have always been frugal, having been raised the way I was. When I used to ask my husband (when he was still visible in my life) to accompany me to the mall because I want to buy shoes, or bags or clothes, he would laugh and say – “You’re just going to look – you never buy anything.” He knew me so well. I had two pairs of shoes – one for work and one for going out. I had two bags, for the same purpose. The cell phone I have now is sooo outdated. Even my laptop is Jurassic.

I think I was never rich because I never wanted to be. I just wanted to have enough. I am content that I am able to provide for my children, that I have a little amount saved up for the rainy days. Of course I want to be able to have my own house, to have my own car, and possibly to have my own business when I retire. That’s pretty much it.

But with the recent events that happened in my life, I’m thinking now how poor I must be. To lose a husband, friends and family for someone who happened to ‘have more than enough’ is just depressing. It’s the rich who have many friends – money does make the world go round. I remember the other girl asking my husband why he doesn’t want to leave me when I don’t have “anything” and she “has everything.” Sounds true, but not quite.

I am blessed. The friends I have around are real friends whom I can trust my life with. They are not around because they know they can get something from me but because they truly care. Those who left my side and got bought off would one day realize what is truly important. Money is just for the bills – you can’t buy real friends with it.

I have nothing

Finally, a chance to write! How long has it been?

Things have gotten really crazy since I shifted work last September. I have not had the chance to cook a decent meal for myself, not had the chance to get enough sleep, not had the chance to even open my mail! But things are getting so much better…

I would like to begin with an important thing that I missed to write. My in-laws. I think I already mentioned before that my husband’s brother stayed with us in our flat. Last Eid, their younger sister came. This sister used to stay with us before as well. My husband stopped communicating with her when she opted to leave a good job here to go back to our country and run after a husband who beat her and left her half dead while she struggled to keep their second baby alive in her tummy. She lost the baby. I guess we shared stupidity in common that’s why we got along very well.

Anyways, she was back. And she needed a job. My husband forbid me from helping her in any way. He said we ought to teach her a lesson make her regret her decision to leave her job for her good-for-nothing husband. I knew my husband loved her deeply and was just playing tough. I know his heart would soften when he talks to her. So he tried hard not to.

When I finally had the chance to see her, she asked me if what she heard were true – about the other woman, that is. She said she never believed what she heard from the other sisters because she knew how much her brother loved me. I swore she almost flipped when I confirmed it.

I told her everything. – how it began, how I learned about the news, how I struggled to keep myself sane, and how I was still hurting. She could not believe her ears. She was totally stunned at how much her brother changed. She said she would like to meet the girl and show her who’s boss. She told me to be strong and to fight for my right. After a long time of being alone, I finally found an ally in the family.

After about a month of job hunting, she confided that she was pregnant again. Everyone knows she can’t find a job in that situation. She had plans already, stupid ones, I have to say. I gave her advice, though I knew she would stick to what she wanted. She was stubborn and selfish – runs in the family. She was desperate, as she did not want to go back to our country with nothing. She said she would rather risk being illegal here than go home. She was determined but anxious, and I knew she would grab anything, or anyone who would be able to give her a visa.

I tried helping her by asking out for jobs. No luck. As I was always busy I hardly noticed that almost a week had passed that I have not heard from her. I gave her a ring but she did not answer. It was after another week when I learned from my husband that the sister I trusted was already rubbing elbows with the other girl. My heart broke. The other girl paid for her air fare and overstaying fees (which was not small amount of money, mind you) and promised to give her a job after she gives birth. Can’t top that.

A week after she went home, my husband’s brother called. Although it was not his thing to do, he apologized to me for what his siblings had done. He said he will always be loyal to me, for the good things I have done for him, and will not leave me the way his siblings did.

A few more weeks and I learned that he moved in with my hubby and the other girl. The girl owned the flat and said my brother-in-law could stay there for free. In this country where room rates are sky high, who would pass up on free board and lodging? My heart broke for the nth time.

Freedom

Happy. 🙂

I have now moved on to a new job, one that I really love – teaching.  The day I came here in 2007, I have tried and tried looking for a teaching job, and although I wanted to try working in a corporate setting, I knew that would only be temporary and eventually I would yearn to go back to my first love.

It’s been a while since my last post, many things have happened and there’s so much I want to share. Let’s start where I left off.

In June my husband requested that he stay with the girl for the whole month, as she has filed a month-long leave. Wanting to try if I can forget him, I agreed. We did not see each other for a long time, he missed me, I missed him and I concluded that it was futile trying to forget him. He was the love of my life. At the end of the month they had a huge fight and he was back at my doorstep, with his stuff and all. It’s over, he said.

I was ecstatic. But deep inside I knew it was not over yet. Although he promised he will never break my heart again, he still did not acknowledge that he did me wrong and with that I was certain that that was not the end of it. Something just wasn’t right and even as I thanked Allah in my prayers, I knew it wasn’t over.

After two days they were back together…and he broke my heart the second time.

Ramadan fell as one of my darkest months. We agreed that he will have suhur with me everyday, as it was my time. But the first day down to the last he had suhur with her, and I was always alone. I cried a lot and we fought a lot. By the end of Ramadan I decided I have just had it with him. I packed all his things and told him to pick them up. The girl was very pleased. Her Ramadan duas came true.

Despite the harsh words we exchanged, he did not want to let me go. He came at his usual time, spent a few hours with me and went down hurriedly when he knows she is already there. It was a dagger to my heart each time he left and I told him that I would hurt less if I did not see him at all. He disagreed. What right did he have to hurt me this way?

In August I celebrated my birthday with a roommate who bought coffee-flavored ice cream (my favorite) for me at midnight. I did not have a penny to spend on a nice meal and dear husband did not even remember what day it was. I was too depressed and decided not to go to work and when he came in the afternoon (after she left for work) to have lunch, got dead mad after I asked why he did not come after fajr like we agreed. He shouted, spilled the little food we had and walked out. That was my worst birthday to date.

It was around that same time when I decided to quit my job. He was all I can think of and my work was suffering. My mind was always wandering and my boss noticed something was bothering me. I said I was going through a rough time with my husband, apologized and said that it might be better if I just leave. Coincidentally, my husband has been transferred to another department in his company and he did not like it. He quit his job a day after I quit mine. Just great. Now how would we provide for the kids? He didn’t seem to care.

I prayed fervently for Allah to bless me with a good job that would take my mind off him. I asked him to take me away, far away where he can’t hurt me anymore. A few days later I got an offer from a school I applied for months back. I knew the demands were greater being a teacher compared to working in an office but I thought that this might be what I needed. The pay wasn’t enough to make ends meet, with my husband being jobless, and I would only have my meager salary to pay for everything. Nonetheless I took the job and hoped I’d get a part time job somewhere to have enough.

My husband did not seem worried at all about not being able to help me out with our expenses. Maybe he really didn’t have to worry because the other girl gave him everything he wanted anyway. He did not force himself to work and no matter how many times I told him to at least think of the kids (don’t bother thinking about me anymore, as he has obviously been an expert on that already), my words were useless.

By the time I started working I hardly had enough sleep. Preparing lesson plans and visual aids and adjusting to the outrageous school system they had in school consumed all of me. I was dead exhausted the first couple of weeks. I had no time to cook, hardly had any appetite to eat, and did not have even a second to think about them.

The previous week was my third. I am tired and stressed most of the time. I found myself not longing for my husband anymore. It doesn’t matter much if he stayed or not, or even if he comes at all. It still hurts a little when he leaves but when I realize how physically exhausted I am, I just fall right to sleep and thoughts of him fade.

The other day I got a call for a part time tuition job. If I would be able to keep it, I would come close to covering our previous income. Inshallah, things would work out well.

My husband and I talked about me moving somewhere else, to live that is. I often talked to him about moving to a bedspace as that is more economical than paying for space that’s good for two but is only occupied by one. He is now open to it, even if it would mean seeing me less. He has his life covered, and I don’t want to bother myself worrying whether he gets a new job or not. Allah will provide for me and my children.

Just recently I found myself not praying for him to come back anymore. This afternoon, before I wrote this, he came in from downstairs and told me he will go to the Islamic Center, I said okay. I had tons of paperwork to do and him staying here would just take my time away from work. Before he left he asked for a hug. I said there’s no need for it. He got mad (I gather they had a fight) and walked out. I couldn’t care less.

I am finally free. And happy. 🙂

I Quit

Assalamualaikom!

I have quit my job. If there’s anyone out there who knows a teaching vacancy (primary maths) wherever, I’ll pack my bags now and go. I cannot go home to my country, my kids and I will starve. I pray I’d find a place where I can send for my kids and we could be together while I work. I don’t care if it’s in a remote island with piranhas waiting for prey – just get me out of here!

 

 

 

Devil

The other night my husband and I watched the ‘Devil’ movie. In it, a group of people were trapped in an elevator. The devil was one of them and pretended to be a victim as well.

The movie ended with only one survivor, the one whom the devil saved for last and was his actual target for walking the earth. Fortunately, the man repented before the devil was able to take him. He buried a grave secret in his conscience, and, although the devil discouraged him by saying that he will not be saved even if he repents, the man continued to ask forgiveness for the sin that he kept secret for a long time. He humbled himself and accepted that he was not worthy of forgiveness. And the devil let him go. The man to whom he committed the sin, who was bitter and angry for many years because of what happened, forgave him too.

After watching, I asked my husband what he learned from the movie. He can be so thick sometimes that I have to spell out even the most obvious things. He said we should learn how to forgive. Anything else? That’s it. See, he missed the part where we should see ourselves as who we really are – sinners – and repent for our sins. Darn, that was why I made him watch the movie. I pointed it out to him and continued that those who do not know how to forgive are also not forgiven. I told him that I am committing this sin because of him. He asked why and I said it’s because I have not forgiven him (and her) yet. How can I when they still continue to hurt me every second of the day?

All this time I think he still believes that he is not doing anything wrong. As far as he is concerned, he followed the dictates of Islam ( i.e. marrying and not having relations outside of marriage) even if this meant disrespecting and hurting me and totally forgetting that he had a responsibility to his kids. He just doesn’t get it. On top of that he feels he is being fair to me and the other.

Review:

Time spent with me – 8pm-10:30pm (sometimes that even gets cut down to 10pm)

Time spent with her – 10:30pm to 5(or 6)am the following day

Thursday time with me – same

Time with her – 10:30pm to 11am (and sometimes 12 noon) the following day

Accompanies me where I want to go – No

Accompanies her where she wants to go – Always

Ya Allah! I do not want to say anything to him anymore. Right now I want to keep my promise that I will not nag and just wait until Ramadan – when he will (I hope) let her go. But please, please, please find a way to make him realize all this so he can acknowledge that his ‘additional’ relationship has changed him unpleasantly. I do not want him to come back without understanding why he has to let go, then blame me in the future for forcing him to make that decision. If he does come back, Inshallah, he will come back with conviction that that is right thing to do.

 

Are you still there?

Yesterday was a busy day at work. We only had a few visitors but the tons of paperwork the bosses required me to finish were just tiring. By the end of the day I was physically strained and when I learned from my colleague that I will take the Saturday shift this week, I got even more weary. It was supposed to be my turn to have the Fri-Sat off and I was very much looking forward to it. Now I’ll have to take the Thurs-Fri off. We hate that because when we have the Thursday off it doesn’t feel like a day off at all. Everyone else is at work, there’s no one to talk to and there’s nothing nice to do. It just kind of feels like I’m on a sick leave and I become too sluggish to do chores.

On my way home I had to pass by the post office to drop off some mail. While walking from the bus stop I remembered the way my husband used to call me when he knows I’m already on my way home. He would call to tell me to be careful commuting, he would call to check if I got in the bus safely and another call to find out if I made it home fine. Now I hardly hear my mobile ring. I got teary-eyed again.

I opted to walk home from the post office, it was just a 10-minute walk anyway, and I wanted to take time to do some thinking. When I arrived home, my husband was already there, getting ready to cook rice. Oh, so you’re already home, I said. He did not even ask why I arrived late.

After dinner, I was a bit quiet. He asked me why I wasn’t my talkative self. I said miss the way he used to call to check on me all the time. He said he did not have credits on his prepaid so he wasn’t able to call. After that I just did not feel like talking anymore. We just lay quietly on the bed. He did not seem interested to talk himself, and we just stayed there waiting until it was time for him to go down to see her.  When he got up to get ready he felt that my feet were cold. He took a pair of socks from the closet and put them on me – and I wept. He used to do that before we went to sleep at night and as he did, he would tell me that he will put socks on my feet until we grew old.

These are traces of his old self that used to make me love him more. Now it’s these things that make me cry. His new relationship has changed him into an uncaring, cruel and insensitive person but on some instances, his good self surfaces. This makes me think if that part of him is still somewhere underneath the dark person I see now. If it is, I want to shake him out.

Before lunch today, he called and asked if I already ate. I said I just woke up and I thanked him for asking. He told me to get up and eat, and asked me to do the laundry. He always does the laundry. He told me before that it’s the one thing he’ll never ask me to do because he knows I have never washed my own clothes my whole life and I doing that will make me very, very depressed. But now he’s asking me to do it. Thank you very much for the thoughtful call, dear.

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