Time Flies

Wow. It’s July 2013. And the month’s almost over too!

I can’t believe that more than half a year has passed since my last post. I guess I’ve been too occupied keeping myself occupied. Days have been pretty much the same – job, part-time jobs, dinner, powerpoints, sleep…Occasionally there’s dinner with new friends and of course, what’s a weekend without a depression kick?

But some things changed too.

Last June the other girl went on vacation to our home country. Dear hubby was all ‘excited’  to ‘spend time with me’ and went over and over saying, “Don’t mind her. Just a few more days and she will be gone” whenever I blabber about how she’s this and that. So there I was again, believing Pinocchio who, by the way, was in a really angelic mode coming from Umrah.

To cut the story short, we spent two empty, meaningless weeks together until he finally admitted he wanted to join his beloved and meet her family. I was…well…expecting that. I mean, watching every “Got Talent” show on Youtube every night wasn’t really my idea of quality time. Those two weeks have been painfully awkward we did not even bother to have a proper meal. Well at least he asked if I would allow him to go. Why not? It’s not like we’re having a ball anyway. What just got me pissed was that he asked if I could shoulder his ticket for his flight back. Say what?! I don’t think so.

So the lovebirds had a fight about how costly it was going to be and she wasn’t willing to pick the tab on the round trip ticket. I’m not really sure what was going on in her head but wasn’t it romantic that he considered leaving me on our only alone time after a year and a half to meet her family? So anyway they dropped the plan and I had to endure another two dragging weeks, with him sneaking out almost everyday so they can have a Skype chat. Most days after work I just voluntarily hang out at my co-teacher’s house so he wouldn’t have to lie about ‘needing to do something somewhere.’

The day before the girl came back was my flight to my home country. I forced – yes, forced – him to drive me to the airport and we had a short talk while I waited for the boarding gates to open. We agreed that he will spend full time with her and we will no longer see each other when I come back. He doesn’t have to call me but I requested that he call the kids once in a while. I thanked him for the years we have been together, he asked forgiveness for all the hurt he has caused. I don’t really know what the conversation meant to him but to me it felt like a farewell…our last goodbye. It was almost a peaceful adieu if he hadn’t threatened to put me behind bars if he finds me with another man.

Now I am home with my kids. Happy, definitely…except when my eldest asks about where his daddy is. Oh, how that question sends me to tears each time! My eldest has grown so quickly in the year and a half I have been away and I can’t believe how sensitive he has become. Everyday he would ask if I love him and why I look more like his brother but not so much like him. He’s been so sweet giving me hugs and kisses everyday and (God help me) I am not sure how I can bear leaving them again next month. And then of course, there’s my mom, whose questions I keep on avoiding…guess I’m not ready to admit it to her yet. I worry that she will worry and worrying at 76 isn’t healthy.

At this point I feel like I’m in a train station waiting for my train to come. I don’t know where to, but I’m glad I’m moving on to somewhere. When I do go back to work, Inshallah, things will start getting better…just as He promised 🙂

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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.

 

 

 

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. 🙂

Changing…

Since that fateful day when my world collapsed, I have gotten many advices, mostly from people whom I just met. I told my husband a few days after he admitted marrying another woman that he was the wall I have always leaned on at my weakest, to which he replied, “now your wall has fallen.” Indeed, it has.

I have heard it many times that God will not send you burdens you cannot carry. That what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That everything happens for a reason. I did not fancy having to use so many clichés all at once but thank goodness I have people around to say them over and over when I cry and rant until I calm down.

I think it’s sweet that God has been trying to surround me with souls who care enough to waste their time and energy talking to me. Sometimes things can get so painful and I cannot handle everything altogether. My husband has forbidden me to talk to anyone about our problems but I fear wearing a straitjacket if I just bottle things up. Being away from my family, I only had my husband to cling on. Now that he has left me to deal with what he did alone, that does not leave me with much choice but to find strength in other people.

My husband knows that I’m an introvert and I don’t like being forced to mingle with people I don’t know. I don’t even like to socialize with people I already know, sometimes. He has made fun of me on several occasions when I try to avoid having casual chats with acquaintances. I duck so that the person won’t see me then he calls the person out loud and before I know it, it’s already too late to fully hide. Then I reluctantly paint a distracted smile on my face while my husband laughs on the background.

At the same time he also knows that I talk a little too much when I’m with friends. When he surprised me with the news, he encouraged me to talk to other muslimahs who could give me sound advice on how to deal with this. But now that I have made a somewhat ‘regular’ circle, he forbid that I talk to them about us. I think he fears I might stain his image (if it isn’t already) and the sisters might not look at him the same way again. It’s one thing for them to think that he’s an ass—- but it’s another thing if I confirm it. I don’t like talking to them about our problems, to be honest, because it feels like I’m betraying him by doing that but I need to vent out the pain somewhere. I need people to tell me that I will be able to get through this and that things will get better. I need somebody to help me put sense in this mess because I cannot imagine that something good can ever come out of this. 

When all this is over, I’m sure I will be changed. Changed, not just because of what I have gone through but also because of the people I have interacted with. I am not sure if I will be a better person then, but I do know that I will be stronger – I guess that somehow will make this worthwhile.

When the Imam told me to be more than what I already am to my husband and to wait because he’s sure he’ll come back, it got me thinking if he really will. If I do as he says and be more sweet, more thoughtful and more loving, will he really come back or will it just puff out his ego that I am still head over heals with him despite what he did. Now wouldn’t that be an insult to the female populace? Granted that he did come back, with or without her, will I be thankful knowing that he is already a changed man? With how he goes on and on telling me that he loves her, I don’t think he will ever be whole again if he loses her. She has already changed him so even if he did come back, I don’t believe we will ever be happy knowing that she has taken a piece of him that I can neither fill nor take back.

This is a painful load to carry and I believe I have already attained the strength that I expect to get from this. As it is, I am already stronger. Knowing that my husband will never again be the person I fell in love with, whether he comes back to me or not, is this fight still worth fighting?

Aside

Ramblings

It’s 2 am and I just got home from the majlis. Normally, people would go home at around 4 am but I decided to hit the road early tonight.

The usual crowd was there plus a ten or so visitors. I sat next to the muslimah whom I described in my previous post as cheerful and funny but she was a little under the weather tonight, perhaps due to lack of sleep. She works in an airline so her shifts are a bit erratic. We were with another muslimah who was a friend of a friend. In the middle of the discussion the two decided to transfer to the seats nearer to the Imam. For some reason, I did not have the spirit to listen to the discussion, my mind was off wandering some place so I opted to stay on the couch.

As I looked at tonight’s visitors, the thought of her sitting there when she came to be reverted crossed my mind. Where was my husband seated then? What attracted him to her? I did not want to dampen my spirits, and “uncle are-you-ok” sat next to me and started to chat. Too late. My mood was already spoiled with the thought so I asked dear “uncle” if he could get me some chai because I was getting sleepy. He cheerfully obliged. I finished the chai with a few sips as questions hovered over my head.

My husband was pretty consistent at keeping his promise not to look at any other woman. I think that was because he made a conscious decision not to entertain the possibility of getting attracted to someone else. What changed was that after he came back from vacation when he visited me and the kids, he opened his heart to that possibility. That was why he fell for her. Had he kept his heart closed, he would not have fallen. Now I am wondering what I did that caused him to do that. There must have been something otherwise he would not have opened that door, right? I said I’m tired of thinking about the past but I’m doing it again. I just can’t get rid of the idea that I could have prevented this from happening. Three weeks, a little over two weeks, actually. That was all it took. It was such a short span of time that we were apart and that makes it all the more painful. With the consistency that he had shown in the past, I never would have thought it would only take that little of a time for him to fall for someone else. I thought that if ever it did happen, it would be because we were no longer getting along, or that we are already fighting like cats and dogs or that there’s no more chemistry. But that was not the case. We were still very much in love before those three weeks and we had great plans for the future. How could all this happen?

I have got to stop this. I am nursing my pain and it is not doing me any good.

Letting go would be too painful. Staying is also painful. Isn’t there any other option that isn’t painful?

I walk out, I get hurt. I stay, I get hurt. Where to go? I honestly do not know what the lesser evil is as both sides of the knife cut deep. I have already given up hoping that there’s a chance of him letting her go and vice versa. Now the only hope I have is that this might get easier in time. Either that or it will get worse – hope not.

 

 

 

 

 

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

There are good days and bad days. When my husband and I talked about what “set up” we were going to have for the new addition in his already crammed life, I told him that what he did is something that any woman, regardless of color, upbringing, intelligence or faith, would have difficulty swallowing. He usually rebuts by telling me that I do not understand because I am not spending enough time studying what I should be studying (with that he meant religion).  I have learned to keep mum when he tells me that because no amount of explaining will convince him that what I am feeling is a “human” emotion, religious convictions aside.  Anyway I said that there will be days when I would be fine with the set up and days when I will not be good about it. Needless to say, I will need a heaps of patience (raise that to the nth power) before I could perfect the art of feigning happiness, just like he wants me to.

Today was a good-bad day. It was his weekend off. I looked forward to having a stroll with him on the beach at dusk just like we used to but I realized things are different now. I shouldn’t be planning anything with him anymore. And I was right.

He went to study with his Imam, a schedule which stretches from late morning until early evening. Talk about having a happy weekend with your husband, huh. In the early afternoon he phoned and asked me to talk to his Imam, tell him that I already know about IT and that I was okay with it. Tough. When his Imam asked if I was fine I couldn’t help but say I wasn’t. That was the truth. When he said the pain will eventually go away I told him it won’t. How could it? My husband committed a lifetime with that girl, pain would be as permanent as his dragon tattoo. That was the truth. And I broke down. Hubby, on the other hand, went amok.

He said that I embarrassed him in front everybody. Everybody. Who’s that, anyway? Okay, I might have said too much and maybe the tears are a little overboard too but what can I do? I was just being honest. And human. Anyhow, after he hung up on me, I already knew where that was leading to. All our misunderstandings lately have all been blamed on me. I was the irrational one. I was too emotional. I was being selfish. Etcetera, etcetera. Do you find him blaming himself in all this? Of course not.

Thankfully, he went home after prayer time. Calm. We talked and apologized to each other. Again he assured me that his love has never wavered despite what happened and nothing has to change. Yeah, right. I just smiled. We had a peaceful dinner of fried rice and sardines in spicy tomato sauce – that was a weekend tradition we used to have. It felt nice to relive it again. Happy. An hour later he left to see her.

So goes my life.