Welcome Fellow Campaigners!!

I'm participating in the Platform Building Campaign. If you're a fellow campaigner stopping by, make sure to leave me a comment if you follow me so that I can find you. Sometimes there's not a link in your profile on the GFC so I don't have a way to figure out where you came from. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and to reading your posts!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Across the Pond

Having been blessed to have visited and lived in several different countries, I thought that I would share with you all some of the things I have seen. Actually living amongst the people and being able to blend in allows me to not only see the world through their eyes but to experience it as well. When you're a tourist you only get to really see the surface, people won't treat you the same as if they think you're "one of them". So each Monday I will share with you a story or event that I was privileged to be made a part of along with explanations of things that you might not otherwise ever know. I hope you enjoy. If you have questions or would like to suggest a topic, then please feel free to ask or suggest in the comments section. If you have also been to some place exotic or just want to share your neck of the woods, then just grab the button and leave me a link to your post in the comments section so I can visit your world too. Thanks for stopping by.

I am from a small redneck town. Do you remember the movie Deliverance? While it wasn't filmed in my town, it very well could have been. I remember in 1995, when the first traffic light was installed at the town square by the courthouse. It didn't work. It was still just a four way stop. The traffic lights just hung there swaying in the breeze. They were like really big Christmas lights. At least that is what all of us kids called them. I didn't live near the town. I lived way out in the boonies. My closest neighbor was about a mile and half away. The streets didn't have names. If you needed directions, they would go something like this, 'You remember the Johnson place. The one with blue barn and brown dog. Dumb ass dog humped everything in sight. Yea Yea that's the place. Just turn right on the gravel just past it. Can't miss it. If you reach the Smith's, you know they have that fishing pond in the back yard. Yea, well then you've gone too far".

Jeff Foxworthy summed up our family very well. I should look him up maybe we are related. We had 8 acres of land. Our house sat on one side and my uncle's on the other side. On his front porch was a freezer, toilet (unused thankfully), a mounted deer head, and Christmas lights that were stayed up throughout the year regardless if it was December or July.

At this point you're probably wondering why I am telling you about my life with Bubba. I just want to try to give you an understanding of how unusual it is for a person like me to get out and see the big city. 99% of the people where I am from never leave. Their children never leave. It's like a bubble has surrounded the town and its inhabitants can't break free, but I did.

The first place I visited was Bahrain. It was amazing. A tiny island, but filled with excitement. So many things were the same, but so different. The first night I was there my friends asked if I wanted KFC. I looked at them in shock. "You have KFC here?" After they stopped laughing at me, they said yes and McDonalds too.

Fast food is very different in the Middle East. You see most Arabs are lazy. I said it. It's the truth. They don't want to drive to the fast food place. In order for the fast food places to make money they have to deliver. Every fast food place. KFC, McDonalds, Hardee's, Burger King. You name it they deliver. That was just the coolest thing in the world to me. It was definitely something that was not in the tourist guides.

(google images)

This is not the KFC delivery guy, but all of the delivery guys drove these type motorcycles. Only the uniform was different.  Can you imagine if the Domino's pizza guy was dressed in bow tie and vest and when he came to your door he said things like "please, thank you, and ma'am"? 

If any of you are from the south, you may remember a restuarant called Ponderosa. When I was little that was my absolute favorite place to eat. I very rarely got to eat there, but oh how I loved it. Whenever we went there, I would get the buffet and the only thing I would eat off the buffet was their fried chicken livers covered in Thousand Island dressing. Ponderosa went out of business when I was about 11. When I saw this Ponderosa I was ecstatic. We had to go there. They did not serve chicken livers. I was devistated and we never went back.

(google images)

 Another thing they don't tell the tourists is how to buy anything. Especially in the souks. Souks are kinda like farmers markets. They are open air stalls, but they don't just sell fruits and veggies. They sell anything and everything you might find in the mall. There are clothing stalls, shoe stalls, appliance stalls, movie stalls, pots and pans stalls. You name it and someone there will be selling it. If you're a foreigner, you will pay 3x the amount that locals pay. I was very lucky. I looked like a local, and as long as I didn't get into a long discussion I sounded like a local. While I am not fluent, I can speak conversational Arabic. At first I tried to hide the fact I was a "foreigner", but after going a few times I realized that while being a "foreigner" for others would make them pay double, it would get me half off. The locals were so amazed that not only did I look Arab, but that I could speak Arabic. Needless to say after I realized this I may or may not have swindled a few stall owners, and I may or may not have gone shopping with my American friends and have them point out to me what they wanted. Then I would go buy it and get it for them half off. This may or may not have happened on a weekly basis for the three years I lived there.

I lived in a small village called Jid Ali. I would walk to the local cold store. Walk to the masjid. Every night I would go up on the roof and look out over the water. The bridge in the picture above was barely visible from my flat, but if I squinted I could see it. Every night I would stand there watching the cars go by. Listening to the sounds of TV's blaring from the apartments below. Kids who would be laughing one minute then fighting the next. A silent observer watching the world from above.

I worked in Manama, the capital city. In recent days it's been quite sobering for me to see the picture above posted in the newspapers and on the televisions. I drove past it every day for three years on my way to work. On the news they talk about protests breaking out, but these protests have been going on for years. Every Friday night during the three years I was there, a protest occurred. Being the manager, I worked every Friday night. Even though the protests were occurring down the street from us, the smell of tear gas would seep into the mall. At times it would be so strong our eyes would burn and start to tear up.

My best friend also worked for the same company as me but in a different shop. On the nights it was very bad the girls from my shop and me would wait on her and her girls to close up. Then the six of us would walk to our cars together. Making sure everyone got there safely. One by one we would pull out of the parking lot. Each phoning the other when we reached home. Only to repeat the same thing the following week.

At first I was terrified, but after awhile it became routine. No different than going to the grocery store.

Since this was the first post in my "Across the Pond" series, I thought I would just give a synopsis of my time in Bahrain. In the future I will share individual events. As well as stories from my visits to Qatar, Dubai, UK, and Pakistan. I hope you all will join me as I take you for a walk across the pond.

I also wrote a brief article about what it was like living through the protests you can read it HERE


This week's memoir writing prompt was to tell about a room from your past in great detail. At first I had trouble with this because the rooms of my past are not happy ones and I didn't want to write about them so I added my own little twist on it. I took a room from my present and I wrote a short fiction piece. I imagined myself 50 years from now thinking back on the room and how I would remember it.

“No, not that one. Leave it like it is,” I told the painters.
Finally I was getting the house painted. It had been several years and was in desperate need of a fix up.
“Ok ma’am. You sure you don’t want that one done. It’s in worse shape than the others,” the painter said,

“No, I am sure. I want it left just the way it is,” I replied.
The painter shook his head and walked away. He didn’t care. He was getting paid the same regardless if he painted that room or not.
It had been awhile since I had sat in that room. I knew what others saw when they looked at it. Its white paint faded to light beige along the top.  Most of the paint had chipped and fallen to the floor. I was constantly sweeping up the paint chips and dust. Oh how the dust loved that room. It always had. When it was our room, I use to complain that five minutes after I had cleaned you couldn’t even tell it.
His work desk still sat in the corner. Just the way he had left. The last book he was working on still lay there. I couldn’t move it. Couldn’t get rid of it. I  could still smell him in that room. I smiled. How many laughs had we shared in that room.
The bright red curtains that covered the winows were now faded from the sun. The edges frayed from where the cat use to climb them daily. As if  summoned by my thoughts, he rubbed up against my legs. I  held out my hands and he jumped into my waiting arms. “Helicopter,” I  could hear him say. That was what we called the cat whenever he made his purring sound. If cats have orgasms, that is the sound they would make.
Finally I allow myself to look at it. It was hard to miss, but I  had not been letting myself look in its direction. It was a 10x8 painting. Of him.

When he was younger, long before we had met, his art teacher had painted this painting of him. It was so realistic. Every detail had been captured. He even had his 5’clock shadow. The little mole on the right side of his chin. The mischievous grin that often spread across his lips. There was only one thing missing. The sparkle. They didn’t capture the sparkle in his eyes. The way his eyes shined when they looked at me. Only I ever saw that sparkle.
The cat jumped down. Probably after some mouse or lizard hiding somewhere. I wiped the sweat that had begun to drip from my brow. Stifling heat. Our room had been the hottest room in the house during the summer. Even with the fan on full blast, you could barely catch your breath it was so hot. Many summer nights were spent sleeping on the roof just to escape the overpowering heat of that room. In winter it would be so cold. Even with the heat on full I  was still able to feel the chill in the air.
“Ma’am”, a voice behind her called.

Startled I  remembered the painters that were there to paint the house. I  slowly closed the doors to the room. That was the room I  had been married in. The children were born in. That was the room we would argue in, and then make up in. That room was the first place I  had felt safe in. The first room I  had felt at home in. I  didn’t want to change it.
Every few years I  would have  the house painted, and each time I  would spend five minutes explaining to the new painters that “No, I want that room left as it is. Just paint the rest of the house.” Each time a young man would raise an eyebrow quizzically, but say nothing. I  paid them for painting the whole house even though they never touched that room.
It was our room. I  wanted it to remain just the way it was. Untouched by the world. Filled with our love.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What is your fear?

After the events of the last few days and thanks to the most amazing, wonderfully, awesome person that I met through blogging Deux Ex Machina who has been helping me behind the scenes, I thought that I would change the focus of my blog a bit. While it is still all about my journey, I have decided to be more open and more forthcoming. To not be afraid to say the things that I want to say. To also be more honest about my life. I also want this to be a journal of sorts that one day I will be able to show my children. A way for them to get to know me and maybe a way for them to gain an understanding of why I did the things I did, but mostly just so they know I never forgot them and I always loved them.

 I live with bipolar. I will never be "better". While some days will be "better" than others, I will never be "cured". This is my journey through the darkness into the light. I hope you enjoy the ride.

So this will be my first post with all of its brutal honesty. If you are easily offended, then I would suggest you stop reading here:

I have lived my whole life in fear. Afraid of what people would think about me. Afraid of being yelled at. Afraid of losing that connection. Afraid of being alone but also afraid of being with people. I made decisions about my life based on fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of acceptance. Illogical irrational fear.

So from this day forward, I will not be afraid. I will no longer allow the oppressors of my past to control my future. I will no longer give others the reigns of my life. I will decide where my path takes me. I will stumble. I will fall, but I will get back up and I will go on.

So to my father who abused me in every way imagineable
to my mother who abandoned me
to all of those people who wondered but didn't ask
to all of those who knew but did nothing
to all of those who did things to me that should never be done to another human being

I say to all of you

F.U.C.K Y.O.U. !!!!!

Your hold over me is broken.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Have you walked your goat today?

(found on google images)

I don't think I will ever get use to seeing people walk their goats/sheep. I remember the first time I saw it. I was sitting at my computer doing some work when all of a sudden this sound of bells and hooves go running by my window. I looked up and asked my husband, "What was that?"

"Oh someone is walking their goat," he said without even looking up from his computer. Like it was the most normal thing in the world.

I was like "Huh? Walking their goat? You mean like you walk a dog? On a leash?"

"Yes", my husband said. 

"Why on earth do people here walk their goats?" I asked because having lived on a farm and having raised goats when I was younger, we just let our goats out in the pasture. They walked themselves. No leash required. So to say I was confused and totally dumbfounded at this point was an understatement.

"They are going to slaughter it for meat so they always take it for a stroll through the neighborhood so that it feels happy and enjoys its last few days before they slaughter it, " he said.

Not only do they walk the goat, but they put coloring on it and bells around its feet to make it pretty. After I got over the initial shock of seeing goats on leashes being taken for a walk, I find it to be the most extradordinary thing. There are so many campaigns today about animal cruelty and free range this or that, and here in a country where the people don't have electric on a regular basis, they take their goats for a walk before slaughtering them because it's the goat's right.

I am not making fun of this. I find it extradordinary, but I wish this compassion could also be shown to the people around us. I didn't really mean for this post to be a let's join hands and save the world speech. There's just so much we can learn from the most unlikeliest of places. Who knew so much could be found just from walking a goat?

Have you walked your goat today?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jumbled in 1001 Pieces

That is an accurate description of my brain 24/7. I constantly have 1001 thoughts going around in my mind 24 hrs a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. Even when I am asleep, my mind is going racing along. It's a day to day struggle to slow my thoughts and try to filter through the non important random things that are just stuck in there and I can't seem to get rid of. Some days I can filter better than others. Some days I just go with the flow and which ever thought seems to be at the surface work on that for the moment until the next one takes it place.

In some ways this makes me super productive at work. I have 5 or 6 projects that I am currently working on so whichever jumps at me I just work a bit on that one. However some days I wish I could turn it on. The constant barrage of thoughts bombarding my brain. It is tiring. I am hoping by writing here and trying to focus more that I can slow down the thoughts. Writing brings the thoughts out of my mind and into the real world. Writing is my way of clearing out the clutter.

The great thing about blogging is that I can write something and hit publish but have it scheduled for a specific time. I don't have to wait to write. Once I finish I am done. That moment has gone. Whatever was causing me to be distracted I have removed. I don't have to worry about it. When it's suppose to appear it will. It's a great tool. It allows me to continously clear my mind and then return to my work so I can focus clearly on what I am suppose to be doing instead of the 1001 non sensical things floating through my brain.

Not only that but when those scheduled posts appear I get a chance to read what was in my mind at a particular moment. I can see what I was thinking, how I was handling, what I should have done differently. It is a way to reflect and use that as a way of growing.

I am quite certain though to those on the outside looking in I seem totally unorganized and my posts make no sense, but to me they are crystal clear. This blog is also a way for me to be able to learn how others see me. I don't always interpret things in the same manner as other people. If I post something and people reply, it's a way for me to understand how the world sees me and interprets what I am saying. It's often times easier to understand when it's a total stranger giving you feedback. Especially one who has nothing to gain and whatever they are saying is just to help you on your journey. When it's a loved one giving you  criticism "feedback" often times there is so much emotional baggage connected that we often miss what is truly being said.

This miscommunication has often led to many arguments with those closest to me. Not because we actually disagree with each other but simply because our perception of what was happening is so different it caused each of us to believe the other was arguing. When in reality neither of us were, but that misperception then caused a real argument. Afterwards, when we could discuss things, we would then realize that we were both saying the exact same thing just in very different ways. Hopefully this blog will help me to learn how to be around people. Like I said the other day, baby steps. Applying what I learn here to the real world. One post at a time.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

One Recipe Fits All

This is for Mama Kat's weekly writing prompt. She gave 4-5 different prompts, and it was a really difficult decision but I ended up going with sharing a recipe.
(I tried adding the button for this but I kept getting an error msg regarding the code. It said it was broken. Anyone else have this issue or know how to fix it? I just added the link instead since I couldn't get it to work.)

(found on google images)

So this is my must have recipe. You can literally make dozens of things from this basic recipe from pasta/pizza sauce to an entree that serves your whole family. I will do my best to explain it. It is extremely simple. If I can make it, then anyone can.

I have broken it down into two steps: must have and optional. Depending on what you're making and what your family likes to eat will depend on how you blend the two.

Must have ingredients:
2 tomatoes
1 onion
salt/pepper to taste
Garlic 2 cloves minced

Optional seasonings: (while the below ingredients are "must haves" for me if I am out of something then I don't necessarily make a special trip to the store to get it, but if you don't like them or can't find them then you can add whatever seasonings you have on hand)

Bay leaves 2-3
Coriander small bunch finely chopped
Tumeric 1/2 tsp
Ginger 1/2 tsp minced
Curry Powder 1/2 tsp
Green chilies 3-4 (less if you don't like spicy more if you do)

Optional meats & veggies:

Ground beef/turkey/chicken
3-4 chicken breasts boneless skinless cut up into chunks
Beef or lamb tips (you could also take your choice of beef cut and cut it into chunks)

Mushrooms 4-5 diced
Green Pepper 1 medium sized diced
Carrots 2 whole carrots diced
Eggplant 1 diced
Broccoli 1 cup
Peas 1 cup
Potatoes 2-3 diced

Regardless of what you're making, these inital steps must be done to form the basis of your sauce/dish.

  • add a few table spoons of oil to a heavy bottomed pan. Heat over medium heat.
  • Then add onions. Cook until translucent but not browned.
  • Then add your tomatoes. Cook until they are almost complete dissolved. If the mixture begins to stick or burn, add a few table spoons of water to keep it from doing so.
  • Then add all of your seasonings (salt/pepper, curry powder, tumeric, garlic, bay leaves etc) and green chilies. Stir. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water to keep spices from burning.

Now that you have your tomato/onion mixture prepared, add in your meats (chopped chicken breasts or beef/lamb tips). Cook meat for approx 1-2 mins and then add veggies. Make sure you fully cover the meat and veggies with the mixture so that all of the flavor gets infused in them.

Once the meat starts to brown ( or turn white if you're using chicken breasts), then add about 2-3 cups of water. Enough so that all of the veggies and meats are fully submerged. Add coriander leaves after this cooks about 15 mins.

Turn the heat down, cover and simmer until meat and veggies are fully cooked.

Normally I cook most of the water out so that I am left with a thick sauce, but if you prefer it more thin, then just add more water or don't cook it as long. It takes about an hour if you cook it on low heat, 30 mins if you cook it over medium. It is really up to you. If I have the time, I cook it slower so the meat is more tender and gets more flavorful. If I am in a hurry, then I cook it on medium heat so that it gets done sooner. If you follow these directions, you will end up with something that resembles the picture posted above.

However, if you want a homemade pizza/pasta sauce, then prepare the onion/tomato mixture as stated above and add in your spices. After adding spices, cook approx. 1 min and then add in ground beef/chicken/turkey. Cook until meat is browned.

Pour sauce over pasta of your choice or spread on top of pizza crust and top with cheese.

Now I am not a sauce person. If you are a sauce person, then you will probably need to add in more tomatoes. Either canned storebought or paste or whatever you prefer.

The last and final option is for all you vegetarians/vegans out there. If you don't like meat, then just skip the step for adding meat and go straight to the veggies. All other steps/ingredients remain the same. When I lived in the USA, I couldn't get meat that often so the majority of the time I made this just with veggies. It was still great and very filling.

Serve with rice or naan.

Hope you all enjoy!!

As The Pendulum Swings

If they made a soap opera of my life, it would be called As the Pendulum Swings. I often feel like my emotions and moods are attached to some invisible pendulum. Swinging back and forth from one extreme to the other. One day I am in such emotional pain that I want nothing more than to cut my heart from my chest in the hopes of finding just a little bit of relief. Then the next day I will be so elated and ecstatic that I am like a little puppy all excited to see you after you have been gone all day and I immediately start humping your leg. There is no balance. Very rarely am I ever in the middle. When I am it is only due to extreme effort on my part, but then I am so tired from having fought my way there that I loosen my grip on the pendulum and it immediately begins to swing.

I so don't want to offend anyone or push them away. I do this. I know I do this. This is also part of the reason I don't let people get close because I get clingy. Overbearing. I am opinionated. I often say whatever thought comes into my mind. Regardless if it should be said or not. While my intentions are always well meaning, my actions often seem cold and vindictive. I am also so starved of affection. So wanting that whenever anyone shows me the least bit of attention, kindness, interest, I jump on them like a rabid animal. Often it is overwhelming and they run away. Then I am left wondering what did I do? Why did they leave?

I know that I will have to be super aware of my emotions. Constantly on guard. If I am not, then the pendulum will never stop swinging. When I started this blog, I was at the point where either I blogged or I totally lost it. I needed to purge myself of that darkness that was within me. So I started this blog. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Some of the posts I wrote have published. Others are just sitting as a draft waiting for the day when it will be their time to be told.

One thing that has been a major help to me is when I first began writing all of these posts that were filled with raw emotion, I would set them to automatically publish at different intervals. Being able to read that raw emotion with a clear mind. Being able to see exactly what I was feeling at that moment because when I am in that darkness I have no idea what is happening. It is like being caught in a tornado. Getting tossed here and there and when it is all over you're not really sure what just happened or how you survived. You just pick yourself up from the spot where the tornado spit you out and go on from there.

I can feel the pendulum slowing down. It is almost still. Maybe one day it will finally stop. 

What is freedom?

If freedom is the ability to go outside uncovered, then i chose to remain amongst the oppressed.

If freedom is the ability to walk hand in hand with any strange man, then i chose to remain amongst the oppressed.

If freedom means I must leave my modesty aside, then i will keep my modesty and live in oppression.

True freedom is not simply following others blindly. Freedom is remaining true to one's heart. To one's Love. To one's Truth. You are not free if you are wearing a leash while another is the one holding it. Even the oppressed are more free than those who wave the flag of freedom because in their oppression they have found truth. They have found love. They have found righteousness. They are not followers. They are not being led to slaughter. They walk with their heads held high and place the noose of so called freedom tightly around their necks. Because it is in their rejection of submission that they remain free. It is in their refusal to place their hand in others and be led that true freedom lies. It is not in blindly following.
 It is so easy to walk the way others do. Yet so difficult to walk the path of Truth alone.

This is actually something I wrote a very long time ago. I was looking through some old writings and with the world being the way it is today I just thought I would share with you all.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This is post is written for the Red Dress Club Memoir Link up You can read about the prompt here

I have very few memories from my childhood.  Maybe it’s because I truly don’t remember, but mostly because I don’t want to remember. I listen to others tell of their birthday parties, Halloween costumes, and I wonder what was I for Halloween? Did I even go trick or treating? What kind of cake did I have for my party? Did I even have a party? For all of the things I don’t remember, there is one memory I treasure the most. That memory is of my grandmother.
She was my hope. She made me laugh. She made me feel. Loved.
I didn’t get to see her very much. She worked second shift  at a factory so was often gone when I returned home from school. As soon as I would get home, I would walk into her room. I could still smell the lingering scent of her lotion and hairspray. I would sit on the bed and think of her. My love of reading and writing comes from her. She always had a book with her. Was always reading something. Our house was filled with books. Many a summer’s day she and I sat in the backyard, stretched lazily in lawn chairs, reading.
I would often sneak out at night and lie in those lawn chairs. Looking up at the stars and waiting for her to come home from work. Just lying there, remembering a joke we had shared or a story she had told me. Feeling close to her. I could never tell her what she meant to me. How she made me feel, but she knew. I can still hear her voice, “Wake up. It’s time to go inside”. She never yelled at me for being outside, alone, at 2 o’clock in the morning.   I would rub my eyes, yawn and stretch. I would sit there for a moment. Blinking. Then slowly I would get up and we would go inside together. My grandfather had not bothered to check if I was in my room or not and would often lock the door when he went to bed. So most nights I would be locked out until she got home to let me back in, but I didn’t mind. I enjoyed the cool breeze. The world was different at night. I was different at night.
I would make her a cup of coffee and we would sit at the kitchen table. She would slowly sip her coffee and  tell me about her day at work.  I would sit there just soaking in her every word. Then no longer being able to keep my eyes open, I would go to bed. She would sit there for a while longer. Drinking coffee. Reading a book. She would turn the light off in the living room where I slept when she went to sleep. So strange. I could sleep outside, in the dark alone, but I could never fall asleep in that house unless she was there. She made the house a home.  


All in the Family

Who teaches you to be a daughter or son? Who teaches you to be a mother or father, sister or brother? No one teaches you how to be any of these things. You either learn by being one or by watching one, but what if you never were any of them or you never saw any of them. At least not a good example anyways. Then how do you learn? How do you just "be"?

It seems like a very silly thing to ask, but for me it is a question that I am still searching for the answer. I was the biological child of my parents, but I was no one's daughter. I had a biological mother and father, but no mom or dad. My "father" was/is an alcoholic and drug addict. He was abusive to both my mother and myself. I learned very early on that the slightest thing could set either of them off. I learned what to say, how to say it, and when to say nothing at all. I learned how to read people. I learned that by saying or doing what my "parents" wanted then more often than not I didn't get yelled at or hit.

Without realizing it, I became programmed. It became second nature to me. Instantly reading someone and saying exactly what they wanted to hear. Even if they didn't know themselves that is what they wanted to hear, but I could tell what the best reply would be. What would bring praise and not anger. I became so good at this that I didn't even know I was doing it. I was in survival mode. I have lived the majority of my life in this survival mode.

Even today, when there is really no reason to, I still do this. My husband can see  though it. He can read me so well and he knows when I am just saying what I think he wants to hear. He gets so angry and frustrated with me because he doesn't care if I don't like something. He doesn't mind if I ask him to bring me something, but he hates when I reply with a "lie". To him by doing this I am lying and being fake. He just wants me to be me, but how can I be something that I don't even know what it is?

It is not something I do intentionally with malice in order to gain something from others. Majority of the time I am doing the total opposite of what I truly want or like but it is something that will bring joy or betterment to the other person. That is why my husband gets so frustrated with me. He isn't like the people I was with before him. He can't understand why I can't just tell him the "truth", but how can you tell someone the "truth" when you don't even know what the truth is? I have changed and grown so much since I married him. He has given me the strength and stability that my life was so lacking before. He has given me the chance to thrive. A chance I thought I would never have. I so wish that I could just "forget" my past and just "BE", but I can't.

My past has forever altered me and I have to make due the best I can with the person I am today. I have to work at making this person that I have become into the best that it can be. I don't know what person I would have been if I had received help the first time I was hospitalized. If just one person had realized that I wasn't better, that I was just saying what I thought they wanted to hear. Even if the first time no one noticed, then maybe the second or third time. If just one person had realized I wasn't taking my meds. I wasn't sleeping. I wasn't "better". My life would be so different today and the lives of all of those around me would be so different today, but no one noticed.

I have to accept that I cannot change the past. It is what it is, and I have to live with it. I have to move forward from where I am now. I am so blessed to have a loving caring husband. It is so much more than I ever thought I would have. I can't dwell on what if's or should'va could'va would'va's. I have to move forward from this point. From this moment. I have to let go of that little girl who never had a chance to grow up. Who never got the chance to become the person she was suppose to be. I have been grieving for her for a very long time, but now it's time that I got on with my life because that is what she would have wanted me to do.

I have to live not only for me but for her. So for the next two minutes I will mourn her. I will honor her memory, and then I will bury her. This post will stand as her grave, and whenever I want to remember her, I can visit this and read these words. This will be her memorial. I will carry her memory with me forever because she is me, and by living, she will also live.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Accept. Want. Feel

Sounds so extremely simple. I recently stumbled upon the blog Look Far. I have made a few posts about the things I have found on that blog. It's as if she/he/they are writing directly to me. As if they can see inside of me at that specific moment in time and know exactly what I need to hear.

Accept. Want. Feel.

3 simple things you can do to change your life. I am a runner. No, I don't mean marathon runner or even running as you're most likely thinking of. I mean I run from life. When things get bad, I run. Sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally, sometimes spiritually. I run and pretend. Pretend the bad doesn't exist. That it isn't real and sometimes I even convince myself that it isn't. That I will start over in this new place, but in the end nothing really changes because it isn't the outside world that needs to change. It is me.

I am a addict. Addicted to running. It is a high for me. Emotionally. Just like with any junkie when that high wears off, I need another fix. While my fix doesn't come with a needle and you can't snort it up your nose, it is just as destructive. I am tired. I don't want to run anymore, but I have been running for as long as I can remember. Even as a child. I don't remember a time when I wasn't running. Hiding. Burying my emotions deep down into a vault so I would be "safe".

It seems like it should be the simplest thing in the world to do. Just to stop, but I don't know how to stop. Sometimes I don't even realize I am running until my husband tells me and then suddenly I am frozen in place and I think when did I start? Where am I? How did I get here? I don't even want to be here, but here I am. Again.

Accept. Want. Feel.

I challenge myself to accept that I am a product of my environment. That I am this way because of the disease that has invaded my mind and because of the things that were inflicted upon me. I challenge myself to accept that I deserve happiness. I deserve love.

I challenge myself to want to be happy. To want to be loved.

I challenge myself to feel love for myself and to truly feel love for others.

Accept. Want. Feel.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Damien's Assassin

If you love to read romance/action/paranormal/fantasy, then you must read Damien's Assassin. The author is Lizzy Ford. Damien's Assassin is the sequel to Damien's Oracle. You really need to read the first one so you don't get lost otherwise Damien's Assassin won't make a whole lot of sense because you are introduced to the main characters and their world through the first one Damien's Oracle.

Just as with the first one, I could not put this book down until I had finished it. It is that good. If you're looking for a quick read, then I suggest you check her out. She has other works you can also read on her website. This is her site Lizzy Ford Damien's Assassin

The book is available in multiple formats compatible with the Kindle, Nook, Sony ereader, and Apple products. It is also available in RTF and PDF for download. On her site she says that it will take about two weeks for it to reach iBook, Barnes and Nobles, etc.

Please check her out. It's well worth the read.

Edited to add:  I don't personally know Lizzy Ford and I wasn't asked  to write this. I stumbled upon her work through a google search awhile back. I genuinely like her work and just wanted to share.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

To Comment or Not to Comment

While that might not have been exactly what Shakespeare meant, it is something that I plan to work on. While it seems like such a small thing to most people, for me it is a major thing. I have read so many wonderful blogs the last two days and I think I have commented on one maybe two. However, that is huge for me. I know it might not seem like it. I mean hello I am blogging to the world, but you have no idea who I am so that makes it easier, but I am an extremely quiet person. So quiet that usually people perceive my silence as me being snobbish or stand offish. They perceive my silence as that I think I am too good to speak to them.

I never understood why people think like that, but they do and if I want them to change how they see me, then I have to let them know me. But having been silent for so many years, it is extremely difficult to break out of that so one way of challenging myself was to comment on others blogs. Baby steps right? It is a beginning. A way for me to anonymously be myself and see how people react to that. Then when I try in real life maybe some of that anxious nervousness that forces me to not speak will have disappeared. I will appear a bit more open, a bit more friendly, a bit more compassionate.

So here is my challenge. I am putting it in writing so that I can't back out. I will comment on 2 blogs a day. 1 blog can be one I have commented on before but the other must be a new blog. It may or may not be one I follow but it isn't about that. It is about opening up. Taking that first step. Learning how to communicate. How to express myself.

Learning how to just say "hello".

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tattered Sweatshirt

This week's TRDC prompt: 600 word limit - about finding a forgotten item of clothing in the back of a drawer or closet. Let us know how the item was found, what it is, and why it's so meaningful to you or your character. 

" Finally, she was finished. She stood slowly, surveying her work. The boxes she would donate were sitting beside the door. The guy from the Charity Foundation said someone would be by at 7 to pick up the things. She glanced at the clock. It was a quarter til seven now.

She was startled by the soft rumbling of her stomach. Suddenly she realized she hadn’t eaten since the service that morning. She told herself she would fix a sandwich after the Charity Foundation had come and collected the boxes. Although it was warm outside, she felt a sudden chill. Not from the air but from within. Less than 72 hours ago she had laid his body in the cold ground. That is what was making her feel chill. Her sister offered to go through his things for her, but she had refused the help. The movers were coming tomorrow and she wanted to be sure that everything was packed. Ready to go. She couldn’t stand the thought of strangers touching their things. His things.
The doorbell rang. The Charity Foundation workers were there. Five minutes later she was locking the door. At least that was over. She decided the sandwich could wait. Instead she opted for a nice long soak in the tub. She went to the closet to get a fresh change of clothes. That is when she saw it. Didn’t she pack it with the Charity Foundation items? She was certain she had, but there it was hanging right before her eyes. Slowly she reached out to touch it. She could feel the tattered worn cotton beneath her fingers. She pulled it off the hanger and slipped it on. It was 3 sizes too big, but she didn’t care. It smelled of sweat and medicine. His sweat. She sank into the bed, pulling the covers over her head and began to cry. How she had hated that old gray sweatshirt. Threatened him a million times that she was going to burn it, but now it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. It was all that remained.
“Just going for my morning run. Be back soon.”, she could hear him saying. Only he didn’t come back and all she was left with was that old tattered sweatshirt. She closed her eyes and breathed in his scent. Then she slept. For the first time in days, she was finally able to sleep."

Past Writings

Writing for me is an outlet. I don't claim to be a writer, but I love to write. What I write often makes very little sense to anyone other than me because of the style in which I write. I was looking through some old writings of mine and found this. It was originally written in 2008 when my life was beginning to change for the better for the first time in a very long time. It was also a time when I started realizing the reality of the previous few years of my life.  I thought I would post it here because alot of what I felt on that day still remains with me and alot has changed. I have changed but the underlying truth of what I wrote back then still exists today and by posting this it is a reminder to myself that while circumstances may not change and the past cannot be changed, but I myself can change.

"A year has passed. The moon has risen hundreds of times and the sun set a hundred more, but to me only a day has passed. I watch my life flash in front of me. Not a participant, just an observer.At times less than an observer. I wonder who is the driver of my life. Where is its destination? So much sorrow and heartache self-inflicted it seems. Good intentions do not please those who walk in the light. They are only for those who sit in silence. Unseen.Unheard. Forgotten souls. Demoralized. Humiliated. Shattered beyond existance. Simply waiting for their time in this world to pass. At times I wonder what did I do to deserve the sorrows inflicted upon me? Am I insane? So far beyond the realms of sanity and reality that I can no longer recognize what is real and what is my self induced reality. I see a life before my eyes but no longer believe it to be mine. I wait patiently for my judgement to come. A patience hated by others. The very cause of their hatred. But as much as I try no understanding comes to me. I sit and watch. Silence is better. I cannot participate in this so called reality. My very touch is filled with such darkness that it stains every small thing that comes near it. Like the hand of Midas..only my hands do not turn objects into gold but into the very epitomy of evil itself. Is it a curse? Is it real? Questions I ask myself with every breath, but yet no answers can be found. Another day has dawned. I can only wait to see what my hand brings to me today. I no longer have to touch things of this reality. Just my presence. Just a thought of me. Brings about its hatred.

 A year ago I sat in a chair not unlike the one I sit in now. I wrote words hidden deep in my soul. But today my soul is empty. All hope gone. All light extinguished. No reason to live. No reason to exist, but yet I still breathe. I still wake everyday not knowing the reason why. I give nothing to anyone. No hope. No love. No faith. No truth. No sustenance. Why does breath still enter my body each day? I am but a shell of humanity. Tears no longer fall from my eyes. They have all gone. Pain that was sharp as the finest blade has now dulled into a slow ache. An ache that haunts my very existence. That follows me thru space and time. My only friend.

Never has any soul been so lost and misunderstood. Screams go unheard. Tears go unwiped. Beyond hope. Beyond help. Simply the instrument of a source of hatred unknown by its host. Unknown to this soul that seems to carry it even though the want and desire to rid itself is so strong. But yet so unattainable. Having only one wish. One desire. But yet that wish will go unanswered. Again it will be hidden from the prying eyes of those who cannot begin to understand the depths of its existence. Again it will be hidden away. Far below the surface. No eyes will see it. No hand will caress it. Once being someone's child. Once being someone's mother. Someone's friend. Someone's confident. Someone's provider. Someone's love. All of these things have gone. Faded with the night breeze. So far gone from one's mind that to even begin to walk down that path brings such pain and sorrow. That one no longer travels it. The door has closed. The time long passed. Now being nothing for no one. No one's child. No one's mother. No one's love. Retreating instead into the farthest depths of one's own mind. One's own soul.

So far inside that even if the world tried to find it. It could never see it. It will never be reached. Never to be seen again. Simply waiting. Waiting for the cold hand of sorrow to come. Waiting for the one and only one who will never leave. Who is always there. Unseen. But yet when this friend will come is unknown to one? Only the absolute certain truth that one day, He will appear and take one's soul in His hands. This is the one and only truth undeniable to all. Even though every soul spends every waking moment denying their one and only true friend. In the end He will come. His knock cannot be ignored. To some it is a welcome relief from the nonexistent life they have been walking in. To some they will ask for more time. But none will be given. For some, none wanted even if it were given by the slightest of requests.

Is it the physical hand that has become tainted with such hideous cruelty? Is it an unseen one? If it were only physical then so easily a remedy found. Simply to cut one's hands off. Ridding one's self of such instruments of darkness. But it is not the physical hand that brings about one's self destructive behavior. Why is it one cannot be as others are? Why is it this shroud of darkness falls on one's shoulders? Never lifting. Unmoved by the strongest winds. Resting so heavily on one so burdened. This world taunts and screams and yells. But they do not know what torture one puts on its own self. They can scream a thousand days but it will never equal to one moment of what one says to one's own self. Such words can only be spoken from within one's own being. Just a moment to begin again. To start life anew. Would things be different? Would one thought change an entire existence? What is written cannot be erased even with the strongest of prayers. Total submission once given cannot be revoked. One's life once given cannot be taken back. Waiting for the day when every soul shall speak truth. Hoping for that peace. And fearing it shall never come"

Tuesday, 25 November, 2008

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Far From Reality

The other day I wrote a post called "Too Much but Not Enough" .  It is about not belonging. About how I live in this in between neverland sort of world with one foot in one society and the other foot in another. Accepted but to a certain point. At times it is very uplifting and joyous place and others it is very frustrating. Today was one of those frustrating times.

Just when I think I am accepted and not an "outsider", I am instantly reminded of how very different I am from my husband's family. Not only that I am culturally different but that no matter how much they claim to welcome me and claim to understand, the reality is they don't and most likely never will. They have seen "Americans" in movies and believe that is how all Americans live. I was raised in a very poor Southern family. We didn't have indoor plumbing. We used an outhouse. We farmed, raised tobacco, animals, cut hay, wood for heat in the winter, drew water from a well.

It's always amusing how my husband's family will watch me clean. The first time I swept the floor I thought they would have a heart attack. Every one of my sister in laws, MIL, aunties, cousins, everyone came to watch. It was all they talked about for days. An American who knew how to sweep the floor! It was too much for them. They had seen movies. All Americans had servants, maids, people who did those things for them, but not this American.

Today again I was reminded that while on the surface they see me in reality I am invisible to them. Their image of what I am will always be how they see me. The fact that image is far from reality makes no difference. In their minds I am that image because every American they have ever met or who has ever visited here has fit into that image. They can't accept that I don't. I have given up on trying to make them see me. It isn't worth the effort. They will never see me, but even as I type that sentence there is a part of me that still hopes. That wants so deseparately to be seen, to be heard, but I just can't keep that door open. It is toxic and insane to continue repeating the same action hoping for a different result. It is time I let go, but that is easier said than done.

So for now whenever they refer to me as that image instead of the real me I just keep silent. It is easier.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Your Journey

I came across an amazing blog awhile back. It is as if the author of this blog was writing while reading the thoughts that twirl around in my brain. One thing which she wrote that truly hit home with me and that I wanted to share with you is this:

"It’s easy to become envious of others who seem to have something that you don’t.
But, remember -they are on their journey and you are on your journey -"  Look Far

While I am all about people following their own path, I tend to focus more on helping them in their journey that I forget about my own. Making sure their journey is easy becomes my journey. I tend to focus so intently on others that I totally forget about myself. I forget about myself to such an extent that it causes others to forget about me as well. It is as if I no longer exist. If at any time during their journey, I raise my voice or want to get off or dare to disagree, then they become shocked and act as if I have changed. They act as if they don't know me, but in reality, they don't know me. All they know about me is that for however long I have been their doormat. Maybe they weren't intentionally using me or taking advantage of, but my actions led them to believe that I was truly happy to be their servant of sorts. If I don't remember me, how can I expect others to? If I don't assert my preferences, why am I surprised when no one remembers me?

I have to keep reminding myself that it is ok if I continue my journey. Maybe their journey will take them to a different place far from where I am, but that is ok too. Even if they become angry or upset that I decide to continue on my way that doesn't make me a selfish or greedy person. Somewhere I once read that in order to help others we must first help ourselves. The line between self-sacrifice and self-destruction is very thin, and  it is a line I am still learning to walk.

The Last Time

Daylight was fading as we pulled into town. I looked at you. You were fast asleep. I glanced in the rear view mirror just to confirm what I already knew that she was fast asleep too. If she had been awake, then she would have been talking. She was always talking.  Even if there was no one around she would talk to the wind. Although some days I believed it answered her back. I pulled the car into the hotel. Something cheap. It was just for a few hours. Just to get a quick rest then back on the road again. This would be the last time we would be together. The last time I would look upon your angelic face.   I knew this but you didn’t. You were young and filled with hope. Untainted by the world. Still innocent, but I knew. I felt it deep inside of me.
I knew he would be waiting for us. I had already spoken to him on the phone. I slowly searched for his car. Making these last few moments last just a bit longer. You opened your beautiful brown eyes.  A smile slowly spreads across your face. “Are we here?” you ask. Yes I said.
I parked the car. As we got out I could see him, impatient as always. I held you so close to me. Pulling your body close to mine. Breathing in the salty fragrance of sweat as it rolled down your face. Sweet innocent eyes looking back into mine. A smile that was so wonderful that I was certain time had begun to stand still.
His voice calling you, “Hurry up”. I kissed you good bye. Knowing it was the last good bye. The last time my eyes would see you. The last time my arms would hold you. The last time you would ever say those words to me, but you didn’t know. You wiped my tears. Told me to not cry that you would see me soon and went on your way.
I don’t know how long I stood there. Watching as you drove away. Taking in every moment. Burning every inch of you into my memory. How my heart ached.  I didn’t know it was possible to hurt that much and survive, but I wouldn’t consider my life after that day as surviving. More like merely existing. From that moment on, I was a zombie. A walking corpse. I was real but not real.
On the outside I looked the same as everyone else, but on the inside I was reliving that moment. Watching you waving good bye from the back seat. Your beautiful innocent smile. Then you slowly turning around sitting down. That was the last time I saw you.


This post is linked up with the Red Dress Club’s memoir prompt, which asked: “imagine that after you have died and your daughter/son will be given the gift of seeing a single five-minute period of your life through your eyes, feeling and experiencing those moments as you did when they occurred. What five minutes would you have him/her see? Tell us about them in the finest detail.” It's my first time so if it isn't right, let me know so I know what to do next time.

Inception- Must Watch

I just finished watching the movie Inception. OMG! It was amazingly fantastic. I love movies like that. I especially loved that there was no nudity, vulgarity, profanity, etc etc. It seems almost all movies of late have too much of these for my taste. I know sex sells but no matter how good the story line is if it is just soft porn I am immediately turned off. If I wanted to have watched porn, then I would have rented porn, but since I didn't that means I don't want to watch it. True talent true writing ability is when the movie is as amazing as this movie was and there is not one swear word or naked girl. Anyone can sell sex, but not anyone can write a good story.

For those of you who have not seen Inception, you must watch it. It's 2 1/2 hrs long but I didn't even notice. While I don't want to spoil the ending for those who haven't seen it, I will just simply say it ended exactly like I thought it was going to. So. Go. Now. Watch. You will not be sorry.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Too Much but Not Enough...

I thought it best to maybe share with you a bit about myself. Things which are necessary to know from the very beginning so that the things that follow a bit easier to understand. There is one thing in this world that keeps me sane. It is my rock, my foundation, and without it I would not be alive today. That thing is my religion. Now that does not mean that I believe everyone who claims to follow the same religion as me will go to heaven and everyone else is destined for hellfire. Nor does it mean the way I have chosen to follow is the only right way and everyone else's is the wrong way. I truly believe that while there is only one God, there are many paths that lead there. I do not believe that wearing a label of religion and claiming to be a follower of any one religion is a guarantee into heaven. I believe that each person will be judged individually based upon their deeds, intellect, and how they conducted themselves in this world as well as how they treated others. The only thing I ask of anyone is to allow me the freedom to walk my chosen path the way I allow them the freedom to walk theirs. I love discussing different religions and learning about the beliefs of others. I absolutely despise debating religion especially with someone who refuses to listen to anything I have to say and simply believes they are absolutely right and I am absolutely wrong. I don't mind if you don't agree with me. However, please accept the fact that I may not agree with you, and that is ok. I shall now get off my soapbox.

If you're still with me after that long spiel, then I should say that I am a muslim. I was not born muslim. I wouldn't say I was necessarily raised christain either. I primarily attended a Southern Baptist Church while growing up. However, I did frequent other denominations as well as attend Catholic mass. I converted when I was 17 yrs old. Since then I have learned a lot, changed much, and hopefully grown as a person.

Now that I have given you a bit of background I guess I should come to the point. What does all of that have to do with "too much but not enough"? Being an American convert to Islam, I realized early on that I was "too much" muslim to be American and "not enough" for born muslims.

 I never truly fit in anywhere. In some ways I was not accepted by either group. I am female and I wear the traditional head covering (hijab) so it isn't as if I can hide who I am. The minute non muslims see me they become tense. They start to whisper, assume I don't speak English. When I am around muslims, they also do the same. They stare and make comments assuming I don't understand them. One of the little thrills in my life is to sit in a room of my mother in law's friends while they gossip about me assuming I can't understand them. Then my MIL will walk in and say something to me or ask me a question and I will reply in perfect Urdu. The look on their faces is priceless. Then I just smile at them with this smile that says "Yes, I just understood everything you just said" while they turn red and find some excuse to leave the room.

While today, I no longer have this overwhelming desire to belong. It is this in between place, this place of not belonging that for a time devoured my entire being. It consumed me in such a way that not only did I lose my way but I lost "ME". Today when I look back over my life, I often feel as if I am looking at someone else's. The decisions I made are so not me. I can't even begin to understand WHY. I have stopped asking why because it keeps me from moving forward. I have finally come to a place where I just accept I made horrible decisions that I truly regret and wish I had never done because not only are they not me but some are decisions which are totally against my core beliefs.

My desire to "belong" somewhere anywhere consumed me to such a degree that I became blind to my surroundings. I no longer cared where I "belonged" as long as it was somewhere. I didn't care if people were abusing me or taking advantage of me at least I "belonged". Today however I feel honored to not belong anywhere. It is no longer a devastating curse but has become a joyous blessing. While I still have moments where I feel utterly alone, there are many more moments where I feel so fortunate and blessed to have been guided to the path that I am on now. It was a very long and difficult journey. A journey that I am still on, but at least now I am discovering who I am inside. The real ME. Not the fake one that I became but the one I buried deep down inside. The one that was hidden in darkness. The one that even I forgot was there. I am learning so many wonderful things about myself, and by writing this I hope to show myself that even if I don't belong anywhere it doesn't mean that I deserve to be treated badly. I am not that horrible person I tell myself that I am. By writing this I hope that it will help to remind myself during those times when I forget.

A New Beginning

For the last few days I have been sat contemplating whether or not to start this "journal" of sorts. Just when I had almost talked myself out of it, certain recent events caused me to become certain that I needed an outlet. A place where my voice could cry or laugh or just be silent. A place where I could just be without fear, without repercussion.

Now don't think that my life is just filled with doom and gloom because it is not. There are many aspects of my life which are truly wonderful and glorious and I fully intend to share those as well. However, in my daily life I often feel seen but invisible, heard but muted, with my family but utterly alone. I feel when I share my inner most thoughts with others instead of finding understanding, I end up being even more misunderstood. Instead of bringing others close to me, I drive them farther away.

Now don't get me wrong. I am fully aware of the fact that I am not an easy person to live with. I am very complex and the rules that apply today probably won't apply tomorrow, but in other ways I am very simple, very easy, very undemanding of others and extremely giving of myself. However, this simple complexity is often beyond the understanding of others and beyond their ability to accept.

For these reasons, I have decided to make this my venting board. For me writing is extremely therapeutic. I have written ever since I was a child. Although I don't write as much now that I am an adult as I did then. Writing is still my outlet. My fingers can often say what I cannot get my tongue to. Even in real life, when I have something extremely important to share with someone, I will often email them instead of speaking to them because I am better able to express myself through words.

I hope that you find some things of interest here. I also plan to write about my life's journey and how I went from a small farm girl from Redneck, USA to living overseas in a country that most people would never imagine visiting let alone permanently living in. I hope to also use this as a way to document the things I have discovered while being here. A digital scrapbook so that later on I can look back and remember the first time I saw something new. I know there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but hopefully as I continue to write the picture will become clearer and maybe make just a bit of sense too.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...