Saturday, 23 March 2013

What if?

What if your world was full of silence?

What if the words you wanted to say, the thoughts you wanted to share never went past your lips?

What if you could never express your desires, your needs?

What if you couldn't take even a single step? Not away from danger or toward what you wanted.

What if no one saw you?

What if no one knew the creativity, the ideas, the brilliance within you?

What if the dreams you shared when you fell in love shattered? When your belly rounded with child and your partner whispered sweet nothings to the person growing within this wasn't what you'd bargained for.

When you dreamt of your little princess you didn't know she may never move. She may never run into your arms and give you a tight hug.

When you bought onesies with balls on them you didn't think your son may never speak. He may never tell you how his day was or that he loves you.

A marriage, already so hard that most people don't survive it, you didn't know that having a child will put an end to your personal life. You won't have time for yourselves or each other.

Suddenly the problems that regular people face seem so trivial. "Cheated on me", "Works too much", "Spends too much".

And yet when I look at you, through the stress I see strength. I see solidarity. I see two people who have come to love each other more deeply because of your child. Because of what each of you give and give up for your child. I see pure pleasure as you encourage your baby to move towards the next goal. I see the affection in the way you touch her hair, the way she puts her head in your lap, in the way you smile and talk when your baby sleeps after an exhausting day. And I see, always, faith. Undeniable faith that you, all of you, will make it.

If there is love out there, this is the kind I want.

I spent five days at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, with twelve families from around the world there with their brain-injured children. It was one of the most deeply moving experiences of my life. I returned feeling blessed and thankful for everything I have in my life while at the same time wishing I had a partner like the ones I saw there. This post is for them.  

Friday, 8 March 2013

Free of deceit and untruthfulness

That's the dictionary meaning of honest. And yet more and more I find honesty difficult to come by. For is it not deceit and untruthfulness when we hide the truth even though we may not utter a complete lie?

When someone asks me how I am they expect to hear a calm, placid 'I'm fine.' Maybe even a pleasant 'I'm good.' No one wants to hear the truth. No one wants to hear the wretched thoughts that I have. The constant chaos in my head, one thought colliding with another, none reaching any fruitful culmination. Does anyone want to know how vulnerable I am, how scared and insecure? Hell, No! Let's see the cool and collected strong, independent single mother. She's handled it all so well. Umm...reality check...No she hasn't! She's a wreck and hasn't even allowed herself to figure out the full extent of the wreckage.

Which brings me to how deep this aversion to honesty runs. It's not just others who can't deal with honesty. It's so incredibly painful for me to be honest to myself.

I am hateful of people who are successful. If they are friends there is a small tiny piece of me which is happy for them but the rest of me is hateful. Because they have what I don't. They have what I want. They have what I could have had but for the fact that I never figured out how.

I am jealous of people who seem to be in happy relationships. For the same reasons.

I am suspicious of people who seem to be happy in relationships. Because I have no faith any more. In love. In men. In relationships.

If you're thick with your cousins or're on my list buddy. Cos that's what I always wanted and never got.

Live abroad? Holiday internationally? Got a wad of money? Yup, I may smile when you tell me about it but inside I am seething.

Now here's the thing. It's been so difficult for me to write this. To admit to these horrible, petty thoughts. If I were to do it in person you'd say 'Aww c'mon you don't really mean it' or 'You'll get there, look how hard you've worked and how far you've come'. Well, I do really mean it. And I don't want to be placated. This is how I feel. And it makes me come across as vulnerable, insecure, petty and jealous because that is all part of who I am. It is not all of me but it is a part of me. So there's honesty for you. Not pretty huh?

So that is why we all run, as fast and as hard as we can from the truth. We all dance around it. A waltz where we carefully step around any truths that may slip out of another. Play the game. The eternal game. With a partner, never let on to your feelings. You play hard to get and he'll follow, you run after him he'll bolt.  Why can't we both just say this is what I need and find happiness in that knowledge?

Professionally, project an image. Play the game. Talk the talk and walk the walk. Why? I'm new here. Why can't I say that instead of pretending that I know more than I do so that I can get work so that I am not new to it while I am still new to it?????

I don't want to play the game. I want to say what I feel. I want to be honest. I want to be free of deceit and untruthfulness as ugly as that may be.