Taking Risks

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I have taken many risks. I can’t remember when I became a risk-taker or for that matter when fear started to encroach upon my horizon and make me hesitant… I lost my sense-of self for a time… taking risks.  I became so bogged down in the consequences of my blind risk-taking, taking risks I didn’t even realise were such until retrospect as it characteristically does, stepped in with its hindsight-wisdom. I took risks and I paid the price of impulsivity and I lost my way for a time… I lost my way whilst being unaware of where it was I was going… I didn’t know the location, the destination was unknown and the purpose of the journey was hidden from me… veiled… unclear. I lost my way and became entrenched in the things one becomes entrenched in… and they broke me down… living ‘where they wild things are’. I finally learned to mistrust, after brightly claiming I wasn’t given to such, and became enmeshed in things that eroded my vitality… and left me crumbling… I tried to grasp that glowing ember; that fast extinguishing flame; that flickering pilot inside me, that recognised that I have a soul… that which responded to the right words… hidden within the mindy-riddle of his broken world. I ultimately crumbled and began to come apart, my tortured mind began to bear the brunt of my battered heart. I took a risk. I fled, I wandered, I tried to hold fast to who I’d been, I strove to go forward to who they said I should have been. I struck out into the unknown, casting off into the abyss…

I took the risk that He would catch me and… He did.

inna lillahi wa inna lilayhi raji’un

ill-at-ease

Through it all I slept soundly
Despite the gravity
My nights were my reprieve
I marvelled at my capacity to sink instantly into a state of soundless relief
To pass out of my traumatised self
To take my leave

Now I’m anxious at the very thoughts of sleep
At the risk of coming face to face with you as I have of late
With unbearable intensity
Flashes of nightmarish scenes
Depths from which I can’t escape
Frantic

Sitting in on your inquisition unwillingly
Core shaken by new revelations
Layers stripped to display darkness previously unperceived
Or walking side by side in pregnant silence publicly
Reluctant to utter a single word to you that could be misconstrued
Hiding in plain sight

Taking unfamiliar streets at a too-fast pace
World rendered black and white and grey
Robbed of reality
An old friend hurries past
Face averted so as not to have to see
My apparent hell-bent on throwing my life at your feet repeatedly

My breath held in desperate anticipation of some explanation
Some alleviation
Unable to make out who you are in this hall of mirrors
Speaking your ‘truth’ unabashedly
Your singular brand of veracity
Your lack of mercy and words that cut too deep

Realising again that there are no extenuating answers
That there’s nothing here for me
Same old scornful take-it-or-leave
Same old remorseless deceit
Same old mind-mess
Same old recipe for my own destruction

Keeping you at arms-length in the daylight became easy
But you’ve found a way to penetrate my dreams
Now when I slumber in search of peace I’m restless
Awakening in cold sweat
Drained of all my energy
From sleeping with the enemy

04.08.17

It took two years of counselling, with a trauma specialist, and a further two-and-a-half years of mediation, six years, all told, of separation, for me to finally start to let go. It hasn’t been easy; I cope by not thinking about it where possible; it has occupied enough of my time and heart and intruded upon me long enough.

When it does encroach upon me, every now and then, I make dua and endeavour to re-center myself, in the moment. Allahu alam what the future holds… I never thought I would be here and who knows in six more years where any of us will be. This day, this breath as it leaves my body and my Iman are all that I have; I let that anchor me. Alhamdulillah.

Sometimes I’m shut off and I all but forget and sometimes I suddenly remember and my blood runs cold and I catch my breath. The knowledge that I will never see him again brings both panic and relief… not always in equal measure. As my daughter lies tossing and turning in the cot-bed she’s fast out-growing I sit in the fading light fighting the urge to dwell on the thoughts of him that writing has stirred.  Continue reading