Struggle

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Two opposing realities… where one is just a dream, the other a fantasy.
Is it your blind faith or your hopelessness?
What do I represent to you?
‘Nothing else in the Dunya has any worth’
Is it because I showed you love?

Nothing by chance. Qadr Allah.
What significance to our meeting?
The implosion of two hurt souls.
A child so beautiful to behold.
What is she owed?

This pressure in my brain… the knowledge of what must unfold
A certainty against a backdrop of the untold.
A resolution of the irrevocable… is this all still just impossible?

Faith in Allah for ‘verily He loves those who place their trust in Him.’
My head spins
At the magnitude… at the certitude… at the fact that you have become ‘that’ you.
Who am I to question your path?
Who am I to ask?
Have we reached an impasse?

‘You could never love someone like me’ you screamed in the dark;
Enraged at the wrongs that crushed your soul…
But the heart knows-
I did love you and all I wanted was to hold, console and make you whole… to fill that gaping hole.

‘Tell me now that you hate me!’
But I could not let you go,
Clinging to you as you clung to me with your desperate choke-hold;
Forcing me to go, willing me to know…

Destructive cycles, self-fulfilling prophecies of old… pushing me away to prove that I would go,
Learning too late that the flagellation couldn’t break that heart-hold.
Putting distances of miles, centuries and insurmountables between us only to be told-
‘I love you and I never let you go’
Even apart I always felt your soul.

What we had wasn’t based on unity.
Its roots were firmly sunk in agony.
Did you ever even love me?
I can feel that nothing much remains…
Of what it used to be…
No longer ‘devotion’… a pulling away.

Do I even want you to stay?
What would it take?
A total annihilation of self…
Then who would I be?
If all of me was effaced.

You threw it all away.
Should I relinquish who I was created to be?
This life is not a game.
Should I exist merely as an accessory to your pain?

You’ve lost interest…
As I knew that you would- all along…
As I knew that you would once you had attained your goal…
Regained control…
Only Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has a claim to my soul.

Can I pick up where I left off when I put my life back on hold
Move back into the light…
Back towards the unknown…
This darkness depletes me
Stay or go

Living through my own recurring worst nightmare…
this doesn’t feel like that dream…
Where I lie in your arms and your love for me covers me…
Where you’d swallow your whole pride whole not to damage me…
Where you’d take on the whole wide world… just to ‘stand by me’…

I don’t know what scares me most…
Is it the eternally being without you?
Or that you just might let me go?
Or is it the stepping out into that black hole?

In truth you’re already gone and were never really here
I was always fighting this battle alone.
A beautiful dream; heart-breakingly painful to recall…
Like a mirage it has always been unrealised;
Spurring me on… to my own demise.

So…

The question then isn’t how I can change you but whether I can ‘sustain’ you
Or whether I’ll sever the chains that bind my soul.
And finally, achingly, truly let you go…

I don’t yet know

2014

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

Should have known

I loved him even though I should have known better.
I should have known because he told me from the outset.
Told me he was damaged beyond repair.
He laughed about it.

I should have known because the writing was on the wall that he pinned me against.
I should have known.
I should be able to let go.

But I lie here with our daughter’s small warm feet nestled against my own
and my head fit to implode
at his remembrance
and the magnitude of the warped reality
that my mind can’t quite hold

27.04.2016