'People look at me and say "but you're a psychologist! You should know better!"
Why the assumption? Are they psychologists that they know so definitely that "psychologists have the best coping strategies?" that is not so far from the truth. We may know the exact way to cope, but we also know how each and every coping strategy that we may apply is in fact just simply a defense mechanism we are using to hide the immense pain we are under. Hence in turn, we know exactly what we are doing and exactly what great pain we are trying to overcome, resulting in magnifying the pain to much larger extents and inadvertently just being a victim of more pain and suffering.
Lol (laugh out loud may I) but my Significant Other (SO) (yes yes I know he's no more there as a being, but within me he still is…and from where I see it, will be for a long long loooong time) seems to think I usually act like we're 16 year old teenagers. Now that's what I call a brilliant defense mechanism! The sad fact is, we have behaved like 16 year old teenagers. Getting together one day, meeting up, talking on the phone, smsing, and then suddenly, he dumps me. Is that what one does when they are committed? Committed adults? Sounds more like one of my "literally" teenage students flings. What am I to say? My dear child, I'm nothing but a victim of one such event? It's sad but it's true. But these kids. These kids have hope. They're young. They'll find new love, you know why? Cause they are mentally prepared to do so. Their story doesn't involved being engaged in front of 200 people, and having the promise of marrying the man of your dreams.
Now here's how my situation is different. For my entire life, I had imagined my prince charming. He was there, in my mind. I knew exactly what I wanted. And I was determined that until he came along, I would not give in to anything less. So I disregarded all the other prospective husbands. Of course in the society I live in, being so picky and choosy especially at my age was sheer stupidity on my part. But I know myself. I can't live with something lesser, knowing that I could have gotten better only if I was patient. And I was. I was happy for all around me who were getting married, all those who were getting engaged, and all those who had their lovers. I was happy. Happy because prince charming was in my mind. Right there. And I was waiting for him. And he was coming.
Whenever a proposal came, or people just came to "see me" (and I gave in to this pathetic norm because of major social pressures) I couldn't stop laughing when I entered the room. So when my SO's mom brought him to see me the same evening, I was like all hehhee ahhah…until I stepped into the room and I heard him. I was dumb founded. I knew it he is the one. I just knew it. In the pit of my heart I knew it. I knew it more than anything I had ever known. And when within a couple of days they proposed, I was on cloud 9 (falling from could 9 hurts a lot by the way.) I never saw him that one day he came , because I was so nervous and so shy that all I remember looking at was my own feet and the carpet design. Usually if I don't get to see the guy in such circumstances, I catch a glimpse while serving the coffee/chai/drink. But I just couldn't in this case…it was because I knew. I knew it. I knew it I was going to wake up next to him every morning of my life, and I'd look at him all I want. I want to say "I knew it" 1 million times more, because yaar…I just knew it.
Anyway, 10 days later we said yes, and another 10 days later was the ceremony. Ah yes. It was surreal. Me a bride? Lol. You know when girls go to weddings and engagement's they always imagined themselves as the bride. I never did. Mostly cause I honestly never expected to get married. Only because my prince charming was too perfect to be true, and I knew I would never compromise. But the day of the engagement, I was shocked to see myself. With the teeka and duppata and make up and heels and all. Might I add, I'm a tom boy mixed with laziness. Never bothered about fashion or looking good. Only thing that mattered was comfort. So I could spend my life in a couple of jeans, kurtis and chappals/joggers. I was very low maintenance unlike the norms of the girls today who end up spending 1/3 of their lives in parlors. But on that day, on that very day I was determined to look pretty. To look stunning, to look like a bride. I remember spending 12 hrs in the bazaar looking for the perfect dress to wear. And by perfect not perfect in my eyes, but perfect in my SO's regards. I was choosing things according to what little I understood of the type of person he was. Why? Just, wholly and solely for my SO. I wanted to be perfect. Because I'm very "puranay zamanay ke khayalat type." Because I believe you are your man's respect. And I wanted him to be proud of me. I wanted him to be happy standing next to me saying "this, this woman is my fiancé."
So the ceremony happened. It was perfect. He was perfect. He was everything that I had understood him to be from those few minutes I heard him speak.
Time went on. Everything was perfect. He was so sweet. He would call, care, be such a romantic (although he always claimed he wasn't the lovely dovey type).
Until 2 weeks after the ceremony. My dreams came crashing down. I was told he wasn't happy with the engagement. And my world stopped. My self image, my self esteem just shattered. Might I add I do have severe low self esteem issues. I was also of course severely threatened not to ever tell him of what I was being told, or what I knew. And the reason was because I was told "he" would not like it. He would break off the engagement. I am a very simple girl. I live life in the moment. I take people and their words on face value. I trust people.
My entire image of my SO just became blur. I didn't know him anymore. Instead of being open and communicating with him I became so scared of him. I became so scared to say anything. He noticed, of course (since I'm famous for not being able to hide my feelings. As my professor used to say "Her face is like a TV" whatever she feels comes out on top.) I can't hide. I'm not chalak. Anyway.
When I'd ask him if he was okay, he said he was. But each time I was told he's angry with me (and I didn't know why) and I was told to ask him what's wrong, I'd ask him. Being in such a difficult position I couldn't not ask him, neither could I tell him what was going on. He started to get annoyed by my constant questioning. And I got ever more worried. I just didn't know what to do, who to talk to, or how to handle things.
I started to misperceive all his actions. Started to really accept that he didn't like me. And he was just being forced. It was heartbreaking for me. Because I felt I was with my prince charming, but he was compromising with just any girl.
So I started to try to become his princess. (I know these terms are very childish, but hello, right now, I'm just a girl, who lost in love. Who still waits painstakingly everyday for her prince charming to come back to her.) I caught on to his every word. When he'd say he was busy I'd try my best to stay away. When he didn't reply I'd just smile it away. When he'd simply say he'd love Cholas when we got home from work, and then a nice dinner, I'd cook and send it all immediately. I started to learn to make 1 billion different kinds of Cholas. When he really wanted to eat those doraji ke cholay I tried to get them for him, but alas the shop opened in the evenings. I threw away all the lawn, cotton duppatas and bought new silky ones because he said the other type looked like chadars. All my shadi shopping from clothes to perfumes to lingerie to shoes to bags was done according to my idea of what HE liked. Even my mom was telling someone, yeh kaisi hai, she doesn't buy what she likes, she just buys what she thinks he likes. But that's who I am. Always thought that when my guy comes, I'll do anything and everything in the world to make him happy.
As time went on I was under more and more stress. Because the outside pressures were directly effecting our relationship. And I could helplessly see it detoriate. A point came when I wanted to just tell him everything. I tried. Tried to ask him to meet up. But he was busy. And again being the I-cant-give-more-stress-to-my-guy type, I just delayed it. He said he was busy at work. I was keeping up with the business situations in Pakistan, and I had an idea of the kind of stresses he must be under. Hence the last thing I wanted was to give him any more stress. So finally after two whole months (and these were the toughest months) of feeling so alone and helpless, and more so scared, we went out for dinner. I felt that night our relationship was getting back on track. And the entire situation reminded me of our 1st two weeks. I didn't want to ruin it, so I delayed brining up issues. I felt we'll meet again shortly, and I'll clear things out. Mind you I was still very scared to approach the subject because it was so so sensitive that any slip here or there could bring everything crashing down.
I was in love. I knew it. I bet he'd say I'm being dramatic, but I was. I gave up so much for him. And in return all I wanted was to spend my life with him. I am not the demanding type at all. I don't care about materialistic things, or about designer stuff, or about being given gifts. But I still hung on to the rose he gave me one day. Just because he gave it.
He was so important to me. I wanted to tell him, but I was so scared he'd ridicule me. But I wanted to tell him that there are two men in this world who I love. One my dad, the other him. My dad left me, and so did he. But the only difference is, dad didn't have a choice, he did. And it was exactly this fear of abandonment that I told him two days after the engagement "Don't leave me."
I loved his dad as my own. In the depth of my heart I wished for one thing. I wished that my prince charming would have parents. I always wanted to live together, like one big happy family. I loved my SO's parents like my own. I still refer to them as mummy, papa when I talk about them. I respected them. Loved them.
A few days after the dinner, he calls. I still shiver at his tone. He was angry. I don't know what had happened at his end, but I knew he had had enough. I remember pleading again & again, I'm very happy. I'm very happy. I remember telling him, please listen, what you saw of me was not me. It was my reaction to the stress I was under. But I could feel I'm talking to a wall. 25 minutes and 25 seconds later he put down the phone. I thought he's understood that there has been something going on behind his back which he doesn't know of.
I cried that whole night. I cried because I hated myself for not telling him everything at dinner. I cried because of the way he spoke. I cried because of frustration that he didn't register anything I was saying. I cried because the man I loved so so much, was sick and tired of me.
I couldn't let anyone know how upset I was. Because I didn't want my family to worry. So the next morning I did what I had been doing. Shadi shopping. Still buying things that SO would like.
Two days later I come home from shadi shopping. Everyone's gathered. I thought the wedding date is being fixed. I'm smiling, while everyone's looking at me. And I hear the worst words ever "SO's dad called this morning and broke the engagement."
I was sitting on the sofa where SO had sat when he had come over too meet nani. I remember continuing to smile. My mind was jelly. I had a million all blurry thoughts in my head. I felt my face wet. Tears were flowing down but I was smiling. I knew one thought was the strongest. This is not happening. He's just upset. He'll come back.
So I started to discuss everything in a very objective manner. Until my uncle said, we'll have to call everyone tomorrow and tell them. That's when I laughed and said, "So like one second. You're going to tell people it's over? But it's not over? I mean how can it be."
Again tears started to flow, and with my thoughts, my vision became blurry. I saw mom's face. She had died inside. She knew how I had become when dad passed away. And I could see it she was seeing me starting to go through the same thing again. I controlled myself. Wiped away the tears and just smiled. The protocols were discussed, decided, and everyone left. Mom started to cry hysterically. I was broken, shattered, and dead from inside. I felt betrayed. I just couldn't understand how such a strong man like him could leave me alone in all this. I needed him. I needed his support.
Days passed. I kept looking at my cell whenever it beeped or rang. I thought it was him. I didn't answer anyone else, or reply to anyone else. I just didn't know what to say. When I did reply to smses after a few days, I'd just say "I'm fine. Everything's fine."
At home it was terrible. It was a replay of dad's time. Mom would keep crying. I would be as normal as possible. But whenever I'd go to take a shower I'd just sit helplessly on the floor, hoping my cries would die down under the shower. Every night, I'd cry myself to sleep. I'd wake up in a couple of hours desperately checking my cell to see if there's anything from him. His number is still saved as Mangetar. But there would be nothing. I didn't believe he was never coming back. Because taking away all the externally induced misunderstandings we were perfect.
Everything I'd see made me cry. Because I had inculcated him into every minute detail of my life. People started coming over, to "try and make me feel better." They'd attempt to humiliate him, try and speak about how bad he was. But that'd infuriate me. How dare anyone say a word against my SO. Denial was at its peak. People told me things about him that he was so bad etc etc etc. I didn't believe a word. I knew that he was good. He was a good human being, who just made a mistake. And more so, I knew he would come back.
A few weeks later, anger started to develop. I was desperate to call him and just tell him how he had ruined my life. This anger stemmed from how his leaving me had affected my life in such unimaginably drastic ways. I was someone who gave the impression of being strong, career oriented, independent, and being an individual. Not a clone like most girls these days. And here, he took away all that, made me into a girl, whose dependent, shy, romantic. Back at work I was mocked because everyone was saying "told you so. Told you not to leave your job for a man." I couldn't belive their ideas had been proven, because I knew in my heart they were wrong. Giving up yourselfp for your man is just love. Pure unconditional love. He stripped me of my cover, exposed me to the world, and when I thought he'd be my protection, he left me in front of the world as a laughing stock all alone.
I tired to move on. I promise I did. And as days went by, the anger subsided, but confusion came in. I needed that closure. I needed to know why he had done this. Where did I go wrong? Mujh mein kya kami thi? Cause I swear if I knew, I'd overcome anything to become what he wanted.
And one day I did. I called him. We spoke. And when I put down the phone, I just went back to square one. I knew I hadn't chosen the wrong guy. I knew my wait was worth it. He is a gentleman. And what he made was an honest mistake. Just an honest mistake. Unless of course he was doing a drama, which I know he wasn't.
And here I wait helplessly, yet again. And this time its worse. Because I cant rationalize it any other way. I cant use any defense mechanisms. I can't tell myself, he was a heatless jerk! Or he wasn't worth it. Because EVERYONE…hear me out loud, he was the man of my dreams!
And here I am. Again going through the pitiful process of rishtas. But there's a mental block. I can not accept anyone else. When people come I just look at them like normal aunties and uncles and their sons and daughters. Because in my heart I feel, hey I'm already engaged. I have my wonderful guy, and his wonderful family.
Again my problem is, I can't compromise. But the bigger problem is I won't be allowed to do this anymore. According to my society, I'm stained. I have to compromise. Staying single is not an option they say.
And I don't mind being single or alone or living with myself. Men weren't worth it, in my opinion, before he came along. But that short-lived, because how can he expect me to trust anyone ever again. This will break me. I don't think anyone deserves that. And this, this is the big one. Do you know what kind of miracle it is? I am an optimist. I still believe in true love and soulmates. I'm waiting for you. And if you don't come back from this, you will change who I am.
So here I am. A girl. Sitting in complete helplessness. Because this is all that I could do. Tell him we were perfect. I already broke so many norms telling him that. If I get caught it'll make my life a living hell. Some people (& I hope my SO didn't think the same way, cause I feel he's more intelligent than that) that I'm falling all over him. But who cares right? If there's that 0.00000000001% chance of having him back, I'm taking it.
So I wait. So I wait for him to take that step back towards me. Because in my world, mistakes can be undone. And if he takes that step, I swear I would fight for him. I would fight for us.
Or then, he'll just have held my hand and given me away to another man, who I know I'd despise. Who I know with whom each day of my life I'd think of my SO and cry and wonder, why? Just because of stupid wrong norms? Just because of ego? Just because of the road back being too rocky?
Here I wait. Wait for him. Again I repeat.
"I'm just a girl asking a guy to love her."..'
Nov 6, 2008
Love, she wrote.
This comes from a friend's blog. She wrote this one fine day purging away everything that had been going on inside her since the past few weeks. I took a special permission from her to put it on my blog (so you people better read the whole thing!) so that more people could hear her voice. Even though it comes from an unspoken corner.