Fourth time lucky?

So apparently fourth times the charm… After numerous attempts for my mum trying desperately to come home earlier she is finally here…

It has seriously been madness the issues that she’s gone through because whole she was away she did not realize that her passport was expiring! So that when she did finally book her return date (originally meant to be early December) she was told that she would need a new passport and would need to organize it before leaving!

Then there were issues with the fact that she was using a different surname on some of her ID – then she arranged to come back not realizing that all the information had not yet been processed! So forgive me if after three different times I plan to go to the airport (at which with every attempt I am literally bursting at the seams with stress & anxiety) & then literally get a call 2 hours before leaving the house then (the other time) half an hour before leaving the house; if I think that this time I cannot take another day off work I mean seriously – how many times can I use the excuse “I need the day off because I need to pick my mum up from the airport?” before they just look at me & roll their eyes then tell me where to go? maybe this time I’ll let her catch a cab home & just visit her there? In all honesty I did think of telling her that hubby had the day off if she kicked up a stink, but she surprisingly was pretty good about catching a taxi!

Anyway – here I am at her place with the thousands of butterflies in my tummy to keep me company & the knowledge that my mum will criticize what I’m wearing, if I’ve lost or gained weight, if I’m too tanned/too pale & the fact I have nail polish on my toes and she’s not here… Her stuff is here so I know she’s actually come back & the car is still in the garage… And yet she’s out… So I thought I’d chill here for a bit and see what happens in an hour… Push comes to shove I’ll take myself to dinner!

I do hope you’re all well… More info regarding the chronicles of (my) mum to come….

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Not quite feeling myself this week…

I haven’t written in awhile – it’s not really that there’s not much been much happening but rather that the stuff that has been happening I think you would all find boring; its all wedding party stuff really:

Trying to source a wedding cake: My hot tip is to not do too many bookings on the one day – eating cake samples every 2nd hour does not clense the palate and DOES interfere with the weight that one is desperately trying to lose!

Dress fittings: I had my calico one today and am amazed at how cold it was standing in a room in all but a calico dress. I think I handled the whole pinning situation rather well and must give props to the designers assistant who did not prick me once!

Bridesmaid issues – actually there certainly IS a story there… forget being a bridezilla – I have a covert bridesmaid-zilla… and I personally do NOT think she is very covert about her ‘diva-ness’!

But all the above is sort of the least of my worries as I battle to understnad why I have been feeling rather ‘funny’ and ‘weird’ lately – I have no idea how to actually define or describe how I’m feeling but its a little “off” to how I am normally feeling – Mr A has noticed and keeps asking me “what’s wrong?” and “have I done something to upset you?” and more often “what can I do to make my princess smile?” Bless him greatly for trying – i appreciate it beyond comprehension! I’ll be ok for a little while and then I am back to this ‘funk’!

Then there’s me thinking about having to get mum’s tickets organised; oh yes did I forget to mention? Mum apparently wants to head off to Indonesia and possibly UAE for Eid this year and is hoping to head off on the 3rd of September. She very diplomatically (not) asked about how once she’d found the best price and got the dates sorted how “we” were going to pay for it – which was clearly mum’s way of saying “how and are YOU going to pay for this?”. I told her how her last years trip cost me a bit as she had wanted an open ticket that would be valid for a year and did not want to travel something like Virgin/Air Asia/Tiger (read: budget airline) that this meant the tickets were a little bit of a pretty penny (which really makes me wonder why when she paid for her own tickets JetStar was more than sufficient but since I had to pay somehow JetStar was now far too inferior!). Anyway, i said that based on last years costs i was happy to pay half that amount… Well, she’s done her research and organised her ticket to be a one year open ticket (like last time) where she still has to put in some rnadom return date (she has selected 03/03/2011) and she leaves on the afternoon of September third – oh and apparently the travel agent has emailed me the details and I am paying for her ticket – ALL of it.

Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t really a blog post about me lamenting that I am having to pay for the ticket. I worked out a long time ago that I am definately great at driving her places, paying bills, fixing ‘stuff’ and organising appointments. What upsets me is that i am having to “suck up” that this beyond a one way street – that i am not a complete moron to have not noticed that she is conviently away just prior my wedding party and a whole shitload of time after. I am come to realise that i have no idea about anything when it comes to my mother –  that even as i am typing this i am ranting! In some ways I more than expect it (this ‘situation’) and am happy to claim it as my duty as a Muslim daughter – i mean some people would claim that as a Muslim child my job is to “shut up and put up” and to remember that as she is the mother her word is gold – her requests should be met with nothing more than ‘yes mother’ – but i ask these people: where and when is the line drawn? I am NOT talking about retribution or being vengeful or rude, but rather at what point do i continue to take the ALL of THIS???????  Would a simple ‘thank you’ would go astray. Plus, whilst I am pre-programmed that this is how it has to be I don’t understand how my mum must think that it is more than ok to say what she wants, expect the earth and still its never enough  

Before you quip that that perhaps i should remind her that this means (her departure + return dates) she will not be here for my wedding party – believe me I know and i did remind her! I spoke to her about it the other morning; the conversation entailed her asking me if I had already paid for her ticket (*sigh*) – I told her that I was paying for it on Thursday (today). And her asking if I would come to Indonesia with her? I told that I was very sorry but that I wouldn’t be able to come with her – she then went on about how the family would LOVE to see me as they did not see me on the last trip she went on. I went on to telling her that I was not able to come as surely she must remember that i mentioned my wedding party was on the 30th of October – her answer was so eloquently put mashallah:

“I don’t care about your wedding – I want you to come with me…”

I must say that although I knew that she probably would not be at the party and that I more than realise her stance and her denial on the subject matter that is Mr A and I, that hearing this statement has hurt more than all the denial and other stuff she’s said in passing. I can’t quite put my finger on why though – perhaps its because that while she was putting her head in the sand i could rationalise to myself that she doesn’t really comrehend what i am doing – that she is just lost by this whole situation. But the fact that she is able to very clearly articulate that she DOESN’T care is such a slap in the face that as a daughter my role is to care and provide but that i should not expect the same in return. Perhaps this really hurts because its just one more hurtful thing that she’s said that i have to sit there and take. 

After that little comment she proceeded to make other little jibes comments that again, i sit there and listen to whick led me to sit there and pray for more patience – it is beyond words to just sit there and hear that sort of statement and never be able to say anything back – because as a daughter my role is to be patient; to listen; to not utter a bad word that would upset her (God only knows I upset her enough), to remember that she raised me and that in her way she is trying to do what’s best for me, that I am to respectfully sit there… and take the verbal slings and arrows with silent prayers and deep breaths I silently sat there listening to her say:

“No one loves you like me – I am your mother and I am the only person in this world who really loves you. everyone else is just lying – its ALL camouflage; one day you see – there is only me; everyone else is just pretending… ”

I tried to stop listening at that point – I am sure you catch my drift. We said our goodbyes and I got off the phone not long after that. I sat there next to Mr A (he was driving us to work) thanking Allah that I somehow ended up a rather well adjusted human being and that it truly is by the grace of God that, when I think about all the f#$ked up crap I had to endure with my dad and then with they way my mum behaves and says in the last ten-ish years that I did not end up a mentally screwed individual!

A few minutes after I get off the phone Mr A then turns to me and asks; “everything ok?”

My answer?  “Fine sweetie – i love you…”

He knows me so well and touches my knee, smiling he tells me he loves me too – SOOOOO much (he says).

 I mean really – what is there to say?

While i was away…

My mum came into my office to see me on Friday 30/04/2010 (I left Friday afternoon but had taken the Thursday off to pack and make sure that all things like holiday insurance, etc were sorted!). I spoke to her on the Saturday to tell her that I was away – to NO avail! Upon trying to tell her she cut me off telling me that she did not want to hear anything that would make her have a car accident (as she was in the car). so I didn’t tell her…

The first week went by and I called her on the Wednesday as apparently she had come into my office on the Tuesday to give me my early birthday present. I told that although I was thankful that she had gotten me something, that all I had wanted (as I had previously told her) was for her to finally accept my decision and accept Mr A. She responded with her usual reference to satan (aka Mr A) and not accepting him. I got off the phone to her and told Mr A that I had still not told her –  he called me chicken poo and told me that I needed to call her back and just tell her…

I called a few days later – mother’s day evening (from outside Discovery Mall, Bali) and listened to her tell me about her problems, what she needed and what I must do for her when I come over, about her doctor’s appointment in July, about how no one had come to visit her on mother’s day, etc – I cut her off and told her that I could not talk to her for very long as the call would cost a small fortune from Bali and that I WAS calling to wish her a happy mother’s day.

I then had to hear her go on about how she thought I was going to Jakarta – I told that I had said to her that Mr A and I were intending to go to Indonesia, I never stated which part! She then went on (and on) about how Bali is predominantly not Muslim and why would I go to where there are no Muslims? I told her that there were Muslims everywhere; that a lot of Muslims come to Bali – that in fact she used to live there! She commented that thi was before she went for haj and that I should know better – that who knows what food I was eating. I said to her that I think she forgets that I speak nearly fluent Indonesian and that I know exactly what meat we are eating! I told her AGAIN that I had previously already told her to stop coming into my office as it undermines my professionalism and makes me looks bad. I got off the phone feeling terrible, frustrated and annoyed and wanting to take photos of the many Hijabi’s and Arabs I saw and send copies of them all to my mum.

I heard nothing from her on my second week.

I didn’t call her at all…

I returned (to Aussie-land) on Friday afternoon and did not tell her.

I spent all weekend doing my own thing and was blissfully happy at the fact that I did not have one single missed call from her (I normally have her call me often) – that when my phone did ring I wasn’t all anxious or distraught about the imminent guilt trip my mm would dish out to me.

I returned to work on Monday and discover that my mum (after talking to me and finding out that I was in Bali) had come into my office 2 more times; one of which was on Thursday to find out when I was coming back – the guy on reception did not know and told her that he was not sure when I was returning.

The irony is that on Sunday Mr A and I sat on the sofa watching a DVD with him telling me that maybe I should visit my mum – tell her that I’ve come back and that I’m ok. The shocking thing is that even after being away from her and not going to see her since January (aside from the times she has seen in my office) I don’t want to see her. I am not angry with her, not at all. I am just tired of it all… SO beyond tired of the repetitive crap that she keeps giving me; the same comments, the same tears and the same emotional intensity that makes me want to move across the country/change jobs/change my number, etc.

But even in saying/writing the above paragraph there is another part of me that wonders why I haven’t heard from her in about a week. A part of me that says a prayer for her hoping that she is ok and hoping that Allah opens her heart to accepting me as I am and the decisions that I have made. And then there is this part of me that wants to call her – not to have a conversation with her as I know that that is unlikely but rather just to hear her voice (sans lamentations) just to know that she’s ok.

But THEN I am overcome with curiosity and against my better judgement I read the birthday card she gave me. Why do I bother? Sentences not particularly worth mentioning include:

“So sad that someone forgot my birthday last time or not ring me – maybe not allowed to send me anything – I know Satan is very strong in your place”

Numerous references to about me and “latnatallah” (it’s a muslim thing that I cannot really explain)

“what you are doing is a big sin and Allah will teach you a lesson”

Comments about how she will be patient and wait for me to come home as God loves those that are patient

That she is my real mother and cannot believe that I am doing this and why won’t I just come home?

Mum had also included some story about how some friend of mine (when I was 14; she was 17 and had a car) took me out and we went to Fremantle and to the beach and that when we came back home late she was really angry/upset and told me that I was not allowed to talk to her anymore and how now look at her life? How she is still single (as far as mum knows) and that she cannot be happy as she lives away from parents etc.

Really – why do I bother? What else can I do to make this stop? I am really beginning to get tired of this; I am beyond frustrated of all of this… I don’t know what else to do – worst yet is that I am baffled by how she seems to still have this way of getting to me? of making me question what I am doing… and with each word that I read and morosely re-read I feel numb, more empty and more resolute at my not wanting to see her. I just want to keep walking; I want to move – I want her to move.

I tried… whilst I was away I told her that we were thinking of coming back to Indonesia in January; that she could go to Jakarta if she liked… she said that she wanted to go to Jakarta in January as long as I went with her… I told her that if she went then that we would visit her – she said she didn’t care about anyone else and that she just wanted to go with me.

Personal space & me

I grew up with my  mum pretty much always in my face – I wasn’t allowed to have the bathroom door shut, my bedroom door shut and I still have to answer when my mum calls and I am in the toilet. I can honestly say that personally I have NO personal space! That being said, I understand that most other people out there DO have some semblance of personal space – I am NOT one of ‘those’ people that completely disregard another person’s need to have some level of distance between myself and them.

When I was working in retail I remember having to deal with the ‘close talker’ – you know, the person who seems to get closer and closer with every word they say to a point that we are but inches from each other and I can almost SEE what they’ve had for lunch? As much as I stood there astounded at this person I am pretty much not fazed – whatever; don’t care! Because in reality lets face it, its not like their they are standing there having a conversation with me whilst I am in the shower completely wet and naked (*ahem* my mother!).

So, I don’t mind the hugs, the ‘sitting so close to me you may as well be on me’ situations when all us girls are trying to fit on a sofa and I have seriously not met more than half of them. When it comes to shopping having little personal space is actually beneficial – I am unfazed by the pokes, prods and shuffling to get an item at 70% off – I am undeterred in having to get changed in one room with a handful of other girls when buying Sass & Bide jeans at their sample sales – heck; we all got the same stuff! I am more than ok with it – maybe it’s a Arabic in me; where we grow up with our families knowing pretty much every aspect of our lives – and making up the rest! Or maybe its because of the way mum brought me up where pretty much I had to instil my own boundaries (read: privacy) that involved many a war and FINALLY being able to have my door closed at night at the tender age of 26 (with many a promise that I was NOT doing anything haraam behind closed doors!). Or maybe it’s because I am approachable (this is what I am told) so people need to “approach” – actually there’s a thought; if I had more personal space would I be less approachable? Have I become approachable because I have little personal space?

But there are some things I don’t get; I went out last night with Mr A and a few of his friends with their ‘significant others’ – I know most of them so its pretty much ‘whatever’ – but one of the girls there was pretty new to the group; in fact this was the first time I was meeting her; so after the preliminary questions (like, what do you do, where do you work and how was your day) she mentions that she missed her long hair as she had (days ago) cut it (think the Posh Spice bob) – I actually rather liked her hair and told her so… and then she comments on how much she looovvveeess my hair – and proceeds to run her fingers through my curls!!

Really? Really? I have JUST met you… and though I must admit that by the end of the evening I thought her a lovely gal I was still a little “um – excuse me, do you mind?” about the hair thing… now I gotta admit that although I will lament that my curly hair is annoying to look after in that it does have a mind of its own we (my hair and I) have come to a mutual respect for each other; I will treat it with love and affectionately purchase sweet smelling and curl friendly products (that are NOT friendly with my bank balance) and in turn my hair will repay me with pretty long ringlet curls of lovely definition… *sigh*

I am not fazed to share the products I use in my hair – in fact I have actually had other curly haired girls ask me what i use – I am more than happy to share… and if I have known you for more than half an hour I am more than happy to have you stroke and caress my hair – but seriously, give me 5 minutes at least!

Mr A meets a cousin!

Last night I spoke to Zaen – he’s one of my first cousins. We generally chat rather often but I say that in the last few months or so we haven’t chatted at all. Maybe its because we’re both busy with work or maybe its because he’s got 5 kids all under the age of 12 (where 3 are under the age of 6 – yikes), or maybe it’s all the mayhem with mum, etc – whatever; essentially we’d sorta lost touch.

Anyway the other day I thought about him and I was thinking that he’d such a snob for not calling me and really was a little overdue – so I gave him a call, left a message and called him an arrogant so and so for not calling his little cous(in).

It was a really good chat – I know mum had told me that he’d been in regular contact with her whilst she was over there (he lives in Doha; Qatar) but Zaen told me that it’s been roughly ever couple 4ish days. So imagine his surprise when he asks what I’ve been up to and I’m like “oh, well; I am in the midst of planning a wedding reception – you should come over to Australia in about October as that’s when we’re hoping to have it!”
The poor guy was shocked – he was like “how come I haven’t heard ANY of this – what is going on? Did you do all this while your mum was away?”

And so it began; I sat down and told him that naturally mum knows, that I moved out to Susi’s and then… well obviously everything. How Mr A’s parents are lovely. About him fasting with me this year – about why I suggested mum go on holiday if she didn’t want to mosque ALL together for eid. He silently listened and then said that he couldn’t believe my mum has said nothing to him about ANY of this. I told him that I seriously wasn’t surprised as I actually wasn’t allowed to mention it to anyone and not even suppose to talk to her about it as apparently I am then ‘killing her’.
He didn’t know what to say – Mr A then walked up to me and was like; “oohhh – who are you on the phone to?” when I said that it was Zaen he asked if Zaen wanted to talk to him – and so they spoke!!!

Granted it wasn’t a long conversation – just the basic salam and good to finally meet you. I am sorry that she (my mum) isn’t happy about us; but inshallah soon she will understand. Standard; please come to visit us in autralia; Mr A saying that we are building so inshallah he will be here either for our (civil) wedding and reception but if not then to come visit when we have our house; the good salam and then I got the phone returned to me!

Haha – the call ended with Zaen telling me that he is going to call me again soon – as clearly he misses TOO many events when he leaves it too long!

*sigh* One small step for man…

Aren’t i chipper today?

Sorry to keep focusing on my mum of late but the last 24 hours have been more of the same (comparitive to my most recent blog post!).

Yesterday morning when i got out of the shower i see i had a missed call from her – i try to call her back; no answer

I then try again when i am off to meet a friend of mine for cofee (and cake – lets be honest here… cake was involved!) – still no answer. Then when i am waiting to go to the ladies i get a missed call from her… well i am NOT going to answer that – so i call her after i wash my hands and am well and truly outta there – my call gets rejected!

i tried again 3-ish minutes later – rejected! And again – rejected! well – that had me stumped and slightly annoyed frustrated. Still, not one to be discouraged i decide to send her a text (she can’t read sms’s but i know that she will find someone who will help her to  access and read it) telling her that i am trying to call her but will try again inshallah that night.

I try early on that evening to no avail – then ALL thru the night when i am MORE than tired – i am almost comatose; i get 6 missed calls from her. Now, in most cases i am a rather chipper person; i am a morning person, i am upbeat even in the face of impending doom… BUT there is a flaw… i DO NOT LIKE TO BE AWOKEN FROM SLUMBER! Thankfully i am a rather heavy sleeper BUT if you happen to wake me from my wonderful slumber and it is NOT to tell me that my house is on fire OR that we have somehe won the lotto (which i will be VERY surprised considering i don’t play it!) i will NOT be chipper! Anyway; i decided to not answer the calls – a wise move based on what fragile and impotent relationship i currently have with my mum.

And so at 8am i call her whilst Mr A takes me to work and wonder what all the fuss was about –

Aparently nothing – i will admit that i started to zone out when she was talking about some Fatimah woman (who i made sure i didn’t know) as well as the other women she talked about (again, ladies i do not know). I paid a little more attention when she started crying but soon realised that she was just being (overly) emotional – gosh i sound like a man now don’t i? But seriously – how on earth can one woman cry SO much over nothing? And then she tells me that she has the flu… apparently each time i speak to her she has some form of the flu or a cold… i am almost at the point of saying: “mum; a flu that has continued since Augest is NOT normal – go see a doctor!” But i can’t mention it – i tried once and she said that she was always sick because of me – because i don’t care and will not make her happy!

And there you have it folks – i have ranted yet again… ugh – i promise that the next post will be more uplifting… inshallah!

The end is near…

My mum’s return is imminent… seriously – where did this time go? She is scheduled to return to Aussie-land on the 27th of December… and I am left feeling bereft and torn by the mounting ocean of emotion that is threatening to engulf me!

I feel shit… there is no other word for it really; bad, terrible… these do not even begin to explain the feeling. I feel like utter crap because her return is imminent and I am wishing that she would call me to say she’s extending her stay. See? I am a bad daughter!

Its not that I don’t love her – I know that it sounds like an oxymoron; saying that I wish she’d be away longer whilst in the same breath saying that I love her but it is genuinely true. I love my mum; I know that everything she has done and will do is because in HER mind it is the best thing for me. She’s raised me to the best of her ability and I don’t think I turned out too bad and she did it all by herself. Growing up I had and continue to remember and ocean full of memories; of us chatting together, going to the movies and shopping, of mum showing me how to cook dishes and bake cakes, of teaching me to sew and taking me to swim classes, of birthday parties and matching mother-daughter outfits (I know – seriously lame!). I remember telling her about the boys I had a crush on, about going through court when my parents divorced; of watching her cry every single Eid because it was always just the 2 of us. Of her telling me that it didn’t matter that I was different from everyone else in school and that no matter what I was her little princess and that she loved me as much as any mummy and daddy could.

And yet here we are… years later… and I love her… and I want to make her happy… but I don’t really like her much. We don’t understand each other any more… we have a profound language barrier – and yet we actually speak the same language! She doesn’t want to “hear” anymore and over the years I have become tired of trying… and so our conversations are now fake; they aren’t real – they are nothing… I call her every couple of days and in reality it’s as though I am dropping dollars into the ocean.

Where did it go? Where did my mum disappear to?

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