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.

I didn’t tell you….

There has been something I have kept from you… I actually intended to have my Nikah while my mum was away (on her holiday).  Before you berate me and gasp in horror and leave me a million comments about how doing this would make me a terrible, terrible Muslim daughter let me tell you that all that I have had to endure with my mum’s blatant disrespect at me, fiancé and our decision to get married has been more shocking than sad. In some respects I think I would prefer her to be angry or upset rather than her blatant obvious intentions to have us break up or her constant attempts to disregard the fact that I am CLEARLY with someone and have other single men and their families come and ask for my hand with them being told by my mum that I am not with anyone.

 

Her behaviour is not Mr A related – it is a trait that I have had to endure for the last few years that have gotten progressive worse to the point of me being hollowed and disheartened by her. Where she has smiled and nodded at everything I wanted to do and then made me do things her way… always. I would (and continue to do so) patiently endure whatever needs to be done to be sure that she had what she needed whilst having to listen to her little comments that she doesn’t realise hurts me:

 

About the girl who wears hijab but is never seen with her mother because she is embarrassed to go out to her mother’s gatherings – “look at Aisha; why can’t you wear hijab like her”

 

About the girl next door who is married and has 2 children to a man her mother picked out for her from Turkey but suffers from spousal abuse and doesn’t pray – “Why can’t you be like Suraya? Marry who I want you to marry?”

 

About a friends daughter who she shared a room with on Haj – “look at how nice and obedient she was with me” who I later heard was counting the days until mum was returned into my hands!

 

To the boy who took his father to Sydney for a week and paid him to stay at a posh hotel – “… masha Allah Jamal paid for everything for Uncle for that week… you don’t take me for holiday or stay in hotel like that” yep – I just pay more than half the bills and the day to day costs – but that’s nothing isn’t it?

 

To the other boy who bought his mum and dad a TV – “Subahan-Allah, to have such a child how would buy such a big TV just for his parents” and then the constant barrage of “this person has a new big TV” and “did you see ‘such & such’s’ TV? I didn’t need to have my glasses on to read the subtitles!” So that weeks later I gave in and bought a bigger and better plasma TV for my mum to watch with her response only being “I never asked you to buy me such a big TV”

 

To the family that have a satellite in their backyard I am beginning to hear her say “ooohh – you know, uncle *** has a satellite and has all the Arab and Indonesian channels – I don’t need one of those…” which is code for “why don’t you get me one of those so I can watch it too?”

 

To the statements like;

“We need a new rice cooker… when are you going to get one for us?” (FYI I rarely eat rice!)

“I would love to buy a Dust buster vacuum – you should get me one”

“Our tap keeps dripping – I will find a plumber; you just give me the money for it.”

 

To the many little comments that strike like darts that I cannot even write because I would prefer to not say them…

So I have totally lost track to what I wanted to say – sorry… needless to say I didn’t have the nikah whilst mum was away – she returns on Sunday night. I don’t know how I feel about that… or rather I do, but dislike and am disappointed in myself that I feel this way.

 

I fear that whilst she is away she sounds happy and receptive to what I am saying that when she comes back (here) things will continue on the saddened path they were on before her departure….

 

So here I am – a woman who loves her mother and aims to ensure that she has everything she needs to be comfortable but a woman who is itching to get away from all of this emptiness…

The Mum status

I am officially totally emotionally exhausted by this whole situation. It is beyond sad that I am finding ‘dealing’ with being engaged as something that needs to be ‘dealt’ with!

 

I told mum about the engagement on Sunday and thought that mum’s indifference was a pretty good reaction (well, comparative to anger, crying and profuse amounts of guilt and melodrama indifference is pretty good isn’t it?) – but now its been a few days I sort of get the feeling that she’s taken a reaction of “this is just a phase she’s going through” thinking that if she leaves it long enough that this will just disappear and she’ll get her way again. Well, I attempted to give her the benefit of the doubt and work on the premise that she needs some time to get used to it all and that eventually all will be well – we (Mr A and I) had planned to invite mum out to brunch on Sunday for dim sum so she could see our dynamic and get to know him a little better.

 

As I said; I think mum is just placating me with silence and I am really getting so much more than frustrated with her guilt, tears and comments about me being happy and not doing exactly what she wants equates to (me) being selfish. So last night before I got home from work I called my uncle (mum’s brother) and told him the exciting news about my engagement. I told him mum’s reaction (or lack thereof) and that everything will (eventually) be okay (insha-Allah). He was really good about things and just told me to be careful and that he hoped it would all be okay and that things would be easy for all of us then sent his salaam to Mr A and mum.

 

So I got home and told mum that my uncle sends his salaam to which she asks why I called him. I told her that it was to tell him the good news:

Mum: what good news?

Me: umm – about the engagement… how happy I am… and that I’ve told you

Mum: you don’t care – why you need to tell him something not important?

Me: I think that his niece that he’s actually close to, getting engaged is pretty important. I respect him enough to think that he deserves to know.

Mum: no – you just want to kill our family. You not happy unless you give me, my brother and sister a heart attack. You’re going to kill him

Me: this isn’t going to kill him – he knew about me and Mr A and was far more accepting than you’re being.

Mum: so – (*in sarcastic tone*) I’m sure you already ring everyone – all your other cousins, your aunts, Fifi.

Me: no, not yet… (*because in all honesty all it would take is a change in relationship status on fb to get the news to pass through the cousins like wildfire!)

Mum: when you become so selfish? You must do like I said – remember I am the mother. You are the daughter.

 

*mum then moves onto another subject*

 

Mum: is this why you not let our family come to visit? Because of this?

Me: no – you didn’t want him to come to Perth without his mother – I had nothing to do with this. I just passed on the message YOU told me to send! If I didn’t want them to come here why would I have organised their visas? I did all the work to sponsor them… how is this my fault?? *at this point I am pretty angry that she has managed to twist things and make it my fault!*

Mum: I only say what I said because I want to defend you – make excuse

Me: I don’t wanna hear it mum – whatever you say, I’m really tired of all this – everything is my fault.

 

At this point I realised that this was pretty much going around in circles so I just went into my room to which she says that she doesn’t want to talk to me for awhile. I must admit that in NO way is this a punishment! Rather, her not talking to me is the greatest reward ever at this point! An hour later she barges walks into my room (I don’t have a lock on my door and my mum does not believe in knocking) and asks why I don’t want to sit with her and talk to her! SOOOOOOOO infuriating! To say the bloody least!

 

I am actually SO hurt by all of this. It’s as though she thinks that if she leaves it that it will all fall apart anyway and that this is somehow all one big joke to her. I think its because in the past I have always given in to her and what she wants, I have my ‘moment’ getting annoyed with the situation but that somehow she always gets exactly what she wants and I just suck it up. So maybe it’s partly my fault that I’ve conditioned her into being this dictatorial parent? But its just always been easier to ‘keep the peace’, to just suck it up and look at the picture (which is; ‘one day I’ll be married and not have to deal with this issue full-time’). I always just taken what she’s dished out, and then pretended everything was okay when really the things she says get to me – maim me and make me feel like the worst daughter in the world. Why does she need to say that in reality no-one will ever love me except her – that any man who says they love you is lying and will always leave you. I dislike how she makes me distrust those around me – like I am unlovable. Is it any wonder I’m so f%&*ed in the head – with all I had to go through with my dad and this! I dislike how she makes me feel like I’m never good enough – always ‘too westernised’ or behave ‘too educated’ etc, etc.

 

So rather than lament abut what else she’s said (because there’s been heaps and I really don’t want to get into it all) I felt that it was about time to explain to her that this isn’t going to just ‘blow over’, that I’m not going to change my mind about this because its what she expects.

 

I wrote her a letter – I know it’s terribly lame, and before you roll your eyes at me please understand that there is no way I can get her to listen to what I have to say otherwise. That she will always manage to tear up so that I tell her to not worry about it and then swallow some more bitterness and walk along my merry way pretending that I’m okay. I’m not going to get into it all because I don’t think I need to but I need to get away for a little bit – to sort myself out and not be so exhausted by all of this. I need for her to realise that this is happening and that it’s not a bad thing – that if she stopped to think about it for two seconds she’d see that she could potentially be part of a large and happy family (something we don’t have here as our family is all overseas).

Why can’t she realise that the person who claims to love me the most is the person who has disappointed me most?

 

Because some men are gluttons for punishment too

I am amazed how some people make the same mistakes over and over (and over and over again)! We’ve mentioned Carly now lets flip it to the boys – I must address Mr A’s friend who he has managed to build some distance (read: breathing space) from because of said constant behaviour!

 

Mr A’s friend:

Max is a strange, strange fellow. I cannot remember if I have mentioned him before – but once upon a time he was in a lovely loving relationship with a Chilean woman (Max’s background: he’s Australian, but his parents are Brazilian). They’d been together for a lil while and then moved in together… her parents had lived here in Australis some time ago but had then moved back to Chile; anyway something or another happened and they (her parents) decided to move back to Australia. She lamented that they didn’t have house to stay in – he (being an idiot, naïve sweet and innocent soul) said “oh – I have an investment property that actually doesn’t have any tenants in it – they can live in that?”

 

So in they moved into his house… he (being an idiotic, naïve sweet and innocent soul) paid their bills (because as she said “oohh, they don’t work and the pension really doesn’t cover much… boo-hoo). Max and this chicky got engaged… she started sleeping around. After her parents had been around about a year-ish she tells young Maximus that she needs space. That she can’t be with him anymore and that he is smothering her (did I mention that Max works on the mines and is on a four weeks on, 1 week off rotation?) so she left and moved into her parents house (is anyone else sensing the oddity of this??? I mean her parent’s house is max’s house!!). This gal then discovers she is ‘with child’ oopsie!

 

Max finds out from friends that his ex-fiancé was a little slutty whore and was scoffing down quite a few enchiladas (if you know what I mean *wink, wink*) – some of the owners of said ‘enchiladas’ gloated advised that she really enjoyed ‘eating’ numerous enchiladas…  said girl then goes to Max and tells him that he is gonna be a daddy – Max states that perhaps this taco isn’t his; she cries and says that it is definitely his – that she would not lie to him (????)… what does max do? He (being an idiotic, naïve sweet and innocent soul) believes her – I mean, its not like she’s ever lied to him at all right?

 

She proceeds to rob him of said property that her parents live in (“you can’t throw our child’s grandparents on the street can you?”), getting a lawyer and then going to court to get that house signed over into her parents name – did i mention that max paid the legal fees?? Before you think “its ok – Max has another property, he’ll be fine” think again folks, said property that she and max lived in gets split in half (obviously not literally) and she ends up with half that house and the assets in them – oh and he’s paying child support for a kid that may or may not be his! Gotta admit – how awesome is that lawyer at his job???

 

 

The result is that Max has become a needy man – a man who laments at every opportunity about how woman have screwed him over, broken his heart – when all he has ever, ever wanted is a woman he can love with ‘all that he is’ (his words)!  He has become a man who cries at parties and will make you feel uncomfortable with his sadness…  but he will not learn from his mistakes… he insists on doing the same thing over and over again (the girlfriend before the ex-fiancé got her hands on a hot brand new V8!)… Need proof? Yes – there’s more!

It all comes crashing down

It all came crashing down last night. Not necessarily literally as soon as I got home. Mum must have been saving it until I got home so I could see the full unadulterated tears and anger combined. I haven’t seen mum this way and I must say I stood there totally shocked, dumbfounded, disappointed – numbed to the core by her brute force and insistence. It’s all too hard… too, too hard… I hate all of this – all of it. I don’t know where to go from here…. Or rather I do know and I hate the thought of all of it.

 

I went out to dinner last night – the food was soooo good; but to me it lacked something, not because Mr A’s mum cooking actually lacked ‘something’; I think it was because I wasn’t really there… you know? I wish I could just get away… just walk out and leave…

 

I don’t know how much of what she (my mum) said and did I want to document. Needless to say all that shit about it being my room and apparently my house is the biggest load of bullshit I have ever heard… its all mine as so long as I do EXACTLY as she wants. That someone all this ‘behaviour’ is because someone is apparently trying to (as she puts it) “ruin my relationship with my mother” – screw that… she did the best job of that years ago….

 

I will say something though – I got home and wondered why I came home… I was tempted to just go to Susi’s and stay there the night because I just couldn’t really bear the thought of more confrontation. But I then I thought of the added crap mum would throw at me (I’m not allowed to sleep over a person’s house – apparently it means that I don’t care that my mum will be alone) and going to work the next day in old faded jeans, a black shirt and pink thongs… hence I went home. I sat in my room after my prayers and looked around and it all looked like the biggest façade ever – all this happy “stuff” on my walls – the pictures with my friends, the patchwork piece with pinks, purples and turquoise through it that’s actually across one wall. The flag of home on it… even the 3 teddy bears (hey, I am girl and I like teddy bears – I don’t have a massive collection… I used to; mum insisted I cull them down). All of it IS A LIE! So I got off my bed and took down all the photos, all the pictures, the calligraphy of my name and what it means, the patchwork piece, the flag… leaving it all bear. In the next few days I am hoping to get the chance to take away the bears, pack the sound system, clear off the entire dresser so it just looks… bare.

 

I don’t feel like I live there anymore.