Far Beyond Pain

“You are nothing without me and my money, why do you think you haven’t died from hunger and cold yet? You are nothing without the MAN of this house”.

He uttered these infamous loud words that marked thatformidable evening as he almost drove his wife and two children violently into a wall as if to seal his venomous words with one excruciating explanation mark. As she shut the car door with force powerful enough to break it and shatter the car windows.

The neighborhood soon heard their commotion which was exacerbated by the ever flowing river of names that he overtly and lovingly uses to describe his precious wife.

…Ladies and gentlemen, let me hear your applause for the typical eastern man -or at least that is what society uses to justify his passive and cold condescending refreshingly sexist  behaviour.

Lets talk about the kids shall we? Yes, the kids that they claim they live and stay together for… are the ones they’re sabotaging most and  distorting their faith in marriage for the rest of their lives”. Jane sat there,terrified and glued to her backseat with her thoughts louder than a walking parade attempting to hide her face in the darkness of the car fearing that her mere sight will give her parents more reasons to yell at each other. She didn’t know who to defend, if she stands by her mom she’ll anger her father and the opposite is true. She’s gotten used to this tricky situation and didn’t understand why she had to choose; In fact, she was angered by them equally. She knew that ominous evening will always haunt her and echo loudly in her subconscious mind and will contribute to her yet to be discovered psychological/internal conflicts and might even fracture all that she’s worked so hard to mend and put back together. 

The truth is that It wasn’t a matter of one really bad evening; it was her childhood or to be precise, life as she knows it devoid of love and color…

Ironically, mothers’ day is just around the corner.”It’s okay, it could be worse, some people don’t have mothers on Mothers Day” she said in attempt to console her self, but soon enough that consolation turned into bitterness as her aggregation grew stronger by moment when the mere sight of mothers’ day posters started to annoy her a bit more than they should, when the sight of little girls with their moms ripped her core a bit more than usual. She knew  very well that she’s been deprived of that too soon, she knew she grew up and matured sooner than other girls when she lost her mom; or in more accurate terms, when her mom decided to drop that high maintenance label and instead go for the easier option: make her kids’ lives a perpetual  inescapable nightmare.

As she looked at those posters that are supposed to instill a feeling of warmth in people’s hearts, she saw her 8 years old self sobbing on the floor and unable to comprehend the violence that could burst out of her mom that she used to singlehandedly destroy Jane’s most precious gift -at the time- which was a giant doll house. When the ages of 12 and 14 were marked by her face sweeping the house’s floor and by the bitter enraging memory of constantly being yanked by the hair and pugnaciously shoved down on the floor. When at 17 she fell truly or foolishly in love for the first time expecting support and protection but found constant blackmail and threat from her mom.

How can she ever look at these posters without associating them with excruciating pain and utter hatred. Was she any privilege on those who had no mother? Was she any privilege on those whose parents are divorced?

If you’re a parent and you’re reading this, please take it easy on your daughters and sons. Don’t deprive them of the love that you’ve been brutally and unfairly deprived of as a child. Don’t beat them up, don’t transfer your own fears and doubts to them, don’t define them by your past. Do not restrict them.

Instead, give them the life you’ve always wanted to have and don’t break their hearts at home and then compel them to seek it outside of themselves.

…رأفا بمن تحبون

_Sarah Awji

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