Tuesday, June 7, 2011

MAKING HIJRAH 33 "Heigh-Ho, Trigger!"

Asalamu Alaykom,

When we risk everything in our lives for something better, it hurts more when it falls from our heightened expectations.  I had married.  I had a new home.  I had a new life. 

Yet, I had the ghosts of my former life all around me.

God had made it easier on me in one regard; some of my ghosts had been released into the netherworld.  Right before marriage, I had contracted a virus on my computer.  I did my best to rid myself of it and couldn't.  It attacked my system something fierce.  Taking it to the recommended fix-it shop got rid of the problem and all of my files.  Every single one of my files dissappeared in one click.

I stood there that night incredulously.  I no longer had any document I'd brought with me to Egypt; no pictures, videos, music, documents.  I was in shock.

Yet, the store employee had gotten rid of the computer virus, so I actually paid the man for losing my life.  In the U.S., I would have reemed him out to no end.  Here?  "Shukran.  Masalama"  Thank you and Goodbye.  There really was no use complaining anyway.  Those who think complaints in Egypt get you anywhere are mistaken.  Huge rants only end up in high blood pressure.  People just don't worry about customer service here. 

When I reached home, I immediately started piecing together my life from my gmail account.  What had I sent?  I started to see pictures from long ago, music I had sent and documents I had shared.

An amazing realization dawned on me:  I only had what I had given away.  It seemed analogous to life, love and happiness.  Yes, you only have what you share.

The Beatles were right:  "The love you have is equal to the love you give."

I entered into marriage, therefore lighter.  I no longer had so much of my past.  I actually thanked God for making my computer participate in the techno-equivalent of wudu.  My hard drive was cleansed.  I started life afresh.

Yet, as we all know, there are triggers which revert us back to a time and place which hurt.

For me, I am immensely injured still from the lies which went on in my second marriage.  I pretend that it doesn't matter but I know the truth.  I felt, at the time, that I could listen to X2 tell me any difficult information as long as I knew he was telling the truth.  I thought he could lie to everyone else in the world but someone deluded myself into thinking that he would always tell me the truth.  Except...he didn't. 

So, in this new marriage, I was very chosey.  I chose a man who feared Allah.  He did all his prayers on time.  He fasted.  He wore galabiya, for crying out loud!  I chose a very upright guy.

And he lied.

OH MY GOD!  I couldn't believe my ears.  It was maybe a month and a half into our marriage.  I cornered him on something and he couldn't just admit it.  When I talked to his sister, she defended him and told me I was wrong.  The whole family heard his side of the story and sided with him.  That night, I actually threw my purse at him and stormed out.

His lie triggered my worst fears.  This marriage would be like the last.  I picked another man I can't count on.  I am stupid with men to the point of actually being my worst enemy.  How can people be liars with someone they profess to love?  He must not love me. Why did he marry me?  I should never have married him.  I'll have to consider divorce.  How can I get another divorce?

On and on my head raced.

Looking back on it, I should have considered the Egyptian method of saving face.  People here freely tell little white lies.  For us Americans, a lie is a horrible thing.  We oust presidents because of it!  We can't handle the idea that a person is good if they fib.

It was days of not talking.  Honestly, I recommend the "Three Days of No Talking" as a solution to very large problems.  Sometimes you don't need to talk as much as you need to be silent.  I needed that quiet in our home, in our relationship and in my head.

He knew that I was on the brink of ending our marriage.  I was not fooling around.  I hadn't come to Egypt in order to marry a liar.

His sisters knew how serious I was and paid visits to our home to talk with me.

He admitted his lie to me and to his family.  It was something he said to avoid looking bad to others.  I told him that it almost broke us apart for ever.

He didn't want that.

I didn't want that.

We were still building our home together two levels above his mother's ground apartment.  The floor and tiles were done and the walls were needing paint.

We went to the paint store together.  I was apprehensive.  We weren't really getting along.  How were we going to pick out a future when our every day life was so shaky?

Somehow we made it work.  Amazingly, we could make our minds meet in the middle and come to agreements very easily.  I don't know how but we always have been able to find a common vision. 

So, we prayed together.  He led.  I followed.  We made up.  I gave up the need to have a perfect man in order to be happy in a marriage.  I had married someone imperfect...but then so had he.  We were two imperfect people who really needed each other in order to succeed in the world.  I couldn't do it without him and he couldn't do it without me.

We kept it going.  All along in this marriage I have reminded myself to keep it going.  There have been other bumps, road blocks and potholes since our marriage began.  Some endurance tests have been really severe----last week even!  But yet, there is a unity between the three of us which is holy in a way.  It's a blessing that we found each other.


May Allah keep us all to the straight path and strengthen the bond of couples who are yoked together as they journey towards Jennah.

Chapter 34

1 comment:

MarieHarmony said...

There are always tough times and bumps on the journey of marriage, but forgiveness and accepting the other person with his strengths and weaknesses show you things on a different angle.
I really like the fact that you prayed together, it's such a beautiful way to turn to God in front of situation we don't master and ask for help.

May God bless your family with many joys. Stay well