Confession of a misfit

When I was a little child, my grandmother taught me a prayer to ask for being self-sufficient and independent. She was the only person, a little close to me when during my childhood when I was not allowed to make any friends by my very abusive mother. Well, I don’t want to talk about her or her abuse today or my childhood. I want to address all those friends and acquaintances who have turned towards me pointing how easy my life is or how lucky I am to be alone. No, I don’t intend to complain about myself but I want to show you about what you have.

Most of us in our society grow among friends, cousins, and siblings. Most of you have mothers pampering you after a long, tiring day. In my story, I was not allowed to rest when even sick, I was not allowed to communicate with my cousins who we rarely met. I was not allowed to talk or play with my siblings. I was not allowed to make friends. If you are curious to know, you can read the details in my other blogs. Now that I am a 33 years old, working woman very self-sufficient and an independent with a bunch of close friends and some weekend routine; It has not always been like this in fact, this has become a routine a few months ago only. I still do not have the best friends who know me completely or to a certain extent but I do have close friends who know bits of me. I have no complains because I have accepted it the way it is and I have always tried to make the best of what has been given to me. I belong to 99.999999 % of this society who literally don’t have a family, nope literally not at all. Why? that’s another story and its short writing. So coming back to the topic, it has been very difficult to be accepted so I could make friends and feel loved or cared for a while. Let me tell you first, the beginning of this lonely journey, it involves a sad incident so hang in there. It started when I was very little, only to remember the moment when my father was hanging me from that balcony on 4th floor, I turned towards my mother for help and found her smiling on my cries for help. Since that moment until now, I have not felt safe or comforted or understood as a matter of fact. I have been alone during my dark days, at nights during sickness, while traveling (that was happily), being scared during several incidents and so on. My father died last year, and I did not receive any decent condolence, without asking for it, not from the person living next door, I actually told her after two months. Most of the time people around me turn towards me and keep saying your life is so easy. You don’t have to deal with family or people for instance. Yes, I don’t have people. I was not part of any group photos of friends. I did not get a hug after my car accident, or when my father died. I have hugged a few months ago after crying out loud about my grief. I never get to hang out with friends or have fun because I have to make my ends meet. I was not given the pocket money or I don’t get presents as you do from your loved ones. Each and everything in my house has been bought by me entirely. I don’t get my birthdays celebrated in fact I have learned to do it all by myself. I don’t get a cup of tea made with love by my mother. I don’t have anyone praising my achievements in work. I don’t get moral support on several occasions. I don’t hear that ‘Love, you must be so tired.’ When I get sick, I have driven myself to the hospital or have taken care of myself. When you are alone, your house does not maintain or your groceries don’t’ come on their own. You have to take care of each and everything in your life physically, emotionally and literally. So about some people in my life, its difficult for them to be in my shoes. Not having someone around or ever have someone who will organize your funeral at least, is a very scary thought in my situation. I am expected to understand that they have a difficult life than mine because they are in majority. Here is the confession ; I am the one lonely misfit with a dog. I don’t get to turn towards anyone and say that ‘I am scared’ because whenever I did there was only a comparison that I only have myself and they have got hugs and people. We tend to not understand those who we don’t see regularly. I have been reminded several times from people with families or at least one person in their lives that we are alone. Yeah, the whole world gets condolence when some one dies and I get this moral support. Off course I know and understand that very intensely. I have accepted the reality the way it is. I do hang out, attend events, go for walks, party on weekends with a bunch of trustworthy friends. But it does not fulfill the void of not having a loving and caring family. I do not want to be told that Its easy for me because that is unfair on so many levels. It does make me vulnerable here to mention this part while living in a city like Karachi but I have seen worse already. One thing, being alone has taught me to be self-sufficient and be myself but there is nothing to lose. So when you see your mother, your child, your wife or your siblings around who love you and care about you, be grateful instead to turning towards lonely people like me and taking out the frustrations of your responsibilities. You never know, when you lose someone. Every one whether alone or with family is fighting an unspoken battle and some of us don’t want to project on others because some people in my shoes don’t get the majority understanding the challenges. Try, doing each and every task physically including comforting and condoling yourself without speaking a word to this world than you will have some idea perhaps. Every things come with a price , for me coming out of an abusive household and stand for my respect and survival, I was never given an emotional and physical break. !t has been fulfilling but a very tiring life where I stand alone without an option of even grieving. Besides all of this, I have valued the tiniest bit of compassion in my life, I adore few moments spent with good people around. I love every present given from a very dear friend as a token of care. I have actually got a whole collection of these presents from this friend. When you have a dark void inside you , you try to hold on to every ray of hope to get through this life. So cherish and value the silver lining. There is always a silver lining , one only has to look at it. In my story, I have got the freedom of living fully as much as I can.

What did I learn from my burnout ?!

Today, I woke up at 6:15 am for a morning walk and joined my neighbor at the park. When I was returning home from my morning exploration, I had a lot of plans to finish tasks. But as soon as I reach home, my body and mind were sending me another message. So I listened, finished a few tasks and rested. If it was 2016, it would have been another response to these messages. In 2016, one fine morning I collapsed and ended up in the ER at a local hospital. It was not sudden, I was going through uncertain health issues and trying to figure out the mystery of that sickness. Eventually, at that the ER I came to know that I have physical anxiety and have been suffering from burnout. Burnouts are not a common term in our society but it does happen to the human body. So the days before that I was waking up at 5:30 am every morning and working non-stop till 9:00 pm. I had a full- time job with two leading positions at the same place and curating exhibitions one after another. Let me explain to you curating one exhibition in months is a huge and tiring task itself and I was doing multiple shows over the months. Before that routine as well, I was doing a lot of things more than the physical ability of my body. In short, I was taking all that energy and ability to work non-stop; for granted.

So when I collapsed, days before that, I was not capable of not finishing regular tasks as simple as getting a glass of water from the fridge. I was not capable of leaving for work after getting ready which took hours usually it took a few minutes. Before these helpless days, I had a breakdown and started counseling. I have been so much eager to invest in myself, learn new skills, do a list of things as hobbies, achieving career and life goals and so on. All of that was without a physical break. How did that happen and why I was doing it to myself? Well, long story short, my abusive mother never allowed me to rest while burning from high fever even. Once, she dragged me to the kitchen to wash a huge pile of dishes around midnight, when I was only 12 years old and had 103 fever. It took me years to break that programming from my mind, body, and soul. There were many brutal episodes like that and my body burned out eventually when asking for mercy from me.

During those days I learned to be grateful to be able to work hard and sometimes harder than many regular people around. I learned to listen to my body and my mind to give them a decent break. I learned that everything happens on its own time and life is not about completing a checklist. I learned that you need a break after a tiring week and you can rest when sick. I learned that I am allowed to rest when not well and leave the dishes until I feel better. I learned to workout as a lifestyle and make it a habit. I learned to simplify my life and choose my battles. I learned to stop and feel my surroundings. I learned to be grateful for the energy which helps me achieve my goals. I learned to show quality, not quantity. I learned to say ‘NO’ to those who were not considered of me. I learned to put myself first more than anything else.

I learned to break stereotypes from my lifestyle and make my own choices. I learned to not take my health for granted. I learned healthy competition rather than being in a marathon. So now when I finish difficult tasks and achieve milestones; I give myself a nice break because I deserve it so do you. When your body goes through physical and emotional trauma, it stays in your muscle memory, means your body remembers. I learned to get rest and acknowledge when I am tired. It took me a few reminders after 20 years of that abuse. These days, I endure what I already have; my work, health and my good friends. I remember that I have to rest physically and mentally too so I don’t work on Sundays besides chores. I do make time for those friends who are good and considerate with me. I don’t push people away who wants to be there. I seek help when I need it even if it’s only moral. I learned to take at least 30 minutes for a yoga routine or workout first thing in the morning because its the fuel for whole day. I pamper myself some of the days too. In short, I have learned to take care of myself so should You.

Take a break when you need it and take care of yourself because you deserve it.

Listen Little Girl ……………………………………..!

Listen little girl…………………………….

You have to stop justifying yourself to those who have always questioned your decisions.

You don’t have to explain yourself for standing up for your self-respect and basic rights.

You don’t have to answer their questions anymore. You don’t have to beg for love from those who have never loved you unconditionally. You don’t have to give explanations for your emotional turmoil when you didn’t even get a hug from them when you needed it the most. You have been taking care of your self for a very long time, in fact since the beginning of all of this and trust me, You are the only one who is good at it. 

I know you are very tired and it has been a long life but don’t you worry, it is not permanent.

Listen little girl………………………………….

You don’t have to serve your heart on a platter to those who would never value and would never return your love with love.Your relationship status does not define your value for being the deserving one to be loved.You don’t have to settle for less and compromise yourself because you wanted the rest to accept you or value you.You have been working very hard and have justified yourself enough, so don’t worry if they are closing their eyes instead of acknowledging your existence.  

Listen little girl…………………………………

You don’t need their protection while working outdoors or driving around. You don’t need them to give you driving lessons because the car you drive you earned it entirely on your own. You don’t need their assistance for your own work which you do remarkably. You are the talented one who knows how to work hard with honesty. You don’t have to beg for their compassion, instead, you should know that you have a big heart and show them the definition of compassion.You don’t have to feel ashamed of your bad decisions when you trusted those who broke it and with it, a part of you died. In fact, you should love yourself more for trusting those who didn’t deserve it and still, you made a better choice than them. 

Listen little girl…………………………………………

You don’t have to be courteous to those who demeaned you for being a girl and who has doubted your capabilities.  There words do not define your character so don’t pay attention or tell other girls to do so. You don’t have to please them in return of their courtesy. You don’t have to worry about those who made a mockery of your sufferings which were never under your control. Tell them that God has made you strong enough to bring life into this world, He trusted you to be able to do that and to nurture it. He gave you the strength to endure its pain and sufferings.You are the one who endures the sufferings and injustice of being a little girl. You are the one who lives her life on the edge. There is no way that you are the weaker one because you are not. You have all the right to make your ground rules. You don’t have to feel bad about being unapproachable because you are not their property.

Listen little girl…………………………………………..

You have come a long way and you have been through a lot. You have to go a long way ahead. It will never be easy but it will never be impossible too. Your pain is your strength, not your weakness, it does not define your vulnerability. It defines that you are on the right side. You are the only one who understands you the most. You can choose and value those who have been there for you in any way possible. There are very rare ones who understands you without you justifying yourself. They were never there in your darkest days so don’t expect them to be there without any benefits. You have the right to choose and don’t feel bad about them.

Listen little girl…………………………………………

If you have decided to live by your own terms whether single or married or in non-committed relationships, it is completely your choice. If you have found companionship with your pet whether a dog or a cat or bird whatever it is, you don’t have to make them understand. If you have decided to achieve your life goals without a man in the picture, only you can make it happen. Only you can fulfill your dreams.

So, don’t waste your time, giving explanations because it’s not worth it.

But let me tell you it has been extremely difficult and it will be more difficult, all you need is to believe in yourself and have faith in the Almighty. That He in this entire universe will never break your heart, you can trust him.