Wednesday, August 30, 2006

And I wonder...

There are so many unknowns in this life. Predicting, planning it seems like an impossible job.

Walking into my children's new school on Monday I felt so many things... I remembered my first days as a teacher 9 years ago. I remembered the buzz I got working at an Islamic school with the future Muslims of the world. It felt great to lead them into the room where we held the jummah. It felt to pull on little hijabs and straighten little lines of children. I felt as if I was bringing something to the ummah. I also felt every day I was learning more about the deen.

Now, I can honestly say that I haven't been to a halaqa or lecture since my middle son was a year old... That's four years now. This is NOTHING like what I planned. I am feeling further and further from the community and further and further away from the possibility that my situation will change. It's depressing.

I think so many things that re happening to us have to do with lowered iman. My DH and I both were in a better state of iman when we married. I remember him teaching me things, taking time to correct my recitations of the few surahs I know. I had dreams of really increasing my knowledge with his help. Then all of the learning stopped.

For at least 6 years now I have been feeling like he isn't lifting us... I am dragging him. And I am not that person. I know it's no excuse but I'm a convert, I need help myself. Help that I hoped I would get by marrying a born Muslim who spoke Arabic. I hate to just spew... But this is getting harder and harder. Even just talking about it I am ready to cry because I am afraid there is no blessing on our life. Is that crazy?

I know there are all sorts of dreams and ideas you have when you first get married, and that these are often lost. But this dream of an Islamic household is one that I refuse to let go of. I am tired, I am lost, I am not even certain (considering how our lives have turned out) if there is any good in this marriage at all. Right now what I see is that neither of us are the Muslims we were when we married. Maybe we are just a bad combination. Maybe it's not us but the longer we stay here with no community the more it will became a trail.

Even as I am writing this I feel like I could just dissolve at any moment. He keeps telling me I am going to push him to do something "crazy" that will effect our lives forever. You know what, I think we have to do something crazy to pull ourselves out of this. Enough entrepreneurial BS. Lets pack the bags and move to someplace where we can have a life.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Do you believe in signs?

You know the part in Signs where the main character turns to his brother and says there are two types of people, the ones who believe in coincidence and the ones who believe in signs? Well, I believe in signs. Allah (SWT) isn't just going to come to you as a booming voice; you are going to have to watch for his message... And I think I am supposed to be on the receiving end of one now if I can just put the pieces together.

Let me start with the beginning... On Thursday I had one of those moments of sincere asking, no BEGGING forgiveness from Allah for my transgressions. I felt relief. I felt peace I haven't felt in a long time. Then, Friday morning I saw our cat moving her litter and one, a gray one I have become fond of, was dead. I looked him over, and from what I could tell he had been smothered. It was really sad for my DD who loves animals. We buried it in the yard with her little body shaking from crying. We had a long talk about death being a part of life, the standard stuff. Then on our way to Ft Collins the manager from the trailer park where we have a rental trailer called and told us they are no longer letting people rent the trailers out. Which really screws with our plans because we were going to invest in more trailers as rentals. Then Saturday I got a call from my dad that our cat from when I was in school died. I know I know, dead cats??? Wouldn't Allah's signs be more eloquent? Then Saturday afternoon my DH woke telling me about a dream he had that he was reading a book with fire in it and the fire came out and was burning everything and then he had to read another book that brought water to put it out. Subhan'Allah, I didn't want to confront him about it (and I can't go there because it's his business)... But to me it was just sooooo clear. The first book represented something he has been struggling with and the second the Quran. Then later Saturday, I finally fixed my tape player in the van, and have been listening to lectures I have on CD and tape from various imams. I popped in one that I had forgotten about entirely and it was about surrounding yourself with positive people, and how who you are with all the time will affect your life greatly. Subhan'Allah. I asked for guidance. Subhan'Allah.

For me the death means change. I think this is preparation for a big change coming. I can't say I know what it is, but it is there waiting. And I know I wasn't ready. Now, I am trying to prepare myself... Open to the possibility that I might just be headed for an earthquake in my little world. I have some ideas about what it might be, but nothing can be certain. I just pray I can handle it well.

Friday, August 18, 2006

What goin' on...

Well, after my last dramatic post I thought an update would be fair. Things aren't better, but alhamdulilah I think my outlook is. Thanks for all the support, I really needed to hear from other people to feel like I wasn't marginally insane.

As to the thoughts... Well, I have gone over these things with my DH, and the easy stuff doesn't work for us. He works nights and is a light sleeper, and it is worse when he is tired. But, he refuses to wear earplugs or take sleeping pills. I agree with Amygdala that pills can be a problem for some people anyway, so maybe that's better. I guess it's what some of you said... I have to consider whether or not he is really trying to get his sleep... And the answer is no. I think that is due to a whole mess of factors, the biggest one of which is that he has apnea which he refuses to treat with a bi-pap (and he has been told that sooooo many times and they have him on one every time he is in the hospital). Sleep deprived spouses are no fun. Stressed spouses are no fun, and he is both. We just have to get through this time somehow.

The good thing is that we have been forced to really talk expectations, which I think is healthy. I know that I am the one bending the most, and he knows it too... So I feel better that at least he sees some of the things I have been dealing with, alhamdulilah. We are going forward with the project of a business we have been talking about for a long time now, and I hope it will free him to quit this job... The more we talk the more I see he hates his job as much as I do, but he is scared of change and the possibility of losing any income. Well, there is more to life than money brother. And I know he thinks I am just talking when I say that, but I really think that.

Anywhoo, thanks fellow bloggers for your input. Insha'Allah these things will be behind me soon. And I really believe I am feeling the Dua love, things have been much calmer around here. I was out of the house at 9:30 today, and I didn't even feel the need to start cursing!LOL;) Not perfect, but better, alhamdulilah.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Home not so sweet home

My right to be in my home seems to be under attack.

I know this sounds crazy, and I don’t think there is even a solution outside of separate houses (which incidentally has been proposed). But I need to talk about this… Because talking feels more productive than crying, and I want to say it to someone before the separate houses thing actually happens without any feedback as to whether or not I have sealed my fate by doing it.

I hate to talk about personal things (like I said I have promised not to gab about my marriage), but I feel that the need for a sounding board about this outweighs that right now. That said, here goes.

DH told me today, in no uncertain terms that I can’t be in the house after 10am anymore because he has to sleep. Which simply means that I must be in the store after 10am every day with the kids. This sucks on so many levels.

1. My house is a mess (because I am never there) and if I am never there I can never clean it. Also, if I do ever clean it I will never be there to enjoy it. Hmph.

2. I have to try to get meals ready to accommodate the “eat as soon as we get home” style we are living with, which limits me severely.

3. I like being home, especially on weekends. And I am bitter that he gets to sit there and relax alone, which I never do.

4. I just trained someone for the store so I can be home.

5. I have to try to bring things to the store to feed the kids in the absence of a kitchen. And being without a kitchen all day with five of us sucks.

6. Dividing time between the house and the store means dragging things back and forth between the two places all the time and losing stuff in the process.

7. I have the bad feeling that his wanting everyone out of the house is the major motivation for him to send the kids to school this year.

8. I feel putting his sleep before 5 other people’s desire to be at home is flat out selfish. Of course he will say I am selfish for wanting to be at home when clearly he needs to sleep so he can work.

I don’t know whether to cry or start looking for an apartment for him or what. I would move, but I feel the larger place should be for the kids and me. If his sleep has to be separate I want him to be the one to move to a studio or something to sleep and work.

I guess I would say just go do it, but I am afraid it will lead to us separating (which is not what I want). Of course the tension is so high surrounding this subject that we may just end up divorcing if it continues… I know from talking to him that he doesn’t understand, and he will never see that his job disrupts our family. He told me the other day that it could be worse because his job could involve traveling and I told him seeing him only on weekends would be easier… Which went over like a lead brick. He is still mad about it. And I stand firm that trying to live life around his sleeping all day is not working. We are at an impasse. I will never be able to keep the kids quiet enough or meet all the demands he makes while trying to sleep; it just makes me bitter and mad… No matter how hard I try to overlook it. Ya Allah. I even found myself having to go sit in the visitors lounge with the kids and an hours old baby when he can to visit me in the hospital so he could sleep in the bed in the room. I felt soooo taken advantage of. Basically, I was mad that he came at all if he was just going to sleep. And every day at home is the same. I am on edge because I know the kids will wake him or he is expecting me to leave or he is sitting in bed asking for things so he doesn’t have to get up… I am not a good wife like this. I am not a good mother like this.

So, what is the end of all this? Can I ask him to get a place where he can sleep and work undisturbed without causing a huge uproar? He himself has suggested it… But I am afraid to demand it. On another level, I have days where I am ready to get divorced just to have my own space… And shaiton is there, “What are you getting from this relationship? When has he ever helped you with anything? When has he ever gotten you a drink while you were in bed? You have the right to relax in your own house too!”

You know those moments in your life where you can just physically feel shaiton’s presence? I am having more and more of those every day. It is getting harder and harder to be rational. And I KNOW my DH feels that I am the abusive irrational one in this situation. I need respite. I need to take a sabbatical from this relationship. But I am afraid that would seal my fate. I have to make things work and I am just grasping at straws for a way to do that. I can’t be a tolerant peaceful wife with these things hanging over my head. And I can’t be out of the house with the kids all the time like that. HELP!!! Maybe this marriage is over and I just don’t see it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

They're back!

While DH was in the hospital, I had a raging case of thrush., Which, as everyone who has ever had it know, is a nursing mother's nightmare. After a week of nystatin the yeast was going nowhere. I was cracked, sore and even had some infection... It was miserable, I did three days of gentian violet and took some diflucan. Things started to heal, and once the thrush went away entirely the infection subsided.

Now, I am seeing some yeast on the baby's mouth... And last night I started to feel the burn. Yikes! I guess I better lay off the sugar! Hello purple boo-boos. Hello purple baby. This sucks.

From here on in I shoot w/o a script...

DH had his usual August freak out about hsing... And since DD is obsessing about going to school we decided to enroll them this year. I hate it, but they have two parents and DH thinks they "need the experience of school and nothing bad happens in 1st grade or kindergarten, so now is the time". I have another thought... And that is that they are at an impressionable age and I want to spare them the knowledge that people in this town hate us just because we are Muslim.

Which is another topic entirely, DH blames my hijab for people even knowing we are Muslim... I blame him for insisting on staying here, we go nowhere fast when we get into that conversation. I refuse to be in a place where I have to compromise my practice of the deem to fit in, and I refuse to "blend" anymore than I already do. And I refuse for my kids to blend in certain ways, which wouldn't be an issue in bigger cites where schools are faced to confront the diversity of the student population and take certain celebrations to a more global place... What I mean is if I weren't in hicksville there would be no "hat's off to Christmas" in the curriculum because the district wouldn't allow it.

Anywhooo, you see where all this is going. We are at odds about things with the kids, and I have always promised myself that I would not exclude him in the decisions about these things... So they are going to school this year and I am doing The Well Trained Mind as an afterschool thing. Actually, I find them hard to work with in the afternoon (and I think that will only get worse after they go to school because they will be tired) so I will probably get them up very early and do an hour or two with them then.

The truth is that I would love to sit here and tell all about the problems we are having... Because it goes deeper than the kids school, I guess I just feel all bottled up about it. But I promised myself when I got married that I wouldn't talk about our private life, so I am keeping it to myself in real life an this blog. Insha'Allah this is the right thing to do... But please keep me in your dua.

I wonder these days if Arab men and American women aren't a good match. They seem to think we are superwomen, we seem to think they should do things that they never will culturally. Honorary Arab (she's on my sidebar) just did a post about it, so go read her post... I'll save you rehashing the same thoughts.

I pray for peace in my life, I pray for patience, I pray for wisdom and strength. I pray I stay married another day.

Oh, and whoever knows where the title for this post came from gets bonus points;)

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Five tips for a woman....

1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.

2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.

3. It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn't lie to you.

4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.

5. It is important that these four men don't know each other.