Tigress Is Lost

Hearing this podcast #DramaQueen https://tinyurl.com/2up937bt on BBC Urdu and this piece by Natash Badhwar on her blog https://tinyurl.com/mpdjm2h4 today churned so much in me to contain now.

Samrah, hosting this program for BBC Urdu/Hindi and one of the guests Zehra Naqvi, who also has penned this painful yet, honest book ‘The Reluctant Mother’ – I know both these girls from college at AMU. Along with these two other two guests, my long forbidden, ignored, and now settled to a large extent trauma – deserves to be talked about.

These two excellent pieces are locking and interlocking each other. What is left (in paucity of time) by one is covered by the other so gracefully.

More women, more men, more parents, more caretakers should come out to share their experiences, it helps in healing at many levels.

Please make every one in your family and network listen and read these two pieces in slow motion.

For my share of drama waves, deep dive here ….I am the queen of my story !

I lost to Gain or I Gained to Lose?

I was just learning the ropes of taking care of a household,

I was just gearing up to a life of freedom – working/eating/sleeping according to my taste,

My bank balance was getting used to getting its ‘own share of health’ every month,

My mind and heart were learning to dance together on meeting new people at work,

I was on the verge to transform my potential into something tangible,

I was on the verge of defining my skills, differentiate my hobbies from passion, and coming one step close to a worthy career out of education + skill + experience every day.

On a junket to Las Vegas and pregnant with my first-born

And then I gave birth to my first born after three years of….being married to the person, who believed in my dreams, who supported my insatiable hunger to learn, who listened to me with his whole being.

So, having a child with him looked like a natural progression to both of us.

Marriage became a See-Saw!

I saw myself talking less and less to each other with growing needs and chores every day. I witnessed our discussions becoming sob sessions. I saw myself looking/sounding/feeling like a forever complaining soul to him and my own ears.

From having a routine of my own for 29 years of my life– now my day and night totally were swamped with my child’s needs – his sleep, his diaper, his feed & his milestones.

I did not lose my identity or to say my new identity did not shape in a day.

First I lost my old self to this crazy, untold, exaggerated transitioning into a mother – is the most difficult thing- I ever witnessed.

I did not get struck by the lightening love seeing my first-born face. It grew over me over a period of time, so did I lose myself over a period of time? BIG YES.

For years, I did not know – what to make of my life, my every day, my mind, my depleting bank balance, which was getting filled but not with my own happy remuneration.

I started writing- ranting- expressing- screaming on Mother Digest Facebook page- to take out whatever was inside me, even when I did not know what was brewing inside me.

At times, even writing a simple one Facebook post made me feel validated.

My body remembered a challenging daily schedule, my mind demanded a dose of being felt worthy of something.

Not that I did not love my child or ignored his any demand (that is what I believe)- I felt my identity can not only to be his mother. I felt scared to voice my thoughts. Everyday stories of women – from colleagues, friends, seniors and acquaintances- not being treated fairly at workplace or made to compromise as a mother – gave me serious chills down the spine.

The more my husband was scaling heights in his career ladder as he could travel, take assignments easily as I was always there at home to take care of the house and the child, the more I was going down in inexplicable ways. Our relationship silently resembled like a see-saw.

Undefined Loneliness!

I did not have a single soul around me to whom I could think to go, to talk, to share my fears n pains of losing an identity I was falling (before becoming a mother) in love to become one day.

For years, I believed, I have become an expert in parenting.

For years, I believed my professional master’s degree or little work experience will get me back to work gracefully.

For years, I denied believing my inherent skill of a storyteller.

For years, I shied away from saying or even acknowledging – I suffer from deep anxiety, I am in some pain, which is inexplicable to the environment – where I lived.

For years, I longed for external validation to employ me or make me feel worthy.

More Drama In-store

Few weeks before delivering my second child

And then the second child came along as my gynecologist said, Rukhsar- now or never due to my terrible reproductive health. I got on to something where I was not super sure unlike my first time.

Ha ha ha…in last few years, I was not sure about anything- I started forgetting things after keeping them,

I started forgetting things I said to people, I started losing valuable items, everyday I was becoming so unsure of my many things. So, it did not matter to me then – to be so sure about the pros n cons of having a second child.

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On the other side, my husband was rising up in his career, travelling the world, working hard and making decent money to save for the rainy day as well.

Little did he know, I was sinking in my un-acknowledged tsunami of identity crisis. He was not very keen on the second child because he was still the same person who wanted to enjoy living with me. And now he had ample of resources and even time to spend with me.

Alas! I wasn’t the same person anymore. He often complained, ‘You ain’t the same person anymore’.

I had even become so touchy to even acknowledge that change.  Possibly I did not know what I had become or to be honest I had stopped liking or loving the person I had become.

Few called me sadist,

Few called me hot headed,

Few called me careless mother,

Few called me drama queen,

Few called me a super mom,

Few called me admin of countless WhatsApp groups or addicted to Social Media,

Few called me a loser as I wasted a professional degree or seat,

Few called me privileged too,

Few called me lucky (intending to say – a parasite on my husband’s earnings),

Few suggested me to do stock and shares,

Few suggested me to do PhD and become a teacher.

The thing which pained me the most – was – Oh, Rukhsar you were so good, what are you doing now?

As if taking care of the child is nothing.

Or

If you are taking care of your child, you simply deposit your mind in a faraway closed locker, not to be opened again.

Nail in the Coffin

Hormonal tsunami changed my body forever. My body started becoming physically dull.

I started losing stamina.

Time discipline was never my thing, however activity discipline was my best buddy. I used to ensure if something has to be done- it will be done.

Losing physical stamina to manage child and the house in the morning after disturbed sleep with your child was the hardest part as I was in sheer denial because I wanted to believe I can any day pick my bag and go to my choice of work, and demand remuneration matching my skill-set.

I wanted to believe that multi-tasking learnt during motherhood will be treasured, rather than looked as an excuse to not give my fair share – either work or money.

I was simply in denial of acknowledging my failing physical, mental and emotional health because according to everyone around me assumed I am so lucky, I should be thankful of what all I had.

I was supposed to not miss my Identity about which I only knew or existed in my dreams seen with open eyes. In short identity crisis had hit the roof.

How did I heal/move on, read my next piece coming out soon!

 

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