Tangled Emotions

29/07/20

Yesterday I managed to flush out the stuck feelings. Even if that meant picking a hallow argument about unmet motherly needs with oldest.

I still don’t feel much lighter. Maybe it’s pms, as the sister picked up on. And the snapping doesn’t help. Everything just tangled together. I am back to being unable to communicate with neurotypical adolescent daughter because her snarky voice is painful. The tone, pitch, the backchat. It’s the same theme I complained about to all three. Lack of respect. How are they to find respect when their father done such a good job of portraying me as the weak, mentally incapable and unstable parent, with whom their life will be a failure?

I seen how his ploy was working so well. I am the emotional mess and he is the calm. I just shut myself out from all three and let it out. For the past week those images returned in my head.

Get a knjfe to the arm.

That’s exactly what he wants. But it’s a release. No one sees how even while not living with us, he seeks control. His mind games mess with the kids. Oldest had to have a non-human contact day last Friday because he was so exhausted. He laster told me that he had a cry that made him feel lighter. I told him I was proud that he recognised his emotions and let himself cry it all.

Interestingly, the boys were not in a hurry to go back for another week. It took them a week to recover from the last one.

I have regressed to my poor focus and motivation, becoming addicted to Bubble Shooter, finding it relaxing. Actually playing that helped me listen to business coaching last night. Pen and paper to hand and playing the game then stopping to take notes. It reminded me of narrowing teachers expectations on autistic pupils.

After the blow of emotions, today, both of were trying to make sense of what happened. I managed to explain that I also have needs of wanting to feel respected and valued and my children weren’t showing this at all. This actually enlighten oldest son.

“Oh, I thought needs were one way in parent-child relationship. The parents tends to the child’s needs.”

Then he went to realise, “that what a spouse is for.”

A big shrug from me followed.

“Well I don’t have one. He didn’t exactly fulfil that need either.”

and then I pointed out, which may have been provoked because of a recent (painfully long) phone call with my father, who I would call estranged, and just very strange.

“I don’t fair well on the male relationship front. No father, no brother, no husband. Just two sons. But the difference is that I raised you two, I have some control on your influences, values and behaviour. I want to shape you to be caring, empathic, self reflecting and able to keep good relationships.”

What’s hurt me so much is the thought of going to court to settle child contact. I have had enough waiting. Some may appreciate that autistics hate waiting . It’s torture. I have been good waiting out for negotiation but not that I have move forward, just to hurt me, he wants to argue in court. It’s the waiting to get a settlement done that’s hard to swallow. The stress of not being able to demonstrate that I am their best option, the fear of not being believed. Not many believe me. I refer to those with power to do something. They never believe me. Whereas he can so easily push my buttons, set off the reactions and say “told you so, she is incapable of being a good mother.”

I leave with one fact, as that’s all I use to reassure myself.
The social worker pointed out that in May, during lockdown, the oldest was doing well and we didn’t require their support.

“Oh that’s because he didn’t visit his father and I helped him with understanding the online learning systems (well I was his PA writing out his diary of to do and he calmed down hugely.

…oh, school and his father caused the meltdowns. I am the one constant that doesn’t harm him!”

Holding the Strings

Many people think that once the you have separated, that the abuse is over.

The taste for control is so addictive that the addict will do anything to get a hit. Whether that means hurting their own children, or even blocking their own future progression. In the rage of vengeance, they are blind to the damage caused around them. Just to spite the freed spouse.

Live in peace, or part in peace.

He used to quote this throughout our marriage, every time he wanted to threaten a divorce. Now that it’s finally time, why hold back? Why deny our own beliefs. Doesn’t his faith dictate this? Isn’t he a part of a religion that means peace?

In an abusive marriage, the hurt continues, but in a distant way. This time the children are the means in which to control the spouse. It’s very common, and clever. More so with autistic sons. No boundaries, routines, infiltrating their head space without them even knowing. Drip feeding ‘propaganda’, as oldest described once, so that when they return home, I get the emotional outbursts and meltdowns. All the crap that was being held in is spewed out.

Then, any single minded observer would see how happy and easy the boys are with him (similar to how schools perceive them), leaving the blame of the messy emotions and struggles on me. It must be her. She can’t handle them, she doesn’t look after them. She is the bad mother.

Why don’t you just go away from them?

I was almost fooled to believe that I was parenting them wrongly. I did walk out for sake of my mental health when he pushed me out before. Not this time. I stood firm this time. I couldn’t let him in my head. I am the dumping ground for them because I am the safe person. I am forgiving. One man telling them and me that I suck at mothering, isn’t going to change our beliefs.

So as much as he tries to hurt me through them, with hidden threats to take them away, even from their sister, he can’t do anything but make horrid offensive noise. It’s hurts as a braying sound would and nothing more.

He doesn’t get the strings anymore.

.

The Outlaw

“When a [wo]man is denied the right to live the life [s]he believes in, [s]he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” Nelson Mandela

It’s sad that I see the plight of many single mothers in this.

I was called out for being an ‘outlaw’ yesterday.

I woke up this morning, heavy and bruised. Morning after of an emotional beating. I don’t get why I have to be badmouthed when he had an issue with his daughter. What’s this got to do with my sister ‘being a home wrecker’? Like she was involved in our marriage, right? She made you scream at me in front of the kids over the course of 16 years. Was it her who taught you that you own me?

Only in recently is she beginning to learn what happened behind the closed doors all this time. I was denied sharing my feelings and experiences to anyone out with these four walls. I was denied choice of spending my own time and money. Even choice over my body because that was yours too. Her name was dragged in because she became an outlaw two years earlier, after 8 years of tolerating abuse in the name of family honour.

it’s too easy to blame, discredit, and badmouth the ones who take away power from your… when that power wasn’t yours to begin with. Believing that your are the victim.

“Allah loves woman more” that’s why we should be putting up with ill treatment? It’s nonsense like this that make woman believe they have no agency, no voice and are wrong to call out narcissistic behaviour. I did just that yesterday and this is what I got. It’s a shame that such beliefs are still being peddled by some in our next generation. I was accused of being “ill”, that’s why I have/had marital issues. The only illness I suffered was depression resulting from ableism, sexism and narcissism. When it came to seeking the cure, I am the outlaw?

FYI- men and women are equal, all of them, and the only thing that differentiates between them, are their actions. So I will tell every woman here, Muslim or not, autistic or not, Pakistani or not… you have every right to call out narcissistic behaviour. Anyone stopping you is the problem. Move past them to get to your solution. There is no burden of responsibility to tolerate abuse in the name of keeping family together. What people don’t understand is that living together isn’t family, loving is.

A few things I had to teach my daughter the night before she was to face her father-

  1. Don’t wait for your place to be given to you because it never will be; you have to show up and take it.
  2. To be heard you use the magic formula of partial agreement.
  3. You can take down illogical and abusive beliefs respectfully, just don’t accept them and never let those nasty words sink in,
  4. Weak men are afraid of strong woman.

The hardest lesson for her, though, was to learn from her mistakes instead of calling herself an idiot and unlovable.

If outlaw is a label that received for being happy and relieved from abuse, then it’s one I encourage everyone to wear.

Beginning of My Blog

I’m not good enough.

01\07\20

I have put this off long enough.

I wanted to make videos but I can’t stand looking at my face.

But I want a voice. I want to be heard… Not for sympathy. But to let that girl know she is not alone.

You are out there. Feeling like you don’t fit in anywhere. Not good enough for anyone or any group.

A girl,  but not feminine, Scottish but not White. Coloured, but not Pakistani. Autistic, but not conforming.

That’s me. All 35 years.

Today I start writing. This is for me as much as it is for you.

This is about sharing my life because sadly it’s not unique. I would have taken consolation in the fact that my experiences are unique had they been. I don’t wish this struggle on my enemies.

This week I stepped up to help a sister who had suffered long enough at the hands of yet another narcissist. I listened and related to her, told her what to expect, the procedure, what happens now. When the chain comes off, the slave takes times to adjust to the newly gained freedom. Freedom to speak, move and think.

Not a unique experience, unfortunately.

“I did you a favour by marrying you…”

“I wouldn’t advice anymore to marry someone from a broken home/ with a child/ familial mental health issues / <insert degrading comment here>”

“If only you hadn’t <insert characteristic of individuality>”

“If only you listened to me”

“I suffered in this marriage. I have been kept back”

Familiar?

Wait, there’s more …

“Coconut”

“I am your master as stated in the Quran”

“You’re purpose is to serve me first and foremost”

“What’s the point of a wife if I can’t have sex when I want?”

I began to view marriage as halal prostitution. Only called upon when my services were required.

I felt ashamed, but I still thought it several times this week.

She is lucky. I wish I got that swollen eye and bruised arm.

Maybe the police and domestic abuse support charity would then have accepted me as a victim.

You see, I am a master of masking and understatements. On the surface, I seem to be articulate, confident, and able. Nobody cares to scratch the surface no matter what is underneath. Kind of like looking into a glass window only seeing your reflection and not what’s behind it.

This is going to be a hard read but before I want to leave this world I want to share my story.

Why? Because if we can entertain ourselves with stories of all sorts, then why not mine?

The Female Autistic Scottish Pakistani Muslim who didn’t belong.