Monday, December 10, 2012's always complicated.

I always feel bad after I get off the phone with my mother.  Our relationship has never been the best but she tries; I try.  It's not the typical mother daughter just don't get along scenario.  It's more of the, as a kid we never got the warm nurturing mother but the hard working two jobs mother.  Now do you understand. We never had the could talk to you about anything mother we had the do what I say and that's it mother.  We never had the mother giving hugs, saying  I love you and tuck you in at nigh mothert. We had the no affection, never said I love you and never home because she's at work mother.  And now as an adult, I feel her trying to reach out.  I hear her say I love you and I see her making efforts to bring us close and i ignore it.  Although I love and respect my mother dearly, I find it very,very difficult to open up to her and let her in.   It's very foreign to me and almost feels unnatural!  That's weird right?  As a kid I longed for the closeness of families I see on TV and even my friends families who had the luxury of  that life.  But now, as an adult when my mother tries to reach out to me I kind of cringe and I hate that!    I don't talk to her about anything.  Even when the separation happened with my ex husband I waited until the last minute to tell her about it.  I cried many of nights to myself, with friends, to God, but not to my mother.  I didn't even want her to see me cry over him.  In fact when she tries to bring him up I change the subject and if she tries to push it I go off on her like a mad lady!   And I ask myself over and over again why?  Why can't I open up to her?  Maybe its because of my childhood?  Maybe it's because she talks so negatively about all men-meaning my father mostly- that she can't have a regular relationship conversation? Maybe it's because when I talk o her I feel like she never hears me? Maybe it's because I'm really just a lost little girl inside who had to do everything on her own and is secretly resentful?!  Then I end up feeling bad that I'm thousands of miles away from NYC living in Abu Dhabi and our phone conversations are vague, shallow and last only ten minutes.  The distants physically and emotionally taunts me. I mean at least  I'm the only one of her daughters who has not shunned her like the unwanted step mother.  But the distance is still there.  I don't know how to change it and open up to her.  I guess I just have to do it?  Just start with something that I know will irritate me when I talk to her about it because I can almost predict her response and then I'm pissed and...okay calm down. Okay, I guess the first step is try not to get pissed.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Grateful: Giving thanks today and everyday.

                                                        Desert Thanksgiving

Its hard sometimes to just be Grateful.  We forget.  We walk around complaining and drowning in our own self pity.  We spend our time trying to get material things and measure our worth by what we have. We spend our time wishing and hoping for what others have and not seeing what's right in front of our face.  Life.  We are alive and breathing and here on earth at this very moment just being.  We may not be who we want to be or what we want to be, but because we are here we have a choice and opportunity to embrace life and that's something to be grateful for.
Being here in Abu Dhabi, even more so the western region where things are more traditional in the face of westernization; where people, particularly women, don't have choices puts things in percpective.  Well, they do have choices which are one of two; follow their rules or be ostracized and outcast.  In their culture a women has to be fully covered or where a veil over their face.  A place where they're is no room for era and a mistake can have great consequences. Now, I'm not judging how they live their lives here on the other side of the world because each country has its own.  But I'm grateful for the choices I do have and the little things I've taken foregranted.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here over seas and the great people I've met and what I've learned. The kind Arabic teachers in my school and western teachers in my villa.  I'm thankful for my family and friends back home who I miss during this holiday seasons. I'm thankful that has kept me sane during this tough period of my divorce and that he has placed great people in my life. I'm thankful that I'm growing and learning everyday.  I think that being grateful makes you aware of the little things you would pass over and realize they're more important than you thought.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stuck in the middle.

L=Letting go
I=Inward, Illusions
M=Me, Myself, Middle
O=? seems again I get thrown into my role as the middle child.  I was going for a walk with one of my friends in the park and we were talking about things that we realized we needed to change.  We both ended relationships and have learned a lot about ourselves as a result.  Mistakes that were made and our roles with our loved ones.  Of course I have a list of mistakes and patterns that played a big part in my ending marriage-not excusing my ex husband for his behavior in the least!   But this is about me and I'm not perfect.  So I said I would change trying to fix things for others.  Stop trying to think that I can solve other peoples problems or make their situations better,  As a middle child growing up I was born into the role of mediator and peace keeper.  I was left to fix things when I had no idea what was going on.  If something was wrong with my brothers and sisters my parents run to me and tell me to talk to them, see what's going on, guide them in the right direction.'s really exhausting!   I told my friend that in my marriage, I ended up doing just that; trying to fix every little thing and just making a bigger mess.  Thinking that if I did everything my husband wanted me to do I could fix our marriage and it would last.  I thought that I knew the solutions to our drifting apart  and that it was meant for me to fix him and make him feel needed, wanted, strong and capable.  I boost his ego to a fault.  In the midst of trying to make everything right I was just becoming clingy and needy and obsess with my middle child Super Powers and with my husband. Well, my super powers worked against me as you now know.   It work against me when I went home over the summer and tried to help a loved one get back on the right path.  That ended up with me messing up his friendship with someone he was once close to for years.   And here comes my now disability showing it's face in an email from a friend and his girlfriend.  Some major issues between her and him and her venting to me.  To my ears they were a cry for help and a test.  I didn't want to get involved so I prayed about it.  From her email my friend was or is doing some really despicable things that I and he should not be proud of. Their relationship, from all she's told me sounds destructive.  I know there are two sides to a story but how can ignore what she wrote?  I mean I do owe her a response and  I can't pretend I didn' read the email.  And as a Christian I can't condone that kind of behavior from anybody not even my brother.  How do I address her email and stay out of it without her feeling I'm ignoring her, butting in or justifying certain behaviors?  And how can I read this email and not talk to him about it? So after three days of praying I answered her email.  I gave her my sympathy, expressed my opinions in as neutral way as possible and asked her if this is really what she wants?  I also learned somethings about her that made me see the role that she plays in the relationship.  Again this time not excusing my brothers behavior but we all play repeating patterns in our lives.  And I just played mine again as mediator.  At least this time I'm aware I can't fix any ones life and I don't care to try.  That's why I'm in the desert; a middle child in the middle of finding myself and redefining my role in my life.  Limbo as we call it out here.  Just stuck in the middle.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama Victory Overseas!

Words can't express the relief and the joy that comes all the way from the desert! We drove to work this morning with an iPhone plugged into our car speakers listening to the election poll coverage.  With us being thousands of miles away and the time difference we were determined to be as present as possible in the elections.  We talked,we debated, and all hopped that Obama would take the lead.  By the time we arrived to work Obama had taken the lead on Romney with 157 to 153 in  electoral votes.  Wow!  This was as never reckoning as when he first was running for office!
We headed to work with our fingers crossed and a prayer in our hearts.   During the work day kept track.
 At my school, my Emirati co teacher; as posed as she can be, re wrapped her falling black beaded shaylah around her head as she sat on the rug enjoying lunch.  They're always on their cell phones here in the desert and she said to me from across the room "Miss, do you know about the elections"?  I said "Yes, I can't wait to hear what happens"!  "Yes" she said, "I see on my phone that it is very close. You should get a black berry so you can see, it is very nice".   Well at least I knew it wasn't over yet so I head back to my class.
While I was teaching one of my western coworkers came to my classroom and swung the door open with a great force and shouted "He won"!!  I immediately knew.  I shouted out of excitement and we gave each other high fives and jumped and screamed ! All the children were laughing and excited as well even though they had no idea what was going on!
What a day of nerves, excitement and victory!  All the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian teachers were so happy!  People at the grocery store knew  of Obama and shared our joy!  From all the way in Abu Dhabi I can celebrate my country in this monumental moment!  As the sun sets over the sand dunes in the Middle East, the sun rise  in America! So to those Republicans that say they're ready for change, I say you got it! Change is and always is present and in the moment.  And change is Obama!!!!!!  Now time for drinks and to watch the victory speech that we missed last night with my teacher friends!!!!   Cheers!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sand Storm

Several events recently took place in the last couple of days. Halloween for us westerners, Eid Mubarak, an Islamic holiday, a sand storm in Abu Dhabi, and several broken hearts in the desert.  Halloween was spent at one of my fellow teachers villa stuffing our faces with candy, chips, alcohol and scary movies.

 For our Eid Mubarak weekend we spent two Days in Dubai exploring a city that's so close but hard to get to when you live in the Western region of Abu Dhabi-that means rural, construction zones and being covered from wrist to ankles.
 Dubai was  amazing and  a small taste of the city life I left behind in NYC.  We explored, took pictures and shopped the many palace like malls.
That of course ended too quick and here I am back in the middle of the sand dunes.  That short 4 day weekend away was followed up by a sandstorm that seemed to wash away everything in it's path including peoples relationships.  A sandstorm is an experience like no other.  It looks like just how they show it in the movies.  In fact all I thought about was Tom Cruise as the sand blinded me on the drive home.  Skys are clear one minute and from the distance, what looks like dark rain clouds are really rolling sand particles in the sky. Next thing you know you're engulfed in sand and wind that forms a fog around you. 

As sand and wind pound you can't see two feet in front of you and sand begins to invade your eyes, your mouth, your nose.  It's sneaky and it attacks all the vulnerable, sensitive parts of your body; just like a relationship.  Even though due to technology you can predict a sandstorm is coming you're never ready for it especially when you're in it.  The same goes for relationships.  You can prepare for it, brace your self, see the warning signs but it still hits you with a sense of surprise.  Whether it's the start of a relationship or the ending of one, it's a storm of emotions.  In this case, it's the ending of many relationships here in the desert.  Several fellow teachers are suffering from broken hearts.  Relationships have ended and like I am, many are wiping the dust in their eyes, clearing their chest,  and mending their hearts of what just crept in as little particles in the air that are powerful enough to stop you in your tracks.  Tears form to clear the eyes, hacking coughs to get the sand out of your chest and your heart beats faster as you gasp for air. Yes, a sand storm in the desert and a sandstorm of the heart are equally damaging.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

F**K You!

Sunrise over Abu Dhabi City

L=Letting go
I=Inward, Illusions
M=Me, Myself
Yes it means what you think.  The two asterisk in the above title is not replacing letters that are intended to spell FORK.  Yes, it is F**K you! Yeah I said it! For all my fellow Christians out there, I apologize but this is what I'm thinking and shouting off the top of my lungs.  You know you've been there before and some times as, unchristian as it may sound, F**K YOU are the only words that fit! I just had it!  I can't take it anymore and I'm angry as hell!  I was just thinking again about my lawyers calling me about a week and a half ago saying the divorce papers were signed and I'm just pissed! All the nights I spent, even to this day thinking about him, calling him, and treating him with respect, being truthful and devoted.  This is the thanks I get!?  He's on my mind constantly and I'm thinking "What the F**K!"  He never called during our split.  If  we spoke it was because I called him and then he never had anything much to say.  Hell, he sometimes ignored my phone calls and responded a month later! His family and friends that I loved dearly don't even call.  My husband didn't even try to work out any issues and he didn't even have the guts to file the divorce papers himself!!  I did it because he, apparently doesn't respect me like I thought he did.  You owe me at least a clean break without stringing me along, right!?  Why the hell is he always on my mind when obviously he's not and haven't been thinking about me for, I guess throughout the last two years of our marriage.  I can't believe this!  It's so unfair!  And to that I say F**K YOU!   F**K YOU for breaking your vows.  F**K YOU for making me feel like S**T when I wanted to spend time with you. F**K YOU for not introducing me to certain rich people because you were ashamed of me.  Just, F**K YOU!  There...I got it all out.  After all this time I've been longing for us to get back together and now, I'm just so angry at him. And still he's on my mind. And he's probably not giving me a second thought.  Huh...he can't win. He can't win by taking over my thoughts every day.  I have to win by moving forward and letting go, taking care of me and reaching my goals, dreams and aspirations.  This to me is like seeing the sun rise behind you through your side view mirrors.  There were some really great memories that we had together and I can still see them through my side view mirrors as I move forward.  But soon the sun will be in front of me instead of behind me.  And it will be just as bright and beautiful.  So I will keep moving forward. It's all about ME now. And on that note I say...F**K YOU!!

Friday, October 12, 2012


I check my voice mail from NYC and had a message from my lawyer.  While I was back in the states this summer I filled for divorce.  I don't know what impulsed me to do it?  Not sure if it was a mistake?  But what I do know is that I was tired of waiting.  I was tired of my husband not giving me any answers and having me sit around and wait without him so much as even calling me.  So I did it. The message in my voicemail was from the secretary who wanted me to call her back.  So I called via skype a bit anxious to hear what she would say.   Was there trouble in the divorce proceedings?  Did he not sign as I thought he did or did he change his mind?  When I was called the secretary was very animated.  She said "I have some great news!  Your divorce was signed by a judge, its finalized"! "" was my response still confused.  "Congratulations"! she said.  "I thought it was suppose to take 6 to 8 months"?  "Yes" she said "You got lucky"!   I didn't see any reason to celebrate.  In the back of my mind I was hoping my husband didn't want the divorce and stopped the proceedings.  I was hoping it did take 6 to 8 months and that would give him some time, or just give me some time to think it through.  So I'm divorce in two months from filing? That's it?  My marriage is officially over by writing a check, signing a paper and 7 years is erased?  Is this worth celebrating?  I try to push my emotions  aside while I decide how I truly feel. So i tried not to think about it.  After all I am sick with the flu and I just need to rest. As Scarlett said in Gone With The Wind "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow".
The next day I went to one of the other teachers apartment for tea and coffee with other fellow teachers.  I walk in to them saying "Hey! We were just talking about our weddings"!  Is this a joke?!! A sick, mean, hurtful joke!!!  Granted they have no idea the state of my marriage or that I filed for divorce or that my lawyer called yesterday and told me it was finalized. And here I go walking into a trap!  They're all divorcees living their second season of  life and maybe it was an opportunity for me to open up to them?  Or just listen to their stories?  But I felt like this mere coincidence was a cruel game.  And when they asked me about my marriage I gave little information as possible.  So I mostly listened.  I don't know what to make of it? I don't know what to make of anything anymore?  Just when I think I got it together the wind blows and picks up the grains of sand in my life and throws it in my face!  The desert is starting to feel like one big never ending sandstorm.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Learning to Let go and Let God...

L=Letting go, Learning

As I learn what the true meaning of LIMBO is and dissect the tragedy that got me there, the more I realize I have a lot to learn. I thought I was always good at letting things go, looking inward and not forming illusions to my reality. But I guess, I was never faced with a situation this tough? One that would test who I am and what I believed in all together. I thought my marriage was one way but it was another. I thought I was always able to let go of things easily but I still hope for my husband to come back to me. And I thought I was realistic about things but now I fantasize about my marriage being what I wish it would be. So...I guess I never knew my self at all or I thought I knew everything when I didn't? But is it delusional to hope? When does hope become unrealistic? I watched an episode of Oprahs' Super Soul Sunday with Marianne Williamson and she said "we are either moving towards fear or towards love. Enlightenment is not a learning it's an unlearning". Unlearning what we are holding onto and to get back to being free spirited as a child. Enlightenment means we are free from fear. I realized my actions in my marriage were all operated in fear. Fear that my husband would stop loving me and leave me. So I held on so tight that I smothered him and he actually did leave.
  Over the summer I found out someone very close to me was doing drugs and was institutionalized for a short time. All my fears became reality. I feared that he would continue to get into trouble and I devised a plan for him to go away to see a friend. This friend was in trouble himself but I knew in my heart that it would work. Or I just wanted it to work. Instead of letting go and letting God I felt like I had to do something even though I knew it wouldn't be the best environment for my loved one. But this friend didn't feel like it was a good idea for him to come and this person I really care about was upset. Now I fear that I ruined a friendship. I fear that I haven't been a good wife, or friend or sibling or daughter or teacher or writer or human being! I know, I know, I'm NOT excusing other peoples actions but I'm aware of my reactions to other people based on fear. That fear, I now realized caused me to make decisions that in turn made things worst. I need to let go. Let go of the need to fix things. The fear of not being able to fix things. On that Oprah show Marianne Williamson also said "If I'm not happy that means I'm looking at something incorrectly". You're not happy if you're believing in the fear (illusions) of the world. The world tells us what we need to do or how we need to be inorder to be happy. To be happy you need inner peace. Success is inner peace. God is inner peace. Circumstances don't make you unhappy its your fear perception of circumstances that causes unhappiness. I'm back and forth with being unhappy with moments of inner peace. I need to hold on to that moment and live it everyday. That means I'm living in fear and it has to stop if I need to be where God wants me to be. This time I have in the desert is for me to look inward and practice what I have forgotten as a child. To unlearn what I have learned through the experiences of my life or what was passed on from influences in my family upbringing. I need to let go of illusions that are brought on by fear. I need to realize that it's okay if I can't fix it, I don't have to fix it. Huh...I have a lot of work to do.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Seeing Past the Fog

Woke up the other morning to go to work with my carpool. We head out at our usual time of 6am only to turn around back to our villas.  FOG.  Nothing but fog once we reached the first round about. The sand dunes, camels and road signs are only visible 6feet in front of you, to your left and to your right. Cars are seen a few seconds ahead which makes it dangerous for driving.  The fog plays tricks on your eyes the longer you drive in it.  You begin to see phantom cars when there is none;or is there?  At first we debated whether we should try to creep to work at a snails pace and decided to turn around. Our teaching jobs are important but our lives are worth more.   We realized that we just have to wait it out.  Wait until visibility was better or completely clear.   I have to remember to do that when it comes to my marriage and my life.  I struggle seeing past the fog of what is, was or what could have been.  I have to remember that's why I'm here in Abu Dhabi in the first place.  An unexpected cloud of fog has engulfed my life when my husband walked out the door and now I can't see clearly.  I have to remind myself that its okay to wait it out. Its okay to give myself time until my road becomes clear before I move forward.  And I'm reminded of 2Peter 3verse 9 in the bible "The lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some may understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance". I get it.  And I know me.  I sometimes move to quickly without thinking and that has its advantages but it can also be detrimental to me in the long run if I'm not careful. Sometimes I just want things to be fixed right away. I want to see what's on the other side of the fog before it clears.  I just want to get where I'm suppose to be already!! I want all these horrible feelings of sadness to go away. I know there's something great I'm being prepared for in my life but does it have to take so long?  I know, I hasn't been that long but it feels like torture. Huh...I just have to stop, pray, listen and look for the signs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Bitter Sweet Journey

Limbo: L=Letting go
Today one of my colleagues told me that her ex husband emailed her today and told her that he and his new wife are expecting a BABY!  My colleague has been divorced for about five years and she and her ex husband or now friends;acquaintances.  They're cordial to each other even though there's been hurt feelings during this divorce.  They've both moved on and wish each other well.  But I asked her "How does that make you feel"?  Knowing very well what her answer would be.  I know her answer because I know mine.  I almost cried for her on that long desert road to work the minute she said BABY. Our situations are very different and their marital break up doesn't mirror mine.  But it doesn't erase the connections or the hopes and dreams that come with loving someone completely-at least at one point.  And when the marriage ends or is ending or on a steep roller coaster; the  unfulfilled expectations is...bitter sweet.  You can see the road ahead of you filled with new beginnings and reached goals but the past still shows its face in unexpected ways.   My colleagues response was "I don't know how I feel"?  My colleague who has no regrets about her choice, initiated the divorce. Her and her ex husband have no children together for complicated reasons.  My husband and I don't either.  But we never tried.  And we may never get the chance.   So...I know if I heard the same news from my husband I would be a mess.  The thought devastates me knowing that he walked out the door, has no real communication with me for almost two years and one of my hopes; to have a baby with him is, well, might never happen.  You see after many incidences in our marriage I realize that my husband didn't want to have a baby with me. Or he changed his mind at one point.  Who really knows? And my desires to have a baby with him doesn't matter anymore.  We're separated now.  My love for him is still the same. My feelings may change in the future but the past doesn't. The feelings towards someone never truly goes away. It lingers. It just evolves in to something else. I guess? So my heart aches for my colleague and it aches at the thought of those same words being told to me.  All I keep thinking is "I should of had his baby.  It could have been me.  Its suppose to be me."  And I know to some degree, my colleague thinks the same way.  A little part of me becomes sad when I see a baby pass by and I know she does too.  But I guess what she has to do now is; just let it go?  Find a place of peace with it.  Grieve for the miracle they could not share together and let other miracles come into her life that is filled with many blessings.  I guess, I need to do the same?  I'm not sure how though since mentally, spiritually, physically and in my marriage, I'm still in Limbo?...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Limbo: A place of reflecting

I've been in Abu Dhabi for two weeks now. I returned after my summer vacation in NYC with my family. This is not my first time here. It's actually my second year teaching in Abu Dhabi. Last year I came here to basically clear my mind. To get away from what felt like and still feels like a life that I wasn't really living. I mean it was me, in my body, being a wife , sister and friend. I thought it was perfect even with all its flaws. And then the title of wife was involuntary taken away from me. My husband sits me down one day and tells me he doesn't love me anymore. After seven years this is what I hear. Then everything became, surreal. Like a dream. Nothing felt real and still feels unbelievable to me. God I'm not paranoid or delusional, I understand what has happened and the demise of my marriage. I'm aware of the tragedy that my life now reflects. But still, I'm in shock. My whole world has been shattered to mere shards of images of a life I thought I knew but now know I didn't. And here I am. In Limbo. Literally! Being in the desert of Abu Dhabi is not all the glitz and glam of the TV commercials. Here, where I am reflects the isolation and confusion in my mind and in my surrounding. Nothing but vast hills of orange and tan colored sand dunes into the horizon mixed in with the new and old culture. A mixture of beauty and rubble. A mixture of two worlds battling for existence. A mixture of my memories of my husband and him walking out the door. Only one will win. They can't both exist peacefully without a fight. Right? Iyanla Vanzant calls this place "The Valley". A place where change is happening whether you want it or not. A place where the rug was pulled from underneath you and you feel like your world is falling apart. A place so deep you feel like you can't stop sinking. You're trying to breathe and make sense of it all. Here in the desert, the other teachers I call it Limbo. Everyone here seems to be waiting to transition to something or somewhere better or to be better. Well, almost everyone. There are answers here in Limbo and lessons I have to learn. Is it bad if you don't want to learn it? You just want your husband back?