Nervous

 

I looked out the window as we sped down the freeway and back to the comfort of our compound home. Endless desert stretched out before us, camels dotted the landscape, interspersed with bedouin tents where men sat wrapped in blankets, stoking fires and sipping tea. My son leaned against my arm, rubbing the bump that remained on his head, where hours before he had been pushed into a cement wall and onto the floor. He laughed and played peek a boo with baby Soos who fussed and then giggled at his silliness. The stress of not eating our usual after school meal and sitting for hours in the hospital waiting room had taken it’s toll, leaving the children tired and impatient. We entered the compound and drove the loop finally arriving home. A quick snack, then brushing teeth and off to bed for the early morning wake up at 5 a.m. I got the little ones to sleep and then gingerly scooted next to my son on his single bed, watching the rise and fall of his chest and listening to his breathing. The doctor confirmed a concussion based on his symptoms, but said careful monitoring was all that was needed. I was relieved and spent the night next to him, waking him gently every hour until I was too tired to stay awake myself.

The next day brought more anxiety than usual as I woke the boys for school and made their lunches. I insisted on keeping my son home but the stress of not attending and the hours of work he would miss made him determined to go. It had been almost 24 hours and I could see it was a losing battle, so off with the driver they both went. As I waved goodbye   the same old worries set in, magnified by events of the day before. I felt a sudden rush of anger paired with realization. I hesitated for a moment trying to shake off the cloud that came over me and seemed to resurface every few months. I swept and mopped, scrubbed and vacuumed but it was all for nothing as tears streamed down my face and into an invisible pool. I thought terrible things inside my mind, he didn’t care, he was wrong and I wanted more.  Each time this frustration came, I carefully voiced my opinion and mentioned my inner most fears thinking this would some how soften his heart. The result was the same,  he would remind me that I was listening to the shaytan (devil) and needed to be thankful for all that I had. I neatly tucked these thoughts away, filed under disobedient and ungrateful, begging for forgiveness and praying I could fix whatever triggered my unhappiness.  I continued with my work, piles of laundry, cooking and baking, all the while wondering how my sons were doing at the Arabic school.  I thought of all the good that I had been blessed with, but the waves of anger could not be held back. I remembered my own childhood, attending University elementary, where children were sent to the school nurse if they fell and scraped a knee. Teachers were firm but did not yell or call names and some left a lasting impression that shaped a young child’s future.  I sat and furiously wrote a letter to the doctor, informing him that my sons were never to be turned away and in any event a call was always mandatory. I signed it and wrote the villa phone number at the bottom vowing to send it the next day. When I finished with my silent rant and calm had once again been restored, I approached him and gave him the letter. I asked him to deliver it to the doctor and explain that this was unacceptable and he was to call me if anything ever happened that lead my boys to his office. He agreed to do this and hugged me kindly, “Um Osama you worry too much, it’s not good and you are raising nervous children”.

 

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151 thoughts on “Nervous

  1. Taking things lightly is one thing and then, there are some serious issues that need to be handled firmly. And your worry was not meaningless. How could he be so cold?! Is it because he wanted your sons to harden up? Even then, this is not right.

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      1. You are amazing and brave. Its heart breaking that you still struggle and have anxiety with decisions you made, waiting to be punished when you don’t deserve any punishment, oh my…. you are a hero!

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      2. You are so very kind!! Thank you for sticking with me and reading! I am trying to move forward and each day is a new day. I can truly say so many people here including you, have helped me so much!

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  2. Hmm, let me guess….the letter never made it to the doctor? He just doesn’t seem like the type that even cares. The stress must have been overwhelming for you!

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    1. I honestly don’t know. It was weird I was just going along I think my brain was just not thinking in order to survive. I said how much I loved him, but inside I felt there were repercussions and knew not to cross the line. So, you just go along. Thanks for always reading Tasha! Greatly appreciate what you have to say! xx

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      1. I’m glad to hear that Lyn. But this can be so insidious. Some men know what to say to gain our confidence then they can change. We sometimes need an exit plan. I went through that with both of my daughters. They are okay now but if it was a close call and if it wasn’t for women’s shelters they wouldn’t have made it.
        Leslie

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  3. Hearing that you had to push your hopes and dreams into the corners of your mind because they were deemed “evil” breaks my heart. You are so strong to have kept them alive for yourself and your children… and now the dreams are flourishing!

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  4. Not being heard, talking against walls, and the only reaction is ignorance or in the best case being told that there is something wrong with you… I did not go through such an abuse like you. But I know how it feels when you are not taken seriously…. but everybody else is. The frustration, desperation, and anger which is building up more and more can become overwhelming at times. I remember myself doing the household and tears are streaming down my face. Talking myself away from the situation and suppressing the hurt, telling myself I was too sensible on that. But one day…. we wake up!

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      1. I think so too. That is the great thing about sharing experiences. It helps others to see that they are not alone and that they are definitely understood!

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  5. I have now caught up with your story. wow, it leaves me speechless for both the resilience and strength in you as well for the situation you and the kids were in. Thank you for sharing this powerful account of your life.

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  6. I am so pleased your courage surfaced enough to leave dear Lynz… the more I read your story the more and more admiration I have for you, I must have missed one episode so i will backtrack.. I have been trying to catch up with many over the last day.in WP.. xxx Hugs Sue

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      1. yes about a month ago a few people asked me to start posting the older stories, so next time I will try to think of how to put it so it makes sense. thanks for that insight I have always wondered for those who are new if it is confusing! HUGS xxx

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    1. Thanks so much KR. I felt good about this writing haha because I felt more successful at giving the feelings of how you keep pushing it all back and how you feel it is your fault, it is hard to explain so I felt I got closer! Thanks!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxo

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    1. Thanks for reading Suzanne! It is hard to unravel, there is fear, worry etc. It took me 3 years to get my two youngest into school! I couldn’t figure it out but of course they were nervous. Even my older kids don’t like me being at home alone! I never understood! But after writing it is all coming together! So, there are things that linger but all and all everyone is doing great and moving forward! Thanks for your continued support! xxx

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    1. 😦 interesting how the human mind can help you to survive and just go along! Yes it was him. I finally told my oldest son when he was at college I think it is him, you are right– he was like MOOOMM yes, he had been telling me for years, you are good, smart, the leader, listen to yourself!

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    1. I don’t know! His brother liked my facebook page which is linked to this! Also a few relatives like it on fb. They don’t know very much English so not sure if they would understand. the other day he viewed my linkedin profile which made me nervous! I think that was the idea. So I wonder about it here and there. I have not had contact with him since July when he quit sending support money for the kids! So, I was afraid to write but then with support from everyone here it has gotten easier! I have lived in fear since I was a young woman and now don’t care!

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      1. Does he have any contact with your kids? Perhaps it might be safer to be anonymous. Just concerned about your current safety, and apologies if I am prying!

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      2. No its fine i just dont know how i could be anonymous at this point. He has contact with my two college age kids, he sends them a littke money for extra expenses but wont send us any. My son who is 12 asks about him!

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  7. I can’t believe he hugged you! And spoke kindly. But it was just the jelly to stick the knife in again, “raising nervous children” indeed! If it had been left up to him, they wouldn’t have survived to be raised.
    OH, I’m so glad this is the PAST!!!

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  8. So brave amongst such adversity, but you have survived to tell your story and have wonderful children who love you. By telling this maybe it will serve as a warning to other young impressionable girls that life can be very, very different in other cultures for women. Hugs lovely lady 🙂

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  9. This was another fascinating read, Lynn. I could picture you next to your boy making sure he was OK that night. I think any mother can relate to that protective and worried feeling. Good for you for the way you stood up for your kids with the letter! xoxo

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  10. Good for you for writing that note! You are a strong and determined person and I think this is what helped you get through those horrible years in Saudi. You have raised wonderful children, not nervous children.

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  11. Terrible that he behaved in that way – concussion is and can be so serious. No wonder you wanted your letter passed on. Glad you are out of that situation and that you and your family are free of such controlling behaviour.

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  12. I could feel your fear and inner turmoil! It is amazing how much our gut instincts “know” even when we have been taught to ignore them, to not believe in them! You and your children were so brave™

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