Sunday, March 13, 2011

From Darkness to Light

After a long break, I decided to start blogging again. Why? I am not sure exactly. I do however know that there is plenty of stuff that has changed. 

Life certainly has changed for the better. Since I last blogged, I graduated (yay), worked a couple of months as a consultant, took a 2.5 month long vacation (first vacation in 4.5 years), reconnected with my family, broke up with א, met an amazing wonderful woman (C), and got myself in to a post-doctoral fellowship. In all, Life is good.

Given the life changes, I figured I should make changes to my blog too. I hope to focus on the happy stuff as much as I did on the broken parts previously. I also hope to play with the appearance of the blog. I will be working on that for a little while... so, please bear with me.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why now?

Why now? That is the question I've been asking myself since I met with my T last week. This goes back to my childhood experiences and why I'm thinking about revealing it to my parents. I've been nervous about coming clean about it, and still am. I do not know for sure how they would react and I'm not sure I want to hear even the slightest doubt when I do tell my family about it. On the one hand, I'm afraid I'd go ballistic; on the other hand, I wish I could finally show my parents, especially my mom that I'm not all that she thinks I'm.
As a relevant aside, my mom has always been very (and I mean VERY) possessive of me. Also, she has always presumed that she knows me, my tastes, my wants, and my desires so well. She feels confident about knowing me. So, part of me wants to show her that she doesn't know me.

I was watching Frasier today, an episode where Frasier and Martin Crane find out about their respective spouse's extra-marital affairs. It made me realize that I'm really upset about my mom's affair with B. I simply cannot get over the fact that she used me as an excuse to meet with B. I was so naive to have gone alone with it, all the while not acknowledging what was really going on. She took every opportunity to use me as an excuse to get out of the house and spend some time with B. I had to cover for her numerous times. She slept with him, and I willfully ignored all the evidence towards it. I was so stupid! lol

Recalling that I heard her say that B was more important than her own kids, makes me upset. I find it funny that I didn't get upset or angry at her when she said that, whereas, it upsets me now. I remember feeling scared that she would not bother to care about me and only hoping to hold on to her more tightly. Although this was a long time ago, it still hurts to recall all those incidents. In retrospect, I felt completely used. Worse, I even defended her against my dad. I wronged my dad in that sense. I'm unable to face myself for it.

All that pent up anger against my mom is now coming up, as I find my mom increasingly grasping for me. Her presumptions about how she knows me so well, seem so... arrogant, lacking any ground. The "over-confidence" she has in her supposed understanding of me is getting to me. I find this conceited and even vainglorious. It is damn right annoying and bothersome. This combined with her fawning, excessive doting over me is plain and simple irksome... not just for me, but also for my sister. It is making me so uncomfortable that I do not want to go home for my sister's wedding. But, that is not really an option.

So, I chose the next best thing to do... to put a distance between me and my mom. I choose to do it by saying the one thing I know will for sure make her gasp and take a step back. This would also make her (and my other family members) back down on their pushing me to marry soon. It is like my panacea -- my mom away, put some distance between me and everyone in my family, gain some respect of my own, get some wiggle room for making my own decisions, and not to mention, be a bit better able to build a case for my celibacy (or for not being stuck with an arranged marriage).

Well, this is how far, I got today. I'll be talking to my T soon. We'll see what happens...

PS: I've decided to try and keep my blog updated more often from now on.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

... and then I wake up!

Wow, what a change! After my last post, I left to go continue my vajrayana weekend course that involved contemplating on death. As I was leaving, I decided, yes "decided" that I was going to use my sister's joy at getting engaged into my own joy. Guess what, the whole thing flipped upside down. I'm just fine now. It is so weird.

Yes, I still love א, no change in that. I'm back to expressing my unconditional love for her instead of putting clauses on it. So, I was able to completely relax about it and let things be. Suddenly, I realize the Buddhist notion of how everything is a choice. It really is. That is not to say that there is no sadness. I'm very sad, but I don't have to be upset about it. Again, I'm sure this is probably just a temporary state, but hey, I'll take anything I can. I'm 100% glad that I'm not stuck in that hell I was in just earlier. Being able to open up the way I did today, and say, "I love her, but she doesn't have", was very empowering.

While I can see how one might perceive this as acting like a piece of dirt that everyone walks over, I completely do not feel that way. I feel this love for her expanding to accepting that she doesn't. Yes, I still hope that she would at some point. I'm sad that it isn't the case now and that it might never be so. But, I'm completely comfortable with it. I'm unable to express myself in a better way than that. It just expanded somehow. It feels great.

PS: My skeptical mind speaking: Let's see how long this lasts!

Dreams of loss

That was a bad sleep. I felt so lonely. It felt like the time א broke up with me. It was the same time that I moved out of my old apartment (with roommates) to a new one without any roommates. It was the time I felt like fish out of water. I felt so lonely, so crummy, so heart broken... and in many ways so embarrassed at how I was feeling. The only consolation was that I'm now familiar with this feeling so instead of fighting it too much, I was able to go to sleep with it. The dreams (or was I awake, thinking?) were very real, matching my current situation. The entire night, I was having dreams of loss (a lot of them were loss of א). How silly is that?

I should be happy that my sis got engaged today. Instead, look at me! I'm awful. I feel so selfish. I'll tell you what is so weird about this whole thing. I'm expecting love from א, while at the same time I'm rejecting love from my overly-attached mom. I want my mom to let go while I want א to start reciprocating. Yes, there are other issues between my mom and me that make me want to maintain the distance. Regardless, my behavior seems so laughable. I don't know how anyone can live like this... utterly selfish. א is probably never going to love me back and my mom is never going to grasp at me so tight. I'm never going to stop grasping at א and never going to let my mom that close either. Nope, not happening.

The only potential itty-bitty respite in this thing is that I'm not grasping on to א this much at all times. Even when I do, I try not to express it to her. She probably reads me well though. I'm so lost, aren't I? Ha ha haa... I suck! I'm wasting Earth's resources by continuing this abysmal life. Ah well, poor Earth. I'm not going to commit suicide either. I'm just going to enjoy wallowing in my suffering for the rest of my life. Next thing I know, I'll be looking for more misery to accompany me... blah!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Why can't I post?

I hate myself. I never seem to post when things are manageable. Now that I'm back to feeling overwhelmed, I want to post. Why? Whatever!

Now that I've to be go back to visit India for my sister's wedding, I've been on a hot plate. First, I'll be in a situation where I'll have to meet my cousin who violated me when I was 5 and I'll have to meet this other stranger (I still don't know his name... only his profession, based on how he was referred to "bag man") who molested me when I was 14. Initially I was dealing with only this. Now, I'm back to pining for א. I really really really want to be with her... but I'm not sure she even remotely does anymore. Add to this the fact that I'm going to be under the crosshair about my marriage when I go to India. I mean, I cannot really express how much I want to be with her. I've been trying to love her unconditionally. It had been working. But now that I'm participating in a vajrayana course of sorts, where א is also going, has made me be really overwhelmed by my own situation. Thankfully, it is only for the weekend. I'm not sure I can take it anymore than that, especially, when I feel that she tries to ignore or push me away. (Sure, it could just be my own projections, but it sure hurts).

My celibacy vow (oh yeah, I took that on Feb 14 after giving א a lot of expensive gifts, thought it appropriate... ) is supposedly still in place, but the pain of separation from א is overwhelming right now. I know she said that she is not in any place to be in any relationship right now and I'm not willing to be in any relationship with anyone else. Also, not being with her was very much frustrating me. So, I took the celibacy vow (not necessarily with an indefinite time period), as a way of controlling my own urges and emotions. I thought by legitimizing my feelings of being lonely, given my (self-imposed) "commitment to א", with a formal vow, I'll be better able to take control of my own life. For some reason, going out with any other woman is simply not appealing to me at all. I tried and I couldn't. Sure, I hear that I should try harder. But, I'm seriously incapable of it. I've tried my level best. So, I'm trying to accept my own limitations as is as any buddhist is supposed to do. Fact is, I freaking suck at this. It is not a celibacy vow, it is more of a "marriage" vow... a vow of commitment to only א and no one else. It sucks big time. Though I know that she is not dating anyone else, feeling rejected makes me feel horrible.
Perhaps it will be a good thing that א is moving later this year to a new city. But I hate it that I'll lose her. I'll probably adjust to it, eventually. But then, my other good friend, K, is also moving. I'm going to be left friendless and alone, once again. I hated it before. I'm going to hate it again and I hate myself right now. I suck.

I'm desperate for a hug. Goddamit... why the f*** do I still love א? Why the f*** can't I be strong? Why the f*** do I have to go back to India? Why the f*** do I have to answer questions about my marriage? Why the f*** do I have to hide who I'm from my so-called family? Why the f*** do I have to meet that f****** cuz and that f***** (quite literally, unfortunately) bag man? What the f*** do I have to live for?

Clearly, I'm going into another big time depression. Yay! My only constant friend is back... welcome Misery. I hope you brought Depression along.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Living in the "present"

Well Karma, you last comment got me thinking. Here is what I've so far. This started as a reply comment, but the length of it made me put it out as a separate post of its own.

I did NOT mean equate being happy now with being happy in the past (or having a memory of it). It is just that sometimes our present is influenced by our past... we relive those moments. I , personally, recollect mostly bad memories and nothing really "normal", let alone amusing or fun. So, when all I see in my past is just pain, it is easy to maximize any pain and minimize any joy I'm feeling now. I have an automatic thought that simply says, "It has got to go wrong".

From a Buddhist perspective, it is about accepting the present for what it is, I agree. But accepting/learning involves knowledge of the past and the future; and perhaps even an intuitive understanding of impermanence and sunyata. These come from past experiences. So, how can one live only in the present? Philosophically speaking, what is "now" -- the present moment -- but a continuously changing nexus between the past and the future!

In other words, you cannot live in the present, without a past and a future; the present is but a shadow of the past and a glimpse of the future. Otherwise you would be living only moment to moment and not moment by moment. The distinction being that in the former, you are blind to the moments between, whereas in the latter you are aware through all passing moments.

Let me use a Buddhist analogy here. Let us think of time as a flowing river. We are observing it at some point during its course between its birth (mouth of the river) and its death (at the sea). The river is right in front of us, as much as it is at its mouth and at the sea, simultaneously. So, though the river is right here, right now, it is also there (at its mouth) and also there (at the sea). Similarly, though the present is right here, it is also not discrete. It is a result of all those tiny turns in the past and as a extension, it is also in all those tiny turns in the future. Lets keep predeterminism vs free choice to another discussion :-)

Finally, I'm still left with a rather philosophical conundrum, what does living in the present involve? Perhaps it is about accepting it for what it is, instead of "trying to live in the present". What do you think?

Friday, February 1, 2008

The empty shell that I am

I had a nice long chat with my best friend from yesteryears (aka, high school). Considering we were such close friends growing up, it wasn't such a surprise that we were able to connect again. We ended up recalling stories.
Correction. She recalled stories, I honestly didn't remember any. Yet, she was my best friend. Brought me back to thinking about my memory loss. Once again, I realized I don't remember a lot of stories. Made me feel bad again; but at the same time, it made me happy. I felt bad that I cannot remember any of those stories. I felt happy that someone else remembered them, with me in them.

What made me really happy was that in those stories I was told, it seemed like I was actually happy. In fact, it sounded like I had a gloriously joyous time. Knowing that makes me full and empty at the same time. I don't know if it makes sense. The thing is, it is full in the past; However, in the present, I can neither recall that fullness nor feel it, leaving me like an empty shell.

Without such recall, I can't remember myself as a happy person. I can't laugh or bring cheer to myself with happy memories. All I can think of is, "something has got to get worse, as it always does". Thinking about it all day has made me depressed too. Thereby, I'm forced to write.