Sunday, September 01, 2013

unwell, unforgiving, unapologetic.

forgiveness has a lot to do with many kinds of suffering. but i wouldn't have figured out that it had anything to do with falling sick, had i not experienced this link first hand. at least, even if falling sick has nothing to teach one about forgiveness, remaining unwell for a long time, does.

if you are okay with learning from the insensitive brute inside you, it might teach you a lot about humility. it taught me how unforgiving and unkind i could be. how very fallible in relationships and that has made me humble enough to come out with it. i will now proceed to make my excuses to ensure that you don't hate me by the time you are done reading. i'd been very sick, i'd lost my social circle (though i've now found an assorted replacement), my social and professional confidence. basically, my nerve to deal with anyone except the three people i'd known all my life - my younger brother and my mother and father, and my eventual-boyfriend-now-husband.

you would think that that would make me especially nice and especially appreciative where these four persons are concerned. more fool you. my immense appreciation usually didn't translate into niceness. in fact, the opposite was more the norm than the exception. consider this an aside: the one thing i am not apologetic about is mixing my metaphors which i tend to do with predictable regularity. i can do a bit of hand-waving (a term i learnt from my cutest Physics professor, in the days of yore) psychoanalytical arguments and present a not-too-tattered defense for my rudeness and insensitivity. so i will get that out of the way first. and then i promise to apologise. categorically, unabiguously.

i had to clamp down on my fear and sadness and loneliness in front of everyone except my family. not that i met that many people in the first place. but there was this auto-control in my head which prevented me from thinking about it either. so i was not saying this to myself and i was not saying this to anyone else: i was scared that i'd never amount to anything, least of all an intellectually, socially and physically normal person. ('normal' being a word that has continued to drive me crazy for a decade. some day i will talk about all the different shades of gloom it turned, for me.) what was my solution to treat the clamping-down? i screamed at my family over random things, little things, over favours imperfectly delivered. i was horrid to them. till as recently as yesterday morning. i would refuse to understand their limitations, their human fallibility and their needs despite my firm conviction that they were doing their best to help me over endless bumps in my road. i was being unreasonable. yes they were bending over backwards for my sake, but if it didn't completely solve my problem at once, they weren't bending enough, and must perfect their gymnastic skills. after all, i needed it. what could be more important that? to be honest, nothing was. not for them, not for a minute. and yet, i screamed.

i screamed because i could not endlessly sit and howl my eyes out over what i saw as my absolutely wasted twenties (i turned 30 this February), over my deep-seated gnawing anxiety that i could never start afresh, never be anything i would care for. i screamed at them because i didn't know who else to scream at. i tried screaming at god, but that doesn't draw blood, does it? it's pointless, because it doesn't give you any reason to stop, to think of something else. well, if nothing else, the shame of my own behaviour often provided enough of a distraction. i screamed because i was sad, torn, frustrated. because there was no other way to vent spleen at what i saw as a supreme injustice to me.

my frustration at being less than capable - physically and socially - and my fear that i was in for a permanent status quo, made me immensely unforgiving and at times, incalculably inconsiderate. i am sorry for all the hurt i inflicted on the people who love me and want me to be happy and well more than anything else in their lives, who would give their lives to ensure it. i am sorry that instead of being endlessly grateful for their love and unrelenting support and patience, i have been endlessly selfish. they had their lives to run and i preferred to ignore that. i cannot lie that i did not resent it. i wouldn't in a million lifetimes want them to suffer like i have suffered (i know that each of them have struggled hard for whatever happiness they have found). but i expected it as my right that they should silently take whatever i dished out because, after all, they weren't the ones suffering.

it is tough to deal with ill-health, not the least because it forces you to be nicer than you are. it was a tough choice to make, and i made the wrong choice so many times. but i am now trying to choose the right thing. i have started with offering heartfelt apologies.

i will eventually say what i've actually wanted to do for each of them. and about what i find particularly adorable and cherishable in each of them. about what i've learnt from each of them that has made it possible for me to pick up the pieces and put together a life that i am actually proud of and value greatly. thank you for everything you have done, and for showing me what unconditional love is capable of. i am fortunate to have a family like this and i have been all sorts of fools - i should have realised that even the worst kind of sickness (which i was never even close to) is no trouble, is to be shrugged off when you have people who envelope you in their love to try and shield you from all hurt and harm.

i will also forgive myself because it seems impossible to move beyond my mistakes, otherwise. or maybe this is just for my peace of mind. as long as it results into peace for others as well, it's all for the good . . .

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