You know what you deserve? You deserve so much better. So many things have happened to you whether it’s a bad break up, family issues, friends, whatever it is…. you pull through. You have made it this far and I’m proud of you. You truly deserve the world and since no one can give you that now, find someone that will. Apologize, forgive but don’t forget, find new friends. Ones that make plans with you and free their time to give you attention. You deserve all good things and don’t for a second think you’re not worth it because you remind me of the sun, you hide away but always come back even more beautiful than before. – unknown
“If you want to attract someone in your life, get a gold ring and wear it on the right index finger. The right person will come within three months,” advised my friend who sent me an article on how to use fengshui to attract love. For the past 6 months, I have been wondering what I should do with my life. Is my life going to be like this monotony pace until I cease to exist, always struggling and worrying, gliding in and out of companies like a ghost, never staying put in one place for more than two years? What do I really want out of my life? I kept asking myself this same question the moment I opened my eyes in the morning. But the answer simply eluded me.
So I started keeping a daily journal. The key is to write at least one page per day, first thing in the morning. You can write anything, (or in my case, I sometimes draw them out) – your dreams, your thoughts, or even questions you drive yourself nuts over. The practice is said to help clear out the mental debris stuck in my head, by clearing them out, I might find that elusive path that I have been searching for so long. I knew it’s time for a complete change – I no longer find joy in my career, despite slogging at it for the past 6 years without any significant financial rewards (I am still broke and have yet buy my own apartment); I want to grow old with someone when my son started living his own life (that’s my goal, for him to live independent from me and start living his own life and I need to learn how to let him go); most importantly, I want to know what it feels like to be part of a family, not just the two of us, mother and son. Yes, it sounds sad to even ask for the most basic stuff in human’s life but that’s what it is. I often felt guilty for not being able to provide my son the most basic foundation in anyone’s life. At the lowest point in my life, I had asked, actually begged, two of my closest friends to adopt my son, in order to give him the chance of having what I deemed a normal family life, a life I was deprived of since aged 9. One friend replied, she believed that I can totally winged it as a perfectly good mother and that I have strengths which I couldn’t see myself clearly at that point in time; the other friend simply dropped the bomb honestly, “Don’t go and die on me if I agreed to the adoption”. I gave up the adoption idea and simply trust that perhaps life might have something better lined up for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t grow up an orphan, even though sometimes I wondered if life would be less of a struggle being an orphan. I do have a set of parents, and a brother and sister. But I grew up with my grandmother and my uncles and aunt. I never lacked love and affection since I lived in a household of adults who loved me to bits. I was a princess in their eyes. Until I turned 9, when my mother decided I should move back to her home. That was when my childhood ended. My mother and my paternal family made it known very early that I was not accepted, and will NEVER be accepted, as part of their family. I had fallen from being the princess to being the rejected one. And it was a tough fall. From then on, I was always that spectator, watching humans interactions of love and affection, but never being a participant. It was so bad for a period of time, I had to cut myself in order to convince myself that I am alive (and transparent) and not dead (and transparent as a ghost). And I didn’t realized how much of a huge impact my mother had made in my life in the years to come.
I received my first epiphany at age 10 while sitting cross-legged on my classroom floor. There we gathered at the command of my English teacher, she sat on a small chair, and I craned my neck upwards, as if I was looking at the face of God, and it was as if she was staring at me intensely while dishing out words of wisdom: you, and you alone, have the strength to break the vicious cycle of your family’s problems/violence. Those words seared deep in my brain and I didn’t know how much influence those words had on me in the years to come.
My second epiphany occurred at the dining table alone with my grandmother at the age 12. She was concerned about the “complaints” she had heard from my mother and asked if any of the accusations were true. Like the Cinderella in the fairy tale, I wore clothes so cheap that people in those days assumed maids would wear (and the irony was some of my maids actually dressed better than me. I was once mistaken as the new maid when we went over to visit my mother’s friend); I did all the housework but was accused as the laziest one and the one who constantly “caused grief” to my mother (until today, I still couldn’t understand what grievances she had of me); whenever there were problems between my parents, I was the first one accused as the one who would cause their divorce (my father explained to me very clearly what problems he had with my mother and I was not even their the main argument and they never got divorced anyway); if I made my father angry (which was rare) I would be denied a plate (and a place, meaning no dinner for me) at the dinner. And that denial went on for a month. It was then my grandmother and I realized how much my own mother must have hated me. And all my grandmother could advised, when you grow up, move as far away as possible. There you can find your own happiness. I was 12 then. No one came to rescue me. No one came to adopt me away. What could I do? With her words and blessing, living overseas became a lifelong dream I cherished. And my wish came 16 years later at the age 28. I moved to Turkey in a heartbeat without warnings or saying goodbyes.
Because I grew up convinced I was unworthy as a human, I pursued relationships that were emotionally unavailable. I was always treated like an option, convinced that I was damaged as a person to begin with (one ex actually told me I must be so evil to be rejected by my own biological mother, so therefore he has the right to use me as his emotional support when his father died and since I had outlived my usefulness, therefore he has the right to say goodbye to me after three long years of relationship with me). With zero self worth, I married my now ex, who convinced me that I would not be able to find anyone better than him, or find anyone who would accept the damaged crazy me. He became the most violent person I have ever met in my life and stole money from me at night when I went to sleep. For a long time, I feared sleep, always on the alert that he might steal from me or woke me up from sleep to just yell and spit in my face. I made up my mind to run away the moment he almost killed my then two-years-old son when he flung things at me. It literally came down to life or death for both me and my son. At that moment of clarity, I chose life. With that, began my long journey in healing and finding myself.
When my father died 4 years ago, I had lost all hopes and shut down my feelings. I could no longer feel nor plan nor habour hopes. In a short span of 4 years, I had lost my marriage, all my friends, my job, my family and most of all, my father, who had been the rock I always fall back on whenever I got into trouble. I had basically lost everything. All I could do was to get on with my day and be done with it. In the midst of this seemingly everlasting bleakness, I fell hard for yet another emotionally (and he thought I am not worthy of his status) unavailable idiot. I struggled for another 6 months, unable to accept that I might have feelings for someone who thinks so lowly of me. Only I and I myself, could break the vicious cycle of the family’s problems/violence. I could still hear the voice of my English teacher. The hardest I had ever done was to walk away from his friendship and the potential of rising in position in my career. I chose myself. And I chose happiness because life is short. It took another two years for me to fully walk away from my current career and plunging into the unknown.
Life gives us a set of keys when we’re born, and our job is to find the right one that opens the right door. We may get lost along the way, finding ways to jiggle loose doors open and finding ways to pick locks or miss handles that are blatantly there.
I believe all the mistakes I have made all leads to the main lesson I was to learn: to reject my mother’s poor version of me and build a healthy version of myself. I lost all respect for my mother the day she accused me of getting together with my ex husband (and I was divorced for 5 years with no contact nor news from him). The kicker was my mother admitted that she only has two children, my brother and my sister, for the plain reason that they live on the same soil as her. I figured I do not need another toxic figure in my life and I was getting sick and ashamed of always returning back to Turkey after each trip to see my own family, only to sob my heart out in my friend’s kitchen. I finally closed that much needed to-be-shut door and just put myself out there, waiting to see what the universe has in store for me.
Out of curiosity, I bought myself the gold ring in May. I figured I have nothing to lose anyway and I can actually proved to my friend if that fengshui tip really worked. By wearing the ring, I had unconsciously opened my heart to the infinite possibilities life could throw at me. After a month wearing the ring, someone new entered my life. He is so different from the men I used to know. He started texting me day and night, telling me the minor details of his life. This is definitely something new to me. I have never known anyone who is so willing to share so many details of his daily life. To be so honest with me. Intrigued, I responded. Events escalated rapidly and now we are planning to see each other regularly. After the first date, my big mouth just blurted that I will introduce my son to him, which he responded positively. I panicked. Will he bailed out? Is he like the previous men I had known? I don’t even know his last name and yet I am inviting him to my house to meet my son! I must be mad! chided my mind. My heart and my mind were constantly battling. Be careful! yelled my mind. But my heart simply replied, Chill out. We’ll see where this leads. My mind only shut up when I found feathers floating towards me consecutively for two days. That’s how I knew even my deceased father approved of him.
Every failed attempt at love and every episode of drama, no matter how much it impacts you in the moment, plays a role in leading you to the right door. Just don’t hold on to the broken keys, and remember that even the biggest hurricanes shrink to a light drizzle of rain. Every wrong turn and stumble and rise is meant to teach a lesson.
He came when I am in the midst of transforming my life. Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, we will need to go through fire to emerge a new and better version of ourselves. He came at the right time when I had closed all doors to my past. He came at the right time when I am paving the way to a better me, to build a better future for myself. “You deserve love, you deserve to experience the joys of life”, advised my friend who has been patient with me for crying myself stupid in her kitchen each time I returned from my trip from my family. And I no longer cry in her kitchen. Not for more than a year. He came at the right time when I am searching for my partner in crime. He came at the right time when I was mentally prepared (even though I still sometimes struggle emotionally. I still panic sometimes. But I am getting there with his sincerity and certainty of us). He came at the right time when I needed healing the most. To believe in the good of humanity. To have hope. To accept me as I am, my past and my future. And to want to know everything about me, both known and unknown to myself. He is the rock I look forward to seeing (texts or in person) each day and the last thing I hear (or read) before I go to sleep at night. He came not a moment sooner, not a moment later. But just at the right time. And I am grateful for his presence in my life.