Deepest Darkest Fear: Part 1 – The Breaking

Recently, I was asked, ‘what is your deepest darkest fear?’ After a brief thought I blurted out, ‘Loving someone and them leaving me.’

‘That’s it? There must be something else?’ they asked. ‘I can’t think of anything else…’ I replied.

‘Well, you’re pretty brave then.’ they said.

Thinking back to this conversation, I retrospected on my first reply. Surely, I must have several little fears and phobias that either couldn’t think of in the moment or I haven’t come across yet. But I think it would, in future, depend on the situations that would help me understand my own reactions and fears, as they usually do. For example, coming across a surprisingly difficult person takes some of my energy to control impulses and respond with patience. There are so many instances where I am in a situation that I don’t know how to deal with, the only thing I can do is consciously breath slower than normal, prevent my facial expression from giving away my emotions or just walking away if the situation stirs emotions of frustration or anger. Later I decide onto how I shall be choosing to react if similar situations recur.

But why in that moment of sharing I could only come up with the fear of loving and being left? Simple answer would be that I’ve lost people I’ve loved the most to death and never acknowledged every single feeling after those losses. You seldom do.

I may have shared my story in several ways previously, but in this blog series it’s less about the pain and more about the healing and the lessons learnt so far.

In 2005 when my dad passed away, I was just 8 years old. The only way I knew how to deal with loss was by crying until my sister told me I could write it all out like my dad used to. It helped. In 2015 when my mum got sick and had to be taken to the hospital, I was 18 years old.  I panicked at our arrival at the hospital when the doctor asked me how long mom had been unconscious. A few minutes later while the doctors began their procedures, I shut myself in the bathroom. My mum’s sister and brothers took me out and tried consoling me. I ran away from everyone and drove home, shut myself in mom’s prayer room. The only thing I knew to ask was for strength to accept for whatever happened next-‘Bhana manan di shakti dena’.

In Hindu and Sikh religion, the holy scripts mention something along the lines of ‘everything happens according to the will of the creator.’ Most of us interpret it further to not ask questions but be content in knowing that god is there and that’s what I believed back then. It took a while for my belief to alter & know that I can ask questions and like my mother used to say, ‘read the script, it holds all the answers.’ Seldom I’ve read the script now, but whenever I’ve heartily believed that the script can answer me, it usually does. At the least, reading some bits of it still gives me peace.

So, that day my prayer for strength seemed to take effect pretty slowly within the next half hour. Mom passed away on 14th July 2015. I was in a space where nothing was stopping me, all I felt was a numbness and a feeling of letting her go in the way she wanted. Rituals meant nothing to me at that point, I carried her to the cremation, and along with my sisters gave fire to the pyre in a very medieval Indian style. It was when I saw her being cremated that I began to crumple within, felt weak to continue standing and fell down on my knees thinking “this is it; she’s gone… forever. Tomorrow morning, I wouldn’t hear her wake up call, I wouldn’t be making tea for two, I wouldn’t be controlling my anger or sighing because she was ranting about something I forgot to do. Just like that she’s disappeared.” I saw the chair that was now empty in her room. Numbness continued to precede tears. I built walls around myself and did not let anyone in. I’m utterly thankful to my family for not leaving me alone as I asked them to. They guarded me in this time like I was their own daughter, in fact way more than that. With their own hearts broken and emotional defences on, they wouldn’t let anyone other than family members near me alone.

Six months later in Edinburgh, I was all by myself. I was used to crying in the shower sometimes but one day I was alone. That day, I allowed myself to scream my heart out, I accepted that no matter what I couldn’t accept mom being gone. Since that day, anytime I missed her or fought with her in my mind, if I wanted to cry I did. I had to change a lot of what I understood about life and myself since. It now almost seems like I lived someone else’s life back then. Not knowing yourself in the past and discovering yourself in the present usually gives you that feeling.

Feeling of love is from several relationships obviously. While my siblings have loved me in their own ways, along the way during teenage I had my heart broken. My first “one-sided love” lasted for about 7 years until I was 20 years old and one day realised that it had been about three months that I hadn’t wondered about how the guy was. We are good friends, seldom texting each other, letting each other know how we are but it doesn’t hurt anymore. The main reason for this is that even though I confessed to him how I had felt but I had to have my rules/boundaries for friendship with him set. During this period, even though it was all virtual talking, I came to realise that perhaps I liked the feelings I felt when I was younger, but now I didn’t feel the same nor did I like several things about him. So, friendship was good, but I could happily say that the pain was over. I was finally not in love anymore. Strangely enough, I remember squealing in happiness for I felt strangely light and very much free. However, this healing wasn’t very easy, I had to start with acceptance to knowing my desires first to confessing my feeling clearly to abiding by my own boundaries and lastly letting time do its trick, putting myself first and beginning to discover myself.

Few weeks later, I met someone here. I liked him; however, he didn’t feel the same. We dated for about three weeks and I confess, the guy made me laugh my heart out. I couldn’t remember the last time I was this happy, but it didn’t last long as he messed up. Without going in details, I’d say that that happiness was something my mind craved afterwards. But this incident allowed me to find a piece of myself. The most important piece.

Continued here.

PS: All my heart to the veterans who live the horrors of wars and are tremendously courageous to live the pain of lossing so much.

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