There are times when I come to this blog with a clear plan about what I want to say. Sometimes, the thoughts which materialise onto paper are those which have been brewing in my mind for a while. Other times, the thoughts come to the fore often last minute. In almost all those cases, the thoughts are inspired by real encounters with people in my life. Yesterday, was one such example. I had a chance encounter with a young Muslim mother – someone I had never met before. In that first conversation, between two complete strangers, she ended up in tears and I found myself inadvertently in the role of counsellor. She had expressed her sorrow and distress that her marriage was almost coming to an end.
Meeting this lady, I could not help but recall my own parallel experiences with her. Of course, I do not know the details of her life but I do know too well the emotional devastation that such life events cause us to go through. Too often, it is the women who suffer the consequences of such turmoil and are the victims. And let’s not forget the children.
The sadness I felt for her, and so many other stories I learn about online and in person, is something immeasurable. It is a pain that only someone who has personally experienced, can ever begin to empathise with. Standing in front of this stranger yesterday, listening to her story, reading her face, seeing her tears, all collectively brought a deluge of memories flooding back to my mind. Yet, oddly enough, I became acutely aware of how far down the line I have travelled, creating an even wider gap with each day between my past and my present. It was a moment of self-realisation.
I explained to this lady that there would be light at the end of the tunnel; there would be clear skies after the clouds; that she would be just fine. All the time, I felt like I was having a conversation with my former self – that this person was like a reincarnation of the previous me and I was going back to my past to tell myself everything would be OK. Hearing myself give that advice to someone else actually was a profound experience. It was as if Allah had given me yet another opportunity to judge for myself how much progress I have made in recent years. Similar to the epiphany I had when descending Mount Snowdon, yesterday’s meeting with a perfect stranger provided that same feeling. It was such a surreal moment.
As already mentioned, I have read far too many stories of women suffering abuse of all kinds at the hands of their menfolk. To be honest, I often don’t make it to the end of those stories because the outcomes are, sadly, just too predictable. I am tired of seeing many men escape retribution from society or the law and I’m tired of seeing women get hurt. Even if I want to tell them (the women) that they are going to be just fine, I know they will have to go through the motions themselves. I can’t fast forward life or help them skip that ditch of darkness. Alhamdulillah, I am living proof that there is a life to be
had enjoyed after divorce. The fruits of hard labour will definitely ripen some day and we will be ready to take from that harvest what is rightfully ours, inshaAllah.
So, my sisters, to all those who are in the throes of divorce and have stumbled across today’s blog, may this post serve as a gentle ray of hope that we womenfolk have an innate and almost infinite reslience that will not allow us to hang up our boots just yet. Hold your head up high and carry the torch for your children. You are indeed a trailblazer.