Trauma bonding

Rapists get the death sentence in Somalia. Tell me where else they be this swift with it. Y’all can say a lot about Somalis but toxic masculinity is NOT part of the culture. Fight me.

In fact I’d go as far as to say we got more toxic femininity rampant than anything. Women be apologizing and caping for shit. Women were the ones perpetuating fgm and other dehumanizing practices like men eat first and women eat leftovers.

You CAN be a victim of your own enabling a useless praxis. But men are largely absent so that tells you that there aren’t any overt feet on our necks. We internalize self-erasure and glorify codependency and perfectionism. Mothers coddle boys and don’t give them space to take responsibility.

Having and being praised for a martyr complex is WILD because you’re valuing what you do for others over your own existence. No one can make space for YOU if you’re buried in the rubbles of others. And then you direct your frustration with your stunted growth at those for whom you sacrificed yourself for not sacrificing themselves to pull you out of the bed you made in the chaos.

Stop it please. Stop glorifying endurance of suffering and holding on to burning coals as virtues when we’re dying from it. Future generations of Somali girls are dying from not seeing self-actualization and emotional stability in us. They’ll die before they are even born because a woman’s zest comes from her spirit and there’s NOTHING worth blocking the heart for.

Forlorn

My cousin tells me her 15 year old daughter Aisha asked her why I look at people in a strange way.. She asked her what she meant. Aisha said, it’s like she can see right through your soul. It’s unsettling.

My cousin says she was in tears laughing because that was me, and she was shocked at how her daughter clocked it. She reassured her by saying I’m intuitive and so is she. Aisha felt relieved that it wasn’t all in her head. I say it’s funny because last time y’all were here I noticed her avoiding my gaze and I pretended like I didn’t notice anything because I didn’t want to remove her veil of security in obscurity. She’d have lost it if I told her what I saw that she didn’t realize I did. I wanted her to feel safe, even from me.

The whole thing made me laugh so hard over the phone that my nephew comes to me and asks why I’m laughing so hard. I say I heard something funny. My cousin continues, but Mulki this isn’t the first time someone has said this about you. I interrupt her – “I’ve heard it countless times. People are legit afraid of me”. She pauses and says, but that’s problematic! “Yeah, but what can I do? They feel stripped naked and they either go into defense or avoidance. All I can do is to not judge and not internalize it when they misjudge me. I don’t take it personally. I understand.”

I’ve spent very long asking why I’m like this and why people respond to me the way they do. And I can’t fully know but I know my intentions and my heart and I won’t let anything change that. I’ll accept everyone’s truth no matter how heavy or bitter. The only thing I never tolerate is falsehood.

A social experiment

Social media is a hamster wheel, I’ve come to realize. A lot of momentum going nowhere and noise saying nothing substantive. Everything good found online is wasted through having no space to enter our being to affect a lasting change. Yeah it’s a lot of interesting tidbits and shocking revelations but it’s revealing that the first thing we think to do when we come across such gems is to share with as many people as possible or wonder why more people are not aware of it. When we learn of atrocities our go-to response is : how can we make this float to the top so that it has maximum visibility? We pass the buck to the digital elite who’ve accrued a substantial following because we think they did so by merit and prestige and surely they would be able to shake things up to make people do stuff, right?

Another worrying assumption; that followers is something achieved by the followed. As if thousands or millions of individuals that made that choice for infinitely varying reasons are all an extension of the followed and that they did so because of some criteria that they excelled in. As if people use logic and ethics to make choices. As if “influencers” don’t actively seek out followers by carving out a niche casting wide nets to catch roaming people in search of somewhere to dull down and someone to defer to. It’s akin to driftwood and the mechanics of tidal waves. We’re just bobbing on the waves and claiming the ocean is our private chauffeur.

Character matters more than content because most things on earth and the nature of life is such that you need to be capable of transforming stuff to benefit from them. Food and medicine and utilities aren’t found strewn around. They are made from ingredients and material that contain transformative essences. The internet is going to be a major impediment because it has successfully deluded us into thinking that we’re effective because of our overestimation of busy work and actions.

A free fall

Hope is space uncluttered by the past and whatever you once held in and thought was real. It’s the love that’s beneath and betwixt everything. It’s what keeps you together when you lose everything. It’s what keeps you sane when violent storms are ripping through your mind. It’s clarity because it’s a rerouting to the reality of Allaah. Unwavering and unchanging even when everything crumbles and transforms. The meaning that stands the test of time.

The crux however is that it’s something you feel, this space of hope. It opens up in your heart and you have to feel through all the pain and trauma that has stacked above it to get to the clear space that underpins it all. One thing to keep in mind when feeling through the darkness triggers panicked thoughts is that you wouldn’t be able to feel and process the chaos if it weren’t through a stable channel. That’s why some traumatic memories or experiences get repressed or otherwise dissociated from recall until the psyche has the space to process it without self-destructing. Do you get that? You can’t feel weak without strength, you can’t feel doubt without knowledge, you can’t feel fear without hope. Don’t lose sight of that contrast.

It ends in the beginning

You have to have self-awareness and accountability to be able to empathize. I’ve discovered that people will filter what you share of your experiences through where that corresponds within their experiences, and more particularly how that measures up to their worldview and interpretation of their own experiences. Experience is not about events but about a personal take on an event and if you’re someone who focuses on controlling events then you’re not gonna understand or respect someone who doesn’t control things. Because to acknowledge their pain or feelings is to acknowledge what you’ve suppressed and that’s usually not how things go. It’s easier to dismiss the other, even if you don’t directly tell them. It’s easier to shut them down emotionally than for you to open up emotionally.

The Truth is the backdrop to everything. Self-awareness is to go past everything we add to the canvas to see the plain space. It’s not so much about keeping an eye on what you do but to explore the why behind your actions and reactions. Only your emotions store immaculate records of every instance. They hold the key. And it’s through them that the passage to truth goes.

It’s not about tallying wrongs and rights. It’s not about contrasting what you did. It’s not about a performance review. It’s to open your heart and clear your mind of any judgment or expectation that can impede seeing the truth clearly. Your truth is your personal and unique gateway to The Truth. And it’s important you don’t let thoughts block it like highway robbers.

Baby shark

Randomly burst out crying in prayer because a memory of my second day in Egypt (October 2011) resurfaced. It’s so terrifying when you don’t have the space or language to give form to your fears so they haunt you like disembodied spirits.

That’s why I jump at every opportunity to write down my inspirations and reflections. It feels like a part of me is coming home while another part of me recognizes the home she already dwells in but didn’t grasp.

Like a midwife, I deliver what has gestated in me, others, the planet. The words just plant themselves on me like birds or butterflies. I guess they find a secure home in my unconditional presence.

Sometimes the labour pains come in the form of sobbing, other times in the form of sudden sleepiness or unbelievable ache in the body, like heavy rain clouds.

But I always welcome it, albeit with gritted teeth. I don’t know how long it’ll take before I can see what’s toiling to get out, but I remain present with no expectations but hope. But most importantly, I trust what wants to be born and yet doesn’t know how to make itself known. Suppressed feelings are sorta clumsy and frail, not unlike newborns. I receive the unpleasant first impression and see what’s beyond that even though I can’t see. But I’ve come to trust pain in all its forms, and befriended it even though I’m extremely sensitive and scared of pain. I shut off my thoughts and focus on being a tunnel of light.

The other night I had a peculiar dream. I was addressing a young doctor who was frustrated with some patients. I think she was a freshly minted doctor. I told her, listen you won’t always be able to get to the bottom of people’s ailments and complaints but keep one thing in mind: the deepest desire of humans is to find connection in any form. Sometimes that can take the form of being silent and letting them feel seen by your silence, the lack of protest. If you can give them that, you’ve given them a way back to God.

Refraction of black light

I can’t pull myself out of a burning car wreck.

My defenses prevent me from feeling my wounds and can ironically prevent healing. It’s only through feeling the extent of my brokenness that I can know my need of Allaah’s mercy and love. A gaping wound cries for healing. When I stifle it I’m actually stifling the hopelessness it triggers in me. It all happens so fast.

I need defenses to survive the initial shock. And then gradually try to become aware of the trauma. It’s only retrospectively that I can learn what it all means. Needing Allaah has become something shameful because it entails not being able to fix everything on your own and that complex distracts you from what’s at hand. It makes you forget that you didn’t create yourself and you don’t sustain your life. Something so seemingly simple can be forgotten in a fast-moving culture that is hyperfocused on churning out results and identifying people with their abilities to get results. The process becomes neglected. The process is human. The process is life. It’s not a production line.

To decouple from that socially endorsed conditioning can take a lifetime. That is if you’re open to the confusing process of accepting your suffering. Often times the implications and catastrophization of thoughts can be cause enough to remain stunted for the sake of stability in the status quo. And sometimes that’s all one can do. To stabilize the pain and try to lead a productive life. Often though this means that one’s children will receive the task to disintegrate it all.

Allaah doesn’t burden a soul beyond what it can bear. His mercy comes in many forms. Countless forms. We just take so much for granted because we feel naked without filling our head spaces with so much noise and hoarding of mental images. The Void is haunting.

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