A Reflecting Arab Muslim Girl From Around the Corner

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Forever Confused

I was in a relationship with a man that I liked, then I grew to hate, then I convinced myself that I loved, then I briefly cut out of my life, realized I couldn’t so went back, then I resented, and now I don’t want to cut him off completely. I question whether what I went through was abuse, but at the same time I want his presence alive in my life. There is no linearity in my emotions whatsoever. On a regular day, I can hate the one I think I loved while at the same time question his love for me but still know deep down inside that he is a good person. More criss-crosses than a spider web.

As I consider the current man in my life for marriage, I am plagued by the same confusion. I have no stability in my emotions towards him. And I beat myself up for the sporadic feelings always. So why am I like this?

Looking at things from this perspective, perhaps the reason why I am so confused about my potential fiancĂ© is because I do not trust my feelings. I realize that my emotions are easily molded, that I’m generally a woman whose emotions are dependent on a man, and that while my emotions fluctuate, they always lean on the side of giving the male the benefit of the doubt. I am veiled from truly being able to assess what is best for me. Am I doomed to being forever confused?


  1. Salam Alaikum-- my story is not even close to yours but I feel as though a good portion of my life was spent trying to please a man and not feeling whole without one. I'm at work right now and cannot post a more in depth comment but I want you to know I AM reading. At 35, I finally feel confident in myself. Perhaps I can offer you some advice in the future, inshallah. Best of luck sis. I look forward to reading more of you.

  2. Thank you for reading and your comment Stephanie. I would love for you to share your advice and hope to hear more from you.

    You know, I do not think people can make comparisons when it comes to their most personal stories or experiences. What might be the biggest deal for me, someone else might consider trivial in light of their own experiences. And, what I may see as something ordinary, another might consider to be extraordinary. But, regardless of how another might perceive our experiences, at the end of the day, since they are 'our' stories, and they shape us, that's all that matters...the fact that they are ours, means they are the most important and most significant.

  3. Like Stephanie, I have spent way too many years trying to please men. Thinking that unless they told me I was pretty, beautiful, smart, intelligent, I wasn't good enough.
    Work on loving yourself sweetheart. Work on believing in yourself. See a therapist if necessary. You are worth it.

  4. Hello! I just found your blog through AltMuslimah. First, I want to congratulate you on finding your voice in this space - it's quite brave, even without sharing your name, to share your experiences in this way. Although it probably makes more sense to comment on the most recent entry, I wanted to post here in particular, because this part really stopped me: "I do not trust my feelings." I think this is exactly what this sort of experience/relationship causes many of us to feel.

    At least, that was my experience with men long after I left my stepfather behind. In fact, most of what he did was quite minor compared to what came later on. But what my childhood experiences did was cause me not to trust my feelings. When I was a teenager, I couldn't tell whether I was afraid of sex/intimacy because I wasn't ready for it, because the guy wasn't the right guy, or because of what had happened to me long before. In my desire to 'conquer my fear' I leaped into many situations I might otherwise have avoided. Even now, when I think I have made a lot more progress, at times I find myself reacting to minor comments and actions from my current boyfriend with a kind of paranoia. I'm much more likely to interpret a comment in the worst light, suspecting him of being secretly oppressive and sexist - and then, just as quickly throw that feeling out because, after all, it probably comes from all my past experiences. But which is right? Is it right to trust him? Or to trust those suspicions?

    Anyway, I think that's probably one of those most difficult 'lingering' effects, and why so many people recommend seeing a therapist! I don't believe either of us is doomed - I hope not.

  5. Anonymous...thank you for your comments and joining the dialogue by speaking about your experience. I agree with you completely - trusting your own feelings is very very difficult after something like this.

    I hope the phase passes sooner or later but currently I have blocked out all males from my life except my brother and dad! The man whom I was considering for marriage - it didn't work...so now its just me, myself, and I. Its a wonderful feeling for now - I feel liberated and free...and like I can take care of me. When I am with someone, the feeling of constantly second guessing myself is extremely exhausting.

    But, I do eventually want to settle down, and I do want to start a family God-willing. I just hope that by then I will have gained that trust in my self. I think the first step to that is realizing that what happened in the past wasn't because of anything I, or you, did...things happened. And outside of those circumstances and that context, we mustn't second-guess ourselves...when our gut tells us something, when our heart feels something, that's usually the truth...and we know it when we look deep enough.