Desert Journals in Catharsis II

by Imoh

It is fall now. The remnants of the summer season slip away and make way for a new thing. Time has shown that there is healing under it’s wings. September is almost ending. The last stage towards the final step in the dissolution of a marriage. My representative in Dubai will collect my check and all will be done. When she asks to find out why he has not yet paid me, he said he was not fussed about the visa, he just wants closure.


I’ve been doing okay, better than when time was closest to the point of my husband’s unexpected marital sabotage and betrayal. The wounds are healing, and although I put on a stoic face, I cried immediately after I spoke with my rep. She said that when they spoke he was very civilized and business mannered. He just wants closure she said. She advised that I should just collect my money according to his terms. I agreed but, she is my friend she is not supposed to tell me how mature and lucid he was with her.

He could not muster that for me. Truthfully at times could not we for each other.

But why does the pain come back in waves? Each wave albeit less stinging and forceful as its predecessors? I want to understand the pain in hopes that getting a grasp on what plagues me will bring me closer to healing. The ache at times cries out in hatred, fear, shame, guilt, regret. Of course there remains that sadness, that deep sorrow inside where emotions swirl around in a deepening abyss. Where faces are long and heads held low. Teary eyes sink into painful and bittersweet remembrances and wonderment. The pain is so deep its beyond words and reason. Hatred resurfaces. But I’ve been praying and meditating on God’s word and a voice in me arises.

When that hatred makes an appearance, the deep dark abyss stiffens and bubbles and you want to lash out. You want revenge. You wish he would suffer as you have. You don’t want to hear about how mature he is and how big he acts. But that prickly emotion called hatred pelts your insides and reminds you that you must forgive, because all you want to do is blame and hate the one you feel caused you such grief. And you are not as hard and callous as you pretend to be. Then the hurt melts and oozes in a morose t rail of tears. You hurt. Let it go. You can’t live like this. Let it go. You are worth more than this. Let it go.

I want to understand this elusive and seemingly constant and reoccurring pain:
And sorrow.

The last few exchanges with him whether written, oral, or face to face swung from cold business like calm to sardonic repartee to emotionally charged chaos. And at last he chooses cold business like communication. His attempt at reclaiming the last word. One last kick in the hind end for old times sake.

I gave him my gifts, however flawed the wrapping.

I gave him my gifts and he writes, “Do not contact me again…I do not envisage any further communications…but…contact my lawyers…” Etceteras, and Etceteras. That is why I cried. His marriage was merely a business arrangement to test the market. The product was not proving herself to be profitable therefore she must be streamlined. He might have thought, what the hell, I’m approaching my mid-thirties and she her mid twenties; I’m not getting any older.

A 'why not try it and see' type marriage never fails.

And then she tells me how mature he has been. That is why I cried.

I gave him my gifts of love. I pledged my hand in marriage twice in front of witnesses. I left my job, my friends, family, life as proof of my commitment to him and to the marriage and went to the Middle East, Oman, in a big village called Muscat. My love, although imperfect, was deep and abiding. I had a short fuse at times. My candid nature at times confused lovingly telling the truth and brutal honesty. The budding writer in me and my creative longings were afflicted in the boredom and domestic captivity of the heat and expectations. A lonely independent career woman turned African American expatriate housewife in the Middle East to hotshot Nigerian petroleum engineer. The transition could never have been a perfectly pretty one. If I was hurt, I showed hurt, in anger, I showed my anger, in love, I showed my love. But he just withdrew. But oh the anguish! I gave him my imperfect gifts of love called me. And my gifts were rejected, tossed aside, and thrown out like garbage. The brush off was cruel, malicious, and business like. Ran over me with a blithe attitude as if I was just another speed bump of life.

Therefore, my erstwhile husband should not take it personally if after provoked I lashed out with verbal insults. It was just the pain talking, the hurt, because I was there for him. Always through thick and thin, better or worse. At last in order to mask his own culpability, he lies and tells mutual and not so mutual friends and family terrible slanderous tales about me. One last kick in the ass for old times sake. My pain has many facets and many layers like a labyrinth. A new layer reveals itself everyday. Maybe my gifts were just trash. Maybe I am trash. The hurt speaks to me like a long wearied spirit woman, interpreting that which the ghosts haunt to say. Rejection, betrayal, and doubts of self worth speak to the pain like a cheating lover. Was my love never good enough?

Forgetting my gifts. Forsaking me.

I once heard somewhere that withholding the truth is the most pernicious form of lying. All that he truly was he withheld while I unleashed everything in me: the good, the bad, the ugly, the jokes, the tears, the blood, the saliva, the laughter, the support, the criticism, the courage, the humility, the fear, the honesty, the sincerity, the lack of guile, the yelling, the insecurities, the strength, the triumphs, the valleys, the softness, the vulnerability, the roughness, grinning and bearing it, the inability to hide how I feel, the happiness, the anger, the sadness, the sensuality, the intelligence, the opinions, the mind, the spirit, the deep down kindness, and the spunk.

And in his business like fashion, he bid his adieux

And it was just not meant to be. Yearning for a deep and abiding, intense, and magical love affair with my God and myself has replaced much of the bitterness, shame, hatred and pain. Still holding on to past mistakes, I was unable to forgive myself. And what prompted me to think that holding back love and acceptance from myself would foster a marriage where continuous forgiveness and understanding was required? Mercifully, God protects and cares for fools and babies. Fools in love.

I gave it my all and choosing to marry, in haste, a man I did not know still has its lessons to reveal.

Desert Journals in Catharsis II by Imoh

© Copyright 2001. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

TimBookTu Logo

Return to the Table of Contents | Return to Main Page