Well its been all go again. Mother had an accident and had to have four stitches in her toe. She cut it on a sharp piece of ceramic, so she’s been out of commission for the past few days, but lapping up all the attention. I did feel sorry for her though as it is pretty painful!
On a good note Omar bought two new young ewes at the souk yesterday morning. Apart from getting the sheep there were other good developments which came out of it. He decided that he wanted to do this on his own, without the help of his big brother, who wasn’t too pleased but had to accept Omar’s decision. That didn’t stop his brother from telling him how to do it, of course, but naturally Omar ignored everything and followed his own gut instincts, which, I have to say, turned out to be pretty good! He came home with twin, white ewes, who are nearly ready to mate, but we will give them a few more months. I don’t want to start them off too early! Omar was interested in how his brother would react and I told him how he would react, exactly the same as my younger sister reacted whenever I achieved anything without her, or showed how capable I was. I was considered to be the daughter with the reputation for being the ‘irresponsible one’. Most of my ‘bad behaviour’ was the result of sexual abuse during my early teens, but they didn’t know that. They just thought I was ‘out of control’.
So, after years of therapy, I learned how to make my life work better, with the help of my sister. But she was the product of her upbringing too and was unable to let go of being the ‘healthier sister, with the result that she could never quite give me a compliment, or if she could she would always point out the negative aspects after first giving me the compliment. ‘Oh that’s a really nice job Ann…but…look at that. You could have done that better.’ This took away the energy of the compliment so that all I felt was ‘useless’ again; the sister who could never achieve anything. I realised, through therapy, that she was used to being the rescuer, but once I didn’t need her to play that role anymore, as I was healthy enough to do it myself, she wasn’t able to deal with that. It made her question her own health. I have to say though, that I am indebted to her for her support over the years. It just wasn’t an easy transition for her to deal with my no longer needing her so much.
As it happened, Omar’s brother did exactly what we expected, he undermined Omar’s efforts; but out of enviousness. It’s always such a shame! They could do so many good things here if they only learned to let go of control and allow someone else to do something. But at least Omar was expecting it this time and so he stood up for himself. His brother later apologised, which is a first, saying that he only does it to make Omar better at doing these things! Hmmm…I’m sure that being criticised and undermined doesn’t do anything of the sort…but…that was his excuse!
This morning I was thinking of ways to not allow myself to be overpowered by everyone here and when Omar came back from the sweet corn field, where he has started to harvest, we decided to make a start by me being ‘more proactive’ downstairs when it comes to our animals. So we went down and started clearing all the old foodstuffs, and manure, into a large pile! Needless to say, even though Omar built a feeding trough, everyone else just throws large quantities of food on the ground. Instead of preparing the food they just heap large piles of dried sweet corn stalks onto the ground, where most of it gets wasted. It seems such a shame to put all of that energy into growing something just to waste it! The women usually dry it and burn it but in the meantime it builds up into huge piles of fly-infested waste. All of those flies then end up in our flats. Very, very annoying.
We were trying to figure out where we could put all of this, so that the women could still use it, but of course there was opposition! Another brother told us that ‘the cow likes to live in her s**t! I wondered if he would like to live chained up in his toilet, and having to eat off the same floor he is used to emptying his bowels on! Somehow I doubt it…but the cow is not a human,is she?
Thinking about the dynamics here reminds me of the difficulties you face when trying to regain your power in an unhealthy relationship. You try to try to find ways in which to make things work, and to find some semblance of power within the relationship, so that power is shared. But, in the end, you realise, that you have exhausted every avenue and that healing yourself enough to leave the relationship is your only option. Not running away, but recognising when you can do no more! This is what I feel here. It doesn’t matter what I do, or what Omar does, the power balance is always on the side of the men and Mother and no matter what you try to do, it just is not accepted. They do not like change.
But, we only have a few more months to wait before we are out on our own, so I will manage until then! And slowly our little flock is growing so we will have some lovely animals to take with us, and by then I will know how ‘not’ to do things…which is just as valuable as knowing how to do them!