gather evidence, bits of life that shape who we are.
I have carried these memories in my heart for many years. About a month ago, I met with Kobi Har-Noy. He comes from the same culture I grew up in, Iranian culture. His memoir has chapters similar to mine… In a conversation with him, I began to hear my story.
The movie of my life ran before my eyes, I heard the movie soundtrack of my life with the right accent, I smelled the scents of the period And I felt my heart go back there, to the place where I was a girl, to the place from which I nursed the culture, the habits, the frustration and the joy, myself basically, and who I am. I went back for a moment to the girl I was, "Lily Shmentuza" (Lily the fatty) - That was my nickname.
Lily is with me in the book of memories deep in my heart. In one episode he told me about his mother: " I always wanted to please her, I felt the need to make her happy, to do everything to make her happy. She was a very sad woman, turned off " It hit me and instantly brought me back to my mom and I… Today I can understand ...They married young around the age of 10, Acted all their lives from a place of pleasing, honoring the master. Their duty was to make sure everyone was happy, everyone but themselves… They were independent, flowless, cooks, cleaners, caregivers…Everything so that everyone will be happy. Everything it takes to live up to the norms of the Persian culture. A clean house, children, who are the family's business card, livelihood, and a lot of "Dirty laundry being washed indoors ".
Everything so as not to embarrass the norms and the family. In all their roles there is no room left for themselves. For who they are, for their dreams for their opinions, hobbies and desires. What held them in this all-too-strong propitiating, was the need for belonging. They operated on an automaton, with a thunderous and very significant silence, everything is buried inside the soul. No smile, no happiness, no joy of life, their eyes spoke well. As children we would look at this silence and ask to see a smile, an expression of joy. We were willing to do anything to make them smile, even for a moment, a moment of happiness. Today I understand that this all-too-pious propitiating, was part of a culture and part of a need for belonging Living in a split between who they should have been and who they would have wanted to be, just to belong! From there slowly grows resentment, a sense of loss of self-worth, detachment from the self Mood attrition, a kind of oppression. Just like a worm that is inside the psyche and gnaws.
We as children absorbed this grief into our souls. It was written with a thick marker inside the book of memories of our childhood. I, too, was voluntarily guilty of propitiating, and when it hit me, with it came the grudge and it came out on her. All the arrows, the anger came out on her, on my mom. It produced distance, anger, lack of acceptance, and most of all a lot of frustration. The book was open and the pages in it were filling up, I carried heavy anger within me. I grew up, left home, and started a new life. My own family, an amazing spouse and lots of good friends along the way. Friends who opened my eyes to the horizons. I dealt with the frustration and resentment, understood the meaning of propitiating, and said goodbye to both of them. I connected to my own self and became whole! Calm, compassionate, mostly not propitiating! I went on with my life, and the book goes with me, in my heart, in my head, in my thoughts, buried deeply within myself. Today, I open the book, from a place of understanding, understanding the power of the culture, the power of the need for belonging Understanding what they suckled as children, and understanding that they did everything from a place of love. A love that could not be expressed, but it existed at a high intensity, under their strict appearance. Love blurred with the need to please and do according to very strict codes of an ancient culture… Today, I apologize and ask for forgiveness. A pardon to my mom for judging her in hard days on the book pages full in my heart, about my inability to understand her then. Thanks for who she was for me…I grew up to be who I am today thanks to her. Belonging has no price, culture has a tremendous power, almost like nature. Our judicial mechanism is highly developed and the capacity for compassion disappears in its anger. There are always two sides to the coin, not everything is always visible on the surface And sometimes it takes time to figure things out. Sometimes we have to go out of ourselves to understand ourselves. Sorry mom. May you be signed and sealed in the book of life my dear Mom.