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Voicing Silence 9

(To get a background on this series, I suggest you start with the first post here and then scroll up)

In the days since I first posted this series, I have had several responses. The most common among them is "You're so brave!" and I thought I'd talk about that a little bit in this post. First of all, I feel a bit of a fraud for being called brave. I feel uncomfortable accepting such praise and it is not just false modesty talking here. Let me explain why I feel disingenuous about considered brave. 

I began sharing my experience at a time in my life, where, by doing so, I stand to lose very little. There is hardly anything at stake here. No lives whose course could change dramatically or limbs who could be severed by my admissions. If I had come out with these allegations several years earlier when the extended family was enjoying grand camaraderie and bonhomie with each other, and done so in such great detail, there is every possibility that the aunts, uncles, cousins and their spouses would have denied everything and reacted with rancour and rage (precisely as they have done in another instance). But saying so now, since the relations have already ruptured beyond repair, there is no new damage to be done.

I am at an age when I have been married for so long and have had children that, barring the inevitabilities of life, my life at present enjoys the gentle boredom of middle age. My current major pre-ccupation in life is figuring out if the new word that I have just learnt in German has a masculine, feminine or neutral article (Der Apotheke? Die Apotheke or Das Apotheke?*). If this had been say, 20 years earlier when, as an as yet unmarried woman I had made these allegations, the ramifications would have been much more. Any potential husband material would only have to google my name to land on this blog and then get cold feet (let's not pretend it doesn't happen, okay?) and knowing that such a possibility exists, would have made me hesitate in the first place. 

I chose to articulate what had happened to me at a time that suited me best. I have said what I have to, as to carry on any further would have eaten into me, leaving me sick, angry and bitter. What I have done is a selfish act of self-preservation and self-improvement. It is anything but brave. 

*it is die Apotheke, since you ask. 

Comments

Alagu said…
I love the new look :)

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Bio-data

Married for 31 years, 2 months and 17 days
Six cups coffee a day, brewed everyday of marriage
Three meals a day,
At least two dishes cooked, each meal-time
One snack for every Sunday
Big basket of clothes ironed every Tuesday
Average 18 items of clothing washed per day
Three children
1 miscarriage
One mother-in-law suffered
900 sq metre of floor space mopped, once a day
One caesarean endured
3 chicken poxes, 2 measles, 2 fractures, 8 diarrhoeas, depression, conjunctivitis every summer, 1 tonsilitis and countless common colds and flues
1 job held for 29 years
6 hours slept every night
Sex tolerated every 2nd week
Religious rituals everyone of them, carried out
Not one of them, believed in
Lived 52 years and some
Died exhausted

Overheard, “At least she had the satisfaction of having lived for her family”


http://jikku.blogspot.com/2005/02/quick-tale-3.html#c111042815438237631

The Saturday Poem

Found this in yesterday's paper. Again, I wish I'd written it.

-a

Now and Then

"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
My mother used to say,
"Why should I waste a minute?
Why should I waste a day

Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
Now that I'm fifty-seven
I'm done with that for good."

But now and then I'd catch her
Trapped in some thankless chore
Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

And I would say to her
(And I have to bite my tongue)
That if you mean to learn a skill
It's well worth starting young

And so, to make sure I'm in time
For fifty, I've begun
To do exactly as I please
Now that I'm thirty-one.

-Sophie Hannah

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