Thursday, 10 November 2011


I was rejected by a dating site. I never knew one could be rejected by a dating site, but apparently a computer out there thought I was not ready to even consider the future prospect of a relationship. 

I have accepted the fact that I am easy prey for the greedy. I simply cannot choose my own partner, in vivo. I thought online dating would be the modern equivalent of the good-old-matchmaker who is alive and well in the parallel universe I came from, but apparently, that is not the case.

My friend, Miriam, keeps complaining that she is 36 and has yet to get married. She argued that at least somebody thought I was "loveable enough to marry me". I told her it had little to do with me being loveable and everything to do with people wanting to free-load off of me because I am stupid enough to let them do that. She would not have it.

I have had random people pretending to be in love with me after having met me for a total duration of 4 hours. My seemingly legendary reputation for being a stupid goose that lays golden eggs, has reached all corners of the continent. Of course, it comes as no surprise that those who pretend to be enamoured with me are people who would be more than happy to marry me, so they, too, could collect alimony like that man, who did it the first time around. It is no coincidence, that these people are people whose options are quite limited on the occupational front. I used to shy away from discriminating against suitors for their earning potential, but find myself having no choice but to do so. How else can I prevent myself from falling flat on my face again?

Perhaps I can only be loved by my parents, my friends and the people I help at work. The latter two will also seek their best interest in their interactions with me but at least the damages of them doing so are manageable. Yes, I am whining, but life has not been a walk in the roses for me lately.

The Second Plague

"I hate you! I don't love you anymore! I want a divorce", the most shocking words I ever heard from my husband.
It was not his fault. I had set myself up for this. I had been supporting him financially for 2 years, with the hopes that he would use the time to market his art. He produced, sporadically, sometimes spending months in between, doing little other than stewing over his next creation and socializing with random models he picked off the street that he thought would look good naked. I was not allowed to have any expectations or ask him to promote himself. I was to be solely happy with his production. I issued him a salary for "helping my business" but was not to impose deadlines or make requests. He decided upon his duties and I was to sign cheques and shut up. I ruminated over it for months; I felt like I was being taken advantage of. I was scared of confronting him but believed it was all due to my own insecurities. I was certain that he would oblige and find another job as soon as I verbalized my resentment. I tried to do so, indirectly, while sugar-coating my statements to avoid altercations. He did not seem to respond to my suggestions. He appeared to completely ignore me.

Then, we had some friends over for dinner. The wife, who was also an artist described her dissatisfaction with her attempts at selling her art over the past 15 years. She got herself a job in education as she gave up on her artistic career. My husband kept agreeing with her despite his lack of ever having tried. I pointed out he had never tried, in three different ways, on three different occasions until he angrily demanded: "Why are you demeaning me in front of our friends?". Awkwardness ensued. The soiree ended. I brought it up. He felt he was the one that should have been challenging me. I said: "I feel like I'm being taken advantage of. I cannot do this anymore. Please, find a job outside of my business". He blurted out those immortal declarations I had started the post with and gave me the silent treatment for 4 days.

I found us a couples' counselor on day 3. My husband refused to tell me how he felt about the prospect of that journey.  "I'll go", he said.When I asked him what I could attribute this change of heart to he responded: "I owe you no explanations! Take it or leave it!". So I took it.  The counselor was kind enough to schedule us to see him on day 6. I had pleaded with him to save our marriage in the email I sent him. My husband suddenly felt like talking to me and "being a nice guy" on day 5, but by that time I had already grieved the presumptuous delusions that led me to trust him and the fact that I was idiotic enough to have accepted to be his retirement plan.

With every day that passed, I realized that my husband truly did not love me. His statements and actions proved my fears. I was being taken advantage of, because I invited him to do so. I offered the set up we had, for a year, to allow him to make his art a viable source of income allowing him a sense of independence, liberating him from his fear of applying for another junior position at his age, having to deal with all the frustration that entailed. Not only did I issue his salary for helping me with whatever he felt like helping me with; but whenever he was strapped for money, he huffed and puffed and I got the hint and bought his artwork. He did the laundry, cooked and arranged for guests but our home was a mess and it was my fault.

I had to go on a trip, without my husband. 

We continued couples' counseling upon my return. I gently attempted to describe our difficulties in a balanced way, assuming a major part of the responsibility for our relationship being in crisis. Session after session, my husband said little. One day, I told him he would have to talk and he, again, confirmed how I felt. Apparently, I am a pig. He was concerned about my capacity to parent. He spent the salary I issued him on a son he had from a previous relationship, but gave me no credit for having made such contributions. He rarely spent anything on our shared expenses without me forking out more money and being double taxed. He went on and on about how irresponsible and immature I was. I laughed to myself. I thought it was ironic that I had heard similar arguments being used in similar dynamics where the alleged slob had been victimized by their kindness and resistance to hurt their aggressor. My husband had wanted me to tell him the verdict at the end of that session and I told him: "You're right! You can do better. This is not working. We're getting a divorce!"He seemed to reject my response for some reason. "You haven't slept. You should think about it", he suggested. "No, I'm fine. I won't change my mind. It is what it is", I responded. He remained quiet for a moment and then said: "My life is over! I am 51 and I have no job. I have no future!" Again, he proved to me how naive and gullible I was. His focus was losing my finances rather than my person. I was disposable as a person and all I was worth was my prospective income. It got worse when he threatened to sue me for alimony because I "make a lot of money" and he doesn't "make any"

I regressed to my angst-laden, adolescent views on romantic love: It is a short-lived illusion. At the end of the day, people look after their own best interest.My parents were right. How could I have trusted him in the first place. He made no efforts while we were together and was not about to get off his ass and start doing anything for my sake. I had signed up for this by marrying him: He thought he had done me a favour by committing to me and that he was entitled to have me slaving around for him. It did not matter that he was 17 years older than me or that I had a higher level of education. It did not matter that I made sacrifices and that my expectations had been so minimal. As soon as I required the slightest effort of him, he felt I was not worth it. He believed that emotionally abusing me and manipulating me was fair game, to put me in place and continue giving. To this day, he feels he only has "anger management" issues that I should have forgiven him for months ago. He ignored the fact that every thing he said after his initial declaration supported my fears.

Monday, 10 October 2011


Where are you, my mirror image? He who lived his life for my hopes and dreams, unknowingly, is now gone. You never knew me. We crossed paths exchanging superficial pleasantries wondering about each others' thoughts, projecting our own upon whom we saw as worthier and, therefore, unattainable. We shrouded ourselves in mystery as if it could render us invulnerable to our reflection. For you were I and I was you and our fates were intertwined; until there was no fate, no destiny and no hope.

I think you sensed my purpose before I ever did. I just went through the motions of my perceived existence, thinking I knew the truth. I believed I knew right from wrong, good from bad, right from left. You taught me that I knew nothing and mercifully enlightened me into a state of confusion, which was far beyond my former state of oblivion. I knew nothing about you, despite all you had told me and you knew all there was to know about me despite my silence.

They put you up on a cross and felt entitled to be loved and forgiven. I sat there watching and doing nothing. I have forsaken you. I am no better. You forgave and gave and I took. I took and so did everyone around me. I was one of many scavengers. I never kept my promises. You had faith in me and I betrayed you for the devil that kept looking on, standing by your side, watching your every move, smothering you, inundating you with self-doubt, tormenting you with guilt: A disease that gnawed your flesh leaving you weary and hopeless. I thought I was doing what was right abandoning you, for I had no right to be with you. We all abandoned you. I want to abandon me, for I can no longer stand myself, but where would I go? Would you ever smile at me again or will God's mercy guard you from the likes of me now that you are in his company?

You hoped I would follow your lead and I couldn't and wouldn't. I was lost and self-absorbed. You attempted to guide me to no avail. All I had to do was to stop resisting. So, I put up one fight after another. You gave me so many opportunities. You were in disbelief that I could have been so foolish. I was! I dug my heels in, relishing in my ignorance. You wanted to save me from myself and from my own regrets, to no avail. A lifetime of chances was not enough to allow for my redemption. I was never worthy of you, your time, your pain, your tears or your smile. Yet you gave them all to me and I knew not what to do with them. I wasted them, and cried in agony having realized my loss.

Here I am: A shell of my former self; feeble and wounded, I carry on with my sordid existence, feeling empty and alone, hoping I may never wake up from the sleep I longed for, ever-so-long.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Completely Unrelated

I just realized that a number of people have found this blog as a result of an accidental misrepresentation. Apparently, the title of the blog and the word "catharsis" are leading fans of the Russian metal group Taedium Vitae looking for information on their song "Catharsis" to come here. I apologize for the inconvenience. I had no idea about this until I Googled the blog myself.

It is a testimony to how the sentiment or the lack thereof and the goal are in no way unique.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Love is All You Need?

 I remember working in a hospital, in another city, 8 years ago or so.  My mentor was an eccentric, middle-aged Englishman who was a self-proclaimed histrionic. He had an amazing sense of humour and had some very Unorthodox ways of practicing his profession. My classmates labeled being supervised by him as a "waste of time". "You never learn any diagnostic criteria from him or anything that might serve you well on the exam", I was told, "He's a nice guy, but I learned nothing from him". I think I can honestly say that if I ever managed to help anyone it was because of that man. I remember finishing morning report on the ward on a Monday, after having been told about one of our newer patients' acting out over the weekend. She suffered from borderline personality disorder, a dreaded condition that is quite challenging to treat. I was chasing after my mentor: I, with my short stubby legs, then on crutches no less, chased after the 6'4", slim and swift controversial guru. I was about to open the door to her room, when he dramatically stopped me, asking me, to hold it. I assumed he was going to tell me to conduct the interview and discuss my approach. Instead, he modeled the following: He stood tall, took a deep breath through his nose while closing his eyes, gesturing with his fingers as if implying that he was getting himself into a meditative trance. He held in the breath for a few seconds and exhaled while keeping closed and said: "Love!" before knocking on the door and entering the room. He smiled as if he was partly joking. He never really took himself seriously. The gist of his method facilitated some of the most profound human connections I ever made and simultaneously set me up for endless agony.

Eventually, I learned that sometimes love is not enough. Love is not enough when people cannot accept it. It is not enough when they do not know or feel that they are indeed loved. My capacity to love has been both a gift and a curse. While it brought me a lot of love, esteem and validation from the objects of my sentiments but then , because it is but one faint consolation in the midst of too much hardship. The most wonderful people I met had been previously labeled by others as "difficult". For some reason, they sensed my mantra and offered me the most precious gift they had to offer: Their trust. I was not worthy of it. I unwittingly failed them and misguided them. I sold them time-limited hope in the form of an emotional investment. The whole system was against them. Others seemed to give them the run around, passing on the responsibility from one person to the next. Their physical pain was seen as insignificant; their exhaustion as secondary to whatever label of mental illness could be blamed. I saw myself in these people. I would have been just as distressed, anxious and irritable had I been in their shoes. The frustrating situations they would describe to me would have probably led me to being charged on multiple counts of assault, mischief and destruction of property had I been the one experiencing them. The theme is of people giving up, despite being loved, because it no longer matters in the midst of the money-mongering apathy that surrounded them.    


Monday, 3 October 2011

The Seven Plagues of Former Landfill

Here I am conforming to the pressures of modern technology and blogging for the first time ever, in an attempt to compensate for my inability to afford psychotherapy. I never had a journal. My paranoid inclinations never allowed me to write anything down, without worrying about the ridicule the uncensored outpourings of my psyche may face. Perhaps it is fitting that I would blog rather than journal: While this blog is in no way "secret", it borders on being so, by being a droplet in an ocean of so many blogs, many of them even promising to be entertaining. I write about the mundane reality I exist in. There is nothing unique or special about it: It is a mere declaration of daily frustrations that may or may not be reaching the threshold of universality in globalized western society.

A "world-class city" my new home aspires to be, to no avail. My city already demolished most of our historical buildings. The symphony orchestra was about to go under a few years ago, if it had not been for funding from some philanthropist who happened to appreciate classical music. An annual carnival was created to showcase the works of a few artists, because a number of major corporations wanted to prove they, too, had the capacity to appreciate creativity. Yet our artists, as a rule, tend to live in abject poverty, regardless of whether they received awards or accolades or not. People who do not live here own most of the real estate, leading housing to be unaffordable for those who actually do. Social stratification has become an undeclared norm, in a country that long prided itself on alleged universal health care. Most still believe we live in one of the world's greatest countries, which says more about the world we live in than it does about our country. I know many a person would take offense to my statements. I would have, too, a few years back, but then I started meeting the unsheltered, the marginalized and the forgotten. They are all around us, trying to survive their every day bearing witness to the hypocrisy of our government seemingly advocating for human rights elsewhere.

I do not presume to understand the intricacies of our local and national politics, let alone our foreign policy. I am just disappointed with my experience of a particular population habitually falling through the cracks. No one seems to care or perhaps some do but they are just as "insignificant". Do I even care enough to make a difference? Perhaps not. I may be plagued by the tales of horror I unwittingly participate in, but I am also a hypocrite. I am part of that dysfunctional system I so loathe. I am fully dependent on it. I am a fraud. I fail the very population I hypothetically serve, daily. Despite their hope, their faith and the best of their efforts, I sell them empty promises and a pill; sometimes, two, three, even four or five. Come to think of it, I never counted the maximum number of pills I have slyly imposed on all those seeking that highly coveted shred of happiness. I constantly preach that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, when I see the tunnel is an endless abyss. I promote a purposeless scavenger hunt of imaginary items that shall never be found. I mean well, but I have grown tired with my impotence.

In the midst of the bleak surroundings of this reality, I cry my own minuscule woes, which are nothing when compared with those of most of who surround me. I have a supportive family, I need not fear the lack of shelter or food, I can always afford public transit and my inability to pay my bills is the direct consequence of my irresponsibility. I live on a former landfill region, that is now part of a cement jungle primarily housing the young and affluent. I have no real problems, except for the occasional pang of insight.