“Count you happiness, you’ll be more grateful. Count your blessings in disguise, you’ll see this life full of wonders and surprises!” – Salzy Mommyhood Blog
Warning : This is a book review and it contains spoiler.
Genre : Non-fiction / Memoir | Rating : 5 stars
Excuse me? I am NOT done yet! For a book that is so emo-raging, psychotic and full of nightmares, I can’t just move on after writing a short review. I have a lot more to say, things that were disturbing my mind out of frustration thinking of the fate that struck this person, Lizzie.
Here are my personal extractions, three specific aspects that I wanna touch from the whole story; ones that make me feel so deeply moved. It may be a bit deviating from the actual topic but if you wanna read my review just on the book generally, it’s in my previous post here.
First, a father is the biggest influence in a child’s life.
This book mainly tells about the author’s horrible father who abused her mentally, physically and sexually. The father was the irresponsible one, the cruel one, the reason of all her miseries. But I tell you, the mother was no less! The mother was also alcoholic and she’s helpless at all. She was also irresponsible and physically abusive, and did not protect her even after she knew Lizzie was raped. Not as bad as the father but she was just typically hopeless. Her damaged childhood was the mistake of both of the parents, actually.
But, the title of the book is “I Forgive You, Daddy”, not “I Forgive You, Mummy & Daddy”. It really shows how a father’s actions could be so impactful towards the whole life of a person. A father determines the kind of person he’s raising through his natural guidance. And a child is naturally hopeful towards the father, rather than the mother, to be the lead of his/her life so when this is betrayed, the impact is gonna be so bad, really bad.
It’s not that a mother’s presence is not vital but from the story, it seems like Lizzie has this soft spot in her heart for her mother. She pitied her mother for being like that and knew it was all because of her dad.
I’ve heard of this once ~ “A broken child, is the failure of the father.” Not sure where to quote this from but it somehow makes sense. Some time ago I had this group conversation with, one of them, a lawyer-friend who specialized in Shari’ah Law and out of nowhere the topic was about a child’s custody after divorce.
It was just a casual chat but I was so surprised to know that in Islam, the principal custody for children after 7 and 9 years old (boy-girl) actually belongs to the father, not the mother! The mother may have the rights when the kids are babies up until those ages but after that they should be under the father’s custody. Even if the mother had the custody earlier, after reaching the stipulated ages, the father can like re-open the case to get the custody back and if all things right, he’ll definitely have the chance to win it. Whyyyyyyy??
Well, she said, of course our law is also very much concerned on women’s rights that anything can be fought after. But in the first place, the reason why the father has the primary rights on the kids is because, it is their res.pon.si.bi.li.ty. It’s more to their responsibility to educate them, to raise them to become the true caliphs on the earth. It’s the special power and capability given to a man that we called ‘Father’.
What about a mother? A mother is in a position to be pregnant for them, to take care of the pregnancy, to give birth, to breastfeed them and to nurture them with love and affection in the early years of life. Those are our responsibilities through the maternal nature granted in us. I come to realize that this is why we actually cannot question why do we women have to go through all these maternity pain and struggles, why not the men? In fact they’re not given wombs so it’s not their responsibility anyway. And in larger fact, later they will have a much bigger responsibility to shape the children to become human. And that is wayyyyy tougher job one must bear. Question is; are all fathers holding this responsibility in full trust?
I pity single mothers who got to face all these problems when they’re divorced – I mean the custody thing. No mothers would wanna let go the precious easily but if this is put in accordance to the religion, if the father is responsible and good, it’s actually okay to let the kids be under the father’s custody, right? Yeah, some men failed as a husband but not as a father. But sadly, we live in a community that if the custody was agreed to be under the father, then this mother will face humiliation from around her that she doesn’t love the kids enough and whatnot. What a sickening world is this!!
Okay I’ve gone too far already. The facts on Islamic custody were only based on the casual conversation I had so that may be lack of much info – disclaimer. Of course in parenting, together or separated, both parents have to play the roles together but how Islam put it in specific somehow tells us the influence each of the parents has on the children in living their lives. In growing up, a father is indeed the biggest influence in a child’s life.
Oh My God why am I talking so long about this?? I’m reaching my entry word-limit already but know what? I’m still not finished. To be continued…Part 3! Weeeeee…..
Warning : This is a book review and it contains spoiler.
Genre : Non-fiction / Memoir | Rating : 5 stars
My General Review
This is a story of Lizzie’s life, the author herself, that was full of sufferings as a consequence from her father’s evil deeds throughout her lifetime since she was a very little girl. She was raped and beaten so abusively and nobody was on her side to protect her perpetually; not even her mother, social workers, nor the court. In fact, she’s the one taking responsibilities of her family’s wellbeing to survive whilst fighting with internal crime. Her life went on with a series of unfortunate events even after her father died, she had to fight severe depression that resulted from her detrimental childhood. She later suffered of frequent mental disorder and various illnesses due to internal damages she had since young.
It’s a very emotional read to me. It’s very sad for a little girl to have faced those ruins that were made by her own father, one who supposed to take care of her with full responsibilities. I’d been having growls of fury in my stomach from chapters to chapters reading all the things she experienced from the abuse, to the bullying in school for being the messy kid others not wanting to get near.
I swear no child deserves that kind of life. All children deserve a happy childhood and it’s the responsibility of the parents or the guardians to provide it to them, not their responsibility to find it on their own! There was an episode of her struggling to tag along with this group of friends going out for fun even though she knew she’s not welcomed and all avoided. It’s just because she really wanted to feel the normal teenage life for once! I cannotttt…!! T_T
It was even harrowing to know the confusing feelings she had in her tender years for not knowing what sexual harassment was and thought it was normal though she not liked it and felt weird being treated that way. Sometimes, the father (and also other men she was given to) did it in a way that made her ‘feel nice’ while at times he unleashed it as the punishment of anything she did wrong and those made her feel guilty of her own and that everything that happened was all her mistakes. It’s a manipulation that muddled an innocent girl’s mind who didn’t understand anything that happened to her. Cruel much!!
I believed not everyone can further read this book as the horrifying facts were so distressing. After all, it’s a true story that explores the life of an ill-fated woman from the bottom of her heart and it’s a worthy read to reflect how life can actually be so tragic. This book broke me down.
I was about to write about this but before that I googled the definition first and got this :
Which is yes, the general meaning and my own definition of me-time are somewhat alike. As per the name, it’s self-explained as me-time means it’s all about me. And I thought it’s somehow the same for everyone else too but to my surprise, I once heard from someone who is a stay-at-home-mother who told me that, her kinda me-time is just about freeing herself from having to do house chores but still, she wants and needs to be surrounded by her families especially the kids around her. It’s not about being alone or doing things alone because she’d feel so weird and lonely that way.
Amazing I was totally amazed by that! Being a mother is like a bulk of round hanger but not a typical one, a multipurpose one. Many things, and people too, are hooked on us and make us standing imbalance that at times, we need to be off-hooked for a moment to stabilize our station and that means to leave-me-alone. As long as there are people under my responsibility around, I always feel that I have to attend to them and I cannot really focus on myself or my projects. So this particular stay-at-home mother, you earned my amazement!
And that tells me that everyone actually has his or her own definition of me-time on top of the general one. And even if we’re typical, we’re not totally the same. There must be elements that differentiate how we make the most of our me-time and when to allocate the time out of our busy schedules.
As for myself, I guess I’m good at this. I always make sure that once in a while I will have some quality time for myself to do my things without anyone’s involvement, not even my husband. This might sound selfish, yes. But I actually have faced this dilemma at a point of my life that made me feel pathetic, guilty and confused of what I want, what I need, what I have to do and how I should be. I finally crawled out from the chaos and found my answer. I pledged to love and value myself best and from there I learned to organize my priorities better.
Later on, I got more contented with the changes I made in my life and I feel I’m living wiser. Then, I also learned to re-evaluate things from time to time so today; I want to re-evaluate my definition of me-time. Because, as I got more and more comfortable with my way of life, it might also lead to real selfishness. Because I don’t feel guilty of having my own sweet time for myself, I might also overuse it and leave my other priorities behind. Remember we’re hangers, we’re open for hooks but the challenge is to make it stable as much.
To begin with, my me-time is absolutely my alone time, enough said.
It can be indoor, or also outdoor. A major part of me can be labelled as homey-type. I love to be at home, my home despite the messiness is always a sweet home. I used to have a corner in the living room of my previous house that I located a desk and a bookshelf for me to stuff my possessions. Now, I even have a separate room which my family called it as ‘Mom’s office’. This is where I spend most of my time doing hobbies.
I also love going out, mainly to the malls doing what else? Shopping!! Shopping is absolutely a therapy and I admit that I’m quite a spendthrift. But sometimes I don’t even have a budget to shop so yeah, just window-shopping will do.
To make it valid, I need a minimum of 3 hours of this alone-time and 50% of the time should be spent doing non-housework. Is that too much to ask for? Hehe. Come to think, if it’s just about one-two hours of being at home, the whole time would just be all about me doing house chores. Like it said, me-time is an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy. So if my energy were all gone to cleaning the house, I’d just get more tired and that means I’m not doing justice to myself. Still, as long as it’s consuming less than 50% of the time allocated, I do regard doing house chores as one of my me-time activities because there is happiness that comes out from the satisfaction of seeing the house cleaned.
Next, my state of self should be productive, not sick and not asleep. If necessary, I’d take a coffee to stay awake and alert. Me-time is not about lying down lousy or doing useless things like; scrolling the phone! That is not me-time but me-wasting-time. But some days are just so blues that I won’t be in the mood at all to even sit straight, what more to function my brain. That’s when the lazy cells decided to king my body so those days, I’d just surrender and do nothing or just sleep. That’s such a poor state of me that’s so disappointing sometimes. But for some other time that I’m in the most dynamic mode, I’d utilize my brain as much too.
It depends on the individual on how frequent they want to isolate themselves away for some me-time. Some people only need a half an hour a day for some meditation moment and that’s enough for them to rejuvenate but they need to have it daily. Some people need two weeks long to get away for a vacation so they will come back recharged for a longer term. Like me, I need more than 3 hours to complete my tasks I’ve planned to do or to go out to find things, so it’s definitely not every day. The least possible, I need to have it at least once or twice a month. During non-busy periods, I’d just take a day off but if a month seems to flash so fast and my missions are still not accomplished, I’d rather sacrifice one night to stay up because I’m such a midnight person. The best is if I could have it every once a week, that’s pretty lavish already.
Lastly, the outcome of my me-time must be therapeutic. Anything, anything that can make me h.a.p.p.y and bring me p.e.a.c.e. of mind.
“Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.” – Charles Spurgeon
To all preggy mothers out there, if you’re having cough during pregnancy and in search of medicines to sooth your throat and subside your cough finally, I would like to share this particular cough syrup that you can take that is effective and most importantly, it’s confirmed pregnancy-safe.
I consumed this during my second pregnancy and also in this third pregnancy recently and it cured my very bad cough in less than a week. You can have a try. Any sickness, please do not let it be prolonged just because you’re not wanting to take in any medicine during pregnancy, okay? As long as it’s confirmed safe by doctors and gynae, just consume it and be healthy back again. I parked it here for anyone’s reference and mine too!
Don’t you notice that when we live with a same person for a significant number of years, the person tends to indirectly talk about a particular thing over and over again?
Today marks 6 years of me living with my husband in a happy marriage. We talked a lot, every single day about many things but when I looked back, I realized there are things that we talked so repetitively about. Or, he, what I actually meant here.
He talked about something once, certain points, with certain wordings, clearly, understood and absorbed by me but later, not long after, he mentions about it again. Of the same points. Of the same wordings. That sometimes makes me think that ‘is this devaju? ‘No, it’s not. It really did happen before. He really did say it before. But he’s repeating the sameeee things so when I said “ya you’ve said this before” he would just say “ya, that’s about it.” Them urm, okay.
And not long after, he’d say it again. Or maybe long after, but not long enough as my memory is still retaining the facts oh why on earth must he be mentioning things many times? Do you live with this kind of creatures? Or are we all like this too? Haha me maybe, without realizing it.
Along with our anniversary, I’m writing down these 3 advices from my husband that I’ve heard countless of times in these 6 tender years.
First, is to never say “IF” or “IF ONLY” or “WHAT IF?”
Like “If only I had done this the other way around, things would’ve turned out much better.” – this, in regards of being regret of things that had happened or been done.
Or another way is in regard of overthinking of what’s gonna happen in the future that’s beyond our control.
But this if-ness is so me. It’s like built-in within myself that makes it a habit of mine. I’m saying and I’m thinking of these if’s like all the time and I relate it to all things. Hurm, that’s why I grew up being such an overthinker who tries to control everything which ended up making me feel stressed of my own.
And because of this, I don’t like him to remind me to not overthink or to not say what-ifs because it’s natural and I think it’s necessary to be well-prepared of whatevs. But this too actually comes from a hadith that says “‘If only’ opens the door to Shaytaan’s whispering.”
Now what, self? It’s forbidden by the religion, by Allah and by the Prophet (pbuh)! And it’s reminded through my husband in his repetitive advice that I really have to hold on to myself and keep close, and to not say ‘if’ excessively till it could become a sin. Things happened means things happened. Accept, and submit, full stop. Phew, this is hard! But, Lillahi Ta’ala, I’m trying my best!
Second, is to never discriminate the love for kids
When I was a little girl, I was so conversant with these ‘family terms’ that people called a certain child as the “golden child” and the other certain as the “black sheep”. I was so familiar to observing families or siblings of many that they must have these two subjects among them. I thought it’s a normal thing. I thought it’s possible for a parent to love one child more than another just for what they deserved based on education, or behaviours, or prettiness? For God’s sake!
But with my husband, he objects the facts of that ‘family terms’ in total and disapproves it to exist in our family at all. He always reminds us (me and him too) to never discriminate the love for kids. Each one deserves equal yet total loves and attentions from us no matter how clever or naughty they are, the first, the middle or the last, a boy or a girl. Yes, we tend to differentiate the kids, we tend to compare them. To compare things or people is actually very natural and humane. We compare everything that we encounter every day. And every kid is definitely different from one another but in the end, we do not discriminate the loves we’re pouring to each of them.
Being accustomed to the observation since I was young, this is such a very important advice I have to keep with me in growing myself as a mother with more kids upcoming. Mentioning this repetitively makes it a culture in our family and from there I realized that yes, between Edhany and Errasy, we couldn’t really identify who is more dominant than another though they’re quite much different. Like the CGPA concept we have in university, the scores in each subject might vary from each student but on the finals, both get 4 flats!
Third, is to embrace aging with no shame
This is not really an advice from him but I willingly take it as an advice for myself from the way he repetitively says or acts about this particular issue – aging. My husband grows grey hairs as early as in his 20’s and even heavier now. My God, he’s really turning all whites by 40’s! But he’s all okay about that. Of white hairs, of wrinkles, he never freaked out. Yeah maybe because he’s a male and he’s married anyway but it’s not that he doesn’t care. He has this distinctive point of view that aging is a good thing, is something one should embrace rather than reject. It’s the fact that we can’t reject getting older so what’s the point?
I don’t know. I think I really enjoyed being young and beautiful that I slowly found myself averse to accept the fact that my joy time has passed and it’s telling me through the change of my own physical and looks. I do enjoy my life now but it’s different. It’s just different in a way that I can’t explain. Haha… I don’t know. I think I really have to reflect on this more spiritually than physically. Come to think that it doesn’t make sense to be asking for long live but not wanting to grow old, right? Wake up! Now I’m making my husband as my aging-idol; one who can’t wait to look like Amitabh Bachchan one day. Haha.
With these 3 repetitive advices, Happy 6th Anniversary to us.
To my husband, it has been 6 years I’ve been listening to not just these three but many more other lectures repetitively from you, I’m sure. It’s gonna be a lie if I tell you I’m not bored. It’s seriously so borrringgggg you know?? Hahaha. Please grant me The Most Honest Wife Award now cause I can’t wait till the 20th anniversary to confess this. Lols.
As much as I might feel annoyed of being ‘nagged’ of the same things over and over again, after all what he said are the right things that I actually have to ponder deeper rather than just listen or complain that it’s been repetitive. Married folks, we don’t know until when we’ll still have this pleasure of talking to a companion so before it’s too late, let’s realize this blessing and be grateful for it. A spouse is also a messenger. Light conversations, teasing or even arguments could actually convey very important messages, never ignore.