Sometimes heartbreak comes like a sudden storm. In the fell swoop, it knocks you off your feet. Shakes the ground beneath you that was steady moments before. Exposes parts of you that you weren’t aware were vulnerable.
It forces you to look at yourself. Really look a yourself. To dig deep and unearth things within you that you’d rather not.
Sometimes it calls on you to return to your roots and examine your history, your past, to truly understand your present.
Heartbreak happens in different forms.
But what we do with that heartbreak is the real question.
I realized a love and life that I imagined with someone was just that — imagined.
But what I discovered was so much more than that.
That heartbreak made me see there were more parts of me that needed healing.
I wasn’t wholly healed from an elusive illness that crept in and out of my life, wrecking havoc when it came and went. Or the depression that ensued from it.The fears that festered because of it.
I wasn’t settled with my identity as a “Palestinian-American, Muslim woman.”
I wasn’t fully bought in to my own self-worth.
There was more.
As I writer, I encourage people to share their truth with me.
I was comfortable telling other people’s stories, but not my own.
Why is that?
Is it because I was bred in a culture where women are too often told to be quiet and grateful for their existence? That their voices are not made to be heard, nor their opinions weighed.
And when it comes to love, often made to feel ashamed of intimacy and desire. At times told to swallow their own heartache.
I wrote about mine for my own healing. But then some nights, I stayed up wondering how many other women were there like me? I wished that I could tell them that my heart aches with them. Tell them that their stories matter. Their voices meant to be heard.
This illness is real. The heartbreak is real. The words are real.
I wrote them for me, but tell them here for you. I want to know your stories.
We could be in our truth together.