dis·en·chant·ed | hope·ful

ˌdisinˈCHan(t)əd/

adjective – disappointed by someone or something previously respected or admired; disillusioned.”he became disenchanted with his erstwhile ally”

ˈhōpfəl/

adjective – feeling or inspiring optimism about a future event.”a hopeful sign”

For a hopeful and optimistic person to feel true gut-wrenching disenchantment is like no disappointment I can imagine. Now, as the definition says, disenchantment is the disappointment you feel for someone or something respected or admired previously.

How do you get over such a crushing feeling?

I get over these horrible moments by being hopeful. And just by writing it, I’m triggering myself. Why? Because being hopeful only sets you up for disappointment. But I never learn. The conditioning is a failure. I get lured, I get zapped, I recoil, I return. Why did I keep doing this to myself? Because I was hopeful in the greatness of others. The admiration I had for them. You may wonder, did I ever learn from all the zaps. I thought I did.

Recently, I had to put a firm hold on a toxic family relationship. It’s been six weeks and I have not spoken to this person whereby we used to call almost daily. Something inside me snapped and disenchantment would not do my feelings justice. I lost complete respect for this person. I realized that I only feared them as a child, and as I grew older, I realized there was nothing to fear. They were a sad result of their own life choices.

More so, in my realization, I discovered a misguided, willfully ignorant, and manipulative person who only truly cared about them-self. It was devastating. In this case, I had some hope at first but quickly vanquished it. This person is beyond redemption and hope because they continue to repeat the same acts. If I keep forgiving, I become an enabler of sorts. I had to cut the cycle.

As Arabs, we are taught to always, no matter what, respect our elders. Even when an elder says something completely inappropriate, we are reminded to respect their seniority. At some point in my life, that just stopped making sense. The social and familial hierarchies imposed on me just didn’t jive. That part of my Eastern identity had to be tweaked.

Why should I respect someone older than me who willfully disrespects me and others? Not out of some mental disorder or acceptable ignorance, but through pure selfishness and malice? Someone so devoid of self-awareness that they are completely unaware of anything but their ego.

Such a person will receive almost no attention from the current me. Previous me was foolish and allotted too many chances. This one is simply going to check out of the toxicity. That part of the East just sucks.

Then, to my dismay, I discovered the same bullshit hierarchy is in my western world. The workplace is one of the worst for this ass-kissing type of environment. Problem is, I don’t do ass-kissing. Kicking, yes; kissing, no. So, what happens to me in this world?

I am ostracized. I am held back. I am belittled and defamed. I got disenchanted. Completely and utterly disappointed but not surprised by the pure fuckery and douchebaggery undeniably before me. I could no longer make excuses for these elders and seniors. They were just as toxic as the person above.

Being a cultural hybrid, and living in the West post the #MeToo movement, in a female Renaissance post-female lib era, I discovered that weak people still feel threatened. ‘By what’ you ask? Strong, confident women. But you know what petrifies them even more? Strong, confident non-white women. Yeah, what the hell do you do with that conundrum. You see, the ethnic woman in the West fits a mold. And when she breaks that mold, confusion and mass hysteria result for those who continue to try to box her into a tight ass little container. Because, my dear enlightened reader, the non-white woman (whether Westernized or not) is supposed to be a subjugated sub-species, to be pitied, consoled and advocated for.

I had the heaviest dose of doublespeak today. For over a year, I was told to adapt and learn to communicate in other people’s voices so that I can see things from their perspective. Ok, I think that’s understandable. A form of emotional intelligence that needs to be developed. And then, get this, the same people feel that now I should stop trying to adapt and please everyone and to focus on who I am. Focusing on me is the way to go. Then I’ll follow that advice, start focusing on me, only to be told that a team-player is the best player.

Yeah, I don’t have split-personalities and sure as shit, I’m not going to develop them now.

Yes, I’m passionate and the next person who tells me to bring my passion down will get a heavy dose of it. Fuck your archaic, misogynistic views. You know who uses “passionate” with negative connotations? Sexist weak people, petrified a strong woman just may have a mind of her own, and thus need to take this word and change its definition to mean “batshit crazy and is presumably menstruating“. Curb that passion, that hysteria, woman. As if this Victorian-era sexist bullshit is still around. A man with a confident voice? A fucken boss! A woman? Ugh, what a bitch. A man who knows what he wants? That dude is leadership material with assertiveness and direction. A woman? Fucken aggressive control freak who has to have her way. Add a dose of brown or a hijab to the mix and all of the triggers in these weak-minded peoples’ reptilian brains are set off.

What do we do, Steve? What the fuck do we do with Fatima?!

I don’t know James! I thought her dad or husband had beaten the will to live out of her! And if not them, isn’t that what her Allah is for? Fuck, fuck, fuck! Call HR!

I learned to listen to different voices. I learned to temper my passion (something that would never be told to a man). I went through the steps to actually better myself for myself and others. And then to be told that I have an unidentified fragility (that they don’t really know what but which they don’t want to break me) left me flabbergasted. This is a fucken form of gas-lighting. Question your sanity long enough and you’ll look like the crazy they want you to look.

So, all that to say, I didn’t toe the line of ass-lickery. No, I didn’t undermine authority, nor did I disrespect anyone. I spoke my mind and was confident about it and everything I revealed about myself to create a rapport or understanding was used against me in order to create an aura of fragility and weakness about me so that they, in their knight-in-shining armour honourable ways, appear to be trying to protect me from me.

Truth is, I wouldn’t be a sellout to me, nor compromise my dignity and self-respect to be anyone’s bitch. That didn’t sit well. Keep your corporate politically correct mumbo-jumbo explaining how I still need to temper myself and close up the things that make me feel alive, so that I may, inshallah, join the ranks to become an ass-licking soulless parasite at the bottom of the food-chain, eating the scraps from the Ramsay Boltons of the world. Fuck you. I’m no Theon. I’m Arya. You gotta be a special kind of stupid to want to take on Arya.

So, I have closed that door.

But, unwittingly, just as that door closed and the soul-sucking darkness was blocked out, a window burst open and a breeze came through, and with it entered the light. With the disappointment behind me, I begin to feel hopeful for the future. It’s just a natural feeling. As natural as the air I breathe.

Have I really not learned? Am I truly setting myself up for more disappointment and rejection? Or should I remain hopeful because all of these experiences will be the culmination of my masterpiece? I don’t know. But I feel good.

I’ve learned that people can be utterly despicable but they are also breath-takingly beautiful. And so, I take all these lessons to learn from in order to thrive. I will rise above it all because I have never ever not gotten what I set my mind to. This time, I’ll do it on my own terms. That’s how I always succeed – with my passion driving me.

And so, I remain: Hopeful.

2 Comments

  1. I’ve been thinking a lot about hope and optimism lately after a couple of disappointing experiences with people. Asked myself similar questions. Right now, I think I’m sitting at the conclusion that I’d rather be hopeful than not — it certainly makes me happier to believe good things will come. I don’t think you’re setting yourself up for disappointment or rejection at all; if people choose not to live up to their best selves that’s entirely on them.

    Good luck in rising above and a belated Ramadan Mubarak!

    Liked by 1 person

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