Please note: This is Ep 23

Please go here for Ep. 22

Welcome to Season 3 of Confessions of a Merry Monk! If you’re new to this series, and would like to catch up, Season 1 begins here.

I’m sorry it’s taken so long to publish this season. As most of you probably know, my PMDD journey, surgery and recovery put a pause on my writing.

Thank You, Swami ji, Your Grace got me through it all 🙏🏼🙇🏻‍♀️

If you or your loved ones are suffering from difficult periods, PMS/PMT/PMDD, perimenopause, or menopause symptoms, you can go here, here, and here to read about my experience.

Since the surgery, it’s taken quite a while of re-training my mind to not burst into tears every time I sit down to think about the following chapters; this particular part of my life holds the most sensitive memories for me.

Thankfully, Sadhana, meditation, breath awareness, and Swami ji’s Grace have made it possible for me to face everything more objectively, from a fresh perspective, and now I’m able to share the next part of my story with you.

I apologise if any of this season feels like a boring, long and overly detailed read. Please feel free to skip the boring parts. I write this partly for all of you who are so kind to read my story, and partly for the little ones mentioned herein. If they should ever read this, they will finally hear the truth from my heart as I recall these years.

(As everything I write is true, names have been changed to protect identities.) 

23

A Dark Night of the Soul

(London, 2004)

I jolt upright in bed, doubling over. I wrap my arms around my torso as tightly as possible, rocking back and forth. My mouth is gaping, barely restraining the silent, fugitive screams while hot tears stream my cheeks; nothing can stop them. I’m holding myself because it feels like my insides will burst through the muscle. The veins in my head have surely exploded by now. Two names on my lips, between heavy sobs, I cry them out like a mantra, over and over. Jai. Veer. Jai. Veer …

It’s the middle of the night. I’d been sleeping, hadn’t I? Even in those quiet hours of the night when one is supposed to get some respite from the reality of life, my pain never switches off. Without warning, the stark, icy blackness outside the window intrudes and engulfs me night after night. My Jai. My Veer. My boys. My Jai. My Veer …

They are of my body. The thought of them is in my every breath, and breathing is something I have to do, even against my will, even when I’m sleeping. The only way to stop the pain is to stop breathing altogether. I tried and failed at that too. I can’t do anything right: not life, not death.

How did I end up here? I have no idea. It’s as if one day, while out on a joyful walk on a sunlit day, I stepped into a tornado and was violently spun around then spat out like an old dishcloth; dirty, sullied, stinking, of no use to anyone anymore.

They’d prefer it if I didn’t exist… he’d prefer it if I didn’t exist. Maanav couldn’t have made it any clearer.

It’s been almost a decade since I took a stand against the physical abuse in my childhood home. At sixteen, when I moved out, I was still dealing with the after-effects of that violence and the sexual abuse by the pensioner family-friend who later killed himself. It’s in this vulnerable state that I met Maanav, fell in love, got pregnant, got married, welcomed our first child, Jai, when I was eighteen, and our second, Veer, just under three years later.

But I now find myself divorced, living alone, and begging to see my children.

Do my children even know who I am anymore, how I really feel? Do they know I love them? Or do they believe everything they’re being told about this tragic woman who’s only their ‘biological mother’ and not their ‘real mum’. Mother’s Day isn’t even mine anymore. It’s hers. Does their new, ‘real mum’, who deserves Mother’s Day instead of me now, love them like I do?

As I sit here in the dark, crying out into the empty night of my rented room in a house I share with four other women, I’m only twenty-two but it feels like I’ve lived an entire lifetime, I’m tired; God, I’m so tired.

What went wrong?

Please go here for Ep. 24