Posts Tagged betrayal
Sorting through all the mental baggage that those experiences have left with me, one thing that I notice is… shame. There is still a residue of shame about the body. My body, as well about other female bodies. The idea that a woman who is sensibly dressed for jogging or yard work or whatever-it-is in the middle of the summer is being “immodest.” The idea that being uncomfortable in order to cover a bit more skin is better than the “shame” of exposure. And that judg-y undercurrent that still to some extent filters my perceptions.
As well as the constant awareness of being (for lack of a better word) seen, whenever I am in places that Muslims might be. Seen, and judged.
Back in the day, we used to interpret feelings of shame about our bodies and others, as well as that feeling of being “seen” as a positive sign that at last we were managing to internalize “true modesty.” Our consciences had become Islamified, we thought… and that could only be a good thing. We must be increasing in iman and taqwa.
Some of the comments that have been coming on the last few posts seem to be referring to what I am calling religion-related ptsd. As in, people who have had traumatic experiences with religion being triggered by certain religious buzz-words, stock phrases, ritual practices, or other things.
I didn’t used to know that this existed, either. Until I experienced it. Because it was one of the many things that supposedly didn’t exist, in the various insular, conservative Muslim communities that I have been part of or otherwise associated with.
We vaguely knew of it, in the sense that we had heard stories of supposedly hard-heartedly secular Muslims who for no discernible reason would get very upset by things such as seeing a relative pray. People would tell such stories for various reasons—sometimes, as a way of expressing just how misunderstood or persecuted they felt when dealing with non-supportive Muslim family. And people would listen to such stories, and shake their heads… we’re living in the end times—those times when holding onto faith will be like holding a burning coal in your hand. But hey, give good tidings to the strangers!