Tuesday, July 25, 2006

And God Answered

Ninette is a fragile creature. She never stands up for herself. When the gas company overcharged her, she shut up and kept on paying the bills until they sent one so horrendous she could not afford it.

A friend said, don't worry dear, sleep on it this weekend and on Monday, you give them a call and tell them. When she finally did, they checked up on her old bills and realised they had been overcharging her for a long time.

She did not receive another bill for six months.

She would like a garden of flowers. But the lady next door objected, saying that she has asthma and would not be able to bear the pollen. The lady next door is very frightening. When angered she bangs on Ninette's door, screaming imprecations. It takes very little to set her off.

Ninette tries to steer clear of her and not do anything to offend her. For instance, although she would like to get a dog or cat as companion, she is afraid. What would the loud lady say? Would she bang on her door and scream? Better not to risk it.

Ninette is 60 but strangely childlike. She has been violently assaulted by her father, husband, brother and even casual male acquaintances who happen to turn up for a coffee. She never reports them.

She never does anything but pray. She is afraid. Maybe if she reports them or takes out a restraining order they will come over and kill her. She is all alone. There is no one to protect her. She doesn't even have a phone.

She spends her life on her knees. Hands clasped fervently. Pushing away despair. Forcing words into the emptiness. She prays about everything and for everyone. She prays and prays and prays but God is not tangible and she wants someone there who will talk back. She would like a companion but she is afraid of men - their appetites, their anger.

She is so lonely.

Sometimes when the darkness takes her, she wants to kill herself. But she is afraid. Self-destruction is a sin. Mortal. Unforgivable.

So she sits in her darkened apartment listening to the silence as her mind darts into dark corners searching...

Why is she all alone? Why was her life so blighted? Why could nobody love her?

Maybe there are no answers. Maybe the sky is empty and there is no God and the world is truly bad and she is damned for Eternity which should only be a few years more.

If she's lucky.

19 comments:

A thinker said...

It's very sad. It's sad how many people live that kind of existence.

Her fears aren't true. But she doesn't know that.

She needs freedom...

QuillDancer said...

This is sad. The reason her prayers don't work is because she is praying for a Savior -- and he's already come. Now she needs to stand up, reach out and believe in hersef enough to talk back.

I know because once I was the "yes" girl, afraid I wouldn't be loved if anyone discovered I had needs of my own -- then one day I looked somebody in the eye and said, "No." My perspective changed. My life changed. My world changed.

Jenn, you write emotions with gut wrenching clarity. Ever thought of trying your hand at a novel?

Jenn said...

A thinker: She needs people, I think. I've never met anyone so truly lonely in my life.

Quilly: I have met many lonely people in my life, but never one as profoundly alone as she was. And I think sometimes God's love needs to be conveyed through the medium of human love. Otherwise religion is nothing but a bunch of rules and restrictions.

A novel, ahem. Yes. Thinking on it. Editing someone else's right now. And thanks for the vote of confidence.

QuillDancer said...

Of course you are absolutely right. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. However, all the love in the world won't help someone determined to be a victim. They also must want to change and believe they can.

IRIS said...

YES...self destruction IS a sin. Sometimes, we mistake that it would heal....it would end our sorrows, our miseries...
but NOPES, it drowns us in self misery.

The lady should not let others hold the key to her life. She should not let others fill the voids and take her for a ride.

She MUST hold the reins of her life and give it a chance.......and I am sure, she would then feel God's power, even though he's an intangible being.

Grey Shades said...

Gosh Jenn! You had me choking there...

goldennib said...

It is so hard to take that first step out of loneliness and misery. Unfortunately, some people can never do it. I have known a few people like her: if they do reach out they are so clingy that others begin to hate them. They don't know they need support: instead they want to be carried, and for most people, that's too heavy a burden.

Jenn said...

Quilly: That "determined to be a victim" really hits home. But change happens, if at all, very slowly. And for someone like her, who has only known abuse (or has edited her life story to only remember the abuse) I don't know that it happens at all. What happens when there is nobody to love you through to the other side?

Iris: True. But I think she truly believes the reins are in someone else's hands. She feels like a storm-tossed leaf, with no power, no agency. I guess she was brought up believing her life depended on other people. And she was scared of other people.

Grey: If you had been there, it is possible you would have been kinder than I was able to be.

Nessa: You hit the nail on the head. But it was such a heartbreaking sort of clingy. I would have been contemptuous about it, a few years before, but then I had my heart stomped on and been so lonely I thought I was going mad that I just found it tragic. And, although I left her my number, she never contacted me. Ever.

QuillDancer said...

The saying, "What doesn't make you strong kills you," is very true. It may not destroy the body immediately, but it warps the spirit and death comes in slow degrees.

My ex-husband and I went through an experience early in out marriage that transformed me into a strong, resouceful, competent woman; and transformed him into a bitter broken, defeated man who seeks solace in alcohol.

Pity this woman, yes -- and pray for her -- but judge her we should not, and I am very sorry I did. I often get frustrated with people who allow themselves to be victimized. I need to remind myself at such times -- I do not know the scars on their souls.

Thanks for the teaching, Jenn.

Jenn said...

Wow Quilly. Thank you for saying that. Really.

I used to be very impatient of people I thought of as pathetic or helpless or clingy because I was so afraid of seeing my own desperation reflected in their eyes.

I learned very slowly to think otherwise. That is why as much as I hate the "lessons" I was subjected to, I am grateful for them. I learned to see people differently. To have just a little bit more compassion.

And even when I felt truly alone, I wasn't really. I had a lot of people in my life who still loved me. I shut them out. It was different with Ninette. She didn't have anyone. I think the feeling that no one cares if you live or die, is the worst in the world.

goldennib said...

That infamous "someone" said that we hate traits in other people because we are afraid of those traits in ourselves. I found that to be true.

I understand about her not having anyone and her only experiencing abuse, but no matter how many people try to help her, she must make some sort of effort on her own behalf. Her need for change must become stronger than her fear.

Grey Shades said...

I'm not really sure of that Jenn. But then if you say so :)

Vanessa... Don't you think that she is tired of making the effort now. After all that she is been through I'm sure letting ppl into her heart would be difficult. And since she is so lonely, all she has is herself and the horrid memories of the past...

QuillDancer said...

Perceptions: It is hard to believe that every hand reaching out to this woamn offered only pain, but she expected they would. In avoiding perceived pain she is also avoiding real friendship and aid.

We each make our own prisions, some are larger than others -- all were built to protect us -- yet somehow they always seem to lock us in.

goldennib said...

Grey: I'm sure you are right. It is very hard to keep trying, especially when you only have your own thoughts to wallow in. I'm just not much for giving up. But if she ever wants more, she must make an effort. Otherwise, she will have to try in another lifetime. God will always love her, either way, whether she knows it or not.

QuillDancer said...

Where is Jenn -- not seen or heard from since Tuesday last? Well, I hope.

Jenn said...

Nessa: I met her when she was 60. I tried to plant some alternative ideas in her head, she was eager to hear them, even made me write them down, but I don't know if anything registered. You're right. Someone has to want to make a change. As much as another person may want to help, they cannot live your life for you, make up your mind for you.

Grey: Yes, you would have. You are much nicer than me. More patient, also.

My (brother?!): I was being ironic. I was looking at it from her point of view. From her interpretation of her religion, she could be damned for a lot of things.

Quilly: I know. There must have been plenty who wanted to help. But she edited these out of her life story. So she was left with only the bitterness. And the pain. And now, the utter isolation.
I'm right here, dear. Sorry I went AWOL for a while.

Grey Shades said...

Aww thats sweet of Jenn and where are you these days? Too busy eh?

Vanessa... Yeah I hope God is kind on someone with such a hard and unprotected life!

The Lost Crow said...

I think Darwin speaks on this issue as well, her genes pass from existence.

Jenn said...

The Lost Crow: Welcome to my blog. You're right. She will be...I feel sad because she seems like there would be a lot she could do, if she wanted...or if she allowed herself to be free enough to consider other possibilities.