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My Issues: Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia (from Latin claustrum “a shut in place” and Greek φόβος, phóbos, “fear”) is the fear of having no escape and being closed in small spaces or rooms (opposite: claustrophilia).

It has always been my greatest of all fears, being trapped inside a small, enclosed space with no way out. It bothers me to find myself in a room with all windows and doors closed. I feel i am suffocating, and often end up opening the window, even if it was  winter time, even if it was freezing, raining, and even when it is dusty: a small opening would do to ease my fear.

I am not stupid, nor do i believe my fear is logical, but i still cannot help it. My rational mind always tries to make me feel better and always, always it fails: I do not have panic attacks yet, but I am still afraid.

You can imagine how i feel about elevators, or how happy i would become if I were chained to something. My close family and friends know I fear the rides in the amusement parks. I recently discovered that it is mostly the feeling of being trapped that makes me hate them: I do not claim it is the only reason, I am not a brave person when it comes to heights, or speed; but it is the reason I feel panic and nausea. I felt none of that when I went on a ride in a local, albeit small Ferris wheel. It was because I was not chained to anything! I felt free and happy!

I am not a weak person, but everyone has his weak points. I am trying to discover mine because in my opinion, that is where the real strength is: you knowing every aspect of your personality, and working on becoming the best you can possibly be!

claustrophobia_illustration_by_greenleafcm-d32lj1s

“Tayta” Em Nashaat: a story of love, sacrifice and survival

All grandmas are supposed to be nice and sweet. My grandma is the nicest and sweetest of them all!

I’m not exaggerating, She is. It’s been a while since I wanted to write about her because she is one of the most important women in my life.

My grandma (Tayta) Ymn Kanj AKA Em Nashaat is Mrs AbdulKader Finge (May Allah bless his soul) . She is the daughter of a wealthy landowner, Khodor “Bek”  Kanj. She was married when she was 14 to a guy almost 16 years older than herself. They had 8 kids, a happy short life together, then my grandpa got sick. She can tell you stories, heartbreaking stories of how she used to care for him,nurse him even carry him on her back when need be..She once told me that when he slept she was afraid he’d wake up at night and need her so she slept hugging one of his legs or arms: this way whenever he woke up, she’d know. Then, he died. She was a widow with 8 kids at an early age of 35. She was beautiful and got several tempting proposals to remarry which she categorically and emphatically refused. She raised her children alone, the best way she could. She had 4 boys and 4 girls. She taught, embraced, loved, cared, pampered, indulged, scolded, encouraged. She did it all! And she did it without expecting anything in return. Even now, with 25 or so grandchildren, she still finds the energy to care and love and give.

To me, she represents the limitless endless love. She amazes me with her ability to find positive things even in the worst situations..

I love how she defends people even when they do something wrong: “What if they didn’t see you?” “Maybe He didn’t know” ” Who told you she did this? ”  ” I’m sure there’s a mistake” …

I love how she always finds something nice to say when you’re down: ” you’re better off”.. ” Allah will never forget you” ” You are strong, you can do it”.. and how she always has an appropriate response for anything you say..

I love how she still morns following traditions ” Ma helweh ya setti” and how honestly she feels the loss of a relative. Her tears flow silently and her face gets pale.She wears black, refuses to attend events, enumerate their qualities and remembers anecdotes..

I love how she always finds something to do: cleaning a closet, knitting a sweater, rearranging crystals…

She taught me that being a woman means being strong, caring and responsible. She taught me how to love and expect nothing in return. She taught me how to sit, how to laugh, how to smile…

Thank you Tayta, you’re the best!