This past week was the week of final exams for Year 5. Sarah you showed signs that you were nervous and anxious. I was a bit worried, but tried not to show it. It reminded me of the times when I was your age and used to get anxious and worried every time school exams rolled by. The week before on the Saturday we celebrated your birthday at Skytrex and you had such a good time with your friends! It was really a great day - I think everyone really enjoyed themselves at Skytrex :)
Then it was exam week - you were doing OK at the beginning of the week. Monday you had English. You said it was a bit difficult. Tuesday you had Math - you said also abit difficult and you didn't answer a few questions. On the last day you had Arabic. The evening before you were so worried. You wanted to revise, opened your Arabic books and asked me to help you revise. I asked you what you wanted me to test you on, and you just started crying. I could see you were very overwhelmed. I said "Dont worry if you dont know - just choose something to revise." And again you replied "I dont know" and cried. The whole evening was like this. I left you to read my book in the tv room at nana's house. You were crying. After awhile I went in and said "Come let me help you" but you were too overwhelmed and just continued crying. I felt so helpless.
After you calmed down, showered and ate. I just started saying some words - tested you on the basics- pronouns - and we made some progress. I was using my own shallow knowledge. Alhamdulillah after that we made some progress.
To be honest I was really surprised to discover that you did not know the basic pronouns and vocabulary - but I did not say anything. Alhamdulillah. I'm so glad I didn't. I really pray that you don't feel afraid to ask for help. I felt like you might have been struggling abit with this.
I know it is my fault that in the past, I have not been very good when you ask me to help you with your homework. Firstly I have been resentful that I have to send you to school - which I don't believe in - knowing it is the same rote-learning, spoon-feeding system that I went through. But I should not take it out on you. I promise to be more helpful and supportive when you ask me to help you with homework.
I am listening to Brene Brown's Rising Strong audiobook - and the things that she says in the book are so profound. I was listening to her book the next morning after I sent you to school. And she was talking about being human and strong enough to know and ask for help from others when we need it. And I thought to myself - this is me. I was taught to never ask for help - that asking for help are for weaklings and I should not ask for help. As a result - I have been dysfunctionally dealing with my emotions. I was grief-stricken when your father and I got divorced - but I didn't know how to ask for help. I didn't know that I needed help. I just pushed down the emotions, and it showed up in other unhealthy ways. Like my yelling at you and Iman. I feel terrible and regret that so much to this day.
I recently joined a single moms support group - which I told you about - and that has been so helpful. I wish there was such a support group when I just came out of the divorce. Basically my journey of the last two years or so - seeing a counselor and joining this support group has been alhamdulillah so helpful. I'm so grateful I am starting to heal, and be a better person.
I promise to you that I will be more supportive - and show you that NEEDING HELP and ASKING for HELP is noble and normal and NECESSARY. I promise to not shut you out or play down or disregard you need for help. I want to be the one who can be there for you when you need someone. Both of you. I'm sorry if I haven't been really present in the past. I was dealing with my own issues. I want to change and pray that I will change to be a better mother and friend and role model from now on. I love you both so much!1 xoxo