2019 started with my hand up my vagina, tugging on the carcass of my dead baby. As I stood under the warm shower sprays, a ball of pre-human in hand, my thumb gently grazed what I assumed was an umbilical cord; I saw.
Through the slits of my shower curtain, I saw a dark shadow with the statures of a child, treading away from me, out of the bathroom where I stood naked- literally and figuratively. “Mama, bye bye,” cooed the shadow child.
A figment of my imagination—my life tends to play out in technicolour—a quirk I’ve been forced to reconcile with my twitchy intensity and appreciation for militant procedures.
Little did I know, the departure of my dead unformed child was merely the opening act of a 3 part greek tragedy. Starring: me; place: 21st century Klang Valley.
I stared at the lump of bloody plasma for a long time, oblivious to the wet hair that plastered my neck, the beads of water trickling down my forehead, nor the residue of my uterus dripping down my thighs.
After marinating in a concoction of melancholy, confusion, joy, and disorientation, one dominant emotion eventually prevailed: relief.
I am not equipped to mother a child.
I just dodged a bullet.
This world is one chaotic anarchy, and until I learn to navigate this hellhole, to usher in a living human being is blatantly irresponsible. Until I figure out the workings of life, I am not worthy of being a mother.
Because, if that shadow somehow became an actual sentient being, what do I teach them?
According to Facebook, my holier-than-thou friend would teach her son to “know Jesus”. What the fuck is that?
(Here’s another interesting development: I now curse like a sailor, or as I prefer to call it, a tribute to the Anglo-Saxon tradition.)
I know nuts. And I certainly don’t have claim to an absolute truth. Yet, despite being painfully aware of my frailties, I knew who had nothing to contribute: the church.
Not only do they not have answers, they also have the tendency to blurt out follies about the world: “because the bible says so”. God created the universe- because the bible says so! Being gay is a sin- because the bible says so! Blah, blah, blah- because the bible says so!
To completely believe unverified claims on the grounds of ancient literature, that’s not faith; it’s vanity. The bible does not negate our reason and compassion, because we owe each other that much.
My faith journey has been long and windy. But it’s the thought of my child– my gay child suppressing their sexuality, my daughter “submitting” to her husband, my young kid taught that “evolution is foolishness of this world”; that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.
So many things the church say just don’t make sense. There is so much wrong with the fundamentals of traditional theology.
As soon as I realised that no child of mine will grow up in a community that revels in unsupported claims, there was only one thing left to do: I quit church. I quit the brand of christianity I’ve heavily subscribed to my entire life. It’s one thing for me to live amongst those who regard muzzled intellect a virtue, another to force it upon an innocent life.
I owe you some context. Up to this point, my entire world view revolved around the opinions of the church, and an ancient book called the bible. The bible was my go-to for everything. From the origins of life to history, salvation and ethics… every darn thing.
So when I quit the faith, I was essentially throwing my anchor away. I tossed my GPS/ compass/ map into the deep blue ocean, never to be seen again. I questioned if the sun really rises from the east and sets in the west.
But I was done giving a fuck. I was going to rebuild my belief system from the ground up.
So I read. I’ve always been one to permanently perch behind a book spine, but in 2019, I really read. I listened to what everybody had to say, from atheists, to agnostics, progressives, and (a few) conservatives.
If I withdraw God’s credit for the world around me—even as a hypothesis—I need to know the alternative. So I listened to cosmologists like Sean Carroll, and biologists like Richard Dawkins. I mulled over ethical dilemmas extensively, because I need a new moral compass.
There’s nothing like pulling a clump of dead cells from your lady parts to launch a full scale existential crisis.
Before the year is up, I would’ve made several other decisive choices. Ones that left me psychologically richer, and for which I regret nothing.
2019 was a clusterfuck.
2019 was a year of questions.
2019 was a year of massive tectonic shifts in world view.
2019 was the year I watched my mother flirt with death in an ICU ward.
2019 was the year I glimpsed firsthand the tyranny of human nature and the injustice it ensues.
2019, I learned of the cowardice certain truncated dicks will stoop.
2019 was a year of new beginnings.
2019, I sieved true from fake friends.
2019, I learned a lot about my personal values.
2019, I discovered how much I can hate; and how much I can love.
2019, I made huge transitions.
And in 2019, sometimes I think of the dark shadow, and I’m relieved. Because I don’t have any answers.
I don’t know.