Enough! Stop Hurting My Flesh
Original title : Yeter Tenimi Acýtmayýn
This is the story of four women, Sude, Ada, Derin and Çakýl, who have succeeded in existing by undressing their bodies, facing their fears and traumas. The protagonists now desire to reach new women to help them start their own existantial inner journeys. They gather in an ancient house located on the Agean lands which has been cradle for many civilizations in history. By aiming to disturb the reader, Arýkan claims that we all have gone through sexual traumas which encode us from childhood onwards and she adds, “It’s our fears that raise us, not our parents.” These traumas shape our behaviours and we can only analyse ourselves if we face the reason we act like we do. Arýkan strongly underlines the fact that there are so many harassment, rape and incest cases which are being covered and hidden, and these should be discussed frankly.
Selected reviews :
“The author provokes the readers, encouraging them to look at themselves and forcing to enter a workshop of metamorphosis. There is another ongoing story deep down between the lines. A timeless story of an unknown man and a woman… A story which adds to and enriches the sound forming the novel’s structure… Read it!”. Buket Öktülmüþ (Milliyet Art Magazine)
“The novel meets the story of Ada, Derin and Çakýl with the story of Sude who is trying to breathe in the
vile facts of the past, heal her wounds and enhance life. Women increase day by day. There is anger, grief and despair in response to savagery…” Hikmet Çetinkaya (Cumhuriyet Daily Newspaper)
Same translated excerpts :
Pages 107 through 131
AND WOMAN AND MAN…
Put the woman’s make up on, in the darkness
Hundreds of years’ shadows formed on her face
Full of men,
Brown eyes shined in black
Lips even more red
Put the woman’s make up on in the daylight.
Thousands of suns exploded on her face
Him, despite the night
Brown eyes still innocent
Gentle wind breezing through the window
Stretched the woman whose lips were sucked
While starting to live
When night transforms into day, the woman and the man will be scared again, in fact they will struggle to escape, to forget, to be able to forget but despite this struggle, their fate will always be to remember after that night.
From now on, only the woman and the man would understand the drops that were transformed from laughter to pain, the fate in which it is not possible to be able to blend to darkness that the fears transformed into laughter, the sorrowful tiredness of waiting, waiting and waiting.
When night transforms into day, after saying goodbye to darkness, the woman will always carry her past and her longing in her tears and those tears will be a bridge between the woman and the man.
When the woman and the man will go out from the cave that they were hiding in, they will be scared from the shining daylight but they will not escape despite their dazzling eyes.
And while the woman is re-writing her past all over again, the man will never understand that he is re-writing his own past as well.
Aysu woke up with the day’s first lights and opened her window. She shuddered with the fresh breeze erecting her pimples. She took out the notebook to read, which has become a habit after Sude and the girls have entered her life. Her hair jumbled, her eyes low; she felt stuck in between reading or not.
The things she has learned about herself and about the other girls sometimes gave her strength to get rid of her fears and sometimes caused her to drown in them.
It also terrorized her to know that Sude knew everything about her. What if she says “tell us” just like that? What if she reminds her of the scenes she doesn’t want to remember, like she did 2 days ago? It choked her when Sude pushed, at the point she wanted to forget. Sometimes she was longing to run away from these girls and from this house that put the realities right in front of her...
She lay on her bed... she started reading what she has written after coming to this house.
I feel guilty. Yet, I haven’t felt guilty even when I have cheated my boyfriend. Why do I feel confused in this house now? It’s hard for me. It’s also hard to explain what is hard. Am I coward? Am I afraid of being alone?
What am I curious about? Why am I curious? Why do I fear? From whom?
The things that I don’t see around are dark for me, but not for Sude. Reminding- coding; I feel unpleasant.
New information for me: people are like developed computers. The programs we carry in our genes contain our thousand years of past & information. When we are born, our programs only consist of our genes that are transferred to us. From the moment we are born, we are being coded with the education we get first from our mother, then our father, then our surrounding, friends, schools & in this way we get new program libraries.
The first coding starts while our mother nurses us because nursing sets our 5 senses into action. Since the mother’s breast is on the heart, the baby perceives this rhythm, feels the warmth and gets nourished from this incentive energy. This natural act of getting fed becomes unnatural by the thought “nourishing should not give me pleasure”; thus we get alienated from sex.
Sex is the main coding that determines our lives. Our lives that are based on sexual coding are shaped by our first encounter, how we first experience it.
Is it really important? Coding…
Can my “ideal relationship” definition be a result of my improper coding? Nothing should be heard by outsiders. Everything should be kept between two people.
What’s the reason of my feeling of guilt? I feel guilty when someone feels interested in me, because responding to this interest is betrayal to my father.
My desire to be talked to while I make love, to be told that I’m wise. Does it have anything to do with my dad?
My wise daughter…
My feeling of guilt and fear of rejection feeds my lovers’ desire of controlling. Or I’m choosing men whose desires of control I can feed. Yes, I choose them.
Does my mother really not know? Is it possible that she hasn’t realized? Has she covered the reality like I did? Is it possible that she is acting? She’s not jealous of me; I’m the one who is jealousof her.
How can it be possible for me to have a normal relationship, containing sexuality! How!!!
Lack of expression? No, not really. Wishing everybody to love me, nobody to have negative thoughts about me. The best thing is to say nothing at all. Rather than existing, preferring to keep silent ever, in order not to cause any trouble.
“Shush to your dad!!! Shush to your mum!!! Shush to Sude!!! Shush to the girls!!! Shush to your lover!!!”
For years, she had pretended not to know the things she was reading. She felt hurt as much while reading as by the time she had written them. To learn all these now just caused her to suffer and drown. Would she ever be able to feel relieved, purified of all these?
My fear of reality that causes me to run away from all responsibilities.
Not performing in my own profession, disproving myself at an advertisement agency?
My desire to run away from Sude from time to time?
Not to take good care of myself?
Having difficulties while trying to wake up in the mornings?
Not being able to decide (what if I take a wrong decision? What a pity!)
Another reason why I feel tense when I’m with Sude and the girls is because they can stand up straight on their feet (I can’t).
Have I ever asked anything to myself that I’ll be able to ask questions to others?
She was sure that she would feel the same anger rising in her body while reading the following pages; the same anger she has felt while writing them. She wanted to forget what it has cost her, wanted to get rid of it. She was scared of being dominated by her inner voice who told her “go back to your dad”.
She was getting to know how she was destroying herself. She was afraid that if she gets closer to her fears, she would attempt running away from this place.
Despite the disappearance of the cool air, despite the sun warming up the place, Aysu’s body was shivering drastically under her blanket.
Why am I so involved in what my father wears, how and what he does, even in his libertinism?
I started being disturbed by my father’s touch after Sude told me that I’m in love with him.
I’m at my thirties but my life is still turning around my father. I’m not trying to build my own life. Isn’t it the reason why I went back to living at my parents’ after I got divorced?
Her heart was strained by the lines she read. She could neither stop her tears nor her body’s shaking. While her tears are replaced by sobbing, her sobbing by scream, her teeth started clenching.
Aysu couldn’t stand staying alone in her room anymore. She rushed upstairs, taking the steps two by two to Sude’s room. Sude, who was writing e-mail to his boy friend, understood right off what has happened, ran beside Aysu and hugged her. Tightly, like hugging a child, warm, tender.
“Come; lay on my bed for a while. Breathe deeply. I know it’s very hard but be assured that when these days are over; you’ll feel as free as a bird.
She took Aysu’s hand in hers and patted her hair.
“What happened?” Sude asked.
Aysu was drowning in tears. “I was reading my notebook. My past that you have reminded me bit by bit.
“You remember, right?” said Sude, her heart twisting. “Would you share what has happened today, with the other girls? I know it’s very hard, embarrassing even. But they are real. Open the passage for them to face their own realities as well. You can do it.”
Aysu felt asleep. Sude, who carried tons of responsibility while other women’s traumas were being unveiled, also felt tired whereas it was her least right to feel exhausted at these particular times…
The women who have gathered in the living room looked puzzled at Aysu whose eyes were puffy and red. Aysu’s arms clamped, her head down, she repeated to herself “I have to do this; I must do this”. Sude told the women “I guess Aysu would like to tell us something” and sat next to her, holding her hand tightly.
“Actually, I don’t know where to start from. But maybe I should start from telling you about my feelings for Sude.” She continued, looking at Sude.
“You know, since I met you, I wanted to be like you. It looked like everything was so easy for you. As if nothing could make you sad, as if life was given to you all set and problem-free.
“As you say; I wish life was given to us on a silver tray” Ada interrupted. “None of us would reject it. But it’s not. Cost of choosing to live as a woman and trying to free yourself in this way is very high. Nothing is earned without struggling. The delusion that we are standing straight against life easily is not annoying for Sude. But me! I sometimes feel so deranged.
“Actually I was longing to be like Sude and many people who see me from outside were longing to be in my shoes… Me, my parents’ dear daughter raised in a good way! I’m sure we look like a good example as a family when you look from outside… Even I made myself believe in it for all these years!
Except for a feeling of depression that followed me everywhere I went, a feeling that I couldn’t name for all my life, has been spoiling this image of being perfect. I can’t say that it was unhappiness but something like annoyance and guilt.”
Aysu took a deep breath and paused for a while. The arrow has come off the arc now and she was determined. She was going to tell them. She should. Her eyes fixed on the floor, she thought for a while and said, “Maybe a chronological explanation will ease my act” and continued.
“My years of studying, then my marriage, my job… The best word that describes me is hanging out in life… Yes I was hanging out in life, without living it properly. I was hanging out with my dentist husband. I was married but feeling like I never belonged to that marriage. The ideal couple Aysu and Sedat, which was approved by everyone. Perfect like my family… Perfect!..”
Derin’s inner temper was rising with every word she heard. She was disgusted by what was happening behind the scenes in families. Families should not be ideal. Ideal parents were dangerous, very dangerous…
Fidan was tracing her own past by every word she was listening to. She couldn’t go any further than but’s, although she tried hard. At least she knew that her family was not ideal, if this meant anything at all…
Fidan was the one who was always left behind her brother. She was the one who tried to prove herself to other people. Strong and lofty like a boy. Fidan was the one who acted as the representative of logic. She was so involved in her own thoughts that she heard her inner voice that told her “listen! Just for once, listen to understand. You have to listen in order to understand. Listen!..” She tried to listen to what Aysu had to say.
“I was hanging out at my job just like I did with my marriage. Hanging out without adapting to it. I was finding excuses to spend time at school. In this way, I was having the chance to be close to my father” she said and paused. “My father holds a chair as a professor at the university where I had my master’s degree”. I used to accompany him to receptions where my mom was not able to attend. I chose shirt and tie appropriate for his suits. In the same way, he realised right away when I wore something new or changed my hair. He always told me how beautiful I looked. My husband didn’t. My father did. And I wanted my father to realize and approve, not my husband. My father was the ideal man in my eyes. Good, virtuous, intellectual. He was my father.”
“My mother, on the other hand, was the one who conducted us, who took the decisions, arranging the relations. Mrs. Reputation!...
And my husband Sedat… Sedat was good looking, ambitious, tough. Although it’s not easy to admit, he degraded me. Therefore, my friends were not very fond of him. I often think that he’s very similar to my father in many senses. Yes Sedat was very much like my father…”
All the women’s one other sense was activated when the smell of freshly grinded coffee and spicy flavors have reached them. What if Aysu stops...?
Ilkyaz served the coffee with her affectionate looks, as usual. As if she didn’t hear a single word of what they were talking about, as if she did not exist in this house... She didn’t see Aysu’s shivering hands while trying to grab her cup. She didn’t look at her eyes. Ilkyaz had got to realise that the more she kept herself outside, the better it would be for herself.
Aysu put down her cup and continued as if she’d never stopped. “Two years ago, while I was hanging around, my friendship with one of the students of my father, Ayse, brought me to Sude. I don’t know if it was me who held Ayse or it was her who didn’t let go of me. The only thing I knew was the change I witnessed in Ayse and my curiosity about Sude. It was the beginning of summer when Ayse said “I want you to meet Sude”.
“We met in Ankara at Ayse’s place. When I arrived, Sude was there. When we shook hands, the first thing I noticed was her eyes. Her eyes that had no boundaries...
During our whole stay, I kept analysing Sude. How peaceful she was with herself, how tranquil. Only; the weird meaning in her eyes had no translation for me”
Looking at other women, she asked “did you notice it as well? Sude’s eyes speak. Did you also notice that her looks are more effective than her words?”
Sude gave Beyza a lively glance. Her blue eyes were lofty like a leopard. Sharp, wild and female like a leopard. Then she looked at Seniha, innocent as a little girl and insecure. This time her eyes were timid, shy, needing sympathy.
Derin jumped “one glance for me too!” Sude gave Derin a tender, soft and understanding look.
Seniha interrupted “but how can you look in so different ways?”
“The more you explore your inner wealth, the more you can look at everyone for the sake of her. Everyone interprets the other person’s looks, starting from where they are situated, don’t they?”
“Speaking and communicating by glances is a very common remark but to accomplish it, is very hard” Aysu said and continued. “We started seeing each other every time Sude came to Ankara. I also became very close with Ayse. To wait for Sude’s arrival... To become nervous when she comes... To meet Ayse, talking with her... Craving to talk to Sude... To run away from her... To get to realize that what I thought as being myself, was not the real me...
I’ve started taking notes of myself, about my secret history. What do I want? Why is it that hard for me to work, to move? I’m unhappy! I don’t have the energy to go after the things that make me considered lucky. This kind of notes...
I was taking notes but I was still insisting on working at places that had nothing to do with my profession. I was taking notes but I was still turning down all job offers about my profession. I was taking notes but insisting on living at my parents’ house. I was pretending to live happily with joy, like everything was on track, while postponing everything. I was taking notes...”
She couldn’t continue talking... Despite her desire to speak, the words didn’t come out. She was trying hard to gather the words, to make a sentence.
She continued with foggy eyes.
“On a winter morning, when Sude arrived in Ankara by train, we went to Patisserie Paul in Bahceli to have breakfast. I have taken her from the station and we were supposed to be together till noon. When we took our seats in Paul at the corner table Sude looked me in the eye and asked with a sharp tone ‘Aysu, aren’t you tired of playing roles to everyone?’ I was stroke dumb. She stated my happy, compatible, problem free, talkative definition of myself as a ‘total lie’ and looked in such a way that I froze.
Without softening her voice, she said ‘you are as real as Snow White’.”
Aysu stood up. She continued talking, while she walked back and forth. Her head down, her words accompanying her steps...
“Every word she said was true. In fact, my whole conversations were mumbo jumbo although I made it look as if I have been sharing a lot. In reality, I wasn’t revealing much.
Since I was brought up with my mother’s preaches like ‘One can only be loved and cared by her family. Everything should stay within the family and shouldn’t be carried outside’, I was a bit scared of sharing. My mother’s words were so penetrating that if I ever got a bit close with someone, I felt as if I was betraying my family. That’s why I never had a close friend. It’s the first time that I have got that close first to Sude, then to the girls and now to you. I wasn’t even close with my husband. Neither did he ask for a closer relation or anything, but...
In the meantime, by the help of Sude’s talks and insists I started to take interest in my body as a task. For instance, I stood in front of the mirror and examined every part of my body, one by one.
‘You have to recognize your body as a whole and you have to take good care of it. Thinking of your soul and body as separate things only deepens the inner shattering of you’ she told me, stressing the importance of getting in contact with my body.”
All women started giggling. They all understood each other, having gone through the same process. Women who are living with their bodies although being unaware of it... Women who look at their bodies and see it for the first time... Women and their bodies...
“And I, a 30 year old woman who has gotten divorced 8 months ago after 5 years of marriage, realized for the first time that I have a body.”
At that instant, Fidan thought if she had realized that she had a body or not. How could somebody not be aware that she had a body? Could she? In fact, she had also looked at her own body because of Sude’s insists and had felt embarrassed. Yes, she had felt embarrassed. To realize to have a body?.. Fidan decided to talk about the fact that she still didn’t like to look at her body, at a later stage. Fidan and her body...
Aysu sighed, like she was tired of talking and asked “If there is any cake left from last night, let’s have a slice each, huh?” Aysu’s craving for dessert was abolished by Derin who served the cake. Aysu, without even noticing the women’s looks on her, swallowed big bites of cake. Women watched. Aysu swallowed. One slice, then another...
After Aysu overcame her dessert crisis, she continued as if she hadn’t stopped. “Sude asked me suddenly one day ‘In your teenage years, did you ever talk about sex with your friends?’ My reply was clear and keen: Noooo!”
“’What about your first sex experience? When? Where? With whom? How?’ I realised with puzzlement that I didn’t remember anything. ‘What about your partner’s genital organ?’ No, I didn’t remember! The more I said no, the more she continued without giving a break. ‘When was the first time you saw a male genital organ?’ I didn’t know but there was an image in my brain, not linked with time. When she said ‘describe the image’ I gave her such a detailed explanation that I even shocked myself. ‘But where did you see it?’ My reply was ‘don’t know’ again.
While Sude continued asking questions one after the other, I never forgot her eyes that she kept on me, my body’s freezing just like right now, my hands’ sweating and me swinging between crying and anger.
Like the dinner we had in Budakalti with Ada, Derin, Cakil, Ayse and Sude that I never forgot either... Sude’s questions ‘are you in love with your father?’ My tears that I couldn’t stop...
I can say that it was the first time I started awakening.” she said and looked at Sude as if to get confirmation. “After that night, I couldn’t have the former communication with my father any more. When he touched me, my whole body was convulsing, by an urge to scream. I didn’t want to see my father. I didn’t want to see my mother. I didn’t want to see my husband. Since I had no strength to move, I was trying to destroy myself.
In order not to be my family’s perfect daughter, I quit my job and started working at a lousy advertisement firm. Afterwards was like a chain reaction. I got divorced from Sedat. I resisted not going back to my job, to obstinate with my father. Since the money I earned was not sufficient, I moved back to my parents’ house. Although a part of me tried to break free from them, my other side was creating situations to be in need of my parents.
When Sude heard that I’ve moved back, she was so mad!.. I both knew that I’ve upset her and was scared of her. If it wasn’t for Ayse who knew the whole story, maybe I wouldn’t be able to overcome those days. Ayse was always by my side, trying to make me realize all the maneuvers I made up in order to escape. Actually, these are not the things I want to talk about right now...”
After a few seconds’ pause, Aysu’s eyes became dull, her voice hoarse and now instead of being the narrator, she was the leading ‘actress’ of these realities as well.
“I don’t remember my age but I was young. It was either my first year at primary school or the second. One night I woke up to drink water. My mom was sleeping. On my way back to my room, I saw my father in the sitting room, sleeping. Actually, he was sitting, his back towards me and there was a porn film on TV. Yes, that was the first time I’ve seen a man’s genital organ.
When I told Sude about this memory, she shouted at me ‘Aysu, how can a kid at that age describe such a thing this much clear and detailed? Is it logical? You say that it’s a porn movie but how do you know what they were doing?’ “I didn’t know” Aysu had started shouting. “I still don’t know. I still...” Sude stood up and went beside Aysu, looked into her eyes and asked tenderly “Do you want to know now?” Aysu, tired and without any strength left, just nodded. She wanted to know.
For the other women who have been listening to Aysu with pain, but somewhat like listening to a story, the whole thing has become solid now. It was a living reality. Seniha closed her eyes with her hands, like watching a horror film on TV. She wanted to shut down her ears too. One part of her was waiting in curiosity while her other part wanted to leave the room. Suddenly, she stood up. Then not daring to go, she sat back. Her stomach upside down, she felt cold and afraid of throwing out.
Aysu couldn’t stop her tears, afraid of her voice skipping in. Despite her shivering body, ice-cold hands, her body with cold sweat, she wanted to continue talking but she couldn’t grasp anything other than the darkness covering her consciousness.
Suddenly, the sound of the slap on Aysu’s face… The slap that shook the house’s walls; that slapped on the other women’s hearts, Sude’s slapping on Aysu’s cheek.
Sude, very conscious of what she was doing, with her sharp voice, looked straight into Aysu’s eyes and slapped once more. Aysu, whose cheek was red hot now, was not crying anymore. Instead, she was trying to rescue herself like a wounded gazelle.
“You remember, right? Or I’ll slap once more. I know you remember!” Sude said. The women who have watched the scene were frozen in terror. Aysu, her hand on her cheek, was shaking her head like a small child. Sude’s slap has taken her back to years which were dark in her consciousness a few minutes ago.
Sude’s slap… Her father’s slap… The slap…
Who had slapped her? Was it Sude now or her father when she was six? Aysu lost track of how old and where she was. Both in past and in present, both the subject and the object. She heard her own voice but couldn’t control it. It was talking against her will, living against her will, against her will…
“The slap, slap of my father… I’m at first grade. I’m six years old. I guess my mom’s not at home. I go beside my dad to play with him. My father’s sitting vaguely on the couch, his eyes low, but moving. I made a move towards the couch to jump on his neck and he got startled. At that instant, he slaps me on the face.”
Sude keeps holding Aysu’s hand, Aysu shaking; her eyes sliding down. Her cheek is burning but she doesn’t know if it’s because Sude slapped her or because her father did… Her pain on her cheek…
Sude started explaining “that sudden slap, like I just did… You jump on your father, although you don’t know it by then, your father was masturbating so he slaps you by reflex. The slap that was caused by guilt of getting caught” she said and looked at Aysu and told her “Yes…” for her to continue.
The room was like boiling ice, the ice froze the women, shock and panic burned their flesh. The women were scared… While the ice that filled the room crushed with screams of guilt, something inside them crushed as well. The room was like ice, the women were like ice… Cold or heat hurt their hearts.
“No, I don’t want to hear anymore. My head’s dizzy.” The anger she had felt years ago had started capturing her. She was cold, her head spinning. Derin was afraid of fainting. “Stop Aysu, stop!..” she wanted to shout, although she knew that she had to go through these again and again.
Aysu continued with her dull looks and her monotonous voice. “’Don’t cry my dear girl, let’s play together’ he tells me and places me onto his knees. ‘Look, it’s ok. Now this is ill and we will heal it together. My wise girl, if you hold it like this and fondle without squeezing, you see, it started getting alright. It started to raise its head, well done girly, well-done. Now slip your fingers down, take it into your hand without squeezing, well-done you, daddy’s pretty, wise daughter.”
“Enough, I don’t want to hear these anymore. You are all sick, these can not be happening. How can such a thing be true? Enough! Enough I don’t want to hear these anymore!..” Fidan started screaming, having lost all her control.
Ada went near Fidan, embraced her and said “we know that it’s very painful and disgusting, but unfortunately these are all true. Please calm down. Very soon, you’ll understand why you gave this kind of a reaction, please calm down” she said, trying to cool her down.
Aysu continued talking, abstracted from her surrounding. If she stopped now despite the pain on her cheek, she feared that she wouldn’t ever be able to speak any more.
“My feet were pitching from the sides of the couch. My feet were not on ground. My cheek was in pain and I didn’t know why this soft thing that I was holding was sick.
I knew that from then on the genital organ I saw and recognized on TV was our common toy with my father.” Aysu was about to faint because of exhaustion. She put her head on Sude’s shoulder. While Sude stroked her hair, Aysu was muttering “I now understand that with this game I said hello to sexuality, but in reality; it was a good bye! My first sexual coding was this scene I had with my father… My first coding…
“Cooperation, abetting, our secret... Snow White’s pink world, full of disgrace, starting from 6-7 years of age till her twenties”.
When Aysu stopped talking, tears were bursting out from her eyes. She didn’t realize that she had dropped the cake plate. Red, white, and yellow cream smudged from the plate onto the carpet. Like everything that had smudged into their lives...
Fidan was ice-cold but insensitive. Beyza didn’t know what to say or what to do. Seniha went near Cakil and cuddled up near her. Sude went near Aysu, held her tightly and said “darling, it’s not your fault. I know it’s very hard. Right now you’re overcoming the hardest part and so far you have been very brave about it all. It’s very hard to revise all of it and to let it known by your own words. We all feel it, be sure of that. We love you Aysu, calm down...”
Derin wanted to embrace Aysu, to tell her “I understand you very well. Much better than you could imagine” but she couldn’t move. Despite that, she didn’t want to stop the thoughts that moved inside her head.
Her face red with anger, she started to shout “the fathers that make their daughters experience these really exist. That’s why the women who suffer just like you do exist! And the brutalities of the ones who keep silent exist as well!
How can a person exist with such grief?
Even the families that look perfect can be disgusting and brutal from the inside. People are sick but there’s no one who dare say it. Nevertheless, there will come a day when all these realities will rise onto the surface and people will have to open their eyes and see”.
Fidan, who was bored of the tension of the atmosphere, asked “will you talk to your father about these?” She was speaking stunningly cold-hearted.
Derin continued with her angry tone “No. There’s no need for that. At first, you want to speak but then you realize how meaningless it is. Of course, it’s not easy to accept what you have remembered and carry on living in a healthy way despite the realities. But you also know that it won’t bring you any good to confront those people.
Sometimes you even try to convince yourself by thinking “what if I’m making these up?” you try to relieve yourself; you try to run away from realities. But once you start living with this awareness you see the confirmation through your trauma’s actors’ eyes.
That man who has made you live all these things comes up with questioning eyes, as if he wants to apologize. Then he tries to take over the control with phrases like “you know I love you” every now and then. Later, dialogues like “do we have a problem? We don’t talk anymore” take over.
And you try to deal with these manners together with the other question which drills your brain “Did my mother not know? Is it possible that she didn’t feel anything?” You start thinking if her preaches like ‘Everything should be kept within the family, it’s only us who love each other’ were in order to cover the reality? Finally you stop digging everything and you accept everything with all its nudity and ugliness. From that point onwards you don’t participate in their games because you have freed yourself.
Derin’s eyes were fixed when she stopped.
Cakil took over: “in reality, none of us knew what kind of a relation it were to be father and daughter. For instance it’s a very clear state to have a mother and daughter relationship, a singular image that describes warmth and unity. But when they say “father’s daughter”, there are sides, mutual, a plural relation. Father and daughter relation is like a bobble. The more you open it, the more complicated it is. I didn’t go through same things with my father like you did but I could never be my father’s daughter, until I had learnt how to be his daughter as a woman. Ironic, isn’t it? So you see, we all grow up like orphans. Moreover, we are insolvent to realize it”.
Seniha, who saw that Aysu was a bit calmer thought “Why doesn’t anyone shout these out? What about my family? Have I gone through similar things that I don’t remember? It can’t be... It shouldn’t be...” while she was crying. She cried but she didn’t know for whom.
For Aysu? For a small girl? For the reality that hurt her? For the loneliness that stood in front of her like a statue? Or did she cry for herself?
Sude started talking despite the hysterical anger that has captured the room. “The very important thing that you should realize is that these traumas create your behavior coding and that they are reflected into your daily lives. Be aware of the big change this awareness creates, never forget the meaning of the struggle you have gone through to become yourself and maintain yourself”.
Beyza couldn’t help thinking “Aysu made a big step. What about me?” She had the image of the white, slithery penis in front of her eyes that she saw in her dreams for many years. What about the second part that Sude told her about? The second part that she couldn’t remember? While she couldn’t even handle this much...
“When you face your own traumas, you will clearly see all the cause and effect correspondences of your fears. You will also understand how these fears shape your behaviours. If you can admit the point where you lost your reality, you will be able to face the virtual world that you have created.”
Fidan was nervous about Sude’s talks that were dramatizing the tired and sad atmosphere even more. She couldn’t stop objecting “Sude is like a torturer...Can’t she talk later? The woman is sad enough.”
Sude continued “Aysu, think about the questions you have been asking to yourself for the last few months. Not being able to say ‘no’ to anyone was the point you were stuck on, wasn’t it? Now I ask you, how could you say no?
You only know to do what is told you to. Somebody dictates and you do what he says. ‘Hold it, play with it, caress it, and heal it’. How on earth would it be possible for you to object?
Even at your angriest times you keep silent because it’s not possible for you to speak. You were raised up with your parents’ approvals, what could be more natural for you than expecting approval from your surrounding? He told you what to do and you did so. When you jumped onto him, he had slapped you. If you did anything else without approval, you could be slapped again, right? Even if your conscious pushes this information to your subconscious, your body never forgets...
Can you see the correlations now? When a man gets interested in you, you feel guilty because you know that you are your father’s sexual object. You feel worthless because it’s not possible for you to feel valuable; you are just an object, an object that’s being used by your father.
The key to finding the reasons of feeling your judgmental thoughts about yourself, every time you feel stuck, or not being able to be yourself lies in the relationship you had with your father.
When you learn how to use the key, you will be able to interpret everything in the right way”.
Beyza tried to digest everything she heard and kept repeating “my dear father”. No, her father couldn’t have done anything like this to her.
Ada explained “In fact it’s a continuous process. Every new thing that you discover and face will open a new door and after some time you will have to accept that the doors are infinite. In other words, every last step that you take is your first step; every grade that you reach is the first grade. When I first started this journey with Sude I thought that there would come a day that I would say ‘yes, I understood everything’ and I waited for that particular day for some time. But there is no such end; we always live the beginnings in order to sustain this continuous progress. And that’s why when you leave this place; you will see that everything has just started.”
When she stopped to breathe, she helped herself to a cigarette.
“As you see, the reality you have kept inside has caused you such shocks that it went on till your thirties and even now you only remember bits and pieces. Now that you have realized that you hadn’t perceived anything going on between you and your father, now that you have accepted it, everything will be much easier for you from now on”.
Ada slid the balcony door. She was willing to throw out the painful air inside the room to replace it with clean fresh air.
Cakil informed “we are going to have pancakes in a small village at lunch time, in the middle of nature and fresh air...”
Sude told them “before we leave for lunch, there is a letter I want to read out. A woman who has made this journey had written it. I especially want you to listen to it because...” she went upstairs before she completed her sentence and came back with a small brown notebook. She sat on the couch and started reading slowly:
“I would like to start my letter by saying ‘dear father’ but I can’t right now. I don’t know if there will come a day that I will be able to say dear father, in fact I don’t know if I really want that day to come. To be father and daughter some day...
Father, why didn’t you tell me that life is so hard? Why didn’t you say ‘protect yourself, even from me’? I know that I can’t ask ‘why me?’ any more but still, I can’t help asking.
Didn’t you ever think of me? Didn’t you regret after leaving me fatherless? Tell me father, how did you love me? I wish I could say ‘dear father’ but it’s so hard now.
Father, why didn’t you tell me that I could only be happy if I could be myself? You put me in a glass lantern, full of needles. You obstructed me from determining the good and bad. You didn’t tell me that I should know the facts so that I could climb the stairs more strongly...
What about you my love? Why did you get scared of me, why did you decide that you can’t continue your relationship with me anymore rather than loving me more, the more I become myself?
Maybe, you are not as romantic as you say you are. You just say it’s over. ‘We consumed something’ but what was it? You consumed the years with me, who was not the real me? Don’t care about me anymore and keep on ignoring me. I can carry the burden of your fears as well.
I wonder what your trauma is, my love. Why do you prefer to love me as a small child, rather than loving me as a woman?
I’m leaving you all as soon as possible and for the first time in my life, I feel good. Am I deceiving myself? Is it possible to smile at everything already? Have I really grown up so suddenly?
What do I try to prove by focusing at my job? Nothing? To free myself?
Fix your place and start walking little girl. Calm and smooth. Be a ‘woman’. Don’t be ‘as if’ a woman...
Allow your eyes to smile. Define love in your reality. Do everything for yourself. Live for yourself. Touch for yourself. Enjoy for yourself. For yourself. Yourself...”
Sude closed the notebook. What stayed behind was sorrow, pure sorrow.