Tag Archives: mental health

Wrenched anniversary

“It’s our anniversary,” she says so softly over the phone that I can barely hear her.

“That’s amazing! Are you gonna celebrate?” I ask trying to sound gleeful even though it’s 4 am in the morning, and I’m sleepy.

She doesn’t say anything and all I hear is her uneven breathing. “I’ve wasted eighteen years of my life.” There’s remorse in her voice, the kind you get when someone close to you passes away. She’s been married for eighteen years. Time passes by so fast when you’re not the one suffering.

“Huh.” I try to act oblivious even though I know what she’s talking about. She’s never mentioned it to me, but I’ve eased dropped enough to figure out things that I’m not supposed to know.

“Nothing child,” she steers away from the conversation and asks me about college, and when I’m getting married. I laugh it off and brush the conversation to something more convenient, like the weather. We can talk about things that are unimportant for hours, but when it comes to important things, we either have no words or we lose our voices.

Why is it so hard to say what’s on my mind? I want to press her, ask her for the details but I’m terrified of her answer. Sometimes the words I want to spit out are lingering on the tip of my tongue but no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to say them. It’s like they’re caged behind these metal bars that won’t let my words pass.

I know her because I love her like a second mother, but I haven’t exactly been the perfect daughter. I know the torture she’s been through and it gets me angry every time I hear her hopeless voice. I wish I could do more for her then just listen. But how can I help someone else win their war when I’m losing my own battles.

She seems perfect from the outside. We all do, but no one knows what’s happening behind closed doors. Some smiles are etched with knives of pain. Sometimes devils don’t wear horns, they come to you wearing divine wings. And the worst part is that these devils don’t even know they’re devils because they’re hiding beneath culture, sex, ego and power.

What I don’t get is why we become so afraid to speak? Maybe because we’re afraid no one will listen or understand. Maybe we’re afraid of the gossip. Maybe it’s easier to hide beneath veils then to be exposed.

I don’t know why she stayed. She says it’s because of the culture we grew up in and because she had children and there was no way she could fend for herself in a world where divorced women are considered taboo.

I remember hearing once that her husband beat her up because she left the house without covering her face. I do blame the husband but also the mentality he grew up in and sadly we’re still living in that same time frame.

People around me still have that mindset and no matter how loud I scream or speak, my voice falls on deaf ears. People think it’s better to endure abuse than to unveil that curtain. I don’t blame them because I am not in that position and I have no idea what they’re going through. But not speaking up ruin’s future generations. It creates abusers and victims. I’ve seen way too many women around me suffer in silence and their silence screams in my ears.

She- whose name I can’t mention is still in that position. Her children are a mess and it breaks my heart every time I talk to her or see her. I wish I could do more for her and other women like her.

Photo by Northwoods Murphy from Pexels

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Needing Validation

Why is it that sometimes… no matter how many mountains I climb, or how many oceans I sail, or how many bridges I burn I don’t see myself the way I want to. No matter how hard I try I can’t seem to rise to a place where I want to be. It’s like the mountains keep on growing, and day by day I become smaller and smaller.

It’s like I’m stuck in this little plateau and the only thing I can do is jump off it. I could crash, or I could fly. The latter seems more likely. But I am at that point where pain seems like a better option than this feeling of being empty. At least that way I’ll feel something. The numbness creeps up on my skin and takes a hold of my being, making me feel like a hollow body without a soul.

I feel like no matter how many accomplishments I kiss, no matter how many victories I embrace, I won’t ever be satisfied because my heart is not content. I feel like I need validation from people close to me like a child in preschool needs validation from a teacher. I need the people around me to tell me I’m doing a good job because that’s the only way I’ll be convinced. I need people to tell me I’m good for me to believe it, which is bad because when I don’t get the validation I plunge into this hole of self-doubt.

I can look in the mirror and chant, “I’m amazing. I’m beautiful. I’m awesome,” day and night, but I won’t believe it, not until someone comes and tells me those things. The people around me don’t realize but their words have a huge impact on me. Sometimes their words hit like knives and bullets and sometimes they act as a salve. Even the tiniest gesture or a simple sentence could hit like a bomb and I would find myself thinking about it for the next eon.

A person could come and tell me I’m a psychopath and I would believe them because my brain is wired to listen to the outside voices, rather than the voices in my head. This is one of the most toxic traits you can have because it leads directly toward self-destruction and that’s the one thing I’m good at. Destroying myself. The worst form of abuse is the one that comes from within because at the moment you become your biggest enemy and there’s nowhere to run.

If someone told me I was ugly, I would agree with them and I would feel uncomfortable in my own skin and if someone told me I was beautiful, I would make myself believe that I’m worthy of being on the cover of Vogue magazine. Sounds stupid. I know.

Imagine having a computer and you need to reset it or fix it. The first thing you’ll need to do is turn it off, then take out the wires, untangle them and plug them back in. You might even have to reboot it. It takes effort and time, and fear that your ‘useful’ information will be lost with all the useless information.
That’s how rewiring your brain is like. You have to detangle yourself and, in the process, you might even cause more damage, but the best thing is that every form of damage is reversible and curable.

Rewiring your brain is hard. It’s not, ‘oh let me shut my brain off and turn it back on like a computer.’ It’s more of ‘oh shit, this was wrong’ or ‘oh snap I should’ve done that,’ but that’s how you learn. That’s how you progress. That’s how you break bad habits, by replacing them with good ones.

I’m working on myself, by making amends and filling in holes that I have because I was too busy doubting myself. Too busy looking for someone else’s approval. I’ve started listening to that soft voice in the back of my head now. It’s not always nice, but it’s there… dim… and barely audible.

Will it actually be okay?

“It’s okay.”
“It’ll be alright.”

Your lips are moving but your words aren’t reaching me. I’m trying so hard to grasp onto the letters spewing out of your mouth, but they slip from between my ears like sand does in a closed palm. I can’t comprehend what you’re saying. Don’t raise your voice, it’ll only make me deaf.

The words your chanting have stopped making sense to me and the demons rioting in my mind are taking control. They’re harsh words make more sense, then your sugar-coated lies. Those demons are so loud that I can hear them scream like they’re standing next to me.

“Nothing will ever be okay”
“Look at yourself. You’re all sorts of fucked-up…”

Yes!
I find myself agreeing and repeating those same words to myself, saying them over and over again in my mind. The vapor of hope, I was holding close to my chest, vanishes and I find myself being molested by despair. I cry and scream but no one seems to hear. And it feels as if everything coming out of my mouth is a sin. Maybe I deserve all this. Maybe I should be punished. I’m already ruined, I’ll ruin everyone else around me too. I feel like a weed growing among roses, which needs to be pulled out or it’ll ruin the beauty of everything else.

I’ve come to the point where I’ve stopped yelling at those voices in my head. I’ve stopped fighting them because, in the end, I’m the one who gets stabbed. I curl into a ball and pull the covers over myself in an attempt to hide, but I can’t seem to do that. The more I try to conceal myself the more visible I become.

No matter where I go, I can’t hide myself from me. I can’t run away from what I am. From what I don’t want to be. This self-inflicted war makes my chest tight and it aches so bad that even inhaling hurts. How can I fight the world, when the war I’m fighting is taking place in my head? How can I win, when the person I’m fighting is me?

It’s hard to see the good in things when you’re blinded by grief. It’s hard to be positive when you’ve grown up in negativity. But I guess that’s what life is. It’s a war and you’re a soldier. It’s a dictator and you’re a rebel and rebels don’t give up. Rebels never give up. You’re brave, not because you’ve always won but because you’ve chosen to rise after every fall. Warriors don’t give up. No matter how brutal the voices become, no matter how bloody the battlefield gets. You’re strong because you’re here, torn, messed up, broken. But you’re here and that’s all that matters.

A farewell from life…

It’s been a long road
I know I haven’t done you any good
but – our ways are parting now
forgive me if you could.

I know I’ve let you down
because now I’m sinking deep
watching you fade away
into a dreamless sleep.

There’s so much I could have done
to ease this walk of yours
but I stood in front of you
blocking all your doors.

I haven’t been the kindest
I wish you didn’t see
the flames that burned you down
were ignited by me.

It’s all my fault
I drowned all your dreams
I wanted to see you suffer
when you were begging on your knees.

I have no more words
but there’s so much I need to say
I wish I could have said it all
before the arrival of this day.

Now you must close your eyes
there awaits you another friend
from here you’ll have to move on
our journey has come to an end.

Embrace this new transition
there awaits you another road
you need to be brave now
because you are worth so much more.

I’m sorry
I wish I could repent
I’d give you all I have
if time was mine to control
I would have become your path.

A farewell from life

Poetry book: Curing My Venom
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The killing…

I grip the knife in between my fingers as tightly as I can. My palms are so sweaty that I’m afraid the knife will slip through and clatter on the white marble floor. After every minute that passes by I rub my hands on my pants, trying to remove the moisture that’s gathered on my flesh. I inhale sharply but quietly making sure to not make any sound with my uneven breaths or with my tiptoeing.

He’s peacefully sleeping on the king-sized bed with the blue bedsheet. His chest is rising and falling as he loses himself in his slumber. I envy him for his tranquility. How can he be so calm when he’s caused a thunderstorm in my chest? Sleeping like that he looks like an angel who’s here to make the world a better place, but when he’s awake even the demons run away to hell. His brown hair is covering his forehead and parts of his eyelids, and his bulging muscles are ripping through his white t-shirt. His stubble has been growing for the past few days and he hasn’t put in the effort to shave.

Unlike our small prison-like-cages, his room is as big as a children’s playground. The walls are different shades of blue, each one changing its hue with the reflection of the sun. On the left there are sofas with a glass table in the middle and on the right there’s the bed where he’s lying. Ahead there’s a balcony from where you can see the city buildings tower on top of each other.

I inch closer to him until I’m standing by his bedside, hovering over his head. His eyelashes are so long, and his face looks so innocent that I’m convinced he’s not the monster I’ve seen in him.

Maybe he’s had his reasons. The voices in my head try to reason with me, but that part of my chest that’s bleeding in red says otherwise. I’m trying so hard to convince myself that he’s not a bad person, that maybe he still has a part of himself that cares.

But he kidnapped you. Tortured you. The thoughts swirl in my mind like a tornado. He killed Sammy and Nate and Anna. And what about all those other children… what about Kenny. What about Aly?

But he fed you, didn’t he? Another voice yells at me.  He was just following orders. Katty said he’s incapable of feeling emotions. He’s mentally ill.

“Slit his throat.” Becky’s voice is cooing in my ears with such clarity that I’m convinced she’s standing by my side.

“No stab him in the heart.” Mickey is yelling at me.

I raise my hand and hold the grip of the knife, above his chest with so much force that my nails dig into my flesh.

I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this.

If I kill him, I’ll be the killer. What difference would there be between us? But he killed good people and I’m killing the bad people. Does that make me a good person, or does that make me a murderer like him?

I lower my hand a little to retreat, but all the memories pulse through my brain, reminding me of every ache he’s put me through. The time he burned my hands, the time he whipped me and Esha with his leather belt. The time he shot Nate in the chest. The time he…

Before the thought can erupt through my brain, my arm plunges straight down with such force I didn’t even know I had. I hear a crack, a moan and then wheezing. His eyes fling open and perplexed he stares at me like a stray cat. When his eyes process what’s happening, he tries to jump out of bed but fails miserably. I quickly pull the knife out of his chest and take a few steps back in fear. His shirt, the bedsheets, my hands everything is painted in red. Pressing onto his wound with both of his hands he slides off the bed and tries to make his way toward the side table. He opens the first drawer and rummages through it. He’s looking for his revolver. Hamani said she took it and hid it in the back garden beneath the mango tree. When he finds nothing, he tries to jump toward me, but I take a leap back and he falls on his stomach. Blood soaks the carpet beneath him.

“I will kill you,” He says through his clenched teeth, expanding every word. I watch him bleed for a while, and very slowly I take a few steps toward him. He’s breathing heavily now. In his eyes, for the first time, I see anger dressed in fear. A tear drips from his eye and cascades down his cheek.

Guilt takes hold of my body and I start shaking and crying like an infant. I drop to my knees and my grip on the knife loosens making it clatter on the floor. I don’t want him to die. I don’t want anyone to die.

“Go call Mike. Come on please.” He says pleading. “I’ll protect you. I promise.”

Part of me wants to believe him and unconsciously I rise to my feet. But as soon as I spin on my heels the door bangs open and Hamani comes rushing in, covered in blood. She has a slash on her cheek, and I see fire dancing in her grey eyes. She pulls me back like a lioness does to her cub and pulls out the revolver she hid in the garden.

Before I can open my mouth, she pulls the trigger and the bullet cuts through his head. Blood pools around his body like a small puddle formed after rain. The loud bang paralyzes my body and I start sobbing.

The last thing I remember before passing out is Hamani saying, “We have to leave before the other gang members come.”

Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius from Pexels