June

Twenty Four, three months ago, had a promising start. Twenty Four, now, sits awake at night and wonders when it unravelled. Twenty Four vividly dreams about people she shouldn’t be dreaming about, she doesn’t know how or why he is frequenting her dreams so much. Twenty Four’s rock bottom has been the most difficult to fester in. Twenty Four now is nowhere close to the same Twenty Four three months ago. Twenty Four now looks like she is losing the first fight.
****

Even the most supportive friend tires of hearing the same winding tune of depression and lament over and over again if it goes on for long enough. Supportive pats become floppy hands, intent faces become disinterested and 20 minutes of listening turns into 5 minutes of impatient nods. In all of this, the saddened, struggling being wilts even more. After all, the constant cosmic pummelling is not something she asked for. Who would know, really, of being cosmically pummelled for so long, that even the being tires of being herself?

Constant reminders of This too, Shall Pass scrawled on my ribs, of the Lotus Flower blooming on my right shoulder, of a foreign voice in my head whispering that “somewhere down the line it HAS to get better” (who is this deluded person???); all of them can only take me so far out of the swamp. All of them now have less power than before. It doesn’t make sense to tell your already defeated self covered in slime and grime, barely crawling forward, that there is something better coming. There is no crutch right now, there is no help to get up, there is no one around. This lone battle has no victory affiliated to it, just a survival of it.

June, you bitch. You have malice written all over you. You have slithered forward through the days so slowly, so terribly that each day’s passing cannot be felt, the ringing thumps only continue and the end doesn’t seem like it exists. May taught you well, and I do not know what you and July are discussing. I play a waiting game to see when the turbulence will stabilise, but I have to tell you, you have taken almost everything out of me.

Almost everything.

I look forward to your demise.

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Maybe 

Maybe someday I’ll run into you when it’s snowing. Maybe by then I will be ready to believe that I can be loved. Maybe by then, you’ll be ready to love me. I dream of winter days when the snow falls slowly, deliberately and when we both can watch it together. I think maybe, because it seemed so perfect, because it fit so beautifully for one week, that fate can still give us a chance. One week can’t be enough to give birth to Maybes but here I am, nursing them.

If you had told me that I would have been caught like a fish on the line, dragged painfully into the breathless outside, that I would be breathless for you, I would have laughed. I would have told you that you have no idea who I am. I would have basked in the impossibility of it. Yet here I am, throwing out Maybes into the Universe thinking, how did you know? What have you done? I’ve become completely undone.

On rainy days, amidst warm sleep, I tell myself that I can’t dream of you anymore. That you must not visit me anymore. There is too much to do, there is so much left to finish, there is too much that needs to begin. Yet there you are, looking away from me, when my eyes are closed and still searching for you. I think, what have you done?

Maybe you didn’t know me, when I was broken and I fixed myself. Maybe you didn’t know that I’ve met monsters in men and cried. Maybe you didn’t know that you shouldn’t have done what you did. Maybe you didn’t know better, but it looks like I didn’t either.

Maybe I never knew what I could become in one week, when you looked me straight in my eyes and kissed me softly on my cheeks. Maybe I didn’t know that that was all it would take. Maybe I’ve been so damaged, that even one week of sweetness made me believe that bitterness can be removed. Maybe I thought that for once, for the very first time, maybe, it could work out.

Yet I sit here, dreaming of falling snow and warm tea with you, a few years from now. Maybe, I don’t really know any better. Maybe by then you would have forgotten the week you spent with the severely damaged girl, for whom you have no time for anymore. Maybe you won’t know that someone thought of Maybes with you years ago.

Maybe, by then, I would have forgotten too. Maybe by then, the Universe will be kind enough to let me forget.

Mommy Issues

I would never have thought that I am capable of such negativity in myself. I never would have known that I could carry around the weight of hate like this. I would never have guessed at the end of the day, it would all be because of my mother.

I feel like I have been put into a very bitter tasting nightmare. I had imagined that my stay at home would be uncomfortable, filled with anxiety, dreadful in ways but it has blown up into a noxious plume of anger, disgust and absolute hate. I am confused here and there, I am curious as to what would make a woman do this to her child, I am pained by the fact that I will never have a mother as described by those that are loved by one but more than all of that, I feel such hatred. I feel like my insides are being frozen solid slowly with each passing day as I keep looking at my mother’s stone face.

It seems surreal, it seems impossible, but it is. It really is.

This past weekend, my family had a huge blowout just like the one we had a year ago. From that time till now, nothing has changed. Nothing has gotten better and now, I know for sure that nothing ever will get better. I heard things come from my mother’s mouth that no child should ever have to hear. I heard my grandmother feebly try to defend me, to feebly remind my mother of her motherly duties before being shot down by 3 people. I sat numbly as my father told me that I am not a good daughter. I sat silently as my very loved and pampered brother told me it is unfair of me to say that my mother is not capable of love. I sat next to my mother as she spat out these words “Had you guys not been there, I would have killed myself because of HER” after she literally strangled herself.

I have been sitting on the same sofa, in the same house everyday afterwards. She sent me a couple of messages saying she is sorry, but I did not respond well. Why should I?

Because I have not responded, because I am not doing what she wanted me to do, because she has not been successful in emotionally blackmailing me, she has stopped talking to me now. She walks about the house in her ice cold manner, doing what she wants, as she pleases while she shoots looks of disgust and anger at me whenever I speak. I should not be hurt anymore, especially after the worst weekend of my life yet, but what do you know? It still stings. It still hurts. It still pricks my eyes.

She seems almost like a sociopath, almost like she has no traces of any empathy when it comes to her daughter and her mother-in-law. It almost seems like she hates me too. Like she has always hated me.

Like mother, like daughter I suppose.

I have lost a childhood, a mother and any hope of recovering any of this. I carry a burden too big and too much for me right now. The days pass by slowly, the words said still on the floor of the living room. Those fat, heavy words that suffocate my chest every single moment. I pray for the times to pass, I pray for the days to leave me.

I pray that one day, somehow, somewhere, the Universe tells me why this happened. That the Universe explains itself for this huge, painful blunder in my life. That the Universe makes up for the absolute horror of my 24 motherless years. I thought for so long that I was wrong, that I could be wrong, that I have misunderstood her. That a mother could never hate her own child. That a mother could never want to hurt her child. So much guilt and anger at myself for hating my mother from the very beginning.

I should never have bothered. She has hated me right back all along.

Cursed child

After the words have been thrown at me like daggers

Going through my body,

My mother used syrup to sweeten her voice,

And thinks that wounds that will remain for years to come

Can be glazed over and forgotten, as she flashes her stone cold eyes.

Words she types in her messages of regret

Cannot stop me from seeing her eyes

Bulging out of their sockets as she threatens to die,

Only because I asked her “why?”

Father dear, I had hoped you’d come to rescue me

When it all went down.

You tell me I’m wrong, you tell me I make my mother cry,

And I wonder how I will continue to survive.

Both of you scream that family comes first,

That family must always mean more than the rest.

What kind of family makes the girl regret that she was ever born in the first place?

What kind of family silences their daughter through death threats?

Your eyes can see the whole wide world, you’ve travelled so far and wide.

Others tell me that my parents know the secret to living, because they’re so kind.

I’m considered ungrateful and a liar, angry and sullen,

The daughter a curse to parents with such open minds.

What have they seen? What can they know

Of the cold of my mother’s empty, barren eyes?

Funny, I think, that the world can see how benevolent my parents seem.

Behind closed doors, not even my father has seen my mother’s eyes lose their gleam.

Call me a liar, call me ungrateful, call me a curse upon this family so clean,

One day, if the Gods allow, they all will see what I have seen.

Till then my mother’s syrup sweet voice will continue to poison my dreams.

Cursed child, we continue to walk with head held high

And heavy chest. I know not if solace will come,

But we must walk on, we cannot rest.

Trauma 

My mother tried to strangle herself with her dupatta today,

Leaving marks on her neck that scream at me:

BITCH. BITCH. BITCH. 

I saw the same message in my father’s eyes when he said goodbye,

Before he boarded his flight back home. 

His limp hug lukewarm, his hands somewhere far away. 

And I thought to myself, 

“Is this the price I have to pay for being an outspoken girl in a conservative family?”

I have struggled and struggled to manage the dark waters, 

Keeping myself afloat just enough to get by. 

And today I saw that when I tell them they went wrong somewhere,

They only see that I have pointed my one finger at them

And have 3 others pointed at myself;

And cheekily say: you only have yourself to blame. 

I collapsed on the sofa like a ragged doll, 

Disbelief washing upon me at twilight. 

Is this what a mother is? 

Someone who needs 4 people to come rushing towards her saying: stop it, stop it, stop it! 

We believe you! Your daughter makes you want to kill yourself! 

And to think, what could I have become, 

Had my mother decided that a girl who asks questions 

Can still be loved, can still be loved. 

Rock Bottom, 2016 Edition

Twenty four, you fighter, you.
Fall seven times, climb up eight.

Almost exactly a year ago, I understood the darkness of rock bottom: the damp mustiness of the cave inside, where no light comes to warm you skin. I experienced the shrill nothingness of empty screams inside my head, on a quiet day alone at home. I felt weightless in a very frightening way, like maybe if I died, I wouldn’t go anywhere. Like not even death could pull me up into the light.

Somewhere though, in about 300 days, I felt diffuse sunlight on my skin, around my 24th birthday. And as I thought I had found a way out, as I reached out to grab another rock with my worn out hands, it all came undone. I went free-falling into the musty dark cave screaming once again. I know this place all too well, I can barely see the marking I had made when I was etching the passing of each day in mottled mud-rocks.

Here I am, Rock Bottom. It is most certainly not nice to see you again.

***

Who would have thought that you’d be seeing Rock Bottom, Twenty Four? I would never have guessed, seeing the tufts of grasslike surprise that came our way so early on. I suppose we braced ourself for something coming, May and June have been so terrible. We haven’t written. We haven’t really felt happy. We’re so tearful all the time once again. We cried on the public bus again, after so many months.

Who would have thought that all of it would end like this?

Friends who have seen the new house and the new room I have moved into ask me, “How can you be sad inside such a big, beautiful house?” I tell them, I don’t think you know the sort of ghosts and demons that are chasing me inside this house. My intense furious dislike for my mother and the immediately following guilt wage a war inside me again, and I could be in a palace made of diamonds but I wouldn’t know how to stop the nausea developing inside my stomach and I’d still cover the diamond washbasins with bile. What is a big, beautiful house when I hear my snuffled cries echo inside my big, empty room?

I keep a magical night inside my memories like an old, battered photograph in sepia tone; sometimes wondering if all of it really happened at all. Wondering if I just dreamt the first few moments. Wondering how I could have fucked it all up. Wondering when something that seemed so extraordinary contorted itself; when its anxiety became so reminiscent of my devastating past. Wondering at what point it became destined to be a 20 minute conversation ending with a good-bye.

I help so many friends pack up their bags to leave this city, and realise that there will be no friends left to help me pack if I ever do decide to leave. And I feel like I’ve jumped into a time machine to 2 years ago, when I felt so alone, that I knew if I screamed for days and days until my throat fills with blood, there would be no one to hear me choke on it and die.

Rock Bottom, your scars will be seen by everyone that dares to meet me in the future.

There will be no sunlight for a long, long time and your dark air will add tonnes on my chest and lungs. The hours and days will stretch out in front of me, lengthening maliciously. I will continue to etch the passing of the days on the mottled mud-rocks you give me.
My tear stained face, however, will continue to look up.
What you might not know, Rock Bottom, is that I’ve left breadcrumbs with each heaving effort I put into going up. You might not know that I’ve felt diffuse sunlight, and I will continue to remember it. You might not know that I’ve found my Magic Beans on the way up and that I’ve planted them somewhere inside you.
It might not be today, or tomorrow, or even a month from now, but I will find my way out again. I have to. I had gone up too far to fall back down now and make a home here.

Rock Bottom, meet Twenty Four.

Waiting

Answers, for all their relief, come to you so slowly,
The question sometimes forgotten in their pursuit.
Days pass by, months even, and you’re no closer than square one.
Unable to move ahead because there is no path
That feels stable enough,
That won’t crumble when you take the first step,
and you realise that you’re stuck for a while.

Patience came to me to talk, saying I need her.
I ask her, but why? Why? Why?
I have asked the question, and it has flown out of the window.
How long does it take to find the answer?
Why won’t it come back to me?
Why must it be so difficult?
Why must I need you?
All this while I hold her tight, because there is nothing else I can do.
Because these questions will fly out of the window too,
And their weight will stay on my shoulders
And I have asked too many questions now to stand up straight.

I look for places I can run away to for a while,
Scouring the internet for rates and cheap tickets,
All while I know that even this is a way to run away,
because those tickets remain in my browser history
and I never check into those hotels
But the feeling of running away remains.

Slivers of relief come sometimes when I talk to the window,
And ask about the day answers have come back home
Holding the Question’s hand. Fitting together. Making sense.

And sometimes, the Answer is a No. When the Question comes back
With an answer and they only stand side by side,
sometimes looking a little sad.
The answer, so much heavier than the heaviest question I had asked.

The wait has been so painful, because the answer becomes
Clearer by the day with the lingering silence
Echoing, echoing, echoing.
Who could have thought that silence can echo so painfully?

I wear these questions like chains around my ankles,
Shackled till the answers comes to free me.