Prose on self

Late night confessions: Piercing skin

Today I did something terrible.    

It was something I would have called stupid if I was on my better days. It was an act I would describe as pointless; but I did it. 

Maybe it was because I wasn’t feeling right since I woke up. It’s that cloud hanging over my head, or worse, an invisible cloak draped on my shoulders. I felt it all throughout the day. 

I had to stop and take more bathroom breaks because I don’t want to break down in front of my colleagues. I do not want to entertain questions I don’t have answers to. See, people love figuring things out, thus our thirst of knowing. 

It’s funny because I never would have pictured myself fake laughing with my colleagues, with our half-eaten lunch in front of us, digging my nails on my wrist. I can feel the pain but I dug deeper. I didn’t stop until I saw the angry red marks etched on my skin. For some unknown reason, I felt relieved. 

So I dug again and again, all the while talking and pretending to listen to my colleagues’ daily chatter.  

Maybe that’s how it all starts. At first it would be the nails. Not so sharp, but good enough to pierce through the first layer of the skin. And then eventually that won’t be any good.

Like I said, it was something stupid for me. I never was able to grasp the idea of self harm and why it would be of any help. Now I know that while it may not solve anything, it kept my mind busy. It was a good distraction. 

Would I do it again? I hope not. Does it feel right? No, it most certainly isn’t. Should I keep my mouth shut next time I learn my friend is self-harming? Yes. Should I try to dissuade them? Yes, I will. 

I’m not proud of what I’ve done. It left marks on my skin but more so it left writings on my mind. I was overwhelmed with my emotions that I did self harm. Any other day and I would’ve labelled it as an attention-seeking act. 

But no it was not. I wasn’t doing it for anyone. I won’t dare share the marks. I did it because at the time it felt like a better option. It felt like a solution, except that it’s really not. 

I’m sharing this now because I realized a lot of things today. I have better understanding of what drives a person to harm himself. I wouldn’t dismiss the idea any longer. Just like any of my friends would not imagine me doing self harm, I honestly thought I wouldn’t too; but I did, and I think that’s the scariest part of it all.

To you who says ‘I quit’ but don’t

You’ve said it countless times before it became your sigh of breath. How many times have you uttered it today? Yet here you are, still looking fly as you get on with deadlines. A quick flashback of today and maybe you can count.

When you woke up and wished the clock would show 12am instead of 6am, you said it. Dragging yourself to the bathroom to take a shower, your slow steps showed it. Still you made it on time to work. 

As you blindly go through the routine of opening your PC then sifting through your emails, your fingers lightly drummed on the edge of your desk. The beat echoed it. 

When you quietly walked to the water dispenser, hoping no one would come and make small talk only to be engaged in a one-sided conversation with your co-worker, you said it. Slyly looking at your PC and hoping they’d take the sign, your gestures showed it. 

As you looked at the clock willing it to tick faster so you can call it a day, your look betrayed it.  And when at last it’s time to leave, the unconscious congratulatory smile you had whispered it. Even more so when the smile faded when you gave tomorrow a thought, of how it would be the same. You almost shouted it.

But you didn’t and that is why I salute you. 

You are the epitome of courage in the scary world we have succumbed to. You are the champion of those who wants to give up. You are the hero of your own battle, without realizing you have become a leader to those fighting the same battles.

By surviving for yourself you help others survive and win too.

And even if everyday you fight this war, never think you’re losing. You’re winning because you did not let it own you. 

To you who says ‘I quit’ both in words or gestures but don’t, I believe in you. You can win this. Want to know why? Because no matter how much you’ve said it, still you’re doing the best you can. And that is one of the bravest thing you can do.

 

I am more than a hole

There must be something wrong in the society when there is at least one girl who wishes she was born as a boy. For me, this wishful thinking springs from a bigger problem, that we fail, still, to solve.  

I am not discrediting the great milestone that we have achieved in terms of gender equality. It is a beautiful sight to see couples, no matter which gender, walk hand in hand with their heads up high. I am proud of these brave souls who choose to listen to what their hearts say rather than the close-minded remarks of the homophobes. 

My opinion is that every single one of us must be able to practice their rights, regardless of which gender they belong to. No race or gender is higher nor lower. Everyone should be treated fairly and given the same opportunities. 

Unfortunately, this belief can be difficult to uphold in the society we are in today. I am not sure what made some people heartless and rigid in thinking. Maybe it is because discrimination, both in minute or huge scale, has been rooted ever so deeply in our culture and day-to-day living. 

The seemingly harmless ‘keep your legs crossed when you’re wearing a skirt’ or ‘dont stay out too late’ reminders to girls of any age are the ones that make me think that having a hole in between your legs makes you lesser. Being a girl makes you a prey. It signs you up to a lifetime of shackling lifestyle, lesser privileges and opportunities and all because you have that hole. 

Meanwhile, boys are taught that they can have all the adventure without any worries. Without looking behind them in case they have to stay up late outside. Let him be, that’s the way he is, he is a boy. These few words are enough to justify their behavior and why they are seen as stronger and better. 

This used to be the case until boys also are forced to behave in a certain manner. We are all familiar with the phrases ‘dont bawl like a girl’ or ‘man up’. This may not be the first observation, but I will say it as well, these phrases also insult girls. A known writer has said this before, and I wholeheartedly agree, it seems like in the world we live in, being a girl is the biggest insult. 

I really cannot blame girls who wish they are boys. I myself had thought of that time and time again. I wish my parents are as supportive of my escapades as they are with my brother’s hiking activities. I wish they would stop using the excuse of him being a boy and me being a girl. I wish they would stop telling me to wash the dishes because it is a girls’ chore. I wish they would stop telling me I cannot when I know I can do so much more. I wish they would see me as a wise woman instead of an angry and rebellious feminist when I demand they give me the same freedom they give my brother. I wish they would lessen telling me it is a harsh world outside when it is also the same state inside our home. I wish I am not a girl sometimes. 

Not that men are never discriminated, but that’s another matter entirely. All I’m saying is with these remarks being a boy seems to be a much better option. At least boys are given the chance to speak and be taken seriously; not the ‘hormonal-overly emotional’ girls who ‘whine’ any chance they get.

I am not saying I have seen so much and known enough to be the ‘proud’ girl that they label me as. It is never about being proud when you demand the same rights and be treated as an equal of a man. It is about being acknowledged as so much more than a person who has to live within everyone’s standards of its existence. Everyone except its own. It is about being seen past the hole we have and realizing we are so much more than that. 

I am not a hole to be filled. I am a hole that has so much to offer if only the world realizes that no gender is more preferable. 

Difficult times  

Difficult times bring out the best and the worst in me. 

At first, I would want to scream out loud and blame everyone but me. I may or may not be at fault and still I would plant hate in my heart. “Why me?” “What have I done wrong?” All of these questions ring in my head over and over again. All of them left unanswered. 

The mystery of the reason of my suffering seems to add fuel to the fire. Know your enemy, they say, but I don’t even know who I’m against. Fate? Others? Me and my bad choices? Or worse, it’s all a huge mess of coincidence and inborn unluckiness. The last one is definitely the worst.

Eventually, I’d get tired of asking. By then, there will be nothing left to do but face it head on. The only way to it is through it. And so, left with my own devices, I try to remain calm, survive and fail miserably.

In some moments I would even go back to questioning even knowing (all the while) that I’m not going to get any answers at all. Then comes the sweet and bitter surrender. 

It’s the come-and-throw-it-at-me-I-could-care-less phase. It’s the odd feeling of being in control of an uncontrollable situation. I am in control because I know there will be more to come and there is absolutely nothing I can do. Oh, not really nothing, I can pose as an arrogant being that has seen and felt worse. This statement can be true or nah but the fake confidence lasts enough to get you through a day or two. This is my personal favorite.

Im not sure how some people react when faced in a difficult situation. I can only speak for myself. Getting angry is my first instinct then comes all the yada yada listed above. 

I’m not even sure how all of it ends. Somehow, the situation passes, even if I swear it felt like it was not going to end. It really does get better or if it doesn’t, at least, it does not get any worse. 

The starter’s guide to a shit-free life

Stop taking shit. You have enough of it on your plate to get more of it. And that’s okay. Not taking shit from others means living a life that is free from unsolicited opinions and hearsays. Not taking shit means being unaffected by the bitterness of society. Not taking shit means living by your own set of rules without being dictated by so called “norms”.

No, you do not even have to explain either. You don’t owe that to anyone. You owe it to yourself. If you do choose to open up, you should feel free to do so and not because the untold words are forced out of your mouth.

 
But you do not think highly of yourself if one day, while getting out of your bed, you realize you were not born to please anyone and everyone. It is knowing what you want and what you don’t. It is knowing your personal bubble and keeping it safely away from intrusions.

It is not isolating yourself because no one understands you. It is choosing solitude when the world gets too loud. It is listening to the soft whispers of your heart when life keeps shoving its norms down your throat.

 
It is not caring about what other people might say. It is knowing where you stand and why you do what you do. It is being courageous to take bold steps when everyone keeps telling you you won’t make it. It is trying again even after failing without hearing the “boo’s” of some crab-minded people. 

It is being open-minded rather than being rigid in false beliefs. It is standing up for what you think is right even.if everyone tells you otherwise. It is not being easily swayed to conform with prejudices without experiencing it first-hand.

 
Shit things come in the form of victim-blaming, bullying, even ranting behind someone’s back. Shit is when someone tries to climb up the social ladder by trampling on other people. It is shit when you don’t feel like talking to people and there you are out in a bar listening to others’ personal shit. Shit is basically the things you do and don’t that does not reflect your truest sentiments.

 
Shit comes in many forms but it is still shit. You don’t need it. You don’t want it.

 
So be loud if you have to call out a corrupted individual. Or be in silence with yourself because who the hell said it’s lonely sitting in a coffeeshop alone?

 
So you see, it’s about time you stop taking shit.