Bedtime reads

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.

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. 

It is because I love you

Love makes us do things we did not sign up for. That’s what love does to us and yet we do it wholeheartedly. 

It is because I love you that I had chosen to keep my demons at bay when I’m with you. I wanted to show you what I could be without them; how I used to be before them. I don’t want to scare you and so I choose to keep them all in. 

It is because I love you that I hid my tears under the covers where you couldn’t see them. I was the happy one, I was the giddy one. I was never the one to cry. I was all that to you. I saw how pleased you are that I am like that, so I did not show you the other side of the coin that was me.

It is because I love you that I chose to keep the most traumatic experience I had within me. You couldn’t know about them because it would be the end to eveything we have ever come to know. Why would I do that? How can I destroy what we have? I kept fighting the memory in my mind just so you could have your peace. I did that because I love you.

It is because I love you that I suppressed thoughts of death, of killing myself. I don’t want you to think I’m being melodramatic. I knew you so well. You would think I’m being ungrateful and petty. Then the fight comes. So instead, I try to distract myself when I feel the urge to end my life. Despite everything, I couldn’t hurt you by hurting me. It’s one of the few things that are stopping me. Believe me, you have no idea how many times I’ve come close.

It is because I love you that I played the role. You have this idea of me and assumed I was that. I pretended that was me and you were happy. 

It is because I love you that I’m willing to face every consequence on my own. I’m fighting a losing battle with no one on my side. All of these just to keep you happy.

But I’m not perfect. I slip and at times you are able to get a glimpse at my real, worn out self. You’d get mad at my attitude and I would apologize. I’m telling you I’m not proud of that, but I am proud that I am able to get by until now. 

It is because I love you that I can bear ripping myself apart inside just to keep you whole. 

Tomorrow, you wouldn’t even know, I just went through hell tonight. Tomorrow, you’ll wake up thinking I just had a fit, or its because of my red days. It’s okay even if you won’t think they’re real, my pains, it’s the compromise I make. 

I lost my life when I lost my room 

To whoever thinks a room is just a four-walled space in the house, I wholeheartedly disagree.

To me it was always more than just a place to sleep. It was a place to pretend to sleep. There are nights when sleep won’t come and there are also nights when it is unwelcome, either way, my room served as the perfect hiding place. It was a place that knows no time. It doesn’t force me to do anything because it is what’s expected of me.

My room was the only one who saw the smile painted on my face vanish ever so quickly the moment I close the door. It was a silent witness to my stifled cries. It does not ask me to ‘stop’ and ‘move on’. It just lets me cry until I’m too tired. It welcomed the angry punches I throw in its walls until my fists bleed. It did not protest.

I can write peacefully in my room because it is where I can be completely alone in my thoughts. It is where I can be truly honest without feeling sorry about it.

It is the one who hears my sleep talks and quiet conversations with myself without receiving ‘the look’. I can dance or lie on the floor without being told to stop.

I can make songs and sing out of tune. It was the very first audience to my self-composed songs. I even think it feels proud that after all the procrastination and monotonous tunes, I am able to make one. I can almost hear it sigh or maybe just because it thinks the worst is finally over.

It is the one who welcomes me without asking too many questions that I don’t know the answer to. It does not judge me at all.

And now it is gone, due to unfortunate events. I feel like mourning for my long-time companion. I miss it. I miss its quiet presence. I almost think I took  it for granted.

Being alone in my room makes me feel like watching my life unfold in its self. Without pressure, without prejudice, without time limits and expectations, it just lets me unravel my life. It gives me freedom in its truest form. Sometimes I wish to expand it to Earth’s size so everyone  can feel it too. But just like most good things, it came to its end.

So when I lost it, I felt lost too. I lost my room and I am mourning for it and for myself. I want it back. I lost my life when I lost my room.

The sad

I don’t think anyone ever likes to feel sad. But there is a kind of sad I despise the most.  

It is the kind where I know no song can comfort or console me. Usually, I’d put on some music when I’m feeling the blues. For this, I can’t even remember just one song to calm my nerves. 

It is the kind where I cannot fall asleep to try and escape it but no it won’t let you. It will leave me staring into nothingness kissing sleep goodbye. 

It is the kind that makes you feel empty. 

It is the kind that lingers even while it has passed. The memory of it still strong on my mind. 

It is the kind that cannot be accurately described with words. 

It is the kind of sadness I most often feel.

‘It’s okay’ 

One day I woke up and realized I have lost interest in the things I used to love before. And that’s just it.

I thought of myself as a useless person who cannot, for the life of her, even be good in the so-called skills she has.  I despised myself for not living up to my own expectations. 

Even now, writing this took a lot of effort. I simply don’t have the urge to string together words to complete a sentence in my head, much more so to write it down. It’s like wringing a wrung out sponge, useless and pointless.

But no, I have to get my point across and tell you that finally, I can say it is okay.

It is okay if the things that hold your interest before seem to be dull today. It is okay to not be able to write a single line to a poem you’ve always wanted to started, but never got the inspiration to do so. It is okay if instead of clubbing you bail out and stay home and do nothing. It is okay to say ‘no’ inspite of you being a ‘yes’ person. It is okay to not wear a smile when you don’t feel like it.

I’m saying it is not a crime to start feeling and un-feeling things. 

Although it can be unsettling, we have to accept that we are not formulas. We are complicated . We are made up of ever-changing patterns of behaviors and emotions and choices. We are unpredictable and beautifully fragile. We can be alive today and turn up dead the next day. We are but a flicker, burning ever so brightly but easily blown away.

Don’t get me wrong, this frailty makes life even more beautiful.

So instead of beating yourself up because you used to effortlessly write stories and can’t even bear to look at your pen, let the feeling in. If today you hate the rain, then close the windows. Its about time you start being kind to yourself because if you won’t then who will? 

Probably we feel unloved and unsatisfied because we keep looking for validation from others. It does not have to be that way all the time. 

Maybe it is time to start telling yourself “it is okay” more. It’ll work wonders. 

Time

I just wish for more time. 

I wish I could spend hours on composing songs and playing the guitar. But time, tricky as it is, seems to speed up when I do the things I love.

I just wish for a few more days.

Can there be a third day on the weekends? Why does it have to be five working days and just two days for rest, if you could even call it that. Those rest days are spent preparing for the working days. We do laundry and fold our clothes and clean our house. We still do chores. 

I just wish for longer nights.

For more peaceful silence shared with me and my bed, not sleeping and just lying. While the rest of the world breathes softly, let me lie in here and take my life all in. 

I just wish for more time. 

How I even wish to freeze time when I’m talking to you. The hours aren’t enough to accomodate both of our stories. Yet it still ticks away rapidly. We get trapped in our desks typing for long hours, way past our working time. We rarely talk and it hurts. 

I just wish I would stop chasing time. I wish to be in tune with its ticking beat so I could wrap my head around its concept. Why does time go by so fast? Why is it that I have to bid you goodbye when it feels like I have just said hello a few minutes ago. Why do working hours feel awfully long? Why is it that I don’t have enough time? Why don’t you have enough time to spare? Why is time too slow?

I just wish for more time. 

I wish to learn how to bend it. For those who cannot bear another minute in a party, let me speed it up. For those who long for even just a few minutes in bed to delay the dreadful day, let me give you a few hours more. For those who want one more chance to say goodbye to a loved one, let me take you back there. For those who wish time to stop for a while just to savor a particular moment, let me hold the hands of time for you. 

But this is way beyond me and I am but just one of the dials in a clock. My life ticking away each second. 

I just wish for more time.

Yours

Out of all the missed hellos,

Yours was the one I took chance in. 

Out of all the unrequited affections,

Yours was the one I gambled with.

Out of all the craved attention,

Yours was the one I wanted the most.

Out of all the broken promises,

Yours were the ones I hold on to.

Out of all the dedicated love songs sang,

Yours was the one I penned myself.

Out of all the sleepless nights,

Yours was the one filled with waking dreams.

Out of all the heartbreaks,

Yours was the one I wouldn’t regret.

Out of all the goodbyes,

Yours is the one I wouldn’t bear to hear.