The summer at the end of 4th grade

My body says I’m a woman, school says I’m a child. I am confusion. Someone please tell me what this entails? Am I expected to act like mum and stop acting like the kid I was a month ago? How do women act? I tuck it in, cover it up, step back, sit down, can’t forget, can’t forget, can’t forget, shit! Forgot! Embarrassment, shame, shame, shame. Cut down, mute, push away, tear apart. I hate my body. I hate it because I’m supposed to look like that and it won’t stop looking like this and the more suggestions I notice the bigger the rift grows within me. The war against myself is engendered by the unclear crossing over to womanhood.

Who knew that the loss of my childhood would be so bloody?

Ode to the crimson orchestra 

​Creativity isn’t a solo act. It’s an orchestra. It’s an arduous process where everything is happening *to* you…
You just have to let certain things bounce off you, others enter your core and stir things up. And wait. For what, you don’t know. 
It’s building castles in the sky, fumbling in the dark, and waiting. 
Lots of waiting. Anticipating. 
For what, you don’t know. 
As things build up, your being shifts a bit, annoys you. Things haven’t shifted completely, but enough for you to feel out of place. 
And it so happens that the one vital element that’d glue things together, missing. 
Stopped. Everything stops working. 
All the shifting, building, waiting, irritation…dead end. All the discomfort you were putting up with and putting off in favour of a desirable outcome — splash. Hits you. 
Pain. Wrenching. Wringing. Twisting. Stabbing. Writhing. Squirming.
And so begins the process of deconstructing. You look at it, at what you’ve been toiling away at all this time. Can you really destroy it?
But you must shed it off despite the acute ache. It’s an innate part of this orchestra. Letting go. 
So you begin, taking things down, tearing them apart, tearing up a whole lot in between sets. Oh gosh,why does it have to be so painful?
But you trudge on because you know that if you don’t move on, you’ll be buried in your bygone dreams. That you’ll lose out on a thousand more processes.
Deep breath. Relax. Lie down for a moment.
You stare at the ceiling, trying to transcend the pain. But how can you transcend something that envelopes you like the night? It washes over you, and you let it, and your body contorts in pain.
It dawns on you that the pain comes from the energy of the creative process trying to wriggle out of its host’s body. It’s going to haunt you, stick around, hinder you if you don’t start afresh. Give it a new home. 
Exhale. Sit up. Stretch. Take two ibuprofens. Your periods will soon be over.

miscarriage

Being a woman…is a lonely battle.
A close friend recently told me that she was a couple of months pregnant. I was so elated, about to cry, but then I was upset that she had waited so many weeks to tell me. She said she didn’t tell me because ‘you’re supposed to keep it a secret for the first 3 months because the risk of miscarriage is so high, and I didn’t want to tell people in case it didn’t work out.’
Bullshit, I told her. If the pregnancy terminates does that mean it didn’t count? A baby can be stillborn after 9 months – should the entire pregnancy be kept secret too, ‘ in case it doesn’t work out’.
But I understood her.I’m not a mother, and I can’t fathom what that entails. But I’ve seen what mothers go through.

The miscarriages that are mentioned in passing, void of importance, the post partum depression suffered in complete isolation.
When a woman falls pregnant, it’s not like an oven you pop dough in and wait for it to turn into bread.
As the embryo is growing, the woman’s body is flooded with hormones and her entire being is in fluctuation. Her body doesn’t belong to her anymore, another human in the making is draining her.
And yet, in between the terrible waves of sickness that strikes most women and the bloating and swelling and crying spells, she’s helping the baby grow by sending it thoughts of love and hope. For those first months before the bump appears, the miracle in making is a secret between her and the baby. They communicate by feelings and morning sickness and pregnancy cravings.
Her life flashes before her eyes. She will now and forever be in second place. Will it be a healthy baby? Will I be able to be a good mum?What if I fail?
So imagine all those questions, feelings, hope, – and the sad news:
“I’m sorry, but there’s no heartbeat. You’ve lost the baby.”
The hearts that were beating in tandem – abruptly returns to be a solo act. And what a heart wrenching song.
And because she never told anyone, she has to mourn in secret, continue with her daily life, greet her neighbours with a smile that never reaches the eyes, and walk past mothers with their strollers in the grocery store without breaking down in tears.
And if she did tell people, then her wounds will be ripped open over and over again:
– Oh it’s nothing. You’ll get pregnant soon enough
– OMG what did you do? Did you carry anything heavy?
– You have to be careful! What were you thinking?
– At least you didn’t go full term. Imagine if it was still born?
Darling, I don’t know what you felt in those scarring moments you lost your child. But your child mattered, your pregnancy counts. You will always and forever be a mother – even if your child doesn’t remain with you throughout your life. They will remain in your heart. You lost those first steps you envisioned, their 3 year birthday party, their high school graduation… I think sometimes the mourning no one can relate to or feel is the worst…So be your own best friend, and allow yourself to cry and grieve for as long as you are emotionally pregnant.

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