April’s Fool

personal

It’s been forever since I put a letter after another together here on the blog. Honestly, it’s been getting harder for me to string words together and share what I’ve been going through.

The past few weeks were a whirlwind of bad episodes, I can’t be alone with my thoughts without shedding silent tears even when my best friend sleeps next to me.

I’ve managed to hide the pain when I’m out with friends, I pushed through when work needed to be done, and I’ve once more slathered a smile on my face when I needed to be out in public.

But here’s the truth, I’m exhausted mentally. Emotionally, I feel drained and I feel it taking a toll on my physical health. I can’t sleep before the sun shines through the window, I feel hunger yet my body rejects the food I consume. I try to convince myself that it’s all mind over matter when it comes to this, and logically I understand that there are those that I can ask for help and that they’re there with open arms… whilst grateful, I admit to be ashamed cause what can I offer back?

Today, tears dampened my cheek when I was on a motorbike ride to meet my friends. I tilt my head down at the gathering and kept to my journal. I try to tire myself out but my eyes remain awake. Yet when I sleep, flashes of memories mix itself into my dreams keeping me from waking.

It’s another night I meet with the strike of dawn, I wish I was home but home is a location lost in my past. My heart burns with a lingering pain yearning for relief.

 

 

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The right kind of love

personal

Q: How do adults get over heartache?

A: Stop building houses for travellers and cages for rivers.

The issue that seems to be a reoccurring event in my life is that I tend to fall for the wrong type of people. Not in any career oriented situation, but in my (non-existent) love life.

Recently, I ended a situationship with someone that inspired the last few poems I’ve published; while it hurt and there is a void that feels like a black hole, I realise it was for the better. How I love, is borderline obsessive. Everything or nothing at all. This type of love is scary and not as popular as the modern love that everyone used to.

The right kind of love I’m looking for is someone to conquer nightmares with, someone to be my sounding board and someone who will give me back the efforts I’m giving them. It’s a tall order and one that comes with the need for patience and baggage to handle. A friend asked me why do I want it all? The answer is simple. I want to be given what I’m willing to earn.

So am I going to give up my expectations? No. But I know that I will be taking a long deserved break from it all. I have a few upcoming projects that I’m looking forward to update here when I can.

Until then, expect more poetry from this bleeding heart of mine.

 

Homebound and reluctant

LGBT, personal

February is here, that means your one month trial for 2018 has ended! I’m sitting at my desk at this temp job writing for a few magazines at once and I’m dying to get back to bed.

Truth is, I wasn’t ready for January to end – not even in the slightest. I need more time to gather the material things I plan to keep and prepare a mental cushion for all the questions that will follow my low-key announcement on being queer.

As an Indonesian, as a sister, a daughter, and as a friend there never was the issue of being too promiscuous when it came to the opposite gender, it was “oh that’s just her being thirsty” however when it the situation includes a person of the same sex, being a partner to someone, it’s treason. It’s an illness. I lost all grasps of being okay last night.

I disappointed the sisterhood of the Indonesian sorority-like friendship by wanting an emotionally based relationship. Betrayed by the judgement I’ve been wanting to stay under the safety net of my blanket. On the other side of the emotional spectrum of being mentally shattered, I’m going to have to go back and stay a while with my mother. So that’s gonna be so much fun. I’m overwhelmed, I’m exhausted, and I’m feeling that itch to getaway. anywhere but the “paradise” that is home.

Home. 

Irony is at it’s best when it shows up in my life. Home is a feeling I don’t get from a place, home is not a location. Home is over my budget. Home is too busy for me. Home is making it hard for me to breathe. Home requires a visa. Home is the seven boxes in my living room. Home is the balcony I cry on. Cause what is home but a feeling? Home is the feeling I get when I’m safe. What’s a girl to do when that feeling is lost or packed in a cardboard box?

Holding my entity intact, I listen to Damien Rice singing and like the title of my favourite song, I feel delicateYesterday I sat in a room of strangers, she was the anchor that kept my anxiety at bay, it felt nice. This morning I took a cold shower and wondered if anyone could hear me weep. I don’t even know what triggered the rain of tears, I’m thinking I should go back to therapy. My work has yet to be affected, so that’s good. It’s the moments between articles, the silence between songs, the pauses between breathes.

I thought I was okay. I thought it would be okay. I was wrong. excuse me while I bubble through the day.

Regarding Grace and her consent

opinions, personal, Things That Bug Me

So I was shook when I saw this article by BBC, for a company that holds values in hardline journalistic integrity, they were incredibly biased and made it seem like a bashticle that serves just the negative and one sided view upon the situation. It was when my friend sent me this Babe article, I could taste the sick in my stomach, knowing that something similar has happened to me and probably other people before.

The thing that many in the comment section said that got me to actually writing about the issue is along the lines of these words:

Why didn’t she leave earlier? Why even go down and accept the back rub?

Which is where my story comes in, this happened when I was in college, and he was a friend I would hang with at the campus coffee shop.

What had started as flirtation led itself to occasionally hooking up. Damien* and I would be barely friendly in public spaces, but behind closed doors he would be more commanding. He masked it as an interest in role-play and BDSM – I followed along because in my head at that time it was what college students did.

The consent I gave to him soon was ill-fated when he wanted to try choking during intercourse. I generally don’t like constricting my neck area, even with scarves and turtlenecks I would always fidget around with it. So when he said he wanted to try I had already said no, he agreed until he was in a different headspace and continued to place his hands around my neck… I froze and let him finish because it I struggled, he would think it was a game (even with the safe word).

In that moment I relied on my ability to hold my breath, I racked my mind hoping no marks would have been left behind, I hoped that because I let him do that then he would not bring our twisted relationship out in conversations.

I barely told anyone about my fuckship with Damien even if it lasted a few months. I continued hooking up with him because of my fear of other people finding out. Another time he put true terror in my head was our night out with his cousins; wanting to just have a night out dancing turned real fast when it was bout time to go home.

He had promised to send me back before my parents woke up, “it’ll just be a minute” was what he said when he had to stop by his cousin’s apartment so I said I’ll wait in the car, we both had been drinking and I should have gotten a taxi home but again when he clenched his hands on the wheel of the car, I froze. Knowing if I tried to get away there’s a higher chance of him hurting me.

So, I went up to the apartment and we hooked up again – it was in my head that his cousins were looking  at me like vultures waiting for a meal, but I was sober and I made sure the lock worked because when he was “getting the keys” as I cleaned myself up, I was holding my tears hoping they wouldn’t barge in – especially since he told his cousins to “go ahead” when dancing at the club.

That was my last outing with him, slowly I started to ignore him altogether and after a few months of excuses not to see him alone, I was rid of him. Yet the memories remain.

Time isn’t a factor when it comes to these encounters, until I read other #metoo stories I thought my past encounters had been dismissed. But yesterday at work, on a smoke break I had a flashback that made it hard to breathe easy. A lingering scent of musk followed me from the club, the apartment, the car, and now it was in my cigarette – before I knew it, this post was created.

 

In light of my story, I can confirm that it’s not as easy as calling them out, even to their faces – the factors to consider are more than just the “it’s his words against yours…,” it is the overwhelming sense of being in danger, it’s knowing the person is stronger, it’s being called out for something else that could be worst (which Damien still did, fyi!).

So no, fellas in the BBC comment section, it’s not as simple as walking out the door.

In his position, Grace could’ve lost her credibility if Aziz were to just mention her badly. His reply was a PR message drafted in 31 hours by his team of people. I was rooting on him being an example of how you can be a successful comedian no matter your gender, race, or sexuality – without being predatory!

But I won’t go on about him, for too long we’ve been talking about his narrative, his actions, his POV, him being a POC, the unpredictability of the scandal… no, it’s not his story to glorify while a female photographer, working her hustle, speaking out anonymously, is nowhere close to being the first in the cookie cut scenario.

Grace like many women in schools, colleges, offices, social media and even public transportation, go through or have gone through conformity in lieu of consent. Not for the thrill of rough sex, but for the safety from it.

I, until today knew I could have done things differently those times with Damien, but the person that I was did not see it that way, she, I, we used to think it’s our fault, to a sick point thinking that we deserved it, because we stepped away from the “good girl” life we were brought up in, because “boys play rough honey, get used to it!,” because “God wouldn’t have put you in that situation if you had been more religious.”

I guess that’s all I have for now, there are a few other instances with different persons but I’ll ease into those stories on my other posts sometime this year (I’m a horrible blogger I know!).

But if you slide into my DMs or drop a comment, maybe I’ll post sooner 🙂

* Not his real name, but he probably knows who he is.

Relations and relationships

LGBT, personal

It’s funny when you think about it, the other day I was on a tea-date with this wonderful person and she said “why can’t it be just like this?”

Truth is, I don’t know.

I know that I’m more dependent as a friend than I am as a significant other, in terms of relationships I tend to be more guarded – I know how to cut myself off when it seems like it’s going nowhere, and I know how to control my fall.

It’s relations that I find tricky. I have a handful of close friends and they know how to deal with me, my clingy and my crazy. Even my mentors that I vowed my life to know that as a friend, I put myself last. I guess the reason I would prefer a relationship is so at least, even if it takes time and effort, I would be more of a priority.

So lately I’ve been trying to be more gutsy when it comes to relations and relationships. I show her the me my friends see. My stubbornness she encountered when I fell sick, the raw reactions I let slip cause she deserves to know that her presence is enough to make a hothead like me blush. But I couldn’t tell her that in person. She’s confident and strong, but in the nano second when she checks her phone she shows her soft vulnerability. So many little things she does makes me want to let her know that it’s going to be okay and that I’m here even if I don’t know how much longer she’s gonna let me be here.

See she thinks my friends hate her, they don’t. Not in the way she thinks they do at least.

Has anyone else been here? If yes please comment in or drop a line in my dm’s cause I’d like to hear about how you handle relationships. I think there’s a vast difference and everyone is each their own but if you have/are experiencing something similar what do you do? What do you do when everyone else but you see that there’s an issue?

 

Living with rose tinted lenses

opinions, personal

The 2011 song “wait for me” by Motopony plays and I think of how lovely it would be to be that girl they wrote it for. To be given that confirmation of desire, even if there’s time to wait before that happy ending. It’s the hope that the song brings, that hope and yearning to be one entity with another person without losing one’s self on their own.

I’ve been told that the way I jump into love straight forward like a cannonball in the deep end of a pool “radiates hope” which I find amusing cause half the time I have no idea what I’m doing. But hey, if it makes even the darkest of bitter souls hope then I think it’s a good thing. Right?

Ask any one of my friends, they would be very wary when I get involved with anybody. Not that it’s a bad thing, no… I just tend to scare people away. My tinder profile says “I put the dom in domestication” as a warning.

Truth be told, I’m tired of just dating.

I want to be romanticised and be able to just be the person someone calls to nap together. I want picnics and random trips but it seems like that type of romance is limited to songs and blogposts these days. I know I’ve written about this before (maybe even exactly a year ago) but my stance on romance will ever change. Yes, I’m sick and tired of giving my all and getting zilch back but I don’t stop hoping.

Why? Why shouldn’t I hope? Why shouldn’t I try? Why does romance have to die in the world where nobody buys flowers anymore?

Sure, Amy Winehouse sung “love is a losing game,” Paloma Faith sang “only love hurts like this,” and Alextbh sings how love “stoops so low,” but it’s not about the pain and tears.

tumblr_nozq3jsufr1rd5ubzo1_500

It’s the giggles under the blanket, the moments where words were not said, it’s the linger of intertwined fingers. The tiny details of where wrinkles turn into smile lines. It’s introducing that person to your best friends and seeing the reaction on their face when you say something gutsy. It’s offering them tea when you want to lean in to kiss them. It’s letting them lay their heads to rest and ensuring them that they’re safe with you.

Can someone tell me how that kind of love is painful? Cause until the day comes where the stampeding rush in my chest, that makes me bite my lip instead of telling them how wonderful it is to have them in my life stops, I don’t think I’ll ever stop seeing stars in the cloudy night sky.

Dear Anxiety,

personal

We’ve  been together for how long now? I remember you first coming into my life around the time I had my first wave of uncertainty – 20 years ago. I was five when you slipped under my covers, I remember that cause it was the first big fight my parents had that I heard beyond the teak doors.

You’ve changed your reason to show up over the years – the divorce, the new schools, the move, that first rejection, the bad grades, the body weight, the fake friends, the bad haircuts, the words those bullies said, the doubt in my mother’s eyes of whether I’d succeed in life or not, that long winded breakup, and many more I can’t recollect now.

Anxiety, you’ve become kin to the demon within me. As much as you hurt and scare me, you motivate me to prove those reasons wrong. But now it’s as if you’ve turned undyingly strong.

How did my adulthood end up depending on whether or not you show up? I feel your smirk when I do a double-take on the WhatsApp last seen, I hear your cackle when I pass by mirrors in public spaces, and I hear you whisper to the demon “there’s our girl” when I pour my glass of wine. Your glare radiates from my inked shoulders and I feel sick to my stretch mark ridden stomach, and there goes another day of me not wanting to eat.

My demon is my own, but you are not welcomed in my life. You come in episodes and series of not wanting to get out of bed. You take my hand and put the water to boiling hot in the shower I can’t walk away from, like a drug that has contaminated my system, you make my ears ring sirens with the voice of my mother. You make me fear for my brothers, you make me cry over my father.

“Why do you still bother?” you ask as I look over the balcony.

This time I have a reason to stop you, I can float above you and the waves you bring. I’m okay now even if the thought of saying it out loud still makes me shake. This time I’m awake. So please, dear anxiety, please just give me a fucking break.