Poetry

Trapped

“Why”, he asked me, “why stay?”

I looked away, not knowing what to say.

‘Maybe’, I thought, ‘it’s time to let him go.’

What do we really know?

He saw my pain, he took my hand.

“Come with me,” he said, and it began.

I followed him into his world; blinking, not from the light but because it was a terrifying sight.

The darkness, the frigid wind. It was bleak and it was grim.

Someone laughing, sent chills up my spine; it wasn’t the contagious kind.

He was gone; my heartbeat quickened; “where are you?” I called, my limbs all stiffened.

Sobbing, I heard, ran towards the sound. My screams piercing through me as I saw what I had found.

He’s in pieces, broken, blade in his hand. Crying tears of blood, unable to stand.

“I can’t, I won’t!” I said, “I won’t let you go! You’re coming with me, don’t tell me no!”

I gathered his pieces, broken heart and all, sew up the wounds so he could stand up tall.

We ran, hand in hand, I thought I saw the light. “We’re getting out of here!” I told him, “I’m ready to fight!”

Back to my world, it was getting close. He let go of my hand and said, “it’s no use.”

He was giving up, consumed by the darkness. He began to fade, blending in with the blackness.

“No!” I cried, “I know why you should stay! Your world is a cruel one, heavy without hope. But there’s another world out there, one you can cope! Let me bring you back there; I’ll stay by your side. Please, little brother, please don’t die.”

He wanted to choose life, he wanted to stay, but the world had failed him, persuaded him another way.

Birth Stories

Annabella Christina

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Annabella’s due date was March 3, 2012. Since it was clear she was not coming out to meet us on that day, my husband and I went to a first birthday party for the son of one of our co-workers. The only thing I could fit into was a purple maternity dress.

The physical weight of the baby on my body was almost unbearable. The nesting period was over, and I really just wanted her out of me. I was becoming more and more irritable with everyone around me, and eventually stopped responding to, “OMG you’re ready to pop!” (It just about took all the energy I had to not pop them in the nose).

Finally, my OBGYN decided it was time to be induced. On the evening of Saturday March 10th, my husband and I went to the hospital to get the ball rolling. Later that night, when we were in bed, the contractions started up. I knew it was the real deal and not just Braxton Hicks, because they didn’t stop. I took a look at the crib one last time before leaving for the hospital, my heart full of hope, that the next time I’d be looking at my baby in there.

Since daddy to-be was still half asleep/liquored up, my father in-law drove us to the hospital. He comforted me while I focused on breathing, and told his son to get me into a wheelchair and up to the maternity ward, while he parked the car.

Once we arrived at Labour/Delivery, I was greeted by a nurse who looked at me and spat, “why are you in a wheelchair?” Now, there are several creative ways I could have answered her, like, “maybe because I’m in labour, you miserable piece of crap!” However, as always, I bit my tongue and stood up out of the wheelchair, and followed her into one of the patient rooms, where I was ordered to change into a gown and walk the halls.

I was scared shitless, trying to remember all of the stages of labour from the prenatal class we took, and the different ways to breathe and bounce and stretch and be massaged during those excruciating squeezes in the middle of my body. It would have been bit more helpful and calming of an experience if the nurses weren’t so bloody rude. (Etobicoke General Hospital y’all).

When my water finally broke during the hall-walking, I was told to lay on the bed while they checked the baby and my vitals. Things were moving slowly but surely, and so far everything was fine.

I called my cousin and asked her to bring my grandmother to the hospital (my mom was in India at the time) to help keep me calm, since my husband looked pretty helpless. Soon, in the room with me were; 1) nurses, 2) husband, 3) father in-law, 4) grandmother, 5) cousin. After some time, they were eating pizza right in front of me, and I wondered where the hell my cup of ice was. Then there was a Tim Horton’s run, and I was ready to kick someone in the face.

After about 14 hours, crying from the severeness of the contractions, my husband said, “get the epidural, come on; you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.” So, I listened. The contractions were so sharp, slicing and squeezing and knocking the wind out of me, I knew it was time for the giant needle in my spine.

I was asked to sit up in the bed, and “curl my back like a cat, nice and round.” No joke, this is what I was told to do, in the middle of my contractions, while asking myself if I really wanted to be stabbed in the back. I tried my very best to “curl” my back for them, and in the needle went. Directly into my spine. I can still feel the fluid rushing in and spreading across my back. (My spine was sore for a very long time after having the baby).

Shortly after, I was in a state of bliss. Laying down in the bed, not feeling a thing. The nurses were the ones to tell me when I was having a contraction. More visitors came and went; mother in-law, cousins, sister, aunt. For a time it was a bit of a blur. At this point, I had no idea that I had blown up into a water balloon; my face, arms, legs, everything was HUGE. Everyone there was kind enough to not mention it, I only realized when I saw the photos afterward. For most of my life, I’ve been fairly petite, even throughout the pregnancy, so it was hilarious to see myself all puffed up.

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It had been a full 24 hours, and I had only dilated 2 centimeters. I was told my baby’s heart rate was going down because she was heading down the magical canal, but had no way of getting out that way. I was devastated. Beyond devastated. When the doctor asked me to sign the paper titled “Cesarean Section”, my dreams of pushing my baby out and placed on my chest, just like in the movies, were shattered. I wanted desperately to have a natural birth. I felt that I had failed; my first job as a mother, I couldn’t even do. My body had failed me. I cried and cried, but I signed the form.

A nurse came in and rubbed off my nail polish, took my wedding/engagement rings, my karas (Sikh bracelets) and off we went to the Operating Room. I was given anesthesia and the doctor pinched me a few times here and there to make sure I was numb. I could see my husband dressed in scrubs in my peripheral. The curtain was up and the cutting had commenced. I tried to remember again, from our prenatal classes, how many layers they were cutting through. I looked up at the ceiling and could see a blurry reflection of the operation. All I remember seeing is a fuck-ton of blood so I decided not to look up. I looked to my sides; both arms were tied down. It was a horrible feeling. They were taking my baby out of me, and I was just strapped down, helpless, with nothing to do but wait.

Felt like forever, before I heard the crying.

“It’s a girl!” The doctor told us, and I smiled. Yes. I knew it. I could feel it throughout the pregnancy that there was a little girl in there, but we didn’t end up confirming the gender. I didn’t want to know. There are very few genuine surprises in life, and this was one of them. I remember one of my co-workers once condescendingly telling me that when she found out the gender of her baby, her excitement grew ten-fold and she was able to connect with her. I respectfully disagreed. I didn’t care to know my child’s sex. All I cared about was that he or she was healthy. I also stayed away from the pinks verses blue baby clothes thing. I kept all our colours neutral; lots of greens and yellows and whites. Anyway. We had a girl.

When I saw her for the first time, I wanted to dance and jump and scream, but I could barely even turn my head to look at her. My husband held her close to my face so I could kiss her.

We were taken to a private room, once I was all stitched up, and once I was able to sit up in the bed, they brought my newborn baby to me.

“Are you bottle feeding or breastfeeding?” one of the nurses asked.

“Breastfeeding,” I answered.

“Good,” she said. And my baby was finally placed on my chest. She latched on to me right away and stayed there for about twenty minutes. It was exhilarating. I didn’t even know if I was doing it right. The milk didn’t actually come in for another two days (I woke up to a completely soaked shirt, and deformed breasts), so for now she was only getting colostrum.

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Unfortunately, she lost almost 10% of her baby weight, so I was forced to tape down an extremely thin tube to my chest, across my breast, and the other end was inside a ready-to-feed bottle of formula. This way, the baby would be breast feeding and getting formula at the same time. It was incredibly stressful. My back and neck tensed up as I held her to my breast, my eye glasses kept sliding down my nose, and the nursing pillow was sitting directly on my c-section incision.

We were in the hospital from Saturday night until Thursday. With the help of a lactation specialist, and when my milk finally did come in, I was able to get my baby back to her birth weight. It was an amazing accomplishment for me. (She was 7 pounds at birth). I had to keep a breastfeeding journal recording the times I fed her and the duration, etc. until baby and I developed a full routine. It was a lot of work. But so worth it. Seeing her drink my milk was so, so rewarding and I felt so fortunate to be able to breastfeed. My sister and I were both formula-fed babies, so I didn’t have anything against formula, but since the birth didn’t go as planned, I wanted at least my plan to breastfeed to be a success. And it was.

The day we brought Annabella home, the sun was shining so bright; it felt like a warm Spring day. It didn’t feel like March at all. The water-weight was out of me, but my heart was full of love and pride, my breasts were filled with milk, and tears spilled over my cheeks. I was full. I was complete.

NLtyIXkw

Poetry

Easy

It’s just easier. Easier to be alone.
Don’t have to worry about checking his phone.

Easier with the dishes. Not too many to clean.
Don’t have to worry about what he didn’t mean.

Easier in bed. No snoring in my ear.
No. Don’t miss his body, holding me near.

Easier in the morning. No make up, no shower.
No, don’t have to worry about marriage and power.

Easier with the kids. No drama at all.
Don’t have to worry if he’ll catch my fall.

Easier when the family gets together.
No, he’s not here again, I’m alone forever.

Easier without that diamond on my finger.
No, there’s no heaviness, no weight that lingers.

Easier without the smell. No more Bacardi.
Don’t have to worry about all his mini parties.

It’s easier to be alone. No more abuse.
Don’t have to care about his being obtuse.

Easy, just look. It’s easy to do.
No, my heart’s not broken, it’s good as new.

It’s easy to be hard. No more being weak.
No, I’m not crying, my eyes sometimes leak.

The easiness comes and the easiness goes.
After all, it’s what my kismet chose.

 

 

Poetry

Mother

There once was a girl, seven years old
Whose mother died from poison,
Or so the story is told.

The girl grew up; angry, afraid
Of monsters and darkness,
And the shadows she made.

She married, had children, lived in despair
For she wished more than anything
That her mother was there.

The world was against her, or so she believed
Her body ached with agony, even with
Every prayer she weaved.

Her children married, had children, and lived in despair
For their mother was unhappy
And her pain they could not bear.

She had three grandchildren, radiant and bright
They ran to her and hugged her
With all their might.

She looked at her children and grandchildren
The love that they shared, and realized then
Her mother had always been there.

Poetry

Someone Else

Your wife
She sleeps soundly
As you
Lay awake
Beside her
Phone in your hand
Messaging
Someone else

My husband
Is awake on the couch
As I
Lay alone in bed
While he
Whispers into his phone to
Someone else

Why do they always need
Someone else
The person in their bed
Is never enough
The person in their bed
Is just
A body

If he hasn’t already
He will
Use another body
Someone else

Someone else

Someone else

someone.else.

 

Poetry

The Plague

It started on the right
Always on the right
Right in the middle
The middle of my back.

It spun around
Bigger and bigger
A black hole
In the middle of my back.

Then came the bump
A tiny, hard bump
Under the skin
And muscles in my neck.

It shot up
Like a bullet
Shocking and quick
Up to my skull
From that bump in my neck.

The bullet explodes
It becomes a bolt of lightening
Directly on the right
Right there in my skull
Behind the eyeball
On my right.

The bolt has arms
Its pulling and tugging
Its ripping through my brain
Sending waves of red
Spilling into my head.

The bump in my neck
Sends a message to my brain
Tells it to be sick
Vomit out the pain.
My brain responds back
Anxious and afraid
Accidentally telling my heart
To prepare for an attack.

The black hole in my back
Spins bigger with each throb
The throbbing subsides
And with that is born
A blade
Slicing downwards so fast
That it’s numb
Slicing the right
Into a spasm
Right down that notch
Sciatic nerve.

It started on the right
Never on the left
And it never left.

It’s black and endless
Sucking my soul
It’s red and murderous
Spilling over and under
Into wounds
Creating wounds
No one can see.

 

 

 

Poetry

Dark Dreams

Wish wish wish
Dream dream dream

But stuck in a cruel reality.

Real real real
But it feels like a reel
That’s played in the theatre
So is it really real or is it surreal
What truly is the deal
And who is truly spinning the wheel
Determining our fates
Making time a race
Or maybe erase
My face
From the mirror
So that its never clear
Or it could be the tears
Streaming, flowing, running
Out of my soul
Out of control
Defining my role
Prisoner to my mind
Victim to my crimes
Can’t cross the boundary line
Because its not mine
And never will be.

Wishing and dreaming and thinking and loving and hoping
Trapping taneet
She’s helpless and hopeless
No fight no strength
Look at her
Laugh at her
Struggling, crying, dying slowly
Watch her
Follow her
Running, hiding, dying slowly
Its a dead end
My end
At the end of the road
At the end of the rope
Trapped
Boxed in
Caged in
Like an animal
Cannibal
To my own heart
Strings like a puppet
I’m not myself
I look up to see who is responsible
The hand pushing my head in the water
Drowning me
Killing me
I’m looking
Searching
Why are they doing this
I see the tainted hand
I see the murderer
Its me
Looking down at me
Lips curled up
Crimson like the devil
l i v e d
D i e
V e i l
L i e
E v i l
Think about it
Taste it
Try it on for size
Surprised?
It doesn’t fit
The light is not lit
The shit did not hit
The fan
I ran but she caught me
Drowned me and forgot me
Left me there to rot me
Shot me
The bullet screams my name
The blood brings me to shame
The chase was all a game
Plan
It won’t work
Won’t make it better
Just write a letter
Since that’s all you know
Pathetic, never grow
Your sorrow is a show
That no one wants to watch
A blotch on a paper
The words don’t make sense
Try, but its dense
Spilled ink
Just think
Black streaks all down my face
Spilled ink spilled guts
Words everywhere
Is fear
Black blood
Drowning myself
The paper is wet
Soiled
Spoiled
Boiling brain
Draining me
Murderous, vicious
Take in the pain
Cry it out through the rain
In vain
Pulsing veins
Throbbing, beating, racing.

Open your eyes
Rise
Up from your demise
Try
Do it for them
Do it again and again
The game doesn’t end
Your heart will never mend
No friends
Just a paper and a pen
Do it again and again.

Writings

Mommy, my tummy hurts.

IMG_7993_1It wasn’t because I ate too much or too little.

It was sharp, severe, unforgiving, and in the center of my being. And it wasn’t going away.

I was just under 10 years old, and when I started to miss school because of the pain, my mom thought it was time to visit a doctor. Our family doctor set up an appointment at the hospital for me, where they would shove a long, thin tube with a little camera lens on the bottom of it, down my esophagus.

Awake through the whole procedure, scared, crying, cold from that backless hospital gown, gagging and calling out for my mom while two nurses stood above me. All I remember about them was their voices (“no, no dear, don’t do that”) and their heads floating above me, with a huge florescent light behind them. I just wanted it all to be over.

But this was just the beginning. Multiple ultrasounds followed, along with having to drink a disgusting thick goo of chalk, and finally being prescribed these large, white horse-pills for the pain.

“Reflux-esophagitis”, the doctor concluded, was the diagnosis.

I was given a booklet of all the foods and beverages I could no longer consume, and sent on my merry way.

The pain didn’t go away. It was always there. And eventually, I gave in to it and assented to it just being a part of me.

It took several years to realize and understand that the physical pain I experienced was not a result of acid reflux or poor diet. Unfortunately back then, parents and doctors were not too familiar with, nor spoke very fluidly of mental illness.

The stomach pain was a direct result of depression and anxiety.

If you had asked me to describe it when I was a child, I might have said something along the lines of, “feeling like a knife is stabbing me between my ribs.” If I ever had to guess what being stabbed felt like, perhaps this was it.

The sad thing is, that even today, twenty something years later, people still aren’t comfortable talking about depression, or any other mental illness. One of the reasons why is because not many people have been educated on it, unless they know someone they are close to who has suffered from it, or because of a relative, etc. Outside of extenuating circumstances, people just don’t talk about it or learn about it or educate on it.

I want to change that.

Starting now.

How’s your tummy feeling today?