This is my silence.

Have you ever stopped to wonder,
It’s not always the person you blame?

The one who is terrified to speak up is
The real victim of mistreatment.

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The ABC’s of Home for the Holidays

Always waking up without alarms. My
Body forgot how to sleep in.

Cookies and my favorite snacks from my
Dear parents are packed and waiting for me.

Every year, I anxiously look
Forward to the winter breaks,
Gingerbread homes, baking, and the idea of
Hibernating for a whole month
Instead of studying. I start to dig for the
Jackets and scarves I left behind to
Keep me warm for the next month.

Lazy days full of hot chocolate with extra
Marshmallows and noon
Naps are the cure to my school stresses.

Ornaments bring color to the Christmas tree and
Poinsettas decorate every room. The house is
Quiet, everyone is still at work. There’s something about
Reindeer, hot cider, blankets, and
Snow that remind me why I
Travel back to this place to
Unite with the freezing temperatures to
Visit my loved ones.

Wrapping paper is strewn across the floors for the
Xmas presents. I am eager for the
Yummy Christmas feast but not the
Zero degree wind chills and frostbite.

Blame.

Sometimes I feel really bad for feeling so down.
I shouldn’t feel the need to complain so much,
But somehow, I always find something wrong.

I make myself feel I have no one to turn to,
When my own mother is a phone call away;
My significant other sleeps by my side every night;
My best friend is only a text message and 13 seconds away.

But no matter what, I’m sad.
And there is no one else to blame but me.
I’m angry at myself for feeling like this.
I hate myself for doing this to myself.

But what else can I do but inflict this disappointment on the one person who should be helping me but instead neglects my cries for help and attention and self-love: me.

City Nature.

The sound of the roaring, rushing water echoes through the parking lot that leads me to the pathway toward the water reservoir. There’s a slight breeze, preparing me for the lookout I am about to approach. Walking up the red brick path to the water opening, I smell a mixture of dish soap and chlorine. It’s about an hour past golden hour, and the crisp air reveals autumn’s arrival. As I continue down this brick path covered by a few early fallen leaves, I feel a heavy cloud of moisture hit my face. I’m getting close. The occasional sound of a horn announces the arrival of the hourly Metra train passing next to the park from the city. Upon reaching the cold, black metal railing that separates the water from the walkway, I can see the entire u-shaped concrete sidewalk that surrounds the flowing water. Within the metal railing, shiny spider webs drape along the vertical bars, reflecting the light-posts’ shine.
I feel a sudden overflow of emotion, just like every time I walk up this path. I watch my feet take me closer to the water. Turning away from the water, I can see the sidewalk surrounded by a taller concrete border that serves as a perfect-height sitting bench. It’s not the most comfortable place to sit, but its touch has consoled me many times. Past the concrete, there is a stretch of grass with pine trees strewn across the field with occasional purple and yellow brightly-colored wild flowers. The trees which survived the hot summer sun look a bit parched, but still stand strong and tall. I look back forward into the canal that this water flows into, taking in the scenery. This under-appreciated scenic point is enough to help me escape the bustling street noises that never end in the outskirts of the big city. It’s almost like a neglected sister to Central Park in the very middle New York City, where nature is taken for granted. This reservoir has left a distinct sound that will never leave my ears.
There is a family of three standing in the center curve of this u-shaped sidewalk path along the edge of the waterfall. The mom and dad have their young daughter beside them, just a toddler, ready and eager to play. The child climbs onto the raised cement border, and then jumps off, her laughs and squeals blurred with distance, over and over again. It’s getting dark out, and the mother rounds up her daughter for the drive home, motioning towards the exit path. The small girl lets out a groan, but after a few more leaps from the concrete border, she gives in and joins her parents as they approach the brick path that will lead them back to the parking lot.
Once the family leaves, the figure of a teenage girl remains far in the distance behind where the family stood. The girl sits on the ledge of the concrete border, with her legs crossed, facing the falls. She has a book right next to her, but she does take much interest in it. She has her face in her hands; she’s crying. She must be seeking comfort here. After some time, she looks up, looks around, wipes her tears, and grabs her book. She focuses on her reading, keeping her head down the whole time.
Opposite to me on this horseshoe-shaped waterfall is a couple, they’re both probably in their early 20s. Well, their posture and the way they carry themselves influence my assumption. Elbows resting on the cold metal bar, they lean against the railing that separates the sidewalk from the water. They’re both staring into each other’s eyes, so unperturbed and at peace. I agree with them, this hidden secret of the town can bring so much serenity. The couple walks back over to the concrete bench, hand in hand. They sit in silence while looking at the water, with an occasional hand squeeze. The water seems to be doing the talking for them. A while passes, and they stand up, turn to the entrance and walk back to the brick path. I watch their figures fade into the darkness of the night until it is just me and thoughts alone in this park.
This mini waterfall has heard many secrets: the angry curses, the guilty confessions, the melancholy questions. Its welcoming sound of water falling begs you to release your emotions into its fountain of peace. This reservoir has left a distinct sound that will never leave my ears. And when I think of home, I can hear it clearly, reliving every waking moment I spent there with my parents as a small child, alone in my moments of sadness and despair, and with my lover sharing my covert getaway. My understated bliss.

Amusement Park

The one thing we’ve all been told is
Life is a roller coaster.

That is no exaggeration.
We go through ups and downs and twists and steep falls,
Sometimes left hanging upside down for a few seconds.
But one thing remains:
We always end.

But we always begin again.

Fe(el/ar).

I’ve been told many times that I shouldn’t have to control every aspect of my life. That I shouldn’t have to protect myself from the unknown. That I need to let things change my life.
But I’m in love with my life. And I don’t want it to change.
And I guess that is where I go wrong. Because without change, there is no love. No growth. No expansion of feelings. Nothing.
And the worst part for me is that I have no idea what I would do without the constant fear of strange things in this world.

Fear.
The hardest part for me is being alone.
No, it’s not loneliness, it’s being alone.
The feeling of being helplessly alone in a room without my cries for help being heard.
That’s the difference.

Alone time is often feared for the risk of mental and emotional destruction caused by overthinking. Those aren’t my demons.
I am not afraid to overuse my emotional overthinking. This is only a tiny speck in my fears.

My fear of alone time is my physical safety. Where I cannot feel safe even in the four corners that keep me isolated from the whole world.
I am haunted. And it’s not by the ghosts that hide under white sheets.
I am constantly reminded of the harm that can be possibly inflicted upon me.

I’m not scared of the dark, true.
I’m scared of the person I fear the most that might be in the dark, true.

I fear for my safety rather than my emotional health.
And that’s when I can’t comprehend how someone can leave such a scar.
When will be the first time that I will ever feel safe?

Flooding windows.

One day, I will know.
One day, I will be able to comfort you.
Your pain hurts me in indescribable ways.
I am ashamed I cannot understand you.
I wish I knew that same feeling.
Those hot, salty tears streaming down
Your face long to be understood.
And though I will never wish bad on anyone,
I cannot wait for the day
I cry the same tears you cry.
So when the day finally comes,
I will comprehend the same language
And we won’t have to use tears
To say what we truly feel.

Unspoken home.

The future awaits.
The long, head-aching days.
The joyfully bright, sunny days.
They’re all waiting to happen.

The twists and turns that life takes us on
Lead to a greater road that takes us home.

And the best part is we get to choose.
Who we love, how we feel, what we do.
It’s up to us to discover what makes our world spin.

And if we never do,
It will be okay.
Because home can be the future.
The comfort of the unknown.

Home.
Something we find, embrace, enjoy, forget, leave, but will always come back to.

Spilling.

You say things without realizing the commitment.
Those words ease my mind, but only temporary.
I’m tired of the unanswered questions.
The unfulfilled declarations.
Disappointment, everywhere.
Overflowing.
Over this.

Quicksand.

I’ve hit a brick wall.
The kind that laughs at your naivety.
I will recollect myself, I say.
Maybe not today, but I will.

I’m clueless.
My hands don’t look like they belong to me anymore.
My life doesn’t feel mine anymore.

I’m searching left and right for a sign.
A path that will guide me.
I’m not ready.
But I will have to pretend I am.
I tell myself that I am okay.
But in all reality, I’m everything but.

And the longer I wait, the more I sink.
This hole of darkness confuses me.
I should be terrified of it.
But I can only find comfort.