We do not perish

I don’t cry when you scream at me anymore.

I have started to find pleasure in seeing you crib in the kitchen.

Every time you yelled at me when I was a little kid for every little thing, it broke my heart a little, every time. I hid in the kitchen and cried. And then I hugged my pillow tight at night and cried myself to sleep. My age was a single-digit number then.

I would have learned from my mistakes if at night you didn’t tell me that you yell at me out of love. You taught me to confuse your anger with love and kindness.

Every time you stopped me from going out and meeting my friends, I hid how sad that made me, and unsolicitedly wiped that tear.

I didn’t want you to know that that hurt. I didn’t want you to see that I was upset, instead I convinced myself, that staying in was fun.

Today, 10 years later, I hide and wipe another tear, when you ask me why I don’t ever go out. Why I always stay in my room and never like to talk.

For every time you tried to silence me. For every time, I was punished for speaking out of line, you taught me to not talk at all.

To never speak my mind. To never share.

Today, I confuse anger with love. I don’t mind when a man yells at me. I didn’t fight that for a very long time, because it took me so long to understand that there was something wrong about that.

I find it amusing when people want to hear me out. When they listen to me, willingly, and encourage me to speak more.

You questioned and shunned everything.

Why I stood in front of the TV, why I sat and liked to read, Why I liked dolls, why I didn’t like pink. Why I liked parents but just not mine. Why I cried at movies, why I had stopped talking at home.

Why I am so distant even when we’re under the same roof.

I keep books open on my chest, clutching the story, trying to escape the one I’m living in.

I fall on my bed at night, as if I’m shot by hunters. I don’t need to clutch the pillow or cry myself to sleep anymore. I now find myself looking for ways to never run to my past and to run past you. I don’t empathise with your problems, I think you deserve them. For all the pain you’ve inflicted on me, that has turned me into a self-doubting adult whose eyes never smile along with her lips.

I learnt what a good man is like, by seeing all the bad things in men. Subtracting negatives is how I know of the positives.

This story has been like that one last cigarette left in a pack that I am forced to share. I know we all  live with ghosts. I realise some of them don’t haunt us violently.

Some stay back in silence. Just to remind us that we never talk about what is real. We talk about what sells and we hide what hurts in the deepest corners of our hearts.

The kind of bullshit we talk about, deaf people would consider themselves lucky.

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