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Tag Archives: depression

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I will leave it up to you to decide whether or not this particular room contained only myself and the teacher who spoke these particularly warming words to me, indeed, at a moment I was desperate for any shadow of confidence in preparation for both exams and the rest of my life!

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These words have haunted me for perhaps too long now, but are only painful when I think of the 18 year old me who did not make the nicest of acquaintances nor meet with the most fortunate of situations.  Yet, I have chosen these words because they annihilated all my denials, for indeed I wasn’t the person who I wanted to be, or felt like I was.

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It was my first month at university and I was still very much a tiny fish in a rather large, foreign and sticky pool. Soon my homesickness was to spread into actual sickness and never had I felt so alone. Yet, a recently made friend offered to make me soup and it remains as one of the kindest gestures anyone has done for me, at a time when I didn’t think I had anyone  close enough to even sneeze on.

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It was nighttime in York when a stranger walked passed me and declared me ‘stunning’. Although I don’t doubt the darkness compromised his judgement, it wasn’t something I had ever been told quite so earnestly and it made me happy enough to remember it still.

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My class had just finished when the teacher told me to stay behind. She sat in the chair opposite me and whilst I was surveying all the possible reasons I might be in due of a telling off she began what I remember as the words above.I can only think she could tell that I was quite unhappy and though she was under no obligation, she took her time to tell me some exquisite words of encouragement and simultaneously allowed me to believe I wasn’t alone.

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The primary school I went to, when I was 8 years old,  used ‘privilege cards’ as a way of awarding good behaviour. If a child did something nice they would receive a signature on their card and depending on how many signatures you had at the end of the term you could watch a film. One particular term I had all but one signature required for this exclusive prize and my teacher at the time found out, most likely by my mother who also worked at the school and knew of my shortcomings and desperation to join the other children in the hall. My teacher took me out of class one morning and told me to open the door for him. I was quite perplexed at this peculiar request but did so, nonetheless. It was to my happy surprise that opening this door for the teacher, despite how he had no intention of leaving the building, enabled me to receive my crucial signature! Another beautifully sweet gesture that still makes me smile.

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These words made me realise that it’s okay not to enjoy the best experiences of your life. It was during my trek in Iceland, each day the porridge become more repulsive that the last and I’m quite sure I’d never been so entirely exhausted. The early mornings and long days were painful and I found myself hating more of it than I thought I should. That was until a fellow trekker said these words. I wasn’t alone and it is mostly certainly an accurate statement, if ever there was one!

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Onder Meer (Among others)

There’s a patch of burnt grass,
Still blackened by the sausage rolls
We set alight when we were
Fourteen years old.
By the Beck, our prepubescent
Hand holding professed  a love
Now lost.  But still I hold
Onto the memories like a tree
Clings to its leaves-
-They twist
And fade
And somehow fall
Away.

I hear our laughter
When I see the burnt patch,
But I cannot place our faces
And I cannot taste  the  ash.

I am  a  world of many worlds,
And though I am no longer
A fourteen year old girl,
I am the smoke – the embers- of
All I have ever known.

This poem was written for a friend who’s putting together an anthology based on the significance of one’s home.

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The  single-sided handkerchief,
damp and crisp.
Folding,
against the white
of my skin,
and think- just think-
of bliss.

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Cry me a pigeon
And spread your filthy wings.
I heard the others whispering
When the proud dove sings.
Oh, in the sky,
What a sight!
When the filthy birds shadow
Twelve arrows of white.

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If I am to love only once,
Let it be with you-
For the Sun shines out your ass
And from your mouth- the moon.

I’ll call you a Summer’s day
And you will call me a silly cunt,
Waking in a puddle of your drool
With a glare, a middle finger, a grunt-

In bed with our socks on,
Stroking the hairs on our legs
Like stray animals on our sheets-

I am to love only once.

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It was sixty seven days later at three o’clock in the month of January when I met my father for the first time. I remember the knock and my mother shooting to the front door with an explosion of rehearsed cheer. Then I wandered through. The man from the letters looked down at me with his unfamiliar eyes. He was not as tall as I imagined. In the scenarios performed in my head, my father would run to hug me before lifting me to the ceiling as though I was everything he had ever wanted to hold. But when I came into view he stood still and lifeless like a hanging cow at the butchers. There was an unadulterated silence as I waited for him to do something. My mum intervened, cooing me over in such delight to mask the awkward encounter. Eventually he patted me on the back with a noticeable hesitation. I went along with it until bedtime.

The last time I had heard my mother scream was when she gave birth. But this was a different scream. I heard it from my bedroom and then I heard it again. The night was entirely dark still, a coldness wrought the air. My chest started to pound as I feared what might be causing my mother to wail. I trembled across the hall, her desk lamp bled a dim light beneath her bedroom door. In my childish bravery I pushed at the handle. Four wide eyes greeted me with terror. What I saw devoured anything child-like that was still within me at seven years old. The man I was told to call father had enveloped my mother’s naked body that was stark red with
tender beatings. He was clasping her waist with his determined fists and clutching at her skin. Tears stained my mother’s cheeks as she was contorted beneath my father’s lurching body. The man stood still and my mother screamed at me to leave. I didn’t know at the time what it was he was doing to my mother. What he was taking from her. I yelled him to get off her but he just threw my mother to the ground before pushing me back through the door. I screamed and whimpered but the light in her room did not go out and neither did her cries. They have never gone out.

On the day I pushed my sister I stood at the cliff’s edge and glanced down at her body. It was still. In my mind I felt relief. There was nothing this world could do to her anymore.

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In my dreams we kiss and  love
And in my nightmares
I wake up.

In my thoughts you’re  close and near
But beside  my aching  flesh
You are not here.

Will there be a day when
This torment ends
In my whimpering soul,
Or am I  now
But half of a whole?

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This is just a silly lovesick poem along with the product of my attending life-drawing classes!



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