I have been told that anticipation is generally a good thing. Waiting for a gift, waiting for a day. A holiday round the corner, a cup of cocoa at the end of the day- it’s all very uplifting to think about. Except that I tend to associate those butterflies in my stomach with an entirely different set of things.
Like waiting for results, and the inevitable blow up that would follow every single report card. Like exams, because no matter how well I wrote it, I could never walk away feeling anything but defeat, because I knew the said report card disaster would inevitably follow. In my house, getting anything below 90% was unacceptable, and open to being a punishable offense. That was anticipation.

Anticipation was waiting for dad to get home, when he called before his flight home and said, “you wait till you see what I’m going to do you. It’s time you learnt your lesson.” And I would had no idea what the ‘lesson’ was going to be this time, and me and mom would spend half a day watching the clock and going to pieces imagining what he was going to do this time. And sometimes when he came, his mood would have cooled down on his own, but we would be reduced to nervous wrecks already.

Anticipation was the times when he would backhand me out of nowhere. There would always be this silence. Funnily enough the face dad makes while hitting me is absolutely imprinted in my mind, lips curled and jaw clenched. Sometimes when he laughs I can’t help but think how he looks so much the same when his beast mode is on.

Anticipation is the time I had to go the dentist with half a swollen face and pretend that I’d fallen onto my face and that had loosened my tooth. Surprisingly enough, the well placed blow had actually knocked my impacted molar loose, something I didn’t even know about. It was practically an extraction, albeit without anesthesia, lol.

Anticipation was waiting for him in my room the day he locked me in and went out to but another belt because the one he had actually broke, and his other belt had metal studs in it. Anticipation was staying hungry for two days, trying to figure out how to eat again, because my dog hadn’t finished the sandwich twelve year old me had given her. And when I got back from school, the sandwich my dog had taken a bite out of was sitting on the dining table, so that I would finish it and ‘learn’ my lesson about wasting food. I did, eventually. The lesson about how much of a monster he is. I think that’s one lesson I’ve been learning all my life.

Anticipation is that. That and flinching every time dad walks by too close. It’s about putting shoes away and wincing because you know exactly what they feel like bashed against your face. Anticipation is having nothing to look forward to, except the same bomb diffusal squad- like tension.

Life would suck if that was all I had to look forward to. But I don’t. I have a brand new day ahead of me every day that I wake up. I have people to love and people to be loved by. Most of all, I have myself- and I like that anticipation. I’m going to be a very happy person one day, and that’s all the butterflies of the right sort.


Cookie ❤

Through the Eyes of a Child


Sometimes I think that I’ll forget it all, and then the smallest trigger causes the floodgates of memory to open wide. Bad memories. They’re akin to magma, simmering and bubbling ominously, silently in the crevices. A hint of pressure, a fiery spark, and it all erupts. No wonder then, that it feels like there’s a crater in my mind. A void, a deep, empty, hollow void. A ready receptacle for the next flood of memories.

My first lucid memory of my father is from when I was around three years old. One of the house help had broken a glass after breakfast, and blamed me for it. Not that I had any awareness of the fact at the time, I just knew that I hadn’t done it. I was ‘brought’ to my father for judgement, for appropriate punishment. I said that I didn’t do it, and he said he’d make me confess. So I stood there in front of him, even then not a crier, and he rapped a wooden ladle across my knuckles, each time asking, “did you do it?”. And each time I’d say, “no, I didn’t”, and it would incense him even more. After a prolonged and fruitless interrogation, he decided that I needed to be taught a lesson about lying. So he shut me in the store room at the back, in the dark.

By the time dinner time came around, the maid’s guilty conscience probably got the better of her, and she went and confessed my mother. A huge hue and cry ensued and they opened the storeroom to find me sitting in a corner, wide awake and long finished crying, still in the dark. My father chose to observe that I’d probably fallen asleep in there anyway, no harm done, and everyone silently agreed. It wasn’t worth the argument, to differ.

I was never afraid of the dark ever again, not at any point in my entire life.

I grew up dreaming of various ways I would get back at my father, for everything he’d put my family through, for everything he’d put me through. One of my favorite fantasies was that I’d lock him up in a germ free isolation I’d read about in a Sidney Sheldon novel, I forget which one. One of the rich men is so germ phobic that he refuses to meet anyone without an unbreakable glass barrier in the middle. I always wanted to put my father behind one of those glass barriers, heck, in an unbreakable glass box. And then I would tell him everything I think about him, everything I’ve always want to say, without fear of the beating of my life (or that would end my life, lol). And he wouldn’t ever be able to get to me, through the unbreakable glass…

Life never gave me that opportunity. Not yet, anyway. I learnt how to die a little inside, every time he erupted. Eventually, I died so much that I could die no more, and I just existed, beyond that point. I progressed through the Five Stages of Grief that generally apply to a close person dying, every time I died. And I learnt, I kept learning.

After years of erosion, the damage is fairly significant. The fire has cooled, though. Instead of burning my hands to cinders, letting the anger eat away inside me from bottling it up so tight, each time there’s an ‘episode’, I recede into an unshakeable calm. The volatile nature of anger has long given way to the much more sluggish trickle of pure, unadulterated hate. Tolerance, and hate. I still hate him, more so every time he does what he does, what we are forced to bear. But now, I know he doesn’t know any better. He’s a mad man, he can’t control it. I understand that, and hate him just the same.

Through the eyes of a child, the world is simply love and hate. And the lessons learnt in childhood are rarely misguided. I was given my first taste of hate a long time ago. I learned it, and I remember.

And even if, in some miraculous way, i forgive?

I’ll never forget.

Dissociative Identity? Let’s try Dissective!


What do you see when you look in the mirror?



A conversation I had with a friend earlier in the day, along with the events of the past few days, had me thinking absently about perceptions. Not our perceptions of the world, not others perception of us. Rather, our perceptions of ourselves.

The question I’d put to my friend was, what part of yourself do you like best, physically? She was at a loss for an answer, and well, I didn’t have a reply either. The simple fact of the matter is, I don’t like myself at all. Never have, and by the looks of it, probably never will.



My battle with an acutely dissected self image began before I had constructed an image at all. Those of you who’ve been following the semi autobiographical side of this blog know that my childhood wasn’t exactly normal. One of my earliest and strongest unpleasant memories is of me with my dad, when I was eight or nine. That’s when our ‘sessions’ started.

Each ‘session’ would be ten to fifteen minutes of him standing me in front of the mirror, and pointing out the many ways in which I was ugly, and exactly how and why I was so ugly. How my nose was potato shaped, unlike his straight one.My face was too round. My cheeks were too chubby, I was too fat, too dark, too short.. basically too strange, not like him at all. The odd thing is that people tell me even now that I look like him on occasion, I mean obviously I do, he’s my dad. But he denied and denies it, vehemently.

These sessions started off sporadically, reserved for when he caught me alone. Eventually they became a near daily thing when he was home, extending well into my teens, and they happen now too. He’s always been painstakingly descriptive of everything wrong with me. I’m shaped like a hippo, especially from behind. Round, fat, dark, squat. Too many pimples and too many scars. Potholes, he calls them. I was nothing like him. Nothing like him at all. No one was ever going to look twice at me. NO one would ever love me, I was just too darn ugly. I was never going to get married, have kids, because of how I looked. If I wanted someone to fall for me, I’d better study, and study hard. A fat paycheck was going to be the only way I landed a guy. He’d modeled in his teens. A full time playboy, only working when he absolutely needed to. Girls would fall all over themselves to be with him. Write him love letters, the whole shebang. I was nothing like him.



I tried to change things. A lot. Crash dieted, worked out before he woke up every day. I didn’t want to be the fat, hated kid. My persecution didn’t even come from school, at school I was in peace. At home, every day with him was hell.

Then my teens happened. You know how girls are always paranoid about that guy checking them out, whether that other guy likes them or not?Yeah well, that was never me. Firstly because I always had more pressing situations to deal with. Secondly, because he made sure no one would ever, ever look at me twice without sniggering.

I was force fed every day. Piles and piles of food, sometimes till I almost threw up. I’m not blaming my obesity on my dad. I love my food. I love cooking and eating good food. But my relationship with food was incredibly convoluted. I’d be fed cheese and chocolates with everything. And that’s the most unobtrusive sight of all, isn’t it? Nothing wrong with a parent wanting his child to eat more.  Not for these twisted reasons, though. I was barely out of my teens. Love, relationships, dating, these were alien concepts. He wanted to make sure I would never find out. He was terrified that someone might actually look twice at me. So he made sure that I ate, and ate, and ate. He still makes me clean my plate.


And then, inspite of all this, inspite of how I looked, someone fell for me. For the first time I had someone to please, and I did everything in my power to do so. His sister asked him if he was still talking to ‘that short fat dark girl’.  He asked me to lose weight. First quietly, then with emphasis. I turned to bulimia.

I started with binge and purge cycles.  Ate with dad, went into the bathroom and puked it out. Lost weight, and for the second time in my life I came down to my appropriate body weight. Dad noticed, and upped the feeding. I puked more frequently, sometimes just water to ‘rinse’ everything out. This went on till I started getting my old arrhythmia back, and I read up on congestive heart failure and oesophageal varices. I stopped puking quickly, and the weight crept back on. I’m fat again now, but I’m bulimia free.



Even outside home, I’ve always been perceived a little different, physically. (Mentally, I’m a nutjob, but a happy nutjob, so it’s all good). I remember back in my first semester in college, there was this one guy who could not place where I was from exactly. I gave him a new nationality each week. American, native american, mexican, indonesian, malaysian, korean, egyptian, vietnamese, armenian, persian, and more. Each time he’d say,” HA! I knew it!!!” And he’d believe it too. Till date I get asked in every exam, ‘so where are you from?’. There was even this long lost neighbor who told my friend when he saw me after 10 years, that I looked nothing like the fat Chinese kid I used to be. Obviously, none of this helped. Not with you-know-who steadily doing his chipping away at me. It’s not even been too long since the last session. Just last night I ate two boxes of shrimp followed by a big glass of sludgy mango shake. ( it takes generally half a box to get me full. The rest is just.. forced in).


It’s not all bad. I know I have a beautiful mind. I love it when people love the words I hide behind. I know I’m loved by a lot of people, people who’ve never seen me. That heartens me, that gives me strength. I’m not perceived as a monster. I’m not an oddity to a lot of people. And some of them, who know exactly who they are, can tell me I’m beautiful, and I almost believe them. I know they love me so much that I’d be beautiful to them even if I looked like an orc.  Through their eyes, I will never be perceived as ugly.


While I try not to believe any of the comments anymore, more than a decade of ingraining will take its toll even on a concrete block. Today, I find myself in the weird position of being completely incapable of taking a compliment about how I look. Never. It just never makes an impact. You could yell at me till you’re blue in the face and it just bounces clean off. I get a lot of them, people tell me the oddest things. About my eyes, about my smile. Heck, even my eyelashes. It never makes any impact whatsoever, except from that handful I’d trust to walk me blind on the edge of a cliff.  I don’t believe it, I can’t believe it. The me in my head still has a potato nose. She’s still the girl shaped like a hippo, the one who was affectionately nicknamed  my ‘Buffalo’  at home. I’m still short, fat, weird. I’l dress up and walk out of the house and it hits me, how I look nothing like the girls my age. I’ve tried to accept that I’m never going to be a stick. My guy friends have convinced me often enough that no one likes the sticks anyway. It doesn’t work. I don’t want to even be a stick anymore. Just.. not me.  I look in the mirror and some days, I want to fucking break the damn thing.  I hate how I look.


But now, I claim a right over my perception of me. Even if I am ugly, that’s only right for me to say. No one else has the right to tell me that I’m ugly.  No one. Ever.



Does It Matter At All?


Does It Matter At All?

Does it matter, any of this,
Does anything matter at all?
Am I to stand here, thus chained
And look on as the sky falls?
Watch every seeping ochre road
Watch the venom flowing free,
Everything that hurt me once
Now hurting those around me?

Trapped and struggling in midair
As the necromancer calls
One by one, the empty bodies
Dancing like pitiful dolls
Here a bruise and there a crack
Thunder and lightening, and pain
There is no magic in this
There is no light in blood stains

And I’ve seen this all before,
I remember every step
It was branded into my being
In my heart that hurt is kept
Yet again my curse repeats
It plays out in front of me
A nightmare anniversary
Heard in loud, shrill cacophony

Wails and tears, everything here
Pulling me and mine so deep
Into its malevolence
Off a jagged cliff so steep
And I am ragged again
Old cuts opening in thrall
And I cry in keening screams
God, does it matter at all?

© CM

Going through a nightmare.. It’s not so bad, when you kick and bite and fight, and drag yourself to the other side.

But when you turn back, and you see the people you love, more than yourself even.. You watch them suffer like you did.. Look for answers in all the places and things you tried.. When you see them go through all that… God it hurts so bad.

It’s been a terrible day, and I’m just going to sleep now.. Hopefully I’ll wake up with the strength to deal with more of the same…

Love and strength to you all as well.. I hope those of you who need it as bad as I do, find it…

Cookie ❤

The Girl in the Dark


Anyone could see that she was exhausted.

She was lying there, crumpled in a corner, in the dark. Her legs were tightly crossed, over the ankles and tucked under her, to the side. When she moved, even slightly, you could see the traces of a fine tremor in the movement. Her arms were wrapped around her, almost as if holding herself together. She’d buried her face against the wall. With her eyes half open and her hair falling freely around her, she looked nothing more than a statue, even if one carved from living stone.

And stone she was, down to flecks of granite for eyes. Her fixed stare, betraying life for  a moment, would flicker up and around the dark, illuminated in the stray light coming from the gaps in the curtain. They were as lifeless as she was – pupils fixed, dilated and empty, the perfect camouflage in an empty room. Anyone could see that she was empty.

There was nothing outwardly obvious that showed her thoughts, but by some unnamed mechanism, they were in the air, almost tangible. The droop in her shoulders, the huddled posture, the evident lack of strength enough for the slightest effort… It was obvious that she was almost gone. There was nothing left here. She was utterly spent, drained and depleted, after so many times, over and over again…  Anyone could see that she was broken. Silvery scars running tracing aimless paths across her wrists, her arms, showed that she’d been cracked many times, and each time, the fissures had healed incompletely, like a smashed porcelain doll, carelessly glued together..

And she was, too. Beyond repair, it would seem. The futile watering of the wall with tears would not grow her any fortitude, would not bear her any fruit. The odd tear still trickled down from where she leaned her head. You’d think that those stone eyes would have run dry by now, but then tears are a funny thing. There’s always opportunity and capability for one more. The silver lining is that when  you’re almost gone, you don’t have to worry about tears anymore. And anyone could see that she was almost gone.

But not yet.

Not just yet.

Father Figure


Father Figure



You were meant to be a man
The sheltering canopy, shade,
Keep the bitter sun away, and
Meant to hold me, when scared

He who clasps my tiny hand
Pats my head, or tweaks my nose,
Meant to be, a father figure,
Watch over me as time goes

And instead you crushed the rose
Snipped the bud and snapped the stem,
Barred the gates for laughs to flow,
Broke the star of Bethlehem

Made the world a bleaker place
Painted, doused in grays and black
And if a hint of light showed,
Bolted the barred curtain back.

And I saw me through your eyes
Twisted, ugly and malformed
Let you demolish my being
And in that inferno, I formed

It was you who sowed the seed
That grew thorns, but all for you
In the furling, blooming years,
Threw the buds and kept it cruel

So you sowed and so you reap,
I am built of brambles, pain,
I run through with poison, hate,
All your loss is what you gained

All for you, my father figure,
Undeserved of eulogy
From you was my black current
That will be your elegy

I bury you in the shadow
In the lost, never began
Write you in a dead language,
Scripted in forgotten hands..

All the sneers, the mocking spite
All the torture that befell
I will watch it pull you down
Through the accursed gates of Hell.

And for that, my tale to tell,
Ends in hope, of coming peace
Kept trapped in a hollow shell,
I will fly to blessed release.





To everyone who’s still in an abusive situation, you will get out. To everyone who’s made it to the other side.. You’re a survivor. There is no one stronger than you.

Domestic abuse is yet another form of bullying. Except that this time, it doesn’t come from a random stranger who stuffs you in your locker for your lunch money. Or that girl who makes you do her homework. No, when it happens at home, it hurts just that much more.. Because these are the people who are supposed to love you, aren’t they?

And yet this happens. People incapable of loving themselves don’t find it in them to raise their children with love. And the cycle perpetuates.

It doesn’t have to, though. There’s only so long that someone can subdue or oppress you. Either you or someone who loves you, will find the escape route… While the culprit remains trapped in the empty rooms of their mind, where they find that the person they hated and wanted to drive away, was really themselves. And if you hang on with tenacity born of survival, you’ll find that way. Keep fighting. Fight for yourself. For your heart, for your sanity, for you own life and you.

Because you will get out. You will make it to the other side. You’ll live and laugh and love. No matter what happens. You’ll be free.

And you will survive.



Love and light,

Cookie ❤