This time I am saying NO

When I was little

I asked my mother

What will I be

She said pretty but discreet

 

When I told my mom

I had a boyfriend

She was just relieved

rape was not the story

 

When he held my shoulder

and turned me around

I was just thankful

That he did not hit me

 

When I was little

I asked my mother

What will I be

She said pretty like fairies

But be careful on taxies

If I am ever on one

Call someone,

so they know about my whereabouts

Or pretend to cough like I am sick

So he won’t lay a finger on me

 

When I was in junior high

My mom educated me to dress ugly

Pretty girls get into troubles

She said,

I know that from experience,

Listen to your mother

 

When I walked through the basketball team

In high school

I felt like I had to shrink

Because the way they looked at me

Unanimously

Worried about what they may do to me

 

When I walked alone on the dark lonely streets

I am always afraid,

Of the shadow behind me

Wondering if that shadow belongs to me

Or another man

 

When I am safely home from a party

I need to text my friends

to inform them about my safety

It never occurred to me

That my male friends don’t have to do the same

 

When I am alone with a strange man in the elevator

I worry from the top floor to the lobby

If he would take advantage of me

 

When a boy in elementary school

Wrote a letter to me

Which says “I hope you get raped soon”

I did not say a thing.

 

When my best friend in high school

Pulled his girlfriend’s hair

And forced her to go down on him

I did not say a thing

 

When he caught my arm on the street

And asked if we can be friends

I said no

He asked why

so I said okay

because I’d rather block him silently

Then making a scene

That time

I did not say a thing

 

When a guy at brass monkey groped me

I did not say a thing

When he threw things at me

Just because he was angry at something

I did not say a thing

When I am wearing a mini dress

And he thinks he has the right to touch me

As if I was asking for it

I did not say a thing

 

When this is the third time in this month

That three women were dismembered by different men

For saying no

 

This time

I am not staying silent anymore

 

This time

I am saying no

 

For the three women that died from brutal hands

I say no

To this society that favors man

I say no

To this world that men feel safe walking

alone and women don’t

I say no

 

Women,

We have the right to say no

without being punished.

No more violence

No more rape

No more death and cruel murder case.

 

Men,

when you witness a woman saying no

respect her

 

that is the only thing you need to do

respect a woman

when she says no

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Letter to The 10 Years Ago Me

Dear me,

 

When your brother told you

Being chubby will greatly affect your popularity

His words, you should not believe.

 

Please, don’t eat half an apple a day

don’t exercise 5 hours a day

Just so you can feel pretty

You are beautiful, trust me, I know

You don’t have to be skinny to feel pretty

Or only feel happy when you’re hungry

You are one and only

 

Go out and eat

Go have fun with your mates

You’re just a kid

Stop counting the calories

I know it’s hard

When everyone believes in the same thing

The skinnier the better

 

But skinny girls bleed

And their wounds will never leave

Eating disorder is something you will later see

 

Don’t drink that whiskey

It is the beginning of your travesty

Don’t drink that whiskey

Just because he dared you to

Don’t drink that whiskey

Because you will soon drown in it

Cannot live without it

Cannot feel safe without it

Cannot exist without it

 

Don’t drink that whiskey

It will make you consider suicide

Don’t drink that whiskey

Because you have depression

And you just don’t know that yet

Depression and whiskey are not the combination

To fix your frustration

Don’t drink that whiskey

Because I know deeply you love yourself

 

When he forced you to touch him

Say no

when he said you’re too old to be this timid

say no

when he asked you to stay the night

say no

because if you don’t

it would be the second time you die

soul stolen

by the devil you love

heart broken

because he loves himself more than he loves you

and you do too

 

when you tried to jump out of the window

please don’t

when you tried to cut yourself

please don’t

when you swallowed all those pills

please don’t

 

I know it’s hard

I know how you feel

I have been there

I know

 

For now, the future is unknown

For now, the future is hollow

But please know

You will live over 21 years old

I know it’s hard to imagine

A life span that long

When suicide is the only thing you can think about

But that day will come

And on that day

You will not believe

how strong you have been

how you saved yourself

how you picked yourself up from the ground

how you stood tall when all you could think about

was how many times you have died

 

a few years after that

you will find love

love is not a man

love is in the mirror

love is the people you have touched

love is something you will one day know

 

a few years after that

you will still have depression

you will still feel like drowning

but this time you won’t be alone

this time

you are not just depression any more

this time

you will fly

high and away

with the people you find beautiful

 

trust me when I say

this day will come

trust me

I have been there

I know

 

sincerely,

me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A W.A.R.M. Poem

Warm,

When you feel cold inside

Lonely and blinded

Lost in this tunnel without any light

We will share our warmth with you

Let you know we are all the same

On this stage we call life

 

Suffering too

But we will hold your hands

And we will march together

In this tunnel without any light

 

I promise you

One day you will see

The meaning behind our destiny

One day,

it will all makes sense to you

one day,

you will feel the warmth surrounding you

like it always has been

 

Anonymous

Our pain is anonymous

Our struggle is anonymous

Our names are anonymous

Our existence is anonymous

 

But that is only for today

One day,

Our pain will transform in to the starry night

of Van gogh’s beauty

our colors

will be so vivid that it ignites fire in the heart of others

 

one day,

our struggle will be no more

our past will be known

it will no longer be anonymous

it’s name will be bravery

 

one day,

our names will be told

for we are the ones that stand straight

when our worlds are crumbling

 

for we are the ones that love

as many people as we can

along the way

 

for we

are the ones

that never stop reaching out

 

one day,

our existence will shine as the light

at the end of other people’s tunnels

our existence will leave traces of footsteps

for the lost ones to follow

and one day,

they will find their paths too

 

Reconnecting,

Side by side, we are not alone

No matter what it was like before

It will be like that no more

 

Picking up the pieces of yesterday

Together we complete

the most complicated puzzles in the world

broken pieces glued back together

joint effort

we find our lost selves

rediscovering dignity that we thought disappeared

reinforcing the strength that was hidden deep inside

 

together, we see our destiny

together, we conquer

together, we support each other

together, we build our own stories

together, we are no longer alone

 

mentally,

we see your true mentality

not the mask you wear

painted by society

 

with us, you can take your mask off safely

with us, we are connected mentally

with us, we will support you unconditionally

with us, you can be the you

that you have always meant to be

 

women anonymous reconnecting mentally,

WARM,

We are free from society’s norms

We do not need to conform anymore

We are creating our own identity

We are reclaiming control

We are the differences

we want to see

in the world

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am I Taking Back Control

Am I taking back control

by doing this

I ponder as I sit

with a bottle of sleeping pills before me

I stare at it

As I ponder if I am taking back control

By doing this

 

According to Buddhism

I chose to be reborn

If that is the truth to be told

I regret it

I regret being born

Growing up in this world

I regret it

I regret choosing to come back

to this

 

I am drained

No energy left

Did I consent to being born

Did I agree to this world

 

I was sent into a cosmic

Which is a bad mistake

Sometimes I think

I am the bad mistake

 

 

What is a mistake

Choosing life or ending it

Taking back control

because I didn’t agree to it

 

I ponder as I sit

with a bottle of sleeping pills before me

 

 

 

 

Dear Depression

Dear depression,

 

I am not your possession

You cast a shadow upon me

A shadow that follows

A shadow that swallows

all the light there is in me

 

Dear depression,

You convinced me

that I am yours to own

You are my bully

My murderer

 

Dear depression

But I am not your possession

You did not kill me

You did not take away the fire in me

 

Dear depression,

When you tell me to jump from the window

I say no

When you tell me

Existence is only hollow

I say no

When you tell me I am forever alone

I have my boyfriend’s hand to hold

And I say no

 

Dear depression,

I will not give you my submission

I am not your possession

I am not yours to own

 

Dear depression

For every tear you make me shed

I will giggle and and laugh a thousand times more

For every suicidal thought you put in me

I will think of my family

For all the energy you steal from me

I am determined

not to let you win

 

You may make me weak and stuck in bed

With the kind of exhaustion sleep can’t fix

But you can’t take away my belief

You can not deceive me

I will not drown like this

 

Dear depression,

I am not your possession

Or your puppet

 

For every reason you demand me to die

I will give you a thousand more reasons to stay alive

 

Dear depression,

I am telling you

I will not vanish without a fight

I am telling you

There are so much more for me to do

In this life

I am telling you

There are so much more I want to achieve

 

And you

Dear depression,

You sneaky thief

that steals and lies

You will not conquer me

I am not one of your shadows

I am not yours to own

 

Dear depression,

I am not yours to own.

 

 

 

There Are No Seats For Me On The MRT       

There are no seats for me on the MRT

Dark blue for the priority seats

But no seats for the blue body that carries me

 

The blue mind

The blue mind that made me consider suicide

 

Yesterday

The blue mind made me consider suicide

Today

I still managed to be alive

Barely living

Struggled but finally got out of the door

Just to go to school

 

I am barely alive

I have died a million times

resurrected just as many

 

Yet

There are no seats for me on the MRT

When I missed my meals three days in a row

When I stayed in bed and it was a world’s distance

From my bed to the door

When I stared at the ceiling in darkness three days in a row

 

Today,

I am still perishing,

But I got out of the door

and tried my best to go to school

But the dark blue priority seats

are not for the dark blue mind

is my mental health not a priority?

Is my existence not a priority?

 

The lady next to me asked if I was sick,

Because I sat on the dark blue seat with my dark blue mind

I replied “yes”

She said,

“doesn’t seem like it.

You look young and healthy”

 

Invisible,

My dark blue is invisible

My scars are invisible

 

I fight with my Illness every day

And every moment

 

Yet when I am feeling my worst

When I barely have the strength to live

When I am broken into a thousand pieces

When I am just trying to go to school

There are no seats for me on the MRT

Lost Meaning

When we do something over and over again

It loses its meaning

 

We say I love you to each other

Over and over again

And it loses its meaning

 

We kiss over and over again

And it loses its meaning

 

We talk about our days

Over and over again

And it loses its meaning

 

I breathe and breathe again

Until it loses its meaning

 

I am drowning in this ocean of lost meaning

Soaking in despondency

But you are on a safe boat

Not rocky nor defeated

 

I am drowning in this ocean of lost meaning

You reached out your hand

Attempting to pull me back

I see your eyes, shining

Like how you’ve always looked at me

Full of hope and affection

I’m afraid I can’t live up to your expectation

 

You reached out your hand

With that smile on your face

The smile a bit brisky

A bit naughty

 

You’ve gazed at me with those eyes and smiles

Since the beginning of our stories

The voices in my head is in repetition

About how one day

I’ll look at you like that

But by then you will look at me

like how I’m looking at you now

 

You ask what can be done

To get me back on the boat

And I say no to every suggestion

I guess because of self-loathing

 

I think I need to drown

After all, I have fought and lost

Perhaps in the water is where I belong

This ocean of lost meaning