Family

Day 7: A poem using the words: blue, mistrust, half, twang

What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word
family? A feeling of nostalgia, that of sunny skies and rainbows,
or that of nausea: like thunder rumbling in the pit of your stomach
or like mistrust boiling down your windpipe. No matter where we
are, who we are, family renders us weak. I see shades of sweetness
and anguish, whirling and mixing into a thing people call family.

Once again, I am in my frocks, ribbons and pink ballerinas. Once
again, I am a child. Once again I am at the mercy of my parents.
Once again, I am taught that elders are to be respected. The same
elders, who gaze at me like prey.

Family. They play your heart like a violin. Each twang teaching
you something new. You are a failure. You will never be successful.
You should marry someone soon, that’s all you are good for.
Family. They force you to live two lives: one half of you muted
by habit, the other half brought to life by the absence of it.

Those red floors and grey walls of my childhood days haunt me;
mistrust dripping from every corner. I want to go back, but the
images haunt me. My grandfather dying, my grand mom’s shadow,
my uncles’ vacant stares, my father’s cruelty. And my mother?
Her love, smothering me, choking me and cutting me deeper
than any blade. Ah, family.

You feel blue, you see red. What is family but a prism of colours
a prism of feelings, a prism or a prison? Happy memories go hand
in hand with melancholy. It is sunny and rainy, but the rainbow
is conspicuously absent. Family should come as naturally as
sleeping. But it does not. I need to close my eyes and shut the
fear out before I can picture my family.

What is this fear? The fear of being judged. The fear of being
touched where I don’t want touching. The fear of being called
a failure. The fear of feeling like an outsider because I never
really fit in. The fear that I don’t belong; never have, never will.

Whom will I turn to, but family? And so I return, day in and day
out. Bruises, not on my skin, but on my heart. Is this how families
are meant to be, or is this what people call domestic violence?

A family without love is still a family, right?

One thought on “Family

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