Shifting plates

Swaying with the autumn wind,

Swept about with every gust

Never landing, never settling

So far from her branch

Broken off and now

 

Drifting along with the torrential tides

Wave upon wave of uncertainty

Ripples of opinions

So far from the pebbly beach

Withdrawing after each crash

 

Each crush

Falling past the edge of cliffs

Down the rabbit hole

Through the clouds

 

Two feet always on shifting plates.

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Escapade 22/4

I dreamt of war.

There was panic in the air but still children milled about. A small Malaysian town, old-school with one story houses, sandy roads, motorcycles everywhere.

I didn’t realise that guns were coming into play, even after everyone started screaming and running. Crossing the street, palm stretched out to say thanks for giving way. To a guy with a rifle. He shoots towards me and then I begin to run, straight for the line of houses, seeking sanctuary.

Everyone who shoots aims not to kill but for close shaves, at least in my case.

A lady takes us little ones in, brings us to the backyard and has us hiding under a blanketed table. We’re found of course; a soldier comes in through the back car-gate, talks a little, rifle held at the ready. It seemed okay still.

A young man appears and I’m his daughter, the soldiers seem to want him alive and well. He says he would go with them provided his daughters were to stay safe. The smiling officer says, “of course.” My dad takes me and we get into the car. Almost immediately after we hear gun shots. The benefactress and the other little girl shot. His face is blank but his eyes reveal shock and disbelief, or was it regret at his naivety. The whole way there, I crouch in the narrow backseat behind the passenger seat, keeping myself out of range for any soldiers aiming at my head.

Outside, a mass of panic and destruction as soldiers yell, shoot and barge into houses, screams and cries are heard constantly before silence begins to take over. I don’t cry but the fear, oh the fear. I remember thinking it was like Cambodia.

We’re in a seating room and everyone there is getting a job assignment as a taxi driver. My dad, the actual taxi driver, doesn’t get one. The impulsive hotheaded child that I am, I take the application forms; nope, my dad’s name isn’t anywhere on these. Thankfully the woman in charge thinks I’m helping to distribute, and so I begin. One of the men there was from the start of the dream, fearlessly (or stupidly) challenging the soldiers. Even now he says he’s not afraid. What a fool. But he says to me, with a distant look, that this reminds him of Sweden. I mention that it reminds me of Cambodia. We stay quiet in solidarity.

I’m in the toilet, my father tells me not to come out no matter what. The same bedroom as my parents in real life, just slightly bigger. All of us staying in it. 7-8 or us. It gets very quiet outside the bathroom, and finally I come out and climb atop my father, he’s smiling. They trust him and allow him to live, for what reason I’m not sure. But I know everyone else is dead.

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Fate

Strange thing, fate.

To some, it might be landing that dream job through lending a kind hand to a stranger.
To others, finding a $100 bill on the floor right as they’ve used their last dollar on bills.

Often, it’s magical and like a fairytale. Unbelievable until it happens to you, then you feel the universe aligning just for you.

For me, fate came through for me through a series of events. A long series of friendships, romance, relationships, casual dates, explorations, and self-discovery. With that self-love and acceptance came courage, trust and a willingness to try.

Despite the occasional segue here and there such as hanging out with the wrong guy over 8 months, an uncertain job situation, and a gross undervaluing of the type of love and respect I deserve, the right guy and I are finally stepping in tandem.

I could probably attribute this confusing medley to my blatant disregard of my emotions. After counselling and some medication, it became a habit for me to take my emotions as a lie, to be an exploding whirlpool of obsession and self-sabotage. But when you are unable to bring yourself to end things with someone cause it’s too painful, and you find yourself bawling with pain as you hear him cry, when you would rather pick him than the one who’d been around for 8 months and instead start to work on how to end things with your past (although circumstances, or FATE, allowed for him to leave my present instead), it’s time to accept fate’s hand in your future happiness.

If you find a man who steps into your life and has been nothing but loving, caring, encouraging and excited to learn about, talk to and be with you from day 1, and even as you were almost breaking up, still wanted the best for you, you shouldn’t walk away out of unfounded fears.

But back to Fate.

The main thing is that if you have a blog that barely anyone knows of, and this guy you met on reddit through a Very specific sub-reddit group was actually a loyal reader since 2013, it’s time to stop worrying and fearing, and just accept that you deserve love and someone like him in your life.

You deserve to be with someone who loves you, who makes you happy, and know that you can keep being happy. There’s no need for self-sabotage. Just accept Fate’s hand in your life and go with it, enjoy it and be the best you can be with this man.

 

TLDR; met someone amazing, he turned out to be a reader of my blog since years ago, and I’m so happy I’m no longer with the wrong person, but am instead with someone who actively chose me and fell for me and my written word from years ago.

 

That’s just so beautiful, don’t you think?

Feeling so incredibly honoured to be blessed by Fate’s rare hand.

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In-between love and _____

Softly
En Pointe
Through eggshells,
Glass fragments
Shattered mirror shards.

Quietly pushing
Confrontation
Needle-point in cracks
Faint hairlines engorged

Crackles, thunderous
Silent treatments
Deafening distance
Tormenting anxiety

Haunted mansions in the air,
Pull and push in limbo,
They lived uncommunicative ever after.

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On being a perpetrator of sexual coercement

There are many times where I have been on the receiving end of sexual assault. Ranging from photos blatantly taken of me on public transport, being groped, being coerced into sex my first time, and even being raped, the list goes on almost as far as the blanket of sexual assault covers. Some of these instances are foggy, glazed over with justifications or self-blame; others are crystal clear and a triggering, fearful reminder of what was inflicted upon me.

But I have also been a perpetrator of sexual assault myself.

Back when my ex and I were still friends with benefits, each visit to his house had but one purpose. On 2 occasions, I convinced him to have sex with me even though he wasn’t into it. I still recall the first time, I rubbed his chest and said please, please, kissing him on the neck and cheek, even after he said he didn’t want to. Eventually he sighed and said okay. The second time was Valentine’s day; he was sick so I brought over soup. Again I asked him to sleep with me though he said he wasn’t up for it cause he was feeling sick. Again, he eventually sighed and said okay.

As with every sexual assault, there are 2 sides of the story: That of the Victim’s, and that of the Perpetrator’s.

How I saw it was that I wanted to sleep with him, that our arrangement revolved around sex anyways, and that my behaviour of pleading till he said yes was necessary. I don’t fully understand my behaviour then. To me, he was not the most emotionally available person, I really wanted him, and the answer was to keep asking until he said yes.

To him, I raped him.

This came from him months later when we progressed into an actual relationship, when he told me he talked to his therapist and she told him that I had raped him.

I was in shock at that revelation. I went to my best friend immediately and she reassured me that it wasn’t, that there’s no way I raped him, and he was just talking crap.

The fact of the matter was that I sexually coerced him. I convinced him to sleep with me even though he didn’t want to, and both verbally and non-verbally showed his disinterest.

Now, sexual coercion, sexual assault and rape are often misconstrued as one and the same.

Sexual coercion: the act of using subtle pressure, drugs, alcohol, or force to have sexual contact with someone against their will.

Sexual assault: a form of sexual violence which includes rape (forced vaginal, anal or oral penetration or drug facilitated sexual assault), groping, child sexual abuse, or the torture of the person in a sexual manner. 

Rape: a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent.

I believe I didn’t rape him but I sexually coerced him into sex on 2 occasions. He believes I raped him, as per what his therapist told him. The difference between the two labels, situation, and perception are different. That’s why there’s always 2 sides to the story. One thing is for sure: I know and feel like the guilty party here. I will try to justify that this relationship itself was unhealthy and I’ve received a fair share of emotional and psychological manipulation, but in the very clear situation of sexual coercion, I am guilty.
Let me segue a bit, but I promise this ties back. This has been such an amazing time of #MeToo, where men in powerful positions who have sexually harassed, controlled and manipulated women are being called out, thrown into the harsh spotlight and are finally facing the music. Women who for decades have been quietly accepting such tyrannical, abusive behaviour towards them are finally being heard.

And then a case like the sexual assault allegations against Aziz Ansari appear. I’m sure some of you have already read enough articles to understand the situation. Though Aziz may not be a Harvey Weinstein, the way he behaved still perpetuates the issue with consent in our society. It also emphasises how gray the area of sexual assault is, not just in terms of the law, but primarily in our everyday lives, culture, and experiences. Men and women alike are constantly finding themselves on “bad dates”, with primarily men who push incessantly for sex, and leave the recipient traumatised or bitterly adding another bad date story into the books.

(This is where it ties back to my experience)
I never thought that I would be relating to both “Grace”, the woman he sexually assaulted, and Aziz Ansari himself.

 

As I said at the start, I have been the subject of such behaviours for years now. In some cases, I’ve cried. In others, I’ve repressed the memory. For some, I’ve taken to blaming myself for drinking too much, trusting men too easily, being too slutty (and on and on the list goes). Yet am I allowed to be a victim, when I myself was a perpetrator?

Every conversation that revolves around #MeToo and #TimesUp focuses on how women should not be blamed for such situations anymore, how we should stand in solidarity with our fellow survivors, and how it’s time for perpetrators to take responsibility for their behaviour and not be a perpetrator.

But what do you do when you’ve stood on both sides of the issue? When you’ve both coerced, and been coerced. Do your experiences as a victim hold lesser or lose all weight?

It’s so gray and complicated because sexual consent in our society is so fuzzy. There’s been more awareness of Consent as Key, with No meaning No. In Aziz’s case, he stopped when Grace said “No”, but didn’t when Grace showed non-verbal cues or said anything but the word “No.” He kept trying to bring the situation back to one of a sexual nature. Later on, when she texted him about how she was uncomfortable throughout the scenario and he might not have realised it, he apologised to her personally, and later released a statement saying he thought it was “by all indications completely consensual” but that he “took her words to heart”.

In my case, back then I thought it was fine to keep trying, because I always gave in when my previous ex kept pushing; because my first time happened even after I said No; because with all my past experiences with sex, consent was never really in the picture. I thought that was what people did in relationships/fwb arrangments/hook ups: Keep Trying till the No becomes a Yes.

It’s completely fucked up, I know this now. I no longer push or try, I am focused on it being a consensual, mutually desirable circumstance. But yet, the fact remains that I have committed sexual coercion before. The fact exists that at the back of my mind, I’m looking for a way to be redeemed for my actions.

After reading Aziz’s response to “Grace” and his released public statement, I wonder if he felt the same way I did upon realising the situation was completely different from what he thought it was: Consensual.

The question now is… What do I do? What do all these men who have finally been outed as sexual predators and rapists do? What can we (if I can even be considered as part of the victims of sexual assault) do now to make sure these situations stop happening? What do I do as having been both a victim and a perpetrator?

This piece has no real answer; I’m stuck in limbo. Horrifying, self-aware, conflicted and paralysing limbo.

 

Do You know what is to be done in this situation?

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Heartbreak

I’ve had many failed loves
Whether relationships that ended
Or one-sided infatuations coming to an end.

With each of their demise came the tears.

You know the kind I’m talking about:

Snot-filled
Puffy eyes
Cracked voice
maybe a little bit of drooling

But even after my first boyfriend told me he never really loved me
Or after my best friend of 8 years broke off our newly-founded romantic relations
Not one of them broke my heart as much as my mom could, and still can.

Just one single argument
(that escalates into a screaming match
paired with passive aggressive screeches of my ungratefulness
unfilial-ness
rudeness
and how undeserving I am of their love and brought up)

leaves me crying so hard I’m left
voiceless
eyes burning with tears long evaporated into salt
lungs splitting apart after heavy heavings
(perhaps even a panic attack as I hyperventilate)
muscles cramping from curling into a ball
as I try to keep my shattered heart together and make it whole again

before I come crawling into her arms
begging for her forgiveness and her love again
praying she’ll take me into her embrace
tell me she still loves me
wants me
pet my head and make all the bad feels go away

I make do with the anger in her voice
and the look of disgust on her face
as she holds me
and tells me Okay lah stop crying already!
Stupid girl, cry so hard until like that.
Who asked you to be so rude, huh?

And I cry like a baby
who just got her first bruise
relieved by a mother’s touch and presence
and cries louder simply from the ease of knowing mother’s here
that I am now safe.

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up high.

Each climb requires a descend,
but all I desire is to fly,
wasting away high up in the sky.

dripping down melancholy
as I soar through clouds

embracing false evolutionary instinct
as the wind pummels against my eyes.

Even with the agony of sleet
breathlessness
rain-soaked skin

I’d rather never land
and instead keep drifting through
these stratocumulus clouds.

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Escapade bursts

Been having more nightmares recently. The types that linger even though you’re dog tired daily and forget important details of your everyday waking life regularly.

1) He was raping girls, 2 of which were literally doll sized. 1 was a young adult. They started spilling vomit from their vaginas after he was finished and we went down on them. The older lady tried to push him away, shocked and repulsed but he pushed on. She eventually gave in and engaged in the fellatio as well.

2) I will update this when I remember. A little woozy right now

3) I have been telling myself that I deserve to be treated wonderfully by my future partner. Went to bed with drowsy fever medicine during the afternoon.

I told my friend that I deserve to be treated well. He leaned over, hand on the back of my neck to pull me in to kiss me. I pushed him away. He told me, “For someone who has so many criterias, you should have lower standards.”

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Tactile Surreality.

Passing gradients and swirl dream dyes.

bumps, crackle, white-red sparks
chest expanding lifts,
tippity-top of the brain
rolling eyes.

oxygen widening the tubes
seeping into nubs
tinkling jerks and winces
clench

Smooth rippling tides by gentle lilies.

Self obsession a cure
for redirection
and healthy minds
healthy hearts
healthy lives.

Ease, a belief of connected souls.

snap, crunch, crackle, brittle
seeping, crystals, thick
soft, compact, tough
tender, hurried, curious.

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Loneliness

What is this 

Running alcohol

Of emptiness 

In between my lungs and at the centre of my lower spine.

Coldness appears like the chill unexpected at 4am after a night of tossing in humid Asia.

Mental tears forming and pooling

Empty eyes.

Fear, burrowing, curling. 

Slightest needles of agonising icy spears jabbing incessantly behind and above the breasts

Breathing getting tougher as nostrils seem to tighten and air gets sweeter.

Shrapnel sweetness of air, loneliness pains, clenched muscles in the calves and butt.
Loneliness beyond romantic and platonic friends and partners.

Loneliness in this universe, always expanding never ceasing to stop or slow down and each connection growing steadily further.
God is infinite. Is there and mind proportionate stretch of me between Him as the universe speeds on by?

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