I opened my history textbook and saw a divided past. I saw death by colour. I saw privilege by whiteness. Not just in individuals, not just in communities but in institutions. In the holders of the power to decide what is right and what is wrong – who is right and who is wrong. In the implementers of safety and punishers of violation. In the law makers and law takers. Justice was not colour-blind. She was ruling in full colour. I wrote essays on the emancipation. I wrote essays on desegregation. I wrote essays on the success of the freedom fighters, the moves of presidents and school children. I wrote essays on what had been and I closed my textbook. I closed the pages of history and looked out the window to the streets. The history book was not closed afterall.
Milo rubbed his eyes desperately, as if trying to erase the vision. Nightmares seem harrowingly authentic when they are based on your own reality. Momma said that he had witnessed what no human should witness, certainly not an innocent boy, and that’s why his mind plagued him so morbidly. His short breaths became deeper and a familiar comforting sound dismissed the echo of screaming. As if attentive to Milo’s distress, the swallow was singing a soothing tune from his usual resting tree, drawing Milo to the window.
This poem was written a few months before my 20th birthday. At the time I was trapped in an abusive relationship, depressed and suicidal. Ironically, around this time I wrote my toxic boyfriend a loving poem for our anniversary.
Therapy and counselling can be life-changing. (There is a difference between the two: in basic terms therapy is a more focused, goal-based treatment while counselling is more of a discussion.) However, it isn't easy. You can be left on waiting lists for free sessions for ages and not everyone can afford to go private. When you do receive treatment, it’s not a quick fix. You don't walk into the therapist's room one person and walk out after the first session another. You have to put effort into working out your mind. With this being said the advice from a therapist or counsellor can be invaluable.
It's been over a year since I left an abusive relationship I was in for about 15 months. It doesn't seem to be a long time to be in a relationship but it really messed with my head. A year seems like more than enough time for recovery but I am still struggling. Just like our perception of domestic abuse can be lacking, our perception of the recovery from an abusive situation can be lacking too.
You've graduated from your writing related degree, now what?
Graduate jobs: Cancelled.
Work experience: Cancelled.