Wednesday, May 10, 2017

On Mania and Grief

Sometimes I feel that a manic episode robs me of my grief. Somewhere in the whirring of my thoughts, these strings of words in my head, my grief is taken away from me, it is moulded and shaped into a dysphoria of euphoric proportions. It is transformed into anger, no, anger would be an understatement, a rage, an endlessly bleeding rage. Grief has an unusual ability to still hold on, seemingly poisoning that persistent euphoria. Making sure that I, will not, under any circumstance, feel joy alongside a manic elation. 
There is no room for my grief, in the midst of hallucinations, of flying objects, of changing backdrops, of the dissolution of the familiar. The familiar surroundings and the familiar self, all become alien, unrecognizable, having much of the same anxious quality of when you meet someone new, or when you move to a new city, that anxiety as you try and swallow your surroundings, contain them within you, familiarize them with your being, and your being with them, but they resist, because grief hangs onto them. 
Grief becomes insignificant when every single emotion known to mankind, every emotion ever felt by everyone, every sensation ever experienced, everyone single one of them, encases your skin, your organs, with every breath even the insides of your lungs.

25 mg of Seroquel later….

But today, I finally have room for my grief, to grieve the loss of things I love. To grieve the loss of the things I poured my being into, the loss of the connections, the loss of the familiar that never became unfamiliar. Today, I am making space and time to honor these things I have lost by letting myself grieve, by holding this grief close to my heart, by allowing it to enclose me. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013


you slap me
once twice across the face
across the arm
my hair, you pull me down
you call me a victim
and you show me i'm insignificant
through the endless minutes of my life
i am nothing, i am worthless
you tell me, and you show me
you stare into each other's eyes
glazed over, empty, disconnected
uninterested, a rage that consumed
to death
cut open my face
break open my veins and yet commend yourself that my skin remained intact
that i bruise easily
that i got a private school education
that you fed and clothed me
my blood spills beneath my skin
you don't have to clean my mess
as i clean up a glass of spilled milk, that had slipped from between my fingers
stupid, clumsy, careless
sticks and stones
words, sticks and stones..
stings into sting, pain into pain,
like the peaks of multiple orgasms
insult into insult into praise, into insult till you lose all touch of you
the milk gets to seep to move to escape and my blood remains hidden
you choose me over you every time
you choose to hate me instead of yourself
you choose to hate me instead of your failed life
your failed marriage
your failed parenthood
and I'm the one that failed you?
I could sit and believe you, and I did.
over and over
I am failing you,
Because my body refuses you
because that skin, that stung and scarred
tries to run and hide inside my body when you come near
because I don't want to hear your words
of love,
because I do not want to hear your words of love
intertwined with your words that drown me in insignificance
I caught a glimpse of me one day
and it wasn't so bad
it didn't slouch and didn't shuffle
and it didn't feel it was silently screaming to be released
It didn't need a surgical blade
point to skin to break intact confining skin
I loved it
It was love
And I choose me
And I chose it

Monday, July 8, 2013

They Can Violate You, But...

They can violate you,
but they can't humiliate you
When their hands grab at your body
and you can't see their faces
too many faces, you smell their sweat
Dripping on your face, burning your eyes
The stank of a men's locker room
and you feel the wind against your face
and their bodies pressing against you
Too many faces,
Too many hands
Your feet are off the ground and hands pulling at your arms
a wave, no not a wave
a whirlpool, enclosing, drowning
Air, you need to come out for air
Dizziness, swirling, groping
You call on the Friend, the Guide, Truth
مدد يا مولانا
Silence, a calmness between the waves
You breathe, and breathe and breathe
As you waltz your way between bodies,
trapped in a divine gift of momentary stillness
167 were not so lucky.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bare Back

You stood behind me
your erection in my back
yes, back
yes right there in my back
because you were towering over
white synthetic shorts brushing against
my bare back
towering over me, because I was 12
I don't remember your face
We never spoke
There was no invitation
And a bikini on a flat-chested prepubescent
was hardly a provocation
Yet the liberty you gave your cock
and the freedom you gave your rough dark hands
dirty grimy nails
pinching, squeezing, chaffing
small nipples that refuse to grow
A whole top part of an abdomen
sensation-less, frozen
layer after layer
loose, wide clothes
Build a fortress of flesh
A deterrent
Mine, not really mine
no mine,
or not?
a body disembodied
And YES you took a part of me
A part that I cannot and will not ever know
And as cliche and dramatic as this may have sounded
My chest was hollowed out with a bulldozer
As many times as
hands, fingers, lips, cocks
groped, pressed up, grabbed, pinched
There is no resolution

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Letter to A Professor: On Foucault and Mental Health: A Personal Experience

Dear Professor,
When I received my acceptance letter for a masters program in a prestigious ivy-league university, thoughts raced through my head. I knew that having this opportunity to study at one of the world’s renowned environmental studies institutions would no-doubt advance my ideas and career. Little did I know that it would also give me the tools I needed to examine a very painful period from my past. As soon as I arrived I immediately took advantage of the school’s mental health unit. As helpful as this was, I gained the most profound insight into my past from the class: “Advanced Readings in the Social Sciences: Governmentality, Power and Capitalism” that was theoretically immersed in Foucault and Foucaudian analysis.
It might be strange at first to see the connection between a class and the mental heath issues that had haunted my past. From 1999 to 2001, those who had the power granted to them by their psychiatric knowledge effectively converted me from the person I had always known into a bipolar subject, which later evolved due to misdiagnosis and medication induced psychosis into a schizophrenic subject. I was no longer “me”, I was bipolar or I was schizophrenic. I did not have the knowledge or power to become any other subject, this privilege was held by the mental health experts who proceeded to conduct my conduct, through psychoanalysis, restrictions on my lifestyle and medication. By 2001 I had to drop out of university because I was so heavily medicated that I could not function. I walked around, at the very best a drooling zombie, and the mental health experts considered my progress a success. My family and therapists’ panopticon reached to the deepest recesses of my psyche, watching over my every thought, action and chemical constituents of my mind, responding expertly to any signs of elation, paranoia or depression. I had become regulated, by altering my neurotransmitters my thoughts and emotions had become governed and my mental deviance became governable. So why was I not feeling happy, weren’t I finally regulated, hadn’t this team of experts finally managed to govern my ungovernable mind? Why was I feeling alienated from my own mind and body? Why was I feeling powerless?
In 2001, I finally rebelled against their expert authority and concern, and went through the hazardous journey of navigating through intense mood swings, withdrawal from psychiatric medication and assistance. I improved tremendously after this period, but till the spring of 2010 I felt something had been taken away from me, and for years I did not know what this something was. Whenever I looked back at these two years and I would feel a heavy sensation that would overwhelm me. I could not put my finger on it till I was introduced to Foucault’s writings.
Professor, I am sure you often wondered during our Thursday morning classes why I was so engaged, why I hung onto every word and why my passion would veer on rage. I do not know if you ever noticed the times my when eyes would well up with tears or when my face would flush because your lectures made my heart race. During our Spring 2010 class I not only was able to understand what had happened to me, but I was able to reclaim power that had been violently stripped away from me at my very first visit to a psychiatrist’s clinic in 1999. Two years of my life had been taken away from me, for my own wellbeing, yet not for a minute did I feel well during this dark period of my life. How could I have felt well when I was rendered so powerless?
My words will never convey the amount of gratitude I have for your class and instruction. The class not only changed my theoretical inclinations I left it feeling more whole than I had ever felt in my life. I’ve expressed to you my gratitude for what it brought to me academically, but I had never told you the complete story to what your class and lectures have meant to me. I was finally able to understand what it was that was taken away from me, the actors who took it away from me, and the mechanism in which my power was wrenched from my being. Through your teachings I was able to reclaim a power lost, for that I am eternally grateful.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Governmentality Meets Bipolar

I love the autumn and I especially love my walk to school every morning. It’s my time for myself. Its that time of day where I feel that everything I see was given to me. The leaves change their colors just for me, just so I can see them and enjoy them. The light trickling through the branches is mine, the shadows flitting across the floor, yes, that is also for me. The grey rocks arranged along the path were just what I needed. I and nothing else exists, I barely notice the joggers with the black LCD screens strapped to their arms, measuring their heart rates, or the teenagers with their acne cutting school and making out. It’s a good time for me to connect with how I feel and what I want to get away from. It’s a time where I know I can get away from everything and yet that I cannot get away from myself and I am forced to look at this disobedient defiant self, who refuses to be regulated, who refuses to be governed.

I’ve come to know that if I want to keep people around me, if I want to be respected and if I want one less reason to feel self loathing, one less reason to give other people the right to make choices for me, to tell me what can and cannot go into my body, to become medically regulated, to become socially regulated, then I need regulate myself and my bipolar. It must not be displayed, I walk around imploding, and I feel rage of unknown origins. I draw it in, tightly sealing and containing it, it simmers as I conduct its conduct and it conducts mine.

Monday, October 25, 2010


It’s the fourth night that I haven’t been able to sleep. I lie in bed and I try to be aroused. I try and feel something, something to remind me of a connection we had. I stay up to masturbate so it helps me sleep, but then it just keeps me awake. It takes so long to be aroused, different memories, from long ago. Memories of a time when it was passionate when I would just look at you and my vagina would clench, arousal that was painful, that consumed me. Just standing next to you close enough I could smell you, your smell would make me dizzy, it would be difficult to breathe. I would hold my breath just to keep your smell inside of me. Just as I grasp a memory and just as I start to feel aroused, a memory of you digging your nails into my back as you orgasm and it makes me orgasm, reality is quick to snatch it from me, with images of the repetitiveness of sex that I would rather be flossing or clipping my toe nails than having. I lose the memory and I lose the arousal. Minutes tick away and I can’t fall asleep because I need to masturbate to fall asleep, which means I need to be aroused to masturbate. I try quickly to conjure another memory of a time where I enjoyed it with you. Do I really have to think this hard and think this far back? Maybe this was the inevitable that such a powerful passion would burn itself out, maybe I didn’t try hard enough to keep it going or maybe I tried too hard? My thoughts keep me awake, and I try again to find restitution. I hear your voice in my head telling me, “Everything is fine, you just like having drama, because you’re pmsing”. Another memory, another moment lost to a past that’s irretrievable. I remember my hands used to tremble before I would touch you, and when my fingers would find your skin they would burn and that burning would consume me. It’s so far away, so long ago that it feels like it was someone else. A someone that is not this cold clammy body that I find myself touching and not feeling anything. I forget about you, which isn’t hard since you are sleeping in the guest bedroom. Tonight is because I said I needed the bed to spread out in, but really it was because I wanted to masturbate, other nights were because I snored, because I moved, or because the cats were making too much noise. I wanted to masturbate and I wanted to be aroused and the only thing that arouses me is our past. Its hard remembering a past when the present is right there next to me reminding how far away I’ve gotten from this past. I finally find a memory that I can hold onto, I deny the present and detach myself from it completely, and I can finally orgasm. Before my orgasm is over waves of sadness run through me. I find myself crying quietly, my chest painfully tight. I’ve disconnected myself from the present and put myself in a past that doesn’t exist anymore, and when it starts to fade away, I do not know where I am.