the mind of a self-proclaimed كنداكة

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Entry #10: A heart that is too heavy to bear

The horrific things happening in the world right now, the U.K., Afghanistan, the GCC, South Sudan, Yemen and more, just wow. My heart is so so heavy. Hearing Philando Castile’s murderer has been acquitted was the final straw. Don’t you ever tell me that institutionalized racism doesn’t exist. Don’t ever tell me that black lives hold the same value as white lives. Don’t you EVER tell the Black Lives Matter supporters that it should be All Lives Matter because we don’t owe you a lesson on slavery (which deadass still exists) and the comparative worth of black lives. Black people will never know peace, ever. I just want to know, when I move to the US will I have to continually explain my worth and justify why I deserve to exist? Will I have to shield myself and make sure I don’t look suspicious (whatever the hell that means) so that I don’t get shot for being black? Tell me, when is it going to end? When are black people going to be able to breathe and live? “All men were created equal” suuuuure. It’s messed up to the very core when blatant homicide isn’t punished. Black people will never be safe anywhere.

I lost all hope in everything. Last year, when I met the British ambassador to the UN, I asked what is being done to help Sudan. He told me lots is being done but they have more pressing issues. I understand there’s a lot on your plate but no particular UN effort has been successful recently in my opinion. You tell me we just don’t matter as much, I bite my tongue and hope that your efforts elsewhere are working. But they’re not.

I’ve been avoiding talking about politics and social justice recently because I feel absolutely helpless and angry. The world we live in is gradually getting worse and no amount of countering we can do will ever be enough. I’m tired, you’re tired, everyone’s tired. I can’t even properly articulate myself anymore because all that comes out is anger and tears. I’m completely over it. But I will embody the angry black woman trope until my dying breath. Solange Knowles simply and eloquently sang, “There’s a lot to be mad about.” No truer words have been spoken. I cannot rest with a mind buzzing like this. I cannot rest with a soul that is THIS heavy. I cannot rest until we all know what peace is. As we’re not able-bodied middle class white cisgender heterosexual men, we’ll never know peace. To everyone who has ever been oppressed by the system or screwed over by a tragedy, my heart and soul are always with you. I’m always behind you. Until then, we need to find a strength to fight everything that’s thrown our way. I love you, always and forever. All I can say for now is rest in power, Philando Castile. You deserved better. Black people deserve better. The world deserves better. #nojusticenopeace


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Entry #8: Restriction

Wow, I wrote this in February 2013. Don’t judge me I was a child.

TW: mental health

I’m not insane. I swear it. My family having a history of mental disorders does not verify this. I’m not crazy. I’m okay.

I wasn’t analysed or given a legitimate reason to why I was institutionalised. I didn’t even take the alleged ‘Bathtub Test’ which I read about in that teenager-infested blogging site. I was dragged from my school, forced into a van and locked up in an eerily pale ward all by myself. I surrendered my freedom without a fight, which only provoked the paramedics. What was I supposed to do? Give them more of a reason to lock me up? I wasn’t willing to do that.

I’m not entirely void of emotion; I yelled, thrashed, wailed and attempted to take my own life away since I arrived in this depressing pit they call a mental institution. It isn’t the easiest thing to do when your limbs are confined in a straitjacket. No, it wasn’t the first time I tried to kill myself. It was the only way for me to escape this labyrinth of suffering. It pained me physically, mentally and emotionally to stay in this institution. If I was a hundred and ten per cent honest, I would say I had no idea why I was imprisoned in a mental asylum. I have been told countless times that I had psychotic tendencies but I am not crazy, promise. In spite of my ability to block out dreadful memories, I do recall the day I was forced in here with astonishingly faultless clarity.

It was late May and I had just had my Business and Management final. If there had been any chance for me to remain in the school’s honour roll, well, it was gone . The thought of my catastrophic performance in the exam was unbearable. As soon as the bell rang, I swiftly made my way to the Men’s room where I had a secret lighter stashed. I vehemently tore the wallpaper and snatched the lighter hidden behind. Impetuously, I attempted to set my own hand on fire. I didn’t take it into account that another male student was present at the time and witnessed the entire ordeal. Just before the fire alarm went haywire as a response to the smoke, the boy ran out of the bathroom screaming for help. I do remember he was an aspiring doctor who spoke to me with apparent and excessive conceit and plenty of times tried to convince me to seek help from a professional while claiming I had mild psychosis. If he cared so much, why hadn’t he attempted to help me directly, as opposed to consistently telling me I need it? Besides, there’s nothing wrong with the way I punish myself. Scars and extreme pain are constant and eternal reminders to not make the same mistake twice. The vivid presence of the wounds against my pasty complexion caused me to never repeat a blunder I had already committed.

The school’s guidance counsellor and football coach hauled me out of the Men’s room. That pretentious boy’s friend called 911 and was half-shrieking at the operator. I swear that freak is in love with me because she dissolved into tears the moment she caught sight of my bizarrely composed expression. I wasn’t wholly serene, I was in internal rage. I was appalled that I was being dragged out when I was absolutely fine. I wanted to return to penalising myself for messing this up. I wanted to return to my routine without being interrupted. Unfortunately, I was not able to as following their arrival, the paramedics spoke to that pompous lad, who explained to them the actions of mine which he had previously observed. The paramedics instantaneously contacted a psychiatrist and were told I should have been hospitalised ages ago. The only positive aspect of this abrupt, uncalled for ambush was that I was not in need of sedatives. I wasn’t frantic or agitated. This aggravated the paramedics more than it should have.

There you have it, the ill-fated tale of my inequitable incarceration. Subsequent to my imprisonment in this bleak room, my darling parents visited me. My poor mother wept and my father was indignant. He did not understand why his only son supposedly received the gene of mental instability. Unluckily, they agreed to keep me in the institution. Following their decision, the psychiatrist finally justified my captivity in this building. I was told that I, indeed, had psychosis and that most of my actions had been major symptoms. I never knew my belief that there was a conspiracy against me because of my unnatural talent in science was never valid. For all I know, many wanted to murder or seriously injure me because of my abnormal intelligence. It’s true, I was born a genius. I cannot help it if some people are envious of me.

I don’t recall the other symptoms but I do remember it was a fallacy. They are customary things to do or believe in. Since that first session, I spent my life in a puddle of depression and desolation. However, I felt elated in a peculiar why which would be challenging to explain, even for my above average mentality. I knew my liberty was on its way.

It isn’t like I haven’t had contact with mentally distressed people. I’ve seen them, I’ve heard them. I saw a severely bipolar patient with her wide, unblinking eyes that cried out for help. I witnessed a panic attack of hers on my way to the psychiatrist’s office. I heard her yell for the nurse to hand her any sharp object because the urge to let herself out of this agony was driving her crazy. I saw an anxious, paranoid young man who couldn’t exhale without checking twice that no one was looking at him. I saw his despair and misery. He was damaged beyond repair. I saw them and I’m not the least bit like them. I never threw a panic attack and I surely do not have that wild, crazed look about me. My appearance wasn’t scruffy and my hair was anything but unkempt. I was neat and organised. I’d never be at utter mental peace unless my raven hair was slickly combed and my clothes were faultlessly ironed.

I wanted to leave this place so badly. I wanted to continue my ordinary existence with complete freedom. Trousers frayed and arms gone sore beneath the straitjacket, I feebly attempted to escape. If I stay here any longer, I’d go mad. I don’t belong in this building for the deranged.

As though he read my thoughts, my doctor walked in. He eyed me with his drab, coal eyes. His effort to be sympathetic towards me was evident beneath his frosty expression. I could see the judgement seeping through his skin. The preconceived notions that shaped society, I felt them in my soul and his eyes were the mediator. The sight of his impulsive condescending sneer triggered me. Without any warning, I screamed with all my might. I screamed for the sake of my sanity. I screamed to release the exasperation I’ve had bottled up for far too long. I screamed to be liberated from this physical and mental prison. This isn’t a sign of weakness, this is my begging to get what I deserve. Soon enough, I was tackled by two nurses and had anaesthesia forced up my nasal cavity and down through my trachea. Before I was gobbled up the darkness, I had one thought: I’m perfectly sane.