What lies here and ahead……..

Walk the voice said
But He couldn’t. His legs were too feeble
It still desired to linger here
It didn’t seek transcendence.
That was nothing to it
Life was way too pleasurable to desire transcendence
Transcendence was a desert without any flower growing
It was a lake without water
Why should he bother himself?

The moment is now
When he can cup the sun and place it in his face
When the sun with its beauty
Can gladly warm his bed.
Why settle for the cold
You’re going to have enough cold in the grave he said
Then why bother?

Let the sun warm you with its heat
You’ll take its breast and suck on it
That luscious, full breasts that offer you pleasure
You can’t fathom
You wish to get a tingle in your Heart.
The pleasure it promises would satisfy that longing, that tingle
Your cold heart would be warmed with the pleasure of the earth.
The pleasure you’ll have as long as breath is still your companion
What lay beyond we scarcely see or know
What lays here we’ve seen and touched and experienced
When breath takes its voyage.
When it becomes a distant memory
When we get cold and lay in the belly of the earth
We would rot and fade away
Our bodies slowly becoming the ground
that will hold another corpse in centuries to come
Why bother?

Let’s have fun so we can remember
Even if our bodies fade away
We know we had fun
Such pleasurable fun that the earth itself would remember
We don’t know what lay over there for us
When we get there
That is if we get there we would know

The voice laughed hearing his rant

What lies ahead isn’t a cold but a tremendous heat
A heat that would set your passions aflame
You won’t even desire pleasure over there.
It would have burnt and faded away.
The heat that lies there would have fun with you
Such fun that it won’t want to stop
You like having fun don’t you. What lies ahead is a fun better than what you’ve experienced here.
Just over there, you’re not the subject but the object

But pleasure still lies ahead
If you resist the pleasure of now
If you starve the longing in your soul
A pleasure you’ll experience over there
A pleasure flowing in crystal waters
Flowing by the tree that bears such full and luscious fruits
You’ll flow like the waters, never ceasing
You’ll bloom and blossom like the tree
You’ll have life forever more
Yes, that lies ahead if you resist what lies here

@amanteDelDios

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If only I could touch the Hem

This Poem has a couple of implied text. The text that have been added does not change the story as it was originally narrated.

This is just a Poem. It’s meant to be enjoyed.

She couldn’t bring herself to close her eyes at night
So she stayed awake at night
Eyes wide open like an owl.
The night creeping on her
The tragedy she didn’t want to relive
That night her eyes were closed
A heavy sleeper she was.
A heavy mistake she made
A shadow came over her
It sounded like a man’s voice
Hush Hush Hush
He told her
But she couldn’t hush anything
His big hands were over her mouth.
His eyes flaming with lust
His breath filled with the smell of alcohol.
She struggled and turned herself.
But he was way too strong for her
His hands slowly went up her skirt
Finding her passage
He rummaged his third leg into it
Like a trailer going inside a cave
He went in full speed never bothering about the obstruction at the gate.
He broke not only the walls of her passage
but also the walls of her soul.
He robbed her of her virtue and her sleep

Now she stays awake nightly fearing the night
Lest it creeps on her like rough patches of despair
Her passage had refused to close
The trailer was way too damaging.
In between her legs now lay
a fountain that never ceased to flow
It flowed with red fluid.
Staining her bed and her life
12 years she endured that.
The entire city knew about her.
It was revealing.
The dress she wore was not a friend
As it revealed her secrets to the world.
The inheritance she got from her father had been used to bless all the healers in town
but they could not deliver her.
Then tales of that man flew to her lonely island

No not a man
Elijah maybe or a prophet
Some say he’s the Messiah.
She only needed to see him
Not see him but to touch the hem of his garment
She heard of the great miracles
wrought by this fellow in white
She wanted to be a partaker
She wanted the passage between her legs
which was mercilessly violated be closed.
Maybe then she could fill the void in her soul
Maybe then she would stop slitting her wrists
May then she could be able to sleep at night
Maybe then she would stop those drugs.

She waited for the day when he’d come to her city
She got up. Dressed in black to reflect the color of her soul. She made her way to find him.

Not knowing that he’d find her.
She got to the town square and saw him passing through
A large crowd following him like butterflies seeking nectar
How could she make her way to him she thought
She struggled and pushed through the crowd unrelenting
Atimes she fell on the floor like a log of wood but she managed to lift herself up again.
People were shoooing her away because of the smell that trailed her
The smell of dried blood mingled with fresh blood
Like a dead rottening fish
But she wasn’t ready to be detered
She kept pushing and fighting.
Chanting a mantra
If only I could touch the hem of his garment
If only
It kept pushing her as she charted through the crowd.
He instinctively stopped as she got closer
Knowing she was approaching.
She got behind him like a rat she had become
and stretched forth her hands to touch

As her scaly hands touched his white garment
She felt a tingle
Then a rush. Then a sudden vibration in her body
She jolted and then realized that it had happened.
She didn’t need to check.
She just knew..
He turned to bring her forward
Who touched me he asked
His disciples frowned
Why would you ask that question
You’re enveloped in a large crowd
yet you’re asking who touched you.
They didn’t know the exchange that happened
But he knew what had happened
He knew that someone had touched him
Not an ordinary touch
But a purposeful touch.
The woman scared that she had defiled the prophet was shivering.
She was shaking.
She knew about the law.
She had endured it for years.
The casting out. The ostracism.
Not being allowed into the temple. The rites she had to observe
She hated the way she was. She hated who she had become.
She knew she would defile anyone she touched
She knew she would make them unclean
But yet she persevered. They might only throw her out
But it was better than the gloomy life she had endured.
She got up and said it is I
He looked at her and smiled. His eyes burning with compassion.
He Knew that her touch could not defile him. He was undefiled and could not be defiled

Woman your faith has made you whole
Her faith ?
She didn’t know she had faith even.
She got up and left
Her fountain dried and her soul healed.
The touch of the hem had healed her
And she was glad

What is Love?

Is love the fluttery feeling in your stomach
Or that water like tingle within your intestines?

Is love the music Playing in the background
Or is love your first dance ?

Is love the tears you shed when you see him
When his tiny frame is placed on your breasts
Or is love that feeling when you see him take that first step?
Or when he calls you mama?

Is love the the peace in your Heart whenever you’re around that person
Or the ache in your chest when they’re not there?

Is love the smile that comes forth when you hear their voice?
Or the frown that rests on your face when they’ve not called?

Is love waking and sleeping beside that person
Or is love breakfast in bed?

Is love the feeling in your hands when you walk under the moonlight?
Or is love being able to stare at the sky, breathing in the air of that person?

Is love the caress of the wind?
Or the sparkle of the stars?

Is love embedded in nature ?
Or is nature love?

Is love wanting the best for that person
Or wanting that person for you?

Is love death?
Is love pain?
Is love hurt?
Is love a slap on the cheeks?
Or a spit on the face?
Is love the thorns on the head?
Or the whipping on the back?

Is love the rejection?
Or is love the dejection?
Is love being willing to give your all for that person?
Or is love actually doing it?

Tell me what love is because I’ve seen and heard of different shades of love
But have only been clouded by one.
The last love or instead the first love ever

Damsel in distress

She could hear the song in the background. “He has nice taste in music” she thinks.

His smile revealing heaven to her. The room is dark and she feels scared. But she couldn’t care less. As long as he is with her, with arms wrapped around her slim waist. If she dies now, she knows she’ll be satisfied. Heaven had graced her body.

She enjoyed the way they were dancing. Their bodies moving with the rhythm. Each step fitting in with the arrangement.

She could see this through her minds eye. The eyes that were were now shedding tears. The music in the background was now sending spears to her heart.

She wondered if he was playing this same song with the new girl. The thought of it sends her insides into hell. She feels as if she is on fire. Her soul burning and she becoming a moving volcano that would soon erupt.

She gave her heart freely to him. The heart she guarded and put in a cage. She wasn’t ready to go down that path again but his smile. Oh that smile. That devil’s smile that revealed a neatly arranged sets of teeth.

That smile that was as bright as the sun and his voice? The voice was angelic that’s if, she knew how an angel’s voice sounds. It had that baritone sound sprinkled with an impeccable accent.

He broke her walls down effortlessly. That wall that she had over her heart, over her being.
She gladly opened the cage and allowed him in, handing over the keys to him. She was sold out. She was bought. And she got hurt again for the umpteenth time.

Now she feels sold out. There is no love left in her heart. She gave all that out. She gave it all to him. Should she continue living ?

She moves her hands to stop the music. The music breaking her insides. As she reaches for the music player, She wakes up.

It was all a dream. The same dream she has been having for years. The dream of what happened to her sister. Now she fears same will happen to her. She’s caged up in a cage on a high tower of anxiety. There’s no Prince Charming coming to rescue her. Even if there was, she was not only a damsel in distress but also the dragon caging up the damsel. She was looking for salvation but at the same time was not hesitant in sending balls of fire to her savior.

She couldn’t bear to get hurt like her sister. She saw for herself what love could do to a human being not love but a failed love and she wasn’t ready to fail in love.

So she caged herself up and daily dreamed of her Prince Charming with the sparkly smile and the neatly arranged sets of teeth and the baritone voice and impeccable accent and the music in the background and the love in her heart and the hurt in her chest and the volcano erupting inside of her.

She had loved and gotten hurt so many times in her dreams. Slowly she’s fading away not from a failed love but from lack of love and maybe sleep.

When will her Charming Prince come? And he better be fire resistant.

Blood

The sight of the blood on Bintu’s bed sent a wave of panic through my body. I stood there. Many thoughts running through my mind. The loud thumps causing my heart to ache

Bintu had become a woman and I knew what that meant. The thought sent me gliding through the clouds of memories in my mind. Memories of my first blood flow. The horrified look on mother’s face. The look you have when your world is in shambles.

That night I had the news that I would be married off soon. “Your flower had blossomed” Father said. A sudden coldness came over me as the sound of his voice went through my ears and registered in my brain, causing my muscles to stiffen, sending me to limbo. I parted my lips to say something but no words came out. It was as if the tightness in my stomach held my words captive.

“My decision is final” Father said.

I knew there was no going back. Father was not one who gets easily persuaded. I stood there as tears flowed freely from the well inside of me. It seemed as if every faint heartbeat sent tears gushing out of my eyes.

Mother just stood there watching, her dark skin glistening under the bright moonlight. I tried to make sense of her facial expression but I couldn’t. She just stared blankly at me
I sat on the verandah of our house. Deep staring into the sky. Wishing I could bore holes through the fabric of night. Maybe then, a little glimmer of light would pass through and spread it’s rays over me.

I saw mother walking up to me. Her steps slow like a woman heavy with child. She sat on the verandah close to me. At that moment I realized how distant we were. She didn’t utter any words. We sat there in the silence of night. And after what seemed like forever, I heard her take in a deep breath. It was loud and long.

“Your wedding is in the next two months. You need to accept that ” she said.

I didn’t have any words to say. I tried communicating with my eyes the ache I was feeling. I looked into her eyes, my eyes red and swollen. A sharp pain at the back of my throat. I wanted to tell her that the world was spinning all around me. I wanted her to experience the tightness in my stomach. But she turned away.

“I don’t want to get married” I said.

“There are things we just can’t change” she replied facing me. As the bright moonlight shined over us. I noticed the dark circle around her eyes.
“You would be fine. I know you would” she said blankly. At that moment it seemed as if she drifted into her own world.

“You’ll fight back. Yes you will. You will fight for your daughter. You won’t fail her the way I failed you” she said her voice dripping with melancholy.

“Why can’t I fight back now” I shouted

“Why can’t you fight for me. Can’t you make Father stop” ?

She got up to leave. After a few steps she turned saying “We can’t choose for ourselves”

As she went further I felt my inside shattering. I watched her as her thin body blended with the night, fading into the dark room. I could feel my heart racing fast. I could feel the blood pulsating through my veins. I felt alone in the world. Father was about to sell me off. I suddenly felt this rage overtake me. I was angry at mother for being a coward. At that moment, Death seemed like a way of escape from what would soon become my reality. A reality that would strip me off of what made me me.

I won’t end up like Mother” I said to myself.

“I would fight back”

Seeing Bintu’s blood that morning made me realize how mother felt that day. Those dark lines around her eyes were a result of the dark that had become a part of her. I knew what was coming for Bintu and I was angry at myself because I couldn’t do anything. I had gotten tired of fighting. The muscles of my soul had become weakened over the years. Tentacles of hopelessness had entangled me.

“But Maybe Bintu would fight. Maybe she would fight not to get married. Maybe she would fight for her own daughter. Yes she would. She would be stronger than me. I know that”. I said to myself even though I didn’t believe it.

The same words mother told me. I wondered if she heard those same words from her mother and her mother heard it from her own mother. Who knows?

Book Review : My Lovely wife in the Psych ward by Mark Lukach

Most mental illness robs families off tranquility and peace of mind. It might probably start out like a speck of dark which later enlarges and encroaches into every aspect of your being.

Mark and Guilia are newly weds who had life mapped out for them. They had been high school sweethearts since they were eighteen. They got married at 27, after which everything changes for them.

Guilia suddenly starts getting extremely anxious and less confident which surprised Mark as this was contrary to the confident and always in control Guilia he knew. Then suddenly, she has a nervous breakdown which made the doctors decide that she needed to be on admission. She was making disturbing utterances about the devil.

This happened barely a year into their marriage. How was Mark going to handle everything? He was faced with a problem he was new to. The doctors were not sure of the diagnosis and Mark was left treading a path of confusion. All through the process, both Mark and Guilia’s families gave their unrelenting support which at the start made it easier for Mark to cope but at a certain point he felt they were suffocating him.
Being the sole caregiver saddled with the responsibility of taking care of a wife with a disorder that wasn’t really clear, Mark started having emotional and mental distress which made him begin to see a therapist. This shows that even care givers of mentally ill individuals need psychological help as they too are at risk of getting burnt-out. Guilia after getting over her psychotic symptoms became stricken with suicidal thoughts and Mark had to make sure she doesn’t do as she wanted.

There are a couple of dialogues in the novel that I loved

When we crested the sand dunes, Giulia said, “Mark, will you let me kill myself? You don’t know how unbearable this is. If you cared for me, you would let me kill myself.” I ached at this definition of caring. Giulia was asking me to love her in the way she needed, which was to let her end her life. “I do care for you, Giulia, but I don’t want to lose you.

This story shows the strength of love and care. How Mark was willing to let go of his life for his wife’s sake. How Mark was expected to fight and keep fighting. I admire Mark’s resilience. His unrelenting support even when he didn’t feel like.

Mark, you need to fight for Giulia,” my mom warned me over the phone. “I know, Mom, I am fighting,” I said wearily. I had started to call my mom nightly as soon as Giulia was hospitalized. I needed to talk to someone, and as long as I can remember, my mom has been a soothing presence in times of crisis.

At a point when Mark started acting in a “selfish way” I couldn’t blame him. He went through a lot and he also needed his sanity. He stayed with Guilia through her series of depression and suicidal thoughts, never flinching. Stayed with her through her three hospitalization over the course of Five years.

The novel made me wonder about the efficacy of pharmacotherapy. Taking drugs for depression and Psychosis does well in reducing the symptoms but often times casts a shadow of lethargy over the person. The symptoms reduce but then there’s this weakness the person has to face. The increased risk of gaining weight and other side effects made me wonder if the drugs were worth it.

At a point when Guilia got better, they decided to start a family, to have children. After the birth of Jonas, their son, Guilia had another Psychosis which led her to being admitted again. At this point, Mark had to make the tough decision of ‘protecting” Jonas from Guilia. This was difficult for Mark but he had no choice. He didn’t want their son to get caught up in the middle of the pandemonium caused by Guilia’s illness.

This was a story of unrelenting sacrifice for the one you love and for yourself, because it had gotten to a point that part of your identity is found in the other person and losing that person makes you lose a part of yourself. So what do you do? You fight, you hold on for both of you. You become what the other person could not be.

In sickness and in health………. The vow most people take just as a cliche but not really meaning it. Mark and Guilia took their vows serious. They showed that love covers a multitude of sins.

They possessed “the kind of faith that doesn’t fade away. They were true believers”

Book Review: OCDaniel by Wesley King

My volunteering for a mental health awareness institution and as an aspiring clinical psychologist made me want to up my game when it comes to the knowledge of mental illness.

I decided to start a journey on reading books on mental health. The book of the week for my team was “My Lovely wife in the Psych ward” a memoir by Mark Lukach which I started reading recently. But prior to that, I picked up a book on obsessive compulsive disorder.

What drew me to the book exactly?

First reason was that it was short. Being a student and doing other things by the side might not really give me the opportunity to read a pretty long novel and finish it in ample time. I might start but I probably won’t finish. The book should be about 180 pages which means I get to finish it in max of 4 hours.
The second reason was that I was curious about obsessive compulsive disorder. I had read about it but there’s nothing like getting into the head of a person suffering from the disorder. Seeing with their eyes and feeling the emotions they feel.

The novel is about a 13 year old boy with obsessive compulsive disorder. This is a Psychological disorder where the person is preoccupation with certain reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) which make the person to do certain acts to prevent the obssessions from coming to reality. Daniel in this novel undergoes painful and stressful rituals every night that starts at 12.30 am and ends it at 4.00 am after which he is able to sleep confidently. He has the obssession that if he doesn’t do those rituals then he won’t wake up in the morning. There are times he starts all over again just if he missed one of those rituals.

If he makes a mistake then he starts allover again. His rituals usually goes as follows
1. Take ten steps from my bedroom to the bathroom
2. Brush teeth with ten vertical movements on either side and five horizontal ones
3. Take five steps to the toilet
4. Pee, and then use two strips of toilet paper to wipe the rim in case he missed
5. Wash hands with ten overlapping squeezes to either hand
6. Wipe hands on stupid pink doily towel—five squeezes to either hand
7. Take ten steps back to the bedroom
8. Flick lights on and off five times
9. Get to bed in five steps and climb into bed

He has a dread for certain numbers and always avoids them while writing or solving a Math question which makes him perform poorly at math. He believes that some numbers are good and others are bad. Writing the bad numbers makes him feel extremely anxious and believes that something bad will happen.
However, he’s an avid reader and someone who is considered to be smart in his class. He reads a lot and loves writing.

The story really kicks off with an anonymous cry for help email he got which referred to him as a fellow star Child. We later get to know that the note was from a girl named Sara at his school. A girl whose other name was “Psycho-Sara”, who got her nickname due to the compendium of psychological disorders she has.

The story made me teary. Most especially when Daniel’s crippling fears comes and he has to subject himself to the gruesome rituals. The fact that he was suffering in silence but couldn’t do anything till Sara came and was able to see through him and help him understand himself much better.

Together they embark on a journey to finding out a possible murder which Sara believes to have been orchestrated by her mother and her lover. She believes they conspired to kill her Dad. A journey that started out due to a mere suspicion which later evolved into a journey to self understanding and support giving.

One thing about mental disorders is that having a perceived sense of support helps you navigate the ordeal much easily. Mental disorders can be very challenging not just for the victim but also for the people close to you.

Living in fear of possible stigmatisation or perceived burdensomeness might create a zipper around the lips of victims. This is true for mental disorders that has not stripped the victim off his connection with reality.

The knowledge of knowing that you’re not alone in the ordeal helps to absorb the shocks you’ll probably go through.

I really want to be mentally aware…

How’s your knowledge of mental health? Join us in our book of the week, “My lovely wife in the Psych ward” (Review coming soon)