Archive for August, 2013


Posted: August 26, 2013 in Personal
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I’ve always loved horses. I couldn’t count the number of horse fiction books I’ve read as I was growing up, and at fifteen I was lucky enough that my aunt sponsored me horse riding lessons.

My dream has always been to own a place in the countryside with a stable full of Arabian horses, huskies, and kittens that would never grow up.

One day.


I was in an audition once.

The guy auditioning me told me, “I want you to think of something that upsets you. Can you cry?”

What the fuck? I thought. Who cries on demand?

I pursed my mouth and dug deep. I thought of my first love and the broken pieces he left me. I thought of the rest that came after him, disappointment after disappointment. I thought of abused animals. The pets I’d loved dearly that had gone.

All I could muster was a grimace in the attempt to look devastated.

“Think of the worst moment in your life. Someone. Something. Take your time.”

Then I thought of you. And I burst into tears.


I was always closer to Dad. I was, and still am, a Daddy’s Girl. I talk to him about anything and everything. He’s always encouraged me and believed in me. He’s never said no – only equipped me with all the information he could and trusted me to make the right choices. He let me go every single time, and he did so because we both knew that he’d be right where I needed him at any moment in time.

On the other hand, I have a much more complicated relationship with you. You nag; rant; smother; say no; and have different opinions from mine almost all the time. I get easily frustrated and more than a little impatient with you, no matter how many times I tell myself I will be a better daughter.

But at the root of it all is the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter; and the older I get, the better I can grasp and understand the thick threads that are interwoven to form the strongest tie. As years go by, I realize I’m a lot more like you than I ever thought was possible.

So, why would I cry thinking of you?

Because you’re not happy.

Sure, you’re happy with Dad. You’ve got me, you’ve got the whole family. But on some fundamental level you’re so unhappy that sometimes, you can barely function. I don’t know what it is. To write it off as schizophrenia seems so shallow, so cruel. As if I could categorize and package you, and then put it aside.

I can’t. I’ve spent years of my life trying to understand you, and I don’t think I’m any closer than I was at eight years old; wide eyed and cowering in my room as I heard things get smashed. Time after time I would witness it escalating from your normal hot tempered rage to something that I couldn’t begin to comprehend. I would hear the thuds as you struggled to lash out and Dad would do his best to restrain or calm you down. I’d lie in bed with the pillows covering my ears in an attempt to dull the sounds as you screamed obscenities. I’d see marks the next day – on both of you. Scratches. Bruises.

Do you remember this one time, you were holding a butcher knife as you stood in my doorway and screamed that you saw the devil in my eyes? I was eleven then. I wasn’t sure if the knife was for me, or for yourself. The intent was lost in the ensuing chaos as Dad hurled himself at you to try and yank it away.

Six years of my life was spent on the seaside, with no one else for company (save the infrequent visits from the family and certain family friends). All I had were days and days – roughly 2,190 days – of you and him; of seasons changing; of kerosene lamps and centipede bites; of book after book after book and repeat; of imagination to escape the deathly dullness of loneliness; of dreams, fantasies, and hopes and a deep set desperation that my life was going nowhere.

When I ran away from home at fifteen, I tried to leave you behind. Was it a year? Yes, probably around a year, where I refused to speak to you or even acknowledge any sort of emotion concerning you. I can’t imagine how terrifying it must have been for you. I’m sorry.

I thought I’d left everything behind. I’d started a life – challenging myself to live normally after living a completely different way of life – and took destiny into my own hands. We’d come to a mutual understanding (or so I thought). You live your life and I live mine, and we’d try to fit in to each other the rare times I would visit.

It was December, 2011. The usual Christmas/New Year in Langkawi. Your behaviour had been growing erratic. I think you drank too much that night. I lay in the hammock with D and cried into his chest as I heard chairs being thrown and shrieks emanating from inside.

You ran to the other house, screaming at Dad not to follow you, and locked the door. D went to talk to Dad and have a smoke. I knocked on the door and called out to be let in. You let me in.

You sat on the chair and told me things. Some of it didn’t make sense. I stood beside you and hugged you as you sobbed. Your tears were warm and sticky on my neck. Your frail body heaved with heavy gasps as you wailed your terror and misery. I looked into your eyes and I cried with you because all I saw in them was this feeling of being trapped. Your eyes beseeched me. You were lost.

That was the last time I witnessed that. I don’t know if it happens when I’m not around. Sometimes Dad tells me you’re not so well. Other times it’s the other way around.

I try to understand. When I can’t understand, I try to simply accept. I would give anything to make you feel peace again, if you ever felt it at all.

I just want you to be happy.

Langkawi, December 2010

Switzerland, February 2010


Posted: August 23, 2013 in Personal
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I can barely remember the first time. The details are unclear. All I remember is the scratching of the floor in the drama room, a sense of suddenness – it wasn’t planned, it just happened – and a fog over everything, as if nothing was real. I remember your face, as you tried so hard to hold it in and stopped before anything really happened. The ensuing months saw us in toilets, in classrooms, in the lobby of your boarding house. You were cold, hard, tiled floors; rough carpet; a sense of elation and the thrill at the possibility of getting caught; beating hearts, and tears. More tears than one person could possibly contain.

You were hours on the phone running the bill sky high, Skype sex and secrets. You were cuts on my wrist, pills swallowed and pain resulting in a vomit of poetry. You were disappointment and everything that I hated about myself.

But above all else, you were the first.


The circumstances were unfavourable the first time we met. It was hot, sweaty and loud in Bar Club. My best friends tried to warn me of the consequences – they asked me if I really knew what I was getting myself into. I said yes. I had no idea.

You surprised me. We became friends, with a deadly attraction. Sex with you reminded me of him the first time. The next two times were better.

You were sudden sexual explosions (even though I never had an orgasm with you – it was just you fucking me with no regards as to my pleasure), and then long periods of getting on with my life until you suddenly waltzed in again.

But over everything else, you were that one night in the shower, letting the hot water run until steam blurred your features. We sat on the floor of the shower across from each other, hot water driving into my back, and we talked about our broken hearts. You were the first step towards recovering myself after him. You kissed me on the forehead when you left that morning. We never saw each other again.


You came out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. It was the beginning of my college life and I skipped classes and stayed over at your place, refusing to have sex with you until I was sure this was love. You were the one to show me how to enjoy it, the beginning of my sexual self-discovery.

You were the one with no sense of direction, nights at Mist and Milk and that one night when we were about to fuck for the first time and your ex knocked on the door. You were funny and confident and everything I wanted in a man, except you were not my man. Your heart belonged to another. And so you were another disappointment, the one that never got over his ex while I did my best to move on from mine and finally started to succeed.

You were the one who taught me how to start loving myself again.


I came over to your house, wanting to explore the wild side by being bold and taking what I wanted. I swam with you, and then we fucked. After that, I wanted nothing more to do with you because every instinct in my body screamed at me that you were danger.

I ignored it.

You were late nights having shisha at Bangsar, sneaking in and eating instant noodles, movies at The Curve. You were that holiday in Bali with my father and his family. You were 8 months of raising me up and bringing me down. I hated you, but I thought I loved you. Looking back, I know now I was simply infatuated with the idea of a love that wasn’t difficult. But it was difficult. You were difficult.

You were stubborn and weak and you brought me down with you every single time. You turned me into something I despised, bringing out the worst in me. You were screaming fights and me driving away; tearful; angry; suicidal.

You were lies – drugs and other girls, but so good at lying that I could never really prove it. You were the one that caused my best friend and I to fall out and not talk to each other until months after we broke up and I finally called her to put that mess behind us. And you were the reason I vowed never to let myself fall so low again.

But above all else, you were the one whose family adored me and showed me more love and kindness than I could ever repay.


It’s been two years now.

The best thing is: you’re still a story being written.