Who am I if I shed everything that you
Induced me to be?
Than holding on to?
Who am I if I decide
To weave myself and my stories anew?
Would my life still be the same?
Would my name make any sense? To myself?
To you? Is there any truth left?
Transforming the detrimental energy into a life-affirming one?
You never stopped seeing yourself as a victim.
Your father’s. You loved him so much. And yet.
Your brother’s. The blame was his. In your eyes.
And your downward-spiralling life behind a
Perfect facade was everybody else’s fault. You never
Stopped seeing yourself as a foreigner, you held on
To that otherness to set you apart, to stay safe, to not
Step out of your comfort zone, reaping what was good
And judging all the bad things. You praised and hated
The country where you came from and the one you
You are a man of contradictions. Your actions and words.
Love, if at all present and genuine, yet burdened and tormented,
Never let go of hate and abuse of power and betrayal.
A force that suffocates and hurts, possesses and blames,
I never saw it as an act of care or flourishing or encouraging,
Holding, tenderness, warmth, honesty, courage and solidarity.
You always stared at me, pitiful, saying you are just like me,
And I thought that was the best compliment that I could
Ever get from you. The good and the bad. At times I thought
That it was the worst thing that someone could have said about
Me, someone not knowing me at all, my potential, everything that
I could do, not you, not like you, you might have been blind to
Everything that was truly me. We never mastered the art of
Communication amongst ourselves. We shouted and shoved.
Maybe you identified the pain within me as one that you knew
All too well. Maybe you tried to help me. To the best of your
Abilities. I was convinced that I had to accept your impulse of
Destruction if I wanted your kind of love too. I never learned how
To distil the good out of you and nurture it.
Oftentimes, death, when it is too late, facilitates that and frees,
I don’t know where I stand now,
So many things remain unsaid and unseen, we never
Made it to the same page.
I once, not too long ago, yelled at you,
And you gave me that space through the phone, you, for the first
Time maybe, listened, in complete silence, letting my voice in,
And I let go of so many things that you made me go through,
The pain you inflicted, and you just asked me so I failed you as a father?
You repeated it.
And in that moment that question, tripled,
Infuriated me even more, I didn’t know why, and I thought
Nothing had landed.
You, making it about yourself again.
Not owning your failures. Never apologising. Just that question.
The hanging up.
If I replay this question, now, years later,
In that voice that doesn’t exist anymore, I wonder about the subtext
That it had. The intention beneath it. How you meant it.
The possibility of you taking responsibility. You listened to me.
You let me finish.
Realising that you weren’t as perfect as you
Thought you were.
That the way you tried to make things better
Only made them worse.
I still hear your voice saying those words.
They have a different ring to them now.
They sound more like
And less like intrigue.
We managed to communicate.
You might have accepted my perspective.
My reality of you.
As a father. As your daughter.
The valley regurgitating the lava that stemmed from the volcano.
I am your daughter.
And it hurt for a long time.
But you will stay with me.
I won’t let go of the good within you.