I remember my mother
And her mothers mother
Until they all blend into
One tired heart
A pair of wrinkled hands
Shattered dreams and
Wombs taken for granted
This is my feminine heritage
Broken promises and
But the Afghan woman
Is the most resilient brilliant creation
humming of the strongest heart
That beat that jumps out of your chest
The one right before what you thought was your dying breath
Walking across borders
Crying in silence but beating our drum
To make the most beautiful song you have ever heard
I often think of the women of my tribe
That came before me
High born women called
And how my relatives today revel in the fact that
We came from nobility
If my mother did not choose my father
And if my grandmother was widowed and given nothing
And if my aunt was punished for loving a man
Nobility or not
High rank, daughters of generals
There was no honor in their upbringing.
You treated my ancestral females like
Porcelain dolls and
Beautiful to look at
But only valued for fertility.
Sociopaths, narcissists, drug addicts. Whoever it was that you dated, they all have one thing in common: making you believe you are the scummiest person on earth who doesn’t deserve shit. & that the only person who would ever be with you is them and their sick hearts.
This is exactly what I went through. I dated a drug addict who did everything he could but physically harm me: gaslighting, emotional and verbal abuse, the whole gamut of asshole things. I was told I was ugly, a whore, immoral…& that I even contributed to his drug addiction. And I believed it all. I beat myself up thinking I negatively influenced this person and I was responsible for his downfall.
I am a working graduate student in the field of mental health. I am able-bodied, I am educated, and pretty much have my shit together. But the way the sociopath keeps winning is with the repeated negative self-talk that plays in my head. His put-downs sometimes make their way into my mind and its absolutely debilitating.
& this manifests in other ways as well. A common factor I see in many females post-narcissist partner is this idea that we are undeserving of love. That we are damaged goods and that a good man doesn’t “deserve” to be with a baggage-mess like us. Just recently I spoke to a friend who had a similar past relationship, and was terrified because her new man was the total opposite.
“I’m so scared. He doesn’t deserve someone like me. It’s not fair for him. I’m not a whole person. He should be with someone fresh and alive”.
& in my friends voice I recognized my own. I myself tried to avoid the good things that would come my way. I was completely shut off to the idea that a good man would come into my life and actually WANT to handle me. But this is how these mothereffers keep winning. Even after they’re long gone.
Do not let the words of an empty shell of a person get in your head like this ladies. You are all deserving of whatever amazing things God puts in front of you. If you weren’t, it wouldn’t come your way. And maybe it hasn’t yet, but when it does, please accept these small gifts from the universe. I know its hard and I know we have so many systems and people telling us we are undeserving. People thrive off putting others down. But do not let the old words of a broken man carve into you and dictate whatever blessings were meant for you.
Uplift your sisters. Keep your eyes on the prize. And exude love. The rest will fall into place.
You are there and
I am here but
My heart rips into pieces
I run into the street
With my heart in my hands
With tears streaming down
I tell them
Look what is happening
Look at the children
Look at the terror but
No one stops or
Turns a cheek
They just glance at me like
Foolish girl don’t you know
Here and there
Are used to this and
They don’t love our children like we do and
Don’t they want to be martyrs? And
What value do they have for life anyways so foolish girl
Don’t be so dramatic
Place your heart back in your chest
You are so lucky to be here
Count your blessings because if you don’t like it here then you can leave
And go cry and die with your precious people in your broken motherland
Afghan lives are not lives they are just
Reminders of how superior we are.
We are chosen.
& they are unfortunate.
This is how the world works.
Place your heart back in your chest.
This is how the world works.
Why do your
Eyes look so tired
Like you lived
One million lifetimes
Like you loved
And lost everything
Like you hoped
And the world collapsed on you
Why do your eyes look like stone
Like what they saw
Was pure evil
How can we breathe life
Back into you
So we say
This is what your culture is used to
A grave your people dug themselves
We make you so small
That when we see your dull eyes
We say you do not know any better
It was supposed to be this way.
Every time you call her stupid
You tell her she’s nothing
And that she is weak
Every time you remind her
She is nothing without you
And that you gave her everything
You are fueling the fire
You are digging your own grave
You are planting seeds
You are the dirt she will push through
To become the most brilliant
The most powerful
Resilient Queen Mother
Phoenix from the Ashes
Something you couldn’t imagine
A story never told before
A creature so majestic
They don’t even have a name for it
Keep tormenting this caterpillar
You are helping her build her cocoon
And watch how quickly she will crush you
After she rises to full bloom
The ones who
Smiled and were given nothing in return
Who wore perfume
And were walked through like air
The ones who
Tried so hard but got so little
I wish I could
Give you the stars in the sky
I wish I could wipe the mascara from your eyes
I know how it is
To make them want to stay
I know how it is
To extend your heart
To the depths of their rejection
Do not make a home in these hearts
If you are suffering
Please come to me
I will make you a cup of tea
We will sit on my rug
We can cry if you want
Or we can sing through the night
We will do anything and everything but
Allow you to be walked all over
today was my last day on the USC campus until fall semester. what a whirlwind for my first year.
former MSW’s told me that the first year would be challenging. so much of being a good mental health provider is working through your own traumas. in the words of my favorite professor: “you gotta own your own shit before you can help someone else”
oh man was she right. the intersectionality of being a woman, an afghan, a muslim, the child of refugees, a survivor of trauma, depression & anxiety. i pathologized the sh*t out of myself and learned to name the feelings and experiences that i’d been suffocating because of social stigmas. and my alopecia came back this month with a vengeance – as a reminder that being mindful is the only healthy way to cope with stress.
but as social workers we always strive towards a strengths-based approach. towards promoting resilience. towards empowering ourselves so that we can empower our clients.
the afghan-american conference could not have come at a better time. this weekend i’ve been given the opportunity to yet again engage my community. to pose challenging questions that force us to examine ourselves as diaspora children. i’ll be seeing all of the AAC attendees in Washington, DC. please attend the roundtable discussion on afghan-american identity! i am looking forward to seeing you there. & also can we collectively egg the White House? k cool thanks. (JK … i think)
to my professors, colleagues, roommates, family & friends: thank you so much for your support this year. i know i could not have done it without you. to my little clients who have no way of reading this because they’re elementary school kids, (lol) i learned so much from you. these children were some of the most resilient, optimistic, kind little souls i’ve ever met. i am so sad to terminate my time with you but am confident in your success.
cheers to being 365 days closer to my social work degree <3
In the desert
Their feet blistered and bloody
We see them
In videos and we see them in pictures
We know they are running away
From the mouth of a snake
But what if there were no videos
What if only quiet stories told us
Stories that have been silenced
By corrupt politicians
What if we only heard our grandmother in the living room
Mourning her family
What if we had to fight
To get records of her existence
Then our wounds would still be open
Even a century later
If you mourn for the refugee
Read about the Armenians
And learn about a people who still find
The bones of their loved ones
Underneath sand in Der Zor
And just like that
Walk into my home
Make yourself a plate
Run your fingers through my hair
Kiss the bruises you left me with
And I would make you a spot in my bed
I would place two pillows instead of one
I would sleep on the side I hate because
You like the other
Just like that
I’d inconvenience myself
I’d open up my ribcage
I’d tell you
My heart is still your home. The one you forget. The one you neglect. It’s all yours.