Can You?

Can You?

can you see my scars
the scars i endured for years
can you heal them?

can you feel my broken limbs
the brokenness i lived through
can you mend them?

can you hear my pain
the affliction i experienced
can you make them go away?

For Sadje’s WDYS

Gift

Gift

so, i threw my trauma
out of the garbage bin
for the garbage collector
to collect and dispose
but you took it back
and wrapped it in
fancy paper with
ribbons and scented color card
packed perfectly like
a holiday gift, then you
hand it to me like a bomb
bursting over in a loud noise.

there goes my trauma
back all over again
packed in fancy paper
with ribbons and
scented colored card.

On Rape Culture

November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Call it out when you see it:

❌Abuse
❌Catcalling
❌Sexist jokes
❌Unwelcome behaviour
❌Inappropriate sexual comments

Violence against women comes in many forms, and one of the most widespread yet less talked about is sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is never okay. Regardless of the circumstances. When one is raped; she is raped, no other word to say it. No other explaination why it happened. And I don’t understand how other people could even afford to blame the victim for being raped.

Our society has come up with reasons why some women are raped. And sadly the “rape culture” is being normalized these days.

Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. As if these are not enough; rape culture affects everywoman.

The rape of just one woman creates terror and fear to all women. Most women and girls limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Men, in general, do not. That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape.  This cycle of fear is the legacy of Rape Culture.

Blantant Examples of Rape Culture

• Victim Blaming (“It’s her fault; she asked for it!”)

• Normalizing sexual assault (“Boys will be boys; it has always been like that”)

• Making/laughing/enjoying sexually explicit jokes

• Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history

• Abuse and violence in movies and television

• Defining “manhood” as dominant and sexually aggressive

• Defining “womanhood” as submissive and sexually passive

• Assuming only promiscuous women get raped

• Refusing to take rape accusations seriously

• Teaching women to avoid getting raped instead of teaching men not to rape

• Not reporting or talking about being raped to protect the credibility and sanity of the vicrim’s family

• The victim chosing to keep her silence; because why not? She will become easy target of victim blaming and shaming by the society.

Regardless of the woman’s circumstances, characteristics, mental state, history or background; the moment she said “no” to any sexual advances – rape is happening.

Rape is rape and there is no better way to justify it.

Instead of teaching our young girls and women to dress appropriately, avoid men, be alert to possible sexual harassment; why don’t we teach men and young boys NEVER TO RAPE regardless of.

It’s about time to teach MEN and BOYS never to rape.

Most rape victims never get the chance to report/talk about it for a very simple reason that; OUR SOCIETY WAS NEVER KIND TO ANY WOMAN SPEAKING HER TRUTH. Maybe it’s time we change that. Stop victim blaming. Stop victim shaming. When rape happens there are only two people who can tell their truths; the victim and the perpetrator, aside from them no one, NO ONE; thus no one has the right to shame or blame the victim as if they were present when it happened.

#16DaysOfActivismAgainstGenderBasedViolence 

P. S.

When I saw Sadje’s Photo Prompt, I immediately thought of the sad and prevailing rape culture in our society.

It’s True

It’s True

i’ve heard it a million times

i couldn’t possibly be wrong

it keeps spinning back and forth

in my head 

in my heart

in my being.

i knew it, i couldn’t be wrong

don’t tell me i’m goin’ crazy

it keeps coming back and forth

why doesn’t the phone ring stop?

i’ve pressed all buttons.

no, i’m not delusional

no, i’m not crazy

no, i’m not paranoid

how dare you call me one

in names, i am not

i’ve heard it and i knew it to be true.

you’ve insisted it’s me being paranoid

nothing’s happening

nothing’s wrong

with the phone

or the surroundings

or the people around.

so you took your hands off me

after all, how could you possibly

be with someone whose

like me.

but really, it’s true

why doesn’t the phone ring stop?

i’ve pressed all buttons

it’s happening

you refused to believe

just as you refuse

to see where 

i am coming from 

in my agony. 

Gaslighting has become the latest emotional abuse trend. I wanted to call it a trend because I had never heard about it before.

Gaslighting, according to the dictionary, is to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. Sounds terrible, right? But this happens to many; some don’t know their partners are gaslighting them. Unfortunately, the one gaslighting you may not also be aware of their behavior, and if they are, they refuse to believe. 

In relationships, an abusive person may use gaslighting to isolate their partner, undermine their confidence, and make them easier to control. For example, they might tell someone they are irrational until the person starts to think it must be true. Sounds familiar?

Here is an interesting article about gaslighting that might help you process or deal with the abuse and hopefully quickly leave the situation. (https://www.healthline.com/health/gaslighting)

Someone who’s gaslighting might:

  • insist you said or did things you know you didn’t do
  • deny or scoff at your recollection of events
  • call you “too sensitive” or “crazy” when you express your needs or concerns
  • express doubts to others about your feelings, behavior, and state of mind
  • twisting or retelling events to shift blame to you
  • insist they’re right and refuse to consider facts or your perspective

Signs you’ve experienced gaslighting

Experiencing gaslighting can leave you second-guessing yourself constantly, not to mention overwhelmed, confused, and uncertain about your ability to make decisions on your own.

Other key signs you’re experiencing gaslighting include:

  • an urge to apologize all the time
  • believing you can’t do anything right
  • frequent feelings of nervousness, anxiety, or worry
  • a loss of confidence
  • constantly wondering if you’re too sensitive
  • feeling disconnected from your sense of self, as if you’re losing your identity
  • believing you’re to blame when things go wrong
  • a persistent sense that something isn’t right, though you can’t identify exactly what’s wrong
  • a lingering sense of hopelessness, frustration, or emotional numbness

These feelings tend to come from what the other person says or implies about your behavior. For example:

  • “You seem so confused lately, and you keep forgetting things. I’m getting a little worried.”
  • “You know I wouldn’t say these things if I didn’t care, right?”

This mask of concern can leave you even more convinced there’s something “wrong” with you.

Gaslighting can also show up as changes in your behavior. You might find yourself:

  • making choices to please others instead of yourself
  • frequently questioning whether you said the right thing or made the right choice
  • making excuses for the person gaslighting you to family and friends
  • lying or isolating yourself from loved ones to avoid conflict
  • constantly reviewing your words and actions to make sure you’ve done everything “right”
  • spending little or no time on the activities or hobbies you used to enjoy

Why do people do it

According to Stern, people often gaslight because being right allows them to validate themselves. When gaslighters feel threatened, they need you to believe and support their version of events in order to maintain their sense of power and control.

Gaslighting can also happen when someone believes their narrative is more valid than someone else’s, says Ana De La Cruz, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Florida.

Persuading someone else to question their own reality, then, can leave them with a sense of superiority, De La Cruz explains.

It’s a Line Prompt this week.

“Why doesn’t the phone ring stop? I’ve pressed all buttons.”

I Am In Itself Poetry In The Dark

“words that should have been heartwarming melodies turned out to be a devil’s chant the limbs of my body exposed fears giving away whispering breaths of agony hidden in my eyes are pleading looks of terror with the drop of his pants comes the collapse of my world the collapse of my future the collapse of my dreams.”

from my  #1Amazonbestseller book “I Am In Itself Poetry In The Dark.”

this is my official entry to Amazon’s PentoPublish 2022 book publishing competition.

this book is available in all Amazon Markets worldwide; however, for countries where Amazon is not available, you can get it thru Amazon. Com, or you may click the link in my bio.

the paperback copy will be available soon, but to all my readers in the Philippines, you may start sending your requests for “reservation.”

I Am In Itself Poetry In The Dark (#1bestseller)

IT’S #1bestseller and #1newrelease  (insert me screaming at the top of my lungs)

My 8th book, “I Am In Itself Poetry In The Dark,” released on short notice for Amazon’s kdp book publishing competition, became a bestseller in one day.

I am genuinely grateful to all my readers and followers worldwide for quickly buying this book.

September 23, 2022, I received an email from Amazon regarding the KDP PentoPublish 2022 competition. I went over and read the guidelines and requirements to join. And I initially thought I could do it. EXCEPT that the deadline is … October 10, 2022.

Imagine writing and publishing a book in two weeks! So I dismissed the idea of joining; I knew I couldn’t possibly do it. My previous books took me around 6 to 8 months to finalize; there is no way I can do it in 2 weeks; besides, I just released my 7th book last August 15, which, as you all know, is also a bestseller. So strategically speaking, it’s not viable. And in terms of marketing, it’s not also possible. We don’t have enough time to do it.

But with some push and drastic encouragement, here’s what happened next:

October 3 to October 4 – I was writing the material/content with a very hazy concept.

Oct. 4, 3 pm – my editor said I need to send them the material immediately; otherwise, we won’t make it to the deadline. So, with me panicked, I sent a new book’s complete 21k word count. I finished with the theme and the details.

October 5 – Technical issues on the possible book cover design came up; I received the book’s edited/formatted inside pages later in the afternoon.

October 5, 11pm-midnight – when the world is in total darkness, my editor sent the possible book cover for approval. After a few discussions, we submitted the manuscript.

October 6 – it went live on Amazon, and I announced it on all my social media platforms.

And the rest, they say, is history.

Thank you so much for making my 8th book a # bestseller on such short notice.

Some of you told me they haven’t finished reading my 7th book, but they bought this one anyway.

My special thank you to Joni Caggiano for writing the beautiful foreword on such short notice. When the paperback edition is released, additional forewords from Jenna and Geralyn will be included.

Monster – An Ovi Poem

Monster – An Ovi Poem

you grabbed my arms when i said “no”

pushed me down hard i can’t let go

you’re a monster ready to blow

spitfire upon my soul.

rape, that’s how you call it, damn you!

don’t tell me you don’t have a clue

you tattoed my heart in deep blue

how could you have done that?

tell me, are you still that monster?

who put me through hell and in fear?

so don’t ask me as if you care

‘cos you never really.

What is rape?

If a man forces you to have penetrative sex or has sex with you without your consent or agreement, that’s rape. I don’t want to be so graphic about this, but it is basically brutal and graphic on its own terms alone. Rape could also happen not solely to a girl or a woman but to a man or, worst, a young boy.

Whatever the circumstances, nobody has the right to force you to have sex or have sex with you without your consent. If this happens to you, it’s important to remember it’s not your fault.

What is sexual assault?

If someone intentionally grabs or touches you in a sexual way that you don’t like, or you’re forced to kiss someone or do something else sexual against your will, that’s sexual assault.

What is consent?

Consent can never be assumed, even in a relationship or marriage. It doesn’t matter what you wore at the time or how you behaved — sex without your consent is rape.

You may not be able to consent if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, didn’t understand what was happening, or were asleep. It cannot be assumed if you can’t give your consent.

You’re allowed to change your mind — if, at first, you wanted to have sex but then decided against it, that’s ok, and no one has the right to force you to continue. If they don’t stop, they are committing sexual assault or rape.

for Val’s August Scavenger Hunt

Ovi is commonly known as 12th-century folk-songs of the Maranthi Region of India which expressed love, social irony and heroic events.

Tukaram, a 17th Century Maranthi Poet wrote:

Because I could not lie

I named my dog “God”.

Startled at first,

Soon he was smiling

Then dancing!

Now he won’t even bite.

Do you suppose this might work

On people, too?

The elements of the Ovi are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of 4 line stanzas.
  2. syllabic, 8-8-8-(less than 8 ) syllables
  3. rhymed, with L1, L2, L3 mono-rhymed L4 unrhymed. aaax, x being unrhymed

Murder She Planned – A Donna Limerick

Murder She Planned – A Donna Limerick

i could murder him ’till he dies

snuck his two eyeballs

by my finger

the look of fear

on him gives me chills.

i could throw him out of the ditch

slaughtered mercilessly

by gentle me

by sweet dear me

for breaking me deeply.

for Val’s Scavenger Hunt (https://murisopsis.wordpress.com/2022/08/31/looking-at-names/)

  • The Donna is a syllabic Limerick, without requiring the anapestic rhythm. Created by Viola Berg, the verse should be witty and fun.
    • The Donna is:stanzaic, written in any number of quintains.
    • syllabic, lines of 8/6/4/4/6.
    • rhyme xabba, xcddc etc.

P.S.

i know a limerick should be whimsical, light, and sometimes funny, but what can i do? i am a rebel poet.

Saturday blues is probably taking a toll on my happy poet heart, so here i am again with another sort of dark poetry for Val’s prompts.

I’ll Probably Die (inside the mind of a trauma victim)

I’ll Probably Die (inside the mind of a trauma victim)

let’s go inside the mind and heart of someone who has gone through so much in life. come join me.

“i’ll probably die; maybe
don’t freak out”

i’ll probably die, so don’t freak out or cry. don’t be sad. don’t grieve or wallow. just let me go. set my soul free and let me fly higher ’till heaven. it is where i wanna be; heaven. i only hope God will open His gate for me. oh, yeah, that’s it; pray that i’d be in heaven. i so wanna be there. they say heaven is our eternal home and resting place, and i so wanna have my final rest. it’s just got so hard, and i am tired. so set me free. free to fly. free to roam. free to rest. don’t cry. i seriously need to rest.

don’t think for once that i am leaving you. i am not. i will be around. you will see me. you will feel me. you will hear me. i just need to go. find my resting place. and i know this is not from where i am now. i am just tired. my body can’t take the pain anymore. just let me go. let me go with a smile.

i promise i will never leave you behind. for each time the sun rises, i will be among its vibrant yellow sun rays kissing your checks “good morning.” i will be the aromatic smell of your morning coffee. i will the soft morning breeze as you open your car driving through your work. i will be your Spotify song accompanying you on a long drive or in a back-bending traffic jam.

i promise i will just be beside you whenever and wherever you are.

and oh, before i go, please don’t think that i am leaving you deliberately. no, i don’t. i just can’t stay anymore. my body is so tired that getting by each day is daunting. i just can’t go on anymore. i wanted to, but i knew it was time to give up the fight. it’s been a long time. i deserve to rest.

i have been keeping my composure for so long that i didn’t realize it has broken down my whole being. and it’s not fair anymore.

i am leaving. with the birds in the sky. with the leaves falling. with the clouds soaring. with the rainbow. oh, yes, with the rainbow in heaven. maybe then my life will have its color.

i’ll go, but i will always love you from wherever God may put me to be.

That Night (A Flash Fiction)

That Night (A Flash Fiction)

“If only I was spared of your madness that night, I would have breathed life to a beautiful baby.”

I remember it so well; the darkness of the night, the sound of the cricket, the soft breeze blowing, and my heart beating fast. My mind went crazy, holding on to what could be the most precious thing I would ever have.

But, I was not spared. I was not spared from your unfounded accusations, tantrums, or unsolicited advice. I carefully read your messages between my shaking hands and my trembling knees. I felt the pain growing strongly. I felt the bleeding oozing fastly.

I cried. I cried the hardest. With the last message, you sent comes the last blood down my body.

I knew then it was the end.

I was not spared, so as my sweet little angel.

I lost her.

August 12.

I would welcome a new life, but I was not spared, and so was my angel.

For Eugi’s Weekly Prompt