Blasphemy by Hawra’a Khalfan

A journal entry on feeling stagnant:

It is blasphemous for me to feel this way. It is blasphemy to nudge the world with my thoughts by putting them on paper. It is a miscarriage of ideals to almost be as good as I want to be. I feel as if I might as well have been born still. I feel nothing but friction, vibrating back and forth but never going anywhere. I feel like I was born to stillborn parents, never having learned anything from their mistakes. I feel as though the world owes me everything and nothing. I feel like I am an intrusion. A peculiar future death waiting to happen. I feel as though the only purpose I serve is to give the race less air to breathe, less space to live. I am a living cultivation of what it looks like to ungrow, to unthrive, to be still.

Purulent by Hawra’a Khalfan

A journal entry on the postpartum period:

What they don’t tell you when you’re about to be a mom is that it takes a while for that tsunami- over the moon- head inside out- intense motherly love to kick in. I remember the exact moment it kicked in with my daughter. Before that moment, I would still do everything I had to to nurture and sustain her. I clothed, bathed, nursed her. I didn’t sleep or eat properly. I fully came second and she was the most important thing in my life. But what I felt wasn’t love in the beginning. It was a need to take care of this little tiny thing I birthed. So I nursed her on demand, often meaning I barely slept. I worried about her nonstop; is it too cold? too warm? is she clean enough? full enough? healthy enough? safe enough?
This continued for two months. When she screamed I ran to her, when she cried I felt guilty and made a pact to myself that I would never let her cry for as long as I exist (she cried again 5 minutes after I made this pact). I felt like I had this fog which persisted and followed me everywhere. It was in my brain, consistently. It was like a purulent infection of the mind, consuming who I ‘was’ and oozing this layer around my brain. I was not myself anymore. I could not think straight. It was predominantly caused by lack of sleep. But there was this other side to it, where I knew I wanted things done a certain way and as the mother, I had to be the one to do those things that certain way. Continue reading

Corruption by Hawra’a Khalfan

She hugged her growing belly tight with her palms, _I can’t wait to meet you._ She smiled, as her baby responded with the sweetest little kick, as if to say “Me too.”

Her mind drifted to her own mother and all the fading memories she has of her. The only ones that haven’t faded are the ones of her mother fighting for her. The unconditional support she always kissed into her pores. She sat at her writing desk, thought of all the wishes and dreams she has for her little girl, and began:

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Higher Power by Hawra’a Khalfan

Letter to my sixteen year old self:

Don’t let the world drag you down. Don’t let anybody tell you what you are and what you aren’t. Your mother spent years calling you beautiful, don’t let society tell you otherwise. No, she isn’t crazy. (And no, a donkey is not a gazelle in his mother’s eyes.) Moms aren’t blind, they just see the beauty in you that you haven’t learned to see yet. She’s building you up in a society that is dragging you down. You owe that woman your strength as a woman later on in life.  Continue reading