36 Flavors of Self Loathing

Key Ballah

Key Ballah

36 Flavors of Self Loathing
1. In 2nd grade a boy called me fat, there hasn’t been a day since then, when I loved my body
2. At 18 I found myself locked in a restaurant freezer with a boss who was trying to use his
hands to convince me that sex with him was part of the job.
3. There were nights after you left, when I filled my bed with everything that you touched,
hoping to fill it with something familiar.
4. The moon warned me not to come see you that night, it hung low trying to touch me. When I
left you, it asked me how could I hate myself so much.
5. When you didn’t call I had to delete every memory of you I had, but you still
lingered in the cracks of my walls.
6. Someone once told me that my body was a war zone. The day that I finally
understood what that meant, I was bleeding from my forearms trying to recreate the crucifixion.
7. West Indian women are known for having children but being too strong to have men.
I’ve never understood the fear some people have of women who expect as opposed to women who hope.

8. That night I wanted to drink until my nose bled, but you were best at shaming my sadness.
9. I hated my legs for never being fast enough to escape the cannibalistic hands of clawing men.
10. I am wrinkled from all of the times I’ve folded myself to fit inside someone else.
11. She loved me so deeply, but I could never love her back. I tried though, I promise I did.
12. I haven’t cried in almost two years, and every time I see you, I pray for rain to
end this drought, alas, I am still desolate.
13. My dreams sometimes make me physically ill.
14. I am a glass house and you are David.
15. That night I got so high, I hallucinated hell, I promised God that was my last time.
The next day I got so high I thought my room was sprouting daisies. Shaitan is often cunning.
16.I drank so much that night I thought wine was pouring out of my eyes.
17. I’ve searched for God, but he is elusive and I’ve been destroyed by my own hands.
18. I wanted you, but you didn’t want me.
19. I still want you.
20. I don’t know my history, and now I don’t know myself.
21. I wrestled you out of that quarter, and then you wrestled me out of my virginity.
22. I like bad things, things, things that are meant to harm me.I always wonder how much I
hate myself. And why has my hobby become killing myself slowly.
23. The late night bus driver asked me why I was so sad, I asked him what he meant, he
said “when you got on my bus, you brought sadness with you”
24. You asked me who hurt me so badly, and I was too proud to say it was you.
25. I clamored drunkenly into the back of the cab, the driver was playing Surah Al Mulk,
flooded in shame I whispered astaughfirullah to myself under my breath. The driver turned to me
and said “Allah is forgiving and we are all weak sometimes”
26. I had a panic attack when I saw you in the mall holding her small perfect hand.
27. There are doors that I’ve closed forever, if they were ever opened, I am almost certain I
would die.
28. The worst nights are the nights when I call you. Those nights I am so close to dying I can
taste it.
29.I have frequently looked up synonyms for broken.
30. I am scared of my own darkness sometimes.
31. How will I teach my daughter to be nothing like her mother?
32. When the winter comes, I am almost always as bare as a forest.
33. I have to learn to forgive myself.
34. I am so many people, all at once, fighting to survive. This is why I am a perpetual civil war.
35. Blood doesn’t scare me, but disappointing my father does and my God, have I been known to
36. The hundreds of missing indigenous women in my country, make me feel like I’ve lost
hundreds of mothers.
-These are my 36 flavors, now I can heal.
Key Ballah is a Muslim, half Metis, half West Indian, Woman, Daughter, Sister, Friend. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She is a Writer, Hip Hop enthusiast and student at York University. Key takes a specific interest in anti racist and anti oppressive feminism, as well as refugee/immigrant rights and transition. She believes that everything she is and ever will be is a culmination of herstories,histories and lived experience. She believes poetry is a literary form of water and breathes it well. Visit her website, follower in on Twitter and Instagram, and email her keyballah[at]gmaildotcom.

14 Comments on “36 Flavors of Self Loathing”

  1. ksfinblog says:

    self loathing isn’t good for the soul……….. we all meet the devil in different forms many times in our lives.

  2. Amazing, deep and very easy to relate to!

  3. musclegenensis says:

    You are a great woman and one day a REAL man will show your worth, your equity, and glue all those pieces together. Inshallah

  4. uhclem48 says:

    There’s a lovely Hassidic story of a Rabbi who always told his students that if they studied Torah, it would put scripture on their hearts.

    One of them asked, “Why ‘on’ our hearts and not ‘in’ them?”

    The Rabbi answered, “Only G_d can put scripture inside. But reading sacred texts can put it on your hearts, and then when your hearts break, the holy words will fall inside.”

  5. Powerful and honest. Keep your strength and remain patient.

  6. LeFaz says:

    This is so touching. It made me cry

  7. Romaica says:

    We all have had our share of pain, but hang on there. I have learnt that I am the only one who can fix myself, I can’t wait for someone to do it for me. Keep trying.

  8. I feel like I know you. Or somehow, you know me. Love the way that you put that together. Good that something so beautiful can come from a life so tragic. Hopefully, that makes sense?

  9. hkcali says:

    You’re beautiful and so very strong. Keep your head up…we all have battles…and we’re all learning to love ourselves anew everyday. Fiamanallah. xoxoxo

  10. Anon says:

    This was so beautiful – I feel like you touched a part of my own broken soul. You are so much more than your self doubt. xo.

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