Rida Abbasi

All your life you’ve been running away
From those that are (at least in flesh and blood) your own
And some who aren’t

Attempting to erase a part of yourself
You thought that escape meant freedom

Ten years later you still (sometimes) sob at your naivety
You don't think you can talk about courage
In the absence of fear
But you can talk about fear
In the absence of courage

The fear of not knowing your truth
The fear of sharing your truth
The fear of questioning reality
The fear of not belonging
The fear of forced servitude
The fear of never being enough
The fear of never letting your mask down
The fear of becoming your mask
The fear of constant chaos
The fear of absolute abandonment
The fear of neglect
The fear of false joy
The fear of pain
The fear of self-expression
The fear of rejection
The fear of continuing to live
The fear of death
The fear of losing anything good that might happen or remain
The fear that nothing will ever change
The fear that you can't change
The fear that holds you and cripples you
Becomes your only friend, the one you belong to
Crying silent tears in the night
Until grief becomes rage

Trapped under the weight of authority
Giving in to invisibility as tradition demands
Afraid of existing
Afraid of escaping
Afraid of being anyone at all

You were a breathing husk of a being
Frozen in your fear
Until fear pushed you past panic
A frightening ocean

You confided in someone
You didn't need anyone's permission to be free
You needed a friend
Someone to give you strength

Severing the fear
Chasing your truth
Down a dusty, crowded alley
Down a jagged, death-like cliff
Following the river
That no one else wants to swim

You set yourself on fire
Finding the pearl of absolution
And the sacred ashes
To begin anew

Shedding your darkness
In isolation
Sewing together the remnants
A million miles away
Wearing your softness outside
Lifetimes later
Slowly revealing
What was hidden from you
What you’ve been hiding from your self

All those broken sinews
Planting a seed
Within the wasteland
Embracing the emptiness
Left behind
You are here
Watching petals blossom
The self that came home
After years of rejection


Rida Abbasi

Rida is a designer, writer and researcher, born in Pakistan and based in Melbourne. Currently she’s practicing as an independent communication designer, with a special interest in book design. Her personal work explores facets of the human experience through research and multidisciplinary design. 

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