I have so much in me that I want to put in writing but again, I have so much in me that holds me back. Holds me back from my desires, my accomplishments, and my dreams; to fully explore myself and understand and know my limits. I have so much in me that I have not discovered or risked, not because of fear or shame or blame; it is the voices in my head. The voices that stop me from doing anything and everything; prisoning me in my own body. I know one day a person would read this and wonder how can voices control someone? But I am a living testament that voices that speak to you in your head can break you into more than a million pieces. I have lived with these voices in my head for years, for as long as I can remember.

Since I was a young girl, the voices kept me company through the worst years of my life. I was an utterly sad child. I never knew or understood myself until I was an adult undergoing years of psychiatric therapy. I was miserable. Sad. Brokenhearted. I was naive and felt so lonely in this world. I felt so unloved. So unwanted. So worthless. And for years, inflicting myself with pain was a way to ease the burden. I never had friends. Nobody could ever understand my mood swings, my irrational behaviour, my sudden manic episodes, being overexcited, or always agitated yet my voices; these persistent, irritating voices always gave me the best company. We would talk for hours. They would assure me with so much that they became my affirmations. These voices are still part of my life, and play a huge role even as a fully grown adult.

All along, I never had a sense of direction in my life. I still don’t. I am always stuck. I am still stuck; unable to move back or face the future; I am not present either. When I was a child, my grandma was the bridge between the constant darkness I was in and that unflickering ray of light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t say I had memorable moments with my grandma, I call them stolen treasurable moments. Every minute you would spend with her always felt like a win, yet they always kept me yearning for more. I can only describe her as a pearl deep in the ocean, right next to me, in my rock bottom. Always.

During my early years of life, grandma would at times gives me coins for my pocket money and I felt like the richest kid on the planet. I get it. Most children feel that excitement. But for me, it wasn’t just the money. It was always about her; the joy she gave me just by her mere presence. Her softness. It was she who showered me with unconditional love that still lingers around me like good perfume. She was my comfort, my safety net from all the physical and emotional trauma I went through. It was her reassurance and strength that always made me look forward to the holidays when she came from abroad to visit us. I would always sit next to her, feel her warmth, and just smile. I knew I could never physically hold her forever, but I did in my heart.

I lost my grandma early on when Corona hit. To say I miss my grandmother is an understatement. Nobody was allowed to travel or go visit her due to the imposed restrictions. To know she died all alone in a foreign hospital broke me cause she always feared being alone. I thought I had forever with my grandma and I always thought there will come a time that I would truly express how I felt towards her; what difference she made in my life. But Alzheimer’s struck her before I could ever profess my love for her. Before I had the courage to. All I could ever do when I visited my grandma was hug her tight, close my eyes, and try so hard not to cry for all the love I could never give her back. I loved my grandmother so much that it pained me, ached me deeply for I guess within me, I knew I’d never have something or someone that would see me as she did.

The last time I visited her, I hugged her hard, one last time, before saying goodbye. Deep down my confused self, I somehow felt this was my last time to ever see her. I looked at her and she was so sad. Her sorrowful face still lingers on my mind. She just sat quietly at the edge of her bed having no idea what was going on and even then, I could not utter those words. To date, I still close my eyes at night and silent tears run down my face for the sadness she left in me. I could never thank her for all the amazing things she ever did for us. She never made us feel left out or lacked anything. She had so many grandchildren but treated me and my sisters like we were her only children. I’m grateful for all that she showed me; taught me. All that she was to me.

I could write a million stories about her, but the truth is it will never fill the void she left in me. My biggest regret is I never was honest with her. She left with so much unsaid. A lot was unvoiced.

Hababa, I truly believe you’re in heaven for there was no purer soul than yours. This remains the only undisputed matter even with my voices. I hope you can somehow see or at least hear me, I can never seem to speak when it comes to you. I can only write. That’s the only way I knew how to keep your memories in me alive.

I miss you. I truly miss you. I thank God for your saved voice on my phone. I have a picture of your soft hands. Your striking smile. I want to thank you for giving me all those happy moments that nobody has so far given me. If there was a World Appreciation Day, you would bear the crown. You were exemplary. You are my hero. I love you so much because I have run out of words to describe how thankful and how lucky I am to have had you in my life.

Wherever you are…it is me again…writing..yet another story about you…for the immense love I carry for you for years.

Can you hear me?

I miss you.