Curled up on the stone-cold floor
Like a coil of worm protecting itself
Paralyzed and unable to retaliate
As blood oozed from wounds

Heating rage blazed wildly
Hurled burning curses
thrashed sadistically
“You are a burden
A disappointment
You disgust me!”

My eyes flutter
As she fades away
My consciousness soaked
into the pool of blood

I woke up suddenly, trembling
Weak and unable to move
Wounds all cleaned and tended to
As the cool breeze brushed my hair
I see my mother’s loving eyes
As she caressed my head, she said
“You know how much I love you
I hope you learned your lesson”

Her kind eyes after the rage
Becomes my gradual addiction
To please her was my destiny
The torment was my normality

Several decades passed, I wake up
With chills down my spine
My wounded inner child recalls
Like it happened yesterday
Now that she is no more
Her voice still dictates me
The dependency on a ghost
Continues haunting me
Inflicting pain is my safety
Feeling secure in toxicity

I stare out the window
Of my luxurious mansion
With people who care for me
With everything I dreamt for

I should be happy, right?
But what is happiness to me?
Pleasing the dead beloved
Or finding my own lesson

Gopika Pramod

As a child who internalised love’s meaning differently due to her abusive past, her mother’s love haunts her into adulthood.

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