Escapril: Pick An Animal

This animal sleeps a lot,
they eat bamboo,
they’re under threat
so protect them we must,
because what is the world
without the furry, chubby
black and white creatures
we call pandas?
Ironically, I think it’d be a lot
less colourful.

Sylvia Plath, Mental Health, and Girls

This post is a combined post about mental health day (yesterday) and girl’s day (today). It’s talking about my all-time favourite poet: Sylvia Plath.

She was born in 1932 and died thirty years later in 1963. Why did she die at the age of thirty? Suicide. She had attempted suicide many times, but they failed. Eventually, she succeeded by carbon monoxide poisoning.

As she wrote in some of her many letters, she felt that she wouldn’t get a place at the top universities because of her suicidal background. She did eventually get a place at Cambridge, where she met her future husband, Ted Hughes, who was once the poet laureate.

She talked, in her letters, that girls being suicidal wasn’t taken seriously back then, and that it would even affect their chances in education and work. Her doctor cared deeply about her mental health, however, and had tried to get her admitted to hospital several times, but they would not take her. The system failed her because they didn’t care enough about her mental health. She was also subjected to electroconvulsive therapy when she was depressed, which is a really awful way to treat someone.

In one letter, she mentioned that two days before a miscarriage, her husband had beat her. Many blame Ted Hughes for her death, and some even vandalised her grave, getting rid of the surname ‘Hughes’ and replacing it with ‘Plath’. Her son also committed suicide in 2009.

Nowadays, mental health is taken more seriously, but a lot of girls are still subjected to judgement: “it’s just hormones”, “it will pass”, “you’re not depressed, just sad”, “you don’t seem it”, “this is a phase”. Sylvia Plath was failed, but she did so many beautiful poems that will always honour her memory; don’t let anyone else be failed. Just because they’re young, doesn’t mean it’s a phase, or hormones, or anything else. Even if it is, just take them seriously. Wiping them away like rain on your windscreen will cause them to isolate themselves and, eventually, they might have a similar fate to that of Sylvia. I love her writing so much but a lot of it is sad. She literally wrote about her emotions and she still didn’t get the care she needed.

This post was about girls, as it is girl’s day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget boys. They are taught to be strong pillars, but allow them to fall down. If you don’t, they might have the same fate as Sylvia Plath’s son, Nicholas.

Stop

Stop, my ears hurt,

Stop, no more,

Stop, my mind is screaming,

Stop, I just want peace,

a space to sleep,

a space to relax,

a place to weep —

But I can’t even do that!

Stop!

I don’t know if I can take it,

my eyes are ice-cubes

unable to melt,

and my ears are hedgehogs

never withdrawing their spikes,

thanks to you

and not stopping.

I know your selfish wants

are above my needs,

but I just want serenity.

No more yells,

disturbances,

just tranquility.

Please? Stop?

2012 [Poem]

It was 2012,

I was 12,

the world crumbled

around me,

I fell,

It was 2012,

I was 12,

the year of the diamond jubilee,

the London Olympics,

and it was also the worst year

of my life,

it was the year when my innocence

became something of the past,

it was the year when I was tormented so bad

that I thought a blade would help,

it was the year when I thought she would die

and it was the year I thought I would too,

except for her she wouldn’t want it,

it was the year that I had nobody,

no friends, except my cats,

it was the year that I got told I was worthless

over and over and over and over and over

until eventually, I knew it was true,

because why would anyone lie to me?

it was the year I had my face pulled tight

so no one would see me crying

except for one incident

where my IT teacher caught me crying

into my coat,

but that was a one-off,

and no one knew the real reason except one

and then two and then three and it was all too many

especially when that police officer asked for me

and I thought it was me that was in trouble

but she told me it wasn’t me,

it was him,

it was him,

and I didn’t say a word,

but it was also the year my parents lifted my sleeves

and wept,

because I wasn’t the daughter they thought I was,

I was much more damaged,

when I said school was good,

I meant helpmepleasehelpmeicanttakeitanymore

and it was the year I refused to come inside one night,

sat outside shivering,

because my parents knew and I couldn’t deal with how real it was,

how before I had been fine suffering on my own

but now I was suffering with others:

2012, the year I don’t speak of, that I just spoke of.

2012, the year that destroyed me, but repaired me.

2012, the year that chopped off my legs, then gave me stilts.