POETRY: Entitlements

by Neesa Suncheuri

I’m blamed for being lazy,
Because I don’t pitch in my fair share.

I’m blamed for being dumb,
Because I can’t stay in school.

I’m accused for making rash decisions,
Because I have wasted a lot of my parents’ money.

No one sees, that I want to help and learn.
No one sees, that I am motivated.

My aspirations are all filled with
Inescapable errors.
No successes, only failures.
I am stifled underneath that wet blanket,
Forever draped over my mind, which is called...

You know what it’s called.
And under every circumstance,
Be sure to never utter its name.

I tried my best once to cook a meal,
But I became exasperated and gave up halfway.
The meal was burnt and terrible,
And my family said I was trying to poison them.

I set my alarm clock early, every night.
I want to wake up and draw my comic book.
But I always hit snooze, and oversleep by hours.
My family thinks I have no skills or talents.

And then I spend hours in front of the laptop every night,
Taking my clothes off for random men,
Performing sex acts via webcam.
My family thinks I’m a retarded slut who is tarnishing her future reputation on the Internet.

But even though I have agoraphobia,
Am I not entitled to a sex life,
Like normal adults?

This is my life.
And even if things are messy,
I am alive, and I deserve dignity.
I deserve a family that loves me,
But they are cruel.
I wish they could change their ways.

But my family too laments, saying that
They deserve better than me.
They’ve now arranged for me to
Go into public housing.

So now
I’ll have a less comfortable life.
I’ll have a limited paycheck, and
I will now know poverty.
Do I deserve this?

Who indeed, is right in this battle of deservings?
My family, or I?
And could we possibly be right at the same time?

I don’t know.

For the normal, unsick child grows into a
Self-sufficient adult.
And she goes her way, contributing her
“Fair share” to society.
She might start her own family,
Or buy an apartment,
Or take up yoga,
Thus maintaining a little, thin frame
Far more attractive than mine.

Does she deserve a good family,
More than I do?

I think she does.


Neesa Suncheuri works as a mental health peer specialist at a housing agency in Queens, New York.  She is the founder of a Facebook discussion group for peer specialists and other recovery enthusiasts, entitled “What is Wellness?  A Mental Health Discussion Group.”  Much of her creative inspiration is rooted in her now-tamed schizophrenia.  She is a singer/songwriter, and performs in various venues in the city.  She writes poetry, maintains a blog and is currently working on a memoir.  Follow her on Twitter at @aquariumspeaks.

3 thoughts on “POETRY: Entitlements”

  1. Contrarian that perhaps I am, I think she does not, that “normal” child, deserve more, not less, but not more. Families do fail and get lost in shame and blame and not understanding – too many – too often. You and your words are valued here.


  2. My heart goes out to the protagonist of this poem. Neesa, if it is you, my heart goes out to you. As you know, we all are loved. Everyone deserves love. In fact, the word “deserve” doesn’t even belong in the same sentence as love. Love knows no limits.

    Liked by 1 person

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