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
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.
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
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.