A Journal Entry from 1997

Posted on February 27, 2019

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In 1997, I was 16 years old and in grade 11. My mother had “full-blown” Alzheimer’s. She was 46 years old. Writing in my journal was my form of therapy and probably the only productive coping tool I used during these years. I kept a diary from the time I was 13 and stopped writing only after mom died in 2001, when I was 20.

In a fit of temporary insanity, for there is no other way to describe my stupid decision, I burned several of my journals in 2008. By several I mean all. I had at least seven diaries that I kept during my years as a teen carer to my mom.

Part of me is relieved that I never have to read that pain again. Oh yes, those diaries contained some immense pain. Yes, I was a carer, but I also came of age and needed to be fitted for a bra and had no one to take me. Yes, I was a carer, but I was also a young teen who had her heart broken for the first time during those years. I documented in great detail the sorrow, angst and helplessness in my diaries.

So, I am glad I don’t have to read the sad stuff again. However, I remember a poem I’d written about being a carer to my mom. It was titled, “All for a woman who does not even recognize me.” I was sad that I had lost this poem. To me, it was the essence of me as a teen carer and nothing I come up with today would have the authenticity of what it was like to be an Alzheimer’s young carer in the 1990s in a small town in India.

I was journalling last evening when I had a thought of digging up old CDs on which I had backups from my first computer. I was looking for a piece I had written way back in 2004 for an assignment while I was pursuing my MSW. I got my first computer in 2004 and since then all my journal entries or writing became digital. I reminisced as I came across the early 20s Ekta – newly woke about life’s injustices. It was very sweet.

And then I came across this document. I read and re-read the title a few times. “All for a woman;” I couldn’t believe my eyes! I double-clicked it and there it was – my treasure, my jewel, a piece of my heart and soul. The poem was there! No other journal entry was digitized by me except this one! I guess even in 2004, I knew the significance of this entry.

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, here is 16-year old Ekta, sans editing:

 

All for a woman, who doesn’t even recognize me! 

 –ekta 

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I was 17 when I wrote that caption.

 

 “Early morning blues. Wrong side of the bed. Argument with the bread winner. Streams of tears. A cartload of curses. Just what I need to start a day, and for whom? All for a woman, who doesn’t even recognize me! 

Sometimes stifling a yawn. Sometimes lost in an unknown tranquil, yet every moment am aware that soon I’ll come crashing down to reality. Just to look into a pair of eyes that cannot place me. All or a woman who doesn’t even recognize me! 

Messing up my relationships, procrastinating important work. Neglecting my own needs and wants. Casting away all thought and sentiment. Shutting out one and all. Just what I need for a quiet and peaceful life. And all for a woman, who doesn’t even recognize me! 

State of mind in shambles, personal life down the drain. Shadows following me, memories haunting me. Trying in vain to protect my sanity. All for a woman who doesn’t even recognize me! 

Yet some part of me argues, “So what if she doesn’t recognize me, there was a time when I didn’t know who she was, yet she suckled me, nurtured me—made me what I am today.” So anything for the woman, who doesn’t even recognize me! “

 

Posted in: Relationships