A photograph of a glass ceiling from inside the building, looking up at a blue sky. The ceiling is circular with a spiral-like pattern in grey metal.

Hurt Him, Help Her

by Defne
Content warning: intergenerational abuse.

I let the tears out because I want to hurt him 
To show the pain he causes me 
Don't be fooled
Sometimes I do know how to control them
To use them as a tool, wield them as a weapon

But I know it just makes him think I'm weak 
I never grew up, a child throwing tantrums 
graduated to manipulation
I learnt from the best but I confess 
She was still better than me 
At least I could tell how much she affected me

I trip up in guilt tripping 
He says I cause him pain
which causes me pain
and I want to show him this pain
so he can feel more of the same 
like clockwork, my tears and his shame
Why is my life full of endless cycles
aside from life itself? 

Don’t begin children
if you’re not prepared 
for them 
to end up as their own person 
Just teach them to be a good one
that itself is a job well done and 
you did that 

Give yourself more credit
so you can stop being aggressive
in your attempt to be protective
I do not reflect bad parenting 
am not an extension of your being
Stop letting your insecurity interfere with me living 
I call bullshit that
"parents just want their children to be happy"

They want them happy but on their terms
even if it means they’re less than
what they could’ve been
if they had followed their dreams 
Do not use a fear for my future
as an excuse for your past behaviour 
I do not need a slap to act as a wake-up call
Trust me, I am scared enough already 

You've never given me a fair chance 
to prove you wrong
I'm always running from a clock 
towards freedom to make my own path
Rolling downhill, arms outstretched
till I have to tell you what I have to show for it 
None of which you’d consider an achievement

You cannot claim to know what is best for me when
You don't even know me
My little brother thinks you can fix anything
but every time he says "fix fix fix" 
I hear “break break break”
“Useless useless useless”
This word is my new aesthetic 
I’ve been branded with 

My mind speaks in your voice
Sometimes I’m scared you are my excuse
Your words wouldn’t stab as much if I was already happy 
If I had already made myself happy

But it is hard enough to build a house
without a wolf always blowing it down
I cannot afford to build brick by brick 
So watch me write these walls of words
you cannot break with a fist
I will no longer see your glass ceiling
I will break through it 













































I let the tears out because I want him to hurt 
To show the pain he causes 
Don't be fooled 
Sometimes I do control them,
know how to wield them as a weapon, use them as a tool

But I know it just makes him think I'm weak 
I never grew up, a child throwing tantrums 
graduated to manipulation
I learnt from the best but I confess 
She was better than me
At least I could tell how much she affected me 
I trip up in guilt tripping 
He says I cause him pain 
which causes me pain 
I want to show him my pain so he can feel more of the same
like clockwork, my tears and his shame  
Why is my life full of endless cycles 
aside from life itself? 

Don't have children if you're not prepared for them to be their own person 
Just teach them to be a good one
That itself is a job well done, enough 
Give yourself more credit so you can stop being aggressive 
in your attempt to be protective from your idea of the world
I do not reflect bad parenting stop letting your insecurity interfere with me living 
I call bullshit that 
"parents just want their children to be happy", yes but no 
They want them happy on their terms 
even if it means they’re less than what they could’ve been
Do not use a fear for my future 
as an excuse for your present, your past
I do not need a slap as ‘a wake-up call’
I am scared enough already 

You've never given me a fair chance 
You can’t claim to know what is best for me when 
you don't even know me
My little brother thinks you can fix anything
but every time he says "fix fix fix" 
holding his arms out to you
I hear “break break break”,
feel your judgement like a brand
“Useless useless useless”
my mind speaks in your voice
The word is my new aesthetic 
A style I never chose to wear

Sometimes I'm scared he is my excuse 
If I had already made myself happy
his words would not hurt quite so much
But it is hard enough to build a house 
without a wolf always blowing it down 
I cannot afford to build brick by brick 
My foundation bears his mark
But watch me write these walls of words you cannot break with a fist
I will no longer see your glass ceiling 
I have broke through it






































Hurt Him, Help Her
by Defne

I let the tears out because I want to hurt him 
To show the pain he causes me 
Don't be fooled sometimes I do know how to control them
to use them as a tool, wield them as a weapon

But I know it just makes him think I'm weak 
I never grew up from a child throwing tantrums 
I just graduated to manipulation
I learnt from the best but I confess 
She was still better than me
At least I could tell how much she affected me 

I trip up in guilt tripping 
He says I cause him pain which causes me pain and I want to show him this pain so he can feel more of the same 
Why is my life full of endless cycles aside from life itself? 

Don't have children if you're not prepared for them to be their own person 
Just teach them to be a good one and that itself is a job well done and you did that 
Give yourself more credit so you can stop being aggressive in your attempt to be protective
I do not reflect bad parenting stop letting your insecurity interfere with me living 
I call bullshit on the whole "parents just want their children to be happy" yes but no 
They want them happy but on their terms even if it means they’re less happy than the potential of if they had just followed their dreams 
Do not use a fear for my future as an excuse for your present behaviour 
I do not need a slap to act as a wake-up call
Trust me I am scared enough already 

You've never given me a fair chance 
You cannot claim to know what is best for me when the fact is
You don't even know me
My little brother thinks you can fix anything
but every time he says "fix fix fix" 
I hear “break break break”
“Useless useless useless”
It's like this word is my new aesthetic 
A brand I've been branded with 

He affects my mental health and sense of self-worth it's true 
But sometimes I'm also scared how much I blame on him is an excuse 
His words wouldn't stab as much if I was already happy 
If I had already made myself happy

But it is hard enough to build a house without a wolf always blowing it down 
I cannot afford to build it brick by brick 
So watch me write these walls of words you cannot break with a fist
I will no longer see your glass ceiling because I broke through it

Check Also

Erotic Writing Competition Shortlist: ‘After the Rapture’

'After the Rapture' by C.T. is a shortlisted entry in Tharunka x UNSWeetened x UNSW Health's 2021 SEXtember Erotic Writing Competition.