Baba, Teach Me

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By Palina

Please, teach me how to love baba
because I do not know how to


I am the daughter of the diaspora
Suffocated between my “homes”

You have migrated your mentality
You judge my behaviour based on my sex
You claim to be open minded yet you enforce stereotypes
failing to understand different identities
whilst you take pride in acts of brutalities
Do I obey you or my society?
I was your clay and you successfully moulded me
So I am domestic, passive, fragile and gwerayîl oh so quietly

Why is my femininity perceived as sexual promiscuity?
But indeed it is your insecurity
In fact it is male supremacy
Blinded by your egocentricity
corrupting my intimate abilities

I lived through my mother and her pain baba
though acknowledging her would make you insane

Teach me how to unlearn the violent scenarios that replay endlessly in my head
Teach me how to dissociate your violence with another man who has potential to get into my bed
Victim blaming, raping and slaughtering are just a few things to be said

Baba, where is the nurturer in you?
Do you know you’re my care giver too?
Your iciness made me search for your warmth in boys and men
although their mentality did not pass the age of ten

Baba, I fear physical and emotional touch
I fear to commit and let go
Would I become his battered wife or a show-off trophy in his life?
He’s trying to unravel the many layers of me
Penetrating words of his so-called love and wisdom inside of me
Would my partner and I live in complementarity?
Or would we empower each other’s intellectual ability and develop attitudinal flexibility?

How do I stop seeing the reflection of you and your violence in my partner?
Eternal states of zoning out
Why your words are everywhere around my life father
An emotional terrorist
A radical
An extremist
Constantly adding salt to my wounds
Everything I do reminds me of you


I grew up.

A good girl.
I know that makes you proud

So strong with the desire to loosen a little
The most I do is smile and giggle

But what does a good girl mean baba when you have taught me to switch off my senses?
You say you love me but your conditional love and sharaf depends on my intact hymen and how my interaction with the opposite sex is

Please, teach me to unlearn the pain that comes with being your daughter
How do I raise my unborn sons when I am still trying to unlearn this stigma?
I fear that trauma will prevent me from fulfilling my role as their mother
What if society overpowers me and raises them into another you?
I’m not quite sure what I would to do

Every time my lover reaches out to me
My body shrieks to awaken the very hollows of my soul
Adrenaline instantly gushes through my blood stream
I sit there numb,
unstimulated, tangible
like cold stone as it would seem
so let’s hail the power of endorphin

Please teach me how to be myself and how to relax when I sit in front of my uncles,
“cover up and don’t cross your legs!”
The only words I hear are
qahba or ayba

Please, teach me how to love deeply and internally
why baba?
I crave the warmest form of affection
but I cannot get rid of this tension

Baba, is this good girl enough for you?
Am I faqir and aqil enough?
Are you happy now?
Mental withdrawals from engaging in any forms physicality
in this damned reality,
Far beyond my conscious control

I would like to make tender love to the sweet rhythm of my lover’s body
Or to sit soundlessly in a wilderness of my freedom and solitude
Or perhaps to run in a field without any restrictions
that once caused me to live in fear and ended up ruining my cognitions

Now here I am,
Wondering about future generations and their desensitisation
No we shall not be victims of normalisation
Desperate for a mental revolution for several nations
We just need patience

But baba, please teach me to be free

Teach me to be free

I want to be free