Listen

We talk 
but you do not listen.
we tell you
but you ignore.
we try to explain
but you brush it off.
we cry
but you do not hear.

you scoff
and say that nothing is wrong,
that we are okay.

watch out
we will be gone one day.

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Published in: on September 16, 2017 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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When I’m Gone

Image credits: lorispring

For the first time in my entire life, I had fleeting thoughts of being gone. That I will be better off gone than alive, present and miserable. It scared me afterwards but the feeling that I will be free of my pain was very tempting.

I told my therapist who suggested marriage counseling. To address the problem and to let my husband know that I am miserable. That his controlling ways have left me inadequate, inferior and scared.

I should have seen it – from the very first stages of our relationship he did a lot of things that, looking back – was very controlling, selfish and mean.

Case in point: I love fashion ever since I was a kid, wearing scarves, accessorizing. And when I was a teenager and in my 20’s, I had fun with expressing myself by wearing what I want. My now husband told me then that I should tone down my dressing style. And I did. He didn’t want male friends to be too close to me. My male friends noticed and they told him so. My best friend warned me about him, one of my male friends said he kissed and tell. I lost my male friends, my childhood friends, and my best friend.

All of these I never saw before. If I did, I justified it by thinking that since he’s older, he has this “I’m in charge personality”. Instead of controlled, I felt protected and sheltered.

Fast forward 20 something years later – he has not changed. Any single thing that I do, I do it wrong. Almost anything that I like, he blocks, disapproves, he negates. If I so much as leave home and spend time with my girlfriends – he calls me every 30 minutes to an hour. He gets mad when I do things with other people, or when he sees me having fun. Relatives visit and although he entertains, cooks and talk to them, he is mean to me and demands that my attention not be diverted. He has a set goal for me and the kids – he is big on title, brought on my his strict, egocentric upbringing. Older son has to be a doctor, younger son can be a dentist or can also be a doctor. And me? He wants me to have that title – to define me. Because otherwise, he can’t tell people what I am doing. One time he told me that I should take a master’s degree or else I will be answering phones the rest of my life. My co-worker was so mad! “Does he know what you do? That is an insult to you, how valuable you are to the company. How dedicated you are to your job”. I just shrug my shoulders.

Last month, I just had it. And that’s when that fleeting thought came to me. I know that if I run away he is going to find ways. He is vindictive and mean. I told him once or twice: “you are the meanest person I know.” And so I thought, I will finally be free – to choose, to be me – without judgment, without disapproval, without being made to feel so small.

Published in: on August 15, 2015 at 8:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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I’m Not Okay

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It’s Christmas time and yes I am afraid. Because for some unknown reason, every Christmas to me marks a time of sadness, darkness, frustration and helplessness.

Today, my husband and I put up the tree. And my mood quickly went from uncaring to somber. I tried to go on and hoped that he wouldn’t notice. But he did. He tried by changing the music – not Christmas music, I said. And he did change it but my mood just didn’t perk up. I tried to do things- get stuff from the attic, getting the boys to help and decoration with what I have on hand. He asked me again: “are you okay”
Me: “I am not okay”
Him:”what can I do to help you?”
Me: “nothing, just don’t mind me”
Him : “because it affects me, you know?”
And the tone was in the snap-out-of-it-because-I’m-sick-of-it tone. The it-is-affecting-my-mood-and-I-hate-to-be-bothered. He wanted me to change my mood because it is such an inconvenience to him.

So here I am again. I thought I was okay.
But I am not.

Week 3 – Anniversary

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Thanksgiving 2013 will go down in my personal history as the time I was at my lowest. I was in a deep dark hole and I was unable to get out of the rut I was in. That time, I finally acknowledged that I have major depression. And I know I needed help. I have, after all, had a most recent experience with my son.

One year later and I am seeing both a psychiatrist and a therapist. I have been taking medication on a daily basis while I struggle day by day. And last week, as I was bracing for the “anniversary”, I made plans. I refused to be in the same deep hole as before.

I invited people for thanksgiving, I bought craft materials, just in case,  bought a book and made plans to clean and organize the house. Things were looking up.

Or so I thought.

3 days before Thanksgiving, I had an argument with my sister.

2 days before Thanksgiving, I learned that the person we planned the get-together with was not coming. After I called and asked to confirm that they’ll come and to make sure meal planning will be in order.

1 day before thanksgiving, I saw my therapist. And we talked about all that have transpired leading to the anniversary.

I am doing okay though. It was just my family but we gave thanks as we shared a meal, had a movie night and as it turns out – a friend and cousin came for Thanksgiving and we had 2 glasses of margarita each.

Overall, the anniversary turned out okay.

Week 1: Slowly But Surely

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And so I was able to get through the week. I buried myself in work and tried my best to keep busy – physically and emotionally. And it worked. My days seemed shorter as I was able to find things that needed my attention. My OCD tendencies proved to be a big help this time. My love of organizing things when the mood hits me proved to be beneficial. The days would end with me exhausted but hopeful for the next day, what task I will tackle tomorrow.

The days have gotten colder. And as my “anniversary”, the time I was officially diagnosed with major depressive disorder, is drawing near, I brace myself. I have acknowledged that I might go down into a downward spiral again. But I take it one day, one step at a time.

I invited people over, I am getting rid of stuff that does not work for us anymore, and it is both cathartic and euphoric.

I have yet to meet with my therapist. I will see her next week and will recount my tale of abandonment.

I am trying very hard to be positive though. I will get through this. I will.

Image credits: http://www.fanpop.com

Published in: on November 14, 2014 at 10:45 pm  Comments (1)  
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Saying Goodbye – When Relationships Ends

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Scene 1:
a woman, trying to hold back tears as she says goodbye. She quickly collects her things – cellphone, pen, paper, contents that spilled when she accidentally knocked it to the side. “This is embarrassing”, she says, as she tried so hard to hide and wipe her tears at the same time. “Don’t be”, he says, his face in her hazy vision, that of a solemn, sorry expression. He told her she will be able to get past this. He produces papers- plans, directions, she had no idea as she hastily puts them all in her purse. “Goodbye, thank you for everything”. She wanted to hug him, but she didn’t trust herself – I might break down, she thinks to herself. And so she turns her back, opens the door, at the same time fumbling with her keys. She hurriedly runs to her car, turns the ignition on. Realizes he can see her from the window, she backs out and drives off.

Scene 2:
It was only after she turned on the next street did she let her tears fall away. Sobs, wails, breaks down, big fat ugly tears. The sound so foreign she didn’t think it was coming from her. And she couldn’t stop it. How could he? He knows the last one left her too. He could have been more gentle instead of just ripping the band aid off.
She drives, crying and driving in rush hour traffic. Not really caring if somebody sees her. Her whole body quakes as she sobs – continuously, endlessly.

Scenes from a movie? No, this is real life – the emotions are real. The pain is felt deep to the core.
This was me. Today, when my psychiatrist told me he is leaving.

I love going to the movies – seeing these images that tugs at your heart strings and you feel bad for the actors in the movie, for all the pain they are going through. Certain scenes, events, resonates with you and you feel sympathetic.

In this, I am the actor. Except —
I was not acting.

I feel like someone in my life, in my world – not the movie world, died.

And I am left to pick up the pieces.

When I’m Feeling Blue

 

Image Credits: Starry Night  Depression by Tyler Robbins

Image Credits: Starry Night Depression by Tyler Robbins

I don’t know if it was the time or the culture, but growing up, I did not pay attention nor was I informed about mental health. All we had back then was a sanitarium, a mental hospital that held “crazy people”. The words Depression, Mental health, schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anxiety attacks, etc were all foreign to me. Sure, I read about them in books but there are really some things that, unless you experience it first hand, you will never understand.

During my early years, I had experienced depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I did not know then nor did I have any inkling that I was experiencing all these things. I chalked it up to family drama and teenage angst.

Fast forward about 3 decades later and I was able to define what I had and still have. Looking back, I was able to understand myself better and in doing so had some semblance of peace with myself.

I have now been officially diagnosed with anxiety and depression and being treated for it as well. More on this on the next post.

I have been wanting to write about this as soon as I heard that Robin Williams committed suicide. My thoughts were: I do hope more people become aware of mental health and have a better understanding, explore treatment options and get all the support from family and friends.  We have a long way to go.

Published in: on September 7, 2014 at 11:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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