If I had drown that day…

Everything comes to an end at one point or another.

I wonder if I had drown that day what would today been like? Who would miss me?

For those who wanted me to be happy, whose happiness do you really want: yours or mine? If the happiness is mine, why didn’t you ever ask me if I am alright? Why did you just assume that I’m always going to be fine? Why do you believe and buy into that lie even when I told you time after time all I want is to die?

If I had drown that day would my body sink or would I float away?

I don’t know the science behind it, but there’s a beauty in death. There’s a beauty in the moment before death that is so hard to explain and to understand. You realize all the good, the bad, the grateful, and the ungrateful moments of your life. They flash by, reminding you what it is like to still be alive. But then comes the peace, the acceptance, and the moment where you just let go of everything and let it happen. You realize you no longer have to deal with it all. That you are finally free from the bondage that you entrapped yourself with.

If I had drown that day maybe I would have found a sense of peace.

But if I had drown that day, would my only regret be that I didn’t drown myself sooner? Or would my only regret be that I couldn’t love myself the way I loved others even at the very end.

 


 

Reading this was really hard.

It’s something I wrote the day after Valentine’s Day when I suddenly remembered the day I wanted to drown myself at the beach. I was with someone that I secretly loved, and his presence stopped me. For the longest time, I believed he was the reason why I didn’t decide to off myself that day. He became the reason why I wanted to continue living. Little did I know, putting my self-worth and my will to live in others will only result in heartbreak and further depression.

Because when you put your self-worth and your will to live in the hands of others, it won’t make you feel better in the long run. Because when they’re gone, you’re back to square one again. And sometimes, when you’re unlucky, you’re even much further back on the path you started on. But in the end, no matter what you did or didn’t do, you have to learn from your past experience. And trust me, I did.

But whenever I feel down I just start to think what if I had drown that day…would I be happier? I guess the answer is

I don’t know.

I don’t know what would have happened, and I’m glad I’m in a place right now where I can confidently say,

I don’t care if I would have been happier.

I don’t care about the hypotheticals, because right now I can see all the people I have in my life. I can see all the possibilities that have yet to come. I can see my own happiness in the palms of my hand. And it’s safe to say that if I had drown that day…

I will never live to see how happy I am today.

What “love” feels like

Love feels wonderful. It makes you feel like you deserve all the good things in your life despite of your shortcomings. Loves feels inviting. It makes you vulnerable to the people around you that cares and allows you to trust again. Love is limitless. With it, there’s nothing you can’t do. There’s no sky you can’t reach. There’s no dreams that’s too big.

But a love like that has never existed for me.

I thought it did, but most of it was just me being delusional. Most of it was just me hoping that I might mean the world to someone. Or maybe most of it was just my unfortunate luck with those who took advantage of my feelings and my love.

I wish I had at least my family there for me, but truth be told, they were the first to hurt me on so many different levels. And when I tried to find refuge in other people, I was faced with the same pain again. People are cruel. Sometimes people are just a reproduction of what their family have done to them and what their family is like.

Some people don’t understand what a blessing it is to be loved, to be cared for, to matter to someone- especially someone that matters to you. Some people don’t understand how hard it is to be the perfect child and to be happy all the time because you know if you aren’t, it’ll break your family’s heart. So even in the darkest time, you can’t even go to them for comfort. You rather keep up the facade because the pain is easier to bare with than the pain of watching those you love cry.

And I hate that about me sometimes. That I want to run to them crying, but I don’t due to fact that I’m scared. I’m scared because I know if they don’t give me the support I want and need, I will only end up distancing myself from them even more. I’m scared that I’ll have to keep up the act of being a strong person. But if there’s anything I learned in life so far, it’s that even the strongest thing breaks. It’s just a matter of when.

And I’m breaking. My depression erodes away my sanity and my mind, one sadness at a time. And in moments like this, I can’t help but ask myself, “Why doesn’t anyone love me?” I can’t help but scream at the world for making me go through so much. For making me wonder what I ever did to deserve all of this pain.

It just overtakes me. Like a blackhole, sucking me into the void that exists at the bottom of my heart. It’s like I’m trying to walk forward, but I end up cutting off my own leg off cause gods know why? Maybe because I’m a masochistic bitch that just wants to see myself suffer as I try to escape the inevitable.

Maybe it’s because I’m scared that if I move on, there will be nothing waiting for me on the other side. That even then, I will still be empty and still be unloved, and there’s nothing I can ever do to change that. I’m scared that even in my own story, I will continue being the side-character that no one ever pays attention to- that ends up being the bad person every time because I’m misunderstood.

And I’m so tired of being misunderstood by those I care about and love. I’m so tired of being abused by people and having them tell me that it was “love”, that they did it because it was “my fault”, that I made them to do it, that it’s because I wasn’t good enough for make them treat me otherwise.

I’m tired of shouldering other people’s pain and carrying it as my own. I’m just so tired of everything that I cut myself off from my emotions so I could be empty.

I’m tired of having to feel empty in order to not feel pain.

I just want this to stop, but I don’t know how.

My brother once told me that if you hit your bruises over and over again, it will just become numb. And I guess without realizing, I started doing that too. I keep hitting all the bruises people had given me, hoping that maybe one day, I can numb out the pain.

But I wonder, where did their inflicted pain end and where did my self-inflicted pain begin?

Courage in the form of Silence (Trigger Warning)

I haven’t gotten too much into this subject, because I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard to talk about this. I was sexually assaulted by two of my male classmates in 8th grade while one of my friends watched and filmed me. Not only did she not help me, she showed a bunch of people that video of me being cornered, being groped, and having my dress ripped off on of my side.

I developed PTSD after that. I didn’t quite knew I had it despite the nightmares and heighten awareness around guys. It wasn’t until 9th grade where a boy cornered me in the music room, locked the door, and pressed his body against mine that I froze before bursting into tears. I went to a psychologist after the incident, and she told me it was PTSD.

It’s been hard dealing with PTSD, especially when my trigger is males. It used to be so bad that I couldn’t even shake a guys hand nor hug them. Overtime, my PTSD started to get better with the help of CBT. That didn’t last for long. On May 28, 2016, I was sexually assaulted and then raped repeatedly by my ex-boyfriend. The PTSD came back full-blown. My parents and some of friends weren’t the most supportive people either. They all blamed me, and they did so for every single sexual assault that have happened to me. By now, they just tell me, “If you get ‘sexually assaulted’ so many times, isn’t that your fault? You must be doing something that makes the guys want to do that. I don’t know if I can believe that you’re really the victim in this thing”

And now I get to my point. I didn’t realize what my ex did was rape until I attended my college’s orientation. After that, I joined one of the group therapies on campus where survivors come together and share their thoughts, feelings, and experience while supporting one another. I was nice to have people there that understood what it was like. Due to my schedule, I can’t attend this quarter, but something has been weighing on my mind.

March 3, 2017 – Friday Night

I got to the frat party with my friend early. We were the first one there. There were these two pledges that were on duty, meaning that they could not drink. Long story short, one of the pledge fed me a lot of alcohol. I threw up in the bathroom about 26 times in 30 minutes. After that I kept throwing up even more, but he kept insisting that I had threw up all the alcohol and that I should drink more now that he’s off duty.

I will admit I wanted to drink more even though I knew I shouldn’t, and him as well as the other guys pressuring me on did not help. I ended up drinking more and found out that my friend had left me to go off with some guy one hour into the party. I felt abandoned and upset, and instead of being mad at her, I decided to drink more to forget about it. Now, no matter how much I drank at this point, I threw it all up in the bathroom.

About 3 am or so, most people were leaving, and I didn’t want to be the only one there without a ride. I told that guy that I was gonna leave, but he insisting that he will come back to my dorm. He knew that my roommate was gone for the weekend, and he became so aggressive in his demeanor. His girl good friend called me an uber to send me home, but he tagged along while we walked there.

I was sober up pretty much at this point believe it or not. The elevated sense of awareness kicked in and my body had went into survival mode. I acted even more drunk as a way to draw attention to myself and to make sure the girls weren’t going to leave me behind with him. It worked pretty well until he became even more insistent. He got into an argument with his friend were he said “____, ____, come on now, we known each other since what? Highschool? Help a brother out”

I heard him loud and clear, and I remember her saying “____, you’re a great guy. I know you are. And I really want you to get this pledge. Don’t just risk it all because of one night okay?” and he said “But come on, _____. I’m just going to take care of her.” Luckily for me, she refused to let him. We attracted quite a lot of attention outside, and another group from the party walking to the frat house saw us and got involved.

This is the point where the guy got even more insistent on bringing me back to the frat house to ‘take care of me’. Now at this point, some of you might wonder why I assumed the worse of him. He was running his hands up and down my back this whole entire time. He constantly fed me alcohol and wouldn’t let me leave alone. It was clear that he wanted something out it. It got so bad that the other frat guys had to get involve and tell that guy to chill out. It was ugly.

March 4, 2017

I got back to my dorm after crashing at one of the girls’. I went to the ER shortly after feeling dreadfully ill. I ended up with alcohol poisoning, and my body went into an insulin shock. My guy friend that invited me to the party texted me asking if I was okay and what happened. I had just found out at this point from Facebook that he was the VP of the Frat.

A part of me didn’t want this pledge to lose his pledge. A part of me was scared that if I told my guy friend, he wouldn’t have believed me. So I decided to keep silence, yet again, like I always did.

April 5, 2017 – Now

I started getting nightmares again. I had trouble sleeping at night. Once a week, I at least get a nightmare of my ex raping me in my dreams and/or a dream of me bumping into the frat guy and him trying to confront me or talk to me. This has been going on since that night, and it’s becoming an emotional and physical toll. I saw that same frat guy two days ago on the Ring Road because this week was requirement week. He is now an active member.

I broke down in tears while I hid at Langston library after getting a pretty bad panic attack. I did, however, got the courage to see my guy friend that’s in the frat. When I did go talk to my guy friend, that frat guy was there and tried to approach me. Good thing, that guy backed off after seeing that my guy friend. Even then, I still feel so scared, especially when my guy friend invited me to their rush party this friday. He really wants me to come, but I’m scared I’ll bump into that frat guy and he’ll try to approach me. It’s sad to say that I don’t feel safe with this frat anymore.

I’ve always felt fearful on campus ever since that night too. I try not to mind it at all, because it wasn’t like I was sexually assaulted or anything. But it still scares me a lot because of what it reminded me and because of how it triggers my PTSD. But I’ve been trying to remind myself that even though I’ve been silent about it, I’m not weak or a cower. In my own way, I am still courageous for going on about my day the best that I can.

I think I’ve been silent for so long that it has also build me up to a stronger person that’s speaking out against such behaviors and such mindset. That’s why I think I might tell my guy friend what happened, because it’s not just about me, but about other girls. I would hate for other girls to go through what I had to gone through. Even if I might be overstepping my authorities here, I want my guy friend to know that such thing exists in his frat and that it should be really called to attention.

So in a surprising way, courage has been built and strengthen by my silence, and I’m grateful for that.

 

Frat Party + Alcohol -> PTSD

I am still in the middle of breaking down as I write this.

I feel sick to my core. I feel disgusted at myself, and I don’t understand why I’m being so harsh on me when no one should be so mean to themselves.

I arrived at a frat party, also the first ever college party in my life, with my friends. One of them were my suite mate and roommate while the other was my roommate’s friend. Well, first of all, I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and although I am not diagnosed with Social Anxiety, I do have symptoms of anxiety where I have a hard time emotionally and physically communicating with people.

At the party, I just didn’t know what to say. All my friends are more social than me, even though some of them were sober. It seems like people just approach them and they can easily talk to them. I felt alone and left out, because it seems like everyone wanted to talk to them instead of me. If I try to have a conversation with someone, my friend will just come and dominate the subject. And then suddenly, they become closer to each other, and I’m just an awkward third wheel.

I suffer from PTSD due to my past experience of sexual assault. It wasn’t until almost a year ago that I was raped that my progress really back tracked. In the past, my PTSD was so bad that I couldn’t even talked to a guy. I was always paranoid that they were going to assault me one way or another. It got better to the point that I could talk to them and shake hands every now and then. At one point, I actually got comfortable enough to the point of hugging them and crying in one of them’s arms. However, after I was raped by my ex-boyfriend, everything changed.

I am back to square one. I don’t know how to talk to guys. I’m terrified that they will take advantage of me both physically and emotionally. Going to a frat party did not help. It actually made it worse. Being surrounded by a bunch of dudes that just drinking and smoking made my anxiety worse. I was constantly scared of what may happened to me or to some other girls or even my friends. At last, my PTSD kicked in the minute my roommate disappear off with a frat boy to hook up with him somewhere else. Even though she said she’s consenting. Who the fuck knew at the moment especially when she’s crossed faded?

I’m terribly scared even now. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who to turn to. I really feel alone on my campus. I don’t have friends I can express this too, because they either go “aw I’m sorry, that’s so sad” or “maybe you should see someone about this” I do see a therapist for my PTSD, my anxiety, and my depression. This just feels like a curse I have to live with. Always fearful that someone is going to assault me. I know it’s illogical, but when is anxiety and PTSD ever logical?

I don’t know if I will ever get over my fear of men. It really destroys me that even though I miss having guy friends, I’m really scared and it’s not me choosing to be scared. I don’t know what I can do about it. I feel like I’m really stuck, but most importantly, I just feel alone. I feel like I’ve just been suffering alone. I know I have to be strong, but being strong is so hard when you’re trying for others and not trying for yourself.

A part of me just wish that maybe some day someone will notice me and notice my pain. And they will tell me that I don’t have to hide it anymore and that it’s okay to show it and release it. I just want to be loved and to be understood. I don’t even think I’m making sense anymore. I’m feeling so tired. I just want to cry myself to sleep.

 

Happy Birthday: A letter to myself

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

You are finally 19 years old. Can you believe it? 19 years old.

One more year and you will be 20. If you don’t think that’s amazing, I don’t know what else is amazing. You always thought that you will never live to see your 20s, but guess what? In one year you can. In 365 days, you will prove yourself wrong. To me, that’s amazing.

I know the day before your birthday has always been rough. In 2011, you tried to take your own life. You came home after being hit by the car in the traffic that you had thrown yourself into. You were limping, body covered with cuts and bruises, and face etched with tears. Your mom saw you, and you finally told her you didn’t want to live because everyone at your school bullied you.

It has been hard ever since. You grew distant from people, and you started to question whether or not people are just cruel. But you met her. You met your best friend. You met your other best friends, and you have been meeting so many amazing people along the way that is always wishing for your success.

Yes, it has been tough. I know. Especially last year when you wanted to take your own life the day before your birthday after having a huge fight with a boy you thought you love- after he screamed at you and dragged you out of his car. That day was horrible, and we both know that even though he treated you badly, you still found comfort in his arms when he came to see you after you told him you were about to end your life.

And I know it has been even tougher when you got your first boyfriend. You never been in a relationship before, and you are so scared that you might mess things up or that he might leave you for someone better. You had so many fears, and instead of dissipating them, he harmed you even more. You became another statistic. You were raped by the very person you trusted.

But you are so strong.

You are so strong for standing here today. You are strong for seeking the help you need when you arrived at college. You are “stronger than anybody even you can ever imagine.” Remember that line? In the poem you wrote?

You put yourself out there, and you have done things that you never thought you could. You became an advocate for sexual assault victims. You’re out there sharing your stories and helping others that are going through the same thing that you’ve have been through or are still going through. You performed your own poems in front of a group of stranger despite of your anxiety. You have allowed yourself to be open with people and trust in life despite all of the hardships you’ve been through.

You are so amazing for all the things that you’ve done and for all the things that you are still doing. You literally did everything those people didn’t want you to do.

You took control.

You took control back. And you’re doing all these things because it’s something you feel passionate about, which is so great. You took control back by deciding that you want to major in something that you love and not something that your parents want. You took control of your own happiness, and that’s all I can ever want you to do.

You’re succeeding and standing here right now when all those people want to see you fail and want to see you be held back by their hurt. You’ve been overcoming so much adversities in your life, and it’s about time that you realize just how strong you are and just how resilient you are.

So my birthday wish to you is that I hope you remember all of your strength, all of your beauty, and all of your love that you give to yourself and to others. You are an inspiration to me.

And one day in your 70s or 80s, I know you will look back on this time of your life and realize that you couldn’t have done things any better than you are doing right now. You will realize that you were wrong about not living to see your 20s.

So Happy Birthday, Jenice.

I know you’ll make a huge difference in the world.

Love,

Yourself

What Domestic Violence Means to Me

October is the month of domestic violence awareness.

Growing up as a little kid, I didn’t know what was normal and what was not. Whatever I saw first-handedly was imprinted onto me as the norm. I left with my mother and my brother for America just a month after my mother gained custody of us after her divorce with my father. I had just turned 8 years old in the month of November.

My mother wanted us to chase after the American Dream. Like many others that came before us, we came with the intention of starting a life and a home here, but something always held me back. I think it held all three of us back.

I don’t exactly know when it started, but I know my father wasn’t as a good as a man and as a father he should have been back then. My older brother is 2 years older than me, and from what I was told, when he was a baby, my mom was already experiencing abuse. But this is my story and my experience. I’m not here to tell you theirs. That’s for them to tell.

 


 

I remember I used to fear my father so much, and truth be told, I still do. I saw him this summer, and when he raised his voice at me in the restaurant, I suddenly got emotional and fled the place crying. There’s a part of me that always seem to fear him.

My father was an abusive drunk. All he did was work and drink. Some days and some nights, he wouldn’t even come home. I guess that was for the best. When he was home, things were always tense. I used to wake up every night around 3 or 4 am to the sound of yelling, to the sound of things being thrown, and to the sound of doors being slammed. I would get up from my bed and exit out the room with my blankie clutched close to my chest. I think I was only 3 or 4 when I first witnessed my dad beating my mom in the middle of the night. She always reassured me that she and him were only playing around.

“Wrestling” she would always say.

My father crossed the line of corporate punishment. When I was in kindergarten, if my brother and I didn’t wake up in time, my father would take the bamboo massage stick and beat us until we woke. Then he would beat us again for not waking up on our own. I still remember the pain on my back and the sight of blood, which were dismissed by him. He didn’t care. After all, he was always too drunk to care.

When I was six, my mother took my grandmother back to China to visit some relatives. It was just my brother, my father, and I alone in the apartment. My dad gave me money and told me to go down to the convenient store to buy him some beer. When I came back, we were sitting on the living room  eating the instant noodles he whipped up for us.

Me being the clumsy kid I still am knocked over the bowl by mistake. I started crying because the soup spilled on me and was too hot. And I couldn’t stop crying even after my father told me to shut up repeatedly. He finally had enough. He slapped me and told me to be quiet, but I continued to cry.

He started looking for something to hit me with, but I was so scared that I ran into the bedroom and locked the door. I called my mom on the phone in the room and begged her to come back soon. She told me she couldn’t and that I had to wait for a few days. I can feel my tears falling down right now just writing about this. I can still hear my father banging on the door, telling me to “fucking open it” so he could beat me more for running away from a beating I “deserved”. And I can still feel how helpless I was as a kid.

There was another incident that I still remember. It was the worse of all. I was seven, and I think this was the incident that finally set my mother off and pushed her towards divorce.

It was during the day. My father had just came back home after a few days of disappearance. My parents were fighting, and my brother and I left the room to give them space. The next thing I know, my mother is screaming and crying. I turned around and saw my mother stumbling and falling down onto the living room floor. And then, my father appeared with his golf club in his hand. My brother jumped in front of our mother and told my father to not hurt her. So instead, my father swung the club at him. My mother started to scream and started to beg.

I didn’t know what to do. I was crying, and I was so scared that we were going to die. I ran to the phone tried to dial 911, but my mother told me to stop. She told me how if I called the police, I’ll tear the family apart- that child protection service will take us away from her, and we will never see each other again. So I put down the phone. My father was infuriated that I tried to call the police.

He pushed my mother aside and swung the golf club at me. All I remember from that moment was crying away from my pain. My visions became fuzzy, but I still felt his other blows. I didn’t fight back, I just cried, and the more I cried, the more the physical pain seemed to just fade away. It was almost as if the physical pain I felt were nothing close to how much it hurt me on the inside.

Then came the blackness, and I was out. When I woke up, I was at my grandmother’s house. My mother relocated the three of us to live with her mother for the time being. We were too afraid to go back to the apartment where my father was at. To this day, I still don’t know how long I was out and how long it took me to recover, but one thing I knew for sure was that I started to see my father as a monster. Even now, I have a hard time just talking to him without feeling anxious and scared. But I still love him despite all of the things he put us through.

I still love him even if he was never really there for me as a father.

 


 

I’m bawling my eyes out right now. Just typing this down makes me relive those moments of trauma that I always buried deep down inside of me. For the longest time, I actually forgot I’ve even been abused. I tricked myself into thinking that my family was perfect even though I knew it wasn’t.

But despite of everything that happened, I’m still standing here today. My mother and my brother are still standing here today. We have our rough moments with trying to established healthy interpersonal relationships with other people and with each other, but we are still standing here today.

I don’t know about them, but I found God during this time of my life.

I would pray to God every day as a little girl, asking for mommy and daddy to stop fighting, for daddy to stop drinking, for me to be a good daughter to my parents- because I really thought that my father beat me because I wasn’t good enough- that all I ever do is upset him and disappoint him.

Even now, I still feel the same. He only wants to talk to my brother, and he only wants to know how he’s doing. In his eyes, I probably couldn’t mean anything less or so that’s what I tell myself. I make these assumptions about how people don’t care about me because it’s easier. Because it supports how I feel about myself

Worthless.

I feel worthless. I feel like I don’t deserve anything in this world. I feel guilty to even be breathing right now. I feel guilty that my heart continues to beat when other people in this world are suffering.  I feel guilty, and I shouldn’t be feeling guilty.

That’s what domestic violence did to me. It took away my family. It took away my childhood. And it took away myself from me. But there’s one thing that it did not take and will never take ever be able to take.

Resilience.

I am resilient.  I will not let my past define my future. I will not even let my past define my present. I will live in the now. What happens yesterday and what happens today will not define my tomorrow. This moment does not define my tomorrow. I get to choose how to live my life tomorrow. Nobody will ever have that power over me.

So for the people that have gone through this, for the people that are currently going through this, and for the people that have friends or family who are going or have gone through this, remember that you are strong. Remember that you always have a choice. Remember that even at your weakest moment, you are radiating with strength on the inside.

You are beautiful. You are worth it. You are powerful. You deserve so much better even if it doesn’t feel that way.

Tell yourself that your feeling of worthlessness did not come from within. Tell yourself that it was instilled onto you by fear, by oppression, by abuse, by this “love” that they claimed. Because it’s true. We’re not born to hate. We’re not born with the feeling of worthlessness. We are born with love. So don’t give up and don’t give in.

Keep breathing and keep fighting.

And remember that you are loved and that you are love

 


 

Well that took me awhile to write. I’m going to leave this unedited, because I think it’s more powerful this way. To be able to share this in the most rawest form that I can possibly think of.

I am in the middle of recovering from all the bullshit I’ve been through, so I’m sorry if it comes off as a bit hypocritical for me to tell others to love themselves when I struggle with that to begin with. But that’s also another thing.

Whether or not, I struggle with the concept of self-love, self-care, and self-worth, we still all deserve and need these things. That part will never change.

Thanks for reading~