Head Shrinking (Acknowledging that One is Depressed) Part 6

Let’s be brave alright? I tell myself this every single morning. I am not the strongest person in the room but I could be brave too. Life is still worth it, it is not always sunny but it will get better.

We all have our own problems, be it about finances, health, relationships and so on. The thing is, no matter how small or serious the problem is, you never compare yours with another person’s.

It’s one of those days again. I look around and I see everyone smiling. They have their own struggles too but it’s unlike mine, my struggles are inside my head.

The past few days, I’ve been having trouble getting up in bed. I would wake up late and just bury my face under my pillow and I think to myself… “Is it really worth it? Is waking up really worth it?”

I wake up, take a shower, feed the dogs, go to work, process documents, talk to Bunny, eat, go home, shower, sleep, wake up the next morning… and so on… I do this every day and slowly I feel myself getting lost in the process.

Is it really worth it? To do the same thing over and over again? Don’t get me wrong, I still try to be productive and I still try my best to make my relationship work but I’ve been feeling so down, self loathing… I’ve been feeling inadequate. I feel like I have nothing and I am not enough.

Truth is, I have a convenient life… I have a steady job, I have a family, I have savings, I have friends, I have a boyfriend but I still feel inadequate. When I was younger, I thought if i had the money, I would be happy… yes money does make things easier but it wouldn’t solve the emptiness I feel inside. It wouldn’t get the thoughts in my head.

All day, I would feel like one of these days something is going to go wrong… That one day, Bunny is going to leave me, that he is going to wake up and feel differently about me. Truth is, I trust him… I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust that I am really worth all the effort, the time, the investment. Since I haven’t proven anything yet, I haven’t even achieved anything yet, and I don’t even see myself as someone good at something. I usually ignore myself and focus on other people. I like making other people happy especially those I love, those who matter to me.

All the kind words mean nothing to me. It is easier for me to accept criticisms than compliments. I can hardly love myself and everything about me thinks I do not deserve any kind of love. I think it’s because I did almost everything by myself, growing up that is. Sure, my parents raised me, fed me, sent me to school… but i needed more than that, i didn’t get the support i wanted or the affection i needed. and because of that, i was conditioned that i didnt deserve them..

That is why I pour all my affection to other people. I am trying my best to make them feel loved and special and wanted. I want to save my loved ones from sadness because I couldn’t even save myself. It is addicting and it is consuming me alive. I couldn’t get out of it but I can try to save another soul.

And all these insecurities about myself just came crashing in. Parang ayaw ko na. (I feel like I don’t want to continue anymore). I would rest my head on my desk during my shift or just stare blankly at the wall. I would think about the things that could go wrong in my life, me losing my job, friends leaving, boyfriend breaking up with me, growing old alone and lonely… being stuck with the world I am living currently…

I would hear people laugh about small, petty things, over ridiculous jokes even if they’re having marital problems, or even if they’re lacking resources and I am just observing them with all the resources I have that they don’t have at the moment… I should feel at least a little relief but here I am, feeling sorry for myself for some reasons, for something I couldn’t fathom.’

I feel empty these days.

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Head Shrinking (Acknowledging that One is Depressed) Part 5

This guy, a complete stranger, who lives 13000 miles, away made me feel things again. Of all the people who came into my life, this one made the most impact. It was as if he brought me to life, again. We would talk endlessly about things and I for sure felt a strong connection.

It was a crazy month, it was a crazy process but I liked him. In fact i liked him too much and I’d take short breaks at work just to listen to his voice, and laugh, and his crazy stories. I was just completely enamored. He made me laugh so hard and he embraced me for who I am. I wasn’t in the best shape when he met me, my demons were all over the place but he still showed me love and affection and for that… I was grateful.

I didn’t want to try but for him, I let my guards down. He is a wonderful guy and I genuinely like him that’s why I decided to take the risk and I knew deep in my heart, everything was going to be worth it. So I tried with him. He told me the words, I told him too. He showed me love, I loved him back. And for the longest time, for the first time, I found someone I’m willing to keep. I found someone I am not going to let go. I started a new chapter in my life, and I can say with all my confidence that he owns my heart at the moment and I’d love for him to hold it as long as he can, as long as he wants to.

It wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies. By the end of June, he changed his shift. He would work normal hours so that means, he would be awake while I’m asleep and vice versa. I would miss him a lot. I was so used to us talking all the time but I had to understand that we are adults and we both have responsibilities. If I’m being honest, I got scared. I got so scared that one day, he would be consumed by work and his responsibilies that we would start to fall apart. And I will be left all alone again. But deep in my heart, I have faith in him, that’s why until now, even if things are not quite the same, I’m still here, loving him.

By the third week of July, I started looking for an apartment and I found one. Two floors, two beds, one bath, rice fields and mountain view. It was so lovely. I fell in love with it. I thought, it’s time to start living for me. It’s time to grow and leave my parents shadows. I’ve thought of being on my own for months and months and I’ve been telling my parents. I thought they were going to support me this time, because obviously I’m an adult now and I’m capable of making my own decisions.

I talked to them one time and my world crushed… My world crushed when I heard the words “No, nobody is leaving this house. You’re wrong. You’re doing the wrong thing. We’re not talking about this anymore.” They dismissed me and my dreams just like that. I couldn’t explain how I felt but what I’m sure of was I was devastated.

The people who should be supporting my decisions, who should be helping me grow tore me down. And there’s my “should be” support group…

I did everything to become the best version of myself. I tried my best to become a decent person but why am I being treated like I’m not capable of running my own life? Why do my parents feel like I’m wasting my life and I’m making the wrong decisions? All I wanted is their support and they couldn’t give it to me…

And my world crumbled as I was being devoured by negative thoughts. All I felt for the past weeks are hopelessness, devastation, sadness, the stabbing pain in my chest. I lacked motivation to do things, even waking up was hard as hell. I had dark thoughts, really really dark thoughts to the point of wanting to end everything.

During my darkest hours, a friend showed me his support. I met him 4 years ago, when I was devastated too. We didn’t date but we had feelings for each other. We stayed as friends, and it was totally worth it.

He gave me his time and attention and watched me closely. He made sure I was taking care of myself too. Although at that point, I already fucked up. I already abused myself physically, emotionally, mentally. I was in the worst shape when he came to the rescue but all of the things he did, he meant well. He knew about Bunny and he respected my relationship but he did not understand the score between Bunny and I. Why we weren’t talking and why he wasn’t around. I told him, Bunny had things to do too and I did not want to drag him into the mess I am in. He also have things to fix and look after, job was so crazy and I was trying to be understanding.

One night, after I met my therapist, I received a text from Bunny. He apologized for not texting back because he was feeling down too. And I thought to myself, I couldn’t help him in my condition so I set aside my own issues. If he’s down and I’m down too, nothing is going to happen. So for him, I tried to get myself together. I would talk to people, I would reflect, I would ask for divine mercy… I thought, If I couldn’t save myself from this madness, I will try to save Bunny. I will make him happy. I know how it feels to be down and self loathing and I don’t want him to feel that way too. I don’t want him to get stuck in those feelings so I tried my best to cheer him up. And whenever I make him smile and he says he appreciates everything that I do for me, I feel a spark of joy in my heart.

He needed saving, he needed support, he needed understanding… The things I needed too. And because I didn’t get those from the people who were supposed to make me feel loved, I am trying my best to give them to another soul.

Head Shrinking (Acknowledging that One is Depressed) Part 4

So I fixed myself. I went on with my life. I turned on the lights in my room and started making friends again with other people. I tried to move on little by little and started to eat healthy. I still drank a lot, but not alone anymore. I drank with a friend, we talked, we went on walks, we hang out a lot. She became my best friend in the city. Life wasn’t going well for her as well, we shared each other’s brokenness. And we helped each other find the sparks that we missed.

Months passed and not a single message from him until one day, I saw a missed call… from him. I felt my heart raced and I went back to my room and sent him a text. The longing… the feelings all went back like nothing happened at all. I was still in love with him but he was still with her girlfriend and we tried our best to stay as friends although I knew deep in my heart that I see him more than that…

We talked about a lot of things and we would have small arguments but at the end of the day, we would still patch up. He loved and cared for me like dear friend and I loved him too… like a best friend and more than that. He eventually broke up with his girlfriend but we never got back together. He never wanted it.

Fast forward to year 2017, I left my job. I did not grow and I did gain anything at all. I was miserable, I had no motivation and I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there… I did not see my worth. I had nowhere else to go so I went back home. And I was stripped away of my freedom again. I was supposed to act like the daughter they wanted me to be so I did and everything felt like just like the old times.

Work was going okay, paid well. I was still talking to the guy and yeah, we were just talking. He never changed his mind about not wanting to get back together. My family would often ridicule me for talking to him. No support, no sympathy. I let the idea of support go.

Year 2018, I survived a year. Whatever I heard from them, I just didn’t mind, even if they were wrong about things, even if they assumed things, I just didn’t want to defend myself anymore.

April 2018, we stopped talking. He wanted to move on with his life, he wanted nothing to do with me. Even if I asked him not to go, he still left. I felt it before he even told me. We parted ways… I thought he would come around and give me a call days after but he didn’t… And months after, he still didn’t say hi. I couldn’t even greet him on his birthday. I just posted a message for him in this blog, thought maybe he would visit this one day and see it. Maybe he would greet me on my birthday… He still didn’t. No Christmas greeting… Nothing… I knew, I accepted that it was over. More than seven years in the making. It’s time to close that chapter… But truth was I couldn’t. I couldn’t even read our last conversations. I couldn’t even erase his messages. I didn’t want to move on from him. My heart belonged to him even if he wouldn’t accept it. Even if he stopped loving me years ago, I stayed faithful to him.

I talked to people to fill the emptiness I feel inside. My two friends here have become my support group. I didn’t try to date at all. In my head, I knew that I was still waiting for someone and I knew that if one day he comes back, I would choose him over anyone…

Until I met bunny.

Head Shrinking (Acknowledging that One is Depressed) Part 3

Okay, it was just a heartbreak, I thought. I’ll get over it eventually. But never a day gone by that I did not cry. I felt hopeless. I felt like I lost a big part of me. And my dad would never leave me alone. He treated me like I was a piece of trash, like I was a bird. He caged me, he even monitored my every activity from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep, No phones beyond 9 pm, no phones before 9 am, he even confiscated my phone, like what he did when I was younger. And this went on and little by little, I started to lose my mind. I felt like I wasn’t a person at all… I was more like a domesticated animal.

I felt like I was choking to death and I needed someone to comfort me… So I ran to him. I reached out to him. He made me feel secured, he made me feel like someone was willing to take care of me, willing to listen, and he treated me like a human… Someone who needed freedom, someone who can make her own decision, he made me feel like a person with a free will. We would talk over email and I bought another phone. We kept our relationship as private as possible but it wasn’t easy at all. It was so damn difficult that we broke up a lot of times because of the logistics, the situation.

I graduated college and secured a job and I thought, finally, I’d taste freedom, independence. I could start being my own person… I thought wrong. I would hear criticisms over and over again. I would hear lectures from the cut of my hair to my job, to my apartment, to the city I lived, to my then boyfriend. And I felt like I was still 11… I felt like everything I did in my life was wrong. That I couldn’t make sound decisions and all these things started taking its toll on me.

I was damaged. I had no direction in life and the only happiness I had was him. This guy, who was not even my blood, supported and loved me…

Nothing good lasts forever they said. One morning, on my way to work, I learned that he was already in love with somebody else. And I felt like my whole world shattered before me. The guy I loved for years, the guy who stood as my best friend through all the crap, had already set his eyes on someone else. I pined for him for months. I felt like he abandoned me. Yung nag iisang kakampi ko, wala na din. (My only ally, he’s gone too)

I felt all alone. And I locked myself in the room of my apartment for months. I barely ate and I only drank liquor: morning, afternoon, evening. I was skinny as fuck, I was unhealthy from all the alcohol abuse, nicotine, occasionally harmed myself. I would visit home and acted as if everything was fine.

I would travel back to the city and have a pity party alone in my room. Replaying all the things in my head: the criticisms from my family, the guy who left, the job… I was broke, and my mind deteriorated. I was unhappy, I was devastated… I let my demons consume me. I played around, continued my alcohol and nicotine abuse, I starved myself, self harm, to the point of wanting to drink bleach. I almost did… Until someone told me to stop acting like a spoiled brat, spoiled kid…

 

to be continued

Head Shrinking (Acknowledging that One is Depressed) Part 2

And this went on and on, school-home-school-home. Until one day, I started talking to this guy, three years older and we just instantly clicked. I was a teen, I started to feel butterflies, like any other normal person. We were just talking back then, and he sent me harmless letters. One unfortunate day, my dad went through my stuff without my permission and saw those harmless letters.

He sat me down and showed me the letters and started saying mean things, mean, condescending things to me… things like I’m being a flirt, I’m being cheap, a fan and so on. He spoke as if I did a crime, as if I stole something or killed someone. I never heard anything more hurtful than what he claimed me to be. I stopped talking to the guy. I was sad, I just lost someone who genuinely liked me and I couldn’t even defend him or myself. My dad confiscated my phone… he gave it back… and then one day, the phone just disappeared. I looked for it, never found it.

So I went on with my life and I slowly realized how deprived I was from a lot of things. I often felt envy… because my cousins, my schoolmates, my friends can do the things that I can’t do… And their parents are really supportive of their decisions.. And there I was, no matter how smart, no matter how high my IQ was, can never decide for myself just because I WAS STILL LIVING UNDER MY PARENTS’ ROOF.

I only experienced things inside my head. Even in college, I felt like I was still 11 and in everything that I was about to do, I need to tell every single detail to my parents… This was the truth.

I just turned 19 when I met him, the guy I loved for 7 long years. I was staying with my grandmother those times and I felt a sense of freedom, a sense of relief, that even temporarily, I could be myself. I could decide things on my own.

Everything was going great but I had to keep our relationship secret because I knew that my parents would turn batshit crazy if they knew… Take note, I was already 19, I wasn’t a kid anymore. I explained everything to him and he understood. Until one day, my dad found out… And the things he told me before didn’t even compare to the things he told me when he found out about my college boyfriend.

For a father to call his daughter devilish, a perennial liar and wish bad karma… the things no one would ever want to hear especially from their own flesh… The verbal abuse… mental and emotional anguish… The late at night cursing… just because I felt strongly for someone… just because I became a normal kid who felt things… was a bit too much… and it scarred me. It scarred him.

My dad lashed out on me and worse he also said mean things to the guy. I would accept all the cruel words my dad said to me but I couldn’t stand him being cruel to that guy. So I decided to just give up so the pain would stop.

Everybody lies at some point: to protect themselves and to protect other people. I did what I have to do to protect my relationship with the guy without compromising my studies. I broke up with him. I wanted to save him from my family’s madness.

to be continued

 

Head Shrinking (Acknowledging that One is Depressed) Part 1

Last Friday, I had my third session with my psychotherapist. Sessions usually last for an hour only but last time, we extended it to an hour and a half. We meet outside the clinic, either coffee shops or restaurants. I’d rather have it in a relaxed setting just to ease some tension.

I waited too long to finally accept that I am mentally unstable. I knew something was wrong with me ever since I was a teen but I chose to ignore everything. I thought eventually, I’d come to my senses. But now that I am almost in my 30s, I’ve finally admitted it, I need professional help. I need someone who will assist me throughout the process, someone without bias.

So here I am, seeking professional help currently.

Who would have thought though?

Here’s the truth, and let me say it using also my local language:

When I was younger, I was somewhat a role model especially in the family. Sabi nila (They said) my parents are lucky that they have a daughter like me: achiever, smart, disciplined, kind… all the kind words… and I, being someone who doesn’t want to disappoint my family and my extended family, tried to live that way. Since they expect me to be this person, I lived to be that person. And I wouldn’t lie, the pressure was too much.

Since I was I don’t know, gradeschool, then I went to high school and still, tried to be the person my family wanted me to be, I strived to be good in every way but little by little, i felt like I want to be someone else. Everything was vague. Even who I want to be was vague. Sabi ko sa sarili ko (I told myself), I’m still young, no need to rush, I have a lot of time to figure out what I want. So, for the meantime, I’ll just continue living the old way.

As I grew older, I saw some realities. Hormones were flying, pressure, friendship, boys and girls, material things… All the things that a normal person would see in the real world. And I (stupidly assumed that I was raised like a normal person) wanted to experience those things. So I did what normal person would do, I attempted to experiment.

I talked to people, I tried to go out with friends, I tried to have sleepovers… all the things that a teenager would want to experience but oh boy, before I could even do something, a wall, a big wall would stop me from taking the first step aka my parents, especially my dad. And of course, I, being a respectful kiddo, stopped before I even began.

My friends would do sleepovers all the time. My classmates would have crushes and boyfriends and girlfriends. My friends would all go swimming and malling and I, on the other hand, stayed at home, probably watched tv or looked after the store (we had a small convenience store back then). I was sad of course, because I felt like I was being deprived of somethings… of experiences. But what else was i supposed to do back then, disobey my parents? That was never a choice for me. I couldn’t fend for myself back then. I had nothing. So I just followed what I was told. I thought, it was for the best. I should just trust them and their decisions.

 

To be continued