Fun Bags

Something I’ve heard my fair share of in my lifetime is this:

“Are you a boob guy or an ass man?”

Of course, this exchange generally takes place between my male friends and acquaintances. The question, obviously, refers to whether he prefers breasts or butt on a woman. 4 out of 5 times, he’s a boob guy.

As part of Breath Cancer Awareness Month, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts going around of Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr. Some are pictures of survivors and happy things. Some are the “I ❤ Boobies” merchandise. And some are shirts and clothing that say “Save the Boobies”, or “Save the Tatas”, or more disgustingly “Save Second-Base”.

How about no.

That last one particularly irked me when I saw it the other night. And here’s why.

  1. Breast cancer treatment largely involves the removal of breast tissues. Technically, in order to save the woman, you cannot save the boobies.
  2. Saying things like “Save the Boobies” could make survivors feel bad about themselves. They lost something that they were raised to believe at least partially defines their worth (which is wrong on a whole other level). I’ve always believed that this saying needs to be changed. To what, I’m not sure. But it needs to be.
  3. Saying something disgusting and misogynistic like “Save Second-Base” does not focus on the woman. It does not focus on healing the woman and saving her life. It focuses on men. It’s not saying “Let’s get together so that you can be alright and live another day”. That shirt says, “Let’s get rid of this virus so I can play with those fun bags.” Which, if she gets properly and wholly treated, will not at least entirely be possible.

Another thing often not stated is that men get breast cancer too. Though it’s about 100 times less common, it still happens.

I would be devastated if I got breast cancer in particular. Sure I’d be devastated if I got any kind of cancer, but it’s breast cancer in particular. It’s because I’d know I would have to lost my breasts. My boobies. My girls. The twins. These things attached to my chest that I was raised to show off and be proud of as part of my womanhood.

Since puberty I’ve always been sexually confident. Not in the sense that I’d go around having sex, but that I grew breasts relatively early. For some reason, that gave me confidence. And they still do. They’re a nice decent size, they’re perky and squishy and fun. What’s not to love about boobs?

With the way I was raised and with what society has taught me, I would feel less “valuable”. I hate myself for thinking it because I know it’s not true, but I’d feel it anyways. I was raised to believe that I should have big breasts and be proud of them to attract a man and feed my children and just be some nice accessory. I’ve always valued my breasts. I never thought of myself as being defined by my breasts, and I know that if I get breast cancer I would rather live than look busty, but I would not be happy.

My mom’s friend’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was a very long time ago. All I remember is that she went from having long curly hair to being bald, and another day she only had one breast. And she was very, very sad.

I’m not good at talking about things I’m not fluent in. I’m not good at talking about things that make people upset because I try to choose every word with the utmost of care. For lack of better things to say, I found these particularly powerful pictures.

To anyone with breast cancer, to a survivor or someone that knows a survivor, to anyone that knows anyone that didn’t survive, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for your loss and what you’re going through. I’m sorry if anything I said was wrong or offensive. I pray for your happiness and recovery, and I hope you know that you are loved and supported and that you are beautiful.

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Kill Me Now

My post today stems from this video.

Every night I feel like killing myself.

When the night drags on and my thoughts drag on and I can’t fight the feeling that I’m worthless and my existence is worthless and that there’s too much pain and trouble in this world and that my being here is entirely meaningless in the long run.

I’m not going to start a movement. I’m not going to cure cancer. I’m not going to run into burning buildings and save lives. I’m not going to be spectacular.

I’m not pretty. I don’t have many friends. No matter how hard I try I can’t do that one thing: get that one grade, play that one sport, beat that one game, write that one story. I’m not perfect.

The world is ugly. I’m a woman. I’m discriminated against. I’m Filipino. My skin is dark. Psychologically, in this society, I will never be seen as just as pretty as any light-skinned wonder. I will never be respected the way I want to. If I have a daughter, she won’t be either. Children will keep dying and mothers will keep crying.

Since I was young (as in, since I was about 12 years old), I was described as someone that “held the weight of the world on my shoulders”, and that’s why I’m getting smothered by what others see as non-existent problems.

People get raped. People are in horrible relationships. People have horrible parents or children or horrible yet inescapable life situations. People are unemployed and good people have to do horrible things to support their families. People get beaten and murdered and tortured and scarred.

It’s a problem for me that people are discriminated against for being homosexual. Or black or Asian or Hispanic or white. Or a woman. It’s a problem for me that in all likelihood I will never reach my dreams. I won’t be in a perfect relationship and live a perfectly happily ever after and I won’t have the job of my dreams and I won’t have perfect children with all my ideals and they will break my heart and I will hurt them. This lack of perfection hurts. It’s not realistic, but it doesn’t mean I’m not upset about it.

I will never be accepted by my family for being atheist. Or bisexual. I can’t even be accepted for being obsessed with anime.

My family is middle class. We’ve never had a serious money problem. I’ve always been well-fed and well-dressed and well-everything. I’ve had a good education. I’ve been living a good life. I go to a good university. I’ve always been particularly smart and pretty and kind and talented. I’ve always been above average. I have parents that would bend over backwards and do anything to make me happy. I have a boyfriend that loves me very much that would do anything to make me happy. I have friends that I can go to for anything that would do anything to make me happy. I have every reason in the world to be happy.

But I’m not. I’m miserable. My limbs feel heavy and I can’t see this light that consumes me. It’s like I’m blind and there’s nothing but darkness.

Every night I feel like killing myself. Every day I feel like killing myself. Every time something bad happens, suicide is always an option on the table. It’s always what my heart prays for. Death is what I want.

Every night the thoughts consume me. Not all night, but for a few minutes. Like every night a window opens in my soul that goes against everything evolution has set up to keep me alive and is allowing me to kill myself. Every night I think about it. But every night I don’t.

Every morning I wake up. Every day I carry on. Every day I smile and every day I deceive people into thinking I’m perfectly normal and perfectly happy and every day no one suspects that I have crying fits that lead me to one swallow away from a gross and horrifying and foaming at the mouth death that would break my mother’s heart and my father’s heart and the heart of everyone I’ve never met and everyone that has ever come to know me.

But every day, without fail, something happens. Something happens that makes me glad I didn’t do it. Something happens — be it something trivial like a pleasant text message or a compliment or a meal with friends — that makes me glad that I stopped myself. Every day, so far, I’m thankful that I lived another day to experience a little miracle of life.

Even though I know that that moment will come, I still worry it won’t. It’s like thinking there’s a monster in the basement. You go with this horrible feeling that there’s something down there that will hurt you, even though you know that you’re safe and you’ll go back up those stairs with nothing but a slight feeling of fear.

Every day I worry that something won’t happen. I worry that nothing will fill me with happiness or warmth and I’ll feel cold and frozen like a corpse and I’ll turn myself into one.

But for now, I’m breathing. I’m breathing now. I’ll breathe in my sleep. And when I wake up, I’ll still be breathing.

Even though I’m suffocating, I can still breathe.