Back At It

Hello! My god, I haven’t posted on this blog in forever. I made my new blog so that I could separate my posts about motherhood from personal posts, but I guess I’ve learned that once you have a child, there is no separating your parenthood from your personal life. In a way it’s wonderful to be tied to someone like that (I mean, she’s literally 50% me), but on the other hand it’s a little exhausting.

I guess this post will be more of a rant if anything.

So this semester is my first time taking a full course load (12 credits) in a year. I honestly thought I could handle it, but I’m starting to find that I really, really can’t.

Here are the reasons why I’m freaking the fuck out:

1) More credits

Last semester I only took 6 credits online. The spring before that I took 12 in class. But there’s a difference.

The 6 I took last semester were psychology classes, and I already have a good foundation of psychology behind me. I already knew, for the most part, what was going on, or I would just have to build on my existing knowledge. Now, I’m planning on switching majors to business (marketing to be exact), and I have absolutely no experience with college level business courses. So not only are there more, but they’re all brand new, and require a COMPLETELY different frame of thinking than my psychology classes did.

2) Online

The 2 classes I took online last semester were nothing. I already had a lot of previous knowledge and they were pretty simple for the most part. Plus, they were both “pace yourself” classes with no fixed schedules.

The classes I’m taking this semester are COMPLETELY different. They have weekly schedules and deadlines to meet, and there are a lot more assignments than my previous classes had. I’m finding it exceedingly difficult to be able to keep up with the course work.

I feel like if I had taken these classes in-class rather than online I would be under a lot less stress, because in class I would have people to talk to and a lecture to listen to, but in my house, not only do I have to combat the feeling of general laziness, but I have my daughter to take care of.

3) Ember

My baby is not even 3 months old yet. She requires A LOT of care. Her day works like this: nap for 1 to 2 hours, wake up, eat, poop, play, sleep again. Repeat. High school had gotten me adjusted to this “do all of your homework in one sitting” mindset, and that worked for me for 5 years. Now all of a sudden it’s “constantly start and stop, and sometimes stop in the middle of a thought because the baby is crying”. Ember has finally gotten into the habit of sleeping 5-6 hours in a row at night, every night like clockwork starting at midnight. For the first week I thought “Maybe if I try to get it all done during that time span I’ll be good”. But no, no I won’t. Turns out staying up all night when you have a baby will kill you during the day.

When Ember is awake, she wants to be entertained. She will actually cry of boredom. I have to play with her. If I sit her down in front of the TV, she’ll usually stop fussing and watch, but the thing is that I don’t want to do that to my baby. I don’t want her to be a brain-dead TV head before she’s even 1 year old. I’ve considered dropping her off at my relative’s house some days of the week so I can go to a library or something a study in peace, but the weather is so bad that every time she goes out she ends up getting sick and I can’t let that happen.

So pretty much, I am a nervous wreck.

My anxiety had gotten better over the past month, but recently it’s almost been right back where it used to be.

Thankfully I don’t have suicidal thoughts like I used to. It was a really rough 2 months after Ember was born, but thankfully I’ve been able to pull myself out of that. This anxiety is more like an, “I am so stressed and I have so much to do that I literally can’t function thinking about all the stuff I have to do”.

People don’t understand how dangerous the “depression/anxiety” pair works when it comes to academics.

The depression, by itself, leaves me hollow and unfeeling. It leaves me paralyzed in bed unable to move, sometimes so numb that I let my daughter cry for about 10 minutes before I have the strength to get up and give her whatever she wants.

The anxiety, by itself, makes my body start to overheat, and I start having panic attacks over the smallest things. Little arguments can make me cry and hyperventilate. Thinking about something stressful can make me heat up and start nervously scratching myself until I bleed.

The depression and anxiety together puts me in bed, with no energy, scratching myself until my arms bleed while my head hurts trying to strategize a way to get all my work done in time. Once I have my mental homework schedule planned out, I remain in bed, still without energy, and panic, constantly revising my schedule because I lack the mental capacity to execute it with efficiency. When I finally get the energy to get my textbook out, the words are blurry and my mind is racing with panic and I start to cry because I am so worried about failing that the thought of failing is what is actually leading to my failure.

You can read that paragraph and tell me I’m insane, and others will probably agree with you, but I swear to god that describes me on a good week.

I feel in my heart that I won’t go spiraling into a pit of suicidal depression again, but I’m feeling such a horrible stress I’ve never felt before, and I honestly don’t know where it will lead me.

Color Me Pretty

When you first meet someone, you see their eyes. You see their smile, their hair, probably what they’re wearing. Some eyes may even wander to the busty bits. The first things I see is their skin.

Ugly. Ugly ugly ugly. Freak. Burn victim. Ugly. Disgusting. Scaly lizard monster. Ugly. Gross. Diseased. Ugly. Ugly ugly ugly.

I have full-body eczema. From childhood I was ostracized for my appearance: the other kids thought I was diseased and contagious. It took a long time before I could see myself as beautiful: even today it’s still a struggle.

Image

My “hideous, disgusting, disease ridden” skin (pictures taken 5 minutes ago).

In the 8th grade, there was a boy who hated me very much because I told him his hair was chocolate colored… I’m such a monster. One day I was having particularly bad irritation on my skin. This boy comes up to me and says, “You look disgusting. Did you roll around in poison ivy before school? You should use soap next time you shower, ugly, it might help.” I cried. I cried so hard I was sent to the counselor for the rest of the day. I found out later that some guys kicked his ass after school, but that was an empty victory.

The next day he comes up to me and apologizes. He says, “You should’ve told me you had a skin disease I never would’ve said anything.” That made me want to kick his ass. Here is a 13 year old white boy raised in an upper middle class area. He should fucking know what manners are. What he said to me was the same thing as going up to a heavy-set person and saying, “Sorry I called you fat, you should’ve told me you were genetically predisposed to obesity.” It’s called manners. It’s called respect. My response to his apology was this: “I will never forgive you, and you will never talk to me again so help you God almighty.”

My response was immature, I understand that. But I gave him what he deserved, and he never spoke to me again. My friends were asking me how I was. I said I hated him for pointing out my scars — the things I try so hard to forget exist, the things I try so hard to hide — to which one friend replied, “Everyone notices them, it’s true. But don’t let that bother you because your skin does not define you.”

At the time, those words upset me. I was fixated on everyone notices them, and for the next 2 years I stove to hide my skin at all costs. But now, I thank baseGod almighty she reminded me that my skin does not define me. Those 6 words have become my strength for every single time I look in the mirror.

Before, I used to see disease. I saw gross imperfection at its most basic level, and I saw a hideous monster that no one could really love or befriend.

Now, I see big brown eyes. I see a cute button nose and a pretty smile. I see a beautiful girl looking back at me, and I smile back at her.

Image

And now we interrupt this post with an awkward selfie.

This post was inspired by last weekend. I went prom dress shopping with my mom, and there were a lot of other girls there. I was standing at a long mirror with four or five other girls, and I saw how clear their skin was next to mine. I felt like the mushy brown banana everyone throws around to get to the bright yellow ones. The words of the little boy came to my head. Ugly… Disgusting… Then my boyfriend comes behind me and says, “You look so beautiful,” and it takes me back to reality.

The reality that I am beautiful, no matter what anyone says. The reality that I am loved. The reality that I have friends. The reality that I deserve to go to prom with those friends and have just as much fun as those other girls. The reality that I will go and I will feel beautiful that day and every day after.

If It’s Pi, It Won’t Die

Today marks one month since my dear friend ended his life.

Honestly, it hasn’t been that hard of a month. And I was wondering why. I mean I haven’t been crying, chest pains gone, no more headaches or long nights wondering.

Then I remembered a conversation I had with my friends earlier. I was telling them about today being B’s one month since passing, and I was telling them a bunch of stories about him. And everything I said made it sound as if he was still alive, like it happened yesterday or one week ago.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve been stuck in the denial phase of the depression stages. I tell stories about us as if he were with me, ready to jump in with details. I text him compulsively, speaking and waiting as if he’ll reply any minute. In my head, it’s as if he’s on some long vacation without any signal. It’s as if one day he’ll fly back and tell me all about it.

Image

Then I asked myself: Why? Why do all this to myself?

The answer is obvious. I don’t cry because I don’t want to. I don’t feel pain because I don’t want to. I don’t want to believe B is dead because then I’ll cry and then I’ll feel pain and then I’ll be trapped trying to solve a problem with no solution.

Today is pi day. One of the first conversations I ever had with B was about my pie recipe. He said it sounded delicious, and I always promised I would make it for him but I never had the chance. I made these pies yesterday, and I left one on my back porch, talking to it like a psychotic person. “You can take it whenever you’re ready,” I said, “It’ll be good for like three days,” I went on.

Pi goes on forever. B did not.

It’s like he was one point that against all odds jumped off the tangent line, and left me going on forever by myself. I hate that I’m still moving, time is still moving, everyone is still moving on, and he’s frozen in time, forever in our memories but never making new ones.

Today something happened that pushed me out of denial. His (horrible) mother posted a video of him on Facebook today. He was smiling and playing his violin that he cherished so much. Moving and swaying and playing, it was as if I could knock on his door and he would let me in and let me hear it for myself. I cried several minutes after I saw it, and played it again.

B is not pi. B did not last forever.

I still wish he could’ve tasted my pie. Life’s too short to not have a slice.

 

Feels Like I’m Living A Teenage Dream.

My two year anniversary was yesterday! My boyfriend and I started dating in sophomore year and now we’re seniors. Yesterday was lovely, and it made me want to write.

A common argument is this: Teenagers can’t experience “real” love, just overwhelming and misinterpreted heated passion.

I happen to disagree.

First let’s discuss what “love” means. (My definition anyways.)

Love is a feeling you get when you think the world of someone. Their happiness is your happiness and you only want the best for them. You put your full trust and loyalty on them. You want to share things with them and be a part of their world like they’re a part of yours. It’s when you think someone’s amazing and you can’t imagine your life without them.

Here's the "professional" definition.

Here’s the “professional” definition for reference. Which also helps my argument.

The most important point I have to make for this argument: Love is an emotion. Just like happiness, sadness, fear, anger, etc. etc. Yes it can come and go, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t real and it doesn’t mean it never happened.

Are there some people just overcome with passion and hormones? Absolutely. Does that only happen to teenagers? Nope. Just look at the divorce rate for America (cough 50% cough). Most of those people likely felt love at some point (obviously), and it just melted away. But that doesn’t mean the relationship was insincere.

My aunt and uncle met when they were 12. Started dating at 14. They married when they were 26. And they’ve been living happily ever after ever since.

My parents met when they were 5. Started dating at 25. Married at 30.

Like people, relationships come in different shapes, sizes, colors, you name it.

So right now, I dare to say that I love this boy. I think the world of him and he feels the same for me. He’s the one I can sit with in complete silence and not feel awkward, and the one I stay up with late at night on the phone talking about nothing at all. Sounds like love to me. Feels like love to me. College is coming, and I don’t know what that means for us. It could mean catastrophe, it could not. But I know that in this moment we love each other, and that’s enough for me.

A Day In the Life.

Wish you would step back from that ledge my friend.
You could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living with.
If you never want to see me again, I would understand.

(Jumper by Third Blind Eye)

I spent half of today crying. I couldn’t focus on my school work and had to stay in my counselor’s office for a long time. But I’ll start from the beginning.

I walked in to my anatomy class dreading a test. I sit down, and my friends look at me and ask “How’s your friend [let’s call him “B”] been doing?” My heart stops.

Some background: B is one of my best friends. B lives in the most religious household I’ve ever encountered in my entire life. B is gay. B is home-schooled because his parents think the school made him gay. B is verbally abused every day. B has tried to kill himself three times.

“No,” I replied, scared of what they were about to say. I’ve been trying to text him for weeks but he hasn’t replied. I assumed his parents took his phone away. Again. They gave each other a really solemn and hesitant look.

After a while, one of them finally says it. “B is in the intensive care unit at the hospital. He tried to commit suicide.”

She didn’t even have to finish her sentence before I burst into tears. It’s been so long since I talked to him, I was worried this would happen again.

The gruesome background: B cuts himself. He has those horizontal bumpy slashes all along his wrists. He’s tried to jump off the bleachers at school. He wouldn’t even tell me what he did his first two attempts, and honestly I don’t want to know. I won’t even say how he did it this time, because it’s just too much.

I lost it. I stayed with my counselor for a long time. When his parents filed to pull him from school, she was one of the faculty members that tried to convince them otherwise. I told her what happened, and she said she knew. Apparently the administrators still get updates on him (which calms me, but barely).

More background: B always smiles. Always. I swear on my life I’ve never seem him with a less than pleasant expression on his face. And he’s the most talented person I know. He taught himself sign language, piano, Japanese, and Korean. He writes songs. He sings. I guess you have that kind of free time when you’re home-schooled.

His laugh brightens hearts, which matches his eyes that sparkle. He’s the sweetest and most remarkable person I know.

I love him to pieces, I do. And as angry as I am, I’ll never be able to blame him for what he did. I can’t imagine what kind of turmoil he lives with every day, and he just keeps smiling. Smiling. He had plans to become fluent in Korean, move to Korea and start a new life there after college. He had such optimistic plans. And he keeps trying to throw it all away.

My heart is breaking because this is his fourth attempt. That tells me that he won’t stop trying until he succeeds. If B has failed at anything, it’s quitting.

This isn’t a post about religion or homosexuality. It’s about a friend that’s falling apart. It’s about someone that’s miserable, who needs help. And I don’t know what to do. But I’m desperate, and so is he.

Everybody’s got to find a reason,
Everyone’s got to face down the demons,
Maybe today you can put the past away.

The Seasons of Heartbreak.

It’s a sad fact, but while Valentine’s Day acts as a day to get together, the days preceding it are popular days to separate. The common reason is “they didn’t want to get a boyfriend / girlfriend level present if they knew it wasn’t gonna work out”.

This situation was brought to my attention by media and my brokenhearted friend. It’s okay T, and this is for you.

So now, JustAnEmber presents “The Seasons of Heartbreak: A Guide to Catharsis During This Rough Period”!!

Fall

Fall is the age of wising up, reaching a climax and heading towards decline.

Most breakups are predictable, you must admit. In hindsight, there was always some little cloud of impending doom looming overhead. The fall is a time of uneasiness and worry, wondering what’s going to come next. Whatever must happen will happen.

When a couple breaks up, often there’s one more hurt than the other. Let me explain with a metaphor:

Let’s say in a relationship, you share an apartment. When a person is feeling it’s not working out, they think about it. They don’t move out altogether, but they start moving boxes out a bit at a time. When they decide it’s really over, they have less baggage to carry. The other person has all their stuff scattered around the place and things are unorganized and messy. They’re nowhere near ready to move out yet.

Then they have to start clearing the room.

heartbreak

Winter

The archetype of death. In this case, the death of love.

I’m a teenager. In high school. A senior no less. I’ve had my heart toyed with and beaten several times, had my flame ignited and snuffed out. I know the feeling.

And that’s why I can say with 100% confidence that it gets better in time. People, especially teenagers, often overestimate the effect of an emotional situation, and definitely overestimate the time it takes to get better. Time does heal all wounds: a lot faster than you think.

During this winter, it feels like everything is falling apart. All you can think about is what went wrong, how things could’ve changed and turned out differently. You’re pained by all the memories you shared and wanted to make, and you’re tired from trying to get your baggage out as fast as you can. But you can’t.

One of my favorite lyrics of all time is “Nights filled with longer hours” (if you’re into The Main Drag, or if you like winter, def. listen to A Jagged Gorgeous Winter). Don’t spend those long hours in the dark letting the darkness consume you. Sleep it off.

Take it box by box. Going too slow will leave you in a rut, going too fast will break your back.

The point: You’re not dying. Your feelings towards that lost love are dying. And so is that part of your life.

But when one door closes, another one opens.

Spring

The time of rebirth and rejuvenation.

After all that sadness passes and all the fits are through, and you’ve taken the time to mentally sort things out, things just get better. You can’t really plan it or understand, but it just happens. Literally. I literally can’t think of a better way to explain it. Your spring cleaning is complete, and the apartment has been cleared.

I suppose it’s like you’ve finally let go of that part of your life that you’ve been holding on to. You just let it fall to the bottom of the ocean with the Titanic and forgot about it. Is it still there? Sure. Are you going to look for it? You better not.

Image

It took her forever, but she let it go. Don’t wait until you’re 103 like her though.

Summer

The time of vitality and maturity.

Congratulations! You’ve moved on! In this summer time, you’re free. You’ve shed every piece of winter clothing and lost all those cold thoughts and you’re on to better and brighter things. Do you remember winter? Yes. Will it come back? Hey, every up has its downs.

Point to remember: Summer has more hours of sunshine. Make use of them.

As I said in a previous post: “Single” is not synonymous with “alone”. So smile! Because I know you can.

I reiterate: Every end is a new beginning. This is the first step towards something better.

I hope everyone makes plans (provided you’re not a swamped student) and has a happy Valentine’s Day.

R-A-P-E, get the F away from me.

The title of this post is a little rhyme I learned when I was in the FIFTH GRADE. Think of what that implies.

When me and my friends were singing it, we would snap our fingers in a rectangle around our private areas and clap to cover the F word. We barely knew what sex was, let alone rape. But it was such a prominent issue that us little 11-year-olds were singing about it.

Today I pose a question: Should rape and sexual harassment education be introduced to schools?

Let me make a few comments first.

My high school has a “Sexual Harassment Awareness Week” once every year, and they repeat the same thing every day. Literally.

“If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, tell someone. If it’s not mutual, don’t let it happen. And tell someone.”

That’s pretty much it. No examples, no nothing. Personally I think that’s stupid. We’re all teenagers. If they have to have this issue brought to light, they might as well go all out. What they describe is basically bullying, and we already have anti-bullying weeks, which have thorough examples and anti-bullying pledges passed around.

The concept of rape angers me to depths you can’t imagine. It takes every ounce of will power in my body not to curse out and attack the jerks at my school that make jokes and laugh about the topic. I don’t find it funny in any regard. I’m going to stop with this for now and save it for another post, before I get too worked up.

Earlier this school year, some friends of mine tried asking our counselors what they thought of introducing a rape and harassment information day to school. Since we had the sexual harassment one, you know, why not. I emailed several times, and not a single administrator replied. It’s been months.

Our initial interest stemmed from news articles about the alleged “Rape Crew”. I beg you not to look them up unless you’re ready for emotional strain and intense hatred of society. But in a nutshell, a teenage girl was drugged, dragged around unconscious to several parties, and raped repeatedly. Disgusting. Oh, and she was urinated on. And nothing was done to her attackers.

Rape Crew

Did I mention there’s an ENORMOUS, UNDENIABLE amount of evidence? Including a video of her attackers confessing to the crime?

This story illustrates that these kinds of things happen to people my age. In my opinion, the more you know the better.

I’ve been trying to get this program in my school for months, but there’s a reason my indignation has been rekindled just now.

For about a week now, on my way to my last class of the day, a large group of boys stand outside the hallway to my class. They use foul language and make obscene gestures towards me and every other girl passing by. They’re not subtle either, they’re loud and very “energetic” with their motions. They call all the girls offensive names and say they want to do inappropriate things to them. (I’m censoring this experience to great lengths.)

I’ve been letting it go because I think, “Hey, they’re just stupid boys and you’re late for the class you’re doing really bad in so keep going. Sticks and stones right?” Well today I couldn’t, but I had to.

When I was walking my usual route, I saw all of them eyeing me from down the hall. Me specifically. I walked faster and tried moving to the other side of the hall, but in a ~10 feet wide hall there’s not much space. When I got there, one of them made a reach for my chest and the other smacked my butt. I wanted to scream but there were a bunch of them, and there wasn’t much to do. My heart was racing and I started to cry. I felt horrible.

So my question again: Should rape and sexual harassment education be introduced to schools?

One last concern: If it is, would it edge the perverts on? Would they treat this serious issue like a joke?

I don’t know. But I need help. And I need opinions. Because I just don’t know what to do.