Losing My Religion

Literally.

This isn’t a topic I like to talk about, because I think that many people have a very firm mindset about where they stand with it so I don’t see much point in conversation. Especially since I’m not firm in my stance myself.

I was raised in a Roman Catholic household. I know all the prayers, though due to lack of practice over the years I’ve forgotten parts of them. When I was in between middle school and high school, I felt in my heart that there was no more connection to God in me. I took on atheism as my ideology, and revoked anything that had anything to do with religion.

That was the approximate time in my life where I was starting to learn what the world was. When I started paying attention to the news, when I was exposed to criticisms of religion and other religions. I was first and foremost revolted by the way the Catholic church views homosexuality, which was what made me want to rebuke Catholicism to begin with. How they view abortion, how they view gender roles, all these strange Bible passages and conflicting interpretations. I didn’t like it. After that I believed in a higher power, but I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it cared at all what happened to me or anyone.

That’s how I landed at atheism. I just kept reading about horrible things in this world, and I was so sure that if there was a God out there (s)he wouldn’t let any of it happen to begin with. So I lost my religion. I lost all faith. I believed in community and love and goodwill and togetherness and all that, but just not under any deity. Because I was a good person, and you don’t need to be religious to be a good person.

Despite all that, recently I’ve been feeling uncomfortable. Even though I call myself an atheist, I definitely believe in something. Though I don’t admit it, sometimes in private I pray. I whisper all the lines I remember, hoping whoever is out there is listening.

I think this life is too big to be happenstance. I don’t know if I’ll ever call myself a Catholic again, but I don’t think I can call myself an atheist. For now I don’t want to focus on a label, I want to focus on what I believe. I want to sort my feelings out and find that connection I thought I once had with something higher than myself.

“No matter how far you have walked from God, he is still waiting ahead.”
-Creature, Penny Dreadful

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It Was Only Just A Dream

“So I traveled back, down that road.
Will she come back? No one knows.
I realize, yeah, it was only just a dream.”

Just A Dream, Nelly

I had an interesting but mostly horrifying dream last night. It put me in this downtrodden, melancholy mood all day, and it’s been haunting me ever since.

– Begin Dream –

My boyfriend called me and asked me to meet him at the mall. He said it was an emergency. I was excited because I thought it was going to be my surprise baby shower.

When I got to the mall, I found my boyfriend sitting on a bench. For some reason the mall was dim, and the bench he was sitting on was in front of what looked like a shady nightclub. He looked tired and dirty. I sat next to him and asked him what was happening. He told me to turn around.

There I saw my best friend that had killed himself over a year ago, sitting next to me and smiling. I started screaming at the top of my lungs. I couldn’t calm down. I jumped and wrapped my arms around him to make sure he was really there. I could smell the cologne he always wore. I could feel the self-harm cut scars on his arms. I could feel him there, I could feel his soul.

I asked him so many questions. I wanted to know how it was possible that he was really there and I was in hysterics. He couldn’t stop smiling. He told me that his parents faked his death, so they could keep him home and abuse him, and that they had spent the last year and a half trying to “beat the gay out of him”. I was furious. They faked his death, they had a whole huge ceremony, they had a private family-only funeral to hide the fact that there was no body.

I changed from tears of happiness and confusion to tears of injustice and outrage. I wanted to kill them. I was planning on killing them. He kept telling me to calm down because it’s all over and they can’t hurt him anymore. I didn’t know what to say, so he just kept hugging me, and I just kept crying and hugging him right back.

– End Dream –

I woke up crying. I felt so much pain. I wanted him there with me. During my first few moments of consciousness, I forgot that it was a dream and I thought I had just discovered something horrible and that I had to save him. But no, it was just a dream.

Bobby is really gone. I will never see him again no matter how much I want to. I’ll never feel his warmth or see his smile, I’ll never sing with him again, or listen to him play the piano. I’ll never get to introduce my daughter to him. He’s gone in every sense except my memories.

I love him so much. There was so much pain. And it all came rushing back when I woke up, like it was the first time I heard that he died. In that short dream, he came back to me.

But it was just a dream.

Where Am I?

As of right now, I am 10 weeks and 5 days pregnant. All my books and websites say at this point my baby is the size of a kumquat, but I have no idea what the hell that is. [UPDATE: I googled it. Never had one, but they’re adorable. They’re like grape-sized oranges.]

The other week, I went to my first gynecology appointment. As I was sitting in the waiting room, I looked around and really noticed who I was surrounded by. To my left, a woman exhausted trying to keep a toddler sitting still with one hand on his shirt and the other on her protruding stomach. To my right, a gorgeous woman with a real pregnant glow — the kind you hear about in magazines and in movies — wearing a beautiful pink floral sundress and wearing 3 inch heels despite the fact that she looked about ready to pop. Looked probably in her late 20’s. Behind me, a woman with her husband holding hands while their two children sit across from them sharing a bag of chips. In a back corner, a woman that pulled out a huge blanket and spread it on the floor and put her baby on it, then proceeded to pour out at least 10 different toys onto her child.

No matter who I looked at, I noticed something they all had in common: They were much older than me.

There I sat, a little 18 year old in a neon pink raincoat and a Hello Kitty hat, 9 weeks pregnant with no idea what I’m doing. I felt a sense of shame, and panic.

I remembered at the beginning of last school year, I heard that this girl I’ve been going to school with since middle school got pregnant and had a baby. I thought, “Wow, how awful. Poor thing, life is gonna be so hard for her.” You know, all the stereotypical things to worry about and question for a pregnant teenager. And then I felt bad, realizing that now, hey, here I am.

After my exam, they gave me an bag full of pamphlets and information about being a first-time mom with some information about support groups for teenage moms. I had about another hour in the waiting room while I waited for my friend to pick me up, and I started reading some things when I noticed another girl come out of the office holding the same bag as me. She couldn’t have been much older than me, definitely had the feel of a student. She was wearing one of our school shirts.

That’s when I remembered. Soon after I found out, I actually (very awkwardly) messaged the girl I knew that got pregnant on Facebook and told her my situation and asked if she had any advice. And I’ll never forget what she said.

“Relax. You aren’t the first, and you won’t be the last.”

Which is 100000000000000000000000000000% true.

There are resources out there. There are friends and family. I am in no way alone. I can do this.

When I started college, I was asking myself what my legacy would be. What would I be remembered for from my peers?

I’ve always been “that quiet kid.” That “weird girl that doesn’t really say much.” “A little awkward.”

Never in my life have I wanted to be, “That girl that got pregnant in school.”

Of course I can’t decide my own legacy, but here’s what I want it to be:

That girl that got pregnant freshman year of college, and she had a beautiful baby and she finished school and now she has a successful career and a beautiful family.

Look out world, because that’s going to be me. Because I’m strong, and that’s exactly how I’m going to raise my child. No one will look down on us.

18 and Pregnant

I’ve known for weeks now. I knew before I took the test that it would come out positive.

My boyfriend came to spend Valentine’s Day weekend with me. As a surprise, I got a Plan B pill so we could forsake the condoms for the night. 95% effective. 5% ineffective.

No matter the circumstances, here we are. Here I am. Here it is.

I knew the moment my period was late that this was why. The nausea, the extreme fatigue, the cramping, the food aversions and cravings, the breast tenderness, the dizziness, everything.

Of course my immediate thought was, “What am I going to do?” I’m 18. I have no job, and I don’t know if anyone will hire a pregnant teenager. Abortion is the obvious choice.

This is my conflict.

I have always been pro-choice. What a woman does with her body is her choice. If you want an abortion, I think you should be able to get one. My dilemma doesn’t stem from whether I can get one, but whether I want one. I always thought that if I got pregnant before I was out of college, I wouldn’t hesitate to get an abortion. But now that it’s here, and now that it’s actually happening, I find it hard to make a concrete decision.

To abort

To abort is the obvious answer, or at least that’s what everyone is telling me. But my question is, obvious to who? Obvious for what? People always say that having a baby at this age will ruin your life. That my education would suffer and I wouldn’t be able to live a good life. But why does it have to be that way? Yes, if I abort then I will be able to continue my college education and my young adult social life the way they are, “as if this never happened,” as someone said today. But it wouldn’t be like that. Because I’ll always know, and I’ll always feel regret. I’m currently seeing a therapist for severe clinical depression, and I feel an abortion would push me beyond my limits. Yes I’d be able to stay at school, but at what cost?

To keep

The unpopular social opinion. I think in no way will having this child “ruin my life”. I definitely think it will put some plans on halt, but who says that’s the most terrible thing? When people think of teenage pregnancy, they think of the horror stories. The girls getting kicked out of their homes forced to work jobs they hate to raise children they couldn’t afford to begin with. But it doesn’t have to be that way. My family is arguably well-off, and I’m Filipino. Filipinos have a very, very, very strong sense of family. A handful of my cousins have actually had babies at young ages out of wed-lock, and they’re very happy with their lives and their families right now. People have told me that it’s possible to take a semester or a year off school and come back. I see no way that this child will “ruin” my life, merely begin a new one in a new way.

One of the biggest factors that’s influencing my decision is a conversation I had with my mom before, when I first started therapy. I told her about the extent of my depression, and my suicidal tendencies. She confessed to me that I took them from her. She said that she used to be the same way, but things changed when she had children. It was like suddenly she wasn’t living for herself anymore, she was living for me and my brother. I believe this could happen for me. I believe things may go the other way if I have an abortion.

I still have time to make a decision. This child was conceived on Valentine’s Day, which means at this rate it’s probably only a month or so. Nothing is written in stone.

I never thought I’d ever be in this situation. I never thought I’d be “that girl”. But here we are. Here I am. Here it is.

Here it comes.

2k13: Love, Stress, And Confidence

Well, well, well. Here we are homies.

For starters, I want to try to put a major event from every month down. Here we go:

  • JANUARY: Wow I can’t even remember much. High school and whatnot. It all seems like a distant dream.
  • FEBRUARY: My best friend committed suicide. The worst month of my life followed after that.
  • MARCH: My 2 year anniversary with my boyfriend.
  • APRIL: Found out I got into Virginia Tech!
  • MAY: Honestly there was a lot of hanging out with friends, goofing off and whatnot. MAJOR senioritis kicked in. Celebrating an end and anticipating a beginning and whatnot.
  • JUNE: A LOT HAPPENED IN JUNE WOW. Fucking prom. I graduated from high school. I lost my virginity. I had a swaggy grad party. I was out with my friends pretty much every day.
  • JULY: This was all my birthday. Like birthday planning, birthday rehearsals, etc etc. My 18th birthday party was a monster ball damn it was a mix of tradition and clubbing I don’t even know.
  • AUGUST: August was sad as fuck. Packing, so many goodbyes, headed off for college. I bought a dildo at some point, that was exciting I suppose.
  • SEPTEMBER: September was horrible tbh. I was homesick and depressed every day. September holds the birthday of my friend that passed away. I cried a lot. I made a lot of new friends, but it just didn’t feel right.
  • OCTOBER: I went to my first college party and it was intense and I did not like it I found out I’m not an alcohol person. I was way more adjusted in October, but still not quite there.
  • NOVEMBER: Midterms gross. It took 3 months but by November I was pretty well adjusted in college. Friends, classes, all that jazz.
  • DECEMBER: Started from the bottom now we here. The holidays are always full of mixed emotions for me, maybe I’ll write about it in another post. Ugh don’t even talk to me about finals I don’t wanna. BUT my final grades for first semester were A, A, C-, A, D, B and I’m cool with that like I can live with those grades damn college is hard.

Now here we are! Happy second day of Kwanza!

I want to say that last year, for the first time, I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution. My entire life, I have never failed to make one. My entire life, I have never failed to not complete a single thing on the list. But this year was different. This year was great.

Though I’m far from them, I’ve never felt closer to my friends from high school, and making so many new friends in college has given me greater self-confidence. Though my boyfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship, we’re still happy and more in love than ever. Since my parents know they don’t see me often, they stopped being so irritable when I’m home. My grades aren’t horrible

What I’m trying to say, is that I’m happy. All things considered, this year was good. I’m lucky in friendship, in health, in love, in family.

The only thing that could have made my year better is if B was still with me. No matter how optimistic I can try to be, I’ll always feel sad celebrating a new year when I know he has none left.

But I digress…

For some reason that I cannot explain, I’ve gained an INCREDIBLE amount of self-confidence this year. Like all those times I wish I could’ve stood up for myself, all those years I’ve wished I could talk to people and be more sociable, all those days I wanted to be someone better. It’s like all those times just started. I feel like a lot of it had to do with having a grand 18th birthday and going to college. My birthday party was extremely gorgeous and exciting. I was the princess for a day, and the whole day it felt like I was walking on air. I felt tall and pretty and high. Then there was going to college. When I left, I was all by myself. Completely alone with no friends to lean on. It made me bold. It made me break out of my shell, little by little. And it worked.

Every year for my birthday or for Christmas I ask the heavens to grant me one wish: Make me beautiful.

I have eczema. All my life I’ve wanted to be pretty. I figured that if I was beautiful, I’d have the confidence to do anything I set my heart on. And this year, I feel like all that hoping and all that wishing was granted, but not in the way I expected.

I did not become beautiful, but rather I was granted the gift to see myself the way I truly am. My entire life I saw myself as ugly, but the tables have been turned and my vision has brightened and for the first time I can see myself for the beautiful and dazzling individual that I am. And that is the greatest gift I could have ever asked for.

Well that was my year. I hope you all had a happy holiday season and a happy New Year!

I AM A STRONG INDEPENDENT [FILIPINO] WOMAN

AND I DON’T NEED NO MAN.

Well maybe.

I don’t know.

Anyways.

So, I’m going to say that I get irritated easily. I’m very good at arguing, provided that I’m passionate about what I’m arguing about. Like if you’re anti-LGBT anti-abortion don’t even talk to me.

I used to think that those kinds of things — gay rights, feminist issues, anything along those lines — were the only topics that really heated me up. I thought I was a civil person for the most part but that I just get over-passionate about these things. But after today, I realized that I’m actually just a hot-head.

So in my biology lab class, we’ve had a project that we’ve been working on for 3 weeks. The project was to solve a supposed murder case. We either had to prove that someone did it, or prove that no one did it. My group concluded that no one did it.

We had to sit there and listen to everyone give their conclusion and evidence. And as I sat there for an hour and forty-five minutes, I realized that I get agitated very, very easily.

Out of 6 groups, only 2 of them (including mine) concluded that there was no murderer. But as I sat there listening to the rest of the groups argue their cases, I grew very irritated. Hearing them explain their (flawed) reasoning behind how these little things meant someone was a murderer, I was growing more and more angered at their irrationality.

“The death certificate claims that she died at 8AM, but the bug analysis says that she died at 10AM, so we decided that the mortician was lying and the entire death certificate can’t be used as viable evidence.”

In my head I was screaming DUMBASSES. THE BUG ANALYSIS IS INCONCLUSIVE. AT THE STAGE OF THEIR DEVELOPMENT, THE RANGE FOR ERROR IN ACTUAL TIME OF DEATH CAN BE ANYWHERE FROM 30-50 HOURS OFF. IF YOU READ THE REST OF THE CERTIFICATE YOU’LL FIND OUT THE REAL REASON SHE DIED WAS BECAUSE SHE HAS 3 HORRIBLE DISEASES ASSHOLES NO ONE MURDERED HER YOU STUPID SHITS.

And I was getting so steamed. Like, I was getting outraged.

And for literally nothing!

And now that I’ve had time to think about it, I guess I can kind of see why.

When I’m angry about an anti-LGBT or anti-abortion argument, it’s because I find their reasons ridiculous. God most likely doesn’t give a shit if homosexuals get married, and aborting a baby isn’t the same as killing a human being because them lil bitches up in that uterus ain’t got no EEG, which are brain signals that mark life.

When I was angry today, it was also because I thought these people’s conclusions were outrageous. You can’t take out a piece of evidence just like that dumbass. No, just because a piece of his hair was found on her clothing doesn’t make him the murderer. Sure there were tire tracks, but maybe he was just driving past the neighborhood? #jfc

I am a strongly opinionated person. I’m a fighter. I’ve been picked on my entire life, I fight, I think a part of me even likes fighting. I don’t know. All I know is that I seriously need to calm the fuck down sometimes.

1 + 1

“Depression is when you don’t really care about anything. Anxiety is when you care too much about everything and having both is just like… Having both is staying in bed because you don’t want to go to school and then panicking because you don’t want to fail. Having both is wanting to go see your friends so you don’t lose them all, then staying home in bed because you don’t want to make the effort. Having both is insanely hard and sucks to deal with.” Source

 

Well, I have both.

Last night I went to sleep feeling like shit. This morning, I woke up feeling like shit.

Last night I felt like shit because I was insanely homesick. My family came for the day to visit, and I felt sick afterwards. I woke up in the morning feeling literally sick. I had the worst headache. It was like an emotion-induced hangover. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to go to breakfast with friends. I didn’t want to go to class. I was coughing and sneezing and I had a stomachache. It was horrible.

But I wanted to get up. I wanted to see my friends. And I wanted to go to class. And I did all of those, but it didn’t feel like I did. There was a buzzing in my head the entire time, and it was like I was still sleeping but I wasn’t. I was half-convinced I was dreaming for a portion of the day, but I wasn’t. It was like I was walking in a dream. It was like I was in a coma. I was unresponsive, and when I did talk it only made my head hurt. Going to class wasn’t okay either. I felt like I couldn’t see a thing, and whenever I wanted to answer I question there was this horrible pain in the back of my head. It felt like I knew the answer but there was a physical wall blocking it from coming to the front of my mind.

After all my daily obligations were through, I went back to my room and climbed in bed. I didn’t do homework, I didn’t sleep. I didn’t eat or draw, and I’m not entirely sure if I was thinking coherent thoughts. That state lasted roughly 4 hours. When I was “conscious”, I noticed my roommate was sitting on her desk watching Supernatural on her laptop. I didn’t even notice her come in.

Now it’s 10:30pm and I haven’t done a thing. It feels like I haven’t done a thing all day. And I feel horrible about it. When I read the quote I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I was surprised how accurate it was. I want to do something but I can’t, and I don’t even know why. It feels like there’s something compressing my brain, and there’s this horrible pounding. I want to read and I want to write and I want to draw and call someone and text people and message my friends and eat for God’s sake, but I can’t.

Before coming to college my mom had sent me all these articles with advice for college freshmen. One article said that it’s normal for college freshmen’s grades to drop because of temporary depression and homesickness. They’re still panicking about being thrown in a new environment, even if they don’t know it yet.

Depression + anxiety = coma

Together they cause a sickness that leaves the host physically able yet mentally vacant.

I’m going to do my homework. I’m going to sleep as soon as the words stop making sense and the world starts falling apart the way it always does.