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.

The Longest Year

It has officially been over one year since I’ve seen my best friend.

Image

I leave his picture above my bed so we can chat after a long day.

My best friend B tried to commit suicide on February 11 of this year, and died on Valentine’s Day, which has forever been soiled in my heart.

I remember November 10th.

It was my dad’s birthday party. B came over to hang out with me. I remember us watching Tyler Oakley videos for the good part of 3 hours. B was gay, and his Christian parents home-schooled him. He had never met another gay person before, and Tyler Oakley was the first gay person he’d ever “met”. I remember we watched Tyler’s Chubby Bunny Challenge on repeat for at least half an hour.

I put makeup on him for the first time. He told me one day he might like to be a drag queen. I laughed. That picture up there was the final result of my makeover.

I also did his nails. He wanted something bright and happy, like his personality. He settled on a rotation of neon pink and orange. He was such a cutie.

That was the night he tried Filipino food for the first time. He loved the pancit (noodles) and the eggrolls. My family thought he was adorable. Everyone thought he was adorable.

Now that I’ve typed it out I guess he had a lot of firsts that night. Granted they were little firsts, but it’s the little things that add up in life.

My last memory is dropping him off home. He rode his bike there and I didn’t want him going home by himself in the dark (it was like 11 at night) so I asked my dad to drive him. It took us like 15 minutes to fit his bike in the back of the car. We laughed the entire way, and I can’t even remember what our last conversation was about. I remember getting to his house. I was too lazy to get out of the car because I was exhausted from a busy day, but when I think about it now it kills me. Instead of getting my ass out of the car for 10 seconds to give him this last hug, I stayed in the car, rolled the windows down, and waved as we drove away. That is my last memory of us together.

Hindsight bias is a bitch, but I’m gonna say it anyways.

If only I had know. If I had known it would be our last time together, I would’ve shown him the Deathnote series. I would’ve baked him my famous cheesecake. I would’ve taught him about gay sex (like he always asked me to because for some reason I knew more about it than he did). I would have done anything he wanted. But most of all, I would’ve gotten out of the damn car and hugged him for all my life. I would’ve breathed him in and felt his warmth and remembered him exactly the way he was.

He died on Valentine’s day. I missed out on his last 3 months of life. It’s hard making plans with someone that’s home-schooled and strictly watched over (his mom rarely let him out of the house besides for Church functions).

One last biggest regret. For the entire winter season, I was a tutor at the elementary school right across the street from his house. I always thought about just dropping by, but I never did. Every Wednesday for 4 months I passed by his house, but I never went to see him. I could’ve seen him every day. I could’ve talked to him every day. But I never will. Never again.

I regret not being there for him as much as I could have.

No-Good Rotten Good-For-Nothing Week

Everything pretty much fell apart this week. Everything that was good and bright about college just fell apart.

I’ll start from the beginning.

Last week, my boyfriend told me he was going to come on Friday night and spend the weekend with me. I was overjoyed. I’ve been so sad and stressed here and a little R&R time with the boyfriend sounded nice.

I had 2 exams on Monday, and one on Tuesday. I was dreading every minute of it.

BIOLOGY: There are 4 exams for my biology class. At the end, the lowest grade gets dropped. I got a 60 on my first exam, but I was optimistic. I told myself, “It’s okay, it was your very first college test you were nervous. This time you’ll really buckle down and do great.” So I studied my ass off the night before. The professor even allows us to have a double sided cheat sheet to take the exam, and I filled mine up and I felt good taking the exam. I looked at my grade on Wednesday, and I had gotten a 57. A fucking 57. All that hard work and optimism shut down. I cried for a long time.

PSYCHOLOGY: I’m a psychology major. Of course I want to do good on my psychology tests. Same story with biology: super stressed, 68 as the first test score, told myself I’d do better. Now I haven’t gotten my grade back yet, but I don’t feel good about it. Same story about studying my ass off and eating myself alive the night before, but when I was taking the test I was always double checking myself because all the terms sound so similar. I feel awful just thinking about it.

MATH: I actually got a 94 on my math test. But just to be a butt and complain about something, I knew how to do the problem I got wrong but I did a calculation incorrectly, so it was entirely my fault.

Plus, I accidentally overslept for the first time and missed a class. I mean according to my friend I missed nothing important, but I still felt horrible about missing it.

Now for the social part.

The start of my downfall was when my boyfriend called Wednesday night saying that he can’t come for the weekend anymore. I didn’t think it would, but it devastated me. That was when I realized I was more homesick than I thought I was. The thought of spending Friday and Saturday night without him made me feel so cold and lonely, and I craved going back home and curling under my big puffy blankets. We got in a huge fight, which resulted in me crying for 2 hours and waking up with bleeding and sore arms.

The rest of my spiral downwards involves my friends. We were all planning to lease an apartment to live together next year, and everything seemed perfect until we couldn’t figure out who was living where. I can’t even completely explain the situation because it was so fucking confusing (worse than my prom night if you read that post) and it resulted in everyone angry and frustrated with each other and me leaving the group. Now I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing next year, and I’m mad at almost every friend I made this year. I plan to lock myself in my room tomorrow and hibernate and forget that they exist.

I was so excited for college. I felt smart, bright, optimistic, social, and happy. But now I feel sad, stupid, and lonely.

Something I’ve wanted to tell my friends here is that I’m depressed.

That I had to talk to counselors all throughout middle and high school because I was so depressed I often thought about killing myself.

Tell them that I’ve actually tried killing myself.

Tell them that every night, I lay in bed trying to sleep, but I can’t because I’m plagued by thoughts of happiness and home and family and these thoughts are immediately followed by crying and suicidal desires.

I can’t tell them that I’ve tried killing myself here. In my room. I had a bottle of Clorox to my lips, and I was so angry and so frustrated and so upset that I took the smallest sip. That shit burned like acid. It was worse than a shot (which I regret knowing the taste of) and I immediately spit it out and started crying. Gross, heaving sobs.

I want to leave. Not this school but this earth. I just haven’t been happy for a long time.

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.

Time Management for A Successful Student

When I got to college, they gave us a sheet telling us how we can party and succeed academically based off a time management formula.

There are 168 hours in a week.
Let’s say, optimistically, everyone gets 8 hours of sleep every night. That leaves you with 112 hours.
For the best success, you should study 3 hours for every credit you’re taking. Let’s say you’re taking 15 credits, so you should spend 45 hours a week outside of class doing school work. Plus the time you’re actually in class, that leaves you with 52 hours.
Then let’s say you spend an hour a day in the bathroom. 45 hours left.
Maybe you take 2 hours to eat every day. 31 hours left.
That’s 31 hours of free time you can use to join clubs, party, work out, go to games, anything while still being a healthy and responsible student.

Luckily I am taking 15 credits, so I didn’t have to alter their formula.

31 hours. Now let’s see what I can do with that.

I cry, and feel horribly depressed every single day. Not a day has gone by since I’ve gotten here that I haven’t laid in my bed paralyzed thinking about killing myself. I feel weak and pitiful with splitting migraines, and I can’t think of anything besides slicing my own neck. Let’s say I do this for an average of 2 hours a day. 17 hours left.

I spend an hour talking to my family every day so that my parents don’t have heart attacks worrying that I’ve gotten myself hurt somehow by walking around at night or getting hit by a car. 10 hours left.

On Mondays it takes me 1 hour total to walk to and from my classes. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, 50 minutes. On Wednesdays, 30 minutes. 7 hours and 40 minutes left.

This has always been how I am, but I take about half an hour getting ready in the morning. 4 hours and 10 minutes left.

Because of my eczema, I have to spend 20 minutes every day taking care of my skin (putting lotions, medicines etc.) 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Wow look at that. A whole hour and 50 minutes of free time all to myself every week, lucky me. I can watch half of Titanic in that time, what fun.

No, college has not been easy for me.

To keep myself from killing myself, I’ve been trying to absorb myself in exercise. That’s 1 hour everyday, so now I’m left with -6 hours and 50 minutes. Kendo is 2 hours 3 times a week, so make that -9 hours and 50 minutes.

Balancing school work, trying to keep my family from dying of broken hearts, trying to keep myself from dying in general. This is hard work.

I’ll talk about why I’m struggling to stay alive in another post at some point maybe. These are supposed to be the best 4 years of my life. Maybe I’m not doing this right.

Curiosity Killed the Cat

But saved the incoming freshman girl.

I just went through one of my worse anxiety attacks. Gross sobbing, river of tears, choking and screaming and threats of suicide.

I found out today that I’m moving in a day early. Friday instead of Saturday. That doesn’t sound like a huge difference, but it is.

How the rest of my week was supposed to go:

  • Wednesday: Picnic and hike with my friends, shopping at night
  • Thursday: Shopping and packing with mom
  • Friday: Spend the day with my boyfriend and family
  • Saturday: Leave

How the rest of my week is going to go:

  • Wednesday: Shop and pack in a frenzy by myself because my mom doesn’t have the day off
  • Thursday: Finish shopping for whatever I missed with my mom and if I’m lucky see my boyfriend at some point
  • Friday: Leave

Do you see how these schedule differ? One day makes a huge difference.

Leaving a day early also made it sink in that I’m really leaving. These are the last 3 days that I will truly live with my family. I’ll live at college for 4-5 years, then afterwards most likely get an apartment with friends or my boyfriend (if I’m being optimistic). I’m being thrown into the world of adulthood, seemingly without warning though I’ve been preparing for this day for over a year.

And until now it really didn’t feel like I was going. Inside, it feels like I’m just spending the week at a friend’s house for a prolonged slumber party. It doesn’t feel like I’m heading down a new road without turning back. And when I do look back, things won’t be the same. In 3 days, my world will be completely different. Everything I’ve ever known will be completely different.

It felt like I was suffocating. I was choking and sobbing and my chest was tightening. I just wanted to kill myself — overdose, choke on something, slit my throat — anything so that I won’t have to feel the pain of loneliness. The pain of having everything I know crumble.

But what stopped me in the middle of the choking and cries was what my last post was about — dreams. Hope for what comes next. I wanted to end everything (and for a second I thought I was going to) and stop the cramping and the migraines, but I couldn’t.

Because I am overflowing with curiosity.

Curious about what the future will be like. Curious about what will happen when I get to college. Curious about if I become a successful therapist and help hundreds or maybe thousands of people. Curious about if I get married and have children, and what those children will look and be like.

And I cursed myself for being so curious, because for a moment I was really going to do it. I was going to run into my bathroom, pull out my bottle of Clorox, throw in a medley of allergy and pain medications and creams, and chug it down. I was already there, everything out, until I got so damn curious.

I’m no cat. Curiosity is what’s keeping me alive right now, like an IV drip though I’m barely hanging on by a single sane thread. And when the time comes 1 or 5 or 10 or 40 years down the road, I hope I’ll know it was worth it.

Six Feet Under

I’ve been wanting to make a post for a long time, but I never knew what to write about. Long-distance relationships, feminism, maybe a DOMA repeal celebration, but the words never came.

Two events happened this week that led me to what I’m about to write about today.

1) I was at the mall with my 10 year old little cousin. We were looking at movies on my iPhone and passed by the movie Bully, about a kid that gets harassed constantly. She looks to me and says, “That’s so stupid. A person shouldn’t kill himself just because he gets bullied, that’s so selfish. Didn’t he realize that he can just ignore them?” I tried, with great difficulty, to contain myself. I told her not to talk about subjects she’s not yet old enough to understand, and bought her ice cream so she wouldn’t speak.

2) Today I watched episode 1 of Six Feet Under with my friend. *SPOILER ALERT* In it, the elder brother of the family complains about how stupid formal funerals are, and about how fake they are. He ranted about how stupid it is that it’s improper to cry in public, and about how it’s not healthy and it’s all a charade.

I’ve written several posts about my friend B before. For those that don’t know, B was one of my best friends that killed himself Valentine’s Day of this year, because he was bullied for being gay by his peers and family.

Not a single day goes by that I don’t think about him. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could call him and hear about his day, or tell him about mine, or ask him to come over and hang out and just sit next to me. I want to hear him breathing, and laughing, and talking, and singing. Not a day goes by that I don’t shed a tear for him.

His picture is hanging in my room. His face is the background on my phone. A piece of him is in every song I listen to and every dance I learn (being the musical and creative person he was).

Suicide is a horrible concept. It can be thought of as selfish, I can understand why. A person is in pain, and takes themselves away from the world and all their friends and loved ones to escape the pain. I hear it all the time. “Suicide is selfish.”

Every time I hear that phrase, I think, “Who the fuck are you to say that?” [Trigger warning: opinion] As someone who has dreamed of committing suicide since she was 7 years old, as someone who has tried to commit suicide, and as someone who knows someone that has committed suicide, I can say that it is selfish to call people that kill themselves selfish. In my experience, only a person who has wanted to end their life can understand my point of view.

B was in pain. He was tortured everyday by peers and family. He was taken out of school, away from the few people he trusted in the world, to be home-schooled by his super religious and super abusive family. Every waking moment was a living hell. Who wouldn’t want to escape?

After my beautiful friend ended his life, that was the line I heard a lot going around. “How selfish.” And I wanted to punch all of them in the face. How the fuck would you handle the situation? Would you have been strong enough to go through what he did? When you see a dying animal on the street after it gets hit by a car, people think, “Put the poor thing out of its misery.” That’s what B did. He took himself out of hell, and in my opinion, he’s in a better place.

I have one friend that is in a similar situation to B’s. (If you read this, pardon me for mentioning you.) He’s strong. He looks to the future. B always wanted to meet you, and I wish with all my heart that it happened, and I always think that if you had met maybe some of your strength could have rubbed off on him? But that’s wishful thinking, and too little too late at that. In my English class we read The Stranger and learned that there are different kinds of people in this world. There are those strong enough to cope, because they have faith in a better tomorrow. B was not one of those people. He believed that the only way to end his suffering was to end it all. He did not think the future had wonderful things in store for him. Not everyone has enough strength for today and tomorrow.

B belonged to a baptist family. From what I understand, instead of Wakes like in the Catholic religion, they have what are called “Celebrations of Life.” From what I was told, you are not allowed to cry. Death should be celebrated, because the soul is joining Jesus and Mary and God and who the fuck ever in heaven. It was the most painful 3 hours of my life. Watching people walk up one by one talking about how close they were with B and how great he was and how he’s with Our Lord and Savior and he’s so close to God now whoop-de-fucking-doo. It was a celebration, tears were not allowed. I thought I was going to die. So much pressure and tension in my chest. There were pictures and videos of him everywhere, all these stories about how wonderful he was. It was a fucking nightmare; like my own personal Holocaust museum or something. All I wanted to do was scream and hit stuff and fuck shit up and cry and let it all out, but I wasn’t allowed to. It was 3 hours of sitting in silence while my emotions were slowly setting my heart and soul on fire.

At my funeral, I don’t want anyone holding anything back. I don’t want anyone that didn’t know me there. I want everyone to bawl and scream and cry and break shit. I want them to let everything out, and I’ll be watching from wherever the fuck I am nodding and saying, “Hey, I miss you too babe, just let it all out.”

4 months and 13 days. That’s how long my B has been six feet under. It feels like it’s been years though. They say the wounds heal, but they never do. Not really. They scar, or scab over, but the slightest brush makes them fresh again. 4 months and 13 days and I’m still sitting here crying. I’m still sitting here sobbing and cursing and wishing for him to come back.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to talk about suicide openly. Maybe one day I’ll be able to think about him and feel no pain. Maybe one day the scars will begin to heal.

But that day is not today.