I've not properly blogged in a long long time.
A huge part of it is of course, the kids. Having a 13-month gap between kids makes for a tough time. Having kids just barely that side of 40 also doesn't help. There *is* light at the end of the tunnel, though. Things are getting better. I can start to breathe again.
That said ... the past six months (or year, or three) have been tough in ways I never anticipated.
You know, a big reason I had no inclination for tying the knot was I grew up in an environment where ... how shall I put this ... there were huge issues simmering / stagnating between my parents, making for a very uncomfortable environment to grow up in general, what more for someone who now acknowledges she is highly sensitive / empathic? How much of my internal dialogue was shaped by trying to deal with the (negative) energy I sensed but did not understand? How much of my internalizing, my shutting down and shutting out, stems from my trying to navigate a mire of emotions not even my own?
I survived because I drew a cloak of anger around myself.
I also grew up protected. All-girls school. Malay/sian culture, even in the city, still is pretty prudish, conservative. I was way too unfamiliar with hormones, guys, ... and doing things for myself -- I realise I had a hard time figuring out where *i* stood because the school system along with how I was raised produced someone who was used to being told what to do, what to think. Yes, I rebelled ... but I didn't go all the way to finding my own voice. That came later.
Much much later.
I was raped when I went out on one of my first dates in the US. As soon as I make that statement, even in my own head (I've only said it out loud maybe twice), I always find myself downplaying it: "It was just frottage, though." Yeah. I was lucky. I'm being sarcastic, but that is also how I feel -- it could have been a lot worse. What was really bad at the time was, I was a bundle of unidentified emotions, I had NO IDEA to process what had just happened, but was also fueled by the Asian desire to not rock the boat, so I just clamped down on it all, internalized, put on a brave face, carried on. Do you know it took me a few years to figure out that I had been raped??
I had continued to date the guy (I'll call him JNC) -- it was a tumultuous relationship. It ended badly. Sometime after it was over (I think - we were on again off again for a while), and I had realised what had happened was rape, and it was eating me up inside, and I got drunk enough one night at a house party* and for some reason decided to call him up and get him to agree that he had, in fact, raped me. I think he acknowledged it. I can't be sure. Alcohol sure makes things fuzzy. I don't think it helped. (it = alcohol, the "confrontation", whatever).
I muddle along in life ... a trend I notice is I gravitate towards "strays" ... forgive me for the use of condescending terms - that is how I talk to myself: always with half-sneering lips and a sarcastic raised eyebrow. I gravitated towards hurt souls. People I could take care of -- because taking care of others meant I didn't need to take care of myself. I care deeply for others. Just don't cross me. Then you are dead to me. But that's another story. Tangentially.
I had a significant other who was oh so jealous. So so SO so jealous. She was insecure in her status as a lesbian with a previously hetero partner, and that fear translated into a majorly green-eyed monster. Mind games. Guilt. I remember we were in the early stages of planning a trip to the US, and she asked me if, if I had the opportunity to do so, would I look up JNC? I didn't know any better at the time, so I answered honestly - well yeah, I would. We ended badly, he was in a really bad place, and I worried about him (see "strays" statement) even though I had no romantic feelings for him. Oh my. "How could you say that to me?" "You don't love me: no one who loves someone else would ever say that." "If you love him so much go lah and see him." ... and I'm like whaaaaa?? Did you even hear me? Anyways, so me and *her* had a tumultuous relationship also, would you have guessed. Harhar. I put up with a lot, but anger built up and up and up, and in the end, her victorious smirk on the ER bed was the final straw, and I finally "saw" her. If only it had been the end - but at least it was the beginning of the much-needed end.
This is just a tiny taste of all the thoughts, the memories, that swirl around in my head. These things have helped shape me. Define me.
Through it all -- patterns emerge: not just the strays thing. the procrastination. the beating myself up inside. letting others do the same. even when I *know* I am better than that. It's as if I needed to always hit rock bottom before I found the inner core of steel that would then get me to claw back up to where I needed to go -- whether it's a work deadline, a relationship, a project, whatever.
Fast forward to now: I took the plunge, got married, had kids (and there's so much to type about all that, but this is not the blogpost for that) ... and and the end of last year/early this year, everything within and without finally took its toll. The camel's back was finally broken.
That cloak of anger was no longer a cloak: heck it was full-body Spanx!!
I was afraid for the kids. I was afraid for my sanity.
I briefly considered happy pills.
But that inner core said that was a path we didn't want to take.
So I went with other methods ... down a path of self-exploration ... working on self-acceptance, self-love (get your mind out of the gutter) (another symptom of my past that needs working on) (everything in its own time). I have been seeking for a long time - religions have never resonated with me. Other paths I also tried, but didn't quite resonate. Until now, where I focus on myself -- and bits and pieces from all those places I've sought come together in different ways, in a way making a tapestry all of my own .. now for me to wrap myself up in THIS new cloak ...
A theme that now emerges -- the image of me huddled, and another me, a soft-white me, hugging that huddled self. The safety and love that I feel in that hug, I am/have been transmitting to my kids via my own hugs to them. it is a relief that at least my relationship with them has hope, that I'm not too far gone to salvage, repair, enhance, embrace them. That it's *me* hugging myself -- that's also significant. I'll come back to that later.
......... and that's about all my muse wants to share today.
Don't hold your breath, it might be a while before I have the time and inclination for another deep post like this one.
There *may* be random kids pix, though. (for the two people I know who would still see this post, lol!)
Thank you for reading.
(Thank you, muse, for helping get this out)
(explanation of this post's title: I am "coming out" on three different subjects in this post, did you catch them all?)
* house party: I was a member of a co-ed chemistry fraternity, lived in the chapter house, and we held parties there pretty often.