Category Archives: EMOTIONAL RIDE

anxiety

for as long as i can remember, i’ve had this reoccurring nightmare. it took me quite a while to grasp and form into a picture that made sense. it is me – without a form – just an awareness – running on a sphere like object, also formless – at first i am just running along – but as it progresses, the realization that i am unable to get off starts to set in – and with that, fear – and the sphere is rolling faster – and i am running faster – under threat of disappearing under – and the more i think about it, the longer away the “end” feels like – until the end as a concept, has stretched so incredibly far that it ceases to exist – and the swelling panic of there being no end to this torture is so overwhelming that i freeze – and everything freezes – and if i’ve made it this far in the nightmare, i wake up.

 

that paralyzing fear, i now understand – is my anxiety.

 

breathe.

 

anxiety is this large rolling sphere that once you get on, you can’t seem to get off. stuck on that train of thought, on whatever you belief in to be real – fear and panic sets in. your heart beats faster, so much so that you can feel your heart pulsing in your chest and the blood rushing through your veins. you get nervous, uncomfortable – your senses are heightened. you are overstimulated. dizzy. light pierces through your eyes like you are a tiny bug on a gigantic operating table with all the lights on you. you heat up so much that you get cold. you hear every little sound, amplified a hundred times until there is so much pressure within you that it all goes silent. all the senses. and you freeze.

 

it is often paralyzing.

 

breathe.

 

anxiety is finding yourself stuck running, staring into the depths of infinity. it is believing in the worst and seeing absolutely no hope of another possible outcome and therefore no end towards the panic you are feeling. no exit. just the same thoughts increasing in pressure as they play on loop. looping over and over again. loop. because you’ve been through it so often your panic muscles know exactly what to do. loop. and the familiarity of all that fear puts you in that moment of most heightened anxiety within a split second of impact. loop. because anxiety is not really about the situation in front of you, but about anxiety itself. loop. and there’s no coming back because there’s no way out. loop. no exit. just the same thoughts increasing in pressure as they play on. loop.

 

you frantically search for a way out as you spin in circles around yourself. a safe space. a space that is not “this”, whatever “this” is.

 

breathe.

 

anxiety is irrational fears made rational by the mind – taking control over your every being – in the absence of a safe space. and this lack of safe space can be caused by a multitude of experiences which lead to emotions of broken trust and lack of safety. some schools of thought belief the behavioral pattern of anxiety stems from trauma incurred in the formative years of childhood. if a caregiver did not consistently or sufficiently meet your needs for love, affection, approval, care, touch or worse, abused you. and if you find yourself a child, teen or adult – in a situation without someone to go to whom you trust – someone who understands what you’re going through and knows how to be there for you – you freeze. you freeze yourself in, and the world out.

 

breathe.

 

you freeze while you desperately look for the exit. a door for you to open to find sanity waiting with open arms. a door that you have forgotten how to find. because you’re distracted and pulled in all kinds of directions by all your senses. the exit, that is breath.

 

stop.

 

breathe.

 

close your eyes. feel that blood rushing. acknowledge your heart beating fast. breathe. deep inhale. with a slow exhale – ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen. what are you afraid of? breathe. answer those questions, walk down that path. look your fear in the eye and then move past it. breathe…into the space beyond fear. see that there is more. visualize that space. feel it. hold it in your heart. breathe. acknowledge your thoughts. your fears. recognise them as your creation. embrace yourself. your trauma. everything that has lead you up to this point. do not resist it. breathe. know that your trauma is not your fault. acknowledge your pain. let it go. forgive yourself for what you judge yourself for. forgive the reactions. the emotions, panic, irrationality, frustration, anger, violence to come out of the anxiety. forgive yourself. breathe. you are not your trauma. you are the you beneath it all. remind yourself of who you are.

 

breathe.

 

you are love. you are light. you are peace. you are tranquility. you are the sound of the ocean and the breeze blowing through the sky. you are the sunrise and the sunset. the moon, the stars and the galaxy. you are whole. breathe. let go of everything that you cling onto. let go of the defense mechanisms you built over many long years to protect yourself. all the fear. all the paranoia. you are safe. you are alright. breathe. feel your heartbeat stabilize. the pressure start to fade. reality coming back. you are calm. now you can reassess the situation.

 

don’t stop breathing.

 

always remember to breathe. it is the exit door that exists within us that no one can take away. breathe into it. breathe through it.
one breath at a time.

 

i willfully use my anxiety to heal myself. every episode an opportunity to strengthen the muscles of acceptance and inner peace.

 

i visualize my anxiety washing away like grains of sand on the beach with each passing wave.

 

the waves have washed away my nightmare too.
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making peace

the time has finally come – for you to face that big one. that major relationship that left an impact so devastating you thought it could never be sent to the folder where past experiences you’ve sorted through and moved on from reside.

you went to poke the beast. you always do. always in hope that the in between was enough time for the beast to transform into something else. something able to look you in the eyes and rise above together. because sometimes you are that beast. and all you need is time and bit of understanding to be ready to heal. some people say don’t bother. but that’s not who you are. you always try. it isn’t always the smartest thing, but you choose to anyways. until the chapter is over.

what transpired took you by surprise. because you thought you had an idea of how things might go either way. but once again, you overlooked all of reality to exist in your fantasy world where everyone wants to make peace. boy were you wrong. goddamn were you wrong.

it genuinely shocks you. you don’t know why. it really shouldn’t. but you really did not expect such a reaction. it sucks. you’d like for it not to, but it does. it’s sad that some things private and personal that you were or had divulged in a space you once considered safe could be used in such a way, twisted beyond recognition. violated. soiled. but you know the truth. and no one can take the truth away from you. 

it makes you think of the past and your journey. of all the years spent wandering about hurt, trying to find love. of all the loneliness. that dark cold loneliness you couldn’t run from no matter how much you tried. always right behind you. lurking in the silent corners of your mind.

you remember the family you once had. a lifetime ago (or so it seems), when you were safe and cherished and things were simple. you feel the inner panic of gradually losing that stable ground. the chaos that ensued as you tried to survive and the constant anxiety of having to – that only made you more needy and codependent.

it makes you think of all the people that crossed your path. those who were good for you. those that were bad. the handful you needed and hurt in the effort of finding your lost self. the stupid choices you made because you were so adamant on not giving a fuck that you chose not to even when you should have. even when you knew as sure as the sun is bright that you were walking into disaster.

you mentally hug your past self. you know how much she needs that compassion and strength with all the pain there was and all the pain to come. you feel melancholic, but more intensely at peace. because you know everything that’s happened has gotten you here. and even though you didn’t get here unscratched, you are so happy here. so very incredibly happy.

only you and you alone know how much effort it’s taken to free yourself from past trauma. to look yourself in the soul and come to terms with the choices you made and the things that happened for you.

and you know now – everything that happens, happens for you and not to you. never to you. and this just so happened to be the journey you needed to take towards self discovery, self worth and self love. because only through learning to love yourself could you then begin to love others the way you’ve always wanted to, with compassion and acceptance. to then create a family based on that truth, for the best odds at maintaining a loving space for your children to always count on.

to save them from what you went through.

you have always known the trigger point of everything falling apart. you set out to do different. it has always been that steady beacon of light. even when you lost your mind, you very much still had your sight. and you never gave in. you never let anything blacken your heart so much you couldn’t live with yourself. you just kept getting back up and moving forward, you warrior. you got here. you did it.

it took as much strength to power through the earlier pain as it did to be vulnerable and truthful in the healing process later on. you have by now forgiven yourself. and with this chapter coming to an end, you feel the remainder of sadness and pain of a time before start to fade as well.

so steady, as if it has been waiting to be set free. you hold on to it for just a little bit longer. a reminder of what made you YOU. a reminder that contained in that darkness was your greatest potential for light.

decaf

nowadays i get this overwhelming obsessive feeling. i can’t explain it, but it’s like i’m bored and looking for something to disappear into. but being at this phase – not here but not quite there yet – it doesn’t really leave me with much to obsess over. nothing healthy at least.

i suppose that’s why i love art. painting. because one, it’s free flowing. and two, i can spend hours and days just not needing to think of anything. sometimes that’s bad because i forget to think of eating too, but lucky i have a husband who’s well aware of my patterns and makes sure i take (forced) breaks for meals.

i think i’ve always been this way. felt this way. but for some reason over the past few weeks, it’s been really bothering me. i’m searching for something, yet when i stop to think, i feel like i haven’t got the patience to follow through with even the thought of something. i feel irritated at having to think so much. which is weird, because i’ve always been comfortable with overthinking.

the night time and knowing i have to go to bed soon makes me anxious too. i thought i’d gotten over not liking the night. and i actually fall asleep easier nowadays, but i just feel anxious. like i haven’t had enough day to use. like i haven’t done anything and i’m still looking for something to do.

even on days that i’ve gotten loads of things done.

it could quite possibly be the coffee that i’ve been drinking. never drank coffee all my life til my husband’s love for it finally got to me. not more than a cup a day and it’s only been 2 weeks…but maybe caffeine is affecting my sanity more than i’d like it to.

coffee dropped. no more caffeine for me thank you. i’ll just go back to drinking plain water.

MIL

my mother is law is a real piece of work.

i suppose most mother in laws are, but i only have the pleasure of dealing with my own.

i don’t say much about her to anyone except probably my own mum because for the most part, what does it matter. i can ignore it a good portion of the time and smile it off as much as i can.

today, she felt the need to express to me (alongside her equally irritating childhood friend) that my hair doesn’t suit me. that it doesn’t look nice. that it looks like beggars in india. which for a good 5-10 minutes, i completely just shrugged it off saying “yup” “only some people like it” “hahaha yeah it’s hard to wash and takes a long time to dry” “it might not be the healthiest (to you) but neither is chemically dying hair, right?” “yeah i’ve had it short, long, curly, straight. it’s just hair lah” “my natural hair would be really crazy curly and messy, not so nice and pretty (the way you want it to look)”.

then they left for dinner, came back, and in the middle of some other conversation – her friend decided to make some ugly comments about beggars in nepal and india and how she came back to find that here too (in hokkien the whole way, not knowing i understood every single word). i ignored that too. just decided to open a book and start reading.

Yoong expressed that he was tired because he knew i wasn’t in the greatest place to be dealing with more (especially after just getting back from my grandmother’s funeral), so the friend and sister left. she (mil) walked them out, came back again and decided of all things – she’d say “i think ah, your hair really doesn’t look good on you blablablablablablablablabla” to which i said “okay. but it’s not really nice to say things like that to people”.

and then shit hit the fan.

i cannot remember the words that came out of her mouth after that. some justification on why she said that, and that it was her friend’s opinion (fair enough, but she did not need to put effort into telling me again) more blablablablablablabla. to which i said “aunty, please leave”. and then she said “who are you”.

wrong move, mil. 

because whether you like it or not (obviously not), i am your son’s wife. HIS WIFE. i don’t say this to you because there’s absolutely no need for me to. because the fact is, I AM his wife. and in this little game of tug and war you think we’re playing, there is simply no competition. never has been. never will be.

your son loves you because you are his mother. i respect that, and allow plenty of space for you to irritate and piss him off (which you do, all the time). in fact, what you don’t know is that i tell him to hug you. to call you and spend some time over the phone with you coz you might miss him. insist on not giving up on trying to fix what you broke in the first place. continue supporting him throughout the ups and downs he faces with you. 

but make no mistake. continue crossing the line and you will find yourself blocked out someday. with him, right here with me. 

i would feel slightly threatened if Yoong is a loyal puppy dog to his extremely loving mother. or maybe i wouldn’t even need to because if she were loving and nice, we wouldn’t have a problem to begin with. but there is no threat.

you are a constant reminder to him of the things he hates about having to deal with family. the never ending pressure to give give give. perform. behave. respect. be obedient. bow down. obey. 

in the snap of a finger, i could put you in your place and show you who i am. and who you aren’t.

but instead of doing that, i tell Yoong to see the good in her. to let the way he sees her change. to heal. to love again. to love stronger. i’m starting to think, that’s quite fucking pointless. really. what’s the point of putting in all the effort i can when she hasn’t got the slightest bit of decency, compassion, empathy or manners.

sometimes i really feel like saying “omg aunty. your clothes are damn over the top lah. can you dress your age ah? stop being so humiliating to just about anyone you are standing around” or “eeeeee. i cannot stand your taste. why so gaudy. why you waste so much money on something so ugly. wah, the renovation job on your house is quite shit isn’t it?”

i keep going back to the same fork in the road. continue to keep trying to be nice for the sake of my husband, to learn to rise above things and train myself to be unaffected or just treat her the way she treats everyone else.

hmmm. decisions. decisions.

i remember

ah ma used to cycle all the way to kfc to buy me a burger all the time, when i said i didn’t want to eat anymore. i would actually be full, and end up eating more anyways. she was smart at tempting me. she also did this with the fish & chips from lucky, wantan mee from ashita, buns from a bakery down the main road and countless other foods.

she used to pull me aside not so discreetly and insist that i take some cash or angpau (red packets) from her as it was good luck – before i left the house for longer periods of time.

i remember her black sauce chicken and fried fish with sweet soy sauce. they were my favourite. when she couldn’t cycle out anymore, she would cook food at home anytime i was back. and she’d make it a point to bring it straight to my room upstairs. even when she could barely walk up the stairs. as she got older, she’d slowly make her way up and down while sitting, one step at a time.

now when i look back, i realise how much she aged over the past decade. i didn’t really feel it then, because it was so slow and gradual. i didn’t think of the person she was the last time i saw her. funny how some things feel so clear when it’s time to say goodbye.

she used to make me milo and keep it frozen in the freezer for when i got home from school. i always say i was a milo baby. she was probably the reason why. one time, i had so much milo and food, i threw up.

i grew up with my grandma always around. i think i can say i lived with her throughout the years more than i’ve lived with my parents, or anyone else. she’s never not been a part of my life. however seldom or often i’d see her.

when i first moved to kl, she used to call me many times throughout the day. sometimes i’d love it. sometimes she’d annoy me. for the most part, i always answered and chit chatted with her. i suppose that gradually changed as well – until she didn’t call me for so many days that i’d find myself calling her. i remember thinking a few years back that someday my grandma’s going to stop calling and i’m really going to miss her fussing about me.

i can’t believe that day is here.

i really can’t believe that day is here.

it really is, isn’t it.
you’re really gone.

you really were the best grandmother a person could ever ask for. no one will ever spoil me the way you did. i still miss you ah ma. more than words can describe.

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