Featured

6 Years of Downfall

“You’re right! I am turning into this horrible person. Maybe I already am. I am always irritated, agitated, aggressive.. I try to stay calm. Don’t you know this is exhausting? It exhausts me. I’m.. I am being a mom, I am being your wife. I am juggling these roles. It’s just that, right now, I’m tired, Patrick. I’m sorry, I’m tired.”

“Okay. What’s happening right now is.. you are mad. I annoy you, okay.. but now you are crying. Wha – oh no, no.” His sarcastic face is there again, he knows how much I hated it. “Let me guess. You don’t know why? You just feel like crying?”

“Don’t look at me like that. I am trying, god knows, I’m trying.” I am shaking now. Living with you is very tiring. I’m tired. I’m already tired. I fucking hate you and I am fucking exhausted. I wanted to add, but I know, its.. it is something someone gone cuckoo would say. He already sees me as one, but I cannot.. Of course I cannot say it.

He just shook his head. Oh, and that sneer.  He walked off in a huff.  Wish granted.

But, he’s right. It has always been like this. How pathetic am I in his eyes? He’s been with me for six years, he had seen it all. I have seen it all. Six years, is that enough to drive each other insane?

Then there goes the narrator of my life, the inner bully. He talks with the same arrogance as my husband.

This is what happens when you live with someone who crushes your thoughts, your belief system, the way you look at yourself, all the while, being loving and caring and responsible husband and father to your kids. A trophy partner you can show off to your relatives and friends, the trophy partner you secretly hate. Oh, you wanted to break free? How can you reason to his realism? You are a depressed, delusional. His logic is nothing compared to the fucked up yours. This is what happens when you merge yourself into marriage without fucking thinking, now, let your freedom fly and your soul rot, idiot. 

Have you ever felt this kind of hate? You’ve cut your own wings and now you are being mean, mostly to yourself. But you don’t want to show it, so it’s just deeply buried inside you. You don’t know when will all this stop. You thought, this hate will pass. It’s a part of every marriage. But no, it’s a downfall without a crash.

You can’t even describe it anymore, you can only feel it. There is this strong anger living inside your chest that you always suppress. You don’t understand it either, you can’t use your words right anymore. You try to reason to yourself, nothing is coming out. You just wanted to scream, to runaway, to stay still, to move, to sit, to dive…  You don’t even know what you want to do anymore. You don’t know what to do to make it go away. Hate, rage, temper, anger, you don’t know what to call it. You don’t know what it is, but you know it is planted inside you. A bad seed. It seeps, it stays, you can feel its roots, it is becoming you.

Truth is, you are a bad wife, a bad mother, and a bad person. Added the narrator.

Featured

How Can a Photograph Capture the Image of a Person Falling Apart?

I stared at the black and white photograph, “Is this how unhappy I look like?” I hadn’t realized it before. I was never beautiful, but looking at this picture.. This is not me. This can’t be me. This is far from the remark of “Oh. I look so ugly”

I took the photograph, studied a bit more closely. Is this how people see me? Since when did I look this empty?

Day by day, for years, I’ve watched confidence fade away. I’ve cut my hair short. I’ve given up on any pity attempt to look pretty. I neglected myself for a very long time. I look so dull and wasted, tired and drained. This hopeless face can never be covered up. This depressing, decaying body cannot be dressed up. Look a little more closely, you’ll cringe. You’ll cringe at the person beneath this veneer body.

Hate reflects. I didn’t know it reflects. People can actually see through me. How can I not know? I’ve been hiding all of this. I’ve been hiding. I’ve been hiding all this time.

How can a decent photograph capture the image of a person falling apart?

How farther can I descent?

What will I look like next year?

Where will shame and insecurities lead me to?

Is this photograph my cry for help?

Look at what you’ve done.

What have you done to yourself?


“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”― Ted Grant

photograph-blog-2
Actual photograph

The photograph was taken by our Photojournalism professor. It will be shown at our university’s photo exhibit next week. It is a black and white portrait of me. I have seen the photograph just a few minutes before writing this. It is like meeting my self for the very first time. A revelation of how I’ve let myself down. A potential wake-up call to pull myself up.

Featured

Rage and Hibernation

I can’t believe someone could be that colorless. You’re right. I’d use the word pale. But that seems like an understatement. When you see her, you might as well grab a TV remote and ramp up the color intensity. Yes, that girl. Have you noticed how her skin glows? No, not that kind of glow. Her skin is so white, it glows.  You know why we don’t see her that much? We don’t see her around that much. Yes, so I’ve heard. Did you see the slashes on her wrist? I can’t take it off my mind. The scars are even paler than her skinny wrists. It’s not a good sight. Do you know why we don’t see her that much? Well, seems like I know something you don’t know.

So listen closely. I’ve met her old friend, Anna. They were pretty close. Yes. Were. But I’ve got to warn you, this Anna is crazy. There is definitely wrong with her, but she’s fun to talk to. And when she talks, I can’t seem to look away from her.. nose ring. Don’t laugh at me. You won’t help it. It’s gleaming. And her eyes.. her eyes are hypnotic. Oh, right! Anna. I was talking to her when she passed by. Anna just stared at her old friend. “She should’ve just killed herself.” Yes, that’s what Anna said. “She’s walking around dragging everyone down, she’s painful to watch. She knows it herself, so she kept herself away, locked up in her house. Not getting out, until she’s better.” She even added.

Do you know what happened to her? She’s once filled with confidence. Almost proud. Her mom, is as kind as any moms get  but she can’t control her daughter. They always argue. The way she talks to her mom, she’s going to be wait-listed in hell. She’s having problems with her rage back then. By the time she wakes up, she feels so angry to no particular person, no particular reason. Anger just fills her up. Her mom is still so kind to her that anger is often mixed with guilt. It is driving her even more crazy.

One night, when she’s having her usual argument with her mom,some misunderstanding. Anna was there, hanging out upstairs, inside her old friend’s room. She can hear her friend from the dining room. The argument went into halt. This girl, she walked up the stairs, stomping at every step, screaming on top of her lungs. She was so mad, she went straight to her bathroom. She didn’t bother looking at her friend waiting for her. She went straight to the bathroom door and slammed it. A few moments have passed and all there is is silence. Anna couldn’t take the ringing peace, and decided to check on her old friend. There, sitting on the floor, her right wrist were slashed, multiple times. Like she never stopped slashing it until she calmed down. Anna called 911. She thought her friend died during her watch.

She didn’t tell me how she felt, if she’s shocked or.. She just told the story like it is something factual, you know? I don’t know how she managed to tell the tale with a hollowed voice. She knew her friend had died. I think, Anna kind of did, too. They never talked after that night.

3 minute Mumble

“Well.. how about some jog? You can jog around the village this 5pm. There is no sun. You’ll be alright! You’ll feel alright afterwards. ”
“Hey you should go to school. You may fail you know. You’ve been skipping class for one week now, or maybe a month! You just dont notice it but you’ve been just wearing that uniform and.. you just go home. Its not alright. You notice that?”

“Why dont you dress up and go hang out with your friends you know?”

“Orrr why dont you just go out by yourself, unwind. Like the old days? You’ll feel good.”

“Or why dont you read your book?”

“Or why don’t you work on your business. Emails and messages are piling up. People are looking for you.”

“Or why dont you check on your kids you know they need you too”

“Or why dont you treat ma right?”

“Or why dont you treat your husband right?”

“Why dont you treat yourself right?”

“Why are you right there again?”

“Look at yourself. You are a mess and you are so comfortable.. being sad and useless and horrible.”

“You even tried smoking dope. Its a cause of euphoria, but not for you. Still not for you. God’s sake. You even tried coffee.”

“You eat junks. You dont take a shower.”

“Stop letting yourself be like that.”

“Get up and move von”

“What the fuck are you waiting for”

“Life doesnt get better on their own dont wait for it to be better before you live it.”

“Problems doesnt just solve on their own”

“You cant rely on your mood”

“Stop fucking give in”

“Gett upp”

“Get upp”

— there is a lot thoughts going inside your head and you just lie down. Blank eyed.

We look like we are not fighting. God knows whats up. We are forcing ourselves. We are forcing and forcing and forcing ourselves to please, please, put it altogether.

Some days you just cant. You know

Some days.. you just cant

Some days it wins

Some days you just lie down right there

Stare at the day as it goes by.. 

Jump Back Into Where You Learned How To Swim

Go back. You were once there, you have conquered your mind. Go back to peace and quiet, light and calm. If you think this chaos in your mind is what’s ordinary, let your mind swim back to its most quiet state. Everything has its right place, the mind knows the right time to think about the right things and how to set aside the wrong ones. 

Go back to consistency in doing all the things that you think is what’s good for you. Invest in time. Do whatever it is that makes you look around and think, “I love this life. I love living this kind of life.” Dress up, decorate your room, treat yourself nicely, bring kindess to everybody, be more tender to your mom, bring warmth to your kids, restore romance with your husband. 

This phase in your life is the most challenging, and the most exciting. Exert all your effort in doing what you think is what’s best for the life you are living in. Collect more friends, new memories. Let go of the past, let go of past misunderstandings, arguements. Forgive those people who treated you badly. Apologize to yourself. Take time to apologize to all the versions of you that you have destroyed, to create a worse one. 

Go back to reading books, go back to the light feeling of being on your own world. 
Go back to walking down the street with no judgement in mind. Go back. 
Go back. Jump in. 

Wake up. 

You have gone too far. 
______________

I’ve been gone for a long time. Ny last post was in December. I apologize for not responding to any of the comments, I’ve gone “GONE” this past few months and I am patching up myself one step at a time. I’ll go back to writing, to speaking what’s on my mind, to reading what’s on your minds, to reading. 

Hi! Hi again! I am back. And gah! It feels so good 🙂

Where Have You Been, Von?

It’s been a month since I last wrote. My last article was about my first and last visit to my psychiatrist, which is no help by the way. I tried to find an alternative. I tried to fight depression once again. I’ve been very experimental when it comes to this. Last month, I tried to just ignore it. I thought, maybe if I am not over analyzing my feelings, it wouldn’t be so bad. I should stop writing about it, talking about it and just get on with my life. It kind of worked, but I feel like.. an empty mass moving from point A to point B.

My husband has been very cooperative with this phase, surprisingly. He helped me open up a small business so I can ignore the hovering negative thoughts in my mind. I need to make myself busy, he said. I am now selling statement shirts online. It was fun. During the first weeks, I’ve been most alive. I feel excited, motivated, inspired. I get to talk to people, collaborate with photographers, socialize with models. I am not normally outgoing, but during these weeks, I don’t  have to try. These positive feelings are excessive that I am afraid the serotonin in my mind is going to run out.

And damn they did. I hate it when my mind fakes it, you know? Make me believe that, “hey.. you are finally doing it. You are free from it! Wow. Look at yourself”. You were soaring high, you have this smile on your face then suddenly.. you are falling, something is sucking you back down again, and then there is this silent drop.

And yes, at this point I don’t know what to do again. there is no reason for me to feel like this. Everything is doing fine.

But here I am again.

Damn, here I am again.

 

Come, You Will Be Admired

Come, let me take a good look at you
Take off your skin, tear off your mask
Look, your colors are more vibrant with your own shades of black

So come, show me your madness, your flaws
Show me something you are ashamed of
Show me the things you have been hiding
Rip yourself open, so raw, so honest

Come, unclench your fists
Dance, sing your heart out
Scream, shout your foulest words
Break down, cry, be happy
Be weak, be mean, be strong
Be angry, be soft

Break free, lose yourself
Find yourself, be yourself
Show me yourself

Show me,
The person you wish you are
The person underneath
The person you wish you’re not

Show me,
Who are you at this very moment?
Come, flaunt your imperfections
You will be admired

Because how I wish,
How I wish
How I wish
How I really wish
I have the courage to show myself
and you have the guts to watch

Today its the other way around
Come, you will be admired


Featured Photo was from Pixabay.com
(Public Domain. Free for commercial use. No attribution required)

An Open Letter

“This is what I meant when I say Philippines has a blind spot when it comes to mental health awareness and support. Filipinos don’t value it; the poor ones badly need it, only the rich can afford it.”

It is not only difficult to “get help”, it is much difficult to get the “proper help”. I am not after medications, I just wanted to know what’s wrong. I just talked to my doctor for 15 minutes, of course I was not able to say it all. I was very nervous. He diagnosed me for “mild depression” and advised me to go for a jog every morning, and since I don’t want any medication, he prescribed some Omega 3. Again, “HELP

I was so devastated earlier that I created this, something that will never be sent. I just needed to vent.

I am writing you this email because I know our first meeting did not go very well. Honestly, it was horrible. It made me break down while walking out of the hospital. I decided to see a psychiatrist because I know there is something wrong, I needed answers not medication. I just wanted to know what is wrong. I am hoping for relief or at least just a little clarity, but you only made me feel even worse.

Did you know that I am broke? My family is having financial problems. We are not that well off. I had the opportunity to be a model for Hair Asia, an annual event for hair stylists. I was one of the models for hairstyle competition, that’s the reason behind my Mohawk, my crazy hairstyle, the reason why I can afford your consulting fee. It’s out of budget but I needed help. I gave up my hair, I look like a cuckoo. I gave up the first and last money I ever had for nothing. I was walking down the stairs of your hospital feeling horrible. I can’t fight back the tears. Another day of lost hope.

I told you earlier that I get nervous when I talk to people. I am not exaggerating it. I’ve just had my panic attack in front of you. My words are jumbling, I am already breaking down but I tried to compose myself. Everything that I have said earlier is all bullshit. You asked me, what made it come back and then I told you about this girl and that this girl is very intimidating and that I can see myself in her. But I don’t even know why I said that. That’s stupid. This is one of the reasons why I don’t talk to people, one of the reasons why talking to people makes me nervous. Because all this bullshit is coming out of my mouth whenever I open it. I am not thinking at all. Everything that I say is not making any sense. Conversations bring me shame. Earlier, I’ve only made a clown of myself. But I thought you can understand, of all people I’ve talked to.

You asked me “What am I feeling?” That is the most simple and complex question a psychiatrist will ever ask and you are asking it while you are talking on the phone with someone, while you are talking to me. How can I say what I am feeling? If I am going to answer that, honestly, I feel like shit. I just sat down and you already made me feel like shit. How can I politely say that? That’s when I started buttering bullshit, my mind is not working, my inner mind is making sense but what I am saying is not. fgsfmgnsdk I am a mess. I started talking, I am already stuttering, but you still made me pause because you can’t hear the one you’re talking to over the phone. You asked me your very first question and you triggered my panic and social anxiety in a snap. I’ve just entered your room for 15 minutes and I just break down. Maybe you sensed it. You became disoriented as well, you asked the same questions” How was my sleep?” Then you started scribbling my prescription, I told you I am afraid to take medication, so instead, you told me, just do some exercise. Go for a jog. You told me, this is just mild depression. You prescribed some omega 3. You sure this will help me?

You haven’t heard my story, I haven’t talked.

I failed to tell you how my mood shift from this to that. How anger fills me right up, that I am afraid I might hurt my kids. How I am sometimes disrespectful to my mom because I snap, I don’t know why I snap, I don’t know how to stop. How I hate myself even more after that. How I don’t know how to apologize to my mom because I’ve been snapping quite a lot and there is no excuse. How guilt makes me even more crazy. How I change from personality to personality to personality that I am losing track of who I am anymore. How heavy my body feels, (or I think I already said it, how do you put it? Yes, I’m lazy) how light it is, how I feel hopeless for no reason, how I scream just for petty things like throwing me a funny face when I am talking. How my neck itches for a choke-hold that the idea of hanging myself always comes in my mind, but thankful I have kids, I have solid reason not to.  But it is just mild depression, right? I don’t know. You asked me to show up next Wednesday. Should I? Do you really want me to show up? Why would I?

I don’t know why, is it my haircut? What made you think that I am not someone to be taken seriously? Or is this how you treat your patients?

This is our first meeting, but all I wanted for you to do is to listen to me first. Let me talk. Let me speak like as if you are not in a hurry. Like you are not about to call your next patient. Like you are not about to hop in to your next hospital for more profit. Because this is my first time, right? I don’t even know what to say. How will I tell you what I’ve been having problems with, because there are a lot and I don’t know how to say them properly.

But I am going to give you another try. I don’t know how will I raise the money, but I will. I need you. I badly need you. Maybe you are not a great help, but you might still be a help. It’s partly my fault. I will give it another try, if it turns out the same, I don’t know what to do anymore. I am afraid. How will I change myself? I am not happy with this state.


A joyful heart gives health to the body, while a sad spirit dries up the bones.

That’s what it says in his card. Man, I was walking down the stairs with dried up bones. Sorry, this is badly written.  I feel bad. I still feel so bad. I’ve stopped writing for a while. I’ve finally had the guts to go see a doctor but look what it got me. I feel even worse. I have his email address, I don’t know if I could send it. I will sound even more crazy. I will instead show up next week. I will try to compose myself. I need him. Did you know that there are only around 400 licensed psychiatrists in the Philippines? That makes 1 for every 10 million Filipinos. This is what I meant when I say Philippines has a blind spot when it comes to mental health awareness and support. Filipinos don’t value it; the poor ones badly need it, only the rich can afford it.

Grow Backwards

This is how adult life is.. running from point A to point B, back and forth, always rushing, always rushing to your next deadline, always a minute too late. You can’t waste time, but you always do. Of course, you do. When you were still a child, you always waste time, too. But you cannot say it’s wasted. You didn’t know it is,  your wasted time is full of bliss.

Can you remember how the world looks in your childhood eyes? Well, I do. I always do. I still can’t believe I have become like this. My younger self will be very disappointed. In my younger eyes, the world is vivid. I can still remember the scents of each apartment we moved to and from, their scents when they were still empty, their scents when I am about to fall asleep. I still remember the 5pm light, how the wind gushes through me while I am running, running as fast as I could, running under the pink sky. I still remember how I hugged my mom with all my heart. My eyes were so alive. Man, I was once full of love. Where that love went, I don’t know. When did I lose it, more so.

I guess, as you grow older, the love inside you fades, bit by bit, without you knowing. All the while, you keep your eyes on your purpose: to play your roles right, to reach for the next paycheck for your next payment. Running around keeping your emotions locked up. You know too well, you’ve ruined your life by setting them free. Through the years, your heart is being pierced through and through by disappointments after disappointments, shame, hatred, failures. You are running around your world with your own bloodshed.

A few years after, you’ve gone dull. Your eyes went tired, you have seen it all. You can see through people, you can see through bullshit, you’ve heard enough lies, you’ve said your fair share of them. You’ve spilled enough blood. You try to cheer yourself up, but you cannot fool yourself anymore. It’s a non-stop trail towards black and white.

Now looking back, I would do everything just to grow backwards. And when I do, I will cling to that child. I will never let go. I will wear her eyes, I will hold her love, I will be living, I will be alive.