Lu-Lu-Lucy's Rant

Picking up the mess | Living life | sans tiger-parents


Everything Will Pass

When I first started this blog in 2014, I was blinded by my rage towards the monsters (parents). I hated them and held them accountable for everything – my poor mental health, not being able to start a family, my lack of a career, being a door mat in relationships (personal and professional), zero skills in negotiating… the list goes on. It’s not to say I want to be in touch with them. Nope, I still have no desire for that. But my anger has subdued. Overtime, my rage and uncontrolled passion of hatred have mellowed out.

Hind sight is always 20/20. I think what helped me a lot was actually talking about it. Verbalizing my hatred, discontent, anger, disappointment and whatever negative emotion, mostly to my poor husband and close friends. And seeing random posts on fb about how holding onto anger only hurts oneself, the importance of letting go… Although I must admit it is really difficult to get through to someone whose anger runs so deep that it’s beyond one’s control. I even dreaded sleeping at one point because I hated all the nightmares I had of them. I would scream and yell, punch and kick in my sleep. It really felt like everything was out of my control.

I never wish to hate any body with such intensity ever again.

For having lived in fear and under such immense pressure, terror, walking on egg shells, and having been told for 29 years straight that I was as worthless as garbage – I can now say that spending the past 5-6 years to cleanse my life, to completely rid it of negative people and the deeply-rooted negative image of self, it was a small price to pay. (Life could be better but it could definitely be worse, too)

There are times when I look in the mirror and I see monster-father. Believe me, it makes me cringe. There are times when someone mentions my maiden name, and it triggers small bouts of annoyance and anxiety. There are so many things that can be triggers, and I am well aware that those are things I cannot possibly run away from, or simply forget. Now that the paralyzing anger has passed, I hope to dedicate the coming year(s) to further self-acceptance.

The lessons I have taken away from yoga have helped me immensely, too:

  • Be present
  • Accept yourself, your practice, whatever level you may be at
  • Be open to and embrace your physical and emotional feelings

I feel that these three key points are not only applicable to practicing yoga, but to life in general.

Today is Bell’s Let Talk Day. I would like to dedicate this blog to those who are struggling with mental health illness. Please remember that your feelings do not own you, they will pass. Acknowledge your feelings, accept them, and know that it is not permanent.

As Harvey Specter would say: you always have a choice, “.. you do one of another 146 other things.” I never would have been able to see it this way even two years ago. But the choice is yours to make. Have faith in yourself, have faith in tomorrow. Have faith that you are not alone.

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Looney bin & crazies

It’s OK to admit it. You think only “crazies” end up in the “looney bin.” That’s what I thought, too – until I landed my ass in there.

What I remember most vividly about the psych. ward is that the doors lock behind you. No one goes in or out unless you’re let in by the nurses, visitors included. There was always one or two patients who hung around the doors, trying to follow visitors or the meal-delivery staff out. At times, the nurses had to call for the help of security; and those would be the most exciting times in the ward. For the most part, the ward was drama free and quiet.

I had envisioned there to be lots of “colorful” characters, but it was quite the contrary. To my relief, most of everyone suffered from severe depression and anxiety issues. Just like me. A dad with young kids who got laid off and couldn’t find stable work, anxiety and low self esteem paralyzed him; a retired mom with grown children who was constantly anxious because her husband had a bad temper; a young man who got into a work related accident on a job site that changed his personality, then turned suicidal…. and I was diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (more commonly known in short as PTSD) (thank you, mother monster!!)

The last few years, I felt too embarrassed or ashamed to even talk about this (besides the point that hardly anyone knows anything about mental health and often dished out stupid advice like “why can’t you just be happy?”) There’s simply so much misunderstanding (lack of knowledge) and bad stigma attached. Unless someone in your immediate family or you suffer from mental disorders, most of us don’t understand or care to find out about it. So, in writing and sharing my personal experience, I hope that at least the small audience here will now be a bit more aware and be able to spread the word.

Mental health illness is very much like a very bad cold which won’t go away. It can be hereditary, an imbalance of chemicals, triggered by a significant and traumatizing event, or all of the above. So, next time someone confides in you that they have depression, please don’t say stupid shits like “Well, at least you have a good job, or at least your bf is nice… ” Seriously, if it was so simple, we wouldn’t need medication. Simply say that you’re there to listen or to be supportive will suffice.

Don’t judge anyone unless you’ve walked a mile in others’ shoes. True story. I learnt this valuable lesson when I got my goodie bag of mental disorders.

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Negotiations & Forgiveness

I was strolling in the park by our condo one day and overheard this conversation between a little boy and his mom:

Mom: OK, 5 more minutes and we have to go home and prepare dinner.
Boy: Noooo.. I don’t want to go home yet!
Mom: Sorry, 5 more minutes.
Boy: 10!
Mom: No, 5.
Boy: 7!
Mom: OK, 7 minutes.
*the happy boy ran off to play*

It came as a shock that kids could negotiate at such a young age. I had never negotiated with my mother. She had never given me the opportunity. She NEVER asked what I wanted. She simply told me. I either grudgingly did what I was asked, or there would be full on yelling matches. I never felt like I had a choice. In anything.

Calm, level-headed discussions did not exist in my world. There was no talking things through. There was never “I care about you, and I want you to be happy, let’s hear what you have to say.”

As a grown ass adult, discussions are new to me. They are a challenge. Because once I feel that someone is in disagreement, I get overly defensive. I have to remind myself not to yell; to stay calm; that the other person is probably not attacking me even though I may feel that way. I have to hold back my tears; I have to remind myself not to take things personally.

It wasn’t until I went to group therapy that I realized, my mother raised me in a way that left me unable to navigate or function in this world. I had no tools to fend for myself. I only knew how to be a rag doll so other people could walk all over me and throw me around as they wished.

My mother fucked up my life. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t struggle with so many essential skills that came naturally even to children, like negotiating; I wouldn’t have wasted my prime years in and out of the psych ward – which directly affected my work, my resume, my financial stability, my plan for having a family. I felt like I was slowly sinking to the bottom of the ocean, with a ton of bricks tied to my legs but somehow, I was not suffocating. Somehow, I was kept alive when all I wanted was for life to end.

For all of this, I have not forgiven her.