Flawed Fem

My Flawed Life as a Mother, Sister, and Daughter -To my Family, With fellow women, & In Christ.


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Faith (Belief Series 2)

Faith is a funny word. It is an intangible. For someone visual like me, it is a hard concept to grasp. And as an adult, our experiences have made us cynical unbelievers. I find that the innocence and purity of children make them the best advocates of truth and faith. Children’s faith are unequivocal. They are the most beautiful valuable thing you’ve ever seen. Their faith surpasses darkness. It overcomes doubts. It even survives tragedies and conflicts. It is the most amazing most wondrous thing.

How many times have I seen my child and his friends get into disagreements, or hurt each other, and while they may get upset, cry, shout, get mad at each other, the eventual effect is one of forgiveness. I have seen my child with the biggest heart make one bully his friend this year. And how the bully was won over by a boy who saw his jealousy and responded with understanding. Who saw his fear of being left behind, and the boy, my boy, opened himself up and instead of competing, made a new friend instead. How my boy decided to have faith in love and let go of the pain his adversary has caused.

And where I am most guilty, where I can hurt my most sensitive boy with a dismissive wave or an angry yell, he responds with a quiet sadness. Then a calm word with me. Where he expresses unwavering faith in my love, in the goodness of his family. Even when some family shows a voice of force, he responds with a voice of faith. Even when he gets really really annoyed in the beginning, and he most often shows his pain, he gets to a state of introspection, and in this state, he has hope. He has faith.

Faith belies the age. Maturity does not depend on one’s living days. For I have seen my young child a better person than his parents, his elders. I have seen more faith and a capacity to love in him than in grown men &women who are clouded in resentment and anger with the world. And if we all can learn from the faith of a child, maybe, just maybe, this world’s darkness can become light. Maybe, just maybe, wars will be nonexistent, people will aim to love than hurt, and life will be much less complicated, and much more filled with pure joy and contentment. In this world filled with a dark cloud and a most divided people, I want to be like a child. I want his simple, unconditional, hopeful heart. I want his Faith.

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Belief

Being an avid fan of Once Upon A Time, I am very hesitant that they decided to continue the series with a brand new story, new cast. I was afraid it will look unrecognizable and unrelatable to me. But I didn’t want to just leave, I wanted to see for myself. After watching the first episode though, it seemed like my worries were for naught. New storyline it may be, but the heart and soul remains the same.
(Quote Credit: this post will be peppered with OUAT quotes from the season premiere;)

This season’s theme is Belief. And my life right now definitely needs that.. Crossroads. Light vs. darkness. Uncertainties. Puzzles. Missing pieces. It’s easy for me to retreat, sit back, give up. The temptation is strong to let go of all things, good and bad. But, “Just because life isn’t what you want it to be right now, doesn’t mean you should tear it down (OUAT)” I have a good home, I have wonderful beautiful kids. I have an amazing set of earthly parents and an impossibly super loving spiritual Father. They need to be my strength right now. I need to allow their light to shine in me, to be engulfed in their beauty. Instead of looking for my perfect life, I just have to start living it. “A story doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to start (OUAT)”

Just because life doesn’t look like what I envision it to be, doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful. Just because it is new, with strange new people and unforeseen circumstances, doesn’t mean I have to stay in the shadows. Superunknowns are extremely frightening to me, especially when they start out rocky and filled with unintentional evil. A new beginning doesn’t reveal the happy ending now, “the first step to a new beginning is imagining that one is even possible (OUAT)” If I want my happy ending, it’s not a matter of time, it’s a matter of perspective. It’s not about my dreams, but the visions of the larger picture, of a Higher Force greater than me, more magnificent than I can imagine. It is about love. It is about faith. And it all starts here. It all starts with Belief.

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My Reasons Why

A few weeks back I finished the show “13 Reasons Why.” The show was disturbing and compelling. Love it or hate it, it forces dialogue about bullying and mental health. I was personally affected. Deeply affected. I was pulled back into the pain of my past. Into my own dark abyss filled with a broken heart and a damaged mind. I do not have 13 reasons why, but I have an idea of my what, some whys, and the reason I am here today. This is my survivor’s story:

My early childhood started out innocent and happy. I grew up simple, but I had the assuring love of my family. We moved around quite a bit, and I experienced my first bullying when we moved to a new grade school. I was a tiny and painfully shy kid,
and I was easy target because I don’t talk much. Two girls decided to take my things
on a weekly basis. Pencils, pads, cases, hairclips, money. My mom started getting
suspicious because I wasn’t the type who loses things, so when I keep coming home
with lost items, she knew something was up. But I didn’t want to say anything because
these girls would threaten me bodily harm if I talk. One of them would pick me up and squeeze my body hard to show me that they were serious. I was horrified. Suffice it to say, it was my first rude awakening to the world of bullying and mean girls.

But that was just the beginning. Grade school got better when I made a few friends and fell in love with learning (aka I’m a nerd;). Then high school came. I was transferred to a new class and it was like the first day of grade school all over again. Oblivious to the high school hierarchy, I offended a Queen Bee (one of several, I later learned.) At that time, I was fairly soft spoken, so I must have uttered one wrong thing her way, and the war was on. Unfortunately for me, this war was pretty lopsided- since I was the new kid, she rallied everyone against me, she would make snide remarks loud enough for everyone to hear, she would make sure the other Queen Bees (or Queen Bitches, really) would spread the word against me, so that even people who barely knew me would think the worst of me. It was the war of the words..  Except I barely uttered one.

As much as the physical side of bullying hurt me in grade school, the emotional toll of gossip and ostracism in high school devastated me more. I was always a positive person. But I found myself slowly clouded with pessimism: First there were tears of disbelief and sadness. Then a heaviness and weariness overtook my body, making me sick and weak. My mind was filled with confusion and I doubted my self-worth. And finally, my soul was drained. It felt empty, with nothing left to give, and with no one to turn to.

I was almost completely taken over by my darkness. Almost. My story could have ended tragically if it did. I had some reasons to die. But I was blessed to have found better reasons to live:

  1. Parents- specifically my mom. They never knew how deep the darkness was, but they knew I was lost. For parents that value academics, they did not hesitate to pull me out the end of the semester to take me out of my personal hell. They did not know it then, but they literally saved my life when they did.
  2. Music/Poetry- my songs were my only outlet of expression. I couldn’t turn to friends for fear of betrayal (which some did) My early songs of love and rosy gardens turned into songs of heartbreak and loss. Edgar Allan Poe fascinated me. Nonetheless, dark songs and poetry gave me the courage to express the dark side of me and allow me to release them.
  3. Friend(s)- One particular friend is most significant. She remains one of my best friend to this day. I’m not sure she remembers this, but on one particular event when another Queen Bee (or King Bee) started another round of malicious attacks on me, she gently held my hand and smiled. No words, just the simple but most valuable touch of friendship. She had offered me the saving grace I needed on my most hopeless moment.
  4. GOD- the most important one. the one true Savior. First off, he gave me #1-3, so that in itself were more than enough reasons. He also revealed Himself at my lowest point. In the midst of tears and weariness, when I had wanted to give up, He came to me. His presence enveloped my heart and protected my fragile soul from completely losing it. My heart started to sing His songs, and my soul started seeing His hope. Through it all, He walked with me. And He carried me. And He lifted the burden that was long wearing me down. And as my circumstances pushed me towards darkness, His grace and love lifted me back up to the light.

(To the above reasons, I may have been too consumed by my sadness in the past to have expressed my gratitude then. Allow me to express my eternal thank you now. You have and always will be a most valuable part of my life. You have no idea how you saved me then. And continues to save me still.)  

I struggled to write this post… I am struggling as I am writing it now.  Digging into my past is never an easy thing. Bringing up a time full of shame, anger, and sadness can be overwhelming. And emotionally exhausting. I am in tears reliving my ordeal through this post. But as hard as it is, it is also freeing. And I do not write/blog just for personal venting alone. It is my one hope that one lost soul can read this, and know that there is light, that there can be light at the end of it all. Then I would feel that my difficult past was not for nothing. And my darkness would have served it’s purpose for the higher good.

SUICIDEPREVENTIONLIFELINE.ORG 1-800-273-8255

STOPBULLYING.GOV

PACER.ORG/BULLYING

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homage to the show

 

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(I actually had the same nail polish as Hannah’s, by chance;)

 


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The Child I Am

CHILD SERIES #3

“I truly believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” -Viola Davis

Without intending to, I had unintentionally started a Child series, writing about my
children in my first two posts. Different child, back to back periods in my life. So to round
it up, I would like to end right back at the start. As the Child I Am.

The Child I am. I am the child of my earthly father and mother. Their blood runs
through me. Their essence becomes me. I learn what I want or not want as a young girl
surrounded by male siblings and cousins. My identity as a woman was formed in
response to my family traditions- demonstrated by the fears, guts, and faiths of my
mother and grandmother. My mother uprooting herself in the city. My grandmother
taking pride in her work, when women don’t work. My mother juggling work and rearing her four kids, being truly present in both. My grandmother travelling around the world in her 50s-60s…I am feminine & feminist through their independence, their support systems. Their capacity to love, their love boundaries. Their many strengths, and their valuable flaws.

The Child I am. I am the child of two lands:
To my motherland- I bleed when she bleeds, I rise when she soars to new heights. I
have become aware of politics in my teen years, but it is only in the recent years that
my heart for social justice has grown deeper. Ironically, it is being away from my home
country that I have begun to search my soul and feel regret for being blind to the poor
man’s plight, and deaf to their desperate cries for justice. I had to be ripped apart from
my comfortable life and as I start to live a life of hard work, I have begun to appreciate
the same hard work my countrymen have done. Yet I succeed, while most of them perish in the cycle of poverty, corruption, and blind religion.
To my adopted land, my second mother- I have dedicated many years of social work to
you. And what I had only hoped to do in my motherland, I have achieved here- to do
good work with your homeless, oppressed, and sick. You have made me more aware of
race, and a vast array of cultures, which both exhilarates/excites me and frustrates/cuts
through me. And as much as the current political air angers and terrifies me, I continue
to hope and pray for my children’s sake, for their future’s sake.

The Child I am. I am a Child of God. Above all else, I define myself in Him.  I am loved just as I love. His love is unconditional. And in spite of my imperfect love, I am filled with His grace and mercy everyday. I am wonderfully and uniquely made. Even as I am not without doubts. Even as I question my existence. Even as I am nagged daily by mother’s guilt. And even as I am a human forever bound by flaws–  My Father’s Spirit inspires me to live supernaturally. To aim beyond my limits. To live a life on fire. To bear the fruits of patience, kindness, and love:
“So my Lord, I bring this offering;
A stubborn heart of stone
And ask You, in its absence
Please exchange it for Your own.”- Beth Moore

The Child I Am. Of many mothers. Of two fathers. Of one Spirit. They have mold me. They have become me. They have formed The Woman I Am.

 

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A symbol of Me ~Live Love Laugh~