Flawed Fem

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


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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

13 reasons3

homage to the show

 

13 reasons2

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

 


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Love x10

So the hubs birthday and our wedding anniversary just passed. With two sick kids, it’s been low key. Both of us exhausted and cash strapped, a lavish 10 year anniversary seems unnecessary. But it would seem awful to not celebrate such a milestone, for surviving a decade with each other! (I kid. Or not. Haha.) So to commemorate this special time in our lives, I dedicate this post to the Man, the Dude- as I celebrate his birth and the bond we shared all these years.

According to tradition, the 10th year anniversary is referred to as Tin/ aluminum=flexibility. Modern times allude to the diamond=beauty and strength. This makes perfect sense to me- for any marriage to last 10 years a lot of patience and flexibility are required. And in being flexible the bond is strengthened and made more beautiful each day.

In the beginning, our ‘diamond’ shines bright. When we first met, we were enamored with each other, we bonded over our similar interests. I always tell people our first date was the best date of my life! A simple lunch date became an all nighter- we wanted to know as much as we could of each other. Even in our differences, we compliment each other. I.e. our idea of romance: In our relationship, I am the cliched romantic- love notes, random trinkets. I even framed our wedding poem. My man’s idea of romance is a little different. He likes to do things- Midnight runs for snacks and NYC commutes for dessert gifts. But the ones I am especially turned on to are the times when he does chores. You know, mundane chores like laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming. He thinks I’m weird, but I always say- who needs the sparkle of a diamond when you got the bright sparkle of dishes and floors?!

Time passed. We both evolved. We also both discovered opposing values. And with that comes conflicts, and change, and conflicts because of the changes. Our rosy beginning started to show its thorns (reference to “Every Rose Has Its Thorns” a fave song for us both:) The good times were great. But the hard times, they were very trying times. Some differences seem irreconcilable, some conflicts seem to have no resolution. Marriage is a relationship where you are committed to be close to someone. And that closeness is bound to produce sparks. Some become great fireworks, and some turn out to be destructive bombs. And in order to survive, bombs needed to be diffused: pride needs to be killed and in its place, grace.

Aah GRACE. I love that word. It is a word that holds so much beauty. But that beauty requires selfless compassionate love. And when you’ve been together for so long like we were, and you’ve seen each other’s ugliest, that is not an easy feat. It requires the willingness to embrace each other’s worlds. It also requires freedom and space, to allow each other room to grow, room to change. And therein lies the challenge for us. While one submits, the other resists. While one seeks new things, the other finds comfort in consistency. Most fights result from both of us insisting to be right, neither one willing to give in and give grace to each other, and to some extent, grace to ourselves.

But I wouldn’t be here writing about a 10 year anniversary if we haven’t survived, right? I can’t say we have it all figured out, but by the miraculous grace of God, we are still here. I quote from a fave movie, “I’d rather fight with you than make love to anyone else.” Despite all the hurdles, all the hurt, we have stayed committed to each other. I think we call that LOVE. And when I watch a scene from my fave tv show, where in the middle of their biggest fight, Jack started telling his wife what he loves about her-that hit me big time! Because that scene is my life- In countless fights my own beloved had uttered similar words of love to me. And I have done the same. Words of praise when we don’t like each other at the time. I think we call that GRACE. And somehow, when love and grace are present amidst turmoil, this marriage has lasted this long. 10 years. And hopefully for another 10…And more.

So to end this extremely cheesy post on an even cheesier note, I will expose my penchant for poetry. As per our tradition, I made hubs a poem this year. Please pardon the quality of the poem- It was written with very little sleep 😉 —

To My Dude,

There are times when my body feels drained
There are days when my head is wrapped in chaos
You feel my pain. You ease me.
On the times I don’t feel happy
On the days we don’t feel synced
You move forward. You push through.
Life with us is never easy
Love we share is never smooth
But this is us. This is we.
We are one. We are true. We are free.
I am the bones of your bones,
the flesh of your flesh.
Apart we are torn, together we heal
What God has joined together
Let no man put asunder.
So today on our special decade long love
Here’s to cuddles, neck rubs and heat wraps.
As our bodies grow frail may our souls grow strong
As our eyes grow dim may our hearts glow more.
My RomComs to your Freakshows
My Country to your Classic Rock
We doth share love for mosh and comiccons
And pledge to honor scifis till we grow old
For every difference lies a common ground.
For every conflict lies hearts that cries aloud-
I LOVE  YOU
— So here’s a happy anniversary to me and you
The Man The Dude The One
Here’s to a decade more of living
Less fights more love more spirit filled fun~