The Honest Story

The Honest Story

His hands went to my face and quickly brought my attention to him as he pulled me in for a kiss. My mind went into a blur as I panicked and shoved him away. My heart racing. My feet glued to the ground. I could barely breathe.

He apologized. My head felt like a jug of water someone kept shaking. I told him to stop. I told him to not do that, trying to keep my voice strong. He knew I had a boyfriend. He knew I was with someone. He knew I wasn’t interested. He apologized again. I could barely hear him over the loud sound of my heart beating in my ears. He asked if I wanted to leave. I said no. How could I even move when I couldn’t see straight.

My body was panicking too much. As if it knew for a fact it was in danger. He could easily lift my weight. He could easily overpower me if he lost control. He kept staring at me. It made me sick. I wanted to run but my head still spun.

We walked across the street, him complimenting my dress. I couldn’t listen to him. I wanted to drown out his voice. I wanted to scream. I wanted to slap him, but I didn’t want to put myself in more danger if I pissed him off.

Then I felt his hand on my ass. My entire body tensed even more. I didn’t know it could even do that with how tense I already was. I walked faster, telling/mumbling him to stop.

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. The entire world spun around me. It was a blur. But I finally got to my car. A part of me felt a little relief that I was minutes from being safe behind the locked doors of my own car.

He apologized again. He said something else but I couldn’t hear over the bees buzzing in my ears. He took a step closer towards me, his arms up for a hug. I stepped back but eventually ended up in his arms. I held my breath. I hugged him back wanting this to just end.

I missed my boyfriend. I wanted so much to be in his arms. I wanted to feel safe again. I wanted all of this to end.

His hand went to my ass again. I pushed him away but he held me still. I couldn’t move for a few seconds that felt like entirety. Then he let me go.

My feet were glued to the ground as he slowly walked away. I begged in my mind for him to walk away. I got into my car and I locked the doors. I couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. My body was in shock. My mind was a puddle, or like a pool.

I stared at my navigation system. I stared at my wheel. Where was I going? What was I doing? Why couldn’t I think straight?

I went to work. My mind rewinding the scenes in my head. I hated myself for playing dead. I wanted to slap him that smug look off his face, but my arm wouldn’t raise. I wanted to scream, but my voice had ran away.

I looked back at all the things I did wrong. I shouldn’t have offered him a ride despite him saying it took him 2 hours to get to school. I shouldn’t have went for a walk with him. I should’ve ran away when his hand was on me. I should’ve yelled at him with all my might. I should’ve pushed harder when he held me against his body. I should’ve done something more to fight.

A part of me wanted to scream. A part of me wanted to disappear. A part of me…just wanted to breathe.

Candid

Stifle

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Will It Fix Me?

Will It Fix Me?

I’ve gone through two open heart surgeries. I’ve gone through two surgeries to repair my chest wall – pectus excavatum repair. I’ve gone through a cardiac catheterization. I’ve done all the labs for my surgeries. I’ve gone through countless x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, echos, stress-tests, etc. I’ve done it all.

I’ve ran until I was blacking out, almost fainting. I remember the stress tests I had to do when I was younger. I remember vividly how nauseous I would be the day before. I remember dreading the sight of that treadmill. I remember running until I couldn’t breathe. I remember barely being able to walk to the chair a few steps away. I remember blacking in and out.

I’ve worn a cardiac monitor multiple times for various periods of time. I’ve had some bad cases of nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, and migraines. I’ve had trouble breathing. I’ve taken handfuls of medication.

I’ve woken up scared to move because my chest hurt so much. I’ve fallen down unable to get up because it hurt so bad. I’ve done pain blocking injections. I’ve been to physical therapy. I’ve had multiple pain management specialists. I’ve dealt with the side effects of multiple medications, testing out to see which one actually helped. I’ve discovered that it may be impossible to make the pain go away. I’ve learned that I have nerve damage…and it can’t be fixed.

Why am I so terrified when it comes to this new procedure I need to go do? Worst case scenario, I stay in the hospital for a few days and go back to school in a wheelchair a week or two after.

Give You A Chance (with My Guard Up)

Give You A Chance (with My Guard Up)

When I first saw you, I felt a pull towards you. There was something about you I had to get to know. There was something in you that beckoned for my presence in your life. There was a part of you that needed a part of me, or the other way around because you never know about these things. But there was definitely a part of you calling out to a part of me. And that is exactly what scared the life out of me.

I know you have only known of my name for a few days. I know we have only talked, small talk, a maximum of ten times. I know you are as clueless about me as I am about you. So let me explain myself:

The last person I felt a pull towards, a connection with, that spark towards, is someone who I cannot imagine anymore. He brought me to some sort of light that I’ve been needing in my life for several years. He brought me to a place within myself where I can heal. He adored me; he respected me; he supported me; he encouraged me; he believed in me; he rooted for me; he tried to understand me; he did his best to be there for me; he showered me with affection; and, most importantly, he loved me and he wanted me to be happy and accept myself.

Right from the start, we both knew we had something different. We had a friendship unlike any other either of us have experienced. We had a strong connection that seemed to know no bounds. We had something different that could only be felt by the two who were in the relationship. We lived what seemed to be a fairytale life, a “happy ever after” kind of story where the bride and broom fight by each other’s sides an unlimited amount of times.

But, and I’m sure you can guess where this is going, our world snapped in two and everything that seemed to be a fairytale shattered like an illusion or a spell that was only waiting to get broken.

That was the last time I let someone get that close. That was the last time I trusted anyone to let them see anywhere even remotely close to 80% of the true me. That was the last time I counted on someone to stick by me. That was the last time I was rooting for someone for the sake of keeping them in my life. That was the last time I can say I let myself called someone “mine”.

And what do you expect? A girl with a broken heart and a hectic life spins around to continue to keep pushing forward and keep fighting for something a little more.

So, when I saw you for the first time and felt that pull towards you, it scared the life out of me. My guard went up. My shields went on. But I couldn’t turn it off. When I turned around and you were there, there was no denying my curiosity.

I didn’t stop myself from trying to start small conversations, as coworkers should, during the times that you stood by my side. I didn’t stop myself from smiling and shaking my head when I felt comfortable being there with you. I didn’t stop myself from asking for your help when I needed help with the heavy weight. I didn’t stop myself from asking the question I knew sat on the tip of your tongue, “Did you want to hang out?” I didn’t stop myself from shrugging off the alarms that went off in my head when you tried getting closer. I didn’t stop myself from smiling in both amusement and sympathy when you tried to shower me with a form of affection you knew how to give. I didn’t stop myself…but, now, I wish I had.

Because the only things that run through my mind when I think about that time when I talked to you are the questions like: DO I act like a spoiled bitch? DO I act like I don’t have any clue how hard life might be for others? DO I act like there are people who “aren’t cool enough” or “aren’t good enough” to be my friend? DO I set myself apart from everyone so much that people see a boundary between my world and theirs? DO I not understand struggle because I did not struggle the way everyone else might’ve been dealing with?

I know I had an easier life than most. I know I don’t know what it is like to struggle the way others have. I know I have yet to take on the responsibilities that others my age might’ve started to deal with by age 15. I know I was protected like a princess trapped in her room that overlooks the city in some tower. I know my life must seem to be where everyone would want to be. I know people look in from the outside and believe I must have it so much better because I have the facade that tells them I’m better than they must be. I know…that much.

What I do not know is this: I don’t know how much about me you think you know. I don’t know how much about my life you think you can read off my clothes or the car I drive. I don’t know what you think about this seemingly rich girl working a part-time job where she gets paid minimum wage when she could be doing other things.

I don’t know what you’ve had to deal with and life with when you were growing up. I don’t know what you’re going through now on a day-to-day basis. I don’t know how confused you might be about the future. I don’t know what your checkered past might consist of. I don’t know what you think of the person you see each day in the mirror.

I also don’t know where I’m going to be in a year. I also don’t know why we have this seemingly unnatural pull towards one another. I also don’t know why a part of you is calling to a part of me. I also don’t know what we are supposed to be in each other’s lives. I also don’t know what we are supposed to do for one another.

I don’t know why we have been placed in the circumstance we see ourselves in. I don’t know why we seem to understand a little bit about each other that feels as if others don’t get. I don’t know…a lot of things, to be simple, maybe I should’ve just said that at the start. But what I do know is that maybe I am willing to give you a chance as long as you give me a chance too.

I don’t know what I can do for you. I don’t know what kinds of things I can show you or teach you. I don’t know what I can prove to you or lead you towards. I don’t know. I also don’t know what you can entertain me with. I don’t know what you can show me or prove to me. I don’t know what you can do for me.

But I might be willing to give this a shot, as long as you give it your all.

Just give me some time. Because, just as you had said you’re scared of getting hurt, I am terrified of letting my guard down and turn my shields off once more.

A Timeline of All Sorts

A Timeline of All Sorts

Here I am, sitting in my father’s black robe in front of my two monitors, struggling with the emotions I refuse to bottle up [like I have for almost the past 2 decades], in pain because my new pain medicine seems to be hurting me more than helping. I always say, if someone wants to get to know me the best route to take is through my writing. It’s where I’ve learned to open myself and express myself.

If you want to get to know me, read this:

I’m a college student finishing her first year at community college, somewhere her family never wanted her to be. It was always a top UC that they expected me to end up. If you asked, why? Here’s the answer: I wasn’t good enough. I hadn’t been prepared to be at a university.

Here’s a brief timeline of my life that brought me to where I am today:

It was bashed in my head at a very, very young age that I couldn’t show my true emotions, that I needed to constantly where a mask, that it was a requirement to be who my parents wanted me to be in order to receive affection of any kind. Before I got into kindergarten or the first grade, I perfected the persona of a daughter my parents wanted to have.

By second grade, I had no friends but I knew what fake friends were. I knew how it felt to be bullied and laughed at. I also learned that I couldn’t talk to my parents about anything.

Going into middle school, I moved houses and therefore moved schools for the third time. Unlike my sister, I jumped at the chance to leave the school I was at. I thought I was saved, because everyone who bullied me wouldn’t be in my life anymore. I finally was getting away from that pain.

The same summer that we moved houses, I went through my second open heart surgery. I survived off of pain medications for about a month after being in the ICU. I soon learned what it felt like to have people treat you with caution, sometimes making it feel like your limitations were disabilities. I hated that feeling, and I came to hate it more when it continued even after I healed and got the ‘OK’ from my doctors. I despised that feeling.

In seventh grade, I realized that the teasing would not end, the laughing at would not stop…basically, the bullying had followed me to a new school [to a certain extent]. I learned where I could hide during the breaks you were supposed to go and “hang out with friends”.

In eighth grade, I got a glimpse of what a true friend could be. His name was Carlos. He made it seem like I could actually talk to him because he actually cared about me. But that diminished after I made one wrong move of developing feelings for the boy.

Going into high school, I was lost once again. Everyone had their groups and everyone had their friends. I went back to hiding in the journalism room whenever I could. I hated wandering the campus like a lost duck after I learned the friends I thought I had from middle school were simply using me to their own advantage. The journalism room became where I met one of my favorite teachers of all time. We called him Mr. Hill. It was only after his encouragement that I found my passion for photography, that I came out of my shell. I got more involved with school. I went to events, I ventured the campus with a purpose instead of like a lost puppy, and I developed some confidence in myself.

Too bad that was also the year I got involved with some of the wrong people. Though I had my interest in photography at the time, I still wanted a group of friends I belonged in. I had people I talked to here and there but no one who I knew would have my back. The vulnerability of this mindset encouraged me to basically take up the first group that offered acceptance. And it was from there that I learned what true betrayal and abandonment felt like.

I quickly learned what depression was and how it felt to cut. I knew depression wasn’t a new feeling to me, but I finally learned was it was called and how to describe what I was experiencing. My parents and sister were very scared for me. News quickly spread and I was the disappointment and the embarrassment of the family. I was taken to a lot of places to “cure my depression” just like some people try to “cure homosexuality”. This angered me because no one listened to me yet everyone seemed to have an answer.

I was soon transferred to a new high school, one my sister had just graduated from, one that my old elementary school “friends” were. Great. I started over again with hatred in my heart and anger flooding through my body. I was a lost duck once again. That’s when I met Peter. He took me under his wing and made the effort to be my friend.

Fast forward, Peter is my best friend and I have a little group I seem to fit in with. But I also had one of my old elementary friends hating my guts. To her, I got along with her boyfriend at the time way too well. (Her boyfriend was also one of Peter’s closest friends). I thought I was doing her a favor to try to get along with her friends. I thought wrong. She hated me.

And from then one out, through the rest of sophomore year to my senior year, countless of problems came up in my group of friends that finally stopped changing junior year.

Ahh, yes, junior year. This is when my mother decided her temple was more important than her family. This is when I stopped praying. This is when I shut out my portion of my life because it was just too painful for me to even think I was anything like my mother. The constant arguments (aka screaming matches) between my mother and father broke my heart. I won’t even go into details.

Fast forward, I’m graduating high school the same year my sister graduates from UC Irvine. All the attention goes to her. She’s the one who accomplished so so so much by graduating. She had honors. She had tassels. She had awards. She was graduating a year before she was supposed to, making her two years younger than the rest of her class. And in all of that excitement, I seemed to have been forgotten.

As much as I wanted to keep my friends close, I became more and more excited to finally go to school closer to home. Santiago Canyon College. The drive would be 20 minutes (with traffic) versus the 1 hour and 15 minutes (with moderate traffic) I dealt with everyday going to high school. My first weeks went by very slowly and very chaotically. The transition from high school to college wasn’t as hard as they said but it definitely wasn’t a breeze either. Most of the semester went by without a single friend at my side. The friends I once had in high school slowly drifted off with little to no attempts to mending the gap. I tried and tried to keep this family of friends a part of my life, but failed one by one.

Jump to my second semester of college, I developed a group of friends in my chemistry sequence that is slowly blending into my math sequence as well. I know they have my back. I know I have friends in that group. But through everything I have been through with “friends”, I still have a hard time letting my guard down and trusting any one fully. But as I am struggling with something new in life, I am learning who are my true friends and who are simply “friends”. I am also getting reminded of what I pushed away my junior year in high school. I had started to miss what I used to have, but the reflection of my mother I see in that belief scare me away from accepting it back into my life.

Today, as I am writing this post, I am still struggling to accept that portion of me back into my life. But I am also realizing that, slowly, what I once pushed away and denied myself had already begun to seep back into my heart, into my life.

Maybe this post wasn’t brief. Maybe it wasn’t very detailed. But that kind of sums up who I am and where I am with my life.

Me

Me

This is how I am:

I have my doubts,
I get overwhelmed with fear,
But I’m not backing down from this fight.

I second guess my decisions,
I overthink every situation,
But I will not walk away from this experience.

I worry about the what-ifs,
I look into the future and feel nauseous,
But I would not change a thing about my life right now.

When I am happy, I wait
For everything to end in disaster,
But I do my best to enjoy the moments I have that won’t last forever.

When I am fearful, I push
Those who care away to protect myself,
But I give in to the warm feelings if they are persistent enough.

When I am depressed, I shut off
Every emotion in my body so I can’t experience the pain and torture.
But I would never think of doing anything to hurt you during those times.

This is who I am:

A young lady growing up to find
That the “real world” isn’t as hard as it was in her mind.

A young artist still finding her style
As she walks down the streets and looks at life for a little while.

A growing photographer who has passion in her heart
Even when the work is hard, she knows she always has to start.

A little sister who looks up to her sister
As a strong woman who has made her mark on the world from the start.

A Dad’s little girl who tries her best
To just make her parents proud so she can finally rest.

A broken heart who has seen darker days
Trying her best to not let the present pay for those mistakes in the past.

A healing soul trying her best to make mends meet
As she struggles to find a meaning in all of this confusion and fear.

This is who I am.

Caged In. Forever.

Caged In. Forever.

You wake up shaking. You wake up screaming. You wake up gasping for air. You wake up…grabbing at what’s not there.

You curl up in a ball once you realize there’s nothing but empty space in front of me. You clutch at the blanket and bring your legs closer to your chest as you realize the entire house is empty, and it feels as if the room is turning ’round and ’round. You feel the tears fall from your eyes and remember how broken you feel inside.

You close your eyes wishing you were anywhere but there. You grip at the blanket until your knuckles are white like a ghost. You listen to your breathes come out shaky and feel your heartbeat race from within.

You wait. You wait for your body to calm down. But your mind is still racing.

You ignore the feeling and get out of bed despite how much you are contemplating between staying in bed for years and years to come or sprinting straight out the door and never coming back. You realize you’re wobbling on your feet because your body still hasn’t caught up with your motives. You walk into the corner of the wall and feel as if you cannot breath.

You struggle. Everywhere you look, it’s there. Whatever you do, it’s running through your mind ten times a second. It haunts you. You can’t shake it off.

You stare at your face in the mirror, it looks pale. You stare at your own hands, as if you haven’t seen them for years. You stare out the window, feeling like a prisoner in your own mind.

Will you ever be free?