Hold On, Pain Ends.

August 28, 2014

At 8, my parents got divorced and fought over my brother and my custody. My father wanted the custody because that was the only way for him to keep the house we lived in. My mom almost went to jail because of him. He bribed my brother to tell him details about our meeting with our lawyer. He lied so many times. My mom won our custody in the end but I never won the war.

I grew up believing that my father never loved me. As I became older, I came to terms with it and I learned to forgive him. I told myself it was done in a moment of folly. But that doesn't change the fact that at a point in time, he loved his house more than he loved us.

At 12, something happened in my mom's family that caused me to have to go live with my dad. My mom never believed me regarding that incident and to this date, I don't think she does. The person who caused this misery left our lives but this incident never left me.

My mom trusted an outsider over her child. As I became older, I came to terms with it and I learned to forgive her. I told myself it was done in a moment of folly. But that doesn't change the fact that she didn't believe me when I needed it and blamed me for the incident for a while.

Now that I'm learning about the media and stuff like that, I know how damaging it is for children those ages to witness scenes like these. Much less be a part of it. During those tender ages, I was highly impressionable. Although I never admitted it, the truth is that those incidents shaped me. I became really insecure.

If a parent who's supposed to love their child wholeheartedly hurt them, how can anyone love me? As a result, I always try to find other people's hidden agenda and it made me really unhappy. Till this date, I can't bring myself to believe that someone can truly love me.

At 14, someone told me "You may have depression. It's not normal o be this sad, all the time." I dealt with the aftermath of my parents' divorce seven years late. I tried to be strong for my brother for the longest time during the divorce. I remember holding him when he cried, I remember hugging him tight. But somehow, at this age, I had a meltdown. I couldn't take being strong anymore and I questioned myself and God daily - why can't I have a perfect family as well? Was it something I did wrongly?

I was trying to figure out my life and I was so lost. My secondary school friends would definitely remember this period because I cried so often. At school, at home, in public. Just anywhere over anything. I could be laughing one minute and sobbing incessantly the next. I didn't even have a reason for crying - I just sobbed my heart out.

I remember sitting in a corner at Escape Theme Park bawling my eyes out. There was no reason for the breakdown. I completely turned into another person and I couldn't recognised myself anymore. I knew that I have lost myself and it was a scary time for both me and the people around me.

I starved myself so that I can look better because I always believed that I was fat. I thought that if I became skinnier and prettier, people would love me more. I was never satisfied with myself and if you've been reading my blog, I guess you could tell too.

I questioned my existence daily and I let the mean anonymous remarks get to me sometimes. I remember someone leaving me an anonymous comment that went "why don't you go kill yourself?" And it got to me. I didn't see a purpose in living anymore and I hated myself so much. 

I tried to kill myself on several occasions. Fortunately for me, my friends were there and they saved me. It got so bad that on some nights, I had to stayover at my friends' houses so that they can make sure I'm safe. Till today, the only times when I feel completely safe are those nights when I have company. I don't wish to go into details because those are just fucking bad memories but slowly, I picked myself up and got better.

However throughout these years, I never stopped hating myself, never stopped hurting myself. I hurt myself and made sure I left no marks behind because I didn't want anyone to worry. It didn't help that the friends I had during this period of recovery weren't very encouraging and made me doubt myself more.

At 18, my cousin committed suicide. I only met him once in my whole life but I really got affected because I knew if my friends weren't there on those nights, that could have been me. I saw how my aunt cried over her child, I saw how much he meant to the people around him and that's when the thoughts I have of killing myself slowly left. I didn't want the people I love to suffer.

But tonight, I had another outburst. Just a few hours ago, I gathered my belongings and tried to leave the house. I didn't have a plan and I didn't know where was I heading to. I just knew I needed to get out. I said tried because my family held me back. Then, for the first time, I admitted my suicidal thoughts. I finally told them of the dark places I've been residing in.

But they didn't understand. My brother didn't say anything. In fact, he hardly does and I worry about him sometimes. My mom, on the other hand, lashed out at me. She said I only was using this chance to get pity because I saw that she was nagging. She told to snap out of it and get over it. It wasn't the reaction I was expecting.

She said I know nothing because I haven't experienced life. I know I may have not fully experienced life but I have gone through a lot more than my peers of the same age and she can't deny that.

She asked me, "If you are stressed, what about your cousin?" My cousin has a GPA of near 4.0 in a prestigious course in Singapore, and he's really smart and hardworking. I admire him a whole lot but I hate the fact that they think business courses are the hardest. Us as media students have it tough too. But that isn't the main point - she didn't understand that this outburst wasn't just because of an exam or stress.

She made countless unkind comments even after my brother tried to stop her and much as I love and respect her, she's wrong. I knew I had a problem. I always knew. It isn't normal to hate yourself so much, to have such negative thoughts so much. It isn't normal to have anxiety attacks so bad your heart races and you start crying over nothing. It isn't normal to restrict yourself from eating. It isn't normal to hurt yourself.

I chanced upon this comic a while ago titled, "if we treat mental illness like physical illness" and it spoke a lot to me.

Maybe this will help everyone understand that mental illness is just like physical illness - it isn't something that you can just "get over" and it isn't as easy as "stop feeling so sad".

I intended to seek help after my exams but tonight was really bad. I knew I had dragged this on for too long because I was so scared to admit that there was something wrong with me. A few minutes before I logged in to write this post, I finally found the strength to talk to someone professional about it and sought help.

Now you all know what I never found the courage to admit. I've always been cheerful around my friends and nobody expected this. I struggled for so long and it took me so so so so much courage to admit that I have a problem and to finally seek help for this problem that has been haunting me for years. 

I really hope that by penning my thoughts, I can get through it eventually. They say HOPE stands for Hold On, Pain Ends. So hopefully, I'll get the help I need and I'll recover real soon.

There's so much more that I want to say but I'll end it here for now. Thank you for being on this journey with me and I will be writing a lot more in time to come. :)

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