I've Been Using Korean to Conceal, Don't Feel
We live by distractions in the 21st Century. It isn’t out of the normal to be consumed by your (smart) phone, Netflix, or work. A hobby even. It also isn’t out of the norm to let any of those things consume you rather than dealing with your problems.
For the past month or so I haven’t posted for various reasons. At the middle of December, I got stuck. This blog is supposed to be about self-love and self-confidence, and progression at the very least. So when you take five steps forward and ten steps back in a big mental way, it kinda rocks the boat. I tried to hard to not rock the boat of my mental progress in learning to love myself as I am/not resorting back to old starvation, weighing myself everyday ways. I simply didn’t want to look back down that road.
To a degree I haven’t, but to constantly battle myself on if I felt pretty that day or if I felt too fat in my pants (because let’s be real, I’ve worn leggings and yoga pants the last three or so years because they stretch and buying bigger jeans made me feel bad) and shirt was exhausting. So what did I do? I ignored it.
Yes, I know ignoring things isn’t an effective way to cope with situations. But fuck it, I ignored it hard. How? Learning KOREAN. The very last post I had was about how I started the process of learning Hangul (Korean alphabet/characters) and ironically enough it was unfortunately a cover up for what I shoved down deep inside. Some people use the word “trigger” for everything or even jokingly. I’ve been guilty of it plenty of times, but it’s a real experience for many people battling mental health/emotional/physical/spiritual issues. My trigger happened to be that my weight crept back up on me to what it was before I lost about 30-40 lbs a few years ago.
That hit me hard and while I have enough self-awareness now about how my depressed states worked, I didn’t allow myself to fall into old patterns. I refused to become depressed and even considering suicide simply because of how uncomfortable I was with my body. For those of who can’t imagine why someone would really care about their appearance that much, you didn’t have the same experiences I did. Or the girl that works out at the gym way too often to feel good about herself. Or the guy that was fat shamed into weightlifting. Words hurt. Actions hurt. The act of simply not being there hurts maybe more than verbal abuse at times.
I’ve never been the strongest emotionally in my family. My grandmother raised me and my older sister because our mom was on drugs. I was a crack baby. I was born around 1 lb, so very premature. My sister was snuck into the NICU to bottle feed me because she was the only one that could do it apparently. My adoption was very close to happening; my sister begged and cried to my grandmother to bring me home. When she got to the hospital, there was people there to adopt me. Thankfully, my grandmother was there to bring me home. With my sister’s help they raised me. I didn’t know my mom was on drugs for most of my childhood. In fact, I can’t remember when I found out or even when I figured out that my grandmother wasn’t my birth mom, because I grew up calling her mom.
To reduce this, our mom came back into our lives after being in jail a few times and when she got out she cleaned herself up. The relationship we had with her was strained because she wanted to be a mom/have authority over us when we didn’t need her to be any longer. This created a rift. But she was clean apart from smoking weed for about seven or so years. She got a decent apartment, was heavily involved in church, then she moved into a cute house, got a car after she was able to get a license. I’ve said a few times that I’m no longer religious, neither are my sister and mom. My sister and I could handle that fact without crumbling because we’re both spiritual. Our mom couldn’t. She started selling drugs, which turned to her using drugs again in the midst of a silence war between us versus her.
It wasn’t until this past year that I realized I have mommy issues on top of daddy issues. Totally unfair. But what can I do besides get over it? WRONG. Having parental issues is one thing, but having both parents be fuck ups and screw you over mentally and emotionally takes a big toll on how you treat and view yourself. Even if I don’t say I need their reassurance, you and me both know that I do. What guardian self-assurance I had was my grandmother’s old, Christian, hypocritical ways. She did the best the could and I’m grateful for that, but I didn’t grow up being confident about my looks from constant critiques about my body from her and extended family.
Thankfully I believe I have a lot going for me mentally outside of how I view my appearance (and sometimes worth) but I feel like my weight/self-perception will always be this hurdle. My roommate has tried to dissuade me of this thinking multiple times. To some degree it works and to be aware of it helps for sure. It’s just in my head. One of my biggest insecurities are my legs. I believe I have the most thunderous of thunder thighs. While that’s not true, that hinders me from doing a lot. Especially being physical with others. Hence the big, fat VIRGIN tattoo on my forehead at 24. However, I’m aware that I do most likely have body dysmorphia. Meaning, you think you look too fat or too skinny when you’re not, or you see yourself in a way that others don’t. According to Brian (roomie), I have fairly smooth but chubby legs. So why did bitch have a panic attack taking out the trash in shorts?
To bring this long ass post back around, I’m saying I buried down my negative self-view so I could feel self-love. It worked for a while. I felt the best I’ve ever felt. Free at last. Then those shackles of mental slavery yanked back to reality, that I hadn’t dealt with any of the bullshit that is my relationship with my mom (and dad). I’ve ignored her for the past two years. I’ve actively not dealt with the trauma. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas (because it’s supposed to be a religion holiday and I’m no longer religious and I don’t believe in giving gifts to people to say you love them on a specific holiday) I still felt that absence heavy in 2018. Especially, because her birthday in the middle of December. I’m honestly not great with birthdays anymore, really remembering them. But then it hit me and I ignored it and covered it up again. One memory that keeps hitting me in particular is a short but seven year old video of my mom taking my school shopping when I was in high school. It’s a drastic change in lifestyle and personality that makes me want to pull my hair and cry out for someone to love me.
My band-aid was learning Korean. Initially, I thought my only reason for studying four plus hours a day when I could was due to my fear of not progressing in learning the language. Recently, I deduced that a big reason for my long hours of study at every free chance, even when I was at work, was to block out things I hadn’t dealt with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very genuinely invested in the language and culture, but I would study Korean instead of cleaning or exercising or taking care of myself mentally. I’m not blaming that language, I’m grateful for the language. It’s clear that I needed it to get by. But now I know I need to get my shit together and I shouldn’t continuing to avoid it. That being said, it’s going to sound hypocritical what I’m about to say next. As of a few days ago, I decided that my mom is dead to me.
Why am I telling the internet this? Shouldn’t I be worried that someone I actually know will read this or someone she knows will read it and relay the message? I should be. But I’m not. It’s completely up to me in how I proceed with the relationship or lack thereof with my “parents”. My mom has been there for me over the years and she tried in her own way, I’ll give her that. I can’t stay in this mindfuck. If she’s dead to me then she’s dead in my mind. Quite frankly, if she keeps up with her current lifestyle she’ll end up that way sooner or later. Then I’ll really have to deal with that unresolved issue. I’m sure I’ll regret not trying to do more to help her but with the way my mental state is set up right now…I can’t afford to get involved. An intervention would be ideal. Sending her to rehab to work on herself would be ideal. Me trying to repair our relationship would be ideal. If you look at those last three sentences you’ll see that all of them involve none of her putting in any effort. She has to want it. I’m in debt, I can’t afford to send her to a rehab she won’t want to go to. I’m mentally fragile and having never seen her in the state she’s in, I don’t want to run the chance of her relapsing and having this image of a drug induced, violent, verbally abusive woman stuck in my head as my last memory of her.
It makes me want to cry knowing that this is the reality of my life and I can’t change someone that’s supposed to be close to me. Ironically, even if I fixed things with my mom I doubt it would change how I perceived myself because it’s already ingrained. The only way I can truly move forward is if I’m very fucking frank with myself about how I’m feeling when I’m feeling it. I’ll continue to read self-love books and have good energy because like attracts like. Everything is a journey. If you’ve stayed this long to read this heavy ramble I hope you take this with you, keep going.
I’ll have my next post be about why I’m moving to Arizona and my hopes that climate/atmosphere.
Live your life, sweets.
Pro Tip: Don’t procrastinate in doing your taxes. I did last year on the day of and it got rejected. So…
P.S. Forgive me for not editing this, I couldn’t bring myself to reread it.