I don’t know… what to say, what to do, how to react, or even how to feel…
Ever since I came back from my year abroad, I’ve not been myself. I frankly don’t even know who I am anymore. I don’t know how to put it down on paper. I can’t find the right words to describe how I feel, because I simply don’t know. If I would’ve to paint a picture for you, it would be me standing on a float, in the dark, in the middle of the ocean where I can’t be heard, can’t be seen… Lost but can’t be found. It’s cold and lonely. It feels like I’m drowning. And I wonder, if people would come looking for me. When I’m gone, does anyone care? Is my existence even important? I just wonder sometimes. Will I be saved?
I do a lot of thinking, more than I can bare. The more I think, the more sad I become. I feel like a failure in life. The insecurities, I can’t take it anymore. When did all these feelings start happening? I must have been around 7 when things started to change. When I became submissive, mute and a people pleaser. I can’t remember much from when I was little, but from stories told I know that I was a naughty kid. I liked to play outside, I was loud, I walked away, I didn’t listen, I was free and happy. I was naughty, but I wasn’t a bad kid. At the age of 7 we moved, I had to go to a different elementary school and I had to start over. Make new friends, get used to a new environment, start all over. I remember having a difficult time, cause I had many friends before. At my new elementary school, everyone seemed nice at first. But boy, was I wrong…
In 4th grade Dutch elementary education system, I moved and made new friends. We had a great year together but when I came back to school after the Summer holidays, I didn’t even exist anymore. I was air to them. Over the summer these girls that became my new friends didn’t want to play with me anymore. The reason why, was because their friend thought I looked scary. I was the only Asian girl in my class. I was pale and I had black hair. I thought I did something wrong, I never knew why they abandoned me up until high school.
I started hanging out with different people later. They told me, that they were my friends or wanted to become my friends. That those girls that in fact left me hanging were mean awful girls. I was the new girl, I was weird looking and I was called names. I got laughed at a lot. So, it was me that was wrong, I became very silent.
My new friends at elementary school, they were different than the girls before. The ones that abandoned me, were born into rich families, sophisticated and classy. The ones I became friends with later were rebels and me? I became their puppet.
I just didn’t want to be alone and they stood up for me when I was being called names and got bullied. That’s what friends do right? So, I became a wallflower. We were 11 when they started smoking, and already became busy with boys. I had no sense of self worth anymore, I lost my dignity at age 11. I got slapped in my face by one of them and I let her. She said, that I was possessed by the devil. She said, she could see him and I let her slap the devil out of me. My cousin died due to a car accident when I was 9 and it freaked me out. I didn’t really talk about it back then, because no one asked me how I was doing. My grandma passed away that same year. My grandpa passed away not that long after and it seemed like everyone was on the point of death. I was a loner, I’ve always been a loner. I’m there physically, but it doesn’t feel like I’m there. I felt like a freak. After my cousin passed away, I thought I was going crazy. I was sure that I saw him, every night for a long period of time. It wasn’t just him, I saw more of them lost souls wandering around. I couldn’t tell anyone, people wouldn’t believe me. they would think I was crazy. However, I told them. My “friends”. They took it so well and told me that I wasn’t the only one. They were seeing them too. This girl, let’s say the leader of our group said she was seeing this girl named Haley all the time, on a swing in front of her house and all of a sudden we were taking care of ghost cats. I should’ve known better then, but it was nice to believe that I wasn’t the only one seeing them. Only during high school, I came to find out that it was all fake. That they were making fun of me, once again.
While I was feeling scared of the things I saw, while I was covered all sweaty underneath my blankets every night, they were just faking it.
I remember, when that girl ( the leader of the group) had her birthday party at her house, we were walking with pans and knives through the house. There were people crying, she made us believe that there was a rapist outside and that he was coming for us. Well no wait, he was coming for the pretty girls. In her eyes that was her and her best friend, so we had to protect them, thus walk around with knives and pans. It was the longest night I’d ever had in the 11 years I was alive back then. I don’t think I’d ever been that scared.
These were memories I’d rather not remember and have been pushing them away for a long time. I don’t know why they start coming up all of the sudden. It’s a puzzle I don’t like to fix or complete. I don’t want to remember this.
During my first year of high school I found out the truth about them. That girl (the leader of the group) was put in a mental hospital, she came up with even more strange stories about her parents and how fucked up she was. I wrote her a letter, a very angry long letter for which I would have gotten expelled for if the principal found out who wrote it. They just never figured out that it was me who wrote the letter since I changed school again.
I went to a different high school in the 2nd year and once again had to start all over. I was like a walking bomb that never explode. I’ve been angry and quiet for a very long time, perhaps I still am. I don’t know.
Next to all of these events I had a lot of pressure from home. On the picture below you can see the Dutch education system. After doing a test in Elementary school the teachers would tell you to go to VMBO, HAVO or VWO in which VMBO is the lowest high school level and VWO the highest. I’m not smart, I don’t have talents or skills. My parents wanted me to get in HAVO no matter what. It was not up for discussion. My test scores told us that I was able to get into HAVO easily, however, the teachers advised my parents not too. They told them that I wasn’t ready mentally. I was too shy and quiet to make it through.
For this reason I had to go to TL/HAVO, which is in between VMBO and HAVO. I had to fight my way through my first year so I could go to HAVO in the second year. As I said before, I’m not smart so I felt like it was impossible for me. I had to take performance anxiety classes to get myself together, because I was afraid to fail. And man, what a disappointment I would be then. A big fat up to no good disappointment to my parents. I was already really clumsy, I failed in everything that I do and I was just not good enough. I hated it how my classmates would tell me how easy everything was for them, how they never studied and passed everything. It made me feel even more stupid, since I actually had to struggle to get me there. I had no self esteem left and it got worse every time my parents compared me with someone better again. “She is so good, her parents are so proud, why can’t you do it? why aren’t you more like her? you are so fat! how will you ever get a husband? ….. ” . It never stopped, whatever I did, I wasn’t good enough because there was always someone better than me.
I felt worthless and to think of it, I still feel worthless. I feel like they are right, cause I can’t imagine anyone ever loving me for me. My biggest dream ever since I was little was to have my very own little family and I would tell myself that I would raise my children differently. What if it will never happen?
I created many scenarios in my head and somehow they always end up very bad. Yes, of course I’m trying to be optimistic but I can’t.
I admit. I have intimacy issues. I can’t even give my friends a hug without it being awkward or uncomfortable for me. I hate giving kisses on the cheeks because it means that someone would invade my private zone, my comfort zone. I hate it.
I don’t open up to many people. I talk a lot of bullshit, but I have trouble expressing myself. I’m good with people but I keep them at a distance. I’m scared that I’m not able to meet up with people’s expectations. I’m scared of people leaving me.
Even my relationships. In my first relationship I was in fact a rebound girl. There was no love from his side. The second guy I had a thing with, made me a home wrecker. There was no love here either. And in my last relationship, I’m not sure if there was love from his side as he cheated on me. So what does this tell me? Are they really that bad? Or is it me?
I just don’t know anything right now. I just don’t know anymore.
So, I struggled through high school. I failed my first year of my study International Business and Management Studies, I failed my internship and the expectations of me to be able to work on management level, My year as a board member was intense and I felt like I did nothing right, I felt unnecessary and useless. What if I won’t be able to graduate? What if I fail again? What do I do then? How do I tell my parents?
As these circumstances causes stress and my health is not that great either which is like draining my energy. I feel tired, so tired of everything, of life. What’s the point?
My mom is sick, my dad is getting older and working five shifts right now. All I know is that they expect me to graduate soon, find a job so my mom can stop working and I’m able to financially take care of them. What if I can’t?
Do you know why I’m so stuck and obsessed with my year abroad?
It’s the only time I actually felt really happy. It felt like a fresh start, as if I was reborn. I had little to no contact with the people from back home. I met many new people and they accepted me for me. In Bali they even saw me as a smart beautiful girl, I felt good because I got compliments instead of critics all the time. I had a new life, I had someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, I had parents that took care of me and didn’t blame me when I got sick again.
Yes, I do feel guilty. Guilty for thinking this way. Guilty for having creepy thoughts. Guilty for not being better than I am right now.