I grew up in a country where valuing family is one of the most important and most emphasized traits. And I get it. I get it. Having a family meant you have someone to rely on, someone who will be there for you, someone who will bend their backs to lift you or help you. Having a family means you are NOT alone. You have someone to live with, someone to eat with, someone to enjoy little and big victories with. But sometimes I stop and wonder… “who does one run to when the same people — family — is the source of your pain?”
It might be unintentional or worse, intentional. But sometimes a family can also be the source of your pain or hurt or feelings, whether good or bad, that make you want to cry, feelings, whether small or big, that make you want to listen to that tiniest hint of whisper in the darkest corner of your brain. Yes, that corner you have been avoiding for the past few years. But I’m not here to discuss more of that. At least not yet.
For the past years since I lost my dad, there was really no one to talk to. Someone stable enough to provide me a sounding board or someone who has good ears to listen to me. I had to deal with my grief, my pain, my hurt and my crushed dreams on my own. I have developed a lot of coping skills — cleaning my bathroom, organizing my closet or bookshelf, folding my clothes, reading, listening to music, writing and mostly… lying on my bed creating universes where I have imaginary people (is it still imaginary if I based them on real people?) supporting me. Because if I look back now, I never had that. The whole pain and grief were never talked about in our house. I guess we were just built like that — BOTTLE UP FEELINGS. Or in my case, BUILD ANOTHER UNIVERSE THAT HAS LIGHT, LOVE AND A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM. Maybe it was my fault, I bottled feelings and kept them to myself, cry the pain, grief and hurt at night before I sleep or write them out in my journal. Or maybe not.
I have long decided that at the end of the day, all I have is myself. Sure it sounds lonely, but sometimes, it isn’t. Maybe I’m just really good at redirecting negativity as much well as absorbing and bottling them. But I’m going to let you in on a secret: it is both mentally and emotionally draining. And tonight, those bottled emotions I had bottled up? The bottle overflowed. I tried reaching out and talking about it, because this certain family member assured me she was always there, but instead I get blamed. I get corrected. I get shot down. I GOT SHOT DOWN and CORRECTED for feeling angry, hurt, overwhelmed and reaching out to talk about it.
If there was worse word for ugliest, well, that was it. The whole experience was worse than ugliest. I couldn’t exactly run to my friends (long story, I once did, and although they too have expressed anger and let me rant, tonight just wasn’t the night to run to them. If you’re my friend and you’re reading this, I trust you, I just didn’t know whether it was good to run to you tonight and I’m sorry about that), because well, one has a different time zone from me and is probably busy with work and worrying about her family here. The other is exhausted from her duties as a front liner and the other is busy dealing with work stuff. My other special group are dealing with other things too. So, I laid on my bed and bottled all my feelings once more. I went to Pinterest and made another board and now here I am, writing about this.
Yes, I cried tonight. It took awhile for me to stop doing so. And by the time the tears stop coming, I feel another piece of my heart slowly hardening and I know… I just know, it would not soften. Or perhaps it would, but it will take so much time. It is heavy. It another burden for me to carry throughout this year.
Tonight, I learned a new lesson the hard way: I was right to bottle my feelings. I was right not to reach out and talk about these ~hurt~ feelings. Because then I once again test and prove one thing: the person I reach out to tonight was nothing but a narcissist. So here’s to tonight, for learning that new lesson the hard way. And here’s to tomorrow, keep bottling feelings and when they overflow and shit happens, find something to hit
or someone to punch.