Loyalty Through Cruelty

This is another repost. I wrote this last year and have since owned the story to rest it in peace. It doesn’t haunt me or give me anxiety the way it used to. I don’t feel shame from recalling it anymore. 

It’s another phrase that’s best described what some of my past experiences and thoughts were.

It gives me horrible flashbacks to the brief period where I gave my life to someone who I’m still convinced to this day is a sociopath. The twistedness of that relationship still gives me anxiety when I think too much about it. I try and brush it off but at the same time, I feel like if I don’t own the story, it’ll never stop haunting the way that it still does. And I hate that it does. When I talk about it, I come off as moved on from it but deep down, I’m not sure that’s true and I think it’s something I have to be honest with myself about.

I have to be honest that it wasn’t just him. I played a part in letting it last the four miserable months. He may have been a sociopath but I was also really fucked up at the time too. I didn’t like how he treated me but I think I found comfort in how accepting of my love he was and how available he seemed. It was enough to keep me hanging on and ignore the constant red flags. I knew better, absolutely. I knew how cruel he really was but I was so loyal to him because there were times he held me when I was breaking down about my life. Those hugs were comforting when I fell apart. They made me feel… safe. That false sense of security made me tolerate the way he treated me like property and eventually like a sex doll. He was also very smart and I thought I could benefit from that.

In a way, that was true but in hindsight, not for the price that I emotionally paid. Not for the scars it left. It was only four months but it left me a shell of a person after. I didn’t really deal with it when it was over. I just tried to move on with my life and pretended I did. I tried to survive it without working through it because it didn’t last long and I was ashamed and a part of me still is. I didn’t think much of it until the thought occurred to me that maybe I still feel the repercussions of how it left me when my mind thinks it’s going through the same experience again with someone else. That would explain the chest tightness I sometimes feel.

I had trouble dressing confidently for awhile because I was scared of my own body. There were times he would try to have sex with me when I wasn’t feeling it and told me that maybe I shouldn’t be dressing so attractive as to not make him horny. What’s sad is that this type of thing would be repeated in my next relationship. I felt confused about my own body. I felt it when I would feel proud of it and he would nod in agreement and then tell me all the areas that could “definitely use improvement”. My body was my body but it didn’t feel like I fully owned it when I was with him. There were times I felt dirty for the way he was talking to me.

He never told me how to dress; he was never possessive that way, but he would make comments about certain stuff I wore. He would tell me he liked something on me but preferred me in something else. Most compliments came with criticism. He didn’t tell me what to do but he would always try to direct me and be pushy about it. When he asked me to do something, it was almost like a command rather than a request. It was like he was almost trying to instruct me and expected me to obey. He took his time at his leisure when he felt like it but always rushed me about things. It drove me crazy. I used to get nauseous when I remembered the times I got so fed up that I snapped because I would freak the fuck out and yell and he would just stare at me until I calmed down. Looking back, it was almost like he was holding back a smile.

He didn’t keep me from my friends or my life but he manipulated me enough that I kept myself out of my own life. I was scared to have it because being with him was almost like a full-time job. By the time I was fully committed in the relationship, I felt like if I wasn’t around, he’d be up to some shady shit. That should’ve been a sign for me to come to better senses but when you’re emotionally weak as shit, you don’t have that. I was constantly worried about what I knew was the truth but at the same time doing what I could to avoid coming to terms with it. He had my loyalty even though he was so emotionally cruel to me.

I think another part of the twistedness was that he made me feel like I was a part of his life. He got me to participate in his interests. He bought tickets to things for us to do. He introduced me to his friends as his girlfriend and made me feel like so around them. We even spent time at his parents’ place where he was absolutely affectionate with me. It seemed like he wanted me as a part of his life and that was something I hadn’t felt in a long time so I closed my eyes and tried to lie to myself. I thought it meant something even after I found out he was trying to bring another girl into this country to live and also trying to fuck his ex-girlfriend. I tried to make it mean something even though his future plans had nothing to do with me and he would’ve left me abruptly for any of it had I stayed. We acted as a we but it was almost always about him.

For all the times he comforted me, there were more where he left me crying. He stifled laughs a few times during my tears. He would make me cry and then instead of owning up to it, he would pretend he didn’t do anything and try to comfort me with hugs. I would try repeatedly to leave but somehow always found my way back. He rarely said sorry so the times he did, I readily accepted. Except for the time he shoved me against the wall, he never physically hurt me in any way. I almost wished he did because I would have been smart enough to leave sooner. Bruises on my body would’ve made more sense to me than the bruises I was getting inside of me. Instead, I stayed through the times he made me question whether my right to speak up against him was valid or just me being either overly sensitive or crazy.

I’m ashamed of how fucked up I let myself get in that relationship. I’m ashamed that instead of leaving him, I stayed. I’m ashamed for all the times I gave myself to him when I should’ve said no. I’m ashamed to admit that I took my IUD out so that I could give myself a reason to say no to sex with him. I mean, it worked but that’s pretty fucked up. I’m ashamed because recalling this relationship and realizing maybe I’m not quite over the damages and I only got worse with the relationship after that makes me feel pretty sick to my stomach. It makes me feel like damaged goods.

Life after him was a sweep under the carpet. I’ve talked about how damaging it was but never really acknowledged the actual extent of it. I didn’t want to admit to myself the extent of the manipulation that I allowed and enabled. I still don’t but I have to. The relationship was lowkey so I kept the break up that way. He never wanted to participate in my life so when he was out of it, I thought there was no need to acknowledge what happened because no one really knew about him anyway. I buried it away inside me but I didn’t accept that it still messed with me. I’m only realizing this now because I realized the fear and effects of it are still there. I dealt with everything else in my life but I never dealt with or spoke about this. Not even in therapy or counseling.

My relationship with this guy was three and a half years ago. It was a really dark time for me and it’s probably time to stop hiding it and shine some light on it. If I learned anything about facing all the bad shit that’s happened to me and I let happen, it’s that when you share it, it doesn’t have as tight of a hold on you anymore. I’m hoping this is what’s going to happen now that it’s out there.

Mindless Entry

  • Cloning really freaks me out. Advanced technology really freaks me out in general. I started reading a bunch of articles on cloning after going down a random rabbit hole and it gave me anxiety. I’m futuristic in thought but not for cloning. The only thing I can see in positive about it is for food production if that’s how they clone animals in the videos I’ve watched. This is giving me anxiety to even talk about. I’ll probably be long dead before it becomes a thing of the public, thank goodness.
  • Age has become a weird thing the older I get. I think now that I’m 30, it’s going to feel even stranger. I don’t mean by like, life timelines. What I mean is like, the different rate of physical age process of people I’ve known in earlier stages of my life. Not kids, or adults. I understand that. But like, the people I met or known of when I was a teen or early 20s. I guess an example is: Everyone my age when I was in middle all looked the same to me in terms of youth. Now I can see the aging difference and it’s weird. Some of us look like the adults we’d see when we were younger. Maybe this is too much to think about for a jot. I’m going to have to think about how to write this more.
  • I’m really starting to understand cultural differences and values in a way I never have before. I can’t quite make sense of it. It’s been a pretty recent change. I understand more and more what my parents were trying to say to me. I won’t say they were right but I get it now.
  • My sister turns 16 this year and that’s also strange. She’s a good kid and it makes me realize even more that I was a bit of a shit. Then it makes me realize how the hell some of my friends did the sexual shit they did even earlier! I think the innocence of youth gets taken for granted. I’m glad my sister still has hers. I think mine was taken from me, not sexually, but like, just living it. I think it’s why I ended up the way I was later on in life. I see how it’s different for her and I’m glad about that.
  • Sex used to be this thing I felt like I had to have. Part of it was because I thought that’s how the world worked. Another part was a sense of shame from sexual repression for what I wanted to explore or enjoyed. Another part, unfortunately, was the only way to get some people to pay better attention to me. But the world is full of awful sex. And as I’ve learned personally, sex is not everything and won’t make things work. I’ve also learned that I’m not super sexually freaky deeky and my energy is something else. I just want to find someone who’s the same kind of perv with me so we can do pervy things together. Until then, I’m okay with abstaining. The only side effect I’m feeling is I get horny at random times and then have to deal with the intensity until it dies down. AND IT GETS INTENSE.
  • Time perception is weird too. Like, sometimes I discover something new and realize when they or it debuted and I think about where I was at in my own life at the time and I’m like, holy shit, what? And stuff like 2008 doesn’t sound that long ago but then I realize thing like, no, it was. It’s like my perception got arrested at some point. Time in my 20s felt like a long time ago though but when I reflect I get confused sometimes because I’m like it’s only been that long?
  • I’m glad I never used drugs as a coping mechanism, or really even recreationally. I’m 100% sure if I did, I would not be alive right now and probably been dead long ago. Drinking was my preferred form of coping. It got confusing because I do really enjoy drinking. But it never went with the lonely empty feeling I had. At some point, I started using it as a way to fill in spots for myself and it worked. It did make me feel more interesting though I’ve realized I can be a loudmouth, drunk or sober, so either way it’s fine. I’ve talked to enough people to accept that I have a personality. Though I said personality, not charming, HA.
  • I officially have to renew my L again but once I get settled into the job, I’m going back for lessons and getting it ASAP. I just need to practice the shit out of parking. I’m not worried about the driving part, which is CRAZY for me to say. I’m just glad I challenged this anxiety and now think I’m better than average people at it. That’s not really saying much in this city because people are TERRIBLE drivers here.
  • I start a potentially life-changing job tomorrow and I feel pretty anxious about it. Like almost nauseously but for once, in a good way.
  • My skin game hella on point.

Mindless Entry

  • I’ve watched so much Korean Drama that I find myself bowing in greeting to old Asian people in public. I mean, nothing extreme, but well-mannered enough.
  • Why the fuck did I discover Reese’s Crunchers? I’ve eaten three bags in the past week or so because they won’t stop being on sale.
  • Last year I was all about the extensions and fake nails. I gave up the extensions because my hair grew. I’m giving up the nails now because they make leg day hard and I’m amped about getting swole. My basic bitch phase was fun while it lasted. It was fun having my Asian stereotypes kick in for me to do it all myself.
  • I have to work on taking the slack out of the bar before I pull for deadlifts. I think I’m going to have to start doing that and then pulling like, an inch or two off the floor and repeating those two steps like an idiot. Everything else is fine. I’m just an asshole with bracing…
  • Glamping is a stupid word. Who the fuck started that word? My eye twitches whenever I hear it or even see it. The act itself is also fucking stupid. I’m already not a fan of camping but that shit is ridiculous. Go big or go home. This is why I choose to just stay at home in the first place.
  • I decided to try to wear way more makeup than I usually do. It’s not for me. I don’t know what I’m doing. I wear less and less make up the older I get. I found it’s easier to take care of my skin, get my eyebrows and lips tattooed and grow out my eyelashes. Boom. I’m not pretty enough for a natural bare face so I do what I can in the most laziest way possible.
  • Oops, my plans are going into motion. This is shorter entry than I was hoping for.

Five Years

flat lay photography of calendar

 

2014 – I tried to take on too much without proper energy or support for it. I wasn’t aware of what was going on or what I was doing and ended up, in a way, giving up on myself. I was struggling real bad without knowing how to cope. I didn’t know how to talk about it because I didn’t really understand what was going on. I was breaking down and fucking up real bad. It was when I was starting to hide from the world and myself. Instead of growing, I was breaking down.

2015, I was in denial about everything that was going on. I was being self-destructive and reckless. I pretended I was having fun when I was feeling empty inside. I knew there was something wrong with me but I didn’t know what it was. I thought I was going crazy at one point. I used a broken friendship to help lie to myself even further. I tried desperately to escape the emptiness without really know how. I was wearing myself thin and feeling emotionally exhausted. I was researching like crazy to figure out why I was the way I was. I hated myself and my body.

2016, I was a shell of a person and felt like I had to start over. I didn’t trust myself anymore but I was starting to get some help. I was seeing a counselor here and there. I started trying to connect with the world again and fumbling. I still didn’t have a sense of self though. I was still trying to escape myself by fucking around. It felt like I was groping around in the dark trying to find something. I had a lot of pent up anger about the way my life was going and didn’t know how to let it out. I was pretty negative. I was really mean to myself. I hated my body. I can’t believe I almost got fucking married to someone who I threw a blender at because that’s how much I started snapping. I went through some heavy family stuff that I had to shoulder and awful support from someone who I was going to get married to. I was really stupid. Oh my god, so stupid.

2017, I finally admitted to myself that I needed help. Like serious help and I had to get over the shame of it. I finally had to come to terms that I was putting myself through a lot because of the trauma that happened to me when I was younger. I couldn’t keep living how I was living anymore. I needed to learn to connect properly and get out of my own head. I started seeing a counselor more seriously and that helped. I was learning to open up. I started sharing myself with the world more instead of just hiding. It felt awkward. It felt weird. I had to do it though. I had to challenge all the bad stuff I convinced myself about myself. Maybe I wasn’t as dumb as I told myself I was all these years. Towards the end of it, I was improving but I still felt empty. I went on anti-depressants and it helped me but didn’t fix me. I snapped in a couple of ways but good ways. I was ready to do good for myself.

2018 was tough. I was going to weekly trauma therapy because I realized what was going on with me was pretty bad. It was so tough because I had to be raw in a way I’d never been in my life. I had to admit and talk about things I’d never told anyone. Suddenly there was an unexpected death that affected me deeply and I found myself crying in a way I’d never done. I had a breakdown that was, in hindsight, a healthy one. I learned how to not repress feelings like I once did. I still wasn’t learning to cope properly. It didn’t help that I got roofied in May and woke up in an alleyway. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life and left a hole in my invincibility shield I thought I had. I dated someone briefly who showed signs of being emotionally abusive. I started to recognize the signs even though I didn’t process them well at the time. At that point, I had stopped seeing my therapist and was off my antidepressants. But I went back to my counselor who helped me with clarity. I was going through some same old experiences but started to cope better. I stopped trying to escape and started opening up to people who made me feel safe about what I was going through. I started to learn things like love and trust properly. I started to believe in the value of myself. I stopped tolerating inconsistency and confusion. My old coping mechanisms were no longer working, no matter how I tried to go back to them. I made the decision to go back on anti-depressants after a bad workplace experience left me shutting down for a good while and I couldn’t even get out of bed. I’m not sure if I’m only going to need them temporarily or forever. I don’t really want to think about it. I’m just glad they’re helping. My friends let me learn not to rush the emotional recovery I needed and I learned to accept their support without feeling like a burden.

2019, I feel more self-oriented than ever. I’m learning to love the body I have even though it’s not as lean as I was chasing to be. I don’t feel the loneliness or emptiness I once have. I don’t escape anymore because I can face things better than I once did. I don’t hide anymore and have learned to show the world who I am because I’ve learned to show it to myself first. I like taking care of myself and have never felt as good as I do lately. It’s only a couple of months in and I’m still an embarrassment but you know, I’m not harsh at myself about it. I don’t drink as often or even close to what I used to. I’m less earnest and am starting to see the world in the way I’d like to see it. I don’t feel like I’m recovering anymore and feel like I’m finally starting to live. I can be myself and not feel like I’m stupid for it. I let other people accept me for me. I’ve got the right kind of love. I recognize what’s the effect of trauma and what’s actually normal. I know who can sit with me and who can’t. I feel like a person.

I’m feeling life.

Oh Valentine’s Day…

I know it’s tomorrow but whatever, I write when I want.

Image result for valentines disaster

I’m a sucker for romantic gestures and I love love but I’m not into Valentine’s Day. I’m not bitter about it or hate it; I just think if that’s the only day you’re doing it properly, you’re doing it wrong. Also, last year really put me off it and I prefer to have it stay that way.

Last year, I spent Valentine’s Day with a dude I met off Tinder the day before. I just didn’t want to spend it alone and it seemed like a good idea since I thought we hit it off. I should’ve known better when I said I like getting flowers and he was pretty much like, yeah yeah, you’ll get them. As Wanda the Owl puts it:

You know, it’s funny; when you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.

It would only be later that I learned that this is how I tend to view any person that I was attracted to and I wasn’t attracted to the best of people. It took a long time to learn this lesson and at the time, I didn’t even learn it after this Valentine’s Day mishap. I’m smarter now though.

He came over with two bottles of wine and roses. Receiving the roses didn’t bring the joy I wanted because he wasn’t exactly romantic about it. He also brought over a new bottle of Astroglide in a bag that was also full of condoms. It was wishful ambition from him since we only did it once that night. The lube stayed in its box because, sex tip, water-based lube ONLY. No one wants a yeast infection and that’s what glycerin does to your sex parts when it gets up in there.

Honestly, the guy was a douche. He was such a negative person and was so boohoo about the circumstances of his life. I was trying to be understanding because he lost his mother that past year and I can see how that could affect him. He felt so sorry for himself and even when I was trying to be nice about it, he was low-key making criticisms at me as a deflect. Everything that came out of his mouth was a complaint. Towards the end, I wasn’t having much of it. Shit happens, sometimes it’s really bad shit but it’s never a reason to shit on others because you’re feeling shitty. Brooding is some annoying shit and I don’t have the capacity to allow that type of negative shit. I also have a tendency to shut it down by calling out people for this bullshit and for some reason, it ends up with them in tears and feeling sorry for themselves.

This time was no different. He ended up welling up in tears and pretty much rushing out of my place, leaving behind the bag of condoms and lube. All of which I ended up throwing out since I had no use for them. I wasn’t sure how to react to what was going on so I think I just finished off the bottle of wine and went to sleep.

I haven’t had much luck with Valentine’s Day in a long ass time. This year I’m just going to do what I’ve been doing lately, which is watch a shit ton of Korean Drama and eat chocolate.

To be honest though, since I haven’t had sex or any form of it this year, I thought I’d be somewhat sexually frustrated and try to pursue something. But so far, I’m still maintaining abstinence by choice. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not celibate. It’s not for lack of trying. I just have no interest in anyone in my current line of vision and so far, I’m okay with that. It sounds stupid but in the past, it wasn’t something that was easy for me to say. Things have been falling into place by just living and trusting the process and the same applies to here as well.

There He Was On Stage Talking About His Wife

(From the archives. I wrote this on April 28, 2018. I think it’s one of my better-written pieces.)

He had an ex-wife when we met…

 

When I met …Dirk last year, he was on a comedy tour in Canada.

The night that I saw him, I was doing open mic at my old neighborhood pub. It was probably my third time doing it and it was okay. It’s always okay for me when I get a few laughs. It made me confident enough to try a more serious open mic the night after where I bombed so fucking painfully that it still makes me cringe and grimace to think about it.

We didn’t talk that night. I saw his face when my old roommate yelled at him to “Turn around! I want to see if you’re hot or not!”. He turned around and he was handsome. I thought this while the roommate made it verbally clear by yelling it out. She may have tried to wink at him and almost fell over. He gave a smirk and turned away while I tended to the drunk roommate.

I met him the night after when it turned out we were sitting beside each other at the bar, during open mic, the one where I bombed so fucking painfully. I recalled him as “Mr. Turnaround” to which he introduced himself as Dirk. He was definitely older than me but still had that youthful look to him and such a great smile. Handsome is the way I describe his attractiveness.

The night ended up with me back at his hotel room because he seemed pretty sweet and I wanted to keep looking at his smile. I learned he was from LA, separated, originally from Ecuador and speaks fluent Spanish. He had two kids who were closer to my age than I was his, one of whom was autistic. There was this gentleness to him and he tried to warm me up to him about it like a safe space and it was a nice gesture but I wasn’t really into it. I could sense a bit of brokenness so I tried to connect with that instead. It was a pretty good night together before I had to go to work the next day.

He came back a few months later for another tour and he wanted to meet up. I wasn’t sure in what context and I wasn’t down to hook up so I was a bit evasive about meeting but when he dropped the bomb that his ex-wife had committed suicide, I decided to be a friend. He told me he was in shock and not good form. He just wanted to be around someone and feel a bit of comfort. I’m a softie for being supportive when someone needs it so I moved my day around to meet up with him for a bit.

He wanted me to hold him, so I did. He held my hand and tried to kiss me a few times. He just wanted comfort and I did my best to give it to him. He hinted at sex and that’s where I drew the line. I wasn’t going to fuck him to comfort but I would be there how I could. I felt for the guy. He and his ex-wife were together for a long time and I know how it is to lose someone you cared about to suicide. It’s an ugly thing to go through and I didn’t want him to feel like he had to go through it alone, even if it was just for a little bit. He told me even though they weren’t together, it still hurt.

He recently came back to the city for another tour and we’d been trying to coordinate plans to meet but our schedules didn’t match up. I deleted Instagram to focus on my writing and forgot that was our only form of communication. I talked about going to one of his shows so I just figured I’d do that and it’d be the same thing. We could exchange numbers there and keep in touch that way.

He looked surprised to see me. I wasn’t expecting his act on stage either. He talked about his wife and how he’s now widowed. He talked about how hard it was to meet people because the last time he had to, it was with pagers and beepers. I’ve seen his act a couple of times and he’s never used his wife in them until now. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe he was selling his act on his dead wife even though in the past year he made it clear he was separated.

I felt pretty grossed out at what I was witnessing. I couldn’t believe he dug for laughs. After he was done, he came over to say hello and went in for a hug. I gave a quick one and when I let go, I gave him quick eye contact that made my feeling pretty clear and told him I was leaving.

This happened pretty recently and I’ve been thinking about it on and off. I think about when I saw him when he found out about the news. I think about the act I saw. I think about how he tried to use me for it and now he’s using her for his benefit. There was another girl at the show that night who came to see him too. Coincidentally enough, we were sitting beside each other during the show; I only knew this because he hugged her first and said “I can’t believe you came” before he was surprised to see me. I wonder if she knows the actual story like I do. I didn’t think it was my place to call him out right then and there though. I still don’t.

Some people can be pretty scummy though.

Mindless Thoughts

  • I managed to make it to the gym this morning where I sweated way more than usual. I took it as a sign that my body was removing, not toxins, but the embarrassment that was my being from Friday. I feel better now.
  • I don’t know why, but lately, I’ve been thinking about that time I found myself crying and eating a corndog at a beach in Costa Mesa. This was years ago, I don’t even remember why. My next thought when I think this is always the moment later that night when I got into a fight with G and he stopped me in the middle of my crying and said, “Damn baby, who hurt you so badly?”. Then I cried some more, got more mad then he held me and everything was okay. For the rest of the trip, I called him my retard until we parted ways.
  • Last night I had a dream about this guy that I used to really like but we could never get our shit together to get together. We tried though, here and there, for like, six years. In the dream, he told me he was still in love with me and that he was mad at me for not wanting to get together because I wouldn’t let him be my sugar daddy. Which is hilarious because one of my cemented memory of him is the time my friend kicked me out of her car and left me stranded with his super drunk ass. While confessing his love for me, told me he would give me the world if he could but he was in debt. Sometimes I miss our failed attempts but I think it’s a comfort thing.
  • I’ve realized I have a fear of deadlifts now. Maybe it’s because of my tendency to pee when I go heavy with sumos. I’m struggling with conventional. The strength is there but there’s this invisible barrier I’m not breaking. I don’t have the confidence in them.
  • Okay, lame confession. I really want to get better at singing but I’m way too fucking shy to take it seriously and feel like a loser when I do. I legit get this feeling of expecting pointed fingers and snickers from people who can actually sing super well. It’s so embarrassing but damnit… I should at least keep trying and get over this fear. It’s hard to practice at home. I share thin walls with my neighbours.
  • Guys, seriously, chicken breasts suck to eat. It’s so boring and bland. I really dislike white meat and prefer darker pieces because they have more flavor and taste better. If the reason people choose white is that it’s healthier, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.
  • I’m slowly relearning to read Vietnamese by accidentally discovering this channel that makes BTS (AND SUPER JUNIOR!) clips with both English and Vietnamese subtitles. It’s wild that I can get it.
  • Random dumb fact about me: I wash my hair with different rice than the one I use to cook. I do this about 3-4 times a week.

 

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