Day 8. Freewriting. I’m having an emotional moment. It’s a combination of grief and longing. With a side of guilt. These emotions are so intense that I subconsciously call on my guardian angels (my grandfathers) as my tears fall…
Grandpas – I miss you. All the power in those words. I cannot bring myself to delete your names from my phone book…I’ve had 3 phones since you passed. I’ve had more days of feeling broken than feeling normal. I dunno what’s wrong with me but pulling myself together this time around is just ridiculous. I thought it was time to come back to the USA but there are so many days that just make me miss you even more. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I used to LOVE holidays but slowly each one cast a shadow larger than life. Since our Thanksgiving celebration in 2009, it’s been nothing but disappointment. I know it’s my perspective but I’m trying to get my mind right. Rather than be grateful for the people that I shared a table with, I think about the ‘friend’ that showed up late and then ate all of mom’s cookies (without a thank you). Rather than be grateful for being home, I’m reminded that the last Thanksgiving in the USA, I spent in a motel because of Michael switching schedules last minute. I’m by far one of the strongest people I know and for some reason, I keep viewing myself as incapable. It doesn’t help that the voices of the critics are so loud. I remember a day where I was once immune to the critics. I had perfected that message of I’m better than you without actually having to say I’m better than you to the peanut gallery. Our last Thanksgiving, dad thanked Michael’s girlfriend for wanting to be a part of our family but didn’t even give thanks that I traveled halfway around the world just for that weekend. I am drowning in hurt. I don’t have anger. I wish I had anger because at least then, I’d know how to process. Even when you passed, I was in Saudi Arabia. Dad called me just before I needed to be at a company dinner. My boss gave me an out in case I didn’t want to go. He even offered to arrange for all my flights to get home direct rather than fly back to Singapore then Chicago. The Saudi’s were sweet and said some kind words and a prayer for you (in Arabic) over dinner. That was tough. One of the Pakistani’s was constantly getting picked on and I was his choice as a punching bag. He made my life difficult for sport and I promised myself to never let him win. At dinner, after the prayer, he asked me in English if you were a wealthy man. My snap reaction was to shrug my shoulders and cautiously say, “my grandfather was wealthy in ways that you will never understand.” That was me processing anger. I didn’t allow myself to fall apart until I returned back to Singapore. To date, there is only a handful of people that have seen me cry, really cry. I’m perfectly ok with that. Over the years, I prefer people thinking I’m a machine to declaring I’m emotionally unstable. Tears are unacceptable. Just because others lack a heart doesn’t mean I should mute mine… That’s a tug of war for another time… It’s days like today that I question if I said I love you enough. Did you know that you were my hero? Did you know how much strength I drew from you? Did you know how much I miss just being able to sit. Cry. Talk. Be quiet. Laugh. Sip coffee. Just be without having to do anything. There were zero thoughts racing through my head. Perhaps it was because I knew that I was safe. Perhaps it was because I knew I was going to be on an airplane in certain days. I dunno.
My current goals are probably the biggest goals that I’ve EVER set. They are bigger than climbing corporate ladders. They are bigger than building a piggy bank. Heck, my current goals are bigger than Ironman. I’m rewiring myself. I know that I’m growing. I know that I get better each day. I know that I have a huge jump coming up. I know that I’m not failing… kind of. But my heart feels different. I still have more days where my head is trying to overpower my heart. Sometimes they are on the same page but most days they are fighting with one another. My head is echoing the comments from the peanut gallery. I refuse to write their words because that gives them power. It’s bad enough they are thoughts in my head… I’m going to break this cycle.
I get upset when people criticize me for stuff they are completely ignorant to. I get upset with every tear that falls from my face because I allowed someone to make me feel less than human. I could have a million critics but it didn’t matter because I knew no matter what I had you and Lemonhead in my corner. I knew that no matter what, I was untouchable because you knew the purity of my heart. I still have a mom but she’s kind of Buddhist. She leans on the side of just let it go because worrying about it does more self-harm than anything. I get where she is coming from but that Italian blood is just… I dunno. The years of running, I just burned off my anger or emotions or whatever was bothering me. Then switching to meditation, I became more aware and sensitive. I opened Pandora’s box… Now with writing, I know that this is part of the healing process. I’m a pretty cryer (seriously). But seriously?! I know that I cannot rush this process but [today] I’m struggling to find the joy of the tears. I’m trying to thank my softer side for coming out and just allowing the flow. I’m trying to remind myself that crying is a sign of strength, not weakness. I know that emotions are beautiful. A few months ago, an Uncle commented how I lack respect for elders. Funny enough, my head wanted to put him in his place with a single comment. I still have it. I always have that ready-made comment to shut someone up. I haven’t used that muscle in about 5 years but it’s there. I can feel it wanting to come out more times than I care to admit. Thankfully my mind is so strong that it wins that battle with my heart every.single.time. So perhaps alignment isn’t such a good idea after all. Scratch that.
I wanted to ask him when was the last time he visited his mother in the nursing home? Considering he also referred to his sister as ‘body’ when she died and the day before pubically commented how he resented his sister for being ‘perfect at everything’. Yes, elder sister. But I am the one that lacks respect for my elders. I wish I was making this up. Rather than fight fire with fire, and point out the obvious, I kept it about me and asked for an example to support his claim. Personally, that’s the more difficult path. At least for me. Sometimes I think some people need to be put into their place. But my challenge is to be reasonable with irrational people. The only rule I was asked to follow was no fighting. Defending myself is considered fighting and I forgot the golden rule of the family: you pick on the ones you love. Criticisms are not bad, it’s a sign of love. I don’t buy into this concept. I think that words are meant to build, not break. Criticisms are rude and it’s a major component of what I call “Fuckery.”
A few days later, he went to visit his mother. I still haven’t received an apology and will not hold my breath. This situation happened on the front steps at my aunties house. Standing there is like pouring rubbing alcohol in an open wound.
I love that Auntie loved mom so much. I love that Auntie kept little things. I love the stories of Auntie’s pure strength from Maria. Did you know that Auntie changed a lock and threatened to have someone arrested if they even so much as showed their face in her building ever again? That’s pretty bad@ss.
There are 3 people in the family that I wish you [or St. Jude] could ‘handle’ for me. I feel like these peanut galleries were quiet when you were around. I do think you would admire that these people are finally playing as a team. Even if I’m the reason for bringing them together. Actually, I think that’s my purpose in their journey. They are able to bond with bullying me. Wow. Writing is actually more clearing than I gave it credit for. I dunno why but writing letters to others seem to be more clarifying than just a note to myself or rehashing something in diary WTF form. I think that I’m going to keep my freeflow addressed to specific people moving forward.
Emotions are meant to be felt, not always understood. Most issues were solved with a hug or a hot plate of food… Maybe I was wrong in my quest to process to understand to heal… My expectations are too high in expecting closure for certain things. The world is right, I need to accept and let go. The guilt that comes along with letting go… The massive guilt…
#whyiwrite #nanowrimo #freewriting #mentalwellness #grief #longing #guilt #family #love #healing #vulnerable