DAY 20

CW: Suicidal Thought

As a kid, I was violently punished for food-pocketing, for buying a yo-yo, for wanting to read my textbooks, for bringing glitter pens to school, failed to finish lunch on the time she expected, writing diaries about how I feel towards her abuse.

Living with Warden makes me used to be tensed during my development years. I would write things that bothered me in my diary and she would open them and read them. One of my diary entries writes,

“She is a monster. She is not my mother. She pinched me, she take my hobbies away from me. She is evil, she is merciless. I want to die”.

This did not make her feel remorseful. This made her yell and becoming even more abusive. I felt very remorseful to her to have written this. I remain to live without seeing her as a mother, caretaker, but as an older woman who is a monster and who has control over me.

After that incident, if she becomes more violent, she would say, “What would you write, huh? I am a monster right?”. All the sudden everything is my fault.

I told her that I would tell the police about all the things she had done. This is a conversation I had before I turned 10. She said, ‘Then tell the police that you misbehave too. Be fair”. I was scared, I felt intimidated with her response because I thought I deserved to be violently punished for almost everything I do. This kept me silent until now. I never told police officials the things she did to me and my biological mother.

I always felt responsible for Warden’s feelings. Though abused, I would draw her and write, ‘I love you’ and slipped the paper under the door when she locks herself. This was the routine until I turned eight when I started to sense that my love is not returned.

My heart was broken long before I fall for a man.

DAY 19

This is my average routine when I was 12.

  1. Wake up in the morning and practice piano. This is early at around 5 am.
  2. I would eat all sorts of fruits before taking showers.
  3. Get ready to go to the mall. Warden likes malls. She would drive us to the mall to go to starbucks at say.. 8 am. So early that there were only few stores that accept customers. A neighbor would ask why we go to the mall early morning. As ridiculous as it sounds, we had no wifi. We could have had wifi router if Warden gets one. She never did. Why? That’s a question I fail to answer. I would eat buttered croissants, 3-4 of them. It happened many times that starbucks would run out of croissants because I had to fill out my stomach while Warden browse through the internet. She’d spend hours on her laptop sitting in the corner of starbucks dine-in place.
  4. Mall day, everyday. I would spend a whole day in the mall.
  5. Lunch at mall. Usually Caesar salad.
  6. Dinner can be at the mall can be at home. If at home, I will be the one who cooks.
  7. Sleep.

She likes to shop. Oh how she loves perfumes. Designer brand perfumes and designer bags. This shapes my personality. I appreciate efficient shopping in the mall. Actually, I prefer to thrift.

As you can see, school was not listed above. Warden has enough means to pay my tuition but she did not. I did not enroll at a school when I was 11-12.

DAY 18

CW: Description of mental abuse.

Warden does not want me to be like her sister, my schizophrenic mother. Warden thinks it is her job to make sure I am not like my mother in all areas, good and bad. My mother graduated as an MD, making her the first medical school graduate in the big family. She has a soft heart, she never hurt someone else physically nor show any inclinations to abuse others around her. Like everyone else, she has strengths and weaknesses.

I am my mother’s first born. I have resemblances, identical mannerisms to my mother. I am introverted and love to spend my time alone during lunch time. Like her, I love making poems for fun. This concerns warden because she would associate these activities to development of schizophrenia.

I was very young when warden alienate me from my biological mother though she live in the same roof as warden and me. Warden said that I have my mother’s genes. These genes are not good genes, she said. It is as if it was my fault to have my mother’s genes. If I appear nervous in front of the crowd, warden would say, “200 million genes”. She thinks I have 200 million genes of my mother. To put on a perspective, humans have 20,500 genes.

Unfortunately I was too little to understand the scientific facts or to learn the basics of genomics. For a long time, I thought I was cursed that I share similarities my mother. I thought I will be schizophrenic, I thought I will be everything but good.

She hates my mother, they are at odds but somehow I am punished for being my mother’s daughter. I expressed my discontentment to my warden about her habit to call me out for everything that my mother has done before. My mother is a person, she would do things like writing, pursue her hobbies, studying, stressing out, etc. I should not face the consequences of her hatred towards my mother.

When I said, “Would you please stop saying, ‘200 million genes’? I have my mother genes! I can’t help it. Just stop, please. My mother’s genes are not all bad”. Warden said, “I am not shaming you, I am just warning you that you are like your schizophrenic mother, so when I warn you, you should be grateful”. My mother has lips, I have lips, so what? My mother is shy, I am shy, so what? My mother likes to write, I like to write, so what? So what, warden? Warden, your schizophrenic older sister aced her medical school. I would be so happy to be a doctor just like my mother. I will be so happy to have a tenacity like her.

DAY 17

Children usually stop to wet the bed at the age of seven. I wet the bed until I was ten. This is very unusual since I am a girl. My bladder control during the day was perfect. Warden ridiculed me for this. She said, “If you want to pee in your dream, then you should wake up and go to the toilet”. However, in my dreams, I was not able to know that I was dreaming. My sleep would be interrupted when the sheets feel uncomfortable.

Warden sleeps beside me. I was never allowed to have my own room or sleep on my own bed. I never understood why.

Warden would treat me like a five years old. She would do baby talk with me and expected me to talk like a baby even when I was ten years old.

Wetting the bed becomes a joke during family gatherings. Some relatives know I wet the bed. I lost my confidence and I blamed myself for why this happens. Apart from wetting the bed, I had loss of appetite and suffer from stomach aches, and occasional headaches.

Warden never brought me to a psychologist, doctor, or other experts for this. She would ridicule me without giving a proper treatment. At some point, I thought being ridiculed would solve everything.

Sometimes I just want my brain to have good memories about my childhood instead of neglect and years of abuse. I would really love to wake up one day and have a fake memory of my childhood; That I was taken care of properly, that Warden did not divorce, that my biological parents were not divorcing, that I was allowed to make friends and treated for my prolonged stress in childhood.

Children can feel stress too. I am twenty-one years old and if I had to face the exact same conditions as I did in my childhood, given the current cognitive and mental abilities I have now, I would not be able to keep my sanity. It was stressful. I was stressed. Warden and her husband at the time dismissed the idea that I was stressed, simply because I was a kid. I do not wish anyone to go through what I went through.

DAY 16

Some Things I wish I was told during childhood.

1. It is not your fault that you are abused

2. Children can go through stress too, and that is okay.

3. Your emotions are valid, your feelings are valid.

4. You deserve to feel safe at your home.

5. You are not owned by your Warden

6. Discipline should not be violent.

7. It is okay to be uncomfortable around people who harmed you.

8. You have a right to say no when you are touched in private areas.

9. You are not responsible for other people’s feelings.

10. You don’t need to be an abuse survivor to be a resilient adult.

DAY 15

At the age of six, my biological father drove me to school when he asked me if he could marry someone else and leave my mother.

I replied, “Yes, you can marry her”. My mother, isolated because of her mental condition, never fall for any man since. I felt very culpable to have “given a permission” for him to marry someone else.

That morning, I asked my biological father why would he leave my mother. He said, “Your mother is tired taking care of you”. I asked him, “Would you leave this woman if she’s tired too?”. He said, “No. She would not be tired”.

His response left me puzzled.

Before I turned seven, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer and she refused the biopsy and refused to get treated abroad just so she can be close to me. Her choice to refuse biopsy led to an incomplete diagnosis which accelerates the deterioration of her organs. The doctors cannot administer her the right treatments because they didn’t know which type of breast cancer she has.

My grandmother was an inpatient at a hospital 10 minutes drive from where I lived. Her second daughter, my Warden, was spending a lot of her time there. Since I was a minor, I had to stay close to her. I spent months sleeping in the sofa-bed inside my grandmother’s room. I went to school from the hospital and would return to the hospital.

Relatives said I was mature for my age. I looked poised and composed despite the divorce and witnessing worried oncologists coming in and out of my grandmother’s room.

I amused myself by making up algebraic equations after school. I made simple equations made of letters and numbers. Warden would asked me to go get some things at a store across the hospital. She never went by herself. I was always been asked to do such errands. There were restaurants and stores across the hospital yet there is a busy road that separates them. The road is full with motorcycles and clumsy drivers.

I asked my Warden what would she do to ensure my safety. She said, “I will watch you from here”. She is five floors high. This does not make sense even to my younger self. She can’t save me if someone was going to harm me. As a way to ensure my own security, I walked closely behind adults when I was going out. Considering the abnormally high population density, I am quite fortunate to have never been kidnapped.

DAY 14

I don’t like to blame Mrs. Warden for the 150mg zoloft I take everyday. I would say that she is a great chunk of the explanation of how I get to where I am. I would not condemn those who blame their abusive caregivers because maybe it’s a phase. Maybe it is a necessary phase. To be frank, I had such phase too. Long time ago.

I have not encounter any flashbacks today, but to be fair, this may have something to do with the fact that it’s only noon. I will update this post later in the day.

DAY 13

At some point maybe it will be good to write good memories with Mrs. Warden. I would not rush myself to write them. Blogging project is doing well. I am keeping my momentum.

I was having a bath when the flashback came to me. My eyes were enjoying the sparkly reflection of my bath water. The reflection moves so beautifully. Depending what my finger does to the water, it can create an illusion of little waves. I felt the warm water splashed to my shoulders. I made little waves on the bath tub. It was rather relaxing and satisfying.

The wave of the bath water goes back and forth, sometimes to different directions. All depends on what my feet does under the water.

The beach would be very cold by now. To my recollections, I quite enjoy days where I could swim on the beach. I would sit and enjoy the waves that rock my body or push me backwards. This is a pleasant imagery until your mind starts to recall that you were not only pushed backwards by the waves in the beach but also by a monstrous Mrs. Warden when she tries to test how much you memorize things for your tests.

I had all these recollections in the bath tub earlier today. I guess these recollections inspire this blog entry.

When you have a traumatic childhood, even a pleasant beach day memories could turn into an unpleasant abuse memories.

She shook my body that her nails scratches my arms. That was my punishment for forgetting some trivial things before my tests. She would shout and made countdown from 5 to 0 and if I made a mistake, she would shout even louder and call me names. For her, review in the morning where I have tests has to be perfect. No flaws, no errors. I am not exaggerating. It happens that she made mistakes. She would just let it go if it was hers.

I am one of those people who would perform even worst under stress. The more mistakes I make, the more stress she would inflict upon me.

DAY 12

I was never allowed to feed myself until I was in the 6th grade.

My breakfast used to be cereal or toast. My lunch for school was almost always the same. Rice and a processed meat. I never liked the menu for my lunch. By 1pm, I would be very hungry. My eyes would be heavy, I would be dehydrated, and my blood sugar will be exceptionally low. I never slept in class, but it was extremely hard to focus. I was a picky eater, but I never got to pick what I wanted to eat. I was forced to like foods that I did not like. I remember I enjoyed the chicken katsu in the cafeteria, but I was not allowed to get them. My lunch box never had chicken katsu in it. I also liked noodle soup. My lunch box always had rice and process meat. There were things I like to eat, and rice is not one of them.

My problem is that I would not eat something that I did not like. Aside from being a picky eater, I also was stressed and very anxious. My appetite was strongly correlated with my psychological well-being.

After school, I would be asked to eat what is left in the lunch box. That will take me about 3-4 hours to complete. By the time I finished the leftover in the lunch box, my dinner will be served. Another pile of rice. I hated rice. My stomach was tiny, I was skinny and stressed. I was unable to swallow food like other children my age. I needed to drink water to swallow my food. Mrs. Warden fed me. She fed me with big spoon, big lump of rice with cooked vegetables inside it. Eating was traumatic for many reasons.