DAY 36

CW: Covert incest abuse

I got an email for one of my incest abusers. I had flashbacks of how he abused me. I was eight years old when he told me with frustration that he has not had sex in 8 years. I was seven when he told me that his ‘manly’ needs are not met. I was nine years old when my other incest abuser, his wife at the time, told me to understand his ‘manly’ needs and forced me to be comfortable to be touched by him after he attempted and succeeded to invade my physical privacy as I changed my clothes. I did not want to talk to him ever since he forced the bathroom door open to see my twin sister showering when none of us had reached puberty. We were too young and his wife enabled him. If anything, his wife was angry that I ignored her husband. His wife touched me too and did not let me change in my own room.

He said a red nail color would look sexy in me. I was eight. He said that if he was a boy my age he would have a crush on me. He said I am prettier and more attractive than all the girls in my primary school. He told me to clean my genitalia very carefully to prevent over pigmentation. Yes, as a kid, I felt sexualized. Yes, I felt obligated to be comfortable around him. I had no one to save me. I had no parents that would take me. I did not know what to do. No one believed me.

I was seven or nine years old when he asked if I ever seen a grown man’s genitalia. Obviously I said I have not. He said, “you have to see it. It looks different than a boy’s genitalia”.

I did not wake up today wishing that I face another flashbacks but here I am facing some this evening. This is depressing.

DAY 35

TW: Sexual abuse, flashbacks, ptsd

Maybe people think I am strong, but I won’t describe myself as such. I am scared, not everyday but I can have intense episodes of fear and tension. This morning, I reflected upon why I am tensed when I interact with some women.

I notice a pattern. These women look like my abuser. Since the pandemic, everything went online. I have my own office, with a diffuser, my favorite playlist and soft LED lights. It’s a pretty little office that I decorated according to my own taste. I spend a lot of time in here. Studying, online volunteering, reflecting, etc.

I like to wear night satin sleep gown in my office, because it is comfortable. My satin night gown is very thin.. I have a sweater in case I feel cold in my office. When I have an episode, like 20 mins ago, I would be crying and cover my skin as much as possible because if I see my skin, I would be reminded of the sexual abuse that I went through.

I am postponing my study session. Until I am okay. I will resume.

DAY 32

Had a flashback earlier today. When I was 7, Warden used to ask for my arm to be pinched. She did this when she gets angry. I recalled some moments in the car where she asked my twin sister to give out her arm so that Warden can pinch it. It’s not really ‘asking’. We never had a choice to not give our arms. So my twin sister gave out her arm to Warden and warden pinched her and that second she burst in tears and screams in pain. I yelled to Warden that what she did is violent and that she is hurting my twin sister. Did she say sorry? No. She yelled at me not to defend my twin sister. She expects me to be calm seeing my twin sister being pinched until she left with bruises.

I tried to sleep off my flashback but I could not make it less intense than what it is. This is why I update my blog. I want the world to understand the impacts of Warden’s abuse to me. I never reported her to the police. Maybe I should, but I have no mental energy to do so. Blog is my best option to date.

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 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 10

The images of my tears are occupying my mind as I write this entry.

Mrs. Warden did projection through pretending that she can read what I feel subconsciously. If I forget something, she said that I forget because I subconsciously think that it is not important. She boasts about her memorizing skills as if no one were better at memorizing than her. For her, everything needs to be perfect. God forbid I forget any details before my exam because she would shout and call me all sorts of names, pinch me, and say things to make me hate myself for existing.

After my tests, she would ask how they went. If I said that I doubt many of my answers, she would shout so loud that I would not be able to hear the words she said. There were times where she pinched me and threatened me to leave the car when I told her that I have doubts with half of my answers in one of my tests. Being honest became a ridiculous option to me for obvious reasons and lying became an only viable option. Yet, this did not serve me as well as I wanted. Lying postponed the abuse, not preventing it. As soon as the teacher shows her my results, if they were bad, she would pinch me, on the stomach and isolate me even more from things I like or socialization.

There were times where I cried uncontrollably, I think I was 6. I suffered a great deal from memorizing. I was stressed, I knew I was going to be abused, I cried until my stomach was turning. It is not school that I fear. I feared her evil, violent hands. I never feared subjects at school, even math. I feared the consequences, the abuse I must endure in the process of learning everything at school. She said that you must suffer before claiming victory. My arms were wounded and so was my heart.

There was nothing I could have done when I was in elementary school to prevent her abuse. I only know how to postpone physical abuse. I knew I was going to face it, but I would do anything in my power to postpone it.

She said that my grandfather expected me to be excelling at school and that she is protecting me from his wrath if I performed below his expectations. In reality, he never harmed me, in fact, I needed him to protect me from his daughter.

Day 8

Mrs. Warden established some rules to regulate my social life.

Here are the rules:

1. Never initiate meetings or playdates

2. Saying yes to social meetings is a sign of mental weakness

3. Have to be on perfect behaviour for a week in order to go to playdates and meetings.

4. Maximum 10 text replies (all day)

I failed to meet these rules therefore I never had a chance to socialize like other children would. I wish I can go back to my childhood and reverse it, but I can’t. I am not even able to maintain conversations with people. I’m socially awkward and anxious.


TW: Description of auditory hallucinations, child abuse, mental illness

One and a half years after my grandmother lost the battle to breast cancer, I faced a subtle, un-diagnosed depression. I was nine years old. Being bullied at school and abused at home, I had no place where I could feel at ease. Household was stressful and school was no different. I had no access to competent psychologists nor social worker. I kept everything to myself. Before I knew it, my heart was grieving all day, every day. I got headaches, my energy was low, I had trouble concentrating. There was no break for this mysterious, persistent inner anguish. This tormenting ache in my mind and heart

My mind and heart were not at ease despite my prayers. I envied the weather above my head. There were no such thing as sunny days inside my head. Chasing positive thoughts felt like chasing the golden at the end of the rainbow. Where did my hopes go? What did I do wrong? I cried until I dried my tears.

I needed instructions, I needed guidance. I listened to my heart. It speaks. It speaks the language of terror and paranoia. The voice is subtle yet clear and commanding. I am committed to my heart. I am committed to the inner voice. I listen to it. It is fearful and it is threatening. Loving words were beyond its knowledge. Its motivation was safety. It echoes, do not look at the bird. The bird is a spy. You are being watched by secret agents. Your mirror has a camera in the back. The picture could be alive and attack you. Do not look to the left, or else you will die. Do not wear red shoes today, or else you will die. Never reveal me. Do not reveal me. You will die. You will die.

This narrative, these threats were unstoppable, and I was restrained. My individuality and sense of self were repressed. Instincts of survival was all I have left. In fact, it was the only skill I mastered during my puberty.  I was scared to the phantom inside my mind, inside my heart, but I cannot articulate it. I do not know what it is called. I do not know what I was facing. Before I knew it, my heart becomes one of the sources of my suffering. My heart, my mind, they speak every seconds. Another second, another terror. I was not scared of ghosts; I feared my thoughts. I feared them to death. I cannot run away from them; I cannot cover my ears to shut them up because they were inside me. Despite leaving all the lights on, the voices remain present and persistent. I had a phantom inside me that became a half of me. I do not have depression; my heart became the depression itself. I was not happy; I only know how to look happy. I cannot choose to be happy; I can choose to pretend that I look happy.  

To be continued …


Feline Friends

TW: Description of abuse, child abuse, bullying.

During my developmental years, I had very few opportunities to make friends. I have never been so timid or shy. I can use one hand to count how many times I had play dates from when I enrolled in elementary school until I enter high school. The overly restrictive rules she established explain the difficulty I have in understanding dynamics of friendships. As one gets older, the opportunities to make meaningful friendships become slimmer. Unfortunately, I have not been able to resolve the results of overly restrictive policies she established during my developmental years.

To satisfy one of the basic human psychological needs which is to maintain some degree of social interactions, I adopted stray cats. I was fairly picky. I had conversations with them, pretended that they could understand and reply to me.

I was bullied at school, physically and socially. With poorly developed social skills prerequisites, this puts another layer of challenge that I failed to decipher. I enjoy academic environment, the smell of petrichor on the soil in the school garden, empty classes, and the smell of old books in the library. I had beautiful mornings in school that I will forever remember.

My least favorite part about my elementary school was the afternoon. This is when I had memories  of my head being hit by my classmate’s fist, finding my school shoes in the garbage, and my notebook full of sketches of a naked person that I have never drawn. I was often tired, physically, and mentally. I was desperate for a friendship that I started to accept being bullies if that means I have some classmates interacting with me.

After school, Mrs. Warden would pick me up and God forbid I try to maintain some conversations with anyone after class is dismissed because my right arm will turn blue the next day from being pinched mercilessly or if lucky, she would take my money and meaningful little things that I keep in my wardrobe. I asked her why she is different from the parents of my classmates who allow them to socialize and make friends. She would shout and tell me that I am ungrateful, impolite, and that I should just be under the custody of my classmates’ parents. I am neither in my parents’ custody and yet I will lose hers? I cannot take that. I apologized with my tears and fear until my forehead hurts from crying.

At home, she would give me a plate of blended rice and vegetables that someone with high appreciation of foods would not eat. Mr. Warden even said that he would not eat it. It was not a soup. Humanity has not and will not come up with a name to describe the dish she made.



After more than a decade of suffering from a chronic mental illness, she was finally brought to a psychiatrist in downtown. Her psychiatrist diagnosed her to be schizophrenic and prescribed her abilify as a treatment. This did not last long. There were no follow ups and no refills for her prescriptions. Mrs. Warden did not try any harder to provide sufficient treatment for my mother. My mother, as usual, isolates herself in her bedroom. She became unusually quiet, apathetic, and nauseous. I felt remorseful for her. She does not seem to be jovial at all.

What I know for sure was that the voices in her head was significantly reduced. Her younger sister does not like to communicate to her. I was ten when Mrs. Warden asked me to bring my mother food and her medication. I was instructed to wait until I see her swallowing her pill. It was very emotionally exhausting. I hated the task I was doing. Mrs. Warden would say, “she is your mother! You must take care of her’’.  Every day, few times a day, I go upstairs to feed her and administer her pills. It was very emotionally exhausting but no matter how much I express my exhaustion to Mrs. Warden; she would not listen. At some point, it seems like her schizophrenia needs to be my responsibility, my obligation and no one else’s. Her nausea would get bad after she finished her meal. She would puke so loud and multiple times that this annoy Mrs. Warden. As the result, Mrs. Warden would go up to her and yell, shout, hit her.

Mrs. Warden was and is never seemed to care of the side effect of her oldest sister’s treatment. When my mother goes to shower, there were times where she vomited her foods. Mrs. Warden, being dismissive about the effects of the medicine, assumed and concluded that my mother has bulimia and that she is anorexic. She was not. In fact, she enjoys many sorts of foods.  As the result, Mrs. Warden forced my mother to keep the bathroom door open when she takes showers to prevent my mother from vomiting her meals. She was forced to take shower and forced to do it with doors open. Mrs. Warden would supervise her to ensure that she does not vomit any meals she is given prior to showering. This led to tensions between the two. My mother, although schizophrenic, was aware of personal space and privacy. She felt exposed, she cried, she yelled in distress and frustration. I was not able to stop all of this. Mrs. Warden instructed me to go inside the bathroom and watch her shower. I saw my mother naked and showering and she asked me to ensure she clean everything in her. This routine was very painful to me. I was barely a teenager and emotionally developing, when I witness my mother being ridiculed while she was showering. Mrs. Warden never wanted to consider her oldest sister to be mentally ill. She thinks of her as someone who has bad intention and who is very annoying. Mrs. Warden has no mercy to her sister who happens to be my mother.