Friday, October 24, 2014

Lost In The Shuffle

Just today, I had the urge to come on here and look at all the posts I've written. And by some miracle, I had this as a draft and never published it. It was named something which I didnt remember and it's funny going back to when I had written this a while back. It summons a bundle of emotions but I thought I'd share how I felt 6 months ago.

"Dearest Daddy,

My heart hurts more than it has ever before. Not too long ago, I watched a video of a bride standing on the dance floor.  Her brother explained to the crowd that their late father unfortunately couldn't be there to have their Father/Daughter dance together. Now for every little girl, this is one of the moments that we have waited for all our lives. And there she stood, barely holding a smile. Fortunately, her brother did something amazing; he recorded Butterfly Kisses for her and her father. All around the bride, family and friends danced in honor of his place. This video was one of the last things that had painfully reminded me that you are not here and that I won't have an opportunity to have that special dance with you, like most girls get to.

For the last three weeks, I've been having a hard time. I've faced some hardships that I couldn't imagine facing on my own. It feels as if I have been broken and stripped to the core. At times, I feel like I am suffocating, no longer able to breathe right. It's as if I am a fish out of the water. I've prayed and cried, and prayed again. But yet it seems like nothing will ever go right. Any moment of happiness slips right through my fingers, and the smiles and laughter I share with friends and family all seem to be a facade. I honestly do not know how I have the strength to pull myself out of bed, to continue my usual schedule that is laid in front of me. And yet I manage. See, I've been feeling like a speck of dust, not really worth anything to the world. Even though I forge on, my confidence seems to dissipate every hour and minute. My legs, arms, and even my heart seem so heavy and yet I manage. For the last three weeks, I haven't been getting or doing anything right. Every bad news seems to break me down even further than it has. I smile and make everyone around me as happy as I can. But there was no way I can help myself. I'm simply hanging by a small thread. Why is it that my heart can hurt this bad? And why does it seem like everything around is working against me?

Today seemed like the last straw. I had given up on all hopes and continued my day like any other. But some how I had the strength to study and take my exam. Yes, I had the strength to do that much, but there was no doubt I knew it was going to go like any other exam I had failed to do right. The past months, I had studied; reading the text and writing every thing verbatim. Yet, I would happen to get all the concepts wrong. Was I that big of an idiot? I've always had exceptional grades before college and I just didn't understand why I wasn't getting things right. I told myself I had to face the reality, and know I was stupid. You have no idea how much I have drilled it in my head that I was a failure, an idiot, worthless piece of... well you get the picture. I was so angry because I put myself in this situation. I was angry that I didn't do things right. I was angry because I had failed to be the person I expected myself to be. My confidence was at the lowest point it could ever be. Nothing that anyone could tell me would help at this point. There was no reassuring that could help me believe. I guess you weren't there to push me the way you did. I just lost it today. And before taking this exam, I told myself "I can't do this." I ended up taking it, knowing a 56 or a 44 was better than a 0. After the exam, my legs felt weak, my hands got clammy, and I had the worst chills of my life. My teeth chattered and I think my face went pale. I had to face the reality of seeing the grade posted on Blackboard. I realized I had one of the highest grades I have ever gotten so far throughout these three weeks.

I guess that was the push that I needed. It's as if that was a sign that I just had to push through this day and do something right. Once again you had pushed and reminded me that I had it all along. And what was funnier was the second great news. Dad, I got another amazing opportunity to work with a company that was interested in my writing. Even though I haven't felt like I was worth anything, my writing was all that I could be proud of. I never realized that someone else would acknowledge the most important thing I had left. There are people always telling me I did a great job writing articles, but I thought it was just a simple gesture from people. I always thought that my writing was just above average--nothing notable. I guess third time is the charm; I was offered again to write what I love. and nothing could take that away from me.

Going through these weeks were hard. But the idea that someone thought my writing was "impeccable" and worth while amazed me. God does work in mysterious ways. And this may be silly, but it really has brightened my day in WEEKS! People might think this is stupid to get happy about. But the fact that someone has read my articles (thinking no one reads it), just made me cry after reading that email. I called Grandma, Omar, Thomas's mom and dad. And I felt so happy because writing is important to me. It's my outlet to get away from all the stress.

So here I am writing about you and hope you're thinking of me from time to time. I miss you so much. "L

Your baby girl,
Tresha Mae

Thursday, May 1, 2014

So Here It Is...

As a 21 year old who suffers from depression, always preparing for the worst, I can admit that I am far from perfect and not the most confident person you'll ever meet. I convince myself everyday that every thing will fall apart in a matter of seconds. I am not blaming everything on the absence of having a father or having to runaway from the past life in Philippines but I can say that it plays a role in how I grew up. Honestly, when one thing after another happens and event A & B happen, I tend to become cautious in every situation I am in. It's either I crumble under pressure or flee (otherwise known as the fight or flight response). And sadly that's how I learned to deal with things. And you know what, I do not blame my mother one bit because as much as I've had to overcome obstacles, my mother has faced a life of unbearable situations that I couldn't ever imagine.  I've learned now that every choice she has made was to better my life in some way. I guess I am understanding more, from my own experiences, that she was only trying to provide me with a life she never had as a child. 

(My mom and I when we lived in the Philippines)

As messed up as I seem, I've learned that my life won't be full of rainbows and unicorns (haha okay maybe the unicorns, shout out to my sorors). I will never have a perfect and easy life and I will have to work through it. But that doesn't mean I have to do it on my own. Growing up as an only child, I got used to taking care of my own problems. And when I lost my dad, I became more dependent on myself. I grew up thinking that there was only black and white, yes or no, this or that. I had it drilled in my head that I was the only one that could save me. It was either saving myself or letting things get the best of me. It wasn't necessarily because I was stubborn, but it was also the fact that I was so scared of involving anyone in my problems. I was too worried to let anyone help me. I just didn't believe in help. 

(Visiting Dad in Toccoa never seems to get easier.)

The year I lost my daddy, I wanted nothing to do with help. I strayed from my mom and everything else that had to do with facing loss. I was afraid that at any moment my mother was going to be taken away from me as well. I felt like I had to carry all the weight on my shoulders and become the stronger person between my mom and I. Some nights, I felt like I had so much bottled up to the point that I would have to walk out of the house and cry on the back porch or wait until my mom left before I could cry. I didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't know if I could hold on any longer.

But somehow, God gave me the strength to hold on a little longer. He led me to someone I would call my best friend and the greatest companion I could ask for. I do not know where I would be without Thomas and not to mention his family. It's phenomenal how you can lose so much and be given more than you could have ever predicted. They've shown me kindness, humility, community, strength and love. 

What more could I want when I had everything I ever needed? While I had my ever-giving mother, a loving boyfriend and his family, I was still at loss. Still missing something. So we got a dog. We got a house. And then we got engaged. 

I thought marriage was the solution to every single problem. I thought that following our generation's traditions would cure my symptoms. See, I was given the chance to marry my best friend. But I realized I was doing this for the reasons I never fully grasped until recently. 

And while I wanted to live my life with the man of my dreams, I was doing it for the purpose of checking "married" off the list. While I cherish every aspect of marriage, I didn't want to do it for the reason that everyone else did it. To make my point clear, I am head over heels in love with my best friend (and love every single one of my married friends). I just wasn't ready for the pressure of our culture to tell me I had to get married. I've seen it first-hand that marriage never lasts whether it's because of lying partners, abusive husbands, or death. And because I thought that my life could crumble at any time, I talked myself out of thinking this was right. I thought that I could never be the best option for Thomas, let alone anyone. And to make it worse, I thought that I was never enough--even as a child.

I doubted myself as soon as I got cold feet. I guess you can say that I was the reason for my cold feet. And while I've told a few of you my reasons for calling off the wedding, I've realized it wasn't about wanting to experience the world on my own, or rebelling against the nature of our societies culture... It was about the feeling of loss, unworthiness, and sadness. I am imperfect to the core, filled with so many flaws. I doubt my worth and I scare myself out of any good thing. I settle. I settle to think I am not capable of being married or capable of love. I tell myself to prepare for the worst. And out of everything, I forget there is beauty in everything around me. I forget that there's forgiveness, acceptance, and courage in me. That there are endless possibilities at my fingertips. 

I was so caught up with the things that scared me, that I forgot that there was someone right there to hold my hand. To tell me everything will be alright and that no matter what, I can do all things through God.  So while I initially wrote this to explain why Thomas and I prolonged our wedding date to you all, I found the reason why I stopped the wedding. It wasn't because of my future husband or what anyone told me-- It was because of me all along. 

This year was a complete eye opener and still is. I've learned so much about myself that I didn't fully understand. I opened up to my fiancĂ©, my mom, friends, and lastly myself. So thank you to everyone who supported me during that time I felt I was lost. Thank you to those who gave comfort to Thomas while we were going through the hardest month of our lives. And thank you God for helping me get back to the path that I rightfully deserve. I also want to apologize for all of the confusion and leaving every one of our friends in the dark. It was never my intention on neglecting all of our friends. The pure embarrassment of our "not-so perfect life" made me turn the other way instead of acknowledging the problems. I was scared of telling everyone who believed in us whole-heartedly that we, like anyone else, were facing one of our biggest obstacles ever. After all that, Thomas and I are better and stronger than we ever were. And while I was embarrassed to broadcast our problems to the world, I can tell you now that it's I am a working progress and that I have my fiancĂ© to help me get through this. I've accepted the fact that I can't do this on my own and that I can't don't have to be the one to save myself. 

We all need someone. No matter how strong we are. No matter how brave and independent we are. We still all need someone. One person to hold our hand. To hug us when we are scared. To be there when we get home. To encourage us when we want to give up. To love us when we don’t love ourselves. We all need someone who’s going to be there through all of life’s beauty and shadows. We need someone to light our path when we get lost. We all need someone. 

So see everyone at our wedding in 2015!