Thursday, October 30, 2014

I'm Done With It (Part 4)

3) Hate

Hate is an interesting concept. Everyone assumes hate is unhealthy for you, and being hated is the end of the world, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, the only way to make changes in the world is to get a few people angry.

I had a conversation with my dad the other day (actually, it was more like him yelling at me while I silently made rebuttals in my head), on the topic of liberal arts vs. science. To him, I am badly suited to a career in the liberal arts (I plan on majoring in public policy) because things that I say or do make people angry, and that means I won't be able to make the connections I need when I try to advance myself in the field. He said that it would be better for me to work in the sciences, as an engineer, because I wouldn't be fired if I wasn't nice. To be honest, I don't think I'm someone who easily offends people or breaks connections, but that's besides the point. The way I see it, it's impossible to succeed in the liberal arts without challenging a theory or coming up with something controversial and new. If all people did was to agree with one another, politics itself simply wouldn't exist.

The most controversial figures, the ones that attract the most hate, are the ones that make the largest impact. Martin Luther King, Jr. angered plenty of people, but his efforts helped change a nation for the better. Malala Yousafzai's work as an advocate for education caused her to be shot in the head, but she survived and inspired millions.

Even science attracts hate. Proponents of climate change are often verbally attacked and denounced for their theories, regardless of how much evidence they present. This post was inspired by Derek Muller of Youtube channel Veritasium (a very interesting science channel that I strongly recommend), who posted this following video on his side channel. He explains more on the topic of hate, and it really made me think about what it means when someone disagrees.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm Done With It (Part 3)

2) Homecoming

Saturday, October 24th was Homecoming. To be honest, the dance itself was an utter disappointment. The music sucked, and the majority of the people there were people I didn't care about at all. At one point, someone made the comment that Homecoming is basically "Freshman Prom" and I couldn't agree more. All I could see in the middle of the dance floor were freshmen grinding and making out.

The pre-HC was better, though it was kind of a last minute thrown together event. One of the girls went without her boyfriend because he "didn't feel like it" (he sure was regretful later on), and another's couldn't make it because her date was in the hospital recovering from having his appendix removed. We did makeup, ate Togo's, and took pictures on the porch overlooking the valley. Despite the forecast of rain, no one had considered the possibility of clouds blocking the sun, so the lighting wasn't too great, but we all had fun. Here's one of the better pictures, but of course I'm blinking.

At the dance, the GBA was converted into an ice cream bar, with nicely laid out tables and fairy lights ringed around the room. The overall effect was quite nice and the ice cream was delicious. The Giants vs. Royals baseball game was playing on a large screen outside, and every once in a while, you'd hear a huge roar when the Giants scored a point.

The photo booth was also a lot of fun. Various props were available, of which I picked a purple boa that ended up only being in one of the pictures. I actually really like this set, but unfortunately I accidentally bent the physical print.

As I mentioned earlier, the rest of the dance wasn't much fun. Everything sounded the same, and they only played about two lines of each song before switching with a huge pause in between songs. The music was played really slowly, all over one beat, with some of the songs slowed down to match the beat. It was like trying to dance in syrup. We ended up spending about half our time outside taking ridiculous selfies (including the obligatory duckface selfie).

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I'm Done With It (Part 2)

I wrote Part 1 less than a week ago, but I don't remember what I wrote. I didn't even edit it before hitting "Publish," but I kind of want to leave it that way, so when I read it again, a month, a year, a decade (maybe) from now, I can see it for what it is.

A lot has gone on in this last week, and I've been writing down all of those thoughts as notes in this blog post. At the moment, I count nineteen points, but I'll probably combine a few of them so this post isn't ridiculously long and rambling. I just don't know what to do or feel anymore, so I need to sort through all these thoughts and figure some things out so I can actually do something productive.

Regular text is what I've written in this sitting, and italicized text is stuff I've copied and pasted from previous sittings that I haven't edited since writing it initially.

1) Mental Health
In the aftermath of the incident described in Part 1, staying in my room brought back traumatizing memories of being taken in to the hospital, and the condescending treatment from "authorities." It's not as bad anymore, but being in this room still makes me feel anxious. My parents still don't understand mental health, and there's nothing I can do about that because they aren't willing to listen, and I don't have the time or strength to force them to or change their mind. I was supposed to stay at a friend's house when I got back from the hospital, so I could have some time away from the site of the incident, but apparently, they care more about me doing what they want me to do instead of my mental health. There's no point to making a big fuss about that anymore, but it's something that I just need to express.

Child abuse – physical and psychological – is something that occurs behind closed doors and is hidden behind smiles, but it needs to be something that is out in the open. I've tried to tackle this issue in another post that includes other mental health issues that I may or may not publish, but it was too hard to write about everything all at once.

There is a scrape on the third knuckle of my right hand, swelling between the third and the fourth, a nickel sized bruise on my right wrist, and another the size and color of a large fig on my left knee. My left elbow is scraped and I'm sore all over but these are not very important. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always hurt the most. If it had been any other person, child or adult, saying these things to me, they would be a bully. But with my parents, it is considered to be "discipline." I'll never understand how the system considers physical abuse more severe than any other kind. Bruises and even broken bones heal, but words poison the mind and taint thoughts for years to come.

What I hate the most is that they are manipulative. They are not the only good people in the world. They are not the only people in the world that care about me. I refuse to believe what they tell me anymore. I cannot trust what they say. But the damage is done already. I don't trust anyone anymore. Everyone in the world is out to get me, somehow. I can barely even trust myself.

Another perspective on this issue is with friends. There aren't very many people I trust completely and feel like I can talk about anything to. Some people I trust, but I'm afraid that I'll be bothersome and negative, so I don't talk to them. So I keep the close friend count around two. But then all my problems and rants get cast on to these people. I feel like I'm being annoying or aggravating to them a lot of the time. This may or may not be true, but I end up being very clingy. And when I realize this, I stop talking to them, because I don't want to be annoying and clingy. I really don't know how to think or feel about this.

I'm sorry if it seems like I'm obsessed with my mental illness. It's almost like it impacts every part of my life. It's probably just all happening inside my head, but oh, maybe that's why they call it a "mental" illness.

This post is long enough as it is, and I was originally going to have it have four subpoints. It's probably a better idea to break it up into more parts, which I will do, but publish them all in one day, or staggered on different days very closely together. ◊

Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm Done With It (Part 1)

This blog is a place for me to discuss my thoughts, to work out why I think the way I do, to record things I want to remember, and to validate my existence – all the things, good or bad, in it. I like to record the highlights of my life, so when I look back and read them, I feel happy. But sometimes things happen that I may need to access again in the future, no matter how much I want to forget about them. Last Thursday night, something happened that needs to be addressed.

I've only shared this blog with a few people, but since it is on the internet, it's available for everyone to read. Few people may read this, or it might be something that no one reads at all, but it's not something I feel obligated to keep to myself anymore. It's kind of a long post, so if you don't read to the end, I kindly ask that if you don't have supportive comments, please don't comment at all.

The CPS worker was back again for another family meeting (in case you didn't know, this is actually the fourth CPS case so far) and my parents were not happy. They didn't like the CPS worker being there in the first place, but now they'd decided to "use the social worker to control me" (translated as best as I could from Chinese). While they recognized the good things my siblings had done, they launched into an angry tirade of all their complaints about me. It started with their complaint that the candles I had in my room were a fire hazard. I countered that they were one of my coping methods, one that was relatively easy to use and quickly effective. They had already shot down my other coping methods, either by telling me I wasn't allowed to use them, or insinuating that I was wasting time. My dad kept telling me that if I needed coping methods, I should go running because running relieves stress. This may have worked for him, but for me it would only cause more stress (tied to the first CPS report incident, when I was forced to run to school until I was overheating and exhausted, so running has been a trigger for me ever since). Another was that my alarm clock went off too early, and somehow this conversation escalated into how I would probably be poisoned by my roommate in college because I was selfish and evil. I might mention here that they have a very severe victim blaming complex.

Hearing these ridiculous accusations was very emotionally draining. Listening to my parents say that I was going to be murdered because I was a horrible bastard was something that happened often, but in a highly emotional situation like at that moment, there was no way for me to stay calm. Again my dad mentioned using running as a coping method, and at that point I simply couldn't keep it together anymore. If he wanted me to go running as a coping method, I would go running. I grabbed a pair of shoes and headed out the door, not sure where I was going, only knowing that I wanted to get away. It was 9:27pm (or so I remember it; that might be inaccurate) but Almaden was a relatively safe neighborhood, so I wasn't worried. However, my dad followed, and the whole time he was still slinging abuse at me: how could I be so "selfish," I was disturbing the neighbors with all the yelling (at this point he was the only one talking), didn't I know of all the sacrifices my parents had made, didn't I know that what I was doing was making them miserable and driving them crazy?

Eventually he caught up and grabbed me, and I fought back. This wasn't very effective, and the continuous verbal abuse made it hard to focus. I tried something different – passive resistance. When he tried to drag me back, I completely relaxed and stopped resisting, which made it harder to move. And every venomous insult, I accepted it and didn't dispute. When he said I was crazy, selfish, and more, I agreed with every single statement. There was no way to respond to this. I gave him what he wanted and agreed that I was an evil, malicious, ungrateful vermin, and so there was no way he could object. These were the words I had heard all my life growing up, so how could I ever think of myself differently? He didn't understand this. I told him, maybe, just maybe if he had said that I was a lovely, good child, who was respectful and loved, that these would be what I would grow up to become. This logic was lost on him and the verbal abuse continued. It was at this point that I realized they were never going to bend to sense, because that would mean acknowledging that what they did was wrong, and that was never going to happen.

I got up and ran again, thoroughly frustrated and upset at my parents' hypocrisy, that their selfishness is what prevented them from change, to save their own dignity. This time, when my dad caught up to me, I resisted, and he pushed me onto the pavement and broke my glasses. I remember at that moment thinking about Lord of the Flies and how Piggy's broken glasses represented the abandonment of logic, and realized that struggling more was hopeless. I ran home, grabbed the phone, and called 911 as fast as I could, and answered about two questions before the phone line was unplugged. The internet also disconnected, but luckily I was able to call a friend on my cellphone to get the mobile 911 number. The police arrived after fifteen minutes, and they talked to my parents first before talking to me.

When the police came into my room, I was still in the middle of a panic attack. I kept asking him, "Please, give me a moment to calm myself down, please please let me calm down for a moment," but he kept firing questions at me. I choked and cried as I answered them, and when he asked, "Are you feeling suicidal?" I cried back, "Yes! Is that too hard to understand?" Had I been calm and not in an extremely panicked state, I would not have answered that, but as I was, there was no way I could reply otherwise. This, of course, meant that he would have to take me away to the hospital to protect myself. However, part of "protecting myself" also meant that I needed to be prevented from using my hands, so right then and there in my room, he handcuffed me. He walked me out, and the next thing I knew was that I was thrown into the hard, plastic back seat of a police car with metal handcuffs digging into my wrists.

As if I wasn't already traumatized enough, when I tried to ask questions about what was going on, I was given the worst case scenario. I asked if the incident would go on some kind of record, and he said that it could potentially affect me getting into college and getting a job in the future – the last thing I needed to hear in a panicked state, about to go to who-knows-where, for who-knows-how-long of a time. Adding insult to injury, he said that I was just throwing a tantrum, and if I had been a more respectful and obedient child, none of this would have happened. I was fuming mad and confused, but there was no point in arguing, so the rest of the ride continued in silence.

The rest of the night was a series of questions and naps. I'd talk to a nurse, and she'd record my answers, and tell me a doctor would be with me in just a moment (when they say "moment" they really mean "two hours") and then I'd talk to the doctor, and he'd tell me that I'd be transferred to another hospital in a moment, and at the new place, they asked me more questions and had me sign a lot of forms, and finally let me sleep on a convertible sofa-table-bed with a fluffy pillow, before being woken up in the morning again to eat breakfast and talk to a counselor, and then have a nap before talking to another doctor. They played music at the new facility, but ironically the song "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry came on and ended before anyone but me noticed. Later my mother came in and talked to the counselor and made a lot of promises and took me home, and then broke all the promises.

My friends came over to stay the night and help me cope. I hope they'll still be my friends after this. They say they will, but I'm worried they'll find me too hard to deal with because that's what happened last time, after the second CPS report. We were so close, almost like twins, and we could practically communicate through just facial expressions. She helped me a lot, but after the crisis, we just stopped talking regularly. We talk a little more now, but it's like we were never close friends at all. At least, that's how I feel. I don't know if she'll read this. I miss her.

It's 12:01am on Monday, October 20 now. My early college app is due in eleven days, so I think I'll change it to a regular app. Hospital visits are very disruptive. I don't know how things are going to work out at school tomorrow. Will everything be normal? I don't know what to do.

[Part 2 coming soon, or never.] ◊

Friday, October 17, 2014

Food Friday #007 – CASPA Scholarship Dinner

A while ago, I went to a scholarship reception dinner. It was quite a fancy event, with a whole bunch of unnecessary silverware and plates, but fun nevertheless. The food was incredible – I had no idea chicken could taste so tender and delicious (no really, it was that good!) I was stuffed by the end and couldn't finish the dessert.

Application deadlines are fast approaching, and I still need to apply for more scholarships as well. I'm feeling quite stressed and a bit lost. Hopefully things will get better, but everything feels like it's taking a downturn at the moment. Even on this blog, the pictures aren't uploading properly and turning out blurry, unless I make very specific adjustments, which can be a bit irritating. Eh. :/ ◊

Sunday, October 12, 2014

#obsessed: Girls Chase Boys – Ingrid Michaelson

I have at least three posts that I've been wanting to do, but since school and college apps are in full swing, I don't have the time. In the meantime, here's a song I've really been enjoying.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wish List / Bucket List

Around this time last year, after the buzz about "bucket lists" had died down (I'm always a little late for things), I sat down and typed a list of all the things I ever wanted to do. Then Evernote crashed in the middle of finals season and I was so mad that I pretty much never opened it again.

Today, as I was trying to clean up some of the things in my computer, I found this list again. Luckily I had the presence of mind to title the note with the date, so without further ado, here is my bucket list from October 23, 2013 with [parenthetical] commentary from present day me:
  • go to a concert [I still haven't gone to one! This one's still at the top of my list. Don't know who I'd want to see though.]
  • shopping SPREE [This will still be the first thing I save up my money for, just going on a full out shopping spree buying everything I want.]
  • eat ice cream on a picnic [I always thought it would be funny to try to climb up a hill or go to a park to have a picnic before the ice cream melted.]
  • lie in a meadow and just sleep [When I have the time...]
  • cloud-gazing [Again, when I have the time]
  • star-gazing [I had something with wanting to just watch the sky, didn't I]
  • meteor-gazing [Pretty much the same as above? How did I make these separate at the time?]
  • urban camping [I have no idea what this means anymore.]
  • sing a cover [Hahaha no. What was I even thinking.]
  • walk holding hands [This one's kind of sweet, but I've come to accept the fact that I'm probably going to be #foreveralone or a #catlady, so meh, whatever.]
  • karaoke without a care [Did I really think I could sing at any point in time?]
  • berry picking [Still seems pretty fun, but I'm more of a couch potato now, so not sure if I still want to do this.]
  • sunrise on a mountaintop [Before I graduate! Or leave for college! I want to do the Mission Peak sunrise climb. Spring break maybe?]
  • a music video [Not too sure what this one means. Again, I've now accepted the fact that I will never be a singer.]
  • dance in the rain [Considering that California is in a drought, this doesn't seem likely.]
  • art museum [Maybe Art Club could do this this year. Something good though, not just scribbly modern art.]
  • coffee run [I've kind of done this, but one can never have enough coffee.]
  • stay up more than 24 hours [What was I thinking?!? All nighters are NOT fun. Never again.]
  • classical music in nature [Was I some kind of hippie? Why is this something I wanted to do.]
  • travel [Yes. More places.]
  • be a crazy average teenager [Working on it.]
  • explore a city in full makeup and fashion [Still have to do that fancy photoshoot and be all badass. This will probably have to wait until college.]
  • create an alter ego [Done! Kind of. Will probably be changing blog URL to that name soon.]
  • answer 20 questions completely honestly [Have yet to do this, but not sure if I still want to.]
  • dye my hair bright purple [This is definitely going to happen. Once college apps are over.]
  • travel to cities and islands [Kind of the same thing as travel ^.]
  • Ted Talk about all those things [Still love TED talks. I want to be a motivational speaker.]
  • have a discussion/lecture about how/why the world is messed up [Wow. I was such a pessimist. I still am a pessimist, I guess, but the world is not all bad, and I'm not so angsty anymore. I think.]
  • plot twist! [I don't know what this means.]
  • read to children at a bookstore [Hmm, not as intrigued by this anymore.]
  • be a princess for a day [Yes please!]
So that's that. My old bucket list. I think I've actually changed quite a lot in the space of one year. This list feels like its 50% another person, not me. I saw a comic the other day, with something along the lines of "I'm not where I want to be, but I'm also not where I used to be, and I'm glad for that," and I think that's quite true. Whatever may come, I'm interested to see how I'll be different at the end of it. ◊