The Brighter Side: What’s up, Doc? – Part 1

I’ve been in and out of therapist’s offices for most of my life.

As you already know, I have chronic depression. I was 8 years old when I went to a therapist for the first time and since then, I’ve been with two more.

I recently posted another tidbit about my childhood and at the end I mentioned a new feature coming on called the Brighter Side where I will be putting all the happier posts about my life.

So if you need a break from the bad memories and need a shot of happiness (heh..penis), this is where you should come from now on.

The couch was soft. It was made of some kind of supple leather and seemed to swallow your body as you sunk into its grasp. On the walls were metal cut-outs of birds, some perched stoically above her various plaques and commemorations and some where caught in mid-flight, their wings expanding over the golden wallpaper. I imagined them in motion, flitting around the room and tweeting a sweet tune,spreading their metallic wings over a flat sky.

A woman with porcelain skin walked into the room and all the birds grew still. She offered me a disarming smile and sat down in the chair across from me. She was in the late 30’s and it had begun to show around her eyes but she was still a gorgeous women with short, raven hair. I waited for her to speak, I didn’t want to be rude and since she was the professional, I wanted her to go first.

“How are you?” she asked.

I sighed, surrendering to the calm tone of her voice and leaned my head back to stare at the ceiling. It somehow made things easier to talk about.

“Not doing so great, doc.” I replied without looking at her.

“Why?” She leaned forward with a inquisitive look on her face.

I let the floodgates open. I spoke about my parents, my memories of my childhood and my recent emotional turmoil. I even spoke about Her for a while. About her little mannerisms and anecdotes about our time together. I told her about our friendship and the unfortunate way it ended. It was the first time I opened up to someone about my own vainly hidden emotions and the downward spiral that tore a piece of me out with it. I told her things that I never told anyone. By the time I was done, our session was over. She smiled warmly and requested another session with me. I agreed. It felt good to vent my emotions like that.

Humans, as a species, have always naturally feared being different. Ancient humans that were different from their tribe were usually cast out to die alone. Succumbing to peer pressure is a survival mechanism built-in to our instincts. So we wall ourselves off as not to seem weak or fragile. We try to hold it all in because we are afraid to let people see that side of us until finally we either blow up at someone for no reason or we fall into depression and that’s natural. But it can’t work like that anymore.

My therapy, including my writing, helps me because I get to talk to someone and vent all my anxieties and fears and frustration. Being able to talk to someone and be completely honest about your feelings is an invaluable luxury. I call it a luxury because people don’t realize how much it can help them and a lot of people don’t have that.

So before you decide to keep quiet and not say something for the hundredth time, just say it. Be honest with your emotions on the matter and tell people what you think. No one can scorn you for an opinion. I should know. I’m the one in therapy.


The Best Training: A childhood – Reality

Noodle had never been so scared in her entire life. Her mother had left earlier that afternoon with her girlfriends and it was just shy of one o’ clock now. Her father was taking it bad. At first, he had been merely worried about his wife but as the night went on and his bottle got emptier, he had devolved into a senseless anger. He raved on about her supposed infidelity and spouted accusations, as if he was not guilty of the same crime.

Noodle heard the whispers about her father’s disloyalty before her grandmother set her straight.¬† She sat Noodle down and with a sigh, began to explain how people had been seeing her father with another woman, on street corners and restaurants and about the strange emails being sent to her father’s address. Of course, Noodle didn’t believe it. She had been with her father almost all of her life and of all the heinous things she could think of him doing, infidelity was not one of them.

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and Noodle was in her room with her headphones on and her mind focused on the computer game in front of her. She was happy. In games, she found a peace she had never known. She didn’t have to be Noodle in her life on the screen. She could be a dragon-slaying, gun-toting, kick ass femme-fatale who didn’t come from thousands of nights trying to hum herself to sleep while her parents screamed at each other.

Noodle was halfway into a blissful daze when a sound from outside her headphones drew her attention. She stepped out into the hallway and turned left, walking to the source of the noise. “HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!?” a shriek like a dying scream echoed down the corridor. Noodle stopped. Her mother’s voice had always had that debilitating effect. But despite the fear, her curiosity egged her on. She took another step and slowly pushed the door of the study open. Her mother was crying. In front of her was a white screen filled with text. Noodle didn’t think before she joined her mother, wrapping both arms around her in a symbol of comfort. Her mother sobbed for a few more minutes then sighed. “Noodle, baby, I need you to go back to your room. Okay?”.

For the next hour, her mother screamed into her phone. Her father, trapped in a meeting in another city, tried his best to evade her fears but all his defenses crumbled when she quoted lines from the original email. Noodle’s heart broke with each phrase and passage, every time her mother yelled “love” or “sex” or “money”, she could feel her trust and love for her father wither away. When her mother’s voice echoed down the corridor in a single phrase “divorce”, she couldn’t bear it anymore. She ran. Past her mother’s screams and out the door, away from her broken family and broken heart.

Now her mother was getting her revenge. Her father, in the last room down the hallway ,smashed another bottle against a wall¬† Noodle cringed then listened further. She was waiting for the sound of the front door opening, a sound she both prayed for and dreaded. Prayed for because she knew that only her mother could calm the raging storm in her father’s heart but she dreaded his reaction to her arrival. She had seen way things could escalate between them.

Convictions and defenses were shot at one another, foul words covered with shards of glass meant only to hurt the person they supposedly cared about were spat with vitriol. Explosions rocked down the hallway and bombarded Noodle’s ears, even penetrating the thick walls of cement and sound she used to block them out. Her parents had been arguing for the better part of an hour and there was no signs of them stopping. Every minute their voices only grew louder and more vicious, she wouldn’t be surprised if her mother had pulled a sharp object on her father… again.

The voices continued for another hour before they settled into quieter barbs she could barely hear. Noodle sighed. She knew that it wasn’t anywhere near finished but she hoped that they would get a good night’s sleep and discuss the matter further without liter’s of alcohol in their systems. The grumbles continued until they dissolved into silence. Noodle put down her headphones and slunk off to bed.

Chaos erupted from outside. Her father’s voice had become raw noise, almost inseparable from an animal’s scream. Her mother’s screams were choked and muffled, as if someone had forced their hand over her mouth. Reacting to her instincts, Noodle burst into the hallway and stared at the closed-door where the noises were emanating from. Her mother’s muffled screams were drowned out by the animistic calls of her husband. She had to do something but she couldn’t move. She was paralyzed. Sinking to her knees, all she could was join the chorus of screams. The femme-fatale was gone. This was her reality.

I’m sorry I took so long, but this has been plaguing my mind for a while now. I originally posted these stories as a way to honestly tell you what I’ve been through but recently I realized that this is a sort of therapy for me. I write this down because it feels good to get this off my chest and telling it through Noodle allows me to remain slightly objective as I walk through old memories.

But I don’t want my blog to be just about pain, I also want it to be about finding your happiness in both the known and unknown. So the next post will be a new series called “The Brighter Side” and will detail all the good stuff going on for me right now.

Why I hate tragedies

We use to read stories in high school. Unfortunately the types of stories they gave us always left a bad taste in my mouth. Othello, Romeo and Juliet and The Animal Farm, they always gave us the same damn tragedy’s.

I grew to despise tragic stories because they often had predictable endings. Either someone died, they lost their dream or were betrayed by the people they once trusted. They focused on good, honest folk with a flaw or two and pecked at the tiny cracks until they became crevasses so deep that the person often fell into those black pits never to escape. I hated how they made us love someone and then casually took them away, as if we had no say in their lives.

Hero arrives, hero goes through trials, hero dies. Rinse and repeat until oblivion. But the point of the stories was always the ending. What happened to the journey? What happened to making new friends, losing old ones, fighting our demons and winning or losing the small battles. I could go to the end of a tragedy and read the last chapter and be done and dusted within ten minutes. And why is the ending always so important? I believe that if the middle of the book is good then the ending should round things off like a tiny dessert topping off an excellent meal.

I can understand the premise of tragedy though. No other genre expresses the finite-ness of life and the infinite potential within humans to overcome adversity, not always in the way we think but in the way that satisfies the character so much that readers have no choice but to be satisfied as well.

I guess, without sounding too cliche, to each his own. If you love tragedy’s then that’s your slice of pie. Me? I think I’ll stick to bittersweet horror and adventure. But what about you?

What genre’s do you love/hate?

Life behind the wheel

My father, while a decent man, always had a problem with drinking. He still does despite his waning constitution.

When I was 8, he and my mother were still into the party scene because they were still young, having had me out of wedlock. They would go to parties with their supposed friends and drink, and since my mother worried about what her mother would think, they would often take me with them.

Sometimes they would argue, sometimes they just had a few drinks then watched the rugby. A lot of the time they would sing karaoke until the late hours of the night. Those were the worst because they couldn’t sing worth shit.

But I could handle the singing and the arguing. What I couldn’t handle was the way home. We only lived a few corners away but my father was always so deep in his cups that he could probably drown on air by the time he got behind the wheel. I often asked my mother to let us walk home but she always said it would be fine. It never was.

Dad would swerve from side to side on the road like a roller coaster. Mom would screech at him to drive straight and I would be in the back, clutching the broken safety belt as if it would do its original function even though the thing was snapped in half. It was back then, sick to my stomach of worry and fear, clutching a useless safety belt with my parents hollering at each other in the front seats, that I thought I was going to die. It was the first time I realized I could die.

Now I can’t stand sitting in cars without a laptop or something to distract me.

Blogging 201: Day 1 – What do I want?

Blogging 201 has started!! Yay! I think that’s what most of us said when we received our first assignment.

Today’s task was to set 3 goals for ourselves and post them online. How you may ask? By answering the hardest question known to woman, man and child:

What do you want?

Horrifying, isn’t it?

I like to think of myself as a very indecisive person on matters I haven’t experienced yet. For instance, I will often wonder what’s good on a restaurant’s menu if I’ve never been there before, and often enough, I’ll choose something which is the most familiar to me. Like a meat platter.

So, in the interest of not wasting your time and mine, I will commit to three goals chosen at random and not change them over and over again.

  1. I want to post more short stories and thoughts on life, at least 2 or 3 times a week.
  2. I want to write more personal stories about life and to open up a bit more about my personal life
  3. I want to try to get more comments on my writing, not that I don’t appreciate all the great support I’m getting from Evolving Rumination and J. Spade (thank you guys!), but I would enjoy more feedback.

Also, I was thinking about putting on some videos of spoken poetry, but I am finding it difficult to get an affordable camera for that.

On another note, I’m sorry! I haven’t been feeling well for a while now and my writing has suffered for it. I’m still trying to work up the nerve to continue the first draft of my novel and sometimes I think about starting a new one from scratch but I have to suppress that urge. I have to finish something to learn from it.

Until next time, on Dragon Ball– Wait! Sorry, wrong send-off!

The Social Game

Lenny loved people watching.

His favorite time to watch them was at the lunch rush, people pushing past each other in a mad dash for food, some would drop all their things and be forced to crouch down in the middle of a stampede of people, risking limb and sometimes even life, to save their work.

Lenny would sit above the villa square with a soda in one hand and watch the people running around like headless chickens. He hollered behind his window as the people moved with a sort of skipping half-run, he laughed when someone fell over and he nearly died when people tripped over their fallen companions. It was like watching dominoes fall over, one person would crouch or trip, then two people would crouch over him and more people would trip over them. In no time at all, it would be a huge dog-pile of writhing humans with one unfortunate victim under them all.

It was noon on a Tuesday that something odd happened. Lenny was sitting in his usual spot waiting for the chaos to commence. He counted down the seconds on his big grandfather clock like a time bomb. When the clock read Five minutes passed and no one came outside, Lenny was puzzled. Half an hour later and he was annoyed. By the time lunch finally ended, Lenny was furious! Where were all the people? Where was all the usual hustle and bustle and chaos that made his day that much better? Where was the madness?!

After a few minutes of quiet ranting, Lenny huffed and dismissed that day as a freak occurrence. Maybe they had to stay in for lunch because of extra work. Maybe their superiors were tired of them always being late back from lunch and had cancelled today’s as punishment. Yes! That explained everything. Today was just a fluke, tomorrow would be better! He nearly giggled with anticipation.

But the next day was the same. No one went to the restaurants or fast food chains, no one even took the occasional smoke break. Lenny almost screamed out his frustration! Again he had been denied! What was going on?!

For 2 more days, Lenny was bereaved of his favorite past-time. Each day he grew more restless than the last. He had stopped shaving after the second day, he hadn’t gone home in over 3 days, not leaving his window for more than a few moments to use the urinal, after the third day, he no longer used the bathroom at all. His once pale skin had turned to a sickly tinge like curdled milk, his clothes hung ragged from his thin body and his eyes resembled fine bloodshot rubies. Why? Where was everyone? Why weren’t they outside?

By the fifth day, Lenny had had enough. He walked outside into the square overlooked by the four adjacent buildings and into the one opposite his own office. Lenny ascended to the second floor. He opened the door and entered only to stop in puzzlement. Everyone was dead. People, his people, were strewn all over the floor. Some were still in their chairs, others had fallen out, some had even died standing. All of them with faces as calm as Hindu cows. He was so shocked that he almost didn’t register the fact that all of them were holding particular items in their hands. He squatted down beside woman’s corpse and pried the thin plastic thing still clutched almost desperately from her cold hands. He flipped the cool material a few times in his hands before settling it into his palm. It was an Iphone. His curiosity peaked, he flicked his finger across the black screen and was rewarded with an image of candy-like objects flashed across the screen in various colors. “Candy Crush?” he said, eyebrows furrowed together.