Tag Archives: mental health

Parenting done right

Why don’t parents understand that in their desires for their kids to be something great, they’re ruining them? That in their wants, their children are getting trampled and damaged.

I’ve seen too many children sacrifice their mental health just for the sake of their parents. I’ve seen friends cry on school staircases because they felt like disappointments. I’ve had so many friends cry on my shoulders because I was the only form of comfort they had. What I didn’t understand was why did I have to be someone else’s comfort when I myself was a volcano waiting to erupt.

I don’t understand what is the point of sacrificing one’s very existence to give life to someone else. Isn’t that mental suicide. Why ruin your life just to make sure someone else is satisfied?

It’s like you’re willing to give up your freedom just because you’re scared of a war, which will erupt regardless of the appeasement. The British did that with Adolf Hitler. They gave him what he wanted, and he still opted for more. Sometimes some things are just inevitable. You cannot stall certain things just because you want them to stop. You can avoid a war for as long as you like, but one day it will consume you. So, might as well pick up your sword and charge.

Maybe when you don’t have a choice, you tend to choose between wars that will cause the least amount of damage and in this case, the self-damage that is caused has lesser destruction compared to the outer war.

It’s better and easier to keep everything inside, nod your head, and smile than to explain the destruction and eruptions going on inside.

But my point is parents need to understand that their children aren’t made of clay. They can’t just alter their children the way they want them to. They’ll ruin the beauty that nature has bestowed upon them.

It’s like forcing a plant to grow in a certain way, with certain nutrients, under certain circumstances, like an experiment and then complaining that the plant is ruined. You can’t force an apple tree to grow into a mango tree and you can’t force a mango tree to give lemons.

Every child is special and instead of altering these children, it’s time to accept them for who they are.

Einstein once said, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Everyone is a genius in their own unique way. There’s no point of forcing uniqueness into people, you’ll only damage them. Let things take their own course. Let people grow on their own. Let them mend with their own antidotes. Let them search for their own cures. Let them heal however they can. Just be supportive. Don’t push your children away because they aren’t what you wanted them to be. Teach your kids to be courageous but kind. Strong but courteous. Let them grow without expectations. Cherish them so they could cherish existence. It’s hard to break the cycle, but a little effort can save generations.

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Giving into failure…

Do you ever become so tired of fighting that you willingly give into failure? You stab yourself in the back so no one else would have the chance to do it. You fall to your knees, clench your teeth as tightly as you can and scream until your own voice gives up on you and then you give up on yourself.

It’s like you accept failure even before you try. You give into defeat even before you start the war. You lower your weapons and your guard and wait for that blow and when it hits, it knocks the breath out of you. You become so helpless that no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to rise. It’s like the ground has wrapped its arms around you and is pulling you down (and in this case, it’s definitely not gravity).

Why do we do this? Why do we let doubt cloud our judgments? Why do we accept defeat when the outcomes are infinite? Maybe because the thought of losing is worse than the actual loss. Maybe because it’s better to be prepared for the worse; it hurts less. Maybe we’re actually scared of winning, scared of not knowing what will happen. Maybe it’s the unknown that hurts. If we knew and we were a hundred percent sure that we would lose, it wouldn’t cause too much damage. But not knowing and having that tiny glint of hope is what makes us ache at the end.

But the thing no one has ever told me is that fighting isn’t always about winning. It’s about falling, crashing, bleeding and then rising and reforming. The bravest warriors don’t come out of war wearing a crown and a silk cloak. They come out in pieces. In ruins. In wrecks with tears spilling down their cheeks. They come out with wounds as big as the sky and cuts as deep as the ocean.

They’re torn and broken, but they manage to keep themselves together. These warriors don’t always win every war, but they make every war count. They learn from their fall and pick themselves up no matter how badly injured they are. They strike and plunge. Hit and ache, but they don’t give up. They find new ways. New paths. New strategies. They learn from defeat and fight until they have no option than to rise.

This is how life is. You won’t always win. You won’t always get your way. You’ll fall, just as you will rise. You’ll drown but that’s the only way you’ll learn how to float. It’s hard. I know. But the next time life drags you down and threatens you with all of its pawns. Smile. Look it in the eye and say, “bring it on.”

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Commitment

I have a phobia of elevators and of tight spaces. I’m also scared of animals and sometimes of thunder… and of being alone and the list goes on. But the one thing that makes me cage my heart behind thick metal bars is commitment. I’m even terrified of the word, like saying it out loud will bound me to some sort of spell. The word is like a curse, it’s tabooed.

I don’t want to break so I won’t join the pieces of me that are already broken. You can’t break something that’s not fixed. I’ll ignore things or avoid them, hoping they’ll get better on their own (they usually get worse). And I find myself drowning in the same ocean I was so desperately trying to escape.

In this whole process the broken pieces I’m trying to avoid, tend to prick me like thorns. I try to cover up my wounds with smiles as fake as unicorns. I will clench my teeth until they tear, but I won’t tell anyone what’s bothering me. I could be dying, but I won’t say a word. I’m wired all wrong, and I don’t know how to untangle myself.

I’m not scared of the action of commitment, more of the outcome. I guess I’m so scared of making the wrong choices that I’ve decided to not make a choice at all. I don’t want to get hurt, so I refuse to love. If I don’t love I won’t break. And if I don’t break, I’ll be strong. Easy Logic.

But no matter how hard I try, sometimes my feelings leak through me like a small crack in a dam, and I can’t hold it in anymore, and I explode and ache in all the wrong places.

To escape this cycle. I blame other people- my parents, siblings, friends, God, destiny, fate, my ancestors for not fighting off the British any sooner. Doesn’t make sense I know, but it makes sense in my mind.

The worst thing about all this is that in this whole process I tend to hurt those around me too. I break others in an attempt to heal. But in the end, all that’s left are just bruises that leave scars so deep no smiles can cover them up.

In my plea to avoid commitment I tend to avoid all the perks that come with it. Including the satisfaction of at least trying or the fruitful outcome or other open doors.

But I’m learning not to limit myself. I’m learning to let go. Learning to sew myself and create a quilt of soft memories. I’m learning to lean on commitment. To understand that bad things happen not because I’m bad, but because this is life and I am a human and humans tend to break, just as they tend to reform.

It’s hard though.

You’ll have to scratch yourself raw.

Crack yourself open, and you will cry.

You will bleed.

Ache.

But that’s how you’ll heal.

Patch up those holes, stitch your wounds, and mend your soul. You might do it wrong. You might miss a few steps. You might hurt yourself even more. But that’s how you learn. That’s how you grow. That’s how you rise.

So darling, stop over thinking.  Stop giving into “ifs” and “maybes”. Stop ruining your happiness because you’ve let your fears grow inside of you. Stop comparing yourself to other people: you have a light in you that people ache to touch. Stop listening to other voices because that voice in you has a melody no one can achieve.

Breathe. And live.

Feeling empty…

It’s just one of those days where you feel empty, almost hollow. Like a part of you is missing or is yanked out by the events taking place around you. You’re trying to make sense of everything, but you can’t seem to do that because everything is just mashed together in one big pile. If you try to sort things out that pile will crush you beneath its weight.

In between this mess you’ll only suffocate. So, you leave things as they are in hopes that miraculously things will get better. But they never ever do. And that pile, of all those things you’re trying to ignore, just expands like gas molecules and you’re left wondering where you went wrong. You find so many ‘loopholes’ ‘ifs’ and ‘maybes’ that your mind starts swirling and the road ahead starts to fade away, and you lose focus. You see nothing but emptiness in a future that was supposed to be as bright as the sun. You see a dead end in a road you fought so hard to take.

I hate having these moments because I always end up confusing myself even more, and I make irrational decisions just to get out of this phase. It temporarily works but I end up drowning myself even more.

I was so lost in my thoughts that today I waited twenty minutes for an elevator before realizing I hadn’t even pressed the buttons. I was so dozed out that I took the wrong train. I crossed a red light and took the wrong exit. Literally.

The feeling drains all the energy out of you. It makes you feel like a useless dried out battery.

Picture from Pexel

Comfort of a ghost

I’m sitting on the wooden benches, in Astoria Blvd, waiting for the Manhattan-bound N train. It’s so cold outside that vapor comes out of my mouth every time I take a breath. The tips of my fingers are frozen, and I blow into them every five minutes to keep them warm.

It’s snowing and raining at the same time. My shoes are wet, and I can feel my cold socks cling to my skin, but I can’t feel my toes. The coldness rattles up to my ankles and it’s slowly clawing up to my calf.

For a moment I stare at the rusty, old tracks and there’s a voice in the back of my head, telling me to jump on them as soon as the train comes, but the voice fades away beneath the stress of tomorrow.

I try to focus on the long walk home. It’s getting dark and because of the slippery roads, the buses will take forever. I’ll get home faster if I jog. I don’t have an umbrella, maybe I can buy one on the way, but I don’t have cash; I forgot my wallet at home. The thought makes me curse myself, and the harsh voice in my head scolds me for being careless.

I lean back and divert my attention to the Tri-borough bridge. The cars passing beneath the train station, with their colorful red and white lights, vanish in the fog and reappear close to the blue bridge; but all I can see are blurry outlines and flickering lights.

The day didn’t go well; not like the other days are any different. But today it felt like someone was suffocating me. Like someone had lowered the pressure of the oxygen in the air. Like something heavy was sitting on my chest. Nothing went well. I failed two of my classes, and I won’t be graduating on time. The thought doesn’t bother me, what bothers me is having to explain all this to my dad. What will I tell him? His hopes are bounded to me and my siblings, and my failing is like stabbing him in the chest. Things at home aren’t well either. My parents have issues of their own. It’s like I’m forced into these two wars and ironically, I’m losing both of them. I’m at that point, where everything feels like a burden. No matter how much effort I put into something, I always fail, and I’m tired of failing. I’m tired of trying. Tired of just existing.

I’m in pain, and it’s the type of pain that can’t be explained. That can’t be put into words; no matter what language I use.

The train comes after half an hour, and the walk home isn’t as long as I imagine it to be. Maybe because I run half the way, splashing water all over my clothes.

At home, no one asks me any questions, and I am grateful. Everyone is too occupied with their own issues, that my little problem seems like a minor inconvenience. My blotchy cheeks and stuffy nose are the result of the rain- that’s what everyone thinks, and I don’t correct them. I could easily break down but besides “get over it”, “have faith,” or “I’ve been through worse,” I won’t get any other form of comfort.

I change my clothes and go straight to bed. I have an English paper and a lab report due, but I don’t care. Nothing seems important. My mind is messed up, and I’ll probably break down crying. I just want to sleep. But as soon as I close my eyes, tears as big as raindrops cascade down my cheeks. Searing pain is ripping through my chest and it hurts so bad that I can’t put it into words. I’m wheezing, and I can’t seem to breathe. I want to yank my heart out of my chest and squeeze it until it explodes. A throbbing headache spills through my skull, and I find myself questioning God.

But as soon as I close my eyes. Hands as soft as feathers touch my forehead, and I feel an odd, unexplainable warmth spread through my body. Like someone has wrapped me around in a nice tepid blanket. Like all the negative thoughts in my mind are caged behind bars of tranquility.

“It’ll all be okay,” a voice as warm as the sun whispers into my earlobe and I can feel the warmth of someone’s breath. The voice reverberates in my mind, and I find myself repeating those same words.

For a moment there’s comfort. A one I’ve never felt before, but as soon as I open my eyes there’s no one around me, but I feel like I’m being watched. Like someone, invisible is hovering over my head. I’m too tired to think. Too tired to comprehend.

I close my eyes, and I feel someone massaging my scalp. Someone is sitting next to me on the bed and is whispering “everything is going to be okay.” And for some odd reason, I believe that voice. I feel an odd ecstasy take a hold of my body, easing every cell rushing through my veins. It doesn’t take long for me to fall into a deep, dreamless slumber.

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