The Reason for my Difficulty
I opened my locker to gather my books to go home. Behind me I could hear people whispering. I knew exactly what they were saying.
I looked inside my locker, the center of attention. Papers strewn everywhere and books smashed in corners. I grab what I need and close my locker as soon as possible.
I sit on the sidewalk after school to wait for my mom. My sister comes and sits next to me while we wait. Linda walks by, with her usual smirk.
"Chloe, why is it that your sister manages to be neat like everyone else, but you can't even keep your books from being destroyed in the mess?"
My sister stands up and argues with her. My mind starts to drift. I start to think of ways to be more neat. I could get a shelf or a trash can or maybe even-
I come back from the clouds when I hear my mother yelling at me to get in the car. I jump in and we drive off.
I begin to tell my mother about my day. As we drive, I see a large bird. I point it out and think if the kind of bird it could be. Maybe a hawk? It couldn't be a crane, the legs weren't long enough.
"Chloe? Are you going to finish your story?"
I could not remember what I had told her. I finished what she repeated back to me and we arrived home.
Immediately I began on homework. Math was easy; I finished it quickly. But it took me ages to complete my writing assignment. We were told to copy a poem 5 times, in order to memorize it. I took an hour to do so, for a 10 line poem.
Once homework was done, I was told to practice my music for 30 minutes. I loved my music but I did not love to practice. I played a song and only 1 minute went by. Time seemed to go painfully slow. Why did this seem to hurt every time?
This was my normal for a long time. I was easily distracted. I couldn't focus. I was a mess. I couldn't work. It wasn't until my mom discovered something. She didn't tell me what but she started having me do things differently. When I did them her way, it wasn't so hard. My life got better.
Now I know my ADHD is not juat a label. It is an integral part of me that I can use to my advantage, once I work around it. Changes mean a different routine. A routine that allows me to work despite my issues. I am grateful for the tools I was given, that I use now with my clients.
I can't stop the thoughts,
that whirs through me every other day.
that was nurtured by my sub-conscious
has now become part of what I breathe,
I can't sit without thinking about it,
I can't write without worrying about it,
to tell myself it's nothing,
just a silly thought
that should leave my head
any moment now,
but I soon worry that, perhaps,
the thought came in my head
as a memory,
of something done,
of something I may do,
The stress overwhelms me
and controls me,
that soon enough
I don't know which thoughts,
my mind focuses on what I'm stressed about
creates its own 'memories' of the
which makes me believe that
it was a memory
or at least,
The stress of needing to double check,
that the power is off,
that the window is close,
that the doors are locked,
that I didn't miss something,
that I didn't say that.
So many things I need to re-check,
in my head.
Going over conversations as to make sure I wasn't rude,
going over so many ''what if's''
while my mind creates more worries,
more thoughts to stress about,
It's an Obsession,
That memory from three years old
That day when I walked into a crystal shop called “stone philosophy”… I was drawn to a green amazonite crystal ball. I brought it to the store owner, the lady said: “it’s weird that as you are holding the stone, it seems like you don’t want to be connected with it, something made you afraid of connecting that part of you with it. Think of a number.” “Three” I said. “There’s something happened to you when you were three years old. Do you remember?” “I don’t” I said….
But what really happened when I was three years old?
I was doing “jumping-box” with a group of neighbor kids I took as friends. I was having a lot of fun, playing and jumping around the neighborhood with kids about my age. Suddenly an older sister-like girl, that I looked upon, talked with me in a sharp scolding tone: “Why are you carrying a milk feeding bottle.” I was caught in stupor, feeling speechless and surprised… what’s wrong with me carry a milk bottle? I carried it with me all the time wherever I go… It’s a big glass bottle my mom filled it full with diluted powered milk whenever it’s emptied. But now as someone who I admired and looked upon suddenly questioning me about the very existence of it, I didn’t know how to respond… “How old are you” ,The elder sister-like girl questioned me again. “Three” I answered with a soft voice, still feeling quite uneasy, since all the kids’ attentions were drawn upon the milk bottle that I was holding against my chest. “Look at Lulu, he’s three years too, but he doesn’t carry any milk bottle any more.” She pointed at another kid next to me, that kid nodded. My face was burning, I felt everyone’s eyes were staring at me in a questioning way… I felt very uneasy…embarrassed, even belittled or humiliated... even though I don’t quite understand the reasons behind, why I have to be the one being picked upon, or why I was carrying the bottle, or what is wrong with me carrying it, or why I cannot carry it no more… I just felt that I was castrated, ostracized out of the group… I quickly ran back home.
I told my Mom that I no longer want to carry the milk bottle no more. Mom was in the mid of folding the laundry on the bed, with a gentle and soft tone, she asked: “what’s wrong with carrying the milk bottle”… I couldn’t answer it… just the same way I couldn’t defend myself in front of the scolding tone from the elder sister girl, or confronting all the staring questioning eyes of all the other neighbor kids……
The other day, I suddenly remembered the question from the Crystal shop lady again, “What really happened to me at three years old?” I asked my mom, she said: “Well… that year when you were at the family reunion gathering on the Spring Festival day, you were having a lot of fun playing at grandma’s house… your father suddenly said it’s time to leave, but you were having too much fun playing, you didn’t want to go. So Dad pulled out leather belt, started whipping you… you were very scared and started crying…”
Did it really happened? I asked myself, I don’t really remember… or maybe I do… the fear and scare of seeing Dad pulling out belt and about to whip me… Not too often, but often enough for me to understand that needs of showing absolute respect and obedience to Dad’s order, the order of our house. But most often such military-fashion physical discipline only being conducted inside our house, I guess that was the only time happened to be in another place, rather than within our place.
Even until today I still have dreams that my Dad beating me up again with the same belt… Well… I did try to hide that wide brown leather belt once... That day, when my parents were knocking on the door, instead of opening the door right away, my first response was to hide the belt… So I spent quite few minutes searching for a spot to hide the belt, before I finally opened the door. And when the door was finally opened… Dad was very very mad, but he couldn’t find the belt, so he found a much slimmer leather belt to whip me with it.... Was that my fear of him hitting me, or that my nature in responding to people’s order in a habitual delayed manner, or that my apprehension of my slowness in responding actions had given me a sense of worry and fear of being punished due to it, because while I was waiting for my physical self to put it together into action to respond to the urgent order of opening the door, it would be already too late, and a physical punishment would be already unavoidable…. the time is wasting and Dad was waiting even more impatiently outside, therefore, I felt the desperate urge and despair that I have to hide the belt in the end, so that somehow miraculously I could avoid being punished? since I was already too late in answering the door??… That day’s whipping was very very harsh and painful, even though the belt was much slimmer.
So I still have dreams that Dad needs to whip me once a while, or that I felt the yearning or urges that I need to be whipped once a while… In those dreams, it felt more like a routine that the whipping has to be done, and that’s how my life supposed to be… It creates a momentum to help me move onward with my life.
Yet, my heaviest memory of childhood, was not that from three years old, but more of the mental and emotional pains of being hazed or bullied, in school, in school’s dormitory by classmates, or in swimming classes, by my swimming team teammates or the coach herself... Or the unwarranted emotional abuses in languages from my aunts (my mother side of family)…… Years after years, ever since three years old, all the way till college years…… Everybody was there, at least it felt like the whole world around me was just standing there and watching: my classmates, friends, teachers, coaches, the head of the school, even my own family members… were all there watching, silently; seemed like everybody knew exactly what’s been happening, but the schools’ authority did not stand up for me; the whole big family had witnessed what’s happening within the family, yet no one dared to speak up for me either… I wonder whether that scene when my 3-years-old self got caught being whipped in front of that whole family was the trigger point to open up all the negative energies being charged within that house, or within the whole society, and all the evils and demons within each’s twisted and contorted consciousness, were being encouraged to vent upon my young tender non-judgmental yet deeply wounded heart. But what’s even worse than the combination of all the wounds, cut and knives they had repetitively stabbed into my heart was the whole family and whole society’s deadly silence…
As I grow older, I am slowly learning to forgive each of them… The scars are still there, but I felt more like a third person observing from outside of the picture frame, patiently listening and observing it, and sending compassion and love, to the unmendable sorrowful image, and to everyone that were suffering within the same image. Each one of us in that memory frame, each one of their hearts might have been wounded in some way, I might not understand them back then, I might never be able to understand them, but I shall still able to send them my unconditional love and compassion.. just the same way I sent love to the little me back then… I felt like I and all my loving guides and angels have left fragments of loving reminders back then in different spots here and there.. I should have been able to feel it back then, but I was too much entrenched within my own sufferings, to fully comprehend it, and feeling it impartially… But now as I grow older, all the sorrows and pains from the past made me love the present me even more dearly, and appreciate each tender moment and feelings from people and animals around me even more.
We are all coming into this moment of life with past wounds and scars, but that doesn’t stop us from loving others, and most importantly, loving the self and cherish this moment of life even more.
You diagnosed me with blunt certainty.
Every session we had always came back to it.
Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety.
It was if I weren’t allowed to have feelings outside of that.
To just be sad, angry, or feel invalidated.
Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety.
This word, in fact, made me feel invalidated even more.
I was put in this box by you and nothing was independent of it.
Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety.
I finally had enough of your mental health trap.
So I left to not be imprisoned by,
Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety.
The Woman Wore Combat Boots
For ten years I wore the same shoes, two basic colors; black or khaki.
They were heavy, sometimes cumbersome, but my feet were never cold or damp.
I treated those boots with respect, when they got wet I would dry them with my hair dryer, when we were in the bush, they were ignored, because we had other things to worry about: like staying alive.
They got muddy, wet, uncomfortably soggy, but I still had my feet!
Having feet and boots are important when you have to haul ass in another direction.
Don’t get me wrong: I loved my M- 60 sub- machine weapon, it saved my life too, but if my feet couldn’t carry me out of danger, my M- 60 could kill anyone and did!
So I guess my boots were my armor and my M-60 was my support, either way;
I wouldn’t be here today without either of them!
But be informed:
A woman that fought in Vietnam, and lived with Nazi’s in Berlin Germany, and served with pride is forgotten.
We come home broken, our minds are in flight or fight.
I thank God for my feet, cuz I still have them, although they hurt at times, as far as flight; well that becomes a habit.
Women- really brave women, they cuss worse than men, they put people in their place when they walk on their toes, but if by chance you love a woman that carries this history with her;
Be kind, love her when she needs it; don’t make promise:ever!
And you probably won’t even notice she’ll never truly love you,
Because she wore combat boots, walked through tons of mud, took care of her feet:
Because she’ll someday take a walk, with you or within you!
Depends on what weapons you like!!!!
And you really need to know how to use them, women aren’t show and tell, they’re all show!!!
Remember she’s about God and Country!!!
Then you might be safe!!!