Since Thanksgiving my relationship with my family has been a bit strenuous. The main culprit was my sister, but because no family member publicly sided with me or even told her that it was not a way to deal with family members, I took it as they also shared her feelings towards my Significant Other (S.O.). This feeling has caused me to distance myself from everyone. If you have a relationship with my family, then I stay away from you. The disadvantage is that most of my friends are somewhat connected to my family. It is easier to hang out with acquaintances now, but sometimes they ask about my niece or my sister and I close up. I do not know how to explain to people that I am ashamed of them at the moment. I love them, but I want them far away from me. I am also afraid that people will assume that I am a bad person because my family treats me badly. Why would you treat someone dear to you badly unless they are bad people? I miss my family, but for the moment we do not talk. I am afraid that the disconnect that we are experiencing now will affect our friendship. I wish I had a guide to navigate that situation.
This is my 4th semester in grad school. Next semester, Fall 2017, should be my last, and I will be a proud recipient of a MBA concentration finance. I take online classes, two classes per semester and I work full-time (Ouf!). That leaves me with little-to-no social life, an eating disorder, stress level off the charts, and a ‘happy’ problem (by happy I mean 3 or 4 ciders a week).
I sit at work for long hours. I decide to go to the gym. I pay for a gym membership that I never use. I went to the gym once this year. I do not like moving. I eat a 3 courses meal for lunch. I complain a lot. I drink 3 to 4 ciders per week (the calories add up). I decide to eat healthy. I buy fruits and vegetables. I eat them. I do not buy more. I look up healthy recipes. I never cook using them. I stopped eating ice cream at home. I stress eat churros. I stress eat tempura ice cream. I eat late at night while doing homework. I stay up late doing homework. I sleep less than 6 hours per night. I have no social life. I text everyone instead of calling. I make plans to hang out. I meet up with friends. Most times I cancel plans with friends. I feel bad about my social life. I go on Facebook and Instagram and feel worse about myself. I stress out that everyone in my class is more intelligent than me. I work twice harder to catch up to them. I stay up even later to study. I get tips to lower stress for friends and classmates. I use tips and it lowers my stress during the day. During the evening, my stress level skyrockets because I think that I missed important deadlines. I stress cry. I complain. I start seeing a therapist. I think about quitting therapy. I no longer enjoy my work.
That is how I cope with grad school and work full time. Any tips?
This past Thanksgiving, my sister dis-invited my significant other (S.O.) to the dinner that was being held at her place. She sent a text message, stating that her baby-daddy did not want him to join them for dinner because of what he did two years ago.
Two years ago, my S.O. was working retail, and we had to leave dinner early because he was working that same night. On that day, he was tired, we had a fight on the way to the dinner, and he was a bit upset and uncomfortable. My family did not know of that nor did they try to understand what was going on.
I always dreaded going to my sister’s place. I do not feel comfortable there, and neither her and her significant other tried to make me or my significant other at ease. We always feel like strangers at that place. Additionally, she had never accepted him into the family. She never tried talking to him and would always voice her discomfort with him. Even my niece acts up when he is around. However, when my sister needs his help, she can be the most lovely person, whether it is for work referral, car trouble, fetch her food, or to show how diverse she can be.
This Thanksgiving, I stood up for my relationship and said that I would not accept how my family treats my S.O. It was not the first time they had kept him out of family reunions. Before I played along but this time I realized that things would not get better if I do not do or say something. I decided not to go to the dinner, and I also reminded them that it was a family day, yet they decided to keep him and I (supposedly family) out of the celebration. This time I had enough. I said what was on my mind and I was resentful, not because of the dis-invite, but because my own sister had decided to keep the love of my life out of her life. Her agreeing with her man made me feel alienated. My brother, who I had hopped would side with me, still went to dinner like nothing happened.
Throughout the years, I realized that I loved my siblings but strongly disliked them. The people that they are becoming are very ugly in the inside. Moreover, they have been absent when I needed them and indifferent to me. My sister has always felt entitled to everything and is a very selfish person. My brother, on the other hand, is manipulative and selfish because he has always been spoiled. According to my parents, he could do nothing wrong. It is hard for me to cut them off of my life. However, I believe that I need to remove myself emotionally from them. And I need to do so tactfully. My family is very fickle and sensitive.
I think the main problem my siblings have with my relationship is because my S.O. is White and I am black. My sister dislikes him because of his skin color. My brother is more accepting, but I question his motives. My siblings always voiced the difficulties and aches that come from racial stereotyping. It is so hypocrite of them to do the same to another race. They do not know how to navigate an interracial couple, and they are not even making an effort.
It is stressful and draining to be in a relationship. It is even more when the people are from different backgrounds, culture, and race. I have no support group, no compassionate ear, no comforting shoulder to lean on. Furthermore, my family is making my life miserable. Since the Thanksgiving problem, it has been only insults. Last night my mom told me that I am following the devil. My family do not see the irreparable damages they are causing, and frankly I do not believe that they care.
I decided to see a therapist. It is very costly, but I need professional help. My life is crumbling, and I have not idea how to survive.
I am in my late twenties. By now, I have accomplished a few things in my life that I am proud. On the other hand, there are a few things that I could work more on.
- I am very incompetent with make-up. Media pushes for women to have pretty faces. However, I never learned to do more than basic concealer.
- I am struggling to stay skinny. Since I graduated from my undergrad studies, I have not been an active person. I work in an office and take online classes from my masters degree. Therefore, I spend countless hours sitting staring at a screen. With such busy schedule I rarely find the time and energy to go to the gym. In the past four years, I gained 30 pounds.
- I do not think that I am sexy. In my country, voluptuous women are attractive. I have always been skinny, almost underweight, and therefore not the attractive type. Moving to the U.S. was a culture shock. Here skinny rhymes with sexy. However, I cannot follow that trend because of the deeply rooted aesthetic ideas of my home country.
- I cannot sound confident when talking. I am an intelligent person. Of course, I do not know or understand everything. But I do strive to educate and comprehend more every day. However, even when I know my topic in depth I cannot sound like I am sure of myself. I always think that there is a super-genius who will refute everything that I say. I could be a fear of making mistakes.
- I do not know how to forgive & forget. I forgive, but I do not forget. I do not know how to let go of pain. I am afraid that I will not learn from past mistakes if I do not have the painful reminder of past events.
This list can go on, but I will stop there for now.
It has been more than a year since I blogged. I was getting my strength from my readers and their comments, and when their numbers started decreasing my reason to write went out the door. I will try one last time, and I will stop if I cannot get any pleasure from writing.
Maybe blogging is not for me, or maybe I need to find a better motivation. Nonetheless, I am trying once again.
I have found a way around my depression. At first, I just wanted for people to reach out to me and get me out of that hole that depression made me carve. Lately, I realized that I cannot wait on people, I need to love myself and want to save myself from depressing thoughts. I need to get up and make my life happen. No one else can do it but me. That was the first step to become happier. I am re-learning how to smile.
Oh La La!!! Who does not like hearing compliments??
For me dressing sexy had always been a problem. First of all, I was born in a country where a sexy woman is a voluptuous curvaceous woman like Beyonce. My body type, on the other hand, is more like Zoe Zaldana’s type of sexy. Second, I was often picked on because of my size and body shape. Classmates would always say how skinny I ,or how they were afraid I might break in two pieces, or how they were afraid I might get blown away in a hurricane (which is a season in the Caribbean). Occasionally, I would receive a compliment, quickly followed by a sneaky remark like “but you need to gain weight!”. It was not an environment suitable to build a strong self-esteem. I grew up always wishing that I would gain weight to be attractive. The only person who had always complimented me was my mom, never she had a negative comment about my body. Third, none of my close friends are sexy (according to the Caribbean type), and they all had vicous and negative comments about their body and mine as well. I tried to understand them and to be supportive by not dressing sexy. This way I thought, none of us would feel sexier than the other. I kept that habit for so long that it became a second nature.
However, I have decided that I need to break free from that habit. I do like my body. I finally made peace with it. I do not need to comply to a specific aesthetic to feel good about my look. I do not need to wait for the media to tell me that I look good enough. I need to have self-confidence. I need to stop being my enemy, stop being mean and unfair to myself. I need to embrace my own beauty. I need to stop covering it or wearing unflattering clothes to help my friends. They have problems with their body, that is their problem, they need to work on it. I will support them, but I will no longer hide my body.
That is cropped pic of me trying to look sexy. Notice the sweater for just in case I need to cover up (old habits die hard)
Recently, a few friends, now that they have matured, have admitted that they were jealous of my body (hence the negative comments growing up).
This past week was not a good one. On Thursday, I woke up thinking of my abusers. I tried to chase these thoughts away, but it was hard. After they left my mind, they were replaced by feelings of insecurity.
My thoughts are my demons. I always say people make their own prisons and I think it applies to me. My thoughts, my thoughts process all this is keeping me caged and is preventing me from growing to my fullest (to become the greatest person I can become). If only I had the keys to my mental prison