AdSense Page Ads

Saturday, July 16, 2016

You Are Not Alone

I think I got it hard. Like, really hard. But it maybe too hard or it might miss the vital spot, either way I am fully functioning when I should have lay crumpled on the floor.

I am going to go to an event at Staples Center tomorrow with some friends. What supposed to be a family event turned into a friends night out. The next day I will have a brunch with my dearest bestie. High tea, mind you. It can't get fancier than that. Monday a very dear person promised me homemade Italian dinner for my birthday. Next Friday night is Argentine Tango in Grand Park (free too! I love LA!). Next Saturday is bbq party, and the next day it might be San Pedro Lobster festival. Work has never been better since I don't have to spend half of my energy to mope around or fighting on text message. I feel alive. I feel free. I feel accomplished.

Yet here I am sitting on my bed on Friday night, all alone in my birthday suit. It has been (and still) very hard, and it's time for me to acknowledge it.

The most devastating thing someone could do in a relationship is probably cheating. I am not talking about mere sexual fling or a flirt or even drooling over hot ladies/men; I am talking about full blown your-heart-is-not-mine-anymore. The kind that makes you feel suicidal and/or homicidal and totally out of your mind.

When I found out he was cheating on me, I stopped by on my way home to bought a cake. It was the same cake I asked my friend to buy for his birthday when I was still in Indonesia, and had asked his coworker to pick it up and put it on his desk as a surprise. It was a lemon bundt cake. I bought it and sat in front of a closed and empty grocery store. The floor smelled like urine, and filth was everywhere. I had my new dress on me, green with patterns, a smart and simple mini dress that I bought the week before for only $7. I look so pretty in that dress, so out of place among the filth. I opened the cake box, gazed on the delicious yellow cake with white frosting; then with my trembling hand I reached inside and start mushing the cake, destroying it to nothingness. My engagement ring, a beautiful ruby and diamond, was covered in cake. I didn't even remember if I cried. All I remember was the stank urine smell, the filth around me, and the coolness of the cake in my hand, and me that keeps on thinking: "This is the end."

Being cheated on is horrible. If you think being dumped is painful, being cheated on takes the cake (pun intended). It's basically being told you are not good enough, thus his/her need to find a replacement; but he/she doesn't even respect you(r feeling) enough to get a proper separation. Being cheated on basically put you on the second place. You are no longer the king/queen, you are demoted to concubine. Your spouse' attention is devoted to his/her new toy and to cover his/her track, and you are left there all by yourself with gnawing despair and curiosity. You are not important. You are worthless. You are nothing.

Depends on how much love and trust you put on this POS (piece of $**t), you might end up getting totally destroyed. The lies and the deception might end with a separation or a harsh wakeup call on his/her side, but the distrust and broken soul could haunt you forever. Every step you took afterwards is laden with doubt: do I do good enough to keep him/her around? Every move you made afterwards is laden with fear: what if he/she lie again, cheat again? And nights, at least the very first ones will be filled with question for yourself: "what did I do wrong?". Days will be filled with forgotten happy memories that popped up in the most unfortunate times and made you weep in despair. When he/she cheats, it's not the equivalent of a thief crept in your house to stole your valuable (i.e. trust); it's the equivalent of nuking down the entire house and made it so toxic that you can't even rebuild it for a lonf, long time.

The problem is, we get to deal it with ourselves. People give support and such, kind words and whatsnot; the cheater might even come to his/her sense and ask for forgiveness. But the hole is there, the abyss that swallow us full. No kind words could light that darkness. "He loves you", "It's not your fault", "You don't deserve to be treated this way", all of this did not change the fact that we are simply not good enough for our partner anymore. Not only not good enough, somebody else is obviously better than us. True, it is a matter of from which side you see it; but does it matter? His/her love is not ours anymore. We are no longer the center of his/her hopes and dreams.

As I talked happily with my date over korean bbq the doubt crept in: is he what he said he is? As I cozily curled up in a sofa with my date the fear crept in: will I be substituted any time soon? As I laughed gaily with my date over homemade dinner the suspicion crept in: will I be able to tell if he's lying? Everytime I see my date on the phone, or just looking at his phone, I went panic because I found out about the cheating through my partner's phone. I went through denial, anger, bargaining, depression over and over again, but never acceptance. Not yet, at the very least. I laughed, I smiled, I am as wonderful as I can be, but deep inside the heart still bleed.

But you can't tell this to anyone else. What you need is a listener, someone whom you can pour your woes to. You need to drain the pus before the healing could start. But not many people understand that, and after a few sessions you will be dismissed with "get another one, he/she's not good anyway". And since your self-confidence is already destroyed, you might find yourself reluctant to talk to people anyway. You don't want them to leave you because you are so sad and mopey and totally not fun, hasn't he/she left you already? Why would you even acknowledge to anyone that you are incapable of making him/her loyal anyway? So you trudge along day by day trying to steel yourself, fooling yourself into thinking you got it all taken care of, where inside you are a walking dead.

It is hard. It is painful. It is inhumane. And this is why I wrote about it. Cheaters will be cheaters, and no amount of articles can dissuade them from the pleasure of their life; not even one that depict the horrid life they sentence their partner to. But people who got cheated on, I want you to know that your feeling is valid. I want you to know that your sadness is justified. I want you to understand that it is, indeed, very hard. And most importantly, I want you to know that you are not alone. I am here in your shoes, as many others before and after us. A lot of us suffer in silence for fear of retribution, for fear os social judgement, for fear of being scoffed at "airing dirty laundry in public". Let me be your voice. You are not alone.

As Kylie Minogue eloquently sing in Crystallize:
"In the darkness
When it's all a mess
And when you're swimming Through a sea of broken promises"
That's pretty much sums up what you feel, what I feel.  I am broken. I am shattered. I am sad and lonely and scared. My friends are there to support me but I have to heal myself since only I know how. This painful bloody steps are the ones I have to take alone. But I am not alone, and neither do you. I am with you in this, we are with you in this. Your feelings are valid. Your grief is justified. You yourself is real, is important, is precious. 

Be at peace, my fellow travelers, all is not lost. The rain does not pour forever, the wind does not howl nonstop. Night ended into day, winter melted into spring, and this painful journey too will end someday. Till then fear not, for you are not alone.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I Like Myself

I like myself. I really do. Not 'Like' in an overly narcisstic way but still hides my flaws and insecurities, but 'Like' as in totally cool with myself and accepting, even embracing, my flaws and insecurities. I kinda think this acceptance is a pretty big deal.

Facebook has been kind enough to 'remind' me about the past with its "See your Memories" (also known as "On This Day") feature. This last week or so I have been bombarded with pictures and posts about me leaving to US. Yep, this week was my 3rd "Arrive in US" anniversary. I like the girl in those posts, the sweet innocent lass full of hopes and dreams; but I like the woman I am now better.

Back then I was scared, full of doubt and uncertain about myself. I have good love and big heart, but I was also insecure and kept on worrying if my love and affection was good enough. I have the flaws, the fear, the insecurities; but I had hoped, and this is where I get myself wrong, that my partner will accept and understand them. It was wrong because I am the one who should accept and understand myself, flaws and all. I lived through life pretending I was strong, focusing on my work and achievement yet deep inside I was hollow. Deep inside I was just this scared little girl, so effing tired of life.

And now I am here in Los Angeles.

The past 3 years have changed me a lot, and not in a bad way. I have a job that I like and I can be proud of what I do. I can do whatever I want, I can be whoever I want to be. I can dressed up or down, I can even wear pink tutu to see a Broadway play and nobody would stop me. I can eat, drink, shop to my heart's desire. I can go anywhere I want to. People here think I am beautiful. People here think I am smart and witty and well-spoken. People here think I am special, and I feel special too. Which is a better feeling, in my honest opinion, than the outcasted feeling in the (sometimes judgemental) Indonesian society.

If the last 3 years has prepped me, the last 3 months has shaped me into an even more special existence. I am a quick thinker and a quick adapter. I can see why I did things and I know why it should be done, there was no regret or second guessing. My fears and insecurities were presented before my face over and over again and I manage to triumphantly overcome them. I was dragged down with horrible words for so many times, and each and every time I can prove to myself that I am not those words. I did the best I can in each and everything I do. I took responsibilities and accept the consequences. Life gives me trials and I pass its exams.

Look at me. I am bright and beautiful. I am happy and easy going. I am strong yet full of compassion. I communicate so well online shops are busy giving me vouchers and freebies. I have a big enough heart and an impressingly clear head that I can still help my friends even when I was grieving myself. I talked to people casually on the street and give (or given help) when in need. I have the faith that my days will be good not only because I deserve it, but also because I can make it happen. I write better, think better, talk better. And people like this new me. My Facebook engagement shot up, I talked more with my friends and family, I am even content by being with myself.

Like iron ore forged in the smith's furnace, I transformed from a lump of metal to a beautiful well polished sword. I was burned, I was hammered, I was subjected to treatments that alter my soul, and here i am right now: swifter, sharper, more beautiful than ever. The impurities (a.k.a my insecurities) have been purged out off me. My hopes and dreams were discarded and I attain new purposes for life. I know my worth and I am confident enough to demand as such. There is darkness lurking there too, and the ability to hurt someone. I am a sword, what do you expect?

There are people who would think me saying all these things is a sign of how insecure I am still, that I need public reassurance to prove I did good and that's how pathetic I am. And what if it is? Changes in us does not happen overnight. It is an ongoing process and yes, sometimes we need help and reassurance. Just like people doing group weight loss or posting before-after pictures in Facebook, our journey to better ourselves can also benefit from public support and encouragement. Nobody knows what we are going through and nobody can help us unless we can be honest and open ourselves. And sometimes we need help. Sometimes we need to hear that we don't suck that much. Sometimes we need second opinion on how to better ourselves.

Besides, reading a feel-good-life-triumph story is always fun; why not share one?

Thank you for all your trust in me. Thank you for listening me blabbing my woes day and night. Thank you for your kind words when I need the most. Thank you for being the friend I wanted, and the friend I needed. Thank you for being a part of my ongoing journey. Thank you for making me who I am. Thank you, for everything.

Search This Blog