Poetry: Lost

I wrote this shortly in February of 2004 shortly after my car accident. I was feeling so much depression and anxiety because of it.

I feel so lost

without sense of direction

So many feelings of frustration

over my life’s woes

Feelings of rejection

by the ones who once loved me

Feelings of anger

for never doing anything right

Where can I find the shining light

that I desperately seek?

Poetry: Caught Between

I wrote this 2001 when I took a break from writing angry breakup poetry-lol. As an immigrant that grew up here, I’ve struggled with my identity for most of my life. Issues with identity are also another trait of BPD. I think this was a time in my life when I was especially reflecting on this part of my identity because I was become aware that men were fetishizing me.

me in 2001 around the time I wrote this poem

Caught between two worlds
what am I made up of more
hopefully I won’t ever have to choose
sometimes I wish to just cut loose

Too Latina for the American side
Too Americanizada for the Latino side
So what is the politically correct term for someone like me?
Not American, not born here
Not fully Latina either
for I lack that latin allure

So I’ll call myself one of a kind
a girl with much Latin beauty and an American mind
like a delicious half and half cream
whose taste is an amazing mixed dream

Poesia: El Pasado

Escribi este poema en Marzo de 2003 cuando estuve visitando Hawaii y pensaba en mi pasado.

A veces es asi

Estoy en el mismo lugar

donde era una adolecente inmadura,

Impulsiva, e insegura

pero ahora soy otra

Una que piensa antes de arriesgar

una que mirar antes de pisar

Una que trata de olvidar

Antes de contemplar todo 

lo que no fue de su vida

Poetry: US

I wrote this in January of 2004 when I first started dating my husband. The age difference between caused a real uproar in both of our families and my friends.

I don’t want us to be ruined

By outside influences

Those people who are in disbelief

that you could fall for somebody

As plain and unimpressive as me

Those people that are jealous 

of our unconditional love

And can’t stand to think

One day you’ll give me a ring

Poetry: To the Man I Can Never Have

I wrote this in 2003 about Lucas. I was again obsessing about him.

Everyday I think about you more and more
My heart can’t help itself
I close my eyes for a brief second
and your wonderful and attached self
is what my mind sees.
I catch myself missing you
and it doesn’t make sense to miss something
I never really had.
You did something to me
without having to do anything.
Maybe you accidentally put a spell on me .
I still can’t figure out why you,
Mr.Forbidden has become
my new unrequited love obsession
Maybe love really does come
out of the least expected place
Or maybe I will always
Desire the one that I can’t have.

Poetry: Sponge

I wrote this in May of 2003 when I was going wrestling with a terrible bout of depression. I kept trying to find the light of the end of the tunnel but it was hard.

A sponge is what I am as I start
to absorb this mortifying
and painful experience
From a sponge I become
A meatloaf of frustration
From a meatloaf I become
A tall and full glass of self pity and regret
From the tall and full glass I’m trying
Very hard to become a hard rock of acceptance

Poetry: Countries

I wrote this poem in 2016 when I was reflecting on how different my children were. At the time, my middle son was going through a difficult time and it was hard to deal with.

my 3 sons in July of 2021

Living with my three children

Is like living in three different countries

My oldest would be Singapore

With strict rules and laws, 

He hates flaws in himself 

And others and is unforgiving

It’s challenging to live in 

Singapore

My middle child would be a war torn ridden country 

Like Syria

That’s currently filled with constant chaos,

He is trying to find himself in a place 

He feels unwanted and lost

It is an unpredictable struggle

To reside in Syria

My youngest child would 

Be an established and friendly country like Spain

He is vibrant, laid back yet energetic 

Occasionally you hear about political protests 

That reminds me of his occasional tantrums when

His life feels unjust

It is almost a predictable and easy existence to 

Live in Spain 

Poetry: When Something Bad Happens

I wrote this in May of 2003 when one of my close friends had a miscarriage.

It’s so funny and ironic
When something bad happens
most people says things
Like “it’s God’s way”
or the famous
“Whatever doesn’t kill you
makes you stronger”
It makes you wonder if there
are actual people out there
who would say,
“It’s okay to be mad at God’s way”
or
“It’s alright to be weak instead of strong”
or that it’s perfectly fine to scream out loud
“FUCK THE WORLD”
If there is a least one person like this,
I want them to become my new “best friend”

My Almost Love Affair with Death **trigger for SI**

I don’t remember the first time I had suicidal ideation but I remember the first and only time I made an attempt to end my life. It was the morning of December 5th of 2016. It’s hard to remember the exact events of that day but I do remember the triggers before that day which led me down that dark path. Some people might think that by writing about this I’m sharing too much of my personal life but I stopped caring about other people’s opinions this year. While it is hard for me to revisit that day and tell my story; it is important for me to share my story in hopes that someone somewhere struggling doesn’t feel so alone or that loved ones look for signs if someone near them is in trouble. Talking about suicide and its possible causes is an important conversation to have that should be normalize. 

To friends, family, and coworkers, I’ve always tried to maintain this image of having an almost perfect life of suburban bliss. Relatives from Peru, the country I immigrated from have told me that I’m the American Dream. Looking at my social media, this image is perfectly crafted with pictures of me with my family and friends.I specialize in posting those candid family shots at some event in town #momlife, me  with friends downtown #girlsnightout,  and me at work #bestjobever. You get the point. I’ve crafted this image of being this perfectly put together woman who has it all and does great at balancing all of the expectations and responsibilities thrusted upon her by society. People close to me call me strong, amazing, and awesome. They see this confident woman that manages to handle life and almost every obstacle thrown at her with grace. I remember being 17 after announcing my unplanned pregnancy to friends and one of them telling me, “ I can’t believe how calm you are and how well you’re handling it, I would be freaking out”.I smiled at her and told her, “Well, it’s done now. I just have to deal with it the best way I can”. Even at the tender age of 17, it was ingrained in me to suppress my emotions and show others this facade of being a strong woman. Needless to say, there’s always been a lot of pressure on me to maintain this image. This pressure almost killed me. 

#girlsnight
#family time
#momlife
#worklife

In the winter of 2016, my life looked perfect from the outside. I worked from home as a Bilingual Child Support Agent making more money than ever, I’m married to a doting husband, I have 3 wonderful and amazing sons. I even lived in a quaint but nice 3 bedroom house on a street named Candy Ct in a relatively quiet neighborhood. And don’t forget, I still had time to have the occasional girls night. So hashtag perfect life right? What people didn’t know at the time was the following:

My oldest son, who was a senior in high school at the time and an excellent student, was struggling with one of his classes and I was starting to get calls and emails from the school about it.#failingasmom

I realized my marriage was unsalvageable and there was nothing either of us could do to save it. #mymarriageisafailure

-I was gaining weight because I was stress eating. #lowselfesteem

I hated my job as a Child Support Agent and it was taking a major toll on my mental health. I did not handle being yelled at all day with clients well.#Ifuckinghatemyjob

Also, the political climate was changing for the worst for immigrants and people of color after Trump was elected. #fuckAmerica

And, I was binge drinking at night with my prescribed xanax to deal with all of it. I was also taking Lexapro in the mornings. #selfmedicatingtocope

In November of that year, I was starting to fall into the pit of despair that is depression and while I knew it was happening; I was in denial. I had been here before having PPD with all four of my pregnancies. I kept telling myself that I could keep a handle on it, I didn’t have the time or the luxury of having a mental breakdown. Even though I was making more at my new job, we were still a low income family since I was the only main provider. I had no family to call on or fall back at all if I was to go to a psychiatric institution. Plus, my children needed their mother to be there for them. So I tried to bury any feelings of despair deep within me with the help of alcohol and Xanax.

After weeks of feeling this way, on Sunday, December 4th, I felt a new low that night. I don’t know why  I  didn’t reach out to friends. I had isolated myself from everyone in a lot of ways. I kept in contact with people close to me but it’s easy to keep a facade of being “okay” when I’m not. I’ve been doing it since I can remember. Gotta love that Quiet BPD. I remember feeling like a complete failure because I was raised by my mother to always be strong or at least keep that façade of strength on the surface to show everyone that you’re not weak or crazy. There had been a couple of “weak women” with mental illness in my mother’s family who were looked down upon because of this. I grew up with this stigma that those with mental illness were “weak” or “not right in the head”. Also, I felt very privileged compared to my mother and aunts who came to this country and had way more hardships than I ever did. I remember thinking that night how nice it would be nice to fall asleep and never wake up. Waking up meant facing my reality that I was a failure at everything in my life that defined me: a mother, a wife, and a worker. The next morning, I woke up around 6:30 am and I felt numb and dead inside. I didn’t want to face my depressing and horrible reality and I made a decision. There was no point in living if I was a failure at everything. Feeling like a failure is worse than death to me.  I texted my supervisor and told her I was sick and couldn’t sign in to work, I wrote love letters to my sons, my husband, my parents, and my closest friends trying to explain what I was doing, and I got the coffee from the kitchen counter that my husband had prepared for me and took the xanax bottle that was on the kitchen table to my son’s bedroom where I had been working at. I sat down on the recliner in that room and swallowed each of the 15 pills one at a time. I remember that right after, I got a call from my oldest son’s counselor concerned about him. I vaguely remember the conversation. Right after, something in me made me send a text to my friend Janet from college that lived 10 minutes from me. I honestly don’t remember what I texted her, all I know is that I finally fell asleep. I was woken up from my sleep as my husband shook my shoulders, he  was telling me something and I vaguely remember that it had to do with my friend calling him. He wanted me to go to the living room but my legs felt like lead. So he half carried me to the couch in the living room and forced me to drink coffee. I fell asleep shortly after. I remember waking up and talking to my husband but I can’t remember what I said, all I know is that we both made a decision that I needed to quit my job and that afternoon, I emailed my two weeks notice letter to my supervisor. And my friend Janet came in the afternoon and took me to a Mexican restaurant to eat tacos, my favorite comfort food and we talked for a long time about what had happened. I also remember my friend Janet talking to my husband about me. Since I was a legal resident permanent alien at the time, going to a psychiatric hospital was not an option for me. The application for citizenship specifically asks about whether you have been in a psychiatric hospital. Me, my friend, and husband knew that I couldn’t take a chance on my future petition of naturalization being denied. You see, that famous poem on the Statue of Liberty by  Emma Lazarus “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” is really a lie in this case. What America really wants are these almost perfect and model immigrants but that’s another blog post

 After this happened, I fell into a deep depression. It didn’t help that I had also withdrawn from my mental health meds without the advice of my doctor. If it wasn’t for the fact that I kept a journal after this event, I wouldn’t know half of what happened during  what happened during that time. I call this time period of my life, “The Great Depression” of 2016 and 2017 that lasted until November of 2017. During “the Great Depression”, I kept my journal religiously, and I gave myself a month before looking for another job, and reached out to a former coworker and friend who referred me to her ex husband for marriage counseling. I also completed and filed my paperwork for naturalization. I also eventually found a job with the school district as a parapro. I even got a tattoo of semi-colon in February to remind myself that my story isn’t over.  Even during the great depression, I still tried to be as productive as possible. I also kept this list with me-It was a list of important events (birthday, anniversaries, graduation) that I needed to be alive for. I also kept a list of reasons why I needed to be alive (my kids, parents, husband, friends).  I kept these lists with me at all times because that’s how bad my depression was at the time. It was a really dark period of my life.

I reflect on this 5 years later and I feel like this was a lifetime ago. Since that time, I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Borderline Personality Disorder.  I’m also on three different kinds of mental health meds and am going to therapy. Depression still visits me from time to time, especially when life gets overwhelming or something drastic happens in my life but I have way better skills to cope with it now and not let it get to an extremely bad place again. I would never tell anyone that I’m cured of depression because that would be a lie but I will say I’m much, much better at not letting it take over my life like it has in the past. Writing my story and sharing it with world may seem excessive to some but I’m sharing my story in the hopes that someone reading this comes to an understanding that people that die by suicide or attempt it are not selfish or cowards; we are people that feel this immense and excruciating pain and we want to escape from it by any means necessary. I also write my story in hopes that if there is someone out there struggling with suicidal ideation and depression; I want them to know that they are not alone and it is possible to get to a better place  #youareworthit. 

me in November of 2021 with another fighter, Frida Kahlo

Here are a few helpful links related to this story:

Suicide Prevention:

Therapist locator: 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists

Depression and Suicidal Ideation:

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-recognizing-signs-of-suicide

Bipolar 2: 

https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-2-disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20370237

Quiet BPD: 

https://www.healthline.com/health/quiet-bpd

Poetry: Bad Place

I wrote this in April of 2002 when I was depressed and felt empty. Chronic feelings of emptiness is a trait of living with BPD. It’s rough sometimes.

I’m at a very bad place
I struggle and struggle
to come out of this miserable and horrible place
But somehow feel confined
With a helluva strong glue
at the bottom of my pitiful feel
Stuck to the pit of here( my life)
I continue to
Dream and dream
The impossible dream
To someday become unstuck

Poetry: Home

I wrote this in March of 2003 when I went back to Hawaii. I had a lot of conflicting feelings about this trip.

Waikiki Beach

I’m back here
Where it all started
A place I once called home
But now I’m not so sure
I always wonder if I should’ve stayed
But now I see why I had to go away
It is filled with both
Beautiful memories
of the loved ones I left behind
And ugly memories
of the ones that left me behind
when I needed them the most
I don’t regret coming back
Because it’s what I needed
In order to heal and move on
from you my past, and let you go

Poetry: Letter to My Former Lover

I wrote this in January of 2003 about Lucas. I was doing what I normally do, obsessing over past love because I was lonely. At least I wrote this poem instead of trying to track him down.

damn…a hard truth

My dear Luke
I Still miss you
Even after your unexpected departure
My heart feels a terrible torture
Of not having you by my side
I wonder if for me, you ever cried
Why couldn’t you stay?
Instead of leaving on that dreary day
Why did you have to go?
Nobody else could’ve loved you more
I know my letter may seem strange to you
But my heart finds it hard to replace you
I have tried so hard to move on
But it’s impossible to go on
I guess I should say goodbye
Before I start to cry
But before I do this
I gotta tell you my wish
that you find what you need
Even if it’s without me
And if you ever find yourself in love
Understand that you’re enough
and that you fight for it
Don’t run away from it
So now I say goodbye my friend
Maybe one day I’ll see you again