I wrote this poem in late 2005 when I was going to school full time, working part time and raising two kids.
Trapped in a maze
Not knowing where to go
Gotta get out of this place
Before becoming conformity’s whore
A maze with traps
Like kids and responsibilities
It’s all getting too suffocating
And I can’t breathe
Around September,I started to logically understand how out of control my behavior was at times. The strange thing about it is it doesn’t feel like me when I’m acting that way. I’m a person who has always tried to have control over all aspects of my life. For example, when I was first diagnosed, I was naive enough to think that I could somehow “fast-track my healing” . I quickly learned that’s not how healing or therapy works. It didn’t matter how quickly I read my DBT workbook or did the exercises from there, how many poems I wrote about grief in one day, or how many healthy coping mechanisms I picked up along the way; healing and changing my behavior was going to take time and patience. I couldn’t speed up the process if I truly wanted to get better.
I needed to learn to sit with my grief, anger, mania, self-hatred, and any other uncomfortable and painful emotions and learn a healthy way to process and cope with them instead of chasing it away with booze, sex, or binge shopping. It’s been hard to do, and I’ve stumbled along the way and have made many mistakes. One thing I’ve learned this year is that changing unhealthy patterns in my behavior had to be the most arduous and difficult work I’ve ever done. For example, maybe one day I’m feeling fat and ugly, the old me would have gone binge shopping on Amazon for a pretty dress or reached out to one of the casual Joes in my life for validation; the new and healthy version of me had to ask myself the whys of why I’m feeling fat and ugly and what triggered this reaction in me, do I need to write about it, what can I do to make myself feel better that doesn’t involved shopping or the validation from others? It’s way harder to face my insecurities head on than chase them away with a quick and temporary adrenaline rush or serotonin fix. Throughout all this it helped to have an incredible support system who gave me what I needed emotionally to process, grow and move forward in my journey. Part of that support system was my therapist who was kind, compassionate, knowledgeable, and patient with me. I was really tough to deal with at times and I wanted to break up with her at times cause she pushed me a lot when it came to my driving phobia. I remember having a panic attack in front of her because of a driving exposure but she calmed me down enough so I could do it. I got paranoid after thinking she would leave me but she didn’t. She stuck by me through the end of our therapy sessions in January of this year. The few times I’d missed a session, she would call me to check in and talk to me for at least 10 minutes to make sure I was okay. She was also respectful of me and my experiences. I’ve had therapists in the past who talked down to me and were condescending and she wasn’t one of them. People talk about finding “the one” at the “right time”; well in my case, I found the “right therapist” at the “right time” in my life. Here is a poem I wrote about her:
From September to January, there was so much progress in my healing and mental health journey thanks to having the adequate resources and tools because of my therapist. I did beat a driving phobia (but that’s a story I’ll tell in depth later on) and I was free from suicidal ideation until May of this year. What was strange to me during these months was how I was learning to really live and enjoy my life. I remember that before my diagnosis, I’d get annoyed sometimes at having to spend time with my kids. During the months of September to December, something switched in me to have this new appreciation for motherhood and spending time with my children. My relationship with my three sons got better and I grew closer to them. I feel like I’m finally the mom my children deserve.
Here is a poem I wrote about them:
My Three Kings
My first king, I met at 17
when the nurse placed
an alien like being in my arms
She was like “feed him”
and I was like “how do I do that?”
What should I do with him?
Eventually I figured it out
My second king, I met at 24
as a birthday present, just like me
he had to make a dramatic entrance
but it was love at first sight
No one could take him from my arms
I knew what to do
My third king, I met at 30
He was a dream delivered
After a dream lost the previous year
He was planned, he was awaited, he was loved
He was welcome by everyone
with him, I felt a completion of love
As I’ve also mentioned, my therapy sessions ended in January and after that I was on my own with my maintenance plan making sure I didn’t do anything to sabotage the progress I had made.
I wrote this poem in late 2005 thinking back on how I felt about my second pregnancy when I found out. It wasn’t an ideal situation at all because I was still in college and my relationship with my husband was on the rocks.
This can’t be
happening to me!
but rarely does it ever lie,
that second pink line
Just when I was on right track
Again I am burdened for lying on my back
What will I do?
Who will I turn to?
How do I tell them?
Once again I am their biggest disappointment
To just sit here and cry
is just a waste of precious time
I have no choice
I have to get away from this awful noise
This will become my personal hell
Because of another persuasive male
A Poem for My Third Born
You were the rainbow
That came after the most dreadful storm
You were wanted, you were planned
You were loved
You were everything
Anxiously, I waited for your arrival
Counting down the months, the weeks,
And eventually the days
Cautiously, I felt hope
With every flutter,
And every kick
You were a ninja
Determined to reassure
This worried mama that
You were okay-
And I glowed bright
From your inner light
The day came
I would get to meet
My newest love made creature
And with your birth
Life finally felt complete
My Youngest Son Circa 2012
Me and my youngest on 6/26/22
I wrote this poem in 2006 about my middle child who was toddler at a time. He’s actually my birthday twin and very much like me personality wise.
My son throws his blocks
They hit me like rocks
So much damn temper
Within my little fellow
Little does he know
About the bad people that sew
many, many spiderwebs
to put you under duress
and he throws and he throws
Like life’s unexpected woes
Those wooden things hit my head
he won’t listen to what I say
He sure has an arm
for knowing how to harm
In this just a phase
in this life of a maze
Finally he stops and looks
It is another tantrum in the books
I think this is a preview
to his ever changing mood
On July 27th, 2010 I was in the room with the ultrasound tech and she put the gel on my belly. I was there to hear the sound of my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I had waited a whole two weeks to hear it since I had booked the appointment. My boyfriend had dropped me off at the doctor. I was alone and the anticipation was killing me. The ultrasound tech was moving the wand every which way and had this weird look on her face. I asked her if everything was okay. She told me, “I really need to get the doctor”. I pleaded with her to tell me what was wrong. And she said, “I can’t find the heartbeat” I was in shock and numb. Then she told me to go out to the waiting room and the Dr would come get me. I remember how the waiting room was full of pregnant women and I started to sob hysterically. Thankfully a receptionist took pity on me and took me to another sparsely populated area. The Dr came and got me and told me the embryo stopped growing at 8 weeks and I was supposed to be 10 weeks along. She showed me the ultrasound. She also gave me a choice -either a D&C or let the miscarriage come naturally. I had just started a job in June and hadn’t accumulated much sick leave so I opted to have the D&C. I had all of these feelings of shame and guilt because I had seriously thought about terminating the pregnancy and I wondered if I had wished it true. I felt guilty because I had gotten blackout drunk a day before finding out I was pregnant. Also, I felt like a failure because my body had not done what it was supposed to do. I felt like somehow I deserved all of this pain and that God was punishing me. Getting through the rest of that day and putting up my facade of strength and having to tell my 2 kids along with other family members and friends was horrible.
The next morning I went to have a D&C and I woke up crying from the procedure. The nurse that was next to me told me that everything happens for a reason and to trust God. “Everything happens for a reason” and “Trust in GOD” and “It wasn’t the right time” would be among the few sayings that I would get from well meaning friends, family, and co-workers. I buried my grief in exercising and eating healthy irrationally believing that it was my body’s fault that I had the miscarriage. It didn’t help that my boyfriend was kind of blaming me as well because of that whole blackout drunk incident early in the pregnancy. Even though the logic in my head told me that pregnancy loss is a common occurrence that happens to 1 in 4 women with no real rhyme or reason for most of those pregnancies;my irrational thoughts took over for a bit. What helped me through the grief other than exercising was joining a support group and being able to process that grief and feel validated in my feelings with other people that had experienced the same thing. An experience like this changes you in a way that you remember who you were before the experience and after it. Obviously I’ve healed from that experience but I still experience some sadness on that day. One interesting thing that happened 3 years ago when I came to work on July 27 was that there was a random “Happy Birthday” balloon by the entrance of my office building. I took it as a positive sign from the universe.
I share this story because it is important to fight the stigma associated with pregnancy loss. It is also important for others to feel like they can share their stories without being judged.
So last week, I started a second job at Kroger and I’m excited about it. I feel that with this job my life will finally start moving forward. My end goal is to be financially independent from my husband so I can separate from him. I know that sounds harsh but it’s been over between us for a while. I know that it will be hard trying to work anywhere from 60 to 70 hours a week but sometimes in America, you need a second job to move forward in life. I follow the examples from my hard working immigrant parents who have set this precedent for me. I’m tired of struggling and just getting by. These are my goals:
1) My first goal is to pay off debt I accumulated during my great depression of 2016 and 2017 . 2) My second goal is to build my credit score enough to get approved for a used car loan. Right now we only have one car and it’s rough.
3) Save up for a down payment for a car.
I know that I’m sacrificing time with my kids but since they’re older, they understand. Also, they deserve better than what we’ve been giving them and it’s up to me to take that initiative. This is part of my plan to make my life better for me and my kids. We’ll see how it goes.