Posts Tagged ‘pain’

I have never been the type to harbor anger or hatred against anyone or anything regardless of warrant. It’s just not in my default programming. If I know that someone or something would make me feel murderous, I deem it best to just avoid them and/or train my mind that they don’t exist. 

For the past couple of months I have been harboring ill feelings towards someone I used to think the world of. For the past couple of months, my world as I knew it has been shattered to ugly sharp shards and I’ve been bleeding from and because of them since. 

Lately, however, I’ve been feeling more like myself, breathing a little more easily, the bitterness no longer a kick in the face upon waking. I won’t go as far as saying I’ve forgiven it all or even really ready to – I know I’m not at that point yet. I’m not ready to be the bigger person just yet. I am, however, feeling less small. And that’s progress in tiny, tiny increments but progress nonetheless. 

You see, for the past year and a half, I’ve been completely devoted to this guy who I thought was the answer to all my unspoken prayers. He was everything… Everything I thought I deserved and more. He wasn’t an easy person to build a relationship with primarily because he was the textbook introvert. He claimed it’s been years since he’s had any form of romantic relationship and longer since he’s had a serious one. It was easy to believe him. He was awkward, painfully shy, and it took us months to actually have a real interaction outside of text messaging. I believed him when he said I was the only girl he’s been talking to. Believed him when he said I was the only one he’s interested in. Believed him when he said I changed his life for the better, that I “saved” him. I drank that all in, my ego bursting at its seams. I loved the adoration, anybody would. Anyone who’d claim otherwise is a bonafide shithead. There were red flags that sprouted along the way but I saw them as challenges for me to overcome, and in some ways I did and everytime I convinced myself that I’ve successfully broken down one of his numerous walls, I felt better. I felt accomplished. Conquering his demons made me feel like I was the best version of myself and in a way, I was. I still believe I was my best self with him. No, I was far from perfect but I was patient, loyal, devoted, affectionate, attentive, appreciative, considerate, loving, understanding – all fiercely to a fault. Part of it, I guess, was fear of making the same stupid mistakes I did in past relationships and end up losing him like so. I feared losing him not cause I feared being alone. I feared losing him because something in me kept telling me I shouldn’t. But I lost him anyway.

Backtrack to 4 months ago sometime in August. I noticed a change in him, rather my gut was telling me something was off. I talked to him about it and he assured me that “everything is okay, everything’s going to be alright. Don’t worry.” But the feeling lingered. I remember it becoming so strong at times even when he was beside me that I literally felt sick to my stomach. I ignored it, thinking I was just being paranoid or whatever. Fast forward to October, I found out he’s been flirting (and god knows what else) with this girl since the beginning of summer. Another Filipina who I happen to have a shit ton of mutual friends with. That was a fuckin slap to the face because 1) he made me believe that one of the major setbacks in our relationship was due to the fact that I’m Filipina aka non white and he fears I won’t fit in his family, and 2) he managed to fuckin play me so exquisitely, my head’s still reeling from the fuckery of it all. Of course I confronted him about it and predictably enough, got labeled as crazy and “not knowing what I’m talking about” and “shame on me.” I ended up apologizing like the fool that I am. While he, well, he didn’t even bother explaining. He just sat back and reveled in the idiot show that I was. But as with all truths, his bullshit was soon revealed. I was right all along. Right on the fuckin money, it’s insane. 

Every piece just fell into place. Everything started making sense. The changed behavior, the sudden coldness, his cruelty towards me the last morning we saw each other, his willingness to give up on us… He saw the grass on the other side and thought it to be greener. 

In spite of the hurt and the almost daily fantasies of destroying his face, I have come to the realization that he simply made a choice. I just happened to be collateral damage. In spite all this, I still believe that no one makes a choice to intentionally hurt someone but being faced with one already guarantees that someone somehow will be hurt regardless. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. He made his bed and is now lying in it or with it or on it. Ugh. 

As I’ve said earlier, I am not in any way ready to be the bigger person but I believe I’m getting there. I realized that none of us know what the hell we’re doing and we’re all just really doing the best we can and that includes him. I will keep reminding myself of this everyday til I get to the point when I can finally forgive and sing that Adele song “Send My Love to Your New Lover” and truly mean it. Until then, he can go fuck himself (even if he obviously doesn’t have to. Ugh).

Loving someone who abused that love doesn’t make me a victim. It just makes me someone who’s capable of real love – requitted or not. I forgive myself for that. I am proud of myself for that.

Took some time and guts to finally write about this… Okay, I feel better now. 

PS. TRUST YOUR INTUITION. Always. No exceptions.  


Advertisements

I can’t remember the last time I cried for a patient. Working in health care/medical field kinda desensitizes you after a while, and I don’t mean being less empathic or caring – that dying on the inside never stops. But as with anything you continuously get exposed to or expose yourself to, you develop a tolerance, some muscle, a defense tactic so natural it’s almost by reflex, all to make you seem tougher than you really are or would care to admit. It’s a defense thing. And in a profession where you have to deal with human despair day in and day out, any kind of wall is a must to keep one’s sanity intact.

I haven’t cried for and with a patient in a while. At least not openly. Not til today. I just don’t understand how someone should suffer that much. In nursing school, they instructed us to relate to our patients as if they’re our loved ones – our parents, siblings, daughters, sons, etc. I thought and still think that that’s the most ridiculous thing ever. Objectivity goes out the window along with rationality and level-headedness and keeping cool once love is involved. No projection of any sort is advisable at least not in my book. This is why I can never work in pediatrics or with animals. I know with absolute certainty how attached I could get so better stay away. 

So I don’t know why this particular man, what with all the patients I’ve encountered in similar dire circumstances, got to me, like really got to me to the point of crying like a little bitch while renderring wound care (who does that?!). Somehow and I don’t know why but I started thinking if he was my dad, I would sell my soul to the devil just so we can trade places. I found myself thinking, nobody, nobody deserves to suffer as much as this man is suffering right now. I found myself apologizing to him cause I couldn’t give him a higher dose of pain medication though he probably didn’t understand a damn thing I said seeing how delirious he was with pain and meds and being kept alive when every bone in his body is screaming “I want out!”… that kind of despair and helplessness, that’s hell right there. 

I’m sorry Mr. G, I’m sure you’re a really good person and a good father seeing as how your children are so devoted to keeping you alive (forgive them for they don’t know what they do). As I’ve said earlier in this post, love blinds and makes idiots of us all.

I like being a nurse but godddamn I hate this part.

So, hit me with music. Brutalize me with music.

Apart from being a slut for music, I always was the novelty kinda gal. So, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that I happen to still linger on the magic of a mixtape. You think it’s pointless, a waste of time, ancient school (the kinda old skool that ain’t cool) – Pssh. I’m a dork. And in my own little uncool world, the mixtape is still the ultimate love letter.

Before you start shaking your heads and muttering “you hippie” under your oh-so modernized breaths, here’s a newsflash: WE ALL STILL MAKE THEM. Yes, you. An iTunes playlist may not require the same blood, sweat, and tears that went into making a C90 or C120 mix, but the intent is still the same – expressing emotion through song.

I remember the first and only mixtape that I made way back when I was in 6th grade. Grunge was making headway in the music scene and a number of local bands are starting to get their 15 minutes in the spotlight. I was barely 12 and I remember being so psyched at the idea of making a nice mix of both big label bands and little local bands. I didn’t have any blank tapes on hand, so I settled for a crappy quality recycled tape I’d gotten from school, ripped off the labels, and cut out my own cassette frame from some blurry photos I found. It was an impressionistic tangle of trees in psychedelic colors, it was almost crying out for me to name the mix “A Walk Through A Sonic Forest”, in reference to the author E.E. Cummings. Don’t ask. I was a weird yet happy kid. Still am.

I knew then that this was the beginning of something momentous, so I taped an extra copy to seal the preservation of said playlist. (Interesting how in the age of CD burning, everyone is able to retain whatever playlist they’ve made up for someone else… Think of all the great playlists we made back in the real mixtape days that are now lost to us!). The great thing about the time constraint was that I had no time to actually produce an organized flow to the mix; it was spontaneous, candid, HONEST. The tape was purely about the music.

So… without further blabber, here’s the tracklist of my one and only mixtape to myself, from myself:

Side A
1. Higher Ground – Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. Would – Alice in Chains
3. Dookie – Greenday
4. New Year’s Day – U2
5. Kyrie – Glasshouse
6. In Bloom – Nirvana
7. Space Boy – The Smashing Pumpkins
8. Queer – Garbage
9. Darkness Fell – Wolfgang
10. Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
11. Bring Me Down – Rivermaya
12. Live Forever – Oasis

Side B
1. Release – Pearl Jam
2. Amazing – Aerosmith
3. Little Bones – The Tragically Hip
4. No Rain – Blind Melon
5. Swimming In Your Ocean – Crash Test Dummies
6. Free To Decide – The Cranberries
7. Freedom – Rage Against The Machine
8. Rock Star – Hole
9. Tomorrow – Silverchair
10. I Can’t Face The World – The Lemon Trees

***

Fast forward. I was 17 and somehow convinced myself that I was in love. I even had a full handwritten tracklisting (with annotations and important lyrics) to go with the mix tape I was supposed to woo my first “proper” boyfriend with. Sadly, it never came into fruition – both the mix and the relationship – and I only managed to salvage page one of what must have been two. So, verbatim:

Cigarettes and Coffee -Otis Redding. Because I love the idea of being so content with someone that I don’t need anything else “I don’t want no cream or sugar, cause I’ve got you.”
The Calendar Hung Itself -Brighteyes. You might hate Brighteyes if you haven’t heard them before. They are a band of attrition who takes some listening to. But I love this song for its intensity (and bons points for wokring in ‘you are my sunshine’ in an un-trite manner) “does he know that place behind your neck that’s your favorite to be touched?”
You -Radiohead. I first heard this on some bizarre Japanese import but it completely explains the ridiculous unrequited thing that I have down so perfectly. “you… are… the sun and moon and stars”
Teenage Kicks -The Undertones. Who doesn’t love them? “I’ll have her over cos I’m all alone”
Sex and Candy -Marcy Playground. Self obsession, caffeine and a brilliant bass, I just can’t fault it. “I’ve had too much caffeine and I’m thinking about myself”
Pale Blue Eyes -The Velvet Underground. Mainly because it’s so chill… Reminds me of that lazy, all-the-time-in-the -world, lying-in-bed-with-somebody

nice feeling. “it was so good what we did yesterday, and I’d do it [a hundred times] again”
Bright and Yellow -Gin Blossoms
You Go To My Head -Billie Holiday. I adore Billie Holiday even though all her songs are so sad.. “I find you spinning round in my brain..”
Brown Eyed Girl -Van Morrison. I love this because it is so filled with private references but you still get so involved.
In Love With The World [I can’t remember who this is by]

When a relationship ends, it always seems like such a tragedy that it didn’t last forever. In hindsight, however, I see that crazy intense first loves really can’t. But this tape serves as a document of that amazing openness and exuberance of time. It reminds me of how the past begets the present – first love as the beginning of self-discovery.

***

Why that second attempt failed to materialize is now beyond me. But for all my self-absorbed “Holden Caulfield” ridiculousness, I always knew I have what it takes to make the sickest mixes. Making playlists on my iTunes may not be nearly as sexy as spending hours and hours with your cassette and CD library in front of you trying to find that perfect next song, but the practice still serves a purpose. And as long as there are slightly neurotic pop culture dorks in this world like yours truly, the mixtape will never die.

To me, making a tape is like writing a letter. There’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention, and then you’ve got to up it a notch or cool it a notch and you can’t have white music and black music together unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can’t have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you’ve done the whole thing in pairs and…oh, there are loads of rules. Anyway… I’ve started to make a tape… in my head… for Laura. Full of stuff she likes. Full of stuff that make her happy. For the first time I can sort of see how that is done. -Rob Gordon (High Fidelity)