Over the past two months, I’ve seen my mental health get a little out of hand and I’ve started to see me, in a way, losing myself. I feel like ever since releasing the truth about my situation with my family and dealing with depression and ptsd while dealing with current issues including them has really shifted the way I’ve been living. It really got to a point where I had stopped eating and sleeping properly. I became more angry and I started to grow less and less emotion towards the people I was raised around.
There was a lot of things I saw within these people that made me question why people did the wrong things to get everything they wanted. It ranged from women’s rights, to gentrification, to religion, and just plain good intentions.
In this post, I am going to be expressing my opinion on these subjects, and bring up the way I was raised along with what people expected of me.
*DISCLAIMER: These are simply my opinions and what I personally feel. I have no intention of forcing change with anyone’s mindset, and this is just to display opinions brought up by experiences. I like to have an open mind and listen to what others have to say, so if there is something that needs to be said, I’d be more than happy to have a simple conversation.*
My mom is a widow, and from her experiences with men, she’s kind of taught my brother’s and I to respect women and their life choices, whether they be upper class or the lowest of all class. Since I was the only girl of the three, she would tell me not to let a man tell me how to think, because when that man leaves me all alone, I would have nothing. She was very independent, so I picked that up from her.
Now, also living with a very abusive aunt, she favored the boys more. She would tell them to respect women, but when teaching me what was right, it was always “you can’t wear that because you live with men”. I remember this one day when I was fourteen, we all went downstairs to meet one of our new dogs, and my aunt had approached me, wearing a simple tank top, and aggressively pulled the tank top to my collar bones. I was never allowed to wear anything like a bralette or shorts with tights because it was deemed as “inappropriate” and I was never allowed to wear anything like that unless it was for my future husband.
I have grown to become very independent and very vocal about when a man is making me uncomfortable. For example, I live by this one barber shop, and every guy who goes there would catcall me when they had the chance. I would turn to them and tell them that I would report them if I get another flirt. I’ve also been groped twice without consent, gaslighted and assaulted.
Another thing I would recall if my aunt telling me not to do anything because men can do every job for me. She would have my brothers carry the groceries upstairs and have them learn about my uncle and his electrician work. Eventually, she noticed that our house was always being fixed, but it wasn’t from the ones who were supposed to do the work. My mom and I were the ones who fixed a lot of our apartment. I even broke open our front door locks and reinstalled it. The best day was when she saw me carrying a large case of water and she muttered “that looks like a job for your brothers” to which I responded with “I’m a woman, I can get this done myself”.
Women are just as equal human beings as any man walking the streets with confidence. I support women and their decisions to do what they want, because I’ve seen men get what they want so easily. Women have every right to be what they want to be, whether it to be religious, married and having four kids, or to not have kids, stay single, and study philosophy rather than attend church. I support women for making their own choices and for being the strongest of the strong.
Don’t Have to be Religious to Pray:
I like to have faith, but I don’t define myself under an organized religious group. I do believe a bit of everything, and I love to dwell in the astrology realm. It sounds like a lot, but I love reading new things about everything.
My mom raised us Catholic, but she told us after every confirmation that we could choose whatever religion we wanted to believe in. Eventually, she admitted to us she was never Catholic but she simply believes in God and that is all.
My dad’s side of the family grew up Catholic, so I had numerous people reading different prayers to me. My aunt was the one who would scold me for choosing to read anything but the Bible. She scolded me once when my sister in law and I joked about astrology and our zodiac signs. It would always be so pressed on to the point where I doubted all religion. I couldn’t believe in anything and I closed it all out of my mind.
Eventually, after a series of unfortunate events, I had picked up the Bible and read through some of it. Soon it was other books and then it became astrology. This is what opened my mind to different people and their views on everything based on religion.
I understand the idea of separate religious groups, but I also understand the thought of having faith in something without falling under a specific group. I believe forcing it and pressing it upon others is wrong because we are all different and want to believe in different things, but expressing it and being open to learning about more groups is healthy and unifying.
Fuck a Fake Smile:
This is simply related to good intentions and being a genuinely good person without expecting anything in return.
I see a lot of my family members going all out and doing what they can to show they’re helping others, but I never see them actually putting in effort for others. I always questioned that. Was I really making change to help someone if I was posting about it rather than helping them find a therapist or get a job or find a place to live?
I eventually found that to be very fake considering these are the people that caused me to lose my sanity and nearly end my own life, so I like to open my doors to kindness and good nature. I don’t want to be cocky about the good things I’ve done. There’s no point about bragging about it online because you already know you did something good to help someone.
I gave up on being that person to post everywhere about making change to lives, because I refuse to be the person to expect something in return after saving a life. No compensation. No new followers. I just want to add more positive vibes in the world rather than add pessimism.
There is a War Inside My Head:
This will be the last thing I talk about, because I personally feel like I deal with this the most.
My whole life, mental health has been seen as nothing but sadness. If we’re sad, we have to pray daily until we’re better. We had to simply pretend we weren’t dealing with a constant battle.
When it was revealed that my dad suffered from depression and that it was genetic, his sister was never sure as to why he dealt with it. Eventually I discovered my other aunt and her family developed borderline personality disorder.
After my crisis at home, my mom and brothers opened up and we worked together to understand the things we were going through and learned to accept those with mental health struggles.
Unfortunately, the rest of my family is still learning to grasp it, but they never really got around to accepting the issue I was dealing with. My depression was never validated to them and well, they became reasons why my head kept getting more irrational.
It’s always hard to pinpoint how to help mental illnesses, but the most we can do as human beings, is simply be there for those in need. My mom never figured out the answer to cure depression, but she knows that when I’m in that state, she drags me out of bed, gives me tea and sends me out on a walk. When I have friends in need of a simple conversation, I devote the time to make sure they aren’t alone. Not everyone wants to get medication, and some can’t afford a therapist, and some even turn to smoking pot as a way to help. We all have different coping skills and helping us find it, we are being helped from feeling the way we feel.
Call those who need it. Check in and connect, because without that connection, we are losing a piece of us. Support those who need it.