Thursday, September 20, 2018

BY PROVIDENCE

So, a lot has happened since my last post, and I will try to place them in linear chronological order so you might be able to follow my thought process in the past, I dunno what, five days?

The day after it was posted, Luca (who happens to be British), the last guy I dated, said to me in a text: "just to offer a non-Singaporean perspective, a doctor here told me that they very rarely prescribe SSRIs to locals and also seemed to think that medication could be a hindrance to therapy. I think that Singapore is lagging behind in this respect."

Of course I'd already known that, but he was sweet though, and I appreciate it. I know pills aren't a surefire method, but the people here are still very resistant to the idea of medicating for mental health. It's like, if you thought sex was taboo here, I think they shudder at taking pills for mental health.

I think it's even worse in religious communities, where of course, anything you think or feel is usually pinned on you, for not being "close to God", because to them, God is the solution to anything and everything. I just feel like it's a double jeopardy situation, where my mental health is closely linked to my familial bonds, but even when I know I'm doing poorly and want to seek help, I can't find the moral support to treat it, medically.

I don't know if my manager Aileen read my post, but she could see on Instagram that I hadn't had a stable week, so she texted me too.
Aileen: Hi Sarah
Aileen: I hope you're feeling better
Aileen: With whatever you're dealing with
Aileen: I'm here if you need me to listen
Aileen: Even after three months
Aileen: But I just wanted to say thank you. You have a good heart. You're a good person, thank you for supporting our team. Your presence makes me calm and happy.
Aileen: Thank you Sarah. Thank you for being part of the best team I can ever ask for
We have a joke between us because the last time she had a personal story to tell me, we somehow never got to sitting down and talking until three months after I first asked her about it. I love Aileen, she is the best manager you could ask for, she's usually calm and composed and encouraging and so very accepting.

The team has been nothing short of amazing. I don't know if I gravitated towards Lush because it's a campaigning company, and we are one of the very few companies in Singapore that are openly accepting towards hiring the LGBTQIA+ community, etc.

Sometime on Saturday, I was like, this is it, I can't stay in Singapore, this is not the place for me, so I tried to open a Chase savings account so that less money I earn would be contributed to this goddamn stupid dictatorial Singapore economy. I obviously needed a social security number, but I don't have one unless and until I get my working visa, yadda yadda yadda.

I think if I apply for Lush in the US, I might wanna try to do manufacturing. We don't have a manu team in Singapore, 'cos we don't have a Lush factory here. I think it might be fun to make the products, instead of selling them in retail, I dunno. I think retail staff really do God's work, facing people all the time.

Viv then told me about a friend of hers who'd also received similar treatment (or lack thereof) at the Institute of Mental Health, who'd received much better treatment from JCU's psych office, and whose case would be expedited even with a waitlist, based on the same details she'd provided. I emailed JCU psych, and they called back within two days.

I told her my story over the phone, my tendencies for suicidal ideation, that I veer very easily between being okay, and my depressive moods, and the fact that sometimes I'm okay makes it very hard to catch me suddenly drop in moods for no reason. She was very worried, and she says she would also try to expedite my appointment, even though there definitely is a waitlist.

(I infer from the fact that there is a high demand/long waitlist at JCU's psych, that either the psychiatrists/therapists available in Singapore are not providing satisfactory services, too expensive, or there aren't enough psych resources, and also there must be more people who have mental health issues than you'd think there are.)

Between the last post and this one, one of the aunts I'm closer to, also checked in on me and told me I could talk to her if I ever needed or wanted to, as well as my real dad. My dad asked if I was still seeing a therapist, and whether I paid for it myself.

On Monday night, around midnight, my mother texted me that she loved me, so I texted her back that I loved her too. And then, I'm not sure how or why it transpired, I don't know if someone else had clued her in to my dispositions, or she just felt like it, but at 1.14am, she said "please forgive me if i haven't been a good mother" and I started bawling insanely, just by myself in my own room.

It reminded me of some pages I'd read in Educated: A Memoir (because of course I am one of the biggest perusers of books I know of in person).
There was a pause, then more words appeared—words I hadn't known I needed to hear, but once I saw them, I realized I'd been searching my whole life for them.

You were my child. I should have protected you.

I lived a lifetime in the moment I read those lines, a life that was not the one I had actually lived. I became a different person, who remembered a different childhood. I didn't understand the magic of those words then, and I don't understand it now. I know only this: that when my mother told me that she had not been the mother to me that she wished she'd been, she became that mother for the first time.
The thing is, I haven't actually had the time nor chance to see nor talk to my mom since that text, so I don't know what the text meant for the both of us. From the anecdote above, I also know that sometimes words are spoken but nothing changes, so I honestly don't know what it will entail. I want to believe it's a major breakthrough, and I hope it is, I hope perhaps that she and I could even go to some therapy sessions together.

That night, while sobbing, I told Adam what my mom had said, and also that there was a major blackout that affected a few neighbourhoods in Singapore. It was a strange night, because power outages rarely ever happen, and it was the night my mother apologised to me. I felt very out of sorts, and this was the conversation that followed (after he had given me some proper advice on how to navigate the situation with my mom).
Sarah: Omg help how does one stop crying i have forgotten

Adam: Imagine a big penis
Adam: That's my advice for most situations

Sarah: What if the situation is to forget big penises?

Adam: Imagine a big vagina
Adam: Like comically large

Sarah: Ew

Adam: You could walk inside and warm up

Sarah: Hahahahhaahhahah ew

Adam: Is this helping

Sarah: Yes i guess ergh
Sarah: Thank you for being a friend

Adam: Travel down the road and back again
Adam: Yr heart is true
Adam: Yr a pal and a confidant

Sarah: I'm sorry i don't think i know the reference

Adam: Golden girls
Adam: Theme song

Sarah: Ah damn i wish we'd had that, the gifs are always so good
Sarah: I will now know you as an old, sexy grandma

Adam: This is accurate

Sarah: I'm amazed
Sarah: I was under the impression you had a -how did you put it- big penis
Sarah: I scrolled up to see if you said big or large lol

Adam: I didn't say imagine my penis
Adam: Though i have a nice penis
Adam: Anyway I have sexy grandma energy
Adam: Plus the penis

Sarah: Perhaps the penis helped contribute to SGE

Adam: The golden girls definitely have big dick energy

Sarah: I think one of the things i read did place all of them as having it so
Sarah: Did you write that

Adam: No

Sarah: Strangely enough by some measure of Providence the entire street of blocks of apartments have lost power and i can hear the rest of my family discussing it in the living room while im trying to breathe normally in my room
Sarah: I mean, this never happens but then tonight my mother apologises and voila

Adam: What my big dick
Adam: Oh
Adam: Damn it's late

Sarah: What the heck was "what my big dick" even in response to

Adam: You said they were "discussing it"
Adam: And we were talking about penises and BDE and SGE
Adam: Just a little goof

Sarah: I said they were discussing the outage, i distinctly referred to it in the clause directly before
Sarah: I know you know
Sarah: Why do i even bother
Sarah: You just troll me anyway

Adam: Because I'm so fun

Sarah: You're not fun, not as i know you anyway, but you have deffo been a good friend

Adam: I'm not fun?!?!?

Sarah: No lol

Adam: Wtf

Sarah: You're like.... "dont do coke i just did it and i wanna cry oh wait i did cry dont ever do it"

Adam: Yes that's true
Adam: Coke is not fun lol

Sarah: Not what everyone says

Adam: Were I doing coke then I would be not fun
Adam: You don't even know
Adam: Ugh

Sarah: Well if you were fun you'd let me try it to know for myself, but you act like my mom, deciding for me

Adam: I'm offering my advice
Adam: I'm not stopping you lol

Sarah: I did say you're a good friend

Adam: SMALL CONSOLATION

Sarah: I ONLY CALL PEOPLE I LOVE MY GOOD FRIENDS

Adam: Aw
Adam: Kiki
Adam: Do u love me
Adam: Would you poopee

Sarah: I heard that was a diss track
Sarah: ???

Adam: Would u peepee
Adam: Idk
Adam: Idc
Adam: Drake sucks ass

Sarah: Whose tho
Sarah: Is the question

Adam: Some 18 year olds

Sarah: Ok

Adam: That isn't a lie
Adam: He's dating a child

Sarah: Never said it was

Adam: He stinks

Sarah: Why? Like his music you mean? Okay don't listen to him and don't quote his songs anymore
Sarah: Solved

Adam: Culture insists I have an opinion on him

Sarah: You have culture? The white man who insists on calling girls "my dude"?
Sarah: S c o f f

Adam: I'm saying the culture at large
Adam: Insists I have an opinion on Drake by shoving him in my face and earholes all the time

Sarah: Your earholes that you have your headphones on and choose what they get to listen to

Adam: Not if I'm like
Adam: Just outside
Adam: And a car passes by
Adam: Or I'm in a pharmacy
Adam: And I have to hear KIKI
Adam: DO U LOVE ME
Adam: WILL U SUCK ME
Adam: or whatever

Sarah: I guess
Sarah: I'll let you win this one
Sarah: Because you're a white boy not accustomed to losing

Adam: Boooooo

Sarah: I literally just let you win?????

Adam: And were like "but yr White so hmph"
Adam: So now I feel bad
Adam: For being right

Sarah: Oh I'm sorry, master coloniser superior to all other races, what would you have me say instead?

Adam: Not bring it up in a conversation where it's completely irrelevant lol
Adam: You can call me master tho
Adam: ;)

Sarah: Oh damn are you... touchy about my white jokes? Also.... you always bring up humor where its completely irrelevant but of course when the irrelevant topic is your white race, it's touchy and cant be done
Sarah: Womp womp
Sarah: I lose at this

Adam: I tease
Adam: U can give it to me all u want I can take it
Adam: You know what sucks

Sarah: What now, did someone blast Drake

Adam: I really enjoy talking to you whenever we do and then I remember there's a good chance we'll never meet irl

Sarah: What sucks about that?

Adam: Is it... not obvious?

Sarah: I'm really? Not sure??

Adam: Wot u thick m8
Adam: Touched in the head innit?

Sarah: What even, see, suddenly you're bringing in british humor and i'm like, where did that come from

Adam: Lol
Adam: I wanna hang irl!!!!

Sarah: Whatever for! Istg im not this cool (ahahahahahahHhahaha im not even cool in text) irl

Adam: Cuz I like talking to you you idiot

Sarah: Well good because we're friends!

Adam: Yeah and friends hang out like
Adam: Sometimes

Sarah: Iirc you don't even live close to your best friends irl

Adam: I don't and that sucks too

Sarah: *pats your hair
Sarah: There, there
Sarah: Life sucks and then you die

Adam: Lmao
Adam: Idk I appreciate our convos is all I'm saying

Sarah: I also said i love you lol so i guess that also means tt i appreciate our convos thx m8

Adam: And it makes me sad we can't be together sometimes

Sarah: Same

Adam: So don't be thick with me m8
Adam: U get it too

Sarah: Whenever i think i'm sad then i think you said we wouldn't even be a good couple irl
Sarah: Then i'm like fine, he's right
Sarah: He's white, must be right ;)

Adam: Lmao
Adam: I think I said that cuz we were both sobbing constantly about each other at the time

Sarah: No wait my hand to a Bible (idk why, i neither believe in God nor care about a Bible) i'm sure when you said it, like a couple of months afterwards you really had some arguments there lol
Sarah: Like you were not crying

Adam: Well
Adam: Whatever
Adam: Idk I like what we have now as an online friendship
Adam: Cuz before things were gettin way too heavy and frustrating
Adam: But it does make me sad sometimes that we get along real good and can't hang

Sarah: Samesies

Adam: So there

Sarah: Here?

Adam: I value and appreciate u, don't die

Sarah: Omg
Sarah: That had better not be an elaborate ploy to get me to stay alive

Adam: Christ lol

Sarah: Tbh i have mental health issues i tend to have weird suspicions
Sarah: Don't Christ lol me

Adam: I'll christ lol u all night long gurl

Sarah: It's so weird
Sarah: It's been a year and i haven't found anyone i like as much as you
Sarah: Mental, this

Adam: Proper shite

Sarah: Bollocks

Adam: Bloody 'ell harry

Sarah: Yer a wizard!
Sarah: Also if it's 'ell, it's 'arry! Bloody hell adam

Adam: Sorry I'm not as familiar with the English as u

Sarah: Oh yeah i'm sorry i forgot you're more familiar with the Japanese
A summary: A year ago, it was the Lush staff party, and I told Adam I loved him for the first time, and he said it back, and tonight was the staff party again, and lo and behold, I somehow still love him. I like him very much as a person and friend, and the chemistry between us is so easy, it's stupid. I like that he's attuned to his feelings for a white man his age (one year younger than I am, a fact he's stupidly fond of, for some reason).

A year ago, we were both still coming to terms with ourselves, I think I was still in denial about the gravity of the shite I'd gotten myself into, and he was still reeling from his break-up with his hafu Japanese ex of three years (can you hear my saltiness? ahahahahaha I dunno why, I'm sure she's lovely, I don't even know her --- oh wait she broke up with him close to his birthday, who does that? also she's reallllly pretty, good on her lololol may I just remind myself that dating is not a competition).

I have half a mind to spend my last vacation weeks of the year in New York City and like, suss out the city that I think I want to live in, and finally meet Adam properly, not just by video call or whatever, but like, what if we both really fall in love with each other? And then what?

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