Tuesday, March 5, 2019


One of the mantras I really like to be reminded of is: if you don't heal what hurt you, you'll bleed over people who never cut you.

I believe this is relevant to me because each of my parents had their issues while growing up, and they still have their issues now, and it's always spilled over to me, and continues trickling down to their respective kids and families, because neither of them has gone for therapy or sought continuous psychiatric help for the situations they were in.

My mother had stage three cancer, for goodness' sake. That alone is enough to take an immense toll on any person's mental health, but my maternal grandmother (the one we live with) and I just recently concurred that my mother is not a person who talks about her problems, who shares her issues with anyone else, for fear of burdening them. The problem with this is no matter how much you try to shoulder a burden alone, sooner or later it will affect your children and loved ones, in more insidious ways. Your beliefs are skewed, the pain you want to carry by yourself hardens you and you are now hard, instead of soft towards others.

The last time I saw Joey was September 7, 2016. It has been 911 days since I saw him in person, although we did chat, on and off, for close to a year following that.

Before I met Joey in LA, the last big thing that had happened to me romantically was I fell for a guy who was engaged to be married, and I didn't know. That means when I was in LA meeting Joey, I was in fact trying to heal from having been manipulated, used and betrayed.

I liked Joey a lot. It didn't matter that he was an engineer who is basically the most techbro person I've ever dated and will ever date. We didn't speak the same language when we spoke, he would watch rocket launches and I would read a book while listening to Hamilton. I was interested in languages, he was interested in math and science.

In the aftermath of having been the third party (although I do count myself as also having been cheated on 'cos I was completely lied to), I told Joey I was afraid of being honest with my feelings, and he told me he also found it hard to face up to his feelings, or to express them. This was no surprise, he was obviously a techbro.

Nevertheless, I liked him because you cannot explain feelings. We went to Big Wok, a place for Mongolian BBQ on Manhattan Beach, and the paper placemats had horoscopes printed on them. Joey made a dig about how horoscopes were definitely "not something somebody just made up out of nowhere."

We ate sushi after he'd bought his motorbike at Thousand Oaks. He told me he never used to like sushi until he was older. Once he'd gotten his bike, he asked if I wanted to go for a ride with him, but I was at his place with only one set of clothes, so I wore his jacket and jeans, which were oversized on me, because I'm "tiny and the average techbro who gyms during his lunchtime is able to bench-press my weight."

We watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen together, and The Little Prince, and Pacific Rim. He laughed at all my choices, but he watched them anyway. While I was in LA, I had fun with him, and I guess I held those memories really close, just because I was really happy and I thought it was a good way to heal from the past.

The night we raced back to LA from Malibu in his Mazda, I desperately needed to pee (the number of times I needed to pee when I was out with him and he told me to just do it by the side tho....) but apart from the memory of myself in a dark portaloo, I also remember the immense star-filled sky that night. Say what you want about the LA population being fake, the city and coast remain one of the most romantic backdrops of the world. I put my hand around his on the clutch, and he allowed it to go on while he drove.

Joey was a techbro, but he also knew how to charm women. He had boyish good looks, he played the violin and piano, and he drove and rode mercilessly. He barely needed to try, and so he didn't.

Once I'd gotten news of my miscarriage, he dropped off the radar. I have to admit though, I did send him a message to leave me alone so that I could heal. But then I gradually texted him again, but he didn't respond to my messages unless they were suggestive and frisky in nature.

In the past year or so, I have written abrasively about him, and while I still do think there's more than a little truth to him having been a class-A fuckboy, a portion of my anger and resentment was also misdirected towards him, instead of at my mom and how she handled my situation. I hadn't had the energy or wherewithal or mostly hindsight to really face up to the underlying concepts and cultures that were brewing up storms in my life.

He was a fuse, but the lifestyle and community I'd been born in were the ticking time-bomb. As the person I am, that bomb had to and would have gone off one way or another. I think June through the third quarter of my last year was one of my most unstable periods in life, during which I was not sure if it was worth the courage and struggle to keep going on another day, and another, and yet another. So I went for therapy.

To this day, I feel a little guilt and a little shame for going on such rants about Joey. Just a little. I mean, he really did not contend with me unless it was a visceral form of communication for pleasure, and this was even after he knew he'd gotten me pregnant and I came from a conservative family, and he knew I was a fragile person with delicate mental health issues. He didn't handle it well, and sometimes, being a techbro just doesn't cut it as an excuse.

I really don't know how to find closure or whether it can even be found. But I can try. I'm trying for my own sake, because unless and until I really heal from this, I can't be content and healthy in my future relationships, and I really do want to be. I don't know if he still reads this, but somehow or other, news will travel to him anyway, so. It's been 911 days, and while he might have contributed to some of the down days, I could also have sought better help for my mental health, or I could and should have done it earlier.

Whether he reads this or not, I think what's important is, in my heart I forgive him. I forgive him wholly, and do not begrudge him. I do not need him to write me an apology or have any measurable form of remorse for me to forgive him. The point is not in his intention, it is in mine. I'm only just realizing that this could be close to true closure because if it were to be about him being apologetic, in the event that he never feels nor expresses his remorse, I would still be hanging on a thread and never be at ease. This way, I decide and am able to make my own peace by forgiving and forgetting (the anger and resentment). I hope he also lets it all be in the past and has forgotten and forgiven me. It's time for me to live and let live.

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