When I first started posting on Medium in March of this year, I was on a roll. April showered me with the most posts to date, but in May I only posted twice. Now June is almost over and this piece you’re reading here will have been my only post this month.
I’ve had so many thoughts and plans and ideas, but I never executed any of them. I’ve had many drafts, but I ended up deleting them all. I would start typing something, but end up deleting those same words I just typed. Overall, I felt that what I was writing wasn’t worthy enough for anyone to read. My audience wasn’t learning anything valuable from my posts except taking in my anger and sadness and trauma.
When I started writing on Medium, I guess I had this concept about sharing my pain, especially as a second generation Hmong American/Womxn. But then I started to wonder about the impact of my voice: Is my story even worth the read when everything I write about is so depressing? What makes this even more complicated is that I have this thing where I don’t like to burden others with my sadness and pained experiences. So, I’ve been really conflicted lately about what I’ve been writing and wanting to post, since what I want to share is mainly heavy-hearted. And I know that that’s all I’ve been really writing about since I started here on Medium. Thus, the one month hiatus.
Thinking about life and social interactions in general, I don’t have much to say or share. I feel like I haven’t really lived because I’ve been so preoccupied with handling my emotions since I was twelve. But also because I’ve been held back by my family from being able to do many things that I’ve wanted to. People around me have all these life experiences to share and talk about, but all I can conjure up is my sadness. I haven’t been able to come to terms with my emotions and experiences, so I haven’t been able to retain nor recall the more happy memories.
In retrospectively evaluating myself, I see that I was a very (emotionally) sensitive child that analyzed and reanalyzed and then overanalyzed my experiences. I took everything to heart and bottled up all the injustices I faced, especially as a Hmong daughter — and maybe even as a middle child. I didn’t have anyone to talk to because my older sister was out of town for college. But even then, I lost trust in my sister and mom during my teenage years, which still affects us today in ways that are not transparent.
Growing up, I was this vacuum that sucked in everything and anything. I took in all the good and bad energy without being able to compartmentalize and sort out my feelings. Children aren’t dumb and understand when something isn’t fair, so when I saw how overworked I was and how I had higher expectations compared to my brothers, and that I couldn’t do anything about it, I bottled it up and had to just continue living with it. When I saw the differences in how I was being treated in comparison to my two older and two younger siblings, I bottled that up too and continued to live harmoniously with everyone for the sake of not having to be in confrontations.
In doing so, I kept to myself, a lot. I stopped talking and trying to be happy and making connections, which in turn made my mom complain: “You need to smile more!” My thought process was: I don’t have anything nice to say, so don’t say anything at all. But it wasn’t just that. I was also telling myself: I know you’re mad and it isn’t fair, but just stay quiet and get it over with; the sooner you do your chores, the quicker it gets done. That was the only way I could survive and keep the peace in my (patriarchal) home. In turn, I became the black sheep of the family because I “always looked mad,” according to my mom. She was right, though.
I don’t know where I’m trying to go with this post, but I just wanted to vent a little about my frustrations. I am simply heartbroken with myself. I used to love reading. I used to love writing (fictional) stories. I used to love writing in my diaries. I used to have stories to post on Medium. I used to just have energy to do things. But now I feel like all my loves and passions are fading away and I don’t have the energy to raise my arms to reach out and grab them back.
I don’t know if it’s this home and family that is draining all my energy, or if it’s my mental illnesses that are doing it.
Honestly, it’s probably both.