To know me, you have to read me. Otherwise, I'm just like everybody else. Without identity. Choose well.

Monday, July 18, 2016

DABDA part 1

Whip your hair back and forth. Shake them off.

Being in a hidden relationship, you would think it’s some high school forbidden love affair that requires sneaking out in the middle of the night or going out during the weekends telling your parents you’re with friends. It is, in a way, a little of both. But with bigger repercussions.
Beware, as this is going to be a rather lengthy discussion about the intricacies of breakups. This is mainly for those who are first timers in the field of heartbreak. Or those who are not really first timers but haven't done the process of healing properly since they started dating. I hope this can help.
You see, I am pure Filipina. He is traditional and pure Chinese. We had different worlds. But then again, these situations are not rare. This has happened to quite a number of Chinese men and women since the beginning of time. And eventually what it all boils down to, is if the Chinese partner will fight for you or not. I had stumbled upon a blog specifically about the Chinese interracial relationships, the hardships and cultural differences, written by a Western woman who married a Chinese man inside China - On the Rarity of Foreign Women and Chinese boyfriends/husbands. I only read this particular blog post and do not intend to read any more of them as it pains me too much to know that even a Chinese man living in China, preferred to date and marry a western woman. While I, Filipino (Asian) and he Chinese (Asian), BORN and RAISED in the Philippines as well, could not even bring to hold my hand in public out of fear. You can see why by the end of our relationship I would feel so little about myself that, I must have shrunk to the size of Tinkerbell. More of that later.
The trouble with star-crossed lovers in books, movies, and fairy tales is that, their knight in shining armour is almost always, a GALLANT knight. It polluted the minds and created the hopeless romantics around the world. I was once a hopeless romantic myself. I struggled to get out of it. But I know I had to, because most of the times my day dreaming just doesn’t make sense anymore. Borderline cheesy and stupid. I blamed my high school years worth of reading pocketbooks and novels, watching teleseryes and koreanovelas, that I became so hopeless I was so positive about love. Boy was I proven wrong. As I’ve read more and more about life and the world, I no longer am a hopeless romantic. I’m just a romantic now. Doesn’t really totally die down unfortunately. Darn you Mr. Darcy! But as Katy Perry said, “It’s not like the movies. But that’s how it should be.” In reality though, most of the times, your knight turns out to be the devil in disguise. In my case, he was the “Rumplestiltskin” to my “Belle”. If you’ve watched Once Upon A Time (tv show), you’ll get it. Although that comparison is quite exaggerated. Simply put, he was the selfish coward (Rumple) who couldn’t go against his true nature and pull through for me (Belle). Not even for true love. But then again, was it really true love for you Rumple? In the end, maybe not.
Our story is nowhere near extraordinary. Just two people who loved and got hurt. As we all know, not a lot of exposure is being given to the stories that didn’t quite have the ending anyone would want to hear or see. No one writes about people who didn’t end up happy. And we understand. Because, no matter how cruel life can be, we always want to have that little hope that if other people can have a happy ending, so do we. I have loved and lost someone that was dear to me. Who at first I thought saved me from a solitary, robotic, meager of a life. And for a while there he did. Until his reality started sinking in, and I was left becoming the depressed, lonely, and unassured woman I would soon turn out to be.
In my 26 years of existence back then, I fell in love for the first time. I was whole and positively radiant. I had high hopes for the love I was deprived of for a long time. Really long time. You see, before I was ready for love, I was afraid of it. I cringed at the thought of intimacy. I was an emotionally unavailable woman. I had suitors that I shrugged off because I was afraid they would marry me instantly. (Not to brag, but I am slightly quite a catch. LOL.)But eventually, for some odd reason, I wanted it. Funny how the universe works, when you don’t need something, the universe provides it abundantly. But when you finally need it, it gives you nothing. Nothing at all. For 3 long years. Until I became desperate enough to feel what everyone was talking about. In the movies, books, radios, and songs. I wanted it so bad. My firsts. First real kiss, real dates, birthdays, Valentines, and Christmas with someone I love. And since I was desperate for the next flight out to love and adventures, I hopped onto the first plane that seemed to go to the same direction I was going. Or so I thought. However, these planes will land just like any other plane. I didn’t realize in time, mine was heading in the wrong direction. Or that maybe in between, I was the one who wanted to change course. It was then I realized where I actually needed to go. And then, as per Mr. Amari Soul, “You won’t realize you were on the wrong plane until you’ve landed in the wrong city and by then it’s too late.” By then you realize, you got stuck. In a plane you don’t want to get out of. Because some part of you believed, and continued to believe that the plane could land in the direction you wanted it too. If you gave all it needed, hang on to every turbulence, and compromise with seating priorities, you’d think eventually, the plane will perform the highest hacked programming of them all, change course for love. LOVE makes you hope that it can fuel the plane to go the extra mile. LOVE makes you believe you can move mountains, even aviation laws. Because, LOVE, in it’s finest form, can conquer the impossible.
However, you forgot that love must be two way. And must be reciprocated with (at least almost) the same intensity and passion, to provide the buoyancy you need to stay up in the air long enough to reach the same desired destination. But you can’t control love. You can’t control the plane. A lot of things can happen in between. Again as per Mr. Amari Soul, “What you can control is you. When you get to the airport, you pay attention to the signs so that you don’t waste hours of your life on the wrong plane just to end up in the wrong place and have to start all over. You should have a clear understanding of what you want and need and where you are trying to go. Then, you should pay close attention to the signs. If it appears that he is headed in a direction that is not where you want to go and he’s not willing to change course, get out before you waste years of your life just to wake up one morning and realize you’ve landed in the wrong place with the wrong man.”
Unfortunately, I did not get out in time. I was the hopeless romantic, head over heels girl to a guy who in more ways than one, flat out said, I refuse to see a future with you. The signs were blinking faster than ever. But just like any other hopelessly devoted individual, I ignored it. Until the time came when I couldn’t ignore it any longer. So there I was, landed in the wrong place with the wrong man. He left me at the airport to find the next flight back. Back to the easy life of luxurious travels, high-end feasts, spoon-fed jobs, and mapped out lives. Back to the comforts of wealth, security, and status quo that he was used to. Back to the world he belongs. Then there I was, left shivering in the unfamiliar city of loss and heartbreak. Unable to get a flight back to my world and my people. Looking dejected and pitiable, I walked around carrying a huge baggage of fears, anxieties, and low self-esteem. I was unrecognizable, even to myself. And for the first time in a long time, I was lost.


DABDA is the five stages of grief. Please do search it in google to understand the concept of DABDA. D for denial. A for Anger. B for Bargaining. D for depression. A for Acceptance. These stages, by the way, does not occur in chronological order. Today you could be depressed, tomorrow you could be angry, or the next moment you could be in acceptance. Any time of the day you can be in all stages at once or one stage for an entire week. It is important to know that what’s happening is entirely normal. That was what I had to keep telling myself over and over again, because I kept freaking out. I felt like an insane person. For the first time, I felt pain I had never felt before. I haven’t felt pain of losing someone you see. I mean losing someone very dear to me over an illness or accident (God Forbid!). I have fortunately never had the chance to feel that. And I am truly grateful to THE PROTECTOR for it.  So, this kind of pain was very new to me. I have been through numerous emotional, physical, and financial pain in my life, believe me. They are in some of my blogs. I’ve had a series of unfortunate events that did not break me. I am a very strong willed woman. But heartbreak tested that. It broke me into fragments of unrecognizability. I had been depressed before but not like that. It was so different and alien to me that I had so much trouble coping. It felt like someone died. Or maybe because, a part of me did die and got chunked away somewhere far and unreachable. That’s where denial comes in.
The feeling of overwhelming loss and grief tends to overshadow the reality that you refuse to accept. Since your mind is protecting you from the barrage of emotions and memories you refuse to tackle, it gets lodged at the back of your head. You refuse to believe that what is happening is really happening, and therefore you do not feel the initial pain of loss. You believe the other party is not being serious, or will eventually change their mind, or will not be able to endure not having you in their lives and will definitely take you back. On the other hand, the ex-lover also has his/her own thoughts. He/she must be thinking, this is the right choice. I did the right thing by  turning my back against that uncertainty and close the chapter. I’m doing this for myself and my future. All these things run through your heads, while you go about your daily life and routine. Although rather spaced out and clumsy, but you are still able to do what you normally would do on a given day. But this doesn’t last long. It can last a few minutes, hours, or days, but it will stop. Eventually, reality will sink in. Once you see that no one is changing their minds. After you have talked to your friends, or the friends of your ex lover, and anyone who cares to listen. After you have brainstormed with them every little minute detail. After you have done "The last stand" by talking to your ex-lover one last time for closure, for the unanswered questions, the what if's and could be's, the empty promises and the bargaining, and ultimately the final NO. Then you realize, this is it. This is really it. The finality of the situation will open the floodgates of emotions. Like an avalanche. And you let yourself drown in it, whether with tears, or unlimited shots of alcohol. Congratulations my friend, you have reached the next level.

The good thing about denial is that, it protects you from that avalanche. Because, you would have not been able to cope if you get that avalanche on the first day. You will have died of a heartbreak. It would have consumed you like quicksand. Such is the beauty of our biological and physchological defense mechanisms. The unsurpressable urge to cry and breakdown is our body telling us to get the temporary relief from such emotional pain. If you haven't noticed, after you cry, you feel better, and be able to get that sleep that has eluded you the past few days. That is the start of the avalanche phase. That is baby steps. You will get closer and closer to the time you can start sleeping and eating properly again. Might take a few weeks but you'll get there. Taking vitamins will help. This is the perfect example that a process is important and necessary. You must realize this before you stupidly try to find shortcuts, pain relievers, or avoid pain entirely. You must realize this from the onset. Because if you don't realize this, if no one tells you how this works, you will end up prolonging the denial stage and by then you will realize months has already gone and you haven't progressed at all. It helps if you read articles about how to cope after a breakup. They tell you to create benchmarks. So you could see how you are progressing. I've reached certain benchmarks now that on the first or second month, I thought I would never be able to do again, like e.g. eating at one of our favorite restaurants. Although, you will regress, and it will keep happening. Just don't get depressed as to why. It is again, perfectly normal. Just go back to your baby steps. The articles help ease those anxieties and fears too about not being able to survive. If you don't have friends available as of the moment to talk to, read those articles. Hearing a multitude of testimonies from other people who had suffered a loss and came out better, helps you with the process. You will not understand when someone or everyone tells you that it’s going to get better because you currently feel that it will never happen. That is perfectly normal too. But trust me it will get better. If you follow the rules. It will get better if you have the discipline and willingness to overcome it. Read those articles. Search for them for whatever doubts or anxieties you encounter. The world wide web offers tons of psychological and emotional help if you only care to search. And in my country where there’s stigma about getting psychological help, the internet will be your ally. Make use of them. Because they helped me. They helped me so much. Trust me.

to be continued...