Journal Entry 2: river

I really do love the water. Sometimes I just feel like I need an escape. There’s nothing better than dunking my warm body into the icy cold water. I love watching my hair drift, weightless, tangled and messy. Throughout my stay in Hungary, the Danube was there. I visited both Budapest and Vác and the Danube flowed through both. Growing up my house had a river running through it and I would love the sound of gushing water, not only was it captivating to listen to but it was also the source of life. One of the best memories I have with my father is when we’d go fishing together. He would catch the fish and my mum would cook it up on the frying pan.

I am like my father. No matter how hard I try to fight it, I am his daughter. Maybe it’s just encoded into my DNA. I’m hot-headed and aggressive, passionate yet also irrational too. I remember the day my dad taught me to ride a bike without training wheels. I remember asking him not to let go, but when I got halfway down our driveway I looked back and he wasn’t there. Perhaps this is just another fact of life, our parents won’t always decide to stay with us in this journey.

I want to live by the river. I want to get away because I’m not built for the city. We could start a whole new life together. Maybe you’d get sick of me. Maybe it is all just genetic. My father worked his entire adult life in the city until he finally recoiled back into nature. Maybe you will be like me. Like him.

In Vác, there was a beautiful clearing and I remember sitting on a rock watching a father teach his son how to kayak. It was autumn and the leaves were turning yellow. I walked in the town by the river with a rock wall to lean on occasionally so I could absorb the beauty of Hungary and I would hear the crunch of autumn leaves on the ground beneath my feet. This is how I know you’d be just like me, going out of your way to stomp on autumn leaves. This world is scary but it’s also beautiful and magnificent. There’s beauty in the small moments, the everyday moments, the mundane. There’s beauty in a father teaching his son how to kayak, there’s beauty in a father teaching his daughter to ride a bike.

I’ll close my eyes and imagine we are both there together. One day.

Journal Entry Day 1: the emotionally unavailable mum

I’ve decided to write a public journal to keep myself accountable and make sure I’m putting in the hard work towards self-improvement! Hope y’all enjoy my rants/thoughts/therapeutic essays

I knew from an early age that my grandmother passed when my mother was 8. I was anxious for that entire year when I myself turned 8. I wanted her to sleep next to me at night and I often had to take cough syrup to sleep. I think this is probably my earliest memories of experiencing anxiety.

The thing is, as a child, I was very attached to my mother. My mothers descriptions of me when I was younger almost make me sound like a baby koala hugging on tightly to the mama koala. However, as soon as I started thinking for myself and realising the environment I grew up in was very much abnormal, our relationship quickly became fractured.

I despise a lot about my mother. She’s an emotionally unavailable person. She rides off of my own accomplishments (which aren’t a lot to begin with anyway) whilst simultaneously makes me feel sh#t about my rather broad degree which leaves me with minimal employment opportunities. She is a woman that is consumed by her favouritism of my older sister. She never fails to remind me that I’m her least favourite child. One of the more explicit times she reaffirmed this for me was when she told me she wished she had an abortion with me. Needless to say, we don’t have a close relationship at all.

I don’t really like Mother’s Day. Now I’m older and realise the extent of neglect that I experienced during my childhood, I find it hard to grapple with the idea that I could repeat history. All of these thoughts probably also stem from a deep-rooted sense of insecurity and inadequacy. I know I’m capable of change which certainly gives me hope.

Maybe I too will become an emotionally unavailable mother. Maybe I won’t.

A small bump. No one knows that you exist but me. The stretching of skin, pants which no longer fit and the morning sickness that has started to subside. Everything is at peace.

My mother is not a nurturing person at all. I often think I’m just as cold as she is. So cold I don’t even want to wake up. It’s like I see the world with a blue hue. Although I see myself as a realist, people think I’m a pessimist. Maybe I’m just as poisonous as she is. Maybe I really am like her. Maybe there is no way to escape our past. Maybe new life can’t even fix what’s wrong inside of me.

I don’t expect anyone to be perfect, not even my mother. What I expect is that when people have children, they actually show they care about them. Although I know my parents wanted me, planned for me even, I certainly didn’t feel like it at all. Every day with my parents really felt like harsh Tasmanian winter mornings where our car window would be frozen and there would be a layer of ice on the grass. I knew I had to get up and start the day, I just hated bracing myself for the icy cold.

Life update: postgrad, work & new family member

Most of my friends know that I absolutely love studying. I’m hoping to graduate in July this year from my undergraduate arts degree. It’s honestly been the best yet most tumultuous period of my life. I feel like I’ve poured all my energy into this degree just to get the opportunity to do an honours degree to finally realise it may not be exactly what I want. Although I already have a research proposal in mind, I am not sure if pursing an honours degree is what I want. For years I’ve been writing my own journalistic pieces on another blog to express myself and my thoughts. I never even considered pursing a Masters of Journalism until recently. I’ve considered a postgraduate law degree (Juris doctor), for which I’ve already received a conditional offer. Throughout my degree, I’ve dipped into subjects which intersect with law and journalism so it’s certainly an area of interest. I’ve considered changing sectors completely, invested time and money into doing so, just to realise it’s also not what I want. To be consumed by indecision is exhausting.

I’ve been applying for jobs to give myself a feeling of security in case pursing further studies is something I don’t want, or, in the event I just want a break from studying. It’s been an interesting yet challenging process. I think a lot of what happens in university doesn’t necessarily help to prepare you for ‘adulting.’

For the first time since the pandemic, I have started to feel kind of normal. I’ve been working out consistently and I’m now in my third week of this newfound motivation to go to the gym. I’ve been keeping a food journal to help keep myself accountable and engage in much more meaningful conversations with my dietician. I’ve been going to the gym 4 times a week, with the aims of increasing it to 5-6 days out of the week. Life seems to be getting in the way of this goal. I’ve been preparing for exams, whilst trying to adapt to having a new and much larger dog in the house. With all this change happening in my life, I do feel a little bit of sadness too. I genuinely feel like I’m waving goodbye to another version of myself. I’m trying to let go of all the trauma which has unfolded over the course of my time at university. Four and a half years which have encompassed times which were fun and full of excitement, as well as periods which were traumatic and also extremely sad or depressing. Most importantly, I finally can let go of this journey and move onto the next chapter.

I’ve been having sessions with my therapist which have helped me to finally unravel the deep-rooted nature of childhood trauma and neglect. I’ve been so worried about turning out like my parents and have completely overlooked dissecting their behaviours in order to modify my own and address my own toxic traits. I feel heard and I’m thankful to be able to access therapy and to have a safe space to talk about my feelings.

I can’t lie, sometimes I just want a hug. I can’t tell you what it is about this change and movement that makes me feel a little bit lonely. I suppose that’s what makes all of this so beautiful. For the first time I realise I’ve got to step into this alone. No one can decide for me, I’m an adult. This truly is my life and I have all the autonomy and agency that I’ve wished for. My decisions are solely my own to make. Whether I go back and do another degree or I don’t, it’s my life and my choice. I’ve asked for opinions from my friends and family but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter because the only opinion that matters is my own.

On a final note, I would like to thank every single person who got me here. I want to thank those closest to me who nursed me back to good health when I was sick. I won’t forget the endless nights where they stayed up, brought me heat packs or Nesquik and milo. I will not forget how they helped me to walk or dress while I was in severe pain after tough and grueling surgeries. Thank you for showing me empathy and kindness when I needed it the most.


September 2018 (taken by me)

Trigger warning: mention of suicide and self-harm

In New Zealand, I went to the Skyline in Queenstown. There are some views which are breathtaking. I feel the same way about the Euromast tower in Rotterdam.

My first baby would’ve been born in September 2018.

Photo by Pratik Gupta on

I felt like I couldn’t live without you for so many years. I still feel that way sometimes. It’s depression pulling me back in, devouring me.

There’s a certain level of dissociation that happens with grief. At least in my own experience, sometimes dissociating means to survive. Sometimes dealing with the reality is too painful, so painful that feelings of suicide and self-harm bubble up to the surface. I’ve struggled for years with undiagnosed depression. I was depressed and didn’t know it. I thought my degree saved my life, it gave me purpose. In reality, it helped me to dissociate from uncomfortable feelings. Feelings of grief, regret, guilt, anger, inadequacy and sadness. These feelings popped up so many times over the years in various ways. I suppose I am constantly reminded of the pain.

I still believe in heaven. Although I no longer consider myself to be Catholic, the concept of heaven puts me at ease. The innocent surely go to heaven. Those who haven’t committed sins. Maybe heaven and hell don’t exist. Maybe it’s reincarnation instead.

If heaven exists though, then God must exist. I battle with this. If God exists then why does he let people suffer. Sometimes good people suffer for no reason. People who contribute to society, people deemed as morally good in His eyes still experience pain.

Blood pouring like red wine.

I’m late.

Escapism. Loneliness. Isolation.

I’ve decided to take a hiatus.

Clean slate.

black snow

Photo by Irina Kraskova on

When we open ourselves up to others, we inherently make ourselves vulnerable. We open ourselves up to the possible criticisms of others, the stigma surrounding our actions, or at times, blatant abuse. I don’t really talk personally to many friends about the intricacies of my everyday life as a result. I keep most things to myself. Accepting that my mind is not impenetrable to the criticisms of others is something I’m getting used to. I actively seek to protect my own mental health. I give away bread crumbs now. Not many of my close friends really read this blog, in fact I’m not really sure anyone does. It’s why sometimes I can be cryptic or allusive in the way I write.

I’m frustrated and lonely. I have never felt this alone in my life. I’m confused and scared. I want to be grateful for this life and in so many ways I am. I am lucky and I know it. Sometimes I feel this incompleteness within myself.

Love is weird. Love is amazing and tragic. We hold on too tight and it can be suffocating. Sometimes we don’t care enough and then we neglect the person we love most. It’s a balancing act. I think there’s an element where I prefer to distance myself, it’s easier to let go if you never fully invested into someone to begin with. It’s harder to let go when you envision a future. It’s harder to let go when that future becomes tangible. The possibility of moving in, getting married or starting a family are all a lot harder to let go of when it all becomes tangible. No longer just hopes and dreams, but something that could come to fruition. I don’t think in actuality we ever let go of our trauma, we just learn to live with it. It’s like a shard of glass in the body, you don’t ever really get rid of it, you just learn to live with the pain.

The world is changing and so is my body. It’s all so scary. Perhaps because the world really isn’t ‘getting better.’ The world has been experiencing a chronic cold for the past century. However, I don’t think the term ‘cold’ quite really conveys the gravity of what’s been happening. From the Holocaust, Korean War, Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Rwanda, 9/11, Iraq War, Syrian Civil War and now the Ukraine Invasion, as well as a whole bunch of natural disasters like hurricane Sandy, the Tonga Tsunami or flash flooding in Yemen, needless to say our world is a sh*t show. Nothing is normal. It’s like the world keeps fracturing itself, maybe even purposefully. There have been no attempts to heal the wounds of the past.

Family Dilemma

Photo by Eduardo Dutra on

One interesting dilemma I think certain people experience in their life is choosing between their parents, or choosing between the family they are going to create. I’m certain so many men and women have experienced conflict with their mother-in-law and/or father-in-law. Perhaps I don’t have a strong connection with my family, however I do strongly believe that starting your own family would eventually take precedence over existing family members. Although circumstances change and this perspective may be naïve and ignorant, I think there’s a certain turning point where we’ve got to focus on our own family.

Perhaps a contradictory tangent, but I do also think it’s also frustrating when adults put their senior parents in nursing homes in order to evade taking care of them. Although sometimes a nursing home may be necessary, in the event your household environment isn’t equipped to take care of a parent with health concerns, disability or if an individuals work schedule doesn’t permit them to appropriately care for their parents, my mother instilled the idea that it’s not preferable. I also think this is a similar mentality adopted by other children who have parents that are migrants.

Being a child brought up in a Western country, this is the dilemma is real and I assume faced by many people like myself. How do we decide?

It’s pretty gloomy today and the weather makes me feel like sleeping. There’s honestly nothing better than sitting in bed with a hot cup of tea and popping on The Big Bang Theory in the background. I want a burger and chips because yes, food is always on my mind. I forget sometimes that fighting proves nothing, sometimes it’s just better to be in the moment and let things flow. I’m thinking about rereading some books that I love, mainly Norwegian Wood and Island.

Therapy Session 3 – 04/03/22

So I talked with my therapist about a lot of different issues which have popped up over the past few months. Here’s some of my notes taken from the session..

Boundaries: I seem to continually violate others boundaries whilst also not putting any in place for myself. My therapist mentioned how it’s often easier to pick out others problems and as a result of my own expectations, I form my own judgements which surface. In relation to a really specific incident, I crossed a few boundaries when someone had opened up to me, causing me to lash out as a result of my own judgements and being unable to ‘catch’ myself. My therapist had mentioned how I’ve got to work on catching myself and being mindful. In order to do this, I’ve got to have space in order to center myself in moments like this.

Red Flags: My therapist recommended that I write down a list of red flags. I’m supposed to ask myself what pulls me to an individual and what deters me from them. With space and time, I should be allowed to process if our values are aligned. I was recommended to ask myself if what I’m asking for is being provided. She suggested that if I’m basing it from a friendship foundation, I should create a list of my values and tick it off if they’re being met. On a friendship level, if the person is being transparent, non-dismissive, respectful and recognizing me for who I am, then despite all the other differences, if those basic values are met then a ‘bond can form stronger over time’ since we are able to work through those differences. We talked briefly about things like chemistry, familiarity, comfort and love languages which was something different.

Dating: My therapist recommended that I give myself at least 3 months before I start dating again. This is because I’ve got to give myself time to process through my feelings of anger and so I can experience the grieving process of ending a relationship. She said there’s a cycle where you get depressed, angry, you start self-doubting and I’ve got to allow myself to process through those emotions and allow them to surface. During this period, I am supposed to allow these emotions to surface, name them and make peace with them. We also talked briefly about how this is a period of post-traumatic growth which was a term I’ve never heard before!

This is just a brief summarised overview of everything we discussed. I found it pretty valuable. Although I haven’t really written out my red flags checklist, I do think I will eventually be able to get to it. It’s been a pretty rough time and honestly I didn’t realise how much work I had to do and how much I was suppressing.

There’s a lot more I’ve been wanting to talk about with my therapist, mainly being that I am a poor listener. I genuinely believe my inability to truly listen to those around me negatively impacts my friendship and relationships. Although I do think I’ve improved with my overall communication and tried to listen more to others and their issues, I do still think it’s fundamentally an issue. In fact, may be to the point where I sometimes myself can’t put in proper boundaries and become a primary support mechanism for someone else to rant to. The weird nature of this is truly perplexing.

I’m not exactly sure if I want to date again. It’s been something that’s on my mind but I feel so discouraged after my last relationship. I think being in therapy and feeling invalidated about my progress in my past relationship negatively impacted my own self-perception about my development and progress in therapy. I really thought I was doing well and attempting to address all criticisms that I received but perhaps that in itself was insufficient. Feeling inadequate makes me feel pretty sh#t about myself. No matter how many books I read or how many therapy sessions I go to, I suppose I will never be the perfect or ideal partner.

One other massive issue I wanted to tackle with my therapist is my often crippling anxiety. Crippling to the point where I avoid going out and enjoying myself because of my fears around COVID or getting sick again. I guess no one really knows what my hospital experience was like other than myself. I can still remember the excruciating back pain which made it near impossible for me to sit up or walk. I am really thankful for my health even though I do experience chronic pain. I am so thankful that I can walk. Perhaps one thing I need to add to my green flag checklist is needing someone who isn’t flaky. I do need stability. I need stability and faith in someone when I’m sick and scared sh#tless or hope that they will be with me even when things aren’t going great in my own life. I feel like the entire purpose of a relationship is to work towards eventually getting married. Marriage is the ultimate form of commitment, especially because it is legally binding..

I have learnt a lot from this experience though and it’s YOLO. You only live one. Say what you need to say, do what you need to do because this really is the one life that we get. I feel a little more ease in the future choices I want to make, especially with my future studies. I’ve come to realise that I do genuinely want to help people and the only way I can do that is by potentially switching fields in order to maximise my skill set. I suppose I will have to revisit this thought at a more appropriate time.

Photo by Maria Tyutina on

It’s been quite rainy these past few days. I really love it. I miss going on long drives at night in the rain. In many ways it was a different kind of therapy.

Moving on is difficult. I no longer play the songs that remind me of anything painful from the past and I believe this effort has paid off to some degree. I haven’t played Bennie and the Jets for years. I loved that song. I think now I can play it and finally embrace it for what it is, instead of having the painful reminder and memory along with it. Some wounds are more recent than others and I know it’ll take time for them to properly heal. All things do get better with time and may be I will too.

I remember when I was 19 in The Netherlands. I was on a train from Leiden to Rotterdam. Surprisingly, the public transport system there is amazing. I remember the beautiful greenery on that trip.

Now I’m alone, there’s nothing left just endless thoughts and memories, some which will finally be put to rest.