Journal Entry 25: real talk

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I started a new job recently and it’s the first full-time job I’ve ever gotten. It’s honestly been quite challenging navigating working within a space where I don’t feel welcomed. I really only can relate or connect to a few people within the organisation. Additionally, I’m struggling to learn since the organisation is understaffed which really isn’t there fault. The pandemic has really transformed different workplaces. Most of my anxiety stems from imposter syndrome and this feeling that I don’t belong. Since I’ve been feeling pretty low I’ve decided to go back to group therapy and see if I can let some of these negative feelings out in a productive and safe space. I feel really lucky to access resources and I’m hopeful that I can turn these negative feelings into a positive experience or a valuable learning lesson.

I’ve been realising I need to do more for my mental and physical health. I have been talking about going back to the gym and swimming for awhile but since I’ve only just started working at my new workplace, getting into a routine and maintaining my schedule has been pretty tricky. I’m hoping once things settle down, I can eventually get back to it and incorporate other activities into my daily life. I feel going back to therapy is the first step that I need to take to get back on the right track. I’ve also decided I need to get back into journaling. I think since my job requires confidentiality, I’ll be writing a bit more by hand which isn’t something I’ve done for years. I feel really positive about being able to identify that I’m really struggling because I’d prefer to be honest with myself than to push down these negative feelings.


The past few weeks have actually been pretty hard. I’ve cut off two friends, changed jobs and stopped volunteering for an organisation that I really loved. I feel good about cutting off my friends for a variety of reasons. Mainly, I feel I’m trying to better my communication skills but also I’m sick of being a bit of a pushover. I used to be a non-confrontational person but I also feel vocalising my feelings is really important. I want to make sure I’m happy or at least doing all I can to get to that point. Sometimes cutting out negative people is all you can do if they don’t bother rectifying or acknowledging their own poor behaviour. I’m not saying I’m perfect but when I do realise I’ve done something wrong, I try to acknowledge it and fix it in therapy.


I submitted an application at university for a course I think I will really enjoy. I feel good knowing I can still work full-time whilst studying and I’m hoping to receive an offer for next semester. I feel this is the first step towards creating a future for myself that I want. After gaining workplace experience outside of university, I feel really positive that I know what I want out of another degree. I’m still applying for volunteer work on the weekends since I want to make sure I’m still giving back to the community through unpaid work. I also still teach ESL on the weekends restarting again next week which makes me feel productive and positive.

Even though there’s a lot of not so fun stuff happening in my life, I do think there’s a lot to look forward to. I bought a polaroid camera which I’ve literally been wanting for years. I want to make sure I’m living in the present and capturing precious moments with my friends. I’ve also started looking for new apartments as my current living situation is contributing to my negative feelings.


After all the trauma, there was a lot of healing that took place. Initially I was in a state of disarray but once that dissipated, I spent so much time reflecting on my actions and what I want to do with myself. Graduating and giving back to the community allowed me to find purpose during a really dark period in my life. Apart of me is afraid my community work is just away to escape the pain and trauma. Apart of me also believes it’s away to find meaning. In the past few days I’ve come to realise I have learnt from the experience. I do think grief stays with us but we find ways to turn it into something beautiful.


Journal Entry 7: burnt coffee

This stranger is running his hands down my body. Over all the lumps, this grubby fingers are enough to make me want to crawl out of my own skin. The room is dark, cold and decorated with music paraphernalia. I see condoms on the nightstand and he tries to pull me in but this is the moment I realise I can’t stay any longer, so I flee the scene, rushing out with my shirt, bra and jacket in my hands, this still half-naked guy probably shocked but I don’t dare to look back.

It’s cold, so I grab a coffee from a nearby cafe that just opened up. My coffee is burnt. I chug it down because the fatigue is hitting me. The fog hangs low in the air.


He lights up a ciggie and offers me a puff. I do so, only because it’s been years since I’ve even touched a cigarette. It burns my throat and I know it’s not supposed to. I know I’m not supposed to be having a ciggie but I do it anyway. It’s early in the morning and I’m tired. I should be sleeping. Why on earth am I even here?


We were on the Great Ocean road, I can’t exactly remember where but we stopped to enjoy the big rock formations out in the middle of the vast sea. High on love, back when things were a lot more simple. A year of fighting, fucking and falling in-and-out of love with each other.


I’m pacing around the store looking at the baby items wondering why on earth we have organic clothes for babies? Is there even really a difference? Of course there is. Everything in society is divided so members of different classes can access different things. You’re broke? Just send your kid to a public school. You’re rich? Send them to private schools only. Private tutoring won’t be a problem because you’ve got the cash to spend on whatever you want. If you’re broke, just make your kid take public transport, doesn’t matter if there’s crazies or racists on the trains or trams. If you’re rich, just take your kid to school in your Tesla, make sure it’s on autopilot though so you can have your fancy almond croissant and sip on your cappuccino.


I’m in the hospital on a gurney, it’s cold and I remain cold for quite sometime. Everything is clinical, sanitised, white. They wheel me to the opposite side of the hospital before they slice into my legs, leaving me in excruciating pain for the next two weeks. Who cares about drug-dependency, we need to shut this patient up so let’s just shove some painkillers her way.


Even if I’m physically here, I’m absent. I’m somewhere else. We are somewhere else. I’m thinking of her and you and us. All of us.

I attempt reading The Second Sex again by de Beauvoir. I’m reading aloud so maybe she can learn to recognise my voice.


I tell you all the time how much I want to leave. Leave, out of the city. Leave this place.

Let’s just drive. To someplace else.

Journal Entry 6: Eyes Transfixed

I remember when I first watched the movie Beau Travail with my sister. The scenes of blue-green water had my eyes transfixed on the screen. When my mum and I went on our trip to New Zealand, we caught a boat to Milford sound. I was engulfed by the beautiful scenery, images of seals on rocks and mini waterfalls flowing from mountaintops forever in my mind. Perhaps it was the only time I bonded with my mother.

Ever see a pregnant lady and your eyes just naturally gravitate to her belly? When the bump is kinda there but also you’re questioning if she is actually pregnant or not? Trying to avert your eyes but also hoping the answer will be there if you just look hard enough.


I used to love the movie Antz. I actually memorised and read the opening monologue to someone many years ago. Antz and Shrek were my favourite movies growing up. Antz quickly became tainted for me when I watched the Allen v. Farrow documentary last year, just another confirmation that men in power like to remain so, despite committing heinous and despicable acts. Shrek on the other hand, has grown on me even more. The underlying moral of the story teaching young kids that it isn’t what you look like that matters but, it’s whats on the inside that counts. Pretty soon it’ll just be another generation of women in this family that’ll be growing up watching that movie, I’ll make sure of it.


My third grade teacher told me off for writing in the middle of the page. Did she realise how hard it was to write with your left hand on the right side of a textbook?! She really hated kids. Disliked by everyone in the class, myself included.


I’m on a solo trip by myself. I guess I’m never really alone because you’re kinda just tagging along for the ride. Still only visible to me. The rest of the world doesn’t need to know just yet. Baggy clothes and hoodies to disguise something that really shouldn’t be hidden. I guess I want to keep you as my own for just a bit longer.

I love the gender fuckery of it all. Wearing a beanie and baggy clothes, I wonder if people realise I’m a woman under all these clothes, I have been told I look like an Asian boy before. The boat trip goes surprisingly quickly and I’m reading What to Expect when you’re expecting but let’s be real, none of that shit will be relevant when you actually arrive. Even in a rental car I’m mentally trying to prepare myself for you. How on earth do you install a baby seat for your car?

This is my home. This weird and neglected part of Australia that no one really cares about. There’s something tranquil about this place though. Something familiar. So yeah, maybe we will move here. We can both wear beanies and gloves to survive the icy cold winters but at least it’s away from the pollution and noise of traffic jams, trams, buses and trains. Me and you.

In the hopes of not repeating history, maybe it isn’t actually for us. Maybe we should go somewhere tropical. Instead of insanely cold winters I can take you swimming. One thing I do know is, when you’re here, my eyes will be transfixed on you. Pure amazement that I created you. Maybe then I’ll realise what unconditional love is.

Does fear intensify after having a baby? Like the realisation you’ve got something precious and you need to do anything and everything possible to protect that tiny human?

Can you love someone not yet born into this world? I suppose you can.


It’s our honeymoon and you’re taking me to Hawaii. Or rather, I chose the location and you conceded. Maybe I’m the asshole here but in some sick and distorted way, I love you. Power and control mixed in with fear and vulnerability. We fuck but it almost feels like a ritual, an offering. My body is yours and yours only now. Not even I have free will in this moment. I succumb to the raging hormones and offer myself to you. Vulnerability. Desire. Passion.


I’m afraid and scared but that’s okay. I’ll dream up an alternate reality where everything is bliss, she is the only constant.

Journal Entry 3: the oven

With the potential of Roe v. Wade being overturned, it has helped me to reframe how women in general are seen in society. A living incubator for an unborn baby, or as some would call it, a clump of cells. The life of an unborn baby is prioritised in some hospitals over the life of a mother. Look at Poland, their restrictive abortion ban has led to countless women dying as a result.

Women are always dehumanised. Just an oven, the incubator, a host. Women exist within an inherently patriarchal society. Irrespective of Amber Heard’s numerous flaws, society should not demonise her. The very fact the defamation trial is dragging her name through the mud makes me anxious. It makes me fearful because other women who come forward and speak up about the domestic violence they have experienced may be questioned about the authenticity of their own trauma. Irrespective of the validity of Amber Heard’s allegations, I think this could seriously harm the feminist movement such as the #MeToo movement.

This very paradox is striking. Women are predominantly responsible for reproduction. We literally create human beings. Sure, it takes two to make a baby, but let’s be real, women do the heavy lifting when it comes to bringing those humans into the world. For 9 months women create an entire human being and yet our choice is being deprived. Women should have a choice if they want to have a child or not. Economic, social and political factors are generally considered when people want to start a family. Even intergenerational trauma is helping people across the globe reframe or reshape their views on starting a family!

I feel confused, lost and hurt. Mainly because the female body isn’t being recognised as sacred. The female body deserves autonomy. Women and those who identify as non-binary deserve freedom and choice. Women and those who identify as LGBTIQA+ are underrepresented in politics, experience greater discrimination and have voices which generally go unheard.

The world is messy and I’m afraid for my future. I’m afraid for future generations who may not have the choices I have right now. How did we come so far, only to regress again?

From outrageous conservatives trying to re-implant ectopic pregnancies to now potentially overturning Roe v. Wade, these are all direct assaults upon the female body. Men trying to control women. Abortion won’t stop. Women will just seek potentially unsafe and unhygienic abortions and may become sick or even die because access to safe healthcare will no longer be available. This is perhaps Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaids Tale coming to life. Soon, women will be passed around like breeding machines for the elite, raped and dehumanised further.

Any type of assault upon the female body is so easily dismissed. Feminists have protested for decades so we can experience some type of freedom in the 21st century. Please don’t let their hard work go to waste. Think critically, read and question yourself always.

Journal Entry 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.

Family Dilemma

Photo by Eduardo Dutra on Pexels.com

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.

flamin’ hot cheetos & Pete Davidson

The Game, Kanye West video

I love Pete Davidson. I’ve only recently started to watch him on SNL & watched his comedy segment on Netflix. I think we all have a thing for the funny guy, or at least Kim K and Ariana do. It’s certainly scary that Kanye West is so obsessed with controlling his ex wife that he’d go as far as threatening her new partner with the release of his new claymation video Easy. How tone deaf do you have to be to realise this is an actual threat and saying it’s a joke at the end of a 4 minute video doesn’t really make it less threatening. Alright that’s all I’ve got say. I love Pete Davidson and I genuinely hope he’s safe


I want some flamin’ hot cheetos. When I first got pregnant all I wanted was flamin’ hot cheetos. Ever get food cravings and it’s all you can think about?

I had a great conversation with my therapist. I do feel like this is a new chapter and the only person I can rely on is myself. I’m feeling a mix of emotions but in so many ways I am proud of myself. I feel confident in knowing I can do this on my own and that brings me so much peace.


I love listening to the rain. It’s magical. Just like the movie Singin’ in the rain.

I feel so much relief after talking to someone about what’s been going on. Talking to a therapist is talking to someone with an objective point of view. I can talk to someone knowing I won’t be judged and with the ease of knowing they aren’t in my everyday life. There’s so much relief in knowing that I can turn to someone external for guidance and advice so that I’m not completely aimless on my self betterment journey.


I’m sad. And that’s okay. I don’t really care if this piece is gibberish. Sometimes I just need an outlet and writing is that for me. I feel cold and alone but I know that I’m never really alone. I am lucky. Everything that’s happening in this world makes me feel so unsettled. Ukraine is falling. World leaders have failed us.

For now I’ll just embrace the sound of the rain and turning of the seasons. I’ll close my eyes and rest & hear the echoes of a heart beating.


‘“But there is no need to grieve. He leaves good things behind.”’ p217 – Island by Alistair MacLeod

H2O

Sometimes I really dislike arts degrees. There are a multitude of answers when writing an essay. When I was studying biomedical science, fixated on pursing chemistry in some shape, I loved the fact that there were in fact correct answers. There was a clear demarcation between what was right and what was wrong.

Perhaps living life is much like an arts essay, there really is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer as to how we should live our lives. I suppose the basic qualities of being an honest person with integrity is a great start though.


Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Pexels.com

I look outside my window and I’m surrounded by mountains. Mountains covered in snow.


I truly started contemplating the option of not having kids when I began to think about the reasons why I wanted them to begin with. It all boiled down to one thought, I just wanted to be loved and needed unconditionally. There’s nobody more needy than a newborn baby. There was another selfish reason, although it was a less prominent motivation. I also wanted to feel something. To not feel cold. And maybe I am just that, a cold and disconnected person. It’s really quite funny how inescapable it is. We all end up like our parents in the end, no matter how hard we resist. No matter the years of therapy.

There is one thing I’ll never forget about being pregnant and perhaps it was the only thing I enjoyed about it. I can tell you exactly what it feels like to hear your baby’s heartbeat. It feels like you’re being revived.


It’s been awhile since I felt undesirable. In the wake of another breakup, I feel much more insecure about myself and my appearance. I’ve never really cared too much about my appearance. I loved swimming because it washed away all my anxieties. It drastically helped my cardiovascular health and endurance, which simultaneously kept me in shape. I began experimenting with makeup in my mid-teens and I loved the way it transformed my appearance. I still do. In saying this, over the past few years I haven’t cared about my appearance for awhile in terms of always wearing makeup 24/7. I’ve focused on a decent skincare routine but otherwise, it’s been on my mind sparingly. I think we all get a little too comfortable in relationships. May be to the point where we stop caring about our appearance.

I think there is a bit of a double standard though. I feel like women in society are pressured to look glamorous, fit and beautiful. Skincare and beauty industries are targeted towards enticing women to become consumers so they can become that glamorous, fit and beautiful woman that is Instagram famous worthy as deemed by societal expectations. I can’t lie, big corporate capitalists have gotten me hooked!

Let’s be honest, men don’t have the same expectations as women. Their potential only monthly expenditure is a gym membership to conform to societal expectations. For women, it’s a gym membership and all the other multitude of makeup tools and products which are deducted out of their bank accounts so they can maintain their appearance in order to be classified as beautiful. I think it’s quite sad that women are reduced to this as I personally disagree with societal expectations which pressure women to become consumers so they conform and become the ideal women as considered by the male gaze.


Photo by Benjamin Suter on Pexels.com

I’ve also decided to go back to therapy whenever I need it. Even if it potentially impacts my savings goals. I love the fact that I have been consistently going to therapy, however I’ve realised I’m not implementing changes I’ve discussed in those sessions. I’ve realised that I need a methodical approach to my sessions, outlining exactly what topic each particular session will be focused around and how to create and implement behavioural changes so I can see positive outcomes.


I have urges often to just say how I feel but in reality, no one cares for it. There’s an element of self-censorship and self-control required which is a task in itself. Just because we say we love someone, doesn’t mean that love will be reciprocated. Worse still, the level of commitment may not be reciprocated. Love isn’t enough, but surely effort is? I suppose the failure of my relationship is a good supporting case study to debunk this.

Although my year has started off rocky, I do think I can create something positive out of what’s happened. I mean, clearly I’ve still got a long way to go and this journey isn’t over. I’ve just got to accept that feeling down is okay. I’ve got to accept that I’ll probably feel a little uncomfortable for awhile. We all feel comfortable with something that’s familiar. I’ve just got to be okay with everything that’s unfamiliar.

Deceleration

27/02/22 – 11:08pm

The world is going crazy. I’m not even surprised anymore. Although I’m shaken by the political events unfolding, I’ve mentally prepared myself for the worst.

It’s been challenging these past few weeks, although I’m certain that my problems are minuscule compared to those who may have been displaced as a result of the invasion into Ukraine. I’ve been studying the consequences of conflict for about four years now and more often than not, the human consequences are almost always overlooked. I’ve lost a lot of faith in our world leaders who continually fail to help the people, often becoming bystanders to mass civilian casualties which could’ve been prevented if they had intervened.

My thoughts are with the Ukrainian people.

I would like to add here that Amnesty International has created a page to allow people to donate to provide assistance and relief to help the Ukrainian people.


I can feel the confidence wash away and all that’s left is depression. I’ve worked so hard to get out of this dark void and I don’t want to go back. I’ve overcome all the thoughts on self-harm and I deserve so much more than to be sucked back into this hole. I suppose there’s a lot of things I’ve been suppressing.

I’ve noticed for many people it takes awhile to be able to actually face their trauma. It took me 2-3 years to finally face the grief and trauma that I experienced when I was 19. Now as a 23 year old, I suppose nothing really has changed. Unravelling is good in many ways. Making ourselves vulnerable instead of pretending we’re okay is good. I want to keep improving by going to therapy and actually discussing what’s wrong. I want to be able to sleep at ease.

Thankfully I do have a good support system. I have friends and family who genuinely care about me, although it can be misguided at times. I have people to rant to about my thoughts and feelings which honestly makes the entire process much easier.

I guess one thing I’d like to discuss is that even when you’re in active therapy, it’s still easy to suppress or avoid vital topics that are necessary to face in order to heal. For over a year now I’ve been avoiding a few conversations with my therapist because I haven’t processed what exactly happened. I’m sure we’ve all been through something similar. I can recognise there are gaps in my memory created as a result of fear or, perhaps because the event was too traumatic that I decided to block most of it out.


For the past few weeks I’ve been writing. There are a few completed pieces but I still fear publishing them. I fear any potential backlash I may receive for being honest about my feelings around my own identity and how it’s been impacted and shaped being a woman of colour in Australia.

Writing has given me the ability to seriously work through trauma and grief. Writing forces me to look at the deep-rooted issues which keep infesting all areas of my life, like mold. Irrespective, I wouldn’t change a thing. The past few years have genuinely been transformative and I’m so lucky to have been able to access essential resources for my health and wellbeing.

After having gone through another breakup, I can genuinely say I gave it my all. I really do believe that loving someone, and being in a committed relationship is a choice. The world ‘soulmate’ is utter lies. People aren’t meant to be together, they work hard for a relationship and put in the effort to make it thrive and flourish long-term. People often believe that loyalty and devotion are expressed by not cheating on someone but I disagree. Loyalty and devotion go beyond infidelity. It’s about the commitment partners have to one another and themselves. No one is perfect and therefore, we’ve all got to put effort into ourselves in order for self-improvement to occur. At the same time, we’ve all got to put some kind of energy into our relationships so they can thrive. I suppose we have to draw a line somewhere, at what point do we decide to leave a relationship that negatively impacts our own health and wellbeing?

I look at my parents who have managed to make their marriage work for over 27 years and who are from completely different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Why have I been such a colossal failure in my own relationships? There must be a common theme in all of my relationships which ultimately led to there breakdown.

Now I’m single, I’m not exactly sure what I want out of life. I want a better future for myself but I can’t actually see myself in another relationship. I feel like a failure. May be I am still young and naïve. I’ve still got a long way to go on this journey.