A few hours ago, I watched The Farewell with a few friends then cried almost the whole metro and car ride home. The film is about a 30-year-old Chinese American woman named Billi who returns to China to say goodbye to her grandmother, who only has a few weeks left to live. In one scene, Billi confronts her mom about her grief and tells her that chasing fireflies with her grandmother is one of the only happy memories Billi carries with her from her childhood.
Similar to Billi, spending time with my grandmother is one of the only happy memories from my own childhood. Continue reading
“What would you tell your own client?” my therapist asked me. “When you’re in my position, what would you say?”
I uncrossed my legs. My whole body shook, and shivers ran up and down my legs, my arms. Over the past year, my therapist and I had started to uncover the abuse I experienced at the hands of my mother. Though I had made tremendous progress, talking about the abuse still made my skin crawl, like the past lived and moved inside of me, tiny slivers of memory ready to burst into flames at any moment.
“I would tell them it’s not their fault,” I said. Continue reading
In high school, I gripped the fat on my stomach and stretched it thin until I could feel the hard, protruding bones of my ribcage. I sat in the basement of my house and flipped from the pages of my Algebra textbook to the threads of pro-anorexia blogs. I still remember the anxiety that struck me every time I walked on a scale, how a single number could reduce my diet that day from two meals to none, from a salad for dinner to a few grapes and no lunch.
Flash forward to this past semester of college. Continue reading
“Forgive her,” the man says.
A mask hides his face and a grey cloak covers his body. He holds a sleek whip, its length running along his arm. I cannot move, trapped by invisible bonds that tie me to the floor. His fingers caress the whip and I shake my head. Continue reading
It’s so easy to be bitter.
I could complain about how screwed up child abusers are all day long. I could call all of my friends and tell them how horrible human beings are and how I wish child abuse would stop existing. I could focus on the negatives, and lose myself to the battle that breaks millions of children everyday.
But I can’t. Not because child abuse isn’t a big issue – it clearly is – but because sometimes you need to simply see the light before you bask in it. We need to know that there is hope for those who have been abused before we can ignite a crusade against it. Continue reading