The Spaceman Story, Part One: The Lowlight

Last night, I cried a lot last night and thought a lot about love. It was very lonely and it lasted for at least an hour. But, I allow myself to cry sometimes. Often, I think we try too hard to be strong and to just calm ourselves down. It’s easier to trudge through it. And, honestly, it may make you feel better after a while. So yeah, I allow myself to cry. And I will also, occasionally, allow myself to just get unbelievably mad at the world–which happens in junction with the crying.

I think it would be nice to write down those thoughts I felt, but I will write about it soon.

I was thinking deeply about the song “Spaceman” by the Killers. We had guests over earlier this month and I wanted to color something and I told my sister to do the same–but she made some stupid argument about how she had no imagination. But, she asked me to make a spaceman on a beach in an astronaut suit, and have earth in the background far away. I did that and on the top I wrote:

The star maker says, “It ain’t so bad”
The dream maker’s going make you mad
The spaceman says, “Everybody look down
Its all in your mind”

I’m not sure if my sister knows whether or not this song is really about a failed suicide attempt.

The starmaker, the friend who thinks you’ve overreacted
The dream maker, the eternal optimist who tells you to just wait for the future
The spaceman, the doctor who tells all the people that this was all in your mind.

It started with a low light,
Next thing I knew they ripped me from my bed,
And then they took my blood type,
It left a strange impression in my head.
You know that I was hoping,
That I could leave this star-crossed world behind,
But when they cut me open,
I guess that changed my mind.

It was late at night and I had no idea where my roommate was. I was angry and crying and hurt and I just couldn’t do it–I wanted to die. Actually, it was homecoming night, and that’s usually not a huge deal at college, but there were a lot of people out partying, and I had walked out to that intersection on high street.

There was a crane above our building because of construction. It’d been there since the beginning of the year. Of course, on any college campus, it’s not hard to find the dirt and machinery of a construction site nearby.

Can I write about the rest? I hate admitting that it happened that I can’t even write the full truth on something only I read. I wanted to die because of many reasons, but Bo had done it. He had hurt me. We had been talking over iMessage. Now here is a really terrible thing, when he’s caught between two people, he tells me: “I just don’t want to lose my best friend.” And then you find out they’re not talking about you. And then you can say you’re leaving but it hurts so fucking bad–because they don’t care.

I was shaking and terrified as I stood out there below the crane. Did I want to die? Yes, I did, but I wasn’t brave enough to do it. But I felt like I was already dying. I think I lied in the dirt, I thought of jumping off something, but I couldn’t. I just lay on the ground–I’m not really sure. Maybe I did. I think I was walking back and forth and must have been making noises, but I was behind a fence. I think I touched that fence a lot. Cold, cold, cold, silver diamonds. I must have pushed my face against it and made imprints. Actually, I have no idea, but that sounds right. I know I was wearing pajamas and I did have my keys and wallet. I don’t think I’d walked outside thinking death right away–maybe I thought I just needed some air or just wanted to walk and walk and walk. But I completely lost it. I was loosing track of my breaths and I was pulsating out these tears and heaves. I was so angry that I couldn’t kill myself–because dying was the only thing I wanted then. I thought about my family but I thought if my parents loved me, wouldn’t they understand? And why would it matter what happens…I won’t be there. I won’t be a part of it. I absolutely felt my insides breaking in half. The pain was excruciating beyond description.

I never really made it clear [to my family] whether it was me or someone else who called 911. I might have attracted the attention of someone else, but no one did anything. It was late, and people were probably drunk, and they would have had to climb over the fence. By the way, I didn’t climb over the fence. There was a door that opened into the area that you weren’t supposed to open.

Well, I called 911. It was surreal dialing those numbers. Like I was in some movie–and I had no idea what was going to happen. The dispatcher picked up and I think I might have just listened to his voice for a while, but he probably heard my sobs. I told the dispatcher I was killing myself. I don’t know how he could have understood what I was saying. He asked my why I was going to kill myself and I don’t even know what I said. He said he couldn’t let me do that and I didn’t respond. Or maybe I did. I don’t know. I couldn’t say my name or the name of my dorm, but I got a location, I think I said something about high street…well, actually I did. The Lane and High intersection. There are lights on it and pedestrians have to cross there because otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to walk further on one side because of construction. So, it’s a reasonably busy intersection.

The dispatcher told me an ambulance was coming for me. I don’t know if I felt relieved. I know the dispatcher was talking to me and it was calming me down at least a fraction, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. I heard the ambulance in the distance and he kept asking me if I heard and I just kept asking if it was coming? So, soon enough there’s these flashing lights and the noise is so loud and hurt me and I was walking in the middle of the traffic. I could have easily been run over and but people went around me. The dispatcher was asking me to wave or make myself noticeable but I don’t know if I did that. I have a feeling that someone who went around me in a car inferred that the ambulance was for me, and signaled the paramedic. Someone’s hands were eventually around me. He took my phone and ended the call and then I was picked up and then there were bright lights.

So, all the events right before that ambulance? Nothing. A guy upset me, I went outside, cried, walked around in the dirt in my pajamas, and then called for an ambulance. It started with a low light. 

Photo on 7-23-15 at 7.55 PM

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Let’s Talk Made Up Scenarios

Sometimes I have these moments where I sit on the side of my bed and just get angry. Often I’ll just think of one person and how nice it would be to just push them. Of course, we humans start thinking up scenarios in our head and all the things we would say. We’ll work ourselves up, and if you’re like me, you’ll make hand movements or walk in circles around your room. For me, when I finally calm down and let my blood flow out of my heads, the reality is that if I actually saw this person or was put in this situation again, it wouldn’t play out like that. But really, what I’m left with that is actually painful is no answer, no justice. Why? Why did this happen? Why did this person do this? I deserve to be angry (which often you do) and I deserve to know why what who or how, or to at least have some sense of justice.

Even if your scenario was of you being kind and diplomatic instead using “that’ll show ’em” phrases or kicking and yelling, justice is so rarely given–at least in our little worlds.

My First OBGYN Appt Was A Disaster

Reader, I have terrible menstrual cramps and I’ve suffered  been told “oh, it’s normal!” when I knew it wasn’t. And now I thought–what if this is the cause behind my depression? This could be very true, and the things I learned about during my internet search that are all in blue.

From the research, there are a only couple things I want to actually write about. I came across this very important article from the American Psychological Association. It is not a long read but, nonetheless, I wrote a summary. 

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a condition where you emotions are uncontrollable during your period. It’s classified under the DSM but there is some debate as to whether this illness exists. Some psychologists think that it’s classification as a mental disorder stigmatizes women–to receive help, you must have a mental illness. Emotional issues in men that would be considered normal are seen as a “disorder” in women, and women should explore other issues in their life before blaming it on the hormones and getting on medication. Others believe it is a real biological problem that can be treated, and that disbelief of PMDD belittles women and increases the stigma on mental health. Psychologists say it is hard to separate PMDD and Major Depressive Disorder. Others say the difference is that PMDD is cyclical. There is research on both sides. It’s important not to jump to conclusions either way, and all agree that women shouldn’t feel discouraged from seeking help and that they need validation.

There is no real cure for PMS. However, I came across a blog here on WordPress about a woman who was writing about life after PMDD. She self diagnosed herself (I don’t really believe in this much) and found a professor who proposes a permanent solution, a hysterectomy. He said that women are discouraged from getting hysterectomy’s because they are ultimately seen as childrearing creatures only, or told the procedure was not really safe and should be avoided, when, from what he writes, the research proving this is not that strong. He is clearly a well-studied guy, and he promotes hyserectomys as a permanent solution. The woman from the blog sought him out and had an HRT. Many of the posts leading up to her HRT I related to, and now that she has had the operation, she believes her symptoms are not coming back.

That was a lot of information that I learned, and well, I didn’t know what to think. All I knew is that I am desperate to recover from this depression. For a long time, I have known antidepressants do not work well during my period but when I asked my doctor or told my mother it was just kind of shrugged off. I thought for a long time that contractions, vomiting, headaches, dry heaves, (and many other terrible things I’ve felt at times) during your period wasn’t that rare. Often my mom said that I should stop complaining because she had had to suffer through it, so I could too. This is really bad logic and I’m sure you can understand why Reader, so I won’t type out more. My eldest sister had intense pain once too–I remember her sitting on the couch screaming at the top of her lungs. If my dad inquired, it was “just her monthly thing coming.”

I have really sat complacently for too long. I went to see an OBGYN. My mother came along with me. This is where things became difficult.

Ultimately, I was prescribed birth control to balance hormones (Beyaz or Yaz–I don’t remember).  But I had so many other questions that weren’t answered, and I was very uncomfortable. My mother helped me book the appointment and on the phone she would say “she really doesn’t want a male.” In reality, I don’t care either way, I just want a good doctor who is willing to problem solve. Also, I knew she would come inside, but when she did, she told the nurse “I’m her mom. She wants me to come with her.” No, I don’t really. But I never protested. It would seem fishy and I wanted her not to feel bad.

I’ve had sex within the last couple months more than twice with Boanerges. We had sex for the first time in November 2013, when we were actually together, but we had penetrative sex for the first time this summer. Every time we’d tried before, I couldn’t do it. I’m small in general. He’s large. We were both nervous. There is no way my hymen is intact because I’ve been an athlete since the 9th grade. Well, I did not enjoy fucking at all. I kind of told myself I was while it was happening, because a) I loved this person and b) I wanted him to enjoy himself. It was painful during, but not after. I would feel huge knots in my stomach. I thought I would pee. My vision got foggy.

And, well, is this shit normal? We were doing these things in secret–I had snuck out. Was it just that paranoia and guilt, or do I really have a problem and what can I do? Is it just because of size, did he do a bad job warming me up, or was it a bad position or does this always happen to other women during the first few times? Is it something I ate? I’ve really had no one to talk to about these concerns.

I said I wasn’t sexually active because my mother was in the room, and I felt bad about it.

During the appointment: Sometimes my mom did talk for me, and I usually did correct anything she said, but after I said “no” to that other question, I was just uncomfy with the whole thing. I wanted to know how the contraceptive worked in my body. I wanted to know if my thigh gap is normal. Will my hips widen anymore? How will the drug interact with my ADs? Another thing that made me uncomfortable was that the doctor wrote the prescription within 2 minutes of her entering the room and me explaining symptoms. She went on to talk about side effects and how often, and progesterone is (I didn’t really understand). I wasn’t asked if I wanted to take medication or said “this is what your options are.”

Reader, here is the most important thing worth noting that I have written today. I have never really felt like I had great support in my journey growing into a woman (which I am still in the process of). My mom condemned my use of tampons and threw them away because of some cultural belief. I will never be able to talk to her about my sexuality–and I was so confused and now I identify as bisexual. Anything womanly is such a taboo subject, and she has made it seem especially taboo around my dad, who is a doctor, to the point where we all run to change the channel with the Cialis commercial comes on and when he asks why we aren’t doing something, and the answer is because we’re on our period, we simply just don’t answer because it feels wrong.

So here I have today written about one of the factors that contributes to my depression.

——————–
Hey look, Virginia Woolf!
Direct link to APA article: http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct02/pmdd.aspx
Direct link to Blog I referenced: https://msjekyllhyde.wordpress.com/
Dr. John Studd’s Website: http://www.studd.co.uk/biography.php

Someone Like You

I’ve seen lots of sad things and thought lots of sad thoughts. I’ve read lots of sad books and watched lots of sad shots. But nothing seems to bring me down quicker than the song “Someone Like You” by Adele.

Adele wrote this song about a relationship she was in with someone she thought she would marry. In explaining the inspiration for the song, she puts her feelings in such perfect words.

“I can imagine being about 40 and looking for him again, only to turn up and find that he’s settled with a beautiful wife and beautiful kids and he’s completely happy… and I’m still on my own. The song’s about that and I’m scared at the thought of that.”

I am too. Boanerges and I spent so much time thinking about our future together. We were stupid, naive, we wanted to marry each other one day–even though we were only 17. As adolescents, we all have many dreams: to be a performer on stage, to get into some elite college, to be president, to not do any of that and show everybody we’re great. Our dreams change and come and go, and throughout our lives, some of them may morph into something better, or others will become irrelevant, and well, we move on.  We keep on dreaming. And for me, I’ve always been a dreamer. I always looked for excuses to just sit and be able to totally and completely drift off into another world.

When Bo came along it was a new dream of living a life full of adventure and raising a family and growing old. For the first time, I had someone to actually dream with. We would meet each other and just come up with crazy ideas of things we’d do like, “hey, I figured it out. We’ll get a helicopter pad on the island!”, and then whatever day dream we’d been having continued.

I knew in the nagging back of me this was all a dream, but we took it too far. We were naive and melodramatic and hopelessly in love. When things went down, Bo moved on, and I thought I would be the one who would more easily move forward, but instead my dream cycles had stopped there. I couldn’t come up with a new dream. I just kept on imagining a life with him, and I still do.

It’s been over a couple years. All our last encounters have been terrible–it’s clear we need to stay away from one another. He’s immature and I’m depressed, only one of a thousand reasons.

“….even though I’m very bitter and regret some parts of it, he’s still the most important person that’s ever been in my life, and ‘Someone Like You,’ I had to write it to feel OK with myself and OK with the two years I spent with him. And when I did it, I felt so freed.”

Yes, the rest of Adele’s 21 are actually very bitter songs, and most of the ways I portray Bo are pretty bitter, but what’s written here is true. I will always want the best for Bo. I want him to be happy and live well, and he is the most important people that has come into my life. I was changed and transformed by our relationship. I don’t want to talk to him now and he likely doesn’t want to talk to me. But, I will help him if he genuinely needs it, listen without judgement if I can handle it. And I know I will be able to. Bo has hurt me so many times in the years following it all, but I love him unconditionally and forgave every time. People think unconditional love is romantic. No, it’s unhealthy.

So I’m done with Bo…but in the back of my mind I know I’m not. I dream that in a few years I’m going to contact him again, that maybe I’ll have recovered and maybe he will have learned some things about himself, and we can try again. And that we really will be together one day.

Besides the point that this is unrealistic, what would happen if I found Bo again, and he’s perfectly happy with someone else? Would I try hard to convince myself he’s not happy and maybe he’ll come around? That would be the worst. What is really bad is that, if I see him happy and successful,  isn’t that what I want? There was no bitterness when Adele sings the line “I wish nothing but the best, for you too.” I’m so afraid and embarrassed that I really will try again and he will have someone else good. I won’t be able to stay away or fight it, will I? For him, he’s moving on, and for me, it isn’t over, or at least I want a second chance one day, and a second chance that will definitely be successful. And if not, that pain will be more unbearable than anything I could experience.

“We were so intense I thought we would get married. But that was something he never wanted… So when I found out he does want that with someone else, it was just the horrible-est feeling ever. But after I wrote it, I felt more at peace. It set me free… “

At least Adele wrote this song that set her free and brought peace to her, but what will I do that brings peace? I want him to be happy. I’m terrified that he’s happy. I’ll want him to always remember me, won’t I?–because I will always remember him no matter where I go next. I don’t even know if I’ll last very long not speaking to him. Who knows? In a month, we could be lying back in bed together. I really hope not.

Sometimes it lasts in love and sometimes it hurts instead.

Where are all the Black People? (Ag Edition)

This past week has been tremendously hard. Everything feels difficult. My mother asked me to stir one of the pots on the stove and it was difficult. I had to thread a needle and it was difficult. I had to get up. I had to eat. It’s been difficult. I’m lucky to have family that supports me but at the same time I’m ashamed that I put them through all of these things–especially my mother. I know sometimes she just can’t take it, but then she does. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand that.

jerhard jan nauta on flickrI feel like writing about something else that got me thinking today. I’m an agriculture student, and I’m taking an online class called Intro to Agricultural Communication, Extension, and Leadership (ACEL). We’ve learned much about the history of agriculture in America, not actual practices in farming but more legislation, organizations and groups, and of course, people. The people that set the foundations for America to look the way it does today. We were founded on agriculture. In a literal sense, no country can survive without agricultural systems, but America in particular would be broken without agriculture. It runs so deep and close to our hearts. There are so many interesting people who have worked over years to keep this message alive.

But as I’ve been going through all this information, I keep wondering–where are all the African-Americans? We learn that the majority of slaves worked on plantations, but otherwise they become invisible to the rest of the historical timeline. How much did the white farmer do? Even after the Civil War, the sharecropping system kept much of the labor black, excluding those farmers who bravely went westward.

The beginning calls for a US Department of Agriculture came in large part from agricultural clubs or societies across America. There is no doubt that some of these groups had more prominent roles than others. The Grangers and Pennsylvania’s are just two examples. They often set up fairs to exhibit new practices. I also learned that the cotton gin and the McCormick reaper were introduced around this time. On reflection, I wondered if technology was pushed back from advancing as quickly because free labor was already so available.

I read some of the bylaws under which the USDA was created and found it obvious that the support they wanted to give to farmers across America only included the white males. We spent a lot of time in our class talking about the Morrill Act and land grant colleges but didn’t explicitly mention that there was a second Morrill Act for black colleges later on–why did they need to pass another act?

It wasn’t until we got to George Washington Carver that I saw a black face. I was annoyed by what little time was spent on him–this is not a fault on the design of my class, but rather on what information had been deemed relevant in the field now. I’m not saying I was annoyed because he was the first black person that came up, but Carver’s role in ACEL history was huge and deserves more recognition regardless of race. His approaches were innovative and slightly rebellious; his research was empirical and but at the same time mystical. He was the first “real” extension outreach worker, establishing programs to bring his knowledge outside the lab/classroom and into a farmer’s home. I will (hopefully) be looking for a biography next time I go to the library.

From there our timeline goes on–more people are named, more buildings are dedicated, more farmers are profiting. Yet, I learned in a rural sociology class last semester that the current population of African-American farmers is about as small as the period at the end of this sentence. So, what happened? It wasn’t as if they never existed. They must have lacked proper support or tools to keep their farms going. Did the extension workers just not go to black farms? Are there really no other African-American agriculturalists that did anything significant enough to inspire people to stay, or is the white farmer stereotype irreversible?

I can’t get over the idea that our early fields were plowed with hands that were black. Have we vastly underestimated and brushed off how much they contributed, or am I just thinking too much? Reader, I’m not sure how well I have communicated my feelings within these words, and I know that I know so little on this subject. For that reason, I plan to come back and write some more after some research.

Until then, I continue to think about my own position in this country and why I, as a South Asian, even picked this field. Here’s to better days and deeper thoughts that can distract myself from myself during this moment in my life.

Let’s Get this Over with

sasha by brian dobbins
I keep feeling worried over the idea of writing this first post but I don’t quite know why. This is my space. I can write whatever I want. The internet is so vast, ever expanding, with little details everywhere. Everything started with people–behind every page or word or piece of content is people. Suddenly, when I think of it in that way, this place that we spend so much time on changes. So, here it is, in this vastness–my page.

I don’t know why I feel so troubled. I am sitting in my bed but I am always so disconnected from where I am–floating in some place where I am too large or too small. These days take tolls on me.

A long time ago I wrote word vomit, so why not write word vomit here? There is an unlikely chance it will be read. I can hear fireworks and my sister lies down beside me in this bed. I need support.

Never have I ever told anyone the full story of all the things that’s happened to me. No one has ever asked. I want to get this over with. I want to get this life and this existence over with, but at the same time, I can’t fathom not remembering it. What will heaven be like?

Jitni tu milti jaaye, utni lagey thodi thodi
Zindagi ki dori maine, piya sang jodi
Ke dil jhoom jhoom chale jhoom jhoom chale soneya soneya
Dil jhoom jhoom chale jhoom jhoom chale soneya soneya
___________________________
Image by Brian Dobbins. Sasha fell off a cliff and was recovering during the time of this photo.