collection of my poetry and short stories

Posts tagged Ponder
You With Me?

"No one really cares. I'm not special. I'm not brave"

She just stared at me and I stared back at her, half hoping she'll dismiss me from the room or change the subject. My therapist looked at me for what seemed like forever and I said nothing after that. We both sat quietly in silence.

I was 18 when I entered therapy and hit my mental breaking point. To say I was exhausted is an understatement. I was physically and mentally depleted. I was defeated. I had finally lost myself. I think she knew because every week for an hour, she would see me retreat and dismiss every little thing a human found important in life. I could give a fuck. I could care less that I weighed nothing more than a 7th grader, my head of hair fell out in clumps, or that I could barely get up from bed. To me, I was nothing. But to her, I was more than the pile of rotting flesh that I often l felt. So much that she finally broke the silence.

"I think you're brave. You're one of the bravest people I think I met and I am very lucky for that. And I care a lot about you and I love you. Not because I pity you but because I want you to understand your worth. I want you to see yourself the way I see you every week. Cause you try so hard and I can see that somewhere deep inside you still care about yourself and the world. You decided to come here all by yourself. No one is forcing you - by law or guardian. You are here. And decide to come every week even when shit gets hard so please remember when I tell you this. You matter so much. You with me?"

So in times of despair much like what I've been facing the last few weeks, I think about her. Not so much her words but this very specific moment in which she presented me with myself. A rare moment in my life where I am able to look beyond sorrow and give myself the love I sought from others. The moment where I can stop grieving and self hating and let myself be vulnerable. Because the struggle lies more than just admitting your feelings out loud but remembering to give ourselves a break when shit doesn't go our way. I forget that I am loved and cared for constantly and this is the consequence of learning to be emotionally independent at a young age. I forget that people actually care more than I think and my absence much like my words have a profound effect. I'm human and I am more wrong than I am right. And despite my anxiety and depression, I am still Lisa Lei. I am still trying and that is enough. Everything is enough, always.

Mother Of Mine

I'm afraid for her as much as I fear for myself. I fear that I will be plagued with these same battles my mom stubbornly refuses to let up. I fear that she would make me her commander in these long drawn fist fights that I refuse to fight. Cause I'm tired and worn out too. I'm tired of fighting the battles my mom has created for me at a young age. Battles that have left me so mentally fucked that sometimes I wonder how I'm still functioning. 

But that is what happens when your mother looks at you with disappointment and hope. The odd combination of "What did I do to make you turn out this way" and "You have the highest potential to be better than yourself". Those are the two parallels I've always fallen into and to be honest, shit is never going to be different. As the days go by and her face is worn from years of wisdom, I'm scared my mom will leave this physical world without confronting herself. Confronting the notion that she may be mentally ill and that her mind doesn't collapse once in a while when she thinks about what her life use to be. That is what I fear that my mom will one day, sooner rather than later won't be able to recognize herself and have closure. 


I'm just drifting into the small cracks of my life. The small hidden places where all my seeds reside and are slowly coming into the surface. I see it. The not so distant light that always plague me with fear and heavy eyes bursting with sadness. I live here now. I live in the dark damp places where the seeds have found its mother, its rightful home. Sprouting in the midst of chaos and nurtured by foreign clouds, I see growth. Where did they come from? What is their purpose for feeding these spaces in my life which I have denied and kept in spider webs. Who knows. All I know is something is being birthed out of life and the only words I can whisper is "Beloved".

Secret garden

I remember when I was 10 years old and I was washing dishes and bussing tables at this Chinese restaurant in the suburbs. I was making $10 a day and was made aware instantly what my parents did 7 days a week to give my sister and I a home.

I remember they would come home late at night smelling and stained with grease and I would eye them lovingly hoping they would hold me. They never held me instead they gave me a smile. I smiled back, not understanding why all we got was a smile.

Even when times were tough like when we were denied for food stamps, when my mom got into a car accident, my grandma passing, or my dad losing his job, they still smiled. Never shedding a tear when times got tough, always reminding us that "Life is like rain fall, sometimes it drizzles and sometimes it pours. Either way we always dry off." 

I resented that quote because I always felt like the universe always had our lives in a flood. It never stopped raining. It didn't stop raining when my grandma passed and my dad realized how alone he was in the world. It didn't stop raining when my mom lost her job and had to figure out how to afford a house, 2 kids, 2 car payments, and etc. with her $326 unemployment check. It sure as hell didn't stop raining when at 13 I became a statistic and understood abuse. It always felt like we were drowning and there was no life boat in sight.

I stopped smiling and parents didn't understand why. I stopped smiling altogether and started frowning at the thought that we were drowning. So I did what any other immigrant child did, I grew the fuck up and became my parent's parents. From handling bills, immigration papers, translation, and etc. I became the authority figure. I was angry that I had to abandon my creative pursuits and even angrier that my days were filled with more grey skies and drowning flowers. 

Now at 24, I'm circling back to that event at 10 where I smelled of grease and soy sauce. I am smiling again. I am smiling cause I'm finally understanding the beauty in my parent's struggle and the symbolism behind that smile. They smiled cause they saw potential, hope, a sense of hope, happiness, and growth that only stemmed after years of down pour. They smiled cause that was the only thing my parents could ever give us at the end of the day. Their smile meant happiness, my happiness, their happiness, and the idea that one day when I smiled back at my significant other and kids I would understand why those rainy days brought the reddest roses.