Re-Live to Move Forward


This was taken on a good mood day a month ago, fresh after a haircut

(I know, I’m at the point where I GET to have haircuts now! #BaldToPunk)

I have more good days than not-good days, and I’m here to acknowledge those days.

Recently, I’ve needed more space.

Since last week, I’ve gained more clarity from anger. That when it had never been expressed for almost 19 years, that monster just got stronger and morphed into a Hulk-Zombie busting out of its grave.  I got so good at repression that I no longer know how to release rage or have a good deep-GUT-CUTTING cry… until last week.

It felt like I finally cried for Mama Pham, for Ah Mah (Grandma), for Auntie Marie, and for myself.  They were mother figures to me who all died of cancer.  Getting closer to understanding anger is finally helping me properly unpack grief, shame and fear.

This kinda feels like a new start, though challenging, it’s a start nonetheless for the better.  Some might say we should leave the past as the past and move on, it may be applicable to some situations but not about everything.  It’s also easier not to relive the pain but I know now that the band-aid won’t hold forever.  That wound will fester into infection, if it hasn’t already.

For the pursuit of healing for total health, I accepted the choice to relive that 15 year-old self and verbalized what I should have expressed.

MAAAAAN, that was hard.

SO hard.

But, it being difficult is only temporary.  Wounds heal optimally with suitable care.  Today, I have a higher level of appreciation for psychologists – knowing it was a safe space, that I’m not there to be judged or to be pitied, but to be guided by someone with experience was crucial when exposing wounds.  And for me, my pot needed to be stirred strongly.  That shit had too much sugar, too much spice and a whole lack of love –  my recipe was whack.

Words have power.

I started a practice to write type out what were unsaid, where those unsaid words turned inwards with such negative effect.  I’m sharing this particular one and will state why at the end of this post.

———— Part I : DS ————

I felt hurt

I felt used

I felt like I wasn’t worth anything to you

I felt angry that you didn’t listen

I told you I wasn’t ready to have sex

I told you I wanted to wait for marriage

You didn’t listen, twice, you didn’t listen

I trusted you

How dare you take advantage of me

How dare you rob me of the opportunity to consent

I told you again that I didn’t want to have sex, despite after that night

You said “It’s not like you’re a virgin anymore”

I felt worthless when you said that

I got pregnant because of you

You are older, so I relied on you to guide

But why didn’t you use a condom?

I was scared about the pregnancy

I wanted to feel protected

To feel loved regardless

But you didn’t want the baby

You then changed what you said that you will support my wishes

Then you wanted me to have a miscarriage

I felt confused

What the fuck was I thinking

I allowed you to give me alcohol and drugs

I felt ashamed

I wished you would have offered to be there with me at the abortion clinic

But I had to be the one to request

I felt ashamed again for having a need

You said you’re going to get high with your friends after my abortion

And we haven’t even left the clinic yet

I felt numbed by that time

The nurse told me I seemed as cool as cucumber right before the procedure started

On the inside, I was fucking terrified

So, extremely, terrified

The painkillers weren’t strong enough

I felt it all


But I put on a strong face, not for your sake, but for my Dad

He had to sit in the waiting room with you, probably fighting every urge to not beat the shit out of you

You never asked me if I was OK

I felt ashamed that I had disappointed myself – in my promise to God, to my parents

Along with the potential of a living human, I also aborted myself

I felt that I was unworthy of living

I chased to be numb and started drinking by myself at home

I shut myself in, I didn’t speak about us to anyone

That was out of habit already, because you wanted to keep us a secret

No one could know, that would fuck up your friendship with someone close to me, you said

I felt unworthy

Because our relationship was not as worthy as your friendship to him

I thought love should trump over everything

Damn, I was naive

I needed to distract the pain

I cut myself

With the intention to die

You noticed nothing

You never even asked how I was after the abortion

By the time you cheated on me

The pain came like a familiar friend

Yet, I stayed with you

You were the only person who knew about how I lost my virginity and my abortion

I clung on to you, confused as to why

That wasn’t what I’ve watched in movies and TV

Was that what love is?

Did you even love me?

Am I not worthy of love?

I wanted to feel protected

Instead, I started to build a solid wall

I stopped trusting you

So how fucking dare you make me feel guilty for leaving you

How dare you risk me losing my job by showing up at my work, begging that I take you back

I felt disappointed in you for not owning the break up like a responsible adult

How dare you call me a “cold-hearted bitch”

I felt grief from the feeling of loss – my virginity, my values, my self-compassion

How dare you lock me in my own car punching away at the dashboard when I told you NO

I felt afraid of you

How dare you text me while I’m in school, threatening to shoot yourself with your dad’s gun if I don’t get back together with you

I felt guilty, that I had to tell my teacher and guidance counsellor why I was upset and needed to leave school for you. 

I felt guilty that the cops came for you and sent you off for a psych evaluation

But hey, you got all the attention and help when you’re hurting

I didn’t

How. Fucking. Dare. You.


You can probably guess the reasons why I chose to share this one.  I’ve never said any of that to anyone – not my parents, not my brothers, not my friends (I didn’t have any close friends at the time) and not to him.  I had channeled that anger inward to myself, resulting in over a decade of self-blame, shame and a little unforgiving towards myself.  But I know I’m not alone, and neither are you.

I’ll tell you what I’m NOW telling my 15 year-old self …




As long as you WANT to live and do good, you DESERVE to earn that right

To anyone else who feels this post, may I ask that we collectively practice more acts of kindness? To others and to yourselves.

It doesn’t hurt to smile for someone who needs to see one, no one is saying you’re being fake, you’re just being there for someone.

It doesn’t hurt to keep your opinions to yourself sometimes for someone who’s hurting, no one is taking away your right to say what you want, you’re just being there for someone.

An occasion is not needed to tell someone he/she/they matter, you ain’t lying because you’re sincere about that 365 days of the year.

Give each other permission to practice expressing anger in a healthier manner.  Think twice before telling someone “don’t be angry” or “don’t cry” – two of the most human things.

It’s OK to not feel OK all the time.  Faking positivity seems like another way to be ignorant BUT it doesn’t mean we need to label ourselves as negative.                        Observe – Accept – Release – Transform

Dig deep.  That nasty-ass hole.  Heal that shit.  Channel some Wolverine power.  Now live how we preach.

Don’t be afraid of that shit-hole.  Say to yourself…



My Fighting-Cancer-Fund Aid.  Thank you for supporting me and my quest to live on.

Published by Emily Lola Tan

I've been told that I'm tiny but tough, so I must have gotten SOME things right. On the inside, I feel like a mushy marshmellow who's a hopeless romantic and find corny cute. Writing "About Me" sections had evolved in the past x years of online profiles, currently, it sits at me still hungry for enlightening experiences and insightful traveling, particularly with human connections. My story at full length on the "About" page :) Thank you for poking around!

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