My Life: The Unspoken Monologue

As a school assignment, we were to give a presentation about the reasons why we wanted to be a therapist. I, of course, decided to write a monologue about my life and how it led to me being in a classroom learning skills to become one. However, as the weeks progressed and my monologue became more personal, I decided that I was not ready to share. Instead I gave a presentation using family photos that showed a glimpse into my personal life. I concluded by saying that I wanted to be a therapist for my family. Funny, how I almost convinced myself that this was the truth.

Through theΒ process of looking at my childhood, adolescence, and adult life, I discovered just how much of my past I had been running from. I do hope everything makes sense. Thank you.

In order to understand why I want to be therapist, I had to reflect back.

I thought of when I was a kid and how I constantly heard my mom get yelled at by my dad.

I remember how she just stood there, took it all, and begged him to stop drinking.

I thought about when my dad drank, his anger, and the pain I felt when he hit me and my older brothers.

I remember my older brothers, the drugs they took, them getting locked up, and taken away.

I thought about how alone I felt, the bad thoughts in my head, and how scared I was of someone finding out.

As a child, I wanted to escape my family.

But those thoughts of hanging and drowning myself became unbearable.

Instead, I decided to separate myself from my family. That way their problems were no longer mine.

My older brother wasn’t schizophrenic. He faked all the voices he heard in his head. And just for attention, he lost those twenty pounds. Barely slept. Never showered. He stunk so bad from not cleaning himself after going to the restroom that my dad forced him into the bathtub, yelled at him, and threw water on him until he was clean. Slowly his screams faded. He never learned his lesson.

My other brother, I hated him. His promises and his lies. The last real conversation I had with him was when we were both outside staring at the clouds and he turned to me and told me that things were only going to get worse from there on. This was before the meth. Before he got locked up for breaking into an empty house to sleep in when my dad finally decided to kick him out. Before the drugs messed with his head so much that he could barely speak in complete sentences.

At the age of fourteen, I convinced myself that they deserved it. We stopped talking soon after.

Years later when both were deported, I was too focused on school to care. And when one of them went missing, I was too concerned with moving to San Francisco to pursue a degree in a field that helps people that he never crossed my mind. And when I graduated, I was too obsessed with finding the right job that I had forgotten to visit the remaining one. And when I got the job, I was too stressed out to notice that he needed my help.

At the group home, I worked most days and long hours. Heard all these tragic stories by clients. I thought I was making a difference.

Then one day, a client ran away and I ran after her. I didn’t mind her cursing at me or the fact that I was running into traffic. I needed to save her. We ran far until she eventually got tired and decided to lie on the grass. She turned to me and asked why I didn’t just leave her. Nobody wanted her and nobody cared. I stood there silently. As she began to cry, I thought about how alone she felt. Her life full of pain. How much she reminded me of my older brothers. All her life she struggled with abuse. At the age of eleven she started using drugs. At thirteen she was arrested. And at fourteen she was sent to the group home. Before she ran away, she was told that she needed to stay there a few months longer because she was caught using drugs again. She told me she felt stuck and just wanted to be home and see her family. As I looked back at her, I finally said that I cared for her and the only thing that mattered in that moment was her. She began to cry again, but a few minutes later she stopped. A staff came and we were able to get her to return back. The next day she thanked me for running after her and to let me know that I was fast as hell. I smiled. Weeks later she relapsed and months later she ran away again. I will never know what happened to her or if I ever made an impact.

So why do I want to become a therapist?

Because of the guilt. Because I convinced myself that if I help others, it will ease the pain of not helping my older brother’s. But it won’t. And I will continue to search for that missing void in my life. And it will hurt. But in time, I will learn to let go. Learn that not all the things I experienced were my fault. I know that’s not the healthiest reason. Or a good one. But that’s the truth. And perhaps, that’s what that assignment was all about.

 

Here’s a link to the audio version of my post. Thank you for all the support.

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16 thoughts on “My Life: The Unspoken Monologue

  1. You were too young and trying to survive to help your brothers but because of them you learned and are making a difference. Be sure of that.

  2. My sister is a schizophrenic and I could tell at a very young age something was wrong with her. She still struggles with it on medication. Love your story.

    • I hope your sister is doing better. I know it can be a struggle. The signs are apparent, but at that time, I chose to ignore them. Thank you for reading my post πŸ™‚

  3. FayJay says:

    You did so well to escape a dysfunctional family. You should be very proud of being the one still standing because this kind of upbringing claims many. I know.

    No matter what happened to your client, I am sure she will always remember the therapist that cared enough to follow her no matter how far she ran, just to ensure she was safe.

    • Thank you. I am still dealing with some personal issues as a result of my upbringing. Even I am surprised at some of the things that I have dealt with in my life and how I am still able to function (for the most part).

      I was a residential counselor at the time, but she made a big impact on my life. I hope she is in a safe environment.

  4. There’s nothing I can say that could vaporize the years of guilt you’ve felt over something that wasn’t your fault, but I hope in time you realize that you were just a kid. It sounds like you endured more than most adults could stomach and you still managed to become a person who cares about other people, who wants to help. Many times people who get dealt a crappy hand in their youth end up being nasty, bitter people who abuse others – it can go either way. But you’re not like that, you’re good. Even the bit of kindness you showed that woman you ran after – she probably hadn’t been shown any kind of compassion in a long time, if ever. Who knows what kind of difference you made in her life with that one act.

    • I write stories about how I felt during certain times in my life. Although I started writing this monologue a year ago, it all seems fresh. In that time, I have learned that I was a victim of trauma, but that I should not let that define me. Slowly, I have been able to be more compassionate towards myself and move forward.

      I don’t know if I made an impact, but she helped me understand that people need saving in any point in their life and any small act of kindness can help. A value I will have for the rest of my life.

  5. Oddly enough, I want to become a psychologist after watching “Silence of the Lambs”; my family was largely codependent and passive aggressive, which is hardly comparable to your situation. The worst one is a sociopathic sister who has wrought havoc with our family. Nonetheless, I am very sorry to hear about your family; after reading countless psychological cases that involve “other” people, it is truly unfortunate and disheartening when you are actually involved in it. Feel free to drop me a line if you want to talk. πŸ™‚

    • I’ve seen some clips of the movie online and fortunately non of my family members were sociopaths. Sorry that your sister wrought havoc to your family. I hope your situation and hers has gotten better. A lot of the things I experienced didn’t make sense until I stopped to think about my life, so at the time I didn’t know my family was dysfunctional.

  6. Nicely written and very moving… denial is one of the most common defense mechanisms. It’s really cool how you’re actually accepting things already… i bet you’ll realize and see things in a better perspective now and see how all these will actually connect to a bigger picture in your life… πŸ™‚

    • Yes, denial is a common defense mechanism, but I think I used avoidance as a defense to dealing with things as opposed to denying that they existed. Regardless, the outcome was the same. I am just trying to move forward and understand where my experiences will lead me to next.

      • Looking forward to reading a post about your promising future! It’s great that you’re aware of what your flaws and all that… only then you can truly know how to become a better version of yourself πŸ™‚

  7. So sorry for everything you have endured in your life. Words can’t express how hard, how wrong these sufferings of our world are. I can’t pretend to know your pain (for mine was different). Yet I’m familiar with the pattern of coming out of pain and wanting to help others. In the midst of being hurt, I’m certain you failed sometimes (because I know I have), but you have learned from your past, and wanting to share what we’ve learned in order to help someone else – wanting to learn from past mistakes and bless others here and now – is deeply good, I do believe.
    It’s hard to know how healed we are now (I found books by Dr. Ed Welch really blessed me, as well as seeing a counselor, because I needed some deep help healing). I do hope you will find more and more answers! I find God keeps giving them to me slowly, though I would have voted for the fast-track πŸ™‚ So glad you are striving to put your experience to good use! Take care!

  8. Nothing is in our control. Ever. Once we learn that. The understanding dawns on us that our lives are not as much in our control as we would like them to be. Just the way your brothers and parents didn’t have theirs. You did what you knew best at that age, we forget a lot of things from our childhood. So don’t blame your brothers life on yourself. Do what you can in now, it will ease your pain daily. Then go ahead and live. LIVE the life you might have wanted for yourself and your brothers. πŸ™‚ Let them live through you. I hope you will meet them again and patch up somehow. Don’t worry too much. Like Buddha said, ‘Having compassion for others is good but not having compassion for self is worst.’ ( I might have paraphrased that!)

    See you
    Lots of love
    Hema

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