Sunday, December 30, 2018

Still Remembering

   Just a small post to express my gratitude to all of you. 100 likes on the facebook page. WOW. I honestly never expected to reach anyone. It gives me courage and inspiration to continue. So, thank you! (:

  I have so many thoughts and ideas running through my head and at some point, I will share them with you. One that has been weighing heavily on me today is the two year anniversary of the passing of someone very special to me.
   Back when I was trapped in my dark place and my parents had discovered my self harming, I talked to a few people after seeing the psychologist. Part of my struggles were my doubts about God. Some would say I was having an existential crisis or that I was overthinking things. I had talked to a lady that would soon after become my godmother. What I couldn't quite wrap my head around was how come there are so many musicians, actors and such that didn't believe in God but were so happy and full of life anyway? My godmother went on to explain to me that it didn't matter that they didn't believe. Her belief is that even though they didn't believe, didn't mean that God wasn't watching over them. After our talk, she recommended I went to our church's youth group.

I did and it has to be one of the best decisions of my life. It didn't make me believe in God any more than I already did. But it did make me see things a different way. There I met so many wonderful people that had a belief so strong it empowered them. One of them was Arturo Solis. He was a sort of monk that would go from church to church and establish the youth groups there to help keep kids and young adults off of the street and out of bad situations. We soon found out that he spoke English because after talking with the priest he said it would be good to speak with Arturo.
As I'm sitting here writing this I am trying my best to hold back the tears that won't stop coming.

   Arturo was like everyone's uncle, you could say. Every Saturday he would ask how I was. He would sit and talk to me if he had the chance and every week I didn't go he would notice and ask me why the next day when he saw me at mass. I enjoyed going because I felt wanted there. I didn't always play the games or understand the lesson we saw but that was okay.
   Like I previously said, the group or Arturo didn't change what I believe but seeing all those kids and teens happy and energetic and ready to believe in something they can't even see, it made me happy seeing them happy. It made me believe that there is SOMETHING out there bigger than ourselves that pushes us to believe. In hope, in dreams, in a future that doesn't hurt as much as the present, we currently live in. One person set me on the path to believing in myself again. I still remember so many times he made me feel better about myself.  So rest in peace Arturo. I know you are looking down on me and so many others that care about you. I hope what you see makes you smile. :)

And never forget, it is completely okay to not be okay. Goodbye, for now, dear friends,

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Resistance

   Hello again, Beautiful People. How was your Christmas? Did you enjoy the holiday? Cause it's okay if you didn't. Everyone has a right to feel a certain way about something. You are all free thinking people with your own opinions and thoughts. What's not okay is to almost force your opinion on others in an environment where you are in power and everyone else is essentially powerless. (Slight rant, sorry)
   Last night I had a sleepover at my house with a couple of my friends. The last movie we watched before we fell asleep was The Danish Girl and let me tell you, it was a very good movie. For those of you that haven't seen it, it shows the journey one man (transgender woman) had to take to finally become the woman he always knew he was in 1920s Denmark. Maybe you have heard of her? Lili Elbe was her name and I found her story inspiring. But it also made me think about some other things. Like how far our society has come from those days and how far we still have to go.

Back to it not being okay to force your opinion on others.

   Within the first week of starting Preparatoria, my class had recess taken away because we were being “too loud”. During that time while we were sitting around doing nothing, one of the prefects came in and went over some rules for the school. They were pretty basic. No bringing food into the classrooms, no crazy hair colors, no heavy makeup, short hair on boys. Nothing crazy.
But then he continues to say that he doesn't want to see any couples trying to hide or holding hands. Okay, that is understandable. He goes on to say that he especially doesn't want to see any homosexual couples doing any of that. That he doesn't have a problem with gays, but either way he doesn't want to see it. WHY?! If he doesn't have a problem and it doesn't matter, then he should NOT have felt the need to pretty much single them out and make them feel threatened and uncomfortable. I mean, I'm straight, I'm a girl and I'm comfortable with that. But just hearing him say that made me soooo annoyed and uncomfortable. We come to school to learn, not to be judged by who we are. If it was so easy for that teacher to make that comment, what's to stop him from being racist towards me? Or making some comment about my pronunciation in Spanish?
The suckiest part is that I really, truly wanted to say something but it was the first week and I didn't want to piss off a teacher and get in trouble. One teacher had already told us that what the Prefects say, goes. That their word is law. So I had bit back my tongue and swallowed my words, saving them for another day when I am ready to face the consequences of my actions.

I just couldn't understand why or how he was allowed to say that. Don't teachers take orientation courses for that kind of stuff? What was worse is that we had a (kind of obvious) gay boy in our class. It being the first week I didn't know how he would react to something like this so all I could think about was how it might affect him. (Sorry for the rant everyone, :) the whole situation was stuck in my head and caused some very strong feelings and words to pass through me.)

Thinking back to it, I wish I would've said something. Now that I'm finding myself I wish I would've been less scared of using my voice and resisted the pull to conform to what teachers `and other people who have authority over us want us to do. I believe my generation has at least a spark of resistance in them and growing that spark could lead to the wildfire that we need to finally be happy with ourselves. It just takes one person to speak up and start the conversation.
So next time you are in a situation like mine, DON'T be afraid to use your words to express what you want to. Even if the consequences are less than favorable.

And never forget, it is completely okay not to be okay. Goodbye, for now, dear friends.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Alone In A Room

   Hello lovelies, how has your day been so far? Gotten anything productive done today? I haven't. As of this moment, I am sitting in my bed, still in my pajamas, listening to a mix of Waterparks, Paradise Fears and As It Is, while enjoying the warm air coming in through my open windows. It feels nice.
   I feel like this moment right now is my safe place to be alone with my thoughts and not feel them attack me as they sometimes do. It's peaceful. It's something that doesn't happen naturally that often.
When you feel like you can't get away from yourself, what do you do? Do you draw? Write? Listen to music? Maybe you are more of an extrovert than I am and go outside to see what you find? Movies, friends, dates? Any number of activities one could do to calm their minds. I personally, love to turn up the music where I can't hear anything outside of my house and let the lyrics fill my head.

   I know many of you, much like myself, worry and think constantly about millions of things. Like flashes of colors that cross your vision in the course of a day. And we often get stuck between taking care of everything else and taking care of ourselves that we simply do neither. Some might call us lazy or say we have no motivation and its not like that, it is hardly ever like that. We just become so overloaded with this chore list in our heads that we tend to put our own self-care at the end of it and then shut down because of the mental exhaustion it causes. We become so wrapped up in our own thoughts and actions that we have to take a break.

And then we end up here. Caught in a cage within ourselves, mentally running from ourselves. And it doesn't have to be this way.

So I propose to each and every one of you, to take a break. Take ten or twenty minutes of your day to stop what you are doing and take a breather. Do something you enjoy. Something that has absolutely nothing to do with your worries. Something to clear your head, that way you can go back to what you were doing before without feeling this weight on your chest that was smothering you.
It's these small moments that we give ourselves that allow us to move on and better ourselves instead of digging a deeper hole into our minds and getting trapped there.
Never be afraid to tell someone you need some time for self-care. You are important. You matter.

And never forget, it is completely okay not to be okay.
Goodbye, for now, dear friends.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

My Purpose.

   Hello everybody. How have you all been? My first post was, in short terms, my story. The story of how I had to pick between two sides of me and how that decision has changed me.
   The purpose of me doing this blog is to use my story, my experiences, my struggles of this huge life change is to (hopefully) give hope to others in a situation like mine and show them that everything works out in the end. The name The Hurt, The Hope came from a song by the band As It Is. This song itself is about how self-harm is not only causing physical harm to one's self in the ways that most of us think of, but it is also drug abuse, alcoholism, anything that one could use against themselves to cause damage. I thought of something else. In English, my name means hope, so from there, when I hear this song I think of myself, the hurt that I and many others have gone through and how I want to give hope to all of those people.
   One day I might post about how my class in school annoy the hell out of me, or maybe about me learning a new word that I didn't understand before. The next I might write about my favorite band and low-key fangirl about how they're coming to Mexico and then complain about how the show is in Mexico City. I just might write about the unjustness that some of us suffer from because of our situations and give my point of view on whatever problems may be happening in the U.S.

Everything goes.
  I've felt for a while now that I have a voice that I want to be heard. Even if it means screaming over the crowds with something as bold and public as this blog. This is something I never would have done had it not been for some key people in my life that inspire me on a daily bases. So I leave you with this:
Don't be afraid to be heard.
But also respect other peoples opinions. I felt the need to remind you all of this because there are so many people in this world that do not fully comprehend the weight of words.

And never forget, it is completely okay not to be okay.
Goodbye, for now, dear friends.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Change is okay.

Hi everybody! So to start off, my name is Esperanza. I am a half Mexican-half American-⅛ Cherokee 17-year-old that has lived in Mexico for the past five years and lived with depression since I was 8. I want to put up front that my depression is not a result of me living in Mexico, but of the problems that I have dealt with leading up to and directly after my move.

At 11 years old, I was told that my dad was being deported back to Mexico and we (me and my younger brother) were asked by my mom if we wanted to follow my dad and be together, as a family. Or, stay in Oklahoma, our home, where we were comfortable and have the possibility of seeing our dad only once or twice a year during school vacations. We love our dad, so we, of course, wanted to go with him and be together. For us, it really wasn't much of a choice. Be together and happy while making the best of the situation or apart and struggling to come to terms with the situation.

To many of you that have in the past had to make this decision, looking back would you have changed anything? Maybe made a different decision? And those that are facing this choice right now, what is your heart telling you? I mean, I traded everything I ever knew for something that I didn't even know what it was. The day I moved with my family to Mexico was the first time I had ever stepped foot outside of the US. As anyone can imagine, I faced many difficulties while adapting to my new life. I saw family I hadn't seen in years, I started to learn a new language and started school. 

My first year was definitely an experience. Not knowing Spanish when we got here, but obviously having to go to school and get an education was something that had to be done. We looked at it as an opportunity. I guess you could think about it like being in an immersion school. 

During our first year I was content with the life I was living. I didn't know or want anything other than to be with my family. Of course, there were the handful of kids in my class that would give me problems about me being American and the heavy accent that came with me speaking Spanish. But, at the time, they didn't matter. It was in my first year of Secundaria (or 7th grade) that things went downhill for me. My classmates in 6th would make fun of me in such a general way that it didn't bother me. It wasn't anything I hadn't heard before. But the kids and preteens in my class now, they picked apart everything they could see of me and used it against me. I had no friends and as not only being still considerably new to the area but also finding it difficult to make friends, I felt like I was alone. 

In this age that we are living in right now, I feel we are exposed to so much at such a young age. I was 13 when I had started cutting. I had already known that I have had depression from a young age, but at the time I hadn't quite understood what it really meant. From things that I had heard and seen, from talking to other people over the Internet, I thought I knew what it was and I thought that the quickest way to relieve me of some of the pain I felt was self-harm. It's not. Please, if you think it is, take a moment and think. I know it hurts inside but I found out the hard way that in the end you are not only hurting yourself physically but for those that care about and love you, it causes them great pain. 

I guess I could say that I received the help I needed because of my love for the culture and art that is here in Mexico. I was very involved with the city's cultural programs and for the Day of the Dead celebration in 2014, I agreed to dress up as a Catrina. Being 13 I didn't know too much about makeup and I never really felt the need for it. Having said that, that night I had not covered up my cuts and had forgotten my bracelets. After the event, it was a long night of crying, talking and deciding what the next step to getting better would be. I still remember the look on my brothers face when he realized what they were. He was terrified at the thought of losing me.

The next day we went to the DIF offices and I had a mental exam done. The psychologist that went over my answers said that I was borderline in need of medication but if I got counseling I could get better. Because of the language barrier, I soon started counseling sessions with my counselor from Oklahoma. After a few weeks, I was okay. Some would say I was “stable”. 

Over time, I have learned to depend on two positive constants in my life that have helped me to get better. Family and music. My family has always supported me and listening to music has permitted me a way to try and express myself where simple words couldn’t. I would like to say, as I am finishing telling my story, that for most that have depression, getting “better” is not the same as being “cured”. As some of the few friends that I now have, have said that even after getting better, you are still marked by your depressions. I even still have days where my heart feels heavy and I just want to cry. And that's okay. My reason for writing this is to show that you are not alone. You are not the only one. I am not ashamed of my problems and no one else should be either.

Living in Mexico has changed my life in such a way that I am open-minded to the possibilities that life has to offer. I have so many more oportunities in this country that would have been denied to me in the U.S. So for every single one of you that have had to confront their fears, to accept that you are not accepted where you want to be and have fought against every single person that is cheering for your failure, it does get better. And to every single child and teenager that has and is going through what I have been through, having to decide between two countries, two sides of yourself, keep fighting! You are stronger than any racist neighbor, friend or family member that wants to prevent you from living your life. For people like us, the sky is the limit and no border or wall will ever stop us from achieving our dreams. 

As a final piece of advice, turn the music up and forget about everything else. At least for a little while. And never forget, it is completely okay to not be okay.

Goodbye, for now, dear friends.

(By the way, this is my first time writing for a public audience. Hope you liked it. (: .)