I started writing this in my anger state so I will see if eventually this will be the best thing for me to cope and whether I should publish this.
[EDIT: I think this brings an awareness somewhat so I’ll bare myself to you, netizens. Scary.]
One of my best friend was currently dealing with heavy depression. One of the toughest point for me as a support system is the lack of communication with everyone. I think I understand her better now.
I had an actual neighbor stalking me. This middle-aged man sent me creepy messages on FB. He loiters in front of my house. He occasionally opens my front gate if my parents happen to come home. My dad purchased a set of encyclopedias from him. When I told my parents, they asked nothing about how I feel. They only tell me what to do. They told me he’s a nutcase that had preyed on various women and masturbated to them, in front of them.
My mom goes as far as saying: don’t give him the satisfaction. My mom missed the point: he has INTRUDED my most personal space and sent me to paranoia, but she wants me to be nonchalant of it?
My dad: just pretend this never happened, just stop passing in front of his house because he’ll move out soon enough. My dad missed the point: he KNOWS where I live. I don’t feel safe.
But nobody lets me feel.
Today I woke up with these things in mind:
- I can’t communicate the gravity of this situation to my parents
- This is what my best friend is feeling towards the world and I need to get to her ASAP
- I don’t feel healthy enough to accompany her
- I have to attend a wedding in which I’m the lector
- I don’t feel healthy enough to do that either
- I don’t feel like going out of the house in a dolled-up state. What if he’s there?
- I can’t just say this to my parents because they’d say, “You have a responsibility!” along the lines of “You’re being dramatic!” etc.
- I know myself and I’m not the type to abandon such responsibility (I’m a model student ffs! On 2nd thought that might be a form of overcompensation)
- I know they’ll think that regardless and that awakens my longtime insecurity of my parents not caring about how I feel, and constantly refer to me as the “selfish one”
- “The selfish one” stigma has since affected me to the point of anxious breakdown some time during university
- I haven’t processed and am still emotionally very affected by my best friend’s recent breakdown on Wed, my dad’s awful response to it that same night, sickness and a close encounter to fraud on Thu, similar sickness and this stalking revelation on Fri.
The thoughts are so overwhelming to me and I ended up breaking down in tears this morning. I tried to stop. It’s awfully difficult. The thoughts are on a re-run.
My mom tried to comfort me. She confirmed thought #7. I pushed her out because she’s making things worse. She slammed my door. I get it, she hasn’t had the chance to deal with her issues either. She’s not one to stay when it stopped being about her.
I haven’t seen my dad after I had to explain in tears last night why his reassurance that “he won’t do anything because he’s afraid of me” is not a good enough reason to be less afraid. He left and went straight to sleep. He’s not one to stay when emotions are pouring out.
My sisters listened intently that night and really helped me feel better. I thank them for this. They’re awesome.
I, however, have a longstanding anxiety for my older sister’s temperament so I don’t think she can’t be a sustainable support. I’ve learnt not to blame her for it. I can see this is a result of the same parenting I received. She’s not one to stay when her anger is on the way.
I think this whole ordeal only tells us something terribly important: we are not used to dealing with the emotional consequences of the harassment victims. We are so used to telling women not to get raped. We aren’t equipped to comfort them when it comes close.
Beyond that, we’re not used to comfort people when they’re in distress. As for me, I need space. I’m used to taking care of myself. It’s just terribly overwhelming today, and it’s a pain to go to a wedding instead of dealing with myself in a closed space for a day. It’s a pain not to prioritise my mental state.
Don’t tell me what to do. Don’t ask questions. Simply let me feel. Hugs help. Food helps. Cats heal.
As I’m sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car en route to the wedding, I can only hope I don’t break down in public today.
If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll know that I’m very much into social justice and allyship. I try to incorporate feminist values (read: being a decent, sensitive, supportive human being) in my passion projects regardless of the subject matter. Besides, I’m involved in Jakarta Feminist Discussion Group, which initiated Women’s March Jakarta (if you’ve heard about it).
Women’s March Jakarta was very fun, positive, and we’ve got to see a lot of young people getting all woke and starting to know their rights, which is great. It also opens up a dialogue (or shouting match and sealionings) about feminism in Indonesia since. All in all, glad to know that this year’s International Women’s Day get people talking. The bonus? Triggered, gaslighting bros.
Anyway, we the organizers thought that now people start to wonder about feminism, it’d be nice to accomodate them in a festival! So we will hold one on Aug 26-27 2017. It would be very interactive, very informative, very localized (as it has always been intended). We’ll gather local NGOs and match them with young caders, we’ll talk a lot about womanhood and allyship and the media and the system, we’ll have good music, we’ll swap books! We could all use some positivity in the midst of politicized intolerance.
In the meantime, we will hold multiple pre-events (because feminists don’t stay still!) starting May 20 2017. The first one is a talkshow and screening of Tiar’s film. Tiar is one of Women’s March organizer, and apparently a cool film lady:
D-I-Why is Michelle’s brainchild whose aim is to crush budding crafts lover dream and telling them that, “Yo, DIY’s torture. Succumb to capitalism and consumerism and be done with it.” I thought, wow, how reflective. Lol. Anyway, we have made two episodes available on Facebook:
Apparently our #HePi (Herson-Depi) ship is sailing well enough. Um, also, as Pijaru is veering towards YouTube growth (otw to Silver Play Button, y’all!), our producer has decided to move D-I-Why there and post strictly teasers on FB.
Please stay tune for Kitabertiga‘s next project: Ngomong Jorok and Komikomen S2. I have just finalized the reading list for next season’s Komikomen and also the talking points for NgoRok. More updates soon.
Staying Alive is a LINE-based initiative aimed to reduce the number of SCA-related deaths. SCA itself is sudden cardiac arrest, which is one of the leading cause of death worldwide. Jonathan Grantomo, the initiator, reached out to Pijaru if we want to make SCA PSA videos. So I pitched them and here they are, 5 videos to run starting Mar 16 2017:
More on this playlist.