Tis’ the season of crop tops ( Things AREN’T okay but that’s okay)

I bought a scalloped crop top on Sunday for SG$25.90 and made a bid for another bralette-type top, for $8 at the website of a local secondhand store, Refash.

I freshly discovered crop tops just a few days ago when I first wore one. Fashion it seems, has tops’ hemlines going upwards and shorter as the waistlines of skirts have gone up in direct proportion. A decade ago bralette tops would have been seen as something racy here in this Southeast Asian part of Singapore. Now it’s gone mainstream, with trends and evolving attitudes towards skin revealed changing norms. A push factor is obviously, our 99% or so humidity. Gathered with the fact that it’s mostly sunny 10 months of 12 and our weather is often converted into a sauna, with fair skin being revered due to how too much sun our country gets, and the transition of norms seems almost logical.

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While crop tops aren’t a freshly new thing in Singapore, me feeling safe enough to wear clothing like these is something very very fresh; kind of like a steak at a steakhouse done blue rare..

It was only two years back during my diploma programme did I come to realise; I’ve reached a point where I could feel safe wearing skirts and dresses again after all.

For once I’m no longer afraid of my own body and the potential responses I may get because of it. The trajectory of healing never ceases to amaze me, although some parts of my brain is still on indefinite holiday so I’m seeing and feeling things that aren’t there every now and then. I’ll take any kind of progress I get.

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Making crop tops tough again with camo pants.

That being said, I am still susceptible to trauma triggers, of which one of them is being looked at like I’m a piece of meat. Unfortunate past circumstances has made me very aware of these kind of looks in guys’ eyes and I would, with that in mind and my newfound security in wearing certain articles of clothing –sensibly, standby a hoodie in case I ever feel threatened (or simply cold, for that matter), to regain a sense of safety and control in situations. That’s something I lack these days, what with severe depression and the bad days where I passively look at my phone with no real interest and occasionally tear up again with not much reason where I can’t really do much about my state of mind. Fingers crossed that my existing hallucinations won’t escalate to the point it would be necessary for me to go on anti-psychotic medications. I already hate how physically I’ll I got when I first started on mirtazapine in the first place.

I do not wish to go through being physically unwell for the first few crappy days again when something new is introduced. Already the medical officer initially wanted to increase my dose of mirtazapine from 15mg to 22.5mg during my last consultation, of which I was totally against. He described my emotional state as “suffering badly” to which my internal response in my head went:

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Seriously, I’ve lived in that state for don’t know how many months, unmedicated and with even less will to live. “Suffering badly” is for amateurs. Most of what I feel is due to medication and I would rather take a bit of my own brain, even if they are brief dysfunctional moods or solid shadows flitting around that only I can see. For the latter, it really helps that I am from Southeast Asia. Due to cultural beliefs, I am more likely to be taken for someone who is blessed/cursed with the ‘third eye’ than as a loosely labeled mad hatter.

Me being not clairvoyant, I have no way of knowing what comes next. Times like these are when even spending time in prayer doesn’t take the pain or the consequences of what was done to me away. I live for words of encouragement from people whose words don’t cut in the spirit of insensitivity these days. I have realised, people like that are usually not in immediate proximity of my existing social circles and I have to intentionally reach out.

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