Parental Criticism and Resilience

If these five months taught me anything, its..

1) It’s good to lie about your mental health, to people whom you have to be at your mental best and no more worse off to interact with.

2) Live smart, learn well. This is a people-centric thing. It helps in discerning who are the right people to open to, as not only are mental health issues are very sensitive wound/topic, it is one that can immediately actually worsen your perspective about everything especially if they are not equipped to handle things nobody can change a thing about. There are people who would belittle the challenges you have, including and are not limited to ineffectual healthcare systems and really bad mental advice.

3) Two of these are my close family members. Including my mom.

That realisation came to me this night when I let slip that the hospital infrastructure is doing the opposite of helping. At long last, I have managed to switch my healthcare providers from TTSH (acronym for this particular hospital) to my local heartland polyclinic. I’m not going to put out detailed dirty laundry on here nor is it worth it to- I reveal enough about myself on this blog whenever I write anything mental-health related after all. What I am willing to reveal is that one who is not clinically depressed, one will be unable to empathize nor really know what my challenges and frustrations with the hospital infrastructure is about. I get criticized for my own emotions and responses. In effect, I am not allowed to be frustrated at a system that is working against me amongst other things. Silence is golden in this particular case.  Today, I have realised she isn’t helpful most of the time when it comes to mental health issues. Not when I was young, certainly not now.

Mother-daughter relationships can be complicated and ambivalent.

It’s clear when I realise half of the time when I talk about this topic with her I always end up half crying as I speak. On hindsight it’s great that I never once told her about my suicidual ideation which I have about 50% of the time prior to this month, when I finally felt interest in doing leisurely stuff. Apparently although my sanity was on the line my common sense has not left me when it comes to discernment. I’ve grown used to the extreme social isolation to the point I hardly feel it anymore. I didn’t know this was possible.

I have plans on shaving an undercut on the sides of my head on my next haircut. The temperature and humidity combined in tropical Singapore right now is drying my skin faster than I can moisturize. Tourists from cooler climates, regard this as a heads up. Make your makeup as light and few layers as possible, bring water with you when you explore Singapore. Sunscreen and moisturiser is a must if you don’t wish to end up looking like a lobster and feeling like the dusty cracked plains of the Sahara. About a week ago, inspired by the below image I cut half of my hair off. Right now it looks something like this:


There’s a extreme sense of liberation I feel whenever I cut my hair that short. Any fellow ladies who feel the same? From gender norms or the weather, I do not know nor do I have the mind to dig deeper.  Except because my hair is naturally somewhat wavy, the tops and sides of my hair look like this from the front when the other half of my hair is tied up:


Kind of like a mushroom cap. My hair has always been the thin volume kind, but when I cut it short it unexpectedly became thick volumed and waved inwards. The effect wasn’t as edgy as I thought it would be, it actually looked pretty mundane on me.

IMG_20180507_132459.jpgThe hairstyle looks great from the side view and when untied though. I appreciate how my hair doesn’t get my face anymore even if it is windy. Subtle high cheekbones has also been discovered this week.

However with the humid, hot weather, I’ve felt uncomfortably warm even where my hair is really short.. planning to get a medium fade undercut starting from my eyebrow level and maintain the top of my hair in spiky ends. Of course my mom protested, saying she liked it better when I had my hair cut in those short lady like styles like this:

Except my hair is not as textured, because I don’t bother with styling products 99% of the time. You’ll have to imagine me with a bigger looking face, no one can see my cheekbones in this one.

I came into this year realising I managed to grow up unscathed despite my mother’s constant criticism on my style in terms of much of everything. I guess I have my peers to think for my maintained self esteem, though I did hit a gender identity crisis about last year (and got over it within several months by slowly being okay with lack of definitive answers). While I was being criticised for my hair, makeup and fashion choices at home I have proportionally received gushing compliments (literally, it really was like that) for the same things in school and in church… I guess it shows everyone needs some good words to get out of such things with self-identity and esteem intact.

Making my hair shorter the more my mom says it looks ugly isn’t always about rebellion though. I always have practical considerations in mind.

There are a lot of things I could put on here regarding this but I find myself backspacing and practically doing gatekeeping.. as mass communications terms will call it. This is an uncomfortable topic to approach. What happens when dynamics within family members are flawed and one does not have a positive way to put across things such as these?



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