Toxic friendship? no?

Hi again. Haven’t written in a really long while sigh. Been really busy and too lazy to write here. Anyway, moving on to writing about a really peculiar kind of friendship I have with a friend of mine — shall call her Witch now ok?

I have been a friend to you for 6 years. Yet, I feel quite suffocated in this friendship. This is why we maintained a distance from each other since around the start of this year. Can I just say, how disillusioned I am by this friendship of ours?

I think our toxicity in our friendship stems from her ability to manipulate me, and my inexplicable love for her. (Pls don’t get me wrong, by love I mean the platonic kind) I came across a quote from my college’s professor and it says “If a community is the coming together of people through what is shared, and all of us are singular beings, then surely what is common is precisely the very differences among us. Where coming together in difference is nothing other than another name for love itself.” I think this quote really applies to a large-scale macro kind of societal environment (a community, that is), but not exactly appropriate for one single relationship. Yes, that is what I am doing. By all her teases and her treating me invisible in parties even though I thought we were close I always manage to see through it and love her nonetheless. By loving I mean, not sending hate messages or blocking her on my private or other hate-related stuff as I feel it’s no point. So my point is that, if you apply the principle innate in that quote to a single relationship, it can be really toxic and really toils you down.

And then I realised,

Sometimes loving someone doesn’t have to be sticking around by their sides 24/7. Sometimes loving someone means you let go. Sometimes loving someone means you keep a distance from that person. Giving each other space. Letting each other breathe. Letting each other chase our own dreams.

Also, i realised,

This friendship is not meant to be lasting. We sought each other’s company last year as we were really quite fated (ie we live close to each other and we were both bored). There’s no other legit reason. Our personalities clash. Idk how to really talk normally to you.

And I realised,

(digression here lol) How sad and lonely I really am. It takes a lot of courage to write this (not like anyone is gonna read it anyway), but I think I have a really quiet and shy disposition. The last gathering with my orientation group was a disaster to me. I went there, met Witch and our mutual friend (whom she got v close to, let’s call her L) and another random orientation friend (C) and we took bus tgt to the party place. We were talking and when C mentioned about her commitments next year to FOP, Witch said “me and L will be your FOP friend”. She does this a lot. Leaving me out in convos. Excluding me from social situations (apart from inviting me physically tgt with L to go out). I don’t get it. I really dk why she does it. It’s not the first time. Upon arrival, L and I were seated and Witch was not. You know what happened? There was empty space beside me and there wasn’t beside L and she took the chair to make space beside L instead of me even though it was more convenient if she were to choose me.

The party was awk af. As I was seated beside people whom I had barely talked to and they were just talking amongst themselves and excluding me as usual and I ate my food in silence and observed. I observe people. It’s what I do when i get bored or get lazy or disengage myself from social situations.

Anyway, the party was such a disaster to me. I felt so sad and lonely and kept my mouth shut throughout it was as if i was mute. I feel so intoxicated. I still am while writing this.

 

Our mutual friend whom I used to like (N) only likes Witch not me hence N engaged Witch in convo and completely left me out. I feel as lonely as ever and I know it’s really up to me to start a convo but I cannot. I see how N interacted and I know, talking to me is a waste of time. I am not a really fun person or nice to talk to as I am quite boring honestly. If N does not talk to you, it means he really is not interested in you. I told you, I observe people. I know. (ofc he said bye Witch but disregarded me totally when we left)

It was so sad, and suffocating? Being an introvert really sucks. Being me sucks. When we left I took a cab with Witch and we did not utter a single word. I cannot, really. I cannot do it anymore. It’s taxing and hurting. What’s hurting is that Witch disregards me as a mere social parasite or some shit. But what’s more hurting, is that the world does not acknowledge or embrace my presence or personality. I know it’s a pretty big thing to call N the world cus he’s not, but I’m just using a little hyperbole here to emphasise my point.

Now, I’m just known as the quiet girl.

I have been and will always be the quiet girl. In big groups, at least.

And I’m learning to accept that.

What I treasure from being quiet is,

I use the time and space and energy to really observe people — the way they talk, the way they move, and gather data from it.

Let me just say, after the next gathering, I don’t think I will be going for anymore? Since I don’t feel wanted there? Or more importantly, I don’t feel I belong there?

 

 

 

 

 

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The real reason I ponned PE

So here comes a rant about why I ponned PE. Feminism had to do with it.

Really unexpected huh. Almost no one ever gets me. Like how does feminism relate to why I ponned PE?? Wtf? Let me tell you why.

Basically, our patriarchal society values masculinity over femininity and often views women as the weaker sex. Thus it’s more acceptable for females to act or display masculinity than for males to display femininity. There’re two main reasons behind this — one of which constitutes patriarchal roots (as explained). Another is more complicated. It’s a misunderstanding of feminism. Based on personal experiences and observations, it’s based on the assumption that females are not believed to have the capacity to exhibit stronger, masculine characteristics. Hence, as self-proclaimed feminists themselves, females turn to actually exhibiting masculinity to prove patriarchy wrong; to prove that they can be strong. However, in doing so, it perpetuates the misconception that feminism is the one-dimensional concept of masculinity triumphing and prevailing over femininity. The second reason is more applicable here in my school.

Every time I go for PE lessons I feel really really conscious about my performance. And I’ll consider a few classmates very judgmental.

I’m a skinny girl. But the amount I eat is above average. I trained a lot due to CCA, but there’s a limit to which my body can grow muscles. My body’s a little unconventional. I am stronger (I mean this literally, physically) than what my muscles suggest.

I totally didn’t expect one incident; one casual, caustic remark of someone to shatter my faith and confidence so much. The girls were doing pull ups. So like, this guy classmate encouraged and praised my girl classmate, saying how he believed she could do it given she was in a sports cca. Then when it was my turn… When I was doing the pull ups he kinda smugly expressed his slight disbelief at my physical strength. But the whole thing was kinda like a smirk, sth like an “oh. you actually can. whatever” attitude. And… there wasn’t any follow-up praise. Not that I expected any, but the whole incident just shattered my confidence and I felt devastated. It made me very conscious of my body — of how incapable I looked. Not only that, I felt very insecure about my performance at PE too. I felt like everyone was entitled to judge everyone and accord respect to people based on their physical prowess.

So… it came to the extreme point when I felt uneasy even when someone praised me for catching the ball so well, for my flexibility, my strength etc. They could tell I hated PE lessons and hence tried to praise me when I did something impressive. (pathetic twats huh) But…. I’d just ignore them. I know it’s not the wisest thing to do but.. I felt really oppressed and uneasy even when they praised me, like I was a lab rat under scrutiny for every move I made. Like… if someone patted me on the back and say “be more confident.” I’d feel like punching someone, throwing the middle finger and cursing at them. How to be so if society denigrates femininity and if I can’t control my natural feminine body state? Do you know how much I actually trained? How many weights I lifted? How many laps I swam? How much I ran? My inability to be more muscular and appear more masculine is something beyond my control. It’s already fixed by my genes.

Hence… I avoided PE lessons. And mugged. Yes I missed all the fun, but I’d rather miss the fun and not feel oppressed than have “fun” and feel infuriated and annoyed at society.

(written at 1am my thoughts are very muddled tbh. and i know i’m overthinking that’s what I do 24/7 my brain’s a living hell)

xoxo,

pallid waterfall

Don’t be a feminazi, be a feminist

“But…what about the men?” There are many misconceptions behind feminism and there’s often an ambiguous line between what feminism entails and what being a feminazi is. Merrian-Webster dictionary defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes”; Oxford describes it as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”.

Feminism is about justice. That all are born the same (both sexes), does not mean all are treated equally by society. Women are often derided and deprived of suffrage (relatively not a prevalent problem now ever since the First-wave feminism).  VAW is still pervasive especially in 3rd World countries; honour killings and lack of abortion-rights are forms of injustice perpetuated systematically, and often on a daily basis in some countries. The glass ceiling in which women are stereotyped to be ineffectual economic units is a huge testament of the sheer barrier to advancement and progression. First world countries are no exception to the deprivation of women’s rights. Generally, such countries face injustice in rarer, albeit more insidious and implicit forms. Casual jokes and some social conventions conceal implicit acts of discrimination against women. Media perpetuates archetypes of damsels in distress dependent on their male counterparts to save them. (but ofc I do not deny the rise of feminism in media) Then again… The rise of Donald Trump has awoken many feminist souls around the world. Feminism believes in correcting the injustice done to women and educating the importance of equality between both sexes. Feminists endorse the idea of providing justice to the victimized sex, be it male or female. It accords respect towards the oppressed sex, proportionate to the amount of discrimination it faces.

Hatred towards males, often in the extreme form, does not define feminism. Instead, it shapes a separate, distinct ideology altogether — a radical form of feminism. Feminazis believe in an extremist form of ideology. They are more often than not, nothing more than bigots. While feminism believes in tolerance between the two sexes, feminazis support the suppression of male rights as a form of retribution. And they often believe in superiority of their own kind and are keen in asserting it over males.

This is nothing but hypocrisy. The notion of treating males unjustly as retribution due to discrimination against women is a manifestation of double standard. Demonisation of males is not the right, moral way to address discrimination against females. Let’s celebrate diversity and exercise temperance instead.

xoxo,

pallid waterfall

Paradox

Why are you

Like the sea,

Crushing onto sand and rocks

Spontaneously;

Viscerally

Overpowering my intellect.

Why do you

Allude to the waves

That follow a particular rhythm;

The perpetual ebb and flow

That never resides.

Why can you

Epitomise the force

That compresses gently

But expels violently;

You

Are

A

Paradox.

Massage

So 2 days ago I had a 1hr full body massage. My mum was with me the whole afternoon hence I followed her to her hair salon in which she scheduled an evening appointment. She gave me $50 for a full body massage near there while she did her hair treatment. I settled on one shop. In the room, the wall had a sign that read “We do not condone any sexual activities. Violators will be reported to the police.”

Anyway, the masseuse massaged my feet, calf, thighs and butt. She moved on to the upper body parts — my back and shoulder. I was lying down the whole while. Then following her instructions I turned over for her to massage the front. She started with the bottom first. Then my stomach. It felt a bit ticklish, but I could handle it. And then… she massaged my boobs. OK WOW. It felt surprisingly good HAHAHA but ofc I didn’t verbalise it. The boob part was really short though. Idk if most shops do boobs? And was it a violation of some kind? I don’t think so actually. It wasn’t sexual, it was more of sensual? If there’s a difference? Plus she spent literally 10 seconds on it. HAHA being a shameless twat here but I really like it when the masseuse does both my boobs and butt!

Oopsies.

xoxo,

pallid waterfall

Day out with K

Thankful for this blessing! I was late as I (unsurprisingly) lost my way to the trampoline park. The staff there were friendly and helpful! I jumped as far as my legs could get me and it was all very tiring and sweaty. My forward somersaults were something I’m really proud of but my ability to do them effortlessly made me wonder; why am I more anxious in doing other seemingly less scary stuff than in conquering that ubiquitous phobia of forward spins? Same goes for rollercoasters. I don’t get myself sometimes.

Next was our lunch at Toby Estate. We ordered eggs benedict each and chatted profusely. We exchanged details about our recent trips in which we went with other friends. Also we dreamed about our future paths, but with little enlightenment. She craved for ice cream almost immediately and thus we walked all the way to clarke quay to search for it. And… to our great disappointment and slight amusement a big giant ice-cream-in-a-cone; a plastic one, mind you, greeted us. There was no actual ice cream in sight. The shop was closed. Oh well. So we proceeded to orchard.

A few “mandatory” walk-in-didn’t-buy-anything-walk-out scenarios in shops exacerbated our hunger a lot. Hence our sudden desire to eat bingsu and chill. Where else better than ice lab? We shared one and started HTHT. She told me about her amusing but cringey encounters with some of her male friends. And then in retrospect we hypothesised that the reason why men are often hornier is hormone-related. I really want to research on this. I’m curious as to why men are often the initiator of those gestures of intimacy, those sexual advances. Another related question is why are rapists often male, not female? And we talked a lot about relationships… how they often don’t work. To be single and free from the burden of potential heartbreaks and other complicated issues in a relationship is something we reluctantly but religiously aspire.

Here’s to friendship.

xoxo,

pallid waterfall

(sorry for the abrupt ending I’m quite tired now)

Mr A

Mr A was my GP tuition teacher. He was a bit eccentric — I found him weird on the very first lesson. Which was expected, given that the friend who recommended him warned me that he could come off as a very peculiar person but that I would get used to it, like how she did. He had really huge eyes. Now I wouldn’t call him peculiar; that would be too insulting for a fine, decent and intellectual man like him. Quirky would be the apt description. I really enjoyed his lessons, so much that I miss them a lot. Mostly he just rattled off, often using flawless language and sophisticated vocabulary in his speech. He’d spent much of his youth in Britain, you see. And no, he didn’t digress much. What I admire in his teaching is that he objectively presented different points of views and uncovered all the stakeholders’ agenda, before asking us to write a simple paragraph on that particular topic. The merit in this was that he wasn’t imposing his views on us — he gave us all objective information, and then let us think independently. He educated us effortlessly; I’d never thought I would be so intrigued and inspired by GP topics. He made his lessons really interesting by just explaining and elaborating. Sometimes he added anecdotes.  This tuition was so joyful to attend and I’d never enjoyed learning as much as then. (I sound like a nerd sorry. No actually why do I have to be sorry wtf)

His anecdotes were sometimes amusing, sometimes ghastly and sometimes inspiring. There was a lesson when he somehow was explaining about utopia (I forgot what led him there) and he shared with us what his ideal life was. It was something like sitting on freshly-mown grass with his wife, kids and his Labrador Retriever running around them. He also said he wanted it to be when he just cared about his loved ones (those above) and not having to worry about the cruel, horrifying world. I could not help myself then; I snickered. The scene was just so amusing to me as I found it super adorable. Idk if he saw my half-suppressed laughter I really hoped he didn’t. He must find me very weird to be so easily amused like that.

He was a harsh teacher though. Nearer to our exam period he made us super stressed by criticising our work. I knew he was being overly-critical to push us further. He taught us about the hurt sentiment before — how those who accept criticism, put their emotions aside, respect others’ foe and acknowledge their flaws (and work on them) are matured thinkers. Well… his words nearer to As were really abrasive I feel.  Luckily for me I was one of his best students so he really had to scrutinise my work to find flaws. And when he couldn’t find any… he would either encourage me or say something like “I want your future pieces to be like this. Flawless. Not like the previous ones I read earlier. Pls be consistent.” I had no qualms about his criticism whatsoever; I wanted it, even.

Criticism is a reward. On certain terms. If both parties have a consensual understanding that criticism has a practical ultimate purpose — to benefit all, to be a better person (though the notion of a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ person is really moot to me), the hurt sentiment can be put aside, albeit being a seeming hindrance. The critic has to have the genuine intention of helping the one criticised, or else imo he/she is a complete intolerant, abrasive, intrusive and insensitive arsehole. Such people often believe in superiority of their own kind (in terms of religion, personalities, gender, beliefs, etc) and cannot embrace others. They’re chauvinists and exclusivists, to put it simple. “It’s my way or the highway”, pretty much sums up such people’s attitude.

I digressed. Sorry. But I just had to bring this up as I really despise some of my country’s people. Some of them have too much ego that the hurt sentiment can in no way be provoked (sorry your loss then, y’all can’t be helped like that. plus it shows how immature y’all are). Also, exclusivists criticise for the sake of asserting their dominance and intolerance of others. So not cool. What we desperately need in this world is more inclusion.

And yes, I miss you Mr A. You’ll be a better father than mine.

xoxo,

pallid waterfall

Body shamed by a friend

JC was tough. Not just academically, but (I’ll have to admit), socially. My friend… was also kinda my bully. She denigrated my thin frame occasionally, when our mutual friends weren’t around to witness and put a stop to it. Despite her knowledge that I have absolutely no eating disorders and my thinness is merely genetic, she still continued with her verbal abuse. What depressed me most was not the insults she so abrasively and insensitively hurled at me. It was the fact that I knew that body shaming is so fucking not cool; it is not just a personal attack but also an attack on the community of people who actually or potentially have eating disorders. It was also the fact that despite my support for body positivity, I was so fucking weak that I didn’t really defend myself . Mostly I just kept quiet and ignored her. But, my mind was screaming so loudly for her to stfu and stop thin-shaming. I couldn’t express my annoyance then. Why? I always ask myself, even till this day. It bothers me, a lot. It nags at me, even. Was I really so afraid of social repercussions that I couldn’t ask my friend to stop? Was I really so intimidated by her that I couldn’t defend myself? Was I so fucking weak? Was I just thinking too much and being a perfectionist? Maybe her intention was to be helpful and to be aware of my own body? But.. did I really think that body shaming is ok if ignorance is the cause of it? Ofc not, but what is not ok is that I left it as it was, hanging, without addressing her ignorance. This haunts me still.

Hopeless

I’m in a big black pit. Hopeless. Try as I might, my broken wings simply cannot flutter. Hopeless. I’m stuck. Hopeless. All I can see above me is others of my kind, braving through tumultuous winds, soaring above and beyond; undaunted. Hopeless. Very few bother to glance down at me. Hopeless. And those brave souls that do, aren’t brave enough to empathise. Hopeless. Or, rather, have the capacity to empathise. Hopeless. I’m different from others; I’m shouting for help, but no one hears. I’m different from others… I’m struggling in my own battle; I’m battling my own struggle.

Moving on

I’m gonna blog about the dream I had yesterday night. When I woke up in the morning, I was in a confused state of perplexity and anxiety. Between the time when I was still dreaming about things that my conscious state had no memory of, and the period when I actually gained enough consciousness to realise my dream state had left me to where my conscious mind is then, pangs of anxiety hit me so hard I thought I was better off dead. Still my mind fought off the irrational and accepted the reality.

Here is what my dream was like: (or at least, what I THOUGHT my dream was like; I have a v faint memory of it tbh. Also, I put in some elements of drama in it to make it more melodramatic so you don’t get bored to death)

My life was an entire test. Test on how mature I am, I think. There was a lever button which read “grow up”. And somehow I was conditioned to feel ridiculed, mocked and humiliated whenever it was pushed. I was in a courtroom and surrounding me was an entire jury. What was I doing there? Being assessed, I think, for being guilty. I was the defendant, basically. So… I allowed my mind to wander off freely and I thought of the word “fuck”. The button was pushed. I cried internally for that one humiliation and my whole mind went into an awry state; a vicious, self-perpetrating cycle of pessimistic thoughts…. The button was pushed again. I then beat myself up — the fact that society disdained those who let pessimism engulf themselves and categorised them as “immature” or having the need to “grow up” and “move on”* infuriated me. I felt really awful.

Next scene…

A levels were still ongoing. Next paper was science as I already conquered GP 2 weeks ago… or so I thought. Apparently it was a Friday, and my friend casually mentioned about GP paper on the coming Monday. I was like, WHUT? Wasn’t GP history already? She then convinced me that it was, legitimately, on Monday. I panicked ofc, as I thought I’d washed my hands of it and had entered into a non-GP mode. The feeling of dread and anxiety woke me up.

(Cut)

I then realised… it was all a dream. Time to move on.*

xoxo,

pallid waterfall