I am at loss for words and ideas of what to do.
I feel lost. Period.
I feel like I have been doing great in dealing with my feelings and emotions. My loss.
And I have. There have been bursts of profound sadness here and there, every now and then but I understand that it is normal and absolutely necessary.
It’s a process I have to go through.
Then I came home and I observed my family dealing with their own grief. Each in their own different way.
Some of them are struggling. Really hard.
And I feel at loss.
I won’t lie. This is difficult time for me too.
But I know it. I seek help and I’m getting help.
I’m healing, albeit through some trials and errors.
My brother has gotten some help too, from some of our family members and our closest friends. But there are just moments when I think we both can use a bit of more professional help. We had a little discussion and although it was difficult, we finally admitted that we need professional help.
It really wasn’t easy at all for me to admit I need professional help. But I know that if I don’t admit it, I will bear an even worse consequence.
My father though, is a whole different case.
Raised by a mother who doted on her children, and a father who is conservative through and through has shaped the man that he is today.
My grandfather was a very typical old school Chinese father. Showing love and affection was not something he was taught to do and definitely was not his strong suit.
A man should be strong.
A man should be able to hold the weight of the world on his shoulder.
A man shouldn’t cry nor ask for help.
It is women’s job to be emotional.
It is women’s job to raise the children.
It is women’s job to do the household chores.
These are just some values my grandfather had adopted into his married life, passed down from his strict parents.
There had always been this distance between my grandfather and his children. He seemed to be always disconnected.
My father loved his father dearly. He had grown up learning and unconsciously adopting some of my grandfather’s values into his own life.
Some of these values, I just simply wish he didn’t learn.
Years and years ago when my parents were newly married, my grandmother climbed on a stool perched on a table, to hang a picture on the wall.
She lost her balance, fell, hit her head hard and didn’t get the help she needed. Due to lack of information on brain injury, the fall was treated as just another fall.
It was more than a fall.
It had given her a lifelong of psychological issue.
She was even admitted to a mental hospital once.
It was a painful experience for my whole family.
In this town, being mentally ill is akin to having a terrible, horrible disease.
It doesn’t matter what kind of mental illness you have. Once you’re admitted to a mental hospital, that’s it. You’ll be forever seen as a disgrace of a family.
This is a town where if you tell someone you’re depressed, they’ll just shrug it off. They’ll tell you it’s nothing, that you just think too much about your sadness and that if you do something happy, it will go away.
Everything uncomfortable relating to mental illness is swiftly swept under the rug.
I wish upon all wishes that my great-grandparents would have taught my grandfather that it’s okay.
That men can ask for help too. That admitting you need help is not a sign of weakness. That you should do something the moment you realize you need help.
Then my father would have learned the same from his father.
I wish upon all wishes that people would just be more openminded and stop ignoring the elephant in the room because the damn elephant is real.
I wish they would just understand that getting professional help for mental health is not a sign of madness.
Then more people would have gone and seek help for their predicament.
There’s nothing I can do to change the past now. But I can always hope.
I hope parents would teach their kids how to ask for help.
My brother and I, we taught ourselves how to ask for help. We learned from our friends who had been through similar situation. We learned from our friends who are far wiser than us.
It had paid off.
I asked my father to go a therapist together with me and my brother sometime soon.
He refused outright.
“I don’t need a therapist,” he said.
I’ve known my dad my whole life and I’ve been home for a while now.
A therapist would be great for all of us right now.
But what can I say?
You cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
I wish my grandparents had taught my father how to ask for help.
It would have made all the difference.
But what can I do when it’s all said and done?
I can only pray and wish for the best. That one day he’ll open his eyes and realize that a therapy would do him good.
Until then, all I can do is hope.
We can all change this circumstances by teaching our children the importance of mental health.
We can make this world a better, happier place by teaching our children how to say “I NEED HELP.”
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