Why I chose a homebirth. 私はどうして家庭出産を選んだか。

If you watch any mainstream American TV show, whether it be a sitcom, drama, or reality show, most likely any birth scene will be a terrifying, painful event to watch with women being rushed down halls on wheelchairs or stretchers, screaming in pain while laying on their backs and being told to push. 

Also, birthing in a hospital with doctors in attendance and all sorts of chemicals to make labor more timely and less painful is considered "normal" here. C-sections, necessary or elective, are rising. This is a fact. It's also a fact that the infant mortality rate in the US is higher than most other developed countries as well. 

I lived in Japan for a while, and natural birth is still favored by most, but "painless" American-style birth and unnecessary induction to fit around your doctor's golf schedule (or to prevent the baby from becoming "too big") is becoming more and more common there as well. 

I used to think that the medicalized and "modern" American way was the best way, and that natural birth was outdated and old-fashioned. However as I grew older I found more and more reasons to doubt the American medical industry, and the Japanese one as well. 

And when I got pregnant, of course I did get all the available tests to make sure I had a healthy baby. But after the tests results came back, something dawned on me. The baby and I were perfectly healthy. I had no known risk factors for disease or complications, genetic or otherwise. I practiced yoga for stress relief and exercise, and ate a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and whole-grains, low in processed high-fat or high-sugar foods. Why in the world would I need to go to a hospital? 

I started to do some research about hospital births and all of the medical interventions in births today. I watched videos of homebirths, and watched the documentary "The Business of Being Born." The women in those videos weren't screaming in fear and agony, or being told to push. Rather, they were relaxed, prepared, and supported, and trusted their bodies to tell them when to push. When the baby was born, there were no bright lights, no screaming, the baby was relaxed and brought into the world surrounded by love. 

When I moved to Hawaii, I searched for a midwife and a doula. I found a wonderful doula who is bilingual in Japanese and English, perfect for supporting my husband and I through all stages of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. My midwife is a naturopathic doctor, and between the two of them they have experienced hundreds of births. 

In the beginning I admit that I was a little apprehensive. I mean, I felt fine, but was everything really OK? I had grown up hearing so many people moan and groan and tell "horror stories" about pregnancy and birth. So many people have had this problem or that problem or this complication. I had a little nausea and fatigue during my first trimester which cleared up when I hit the second trimester, and absolutely none of the common "issues" that people talk about. My midwife and doula said that I was perfectly healthy and this is normal, like over 90% of women.

That's right, over 90% of pregnant women are capable of having a natural birth with no interventions, for one simple reason: Childbirth is something that is controlled by your body. Your body knows its limits, so unless it's a very rare case, you cannot make a baby too big to be birthed by your body, and your body will not cause more pain than you are capable of handling (also, the body produces natural endorphins and painkillers during labor.) A hospital is not a place for normal, healthy women and children to go. 

A hospital is very rarely a calm, quiet, peaceful environment. The lights are bright, the rooms are sterile, and you have loads of people rushing up and down the halls, in and out of rooms, and lots of shouting and stressful situations around you. Stress, fear, and uncertainty can make any experience unpleasant and scary. Fear and anxiety has also been proven to make labor longer. Also, those interventions that make labor less painful and faster, actually have the opposite effect when compared to a natural birth. Pitocin intensifies contractions, which intensifies the pain as well to the point where the body cannot naturally cope with it anymore, leading to an epidural. The epidural then numbs the whole area, which is why women have to be told when to push; they cannot feel the natural urge. Also, having shots to the spine and IVs hooked up to her force a woman to be on her back and immobile, instead of assuming more natural positions that make it easier for the baby to come out. And C-sections are very rarely necessary when things are allowed to progress naturally. C-sections are often used as a copout when labor is too long and doctor wants to finish for the day, or if the doctor finds a tiny complication that he doesn't have the experience to deal with And if they do a C-section, then they did "all they could" and it's a good way to avoid a lawsuit. 

After the baby is born, there is a slew of hospital procedures that are simply not good for mother and baby. Many hospitals clamp the cord almost immediately, stopping the flow of the precious blood to the baby. Recently mothers are encouraged to save the cord blood and bank it because of the minute possibility that it might help them or others fight a disease at some point later in life, but the baby needs the cord blood in their body. The lack of the cord blood leads to a chance of vitamin K deficiency, which means baby needs an injection. They also put drops in the baby's eyes, and bathe the baby to wash off the vernix and make him or her more "presentable" to mommy. However, simply leaving the vernix on the skin as long as possible nourishes and protects baby's skin against bacteria. Also, the baby finds mother's breasts by sense of smell--the amniotic fluid left on their body has the same scent as the breasts. In a homebirth, baby is simply placed on the mother's chest for as long as possible after being born. That is the most natural and best way for the baby to adjust to the outside world, by smelling and hearing the environment they were raised for 9 months in. But in a hospital, bonding time is short as the baby is soon moved to a separate room to cry for a few hours. 

I am not choosing a homebirth to go against the grain, to show everyone how "brave" I am, or because it is how people birthed for thousands of years and the old way is the best way. I also do not believe hospital births are all bad, depending on the woman's situation a hospital birth might be a better choice for her. There are situations where medical intervention is necessary. But a home birth is a very safe option for many women, who unfortunately are never told that. 

Maybe if people were able to choose between a homebirth or a hospital birth, and people took into consideration what other countries with lower infant mortality rates are doing, I wouldn't feel like I have to explain or justify my choice. But until homebirth becomes a normal, healthy option for normal, healthy pregnancies, there will have to be groups advocating it. 

For more information, beautiful stories and pictures visit BirthWithoutFear.com and BringBirthHome.com. An interesting note, a lot of people seem to choose homebirth after a hospital birth for 2nd and 3rd children, but not many people choose a hospital birth after a homebirth. Something to think about. 






そして私はいろいろ病院や出産について調べました。家庭出産のビデオもみたり、The Business of Being Bornというドキューメンタリーも見ました。そのビデオで見た女性達は出産の時怖そう痛そうに狂って叫んだり、出してと言われたりしなかった。赤ちゃんが出てきたら眩しい電気、叫ぶ声などなく、赤ちゃんがリラックスしてて愛に包まれて世に出てきました。









edit: 9/12/12

The Business of Being Born link is dead. However you can watch this other documentary "Pregnant in America"


Thanks, but I'm OK.  ありがとう。。でも私は大丈夫。

I have gotten a flood of messages and comments from my recent Youtube video about child abuse. So many people have told me that they are in similar situations. And I just want to ask, are you OK? Really?  Don't just try to hide it and pretend everything is OK.  If you have anxiety or depression, you need to at least tell someone. If you were abused as a child, you need to come to terms with it and not just shrug it off like I did for so many years. Covering it up NEVER does any good. And if you are around someone with anxiety and depression who ARE crying out for help in ways like self-injuring, substance abuse, suddenly becoming uncommunicative and reclusive, etc. remember that they are not just "looking for attention" or "being difficult". 

Some people are concerned when they hear that my parents abused me, and now I pretty much have no parents.  But for me it's a relief. I finally know what was wrong with me all these years, and my children will be safe. My father thinks its ridiculous that I would think they would abuse their grandchild, but doesn't really know for himself what the difference between appropriate discipline and abuse is, judging from the various emails to me in which he stated that I was in no way abused growing up…and then proceeded to "threaten" me that he would write his own blog about all the embarrassing, horrible things I did as a child! 

I realized how extremely two-faced my mother is. On Facebook, Twitter, etc how she would post these wonderful glowing things about me, but send private messages and post venomous, hateful comments and delete them after she got a reply. She seems to be really concerned with keeping this image that she is a glamorous person and a wonderful mother, and anything I say about being abused is just some kind of malicious, horrible lie because I am actually sick and twisted and have Asperger's. But as I said before, both here and in email, I do not have Asperger's, none of the symptoms apply to me at all, that is just something she is trying to make up to make me lose credibility. But the interesting thing is that according to my father, my mother has been abused and is also suffering from anxiety and depression as well, which would make her "sick" and a "wacko" just like me! But that doesn't fit with her "image" so of course she would hide it, to the extreme where she cannot even empathize with her own daughter going through the exact same things that she did. 

I have scars on my arm I can show you from when I cut myself, I have journal entries detailing word-for-word the things they would say to me, which are textbook examples of verbal abuse. I have the bracelet from my hospital stay, and I still have the suicide hotline number in my cell phone. Yet apparently I am sick and twisted and a liar, just out to "humiliate" my parents, according to them. 
One more time, just to make my point, I COULD HAVE DIED. And that's their response? (and after I called them on it, my father called it "heartbreaking". Too little, too late, I know your true feelings) 

So looking at all of this, I am actually happy to finally be truly free from them, and I'm happy I realized this in time to give my child(ren) the true love and respect from her mother, that I never had. I might not be a great mother, and I'll probably make lots of mistakes, but abuse will not be one of them. 

These are the last 3 entries from my livejournal, which I had set as private until now. 

The world according to my mother,compiled from my journal from 2002-2006 (before I really left for good) 
My mother said I have no personality, I'm a horrible spoilt brat who won't survive in the real world. Because I didn't like Jazz I was told I have bad taste in music, no ear, and no talent. Because I didn't follow fashion trends like the rest of the sheeple in my highschool I was a nut and deserved to have no friends. I only had 4 friends, and they were all stupid, assholes, morons with no talent who wouldn't amount to anything in the real world. I shouldn't be shopping frugally or working part-time jobs in my spare time because that's something poor people do, and I should just accept handouts from my mother into adulthood like my wonderful brother. I should jump up at every command, and I should also pick up after my brother and clean his room, because I have no social life and just sit on the computer all day watching stupid Japanese cartoons and listening to annoying Japanese music.Listening and watching things in a different language doesn't help someone actually learn the language. I took the wrong courses in highschool and was inept at picking courses in college. Whatever hobbies I had in highschool I cannot have after highschool.I will never survive in college because I cannot follow directions exactly like my mother says.I will never survive in the real world because I cannot clean or cook for myself. Yasushi will definitely leave me...even if we get married we will be divorced in a year because he will find out how rude, horrible, and immature I am.My mother is always right. Her screaming, yelling, and throwing tantrums is always justified and fixes everything. Her way of doing things is perfect, and she knows everything, even about things that she has no experience with like graduating highschool, going to college, or Japanese culture. 

2011: What I knew and found out along the way
I had many more than 4 friends in highschool, and they are all wonderful, diverse people that have all succeeded in making great lives for themselves.I treat people with the same respect they give me.I still love theatre...it is possible to still love something you loved in highschool.I have very diverse tastes in music and some singing talent. I get karaoke paid for, drinks bought because people want to hear me sing. People like my unique fashion sense and the way I stand out. I like my own clothes which is the most important.I have survived college. Despite having parents that couldn't adequately guide me I managed to graduate early for my major. My interest and willing to immerse myself in the Japanese language and culture proved to be a valuable asset to learning it. I met many people who shared my interests and had many friends in college. I have survived in the real world. I can hold down a job, cook, keep a house together, and do everything for myself, work for 6 years and have a savings of 100,000 by the time I'm 25.My brother who unlike myself has a "great personality" and isn't horrible or spoiled still isn't making a living at 30 years old and expects everything to be done for him. Yasushi and I will be celebrating our 4th marriage anniversary and 7th overall and are still going strong. He loves me. 
It hasn't been smooth sailing. Unfortunately, having a mother who believes she is always right, and screams, shouts, and blames everyone but herself when she feels challenged, AND enduring 16 years of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse from her has left its mark. I often lack confidence, feel unsure of myself, and wrestled with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks for the past 6 or 7 years. But now I am finally starting to heal. 
I can't understand why I had to be the scapegoat.My mother was a highschool dropout, but when I went to college it was all about how I could never make the "right" choices. 
I had a horrible personality, when really I was reacting to being abused. I was socially inept because I was on the computer writing this journal, communicating with my friends through instant messaging, and broadening my horizons by listening to Japanese music and finding resources to learn Japanese, instead of.............wait, that's right. The biggest landmarks within walking distance are a lake and a Wawa, and to go to work, socialize or do anything you need to drive a car. BUT when my mom finally realizes what a nowhere town this is (even though saying its name to others makes her feel classy) and spends all day on computer, iPad, or Kindle, updating Facebook and buying crap, it's fine for her to do it. 

A much-revisited subject....in the past 9 years I have been to Hawaii, Kobe, and Tokyo, and for some reason, maybe because I'm stupid, I keep going back home.
And the story repeats itself every time.
I enjoy myself for all of 2 seconds, and spend the rest of my time in this house pondering why the hell I am here.
It's even more perplexing because every time I prepare to leave I reflect on this, in this journal, and usually my writings prove to be timeless and true.
Such as my mother's excessive spending habits, the futility of the two of them living in a house that could comfortably shelter a family of 4 plus a roommate, in an area where the only way to thrive is to get the hell out.
And get the hell out they should. Because if my mother refuses to work a job and chooses to sit in the house all day on her computer or iPad or watching TV, the chances of dementia showing up a bit early just go up and up. If you don't use it, you lose it, basically. Walking around, volunteering at the blood bank or library if you can't, I mean, don't want to work...there are so many ways to stay healthy.
And I can't help but point out the irony while we're here--10 years ago, I was 15, no transportation, basically trapped in the house unless a friends parents were nice enough to pick me up, so I had no choice but to go on the computer and IM my friends, and pursue my then interests in Japanese videos and music. I was routinely insulted and ridiculed by my parents because I was "staying in the house" and "had no social life" when really, I had plenty of friends but no transportation, and I was making the best of a bad situation by exploring a different language and culture...something that would take me far, far away.
Whatever...mother's always right, mother knows best...right? Even when it's abuse. Hitting them out of your own anger and frustration when they're still too small to defend themselves, and when they get bigger insulting them on a daily basis, invalidating their feelings.......Kids never forget that stuff. I always brushed it off, tried to make like it didn't affect me......and promptly started showing symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders from age 19. Whenever people praised me I would wonder if there were strings attached, or worse, if they were mocking me like my parents always did. Yasushi and I are happily together for 7 years and married for 4, yet there were many times when I wondered if he would really leave me because I was such a horrible person, just like my parents said.
This is it; I'm breaking the cycle. I'm breaking free.
Why has it taken so long to realize what is best for myself?
Since I was 16, I would leave for a bit and go somewhere as far away as possible, and then have to come home for holidays. And every time I went out into the world I found that the world was a great place with many opportunities, and that I would always thrive much more on my own, out there, than when trapped in that house. I went farther away, for longer periods of time, and I changed, but everything here remained the same.
I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity get out, and to meet not only my wonderful husband, but also so many wonderful friends, teachers, counselors, coworkers, and bosses, from all parts of the country and world. They taught me that I am NOT a "jerk" or "miserable" or "nasty" nor do I have a "horrible personality" or "no personality at all" or "no common sense at all". They taught me how normal people act, and how to value and respect myself and others and have confidence in myself and my unique interests and talents. And thanks to them, I finally realized that I am beautiful on the inside and outside, and stopped supporting a multi-billion dollar industry that capitalizes on making people feel inadequate.
Outside of that house, I was never disrespected, insulted, mocked, or physically assaulted. I was treated like a human being and was able to observe how normal families treated each other, and how parents can teach and nurture their children with love, NOT anger, fear, and invalidation. Most people treat their children as individuals, and appreciate their unique interests and hobbies, and don't punish them for having them or force their own ideals onto them.
Sometimes I think it's nothing short of a miracle that I was able to succeed outside of that house, as I was often told that I "would never survive in the real world". And frankly, I'm surprised I did develop into a healthy person who works hard and earns a living. The only lessons I had been taught were that being lazy, materialistic and hedonistic would be rewarded, and that having an individual personality and interests that were different from my parents' just made me an outcast.
Really, sometimes I feel guilty for not being the "perfect daughter" that smiles and acts happy all the time no matter what she is feeling inside, no matter what insults are thrown at her. I'm sorry that I couldn't just mindlessly assimilate and adopt any interests and hobbies that were pushed on me, and HAD to have my own interests. It must have been so selfish of me to do things that I wanted to do.
Even so, it looks like I turned out OK. I must be really lucky....watching "childish" "stupid" Japanese "cartoons" and listening to "annoying" "unoriginal" Japanese music actually accelerated my progress in learning the language! And even though I have "no musical talent" I sang on TV, got to the 2nd round of a karaoke contest, performed at many benefits and parties, sang every day as part of my job, and generally had a really great time every time I sang. And all of those "moron" friends from high school that I "would never see again" are still great, supportive friends.
But the real miracle through all this my wonderful husband, who knows everything about me, and we have been together for 7 years (married for 4) and he has never told me I have a "horrible personality" or mocked me for crying, or asked if I needed to go to the "crazy hospital" when I had a panic attack. He saved my life when I tried to end it. And he helped create this new life inside of me. I love him so much. And I'm sorry for putting him through so much hardship, but at least now he understands that it wasn't my fault. 
Everyone, look around you. There are so many people out there that look normal and healthy, but they may have a personality disorder, or a psychological illness. There are so many children that don't have bruises or scratches, but are being abused. Those children might never overcome that abuse, and what will happen when they have children of their own? The cycle continues.
But this baby in my tummy deserves much better. Every child deserves a peaceful, positive, nurturing environment with truly open-minded people. A child deserves to be treated like a human being, with respect and love, and freedom to have their own interests and hobbies. They need rules and boundaries set for their safety, and realistic expectations backed up with confidence.
A child never needs to be terrorized into submission, and discipline should be logical and appropriate, not senseless, beating out of the parents' own inability to control their own anger and frustration. A child never deserves to be humiliated in public by being slapped in the face--the ultimate act of rejection and hate towards a person.
So that is why I am writing this, to break the cycle and start healing. It's the least I can do for my growing family. It's the least anyone who cares about their children can do. Any parent should understand, that it's not always about themselves and whatever "image" they have to the outside world. It's never too late to change.
Just a reflection. 

I am OK. I am more than OK. I am free my from toxic parents. And I am ready to close this chapter.  







http://www.ehow.com/info_8065936_signs-being-verbally-abused-parents.html 皆さん、まわりを見てごらん。外から見て普通に健康の人間に見える人たくさんいるけど、性格の障害、心の病気を持ってるかもしれない。そして傷やアザはないけど、虐待や暴力受けてる子供も沢山いる。その子供たちはその虐待を乗り越えることはないかもしれない。そして自分も大きくなって自分の子供が産まれて来たら、どうなる?また繰り返す。でも私のお腹にいる赤ちゃんにもっといい事をあげたい。どんな子供でも平和で、楽観的で、充実して考え方が広い人のいる環境にいるべき。そして子供は愛と尊敬を持って人間として預けるべき、そして個人の趣味などを持つ自由を与えるべき。安全のためにちゃんとした原則が必要。そして両親は現実的な予想と、自信を持つべき。子供は言う事聞くまで恐怖な気分にさせる必要ない。そしてしつけは合理的で状況に合ったものであるべき。自分の怒りとイライラが泊まらなくてただ殴ってるだけなのではない。ひと目の前で顔殴られて(人間として嫌いという一番のジェスチャー)恥ずかしい気分にする必要は絶対ない。だからこれを書いてます。繰り返しを破って、立ち直るためです。私の増える家族のためにこの位はできる。子供を愛する人間ならこの位はできる。どんな親でも理解できるはず、自分と自分のイメージが第一じゃない。変えることには遅いことはない。



My parents' response to my blog.

My mother and father are choosing to deny and ignore my “claims” of being physically and emotionally abused growing up. I received emails from my father in which he tells me my blog is "bullshit" and lies, and if I was really experiencing so many problems why didn't I talk to them? There is not a word of genuine concern about my illness, or suicide attempt. Just blaming me, as usual. I wonder why I didn't want to open up to them! (Also he is choosing to forget when I had a full-blown panic attack in front of them and my mother mocked me and they went on eating dinner like nothing had happened!)

When I was in elementary school, my mother would slap me in the face, pull my hair to force me onto the floor or into a corner, use shoes or hairbrushes to hit me in the head and body, all the while yelling and screaming at me in an absolute rage, terrifying me to the point where I would be scared to even look at her, let alone talk to her. I became shy, passive and withdrawn, which annoyed her and she would constantly tell me to "speak up" and say I was "not normal". I would get slapped in the face if I had an "attitude", and constantly told I was a "nerd" and had no talent, my friends were fat, ugly morons, and my hobbies were childish and stupid. It was like I was being bullied in my own house. So if I was bullied at school, I pretty much felt like it was my own fault, and I had no one to turn to except my friends who understood me.
I was also conditioned to jump at every command, something I still do at 25. That's something you would see between a drill sargent and a soldier, not a mother and child. 
However, they did support me a lot--financially. They always bought me stuff, paid for college, etc. In fact, my mother always found it insulting when I would go to the thrift store, or work minimum wage to earn my own money! I always wonder if I would have been liked more by my mother if I had been like my brother, who has the "winning personality" (but is in his 30s and still single) and just let her buy me mountains of "fashionable" clothing, cars I could wreck by driving carelessly, and clean my room and pay all of my bills into my 20's. 

This is the first time I've written about the physical abuse, and about my illness, but the emotional abuse is something I've been writing about for 10 years now. These are some of the entries from over the years in my Livejournal, cut and edited for length...there are many more entries like these. 

My dad comes into my room this morning and sees my wallpaper and says "Looking at those cartoons already?" and I go "It's not 'cartoons', it's AN-I-ME." and he decides to be a total asshole and look in the dictionary and define cartoon "a humorous situation depicted by fictional characters" and I go "Most anime is either action or drama, so it's not 'cartoons'." and he gets pissed off and tells me to stop talking to him like he's an idiot, even though he knows nothing about anime and he's trying to tell ME about it. And then he goes off on this little "Real musicians like all music even if they don't like the style itself and blah blah blah" and then my mom tells him to stop arguing with me because I'm a moron and my friends are morons and we all like silly little cartoons and I have no talent and I don't love music.
Last night I went to dinner with my parents. Then some american rock-blues-country ripoff band goes up and starts playing with heavy drums and bass...RIGHT after I finish eating an appetizer, a salad, two drinks and the main course (needless to say, I'm very full) and as I always do, I get nauseous for some reason. And then a headache. So, needless to say, I'm not a happy person. And so my dad tells me I'm being an asshole, and as soon as we get home, he smashes X/1999 and tells me to go to bed without turning the computer on. And that was after a nice long talk in the car about how a real musician would be listening to the music. And they tell me I'll never be a musician or an actor, and I tell them I wanted to be a teacher, and so they come back with "Those who can't do, teach." And then yell at me that a music teacher can't teach her kids about Japanese music because no one listens to it. And I told them that I don't want to be a music teacher, I want to be a chorus director. (Because most of my major inspirations/favorite teachers have been in CHORUS.) And they said "Good, because you don't need any talent to be a chorus director."
I cried myself to sleep last night trying to console myself with music from my mp3 player.Do they care?? NO! Do they realize they called their daughter talentless? No!Can't they just realize I'm happy with who I am and what I do and leave it at that?No, they have to nitpick and point out how when THEY were my age, they were better than me....Just because I'm not the best...(I never said I was the best, I just like what I do. I'm happy. I'll love every minute of Stage Crew.)
Last night, my parents suddenly spring on me that I'm going to see the Smothers Brothers. I tell them that I have a project to do and a play to memorize, so I can't go. They tell me that since I don't want to go to a *real* show, I can't go anywhere this weekend.
And then they start saying how I'm not talented, and not a real thespian, and I started crying. I couldn't stop myself this time. I asked them how they could say such a thing about their daughter, and they said basically that it's true. (And then they told me to cry all I wanted because they didn't CARE!?!?) I told them that I would have gotten the project done sooner, but my computer was freezing, and I said I'm sorry, and my mom goes "That's cuz you got all that japanese crap on there" and I told her the truth that I had been DLing showtunes for the past 2 weeks and she just says "Oh you do that to be cool with your friends cuz a REAL thespian wants to see every show out there and I know because I was one and I bet Damien Bucci would like to see the Smothers Brothers" and all that and I told her that I was sorry that I wasn't like her
...and then she tells me to start deleting stuff because I'm the big "Computer Expert" and I tell her I did, and she told me to delete my mp3's then! The mp3's that I've been DLing for over a year now? I told her I couldn't. And then she gets really pissed at me and goes "You can't?" and I told her I loved music so much that I lived by it, and she goes off into this whole "You're sick and obsessive" thing, just because I love music, and they refuse to believe that I have a interest in many types. They say I only like music because my friends do.And they don't realize that they have hurt me. As in emotional abuse. It's not normal for a person to go to school and have to fight her tears, and lose. I started crying in A period. I hate crying in school. It makes everyone look at me as a victim, someone to feel sorry for. I really hate that. I want to be the independent, strong. But no, when I cry like that, I just seem like some pathetic little girl who has to be comforted.
 I go down to get a donut, and I don't know which ones are jelly filled, so I pick two up and look for the lil hole where the jelly comes out, and then find that the glazed one has the jelly in it. My dad makes a remark about how rude I am (even though I just picked them up, I didn't lick my fingers or anything,) and I just look at him with a look that says "that was uncalled for, I want some food." and my mom out of NOWHERE slaps me across the face and tells me to get that stupid look off my face. And I shrug like "What stupid look?" and she starts yelling at me and bitching at me and my dad joins in too saying how stupid I look and how I really have no personality whatsoever, and then I just eat my donut....And then my mom starts bitching about how I must not have any social skills because I have pimples. I just got out of the fucking shower, of course my skin isn't caked with makeup yet! But no, she doesn't notice that even though my hair is wet. And then she starts badmouthing my friends and I had to keep myself from saying that she doesn't have any fucking rights to badmouth how her daughter and her daughter's friends look because looks are not that fucking important, I kept my mouth shut as always, because I'm passive.
So I'm standing in the kitchen today, and my mom says "Maybe we should give Sam the Florida car (the red tin can) and get another car for there." and I immediately go "No, that car is small and unsafe for a 16 year old to drive." You know, the voice of reason. And my parents start getting all bitchy and going "Most teenagers would be happy to get any car" and I try to say that I wouldn't feel safe at all in that car, and it would be very illogical to get a 16 year old a tiny red convertible made out of very thin metal in the first place, but they get into the whole "Oh, she has no personality at all" thing which pisses me off. And I can't go to the Playhouse today, because they don't want to drive me, which means I don't know when I'm going to see Music Man, or Kyle in the Little Mermaid, which pisses me off even further. I'm not going to cry. I'm...not. 
There go my parents on another "She has no personality and a bad attitude" rant. They're going to Atlantic City today, for all day. They couldn't take the half-hour to just drop me off at New Hope for the day and then pick me up at 11 or so. Just so you know, I could have something to do besides sit at the computer all day. They casually told me to take care of the dog, not mentioning where they're going or anything, and so I go "Wait..where are you going" You know, because it's nice to know where your parents went in case someone calls for them or something and I have to be the idiot that says "Well...I don't know where they went, they just went out..." So anyways, they tell me and THEN ask me if I want to go, and I politely say "No thanks.." and then my mom makes some snide comment about me staying on the computer all day, which is good because I don't have a personality anyway or something, and I go "Well, I wanted to go to New Hope today." and she starts saying how I'm so spoiled that I try to order them around and stuff...god...it gets on my nerves so much. God...I just started crying.....
And of course, I have to drop EVERYTHING and come at that very second. Because if I don't, they start yelling and bitching that I'm in "my own little world" up here and maybe even saying that I won't survive in real life or something stupid like that. I really resent that..I really don't appreciate having to drop everything I'm doing when my mom calls my name. I've even left boiling water in my room because of her!
My dad's being annoying as usual, and singing some stupid song from Music Man and changing the lyrics and I tell him to stop. He comes into my room, and starts freaking out and yelling at me that he's going to beat me and smack me (in less polite words) and crap like that if I ever say "Stop it" again and tells me I act like "a retarded 8-year-old". I don't know, I guess it's true...I do say it a lot, when he does stuff to annoy me. So yea, he threatens me with violence, then goes to tell my mother, as if he's proud of it or something. Yea, you threatened your daughter, good for you, want a cookie? So then she starts going off on me too, saying how immature I am, and how I have emotional problems, psychological problems, and all the while I'm trying to hold back tears, and then she goes into "well your friends may think you're nice, but the rest of the world thinks you're a jerk" which isn't true. It's only my parents. And then she's like "Well, you know you're never going to see your friends again after high school" and I lost it, tears started rolling down my face and my face crumpled. And then she starts to mock me. For crying. She starts making fun of me like "Oh, look, she's *crying* because she'll never see her friends again." And she kept referring to 4 people as my friends, and the rest of the world thinks I'm a jerk. A lot more than 4 people like me. And she's really insensitive for making fun of my crying. It's bad enough I'm GRADUATING in 2 WEEKS, and that's when I leave most people, and you make fun of me for crying when you mention it?
Thinking back over the summer.....Coming back, having a big fight with my parents over how "dangerous" it is to have an online journal, having overpriced beauty products thrown at me by my mom to try and make me "perfect" or something, constantly being talked about in front of and behind my back by my parents, about how I have a horrible attitude....I'm so happy to leave.
So I'm in the car, I decide to call Yasushi cuz it's about midnight where he is and I didn't get to talk to him online before I left. So my mom forgot her Ricola cough drops. She starts having a tantrum about it, in a small car, yelling nonsense about bags and cough drops...and I'm sitting there trying to talk on a phone. I manage to get out "Sorry, call you back" before I hang up because I seriously could not hear anything at all besides her shouting. So I tell my mom that she was being really loud and I was trying to call someone. She responds that I shouldn't be using a cellphone in a car. WTF? Am I driving? No. Is it midnight in Japan and my boyfriend has to get up at 7 am? Yes. And now he's waiting for me to call him back.So my mom goes on to tell me how I'M rude, inconsiderate to those around me, and of course, the much revisited "You have no personality and a horrible attitude and everyone you know will see through you and desert you because that's who you are inside" talk.Which I thought I'd be able to block it out, but it really hurt, especially the idea that Yasushi will hate me someday because of who I am.Which I know is stupid, because um, it's not true, but still. I started crying the minute I got out of the car and called Yasushi. 
Parents give much love in materials. They're quick to buy me something or give me a $20, but until now I feel like my friends and Yasushi are the ones that were with me in hard times, while my parents just yell at me or make halfhearted attempts, or ignore me.When I'm 3,000 miles or so away, I'm wonderful, smart, loved, beautiful, and exceptional and bragged about to anyone who comes within earshot.When I'm here, I'm an embarrassment, selfish, stupid, bratty, and have a horrible personality. I wonder why I prefer being 3,000 miles away. Luckily I won't have to come back.  

it just really fucking hurts a lot when my own parents say I'm a horrible person and that whatever I show to others, whether it be all my friends who have been with me through thick and thin, my boyfriend who has also been there for me despite being so far away, and even my coworkers is just some fake facade that will fade away, and then everyone will hate me and leave me. You know, like my parents do. Hate me. That's what's being implied. It really hurts to think that after all this time, Yasushi would be that shallow to leave me because I do something so horrible like shut the door when I think the TV/bass practice is too loud, ask my mom to be quiet when she's yelling at the top of her lungs about something trivial while we're all in a small car and I'm trying to talk on the phone to someone I haven't seen for 6 months and only get to talk to for maybe an hour a day if I'm lucky and if he deprives himself of sleep to do so. It hurts to think of someone so sweet, loving, caring, and just totally in tune with me (or that facade that my mom is talking about because she's older than me and wise so she MUST know EVERYTHING about me, including my private thoughts and phone conversations in Japanese!) would up and leave me after all this time because of something they percieve as me being rude. 
So this morning Yasushi got to see how it is. I'm talking to Yasushi, minding my own business, and my dad asks me about work. I tell him I don't have it today, and go back into my room. My mom tells me to shut the door if I think she's so loud all the time. So of course I do, but does my mom just nod and let it go? No. She starts ranting and raving right outside my door, like it's this horrible rude thing of me to say she's loud because of more than a few times I've been in my room, talking to Yasushi on the phone or on the computer, with the door closed, and even Yasushi made a comment about how much he could hear my mom's voice/the TV/music, etc. So I just explain that she's talking about me again, and of course she never lets up.When I'm half a world away they'll miss having me around to show off. Of course that's when I'm not being a horrible embarrassing brat that everyone thinks is a jerk with no personality. That's the kind of loving praise they only save for me. 
I like going to work and school. When I'm there, at least I get praised. Today I washed dishes. The dishwasher was out, and so the cutter was doing dishes, and the manager was doing cutting. The manager has a lot of work to do, especially on Sundays, with the inventory, money, etc. And there were 2 other servers besides me,   I didn't really want to deal with customers having been verbally abused yet again, so I asked the manager if I could go down and do dishes. So I did, she got her work done, things balanced out.Of course when I tell my mom I washed dishes she makes some comment like "why did you do that? That's a job that Mexicans who don't speak English do!" Right. I'm a prissy little white girl from Yardley and I would just die if I had to do work! 

So I got the "you're a spoiled selfish brat and people will see your real personality and leave you because of it" talk AGAIN today. Because I didn't jump out of my seat and run down when I was told there was food in the kitchen for me to eat, because I happened to be talking to someone from Louisiana that's in Japan right now, so serious talk + it's really late in Japan when it's morning/early afternoon here. I said "OK" and then my mom yells again "There's breakfast down here!" and I go "OK!" and she bitches about me about my attitude. And then she was bitching to my dad about how I spent 2 hours talking to Yasushi on MSN. 

First off, I would like to thank my parents. Because while I was on the headset talking to Yasushi they were yelling that I was an asshole and that Yasushi would divorce me within a year. Yasushi heard it, and after I gave a direct translation it prompted a very long talk and now we have become even closer and I can count on that he will be by my side. So thank you Mom and Dad for bringing Yasushi even closer to me. And ensuring that I will not be coming home again anytime soon. I say that every summer. I mean it this time. 
But this is only my personal account of the events. My father complains that this is "one-sided",  and he defends my mother's temper tantrums and rages as "expressing her emotions and opinions like normal people do." and "not everyone can be like Japanese, talking with their hand over their mouth"?? I've lived with and interacted with people from all over the world, and most adults I've met can handle stressful situations calmly and with respect for other people, not flipping out and screaming at everyone and thin air.
But again, this is only what happened inside the house. Outside, and on Facebook, my mother always praises her wonderful, beautiful, smart daughter, living such a perfect life in Hawaii or Japan, of course when she isn't posting pictures of her own wonderful life, dropping hundreds of dollars on doing her hair and nails and eating out weekly, and going to her condo in the Caribbean. Do you think she would tell her friends that her daughter suffers from depression and anxiety, tried to kill herself, and currently lives in a 1 bedroom apartment she wouldn't use as a closet, and that our household income is technically below the poverty line for a family of 3 in Hawaii?
Even when Yasushi and I stayed at the house until February of this year, she would loudly declare within earshot that we "lived like pigs", storming angrily around the house, scrubbing the shower furiously with bleach every time one of us used it, or washing all of the dishes and wiping down the counters banging and huffing and puffing while I was still eating lunch. When they were in the Caribbean, we spent hours cleaning her kitchen cabinets and throwing out food that was months and years past the expiration dates, and I got yelled and screamed at venomously over the phone about how she can clean her own kitchen and how self-righteous I was! But after we went to Hawaii there were sappy posts on Facebook about how wonderfully I had cleaned the cabinets, and how much she missed me!

Apparently my blog has made her horribly depressed and she "cries every day". Oh, really? Am I supposed to feel sorry? What happened when I cried, and even had a panic attack, right in front of her? "You have psychological problems" "Oh poor baby" "Cry all you want, I don't care." Oh, and trying to make me feel guilty when I have written about being hours away from dying of suicide, and you don't even say a word of concern for me!

It's not like I'm writing this blog for her anyway. I'm writing it for myself, so I can be a stronger person for my daughter. Maybe my mother should have tried to bring me up better emotionally, rather than focusing on how much money she could spend on me.

My mother also sent me an email. It was simply titled "aspergers and you" with a wikipedia article. That actually gave me a laugh because I've worked with children with Asperger's, and so have other friends and coworkers of mine. No child or adult with undiagnosed and untreated Asperger's would willingly move halfway around the world and change jobs every few years, and its very unlikely that they would be able to have several lasting friendships, and be married for years as well. Then I guess she was pissed that I didn't respond to the email, so sent me a cold, unemotional email about how she would never contact me again, and"how sad it is that you won't have a mother anymore". 

I guess would be easier for my mother if I just had Asperger's, because then all of her insults about me being a "mental patient" and having "no social skills" would then be justified. But actually, I have atypical depression and a mild anxiety disorder. 

Depression and anxiety is not just something people "make up" to "get attention". It is real, and painful. I was hours away from dying, and close to getting divorced because of it. Likewise, verbal abuse is also very real, and the effects last a lifetime, as proved by countless studies. Also, when I asked for advice on several child abuse and medical forums, I was directed to pages about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 

I wish I was making this up. I wish I could have had a normal relationship with my parents, like all the other families I had the fortune of knowing and interacting with throughout my years in Hawaii and Japan. Parents weren't violent or abusive when disciplining, rather they treated the child with respect and encouraged them to talk and work out their feelings. And the children had so much confidence and were so comfortable with themselves, and not fearful of their parents, but respected rules and boundaries when they were explained clearly as you would do with any fellow human being. 

Maybe if my parents could acknowledge what they have done, and take steps like therapy to try and mend some of the broken pieces, we could still have a family. But if they insist on saying that they did everything perfectly, and I'm simply a liar and mental patient, then I simply cannot have them in my life, especially with my daughter in the picture.
As my mother said to my husband "I am done with you, Bye bye!"




夕べ、両親が急に「Smothers Brothers」という漫才を見に行くって。でも私は学校のプロジェクトがあって、演劇部の台詞も覚えなきゃいけないから行けないって断った。それでこんないい舞台を見に行かないなら、週末どこにも行かせないって言われた。




私がもしアスペルガーを持ってたなら、母は楽だったのでしょう。そしたら「精神障害者」「社会にやっていけないだろう」とか言ってたことは正しかったんでしょう。でも私の持ってる病気は、パニック性不安うつ病 だと思います。