Category : Relationships

9 posts

Because of the quarantine in place, I’ve had a lot of time to myself in the house and decided to do a lot of cleaning. That included my bookshelf, which has a lot of books, knickknacks, sentimental items on display. One of the cute display boxes was a gift from Mart; inside was a purple octopus plushy he had made by hand and a little note for our 8 year anniversary.

Happy 8th year anniversary! Feb 14 2015. Happy Valentine’s Day <3

I can’t think of a better way to explain my love for you other than through this octopus plushy. Months ago, as I brainstormed of what to get you for our anniversary, the 1st thing that came to mind was an octopus. I envisioned the cutest octopus plushy ever but translating that into reality was a much harder task than I imagined. I made my 1st prototype but it turned out pretty bad lol. I used a running stitch w/ thin thread but it didn’t hold the body well enough. The body was basically deformed :( I made too many mistakes and had to start over. I then discovered the almighty blanket stitch and started on my second prototype. I used thicker thread and evenly spaced out my stitching. But it still wasn’t perfect. But I persevered and continued to perfect and practice on my blanket stitching. I used a thicker thread and cleaned my spacing even more. My final prototype was ready. The entire time I was making my octopus, I was smiling and laughing every time I did something right. I even exlaimed at one point, “Grandma’s got nothing on my stitching!” I poured my heart and soul into every stitch just like in our relationship. And even though I made many mistakes, I did my best to fix and continued to improve. The final product is still kinda rough around the edges but the love it represents, through its 8 tiny, cute, little tentacles is undeniable. As I made this plushy, I thoguht of our old memories together and new ones we will make in the future. There’s no other companion I want other than you, Kimmy. I love you so muc hand I’m willing to dedicate my life to making you happy. You mean that much to me. Happy 8 year anniversary sweetheart.

Reading that note didn’t make me cry or feel so broken I used to be. I still felt sad, remembering the love we had for each other, and how it wasn’t enough for us to be together nor for us to be right for each other. But, I am not broken anymore. I think that is such a huge breakthrough and I’ve come so far, considering how utterly deep down into the abyss I was when it all started falling apart. I have gotten rid of many mementos but I do still keep a select few. When I do look at them on occasion, the feeling of hopelessness becomes replaced with a dull ache of sadness yet gratefulness for the happy memories in our young lives. It’s such a cliche saying but what they say really is true. Time does heal.

I had a dream the other week. I received a letter with him telling me how he was wrong in disappearing like he did, and how he regretted it. He wrote about his life now, detailing his new job and how he had to move to Santa Monica due to rent. Everything in my dream was pretty realistic until that detail haha; I imagine living in Los Angeles would mean higher rent. He ended the letter hinting that it would be nice for us to try again. The dream ended with me tearing up, feeling a little torn and sad that he finally gave me an answer, but it was too late because I am now very happy with my life and current relationship.

I don’t normally have dreams and they’re not usually completely coherent and realistic. I think it was one morning where I woke up for work but decided to snooze another 10ish minutes. Dozing off for a short amount of time seems to be the trick to having such vivid dreams.

When I woke up, the dream left me feeling very dismal. I thought it was fascinating that I would have such a realistic dream – obviously my mind still longs for closure with that old chapter in my life.

Sometimes I find myself wondering what would it be like if I could have a telephone conversation to just obtain proper closure for those 10 years. I think about what I would like to say and what I would like to ask. Then I shy away from the thought because I entered a new chapter in my life and don’t want to make the pages bleed together, nor cause any extra pain.

In the last two years of optometry school, there were 3 different life-changing things that I struggled with: My 12 year old feathered baby died. My ten year relationship came to an end. I was physically assaulted.

The evening before I took one of my national board exams, my cockatiel died from choking on food. He was my 12 year old baby. I got him when he was 1 month old and he lived with us until he was nearly 12 years old. I was living away from home and never had the chance to spend more time with him before he passed away unexpectedly and I never got to say goodbye. Sometimes when I take out my keys to open the front door, I still expect my little guy to chirp excitedly at me to take him out to play.

I initiated stepping away from someone I loved with every inch of my being because I knew it was what he needed to get out of his rut and reach the potential I knew he had in him. I still remember how scary it was doing it because I couldn’t imagine a life without him. I had hope that maybe if things were meant to be, we could be a part of each other’s lives again. I met him when I was a teenager in high school and we grew together over the next decade. Nearly 10 years of struggles and triumphs and honestly the best years of my life. It’s not often that even after a decade of being together, you still get butterflies in your stomach and you can’t wait to spend more time together. Sadly, our love story only became a long and tragic one and we grew into complete strangers. We tried over and over to slowly pick things back up, but one day it just stopped and I was ghosted. I think the hardest part for me was being left hanging and never getting closure. Someone I completely trusted suddenly disappeared and I didn’t even know if this person was even alive anymore.

To numb the pain I had tried dating again.

This led to me being raped by someone I had only known for a few hours. For a while it didn’t feel like a big deal. But over time, it ate away at me and ate away until I didn’t really feel like a person anymore. I could barely just keep going, anything to numb the pain.

I did a lot of things I’m not proud of because in some way, I had wanted some kind of control back in my life and I honestly didn’t really care if I ended up dying in the process.

It still chokes me up to remember those days in school where I wished I could have gotten help. Someone would stop in the hallway to greet me and ask me how I was doing, when all I really wanted to say was, “I’m not okay. I need help.” But I never could do that and so I would respond like a robot, “Good, how are you?” Honestly anyone time someone asked me the “How are you?” question, I felt like crying on the spot. On some mornings before my clinic shift, I would cry in my car and just sit there to give myself time to look normal again, and then go to clinic with a smile because I knew it was time to take care of patients and make some people happy.

I easily lost 10 pounds during that year and when I realized it, I thought, “Well, if I can’t feel happy maybe I can keep losing more and feel beautiful.

Sidenote: if you’ve ever wondered about or considered therapy…speaking from experience, don’t hesitate, just do it. You don’t have to go through things alone and why would you want to prolong your healing process? I came to realize that yes, although you may feel like you could deal with it on your own, why not have help coping in a healthy way, promote your well-being, and cut down your healing time exponentially? There’s such a bad stigma attached to therapy but it makes so much sense.

Even without the external factors in my life, optometry school was hard for me. I was used to an entire lifestyle of cramming and easily being a top student but in optometry school, I found myself barely holding on. I found myself surrounded by intelligent colleagues, whose brilliance I’d marvel at. I always felt like the weak link of the bunch and I knew that if I didn’t work hard, I wouldn’t be able to keep up. There were times every single year out of those four years where I felt like, “I’m not going to make it to the next year.” It takes a real toll on you for a full four years while everyone around you seems so beautiful, smart, and successful.

Even after graduation rolled by, I still didn’t get my wings because I was still having trouble passing one of my national board exams. I had my diploma but I didn’t have my license. This put me far behind in the race and left me, again, crawling far behind my classmates. It didn’t feel good. But here I am, I finally jumped through the hurdles and though I’m late, I crossed that finish line! Maybe that’s just always been my style; slow and steady wins the race. One of my friends did nickname me the “comeback kid,” in college, after all.

I ended up going through my entire box of sentimental letters and cards. I’ve found all of the ones from Mart and was able to re-read, let go, and throw away most of them. I have a handful of cards left that were really special to me, so I want to take the time to acknowledge them and preserve these memories before I physically throw away the cards.

I have a card from before we started dating. It brings a smile to my face to think about how innocent it started out. Who knew that we’d be together soon after and last almost a decade later.

First of all I want to say happy birthday, you’re almost a grown-up now! Sighs…..flies by so fast. I just hope you enjoy the day of your birth because it’s a special day to celebrate. It’s the day you came to us and made us smile :)

P.S. Since this is a holidays card, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year ^_^

Your friend,


I remember how it felt to be infatuated. Those beginning stage butterflies. Being friends but wishing we were more than friends.

On some late nights, I always reflect on my life and thought about you. I kept asking questions like what’s so special about Kimmy? What is it about this girl that I care so much about. And the answer came to me. I care about you because I want to be there for you. In times of trouble and happiness I want you beside me. You bring a smile to my face and for that I’m grateful. You’re special because you’re strong. Things don’t always go the way you want them to but you always keep your head high. You have the strength and courage I will never have.

In the past I was always told to never take things for granted and that’s what I’m doing now. I want you to know how much you mean to me because I might never have the chance again. This might sound dramatic but you have no idea how much of a difference you’ve made in my life. I only hope that when I wake up to see another day, I’ll have you to kiss, to hug, to feel, and to care for.

This letter seemed kinda long but it’s not nearly enough to describe how special you are to me. You’ll always have a place in my heart.

This card really touched me because it was both really sweet and really bittersweet. I’m so touched that he spent late nights thinking about why he liked me and what he found special about me. I’m honored to have been thought of so highly by someone else. It’s a bit bittersweet for various reasons…a little bit of his low self-esteem is peeking through (“you have the strength and courage I will never have”). Over the years, it was a pretty vicious cycle of me being taken granted for and him telling me he would make it right. Looking back, I know he tried his best, but I also know now that it wasn’t enough. It was just in his personality to be like that and it grew into something toxic for the both of us. I knew it deep down, but I loved him enough to overlook it and accept it for many years, even if it hurt me.

One of the cards has a moon and some stars on it. Before we had gotten together, I had written a poem about Mart, referring to him as my moon. Eventually he started referring to me as his star, his moon star. So, the symbol of a moon and star together was very cute and meaningful to us. He drew a little doodle on the inside of the card. I honestly have no memory of it (it must have been from so many years ago) so when I opened up this particular card, it made me smile.

A card from 06/12/12 for my college graduation from UCI:

One chapter ends, another begins. This is another chapter in our lives and I could not be more happy than to spend it with the person I love the most, you! My Kimmypie, my moon sweetheart and morning star! I’m so lucky to have spent high school and college with you, and even though it wasn’t easy, we persevered through our love for one another. Thank you for having me in your life :P Haha, I always say that because you have no idea how lucky I am to find you. You mean so much to me baby and no matter what tough challenges await us, I will always love you with all my heart.

Here’s to many more mojitos, sangrias and cocktails with you Kimmy! Congrats again!!! Whoo!!!

Over time he would start making hand-made cards for me instead of buying cards. It’s funny to see the progression from impersonal holiday cards to hand-picked fancy cards to hand-made cards. The creativity and time put into the hand-made cards was so impressive. He basically developed scrap-booking skills haha. After all these years, I still really appreciate all of them. God, to think of him sitting in his room late at night, cutting little fancy stationary pieces of paper, arranging them, and super-gluing them. It brings tears to my eyes. We did a lot of things for each other, to show our love and affection.

I’m so grateful we got to experience the journey from adolescence to adulthood, high school to post-college together.

A card from 02/14/14, our 7 year anniversary:

Happy anniversary baby! Seven years of wonderful and unforgettable memories. Thank you for being a part of my life and filling the void of my otherwise lonely and sad existence. Dramatic right? :P But seriously, you have brought me so much happiness that I can’t express it enough how lucky and thankful I am.

But this year was a difficult one, and we’ve had to face a lot of challenges. We had to deal with being physically separated for the longest time since we’ve been together and struggle through fights that threatened our relationship. Most of all, I’m disappointed in myself for the lack of effort I put into our relationship and I know I can do better. I want to make this next year a great one and provide you with the happiness and love you deserve. Now that we’re out of college, our relationship is entering a new but scary and exciting phase but I know our love is strong enough to survive through whatever tough challenges we’ll face next. Here’s to a new year baby, I love you with all my heart, mind and body, my Kimmy boo.

I remember that year where he went to the Philippines with his family for an entire month. It was the first time we had ever been away from each other for that long. I literally saw him every week, sometimes every day. I remember at the time, the thought of not seeing him brought such extreme fear in me. I completely broke down and cried the day he dropped by my house to say good bye before his vacation to the Philippines. That month away from each other brought such turmoil to our lives. It tested us physically and mentally and emotionally, and it was also the first time my sexual orientation (I’m bi) almost tore us apart.

That card was another bittersweet reminder. I’m so happy and honored to have brought much joy into his life, but it’s also bittersweet to get another small glimpse of his low self-esteem. It wasn’t healthy for me to be the only source of joy in his life. It was another bittersweet reminder of how often over the years I’d be taken for granted, or he would lack the effort in our relationship. It wasn’t necessarily empty promises year after year, but it was definitely a vicious cycle and in the end, unfulfilled words.

When I was still a teenager and I had gone through a break-up with my first boyfriend, I remember how angry I was at his past declarations of love, including all the cards and letters. They felt so fake, they felt like lies.

Now as an adult, this break-up with Mart was only my second break-up ever (since Mart is the second person I had ever been with; from age 16 to 26), things are so different. I look back and find the past declarations of love so very real and very full of meaning. I know he absolutely meant them at the time, and I know exactly how much love we had for each other. I can’t lie and say I’m not still heart-broken, but I can definitely say I’m grateful it all happened and I can tearfully & wholeheartedly say I had never loved anyone like that before. Although I might regret how long I turned a blind eye to certain things and let them drag on, I don’t regret that our relationship happened and the many years of wonderful memories we created together.

Hello, again. It’s been a long time. My life in a nutshell since graduating in May of this year:

  • I went on an amazing trip to Asia in June (2 weeks in Japan and 1 week in Vietnam).
  • I studied my ass off to retake (for the 4th time) my national board exam in August.
  • I had to wait anxiously for 2 months for my score to be released.
  • I reconnected with a lot of good friends.
  • I continued a lot of online dating.
  • I started talking to a really amazing guy (now boyfriend) in June and things just drastically turned around for me. I’m no longer a serial dater with a high level of detachment.
  • I started going to therapy to deal with my lingering emotional turmoils & past trauma.
  • I found out I finally PASSED the national board exam!
  • I studied for the last and final exam required for my license: the state law exam – and PASSED!

So now I am playing the waiting game to have my license processed before I can officially start working. Yes, it’s been almost half a year since graduation and although I had a lot of obstacles delaying everything, I’m finally at the end of the tunnel. At this point in my life, I’m hoping to tie up loose ends and do things I need to do while I still have a ridiculous amount of free time.

I decided to create a series called Beyond the Breakup. I don’t think I will post all of the Parts as public. But, I think I feel comfortable posting this as the beginning, Part 1. I thought it might be time to pick a little bit at the old scabs and slowly dive into memorabilia from Mart so that I can slowly let them go & throw them away. I’m doing excellent these days, compared to how miserable I was two years ago. I’m going to keep working on being the best version of myself, continue healing myself, and continue tying up all the loose ends dangling.

One year Mart gave me a lovely red leather box that has a clear window on the lid. He decorated it with stars in the shape of “20” for my 20th birthday. This was in 2009. I had forgotten that inside the clear window was actually a little card-stock with a birthday letter written on it for me.

It reads:

Dear Kimmy,

Today is a very special day, the day you [were] born and the day a star came to life. Yes, Kimmy, you are that star, MY morning star. And for twenty years, you shone bright and brightened up my life. Ever since I met you, my world became a happier place and I’m able to experience so many new things with you. Thank you so much Kimmy. Words can’t describe how much you mean to me and how much I love you. I’m so grateful for this day and I hope I can make it special for you Kimmy.

This was a little over two years into our relationship. It was a special time. That must have been when I had gone into my second year of college.

I’m crying just a little bit, but nothing like the soul-crushing sobs I used to have. Of course I feel emotional. A tiny bit is from feeling the nostalgia and the lingering sadness of how things didn’t last forever.

But, I also feel a bit happy and I’m loving this feeling. I really like this letter. It was such a simple birthday letter from him and as I’m reading it 9 years later, I think I can still really feel the pure love and meaning he had intended behind those words. The whole concept behind it is beautiful. If I was never born, if I never met him, if I never made the moves (heck yeah, always a go-getter) on him, I never would have been able to impact his life positively. Up until that point in his life, he had never felt true happiness and love before. And he was able to make me the happiest I had been in that point of my life as well. How special and amazing that is. Not everyone is able to say they were able to share almost a decade of their youth (16 to 26) with someone. Although it didn’t last forever, we struggled and triumphed and experienced so many different stages of life together. Although it didn’t last forever, at least we had each other at the time. That is truly amazing.