My name is Rei. It’s my nickname, not derived from my real name. To most westerners it seems to sound like Ray. Most people that know me call me some mix of Rei and my real name depending on the situation.
So, I’m sitting here, staring down an anniversary of sorts. Coming up next week, 2 years. 2 years since I started my evaluation and therapy for PTSD and anxiety. Not something I talk openly about mostly because it’s very personal to me (duh!!!) and also because I take time to process and make sense of things, sometimes it takes me a while. But after talking with my therapist we’ve decided to make a change in my plan. Instead of weekly, we are going to move to a biweekly meeting, plus a biweekly meeting with a life coach. I guess kind of like a halfway point, a figurative halfway house of sorts. I’m still looking at another year, maybe eighteen months of some type of therapy. I’ve got some major life changes coming up and I’m preparing for that. Part of the process is to kind of square up the different parts of my life, put things in context and proportion. So I’ve been writing things down and I figured, ehhh why not post it on gag. (part of it, i've taken a lot out to protect the innocent and a lot of stuff that just doesn't need to be written here cuz no one wants to read 20000 characters). Part of the process of moving on and making the necessary adjustments. And who knows, someone may get something out of my story.
I went into therapy after I made a really shitty decision, driven by my anxiety and trust issues. My goal from entering was really to not be destructive towards the people that are important to me. You might be wondering what put me on a couch with a therapist to begin with. A handful of you here know a bit of the story, the rest of you, ill get around to it in a bit.
My parents are Japanese citizens, my mom is mixed Japanese, Malaysian and English. My dad is Japanese and worked in the energy Industry, retired now. I was born and raised in Texas. My parents are both Shinto/Buddhist and both very strict and what you might envision as stereotypically Japanese. Education was a huge focus in my life. I attended educational pre-schools since I was old enough to walk. Entered Kindergarten a year early and then was pushed ahead into 4th grade from second grade. Socializing was not a thing my parents believed in. It was either educational, or time spent with family. There was nothing else, though they would make an exception for athletics. Even in summer breaks I was either with family or attending some sort of educational camp or summer school.
I joined up in any extracurricular activity I could at school just so I could not be stuck at home. Not that home life was bad, it wasn’t. I just wanted something other than being at home studying. So I did track a lot and had some talent at gymnastics. I eventually joined a dance squad, lmao, because that squad got to attend any significant sports event which was another opportunity for me to get out from the house. But really, track was my thing. Long distance and cross country.
Being the only Japanese kid at a school in Texas was…..interesting. I went to school everyday with my bento box lunch because my mom thought the school lunches were gross and unhealthy. I just wanted to be like everyone else. Like asking the moon to be the sun. I was incessantly picked on and made fun of. Bad enough I was already small, but I was also two years younger than everyone else in my grade. By the time I graduated from high school I looked all of twelve years old. Strongly introverted, but I was also stubborn and prideful. I quickly learned to mouth off and curse with the best of them, quite a shock to a lot of people that just saw a tiny Japanese girl standing in front of them. I never was interested in boys, never had a boyfriend, never went on a date all through high school, not that my parents would’ve allowed it, but it wasn’t on my radar anyway.
I graduated from high school at the age of 17 with about 60 college credit hours. When other kids were having fun with their families on Christmas eve, I was studying AP history. I ran a lot of track and turned out I was pretty good at it. I ended up accepting a full academic scholarship to a major university but I had been offered a few combined athletic/academic scholarships at smaller schools. I knew that there was nothing in my future involving track so I took the other option.
I decided to enter electrical engineering because it seemed like the best guarantee of a good secure job upon graduation, my parents wanted me to do it and I was mathematically inclined anyway so it made sense. The first year of college went well. Under the age of 18, I was required to stay at home with my parents. Book smart and naïve, looking to be into a career by the age of 20, I had no idea what mess I could get into and was about to get into and it cost me dearly.
By the way, my nickname, Rei, was given to me by a Monk. When I was young I became severely ill. Was in the hospital for an extended period. When I got out, my mom took me to a Temple where my family was told that I was sick because spirits liked to touch me and that I would never be healthy unless they found a way to stop it. The solution was for me to change my name and move to a different house. So, I was given a new name (Rei) and sent to live in my uncle’s house in Singapore for about 6 months. That way the spirits wouldn’t be able to find me again.
This is all I really wanna do today. I'll be coming back with another later when I'm in the mood.
My favorite song...