Understanding Monsters and Why People Cheat

BY BRANDON MINIA

For the first time in the almost two years since I finally broke communication with my ex, I feel like I can now fully sympathize with her for something she did that I never thought I ever would.

I understand now why my ex cheated on me with my best friend.

Granted, she’s still a monster. It’s still despicable the way she deceived me for months, largewith my best friend at that, and that when it was finally convenient for her, she disposed of me and almost pretended that our relationship never happened. But there were a few moments in the months leading up to discovering their secret affair that I have never understood until now.

I’m going to reference an anime I finished last night (Thursday morning to be exact) called White Album 2, so for anyone who cares, there’s some major spoilers for that show coming up. (I also hesitate to recommend it, because as good at it was, it was the first piece of media I ever consumed that really punched me in the gut).

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Out Of The Tunnel

BY BRANDON MINIA

It took a whole lot of willpower to finally muscle my way out of one of the worst episodes I’ve had in almost two years.

I had almost forgotten. You stay well enough for so long that the anxiety doesn’t even feel so bad, even though you know that with anxiety, depression is surely lurking around the corner. And once it comes around and hits you, you turn into a mere shell of yourself.

Since February, my anxiety was hitting almost unprecedented levels considering how well hqdefault.jpgI had been for so long. And with how tense I had been, I knew that the possibility of me slipping down into that rabbit hole was a distinct possibility. It did.

I can’t name exactly what triggered it, mostly because I don’t know what it was. I don’t know if it was a combination of factors, or if it just happened. Or both. With me, as it is with so many others, my depression is hard to pinpoint no matter how mindful I am of my emotional levels.

The depression was beginning to creep in near the end of February. I started becoming more fatigued and my motivation to do work began to dissipate. In the back of my head, I knew of course that the danger of me falling back into that dreaded state was slowly becoming more and more of a possibility as every day passed. Still, I blamed my decreasing energy levels on my anxiety.

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Are You Triggered?

BY BRANDON MINIA

I’m going to open this with a discussion of Internet memes, but really what I want to talk about is much more serious, as you could probably already tell from the purposefully obnoxious title that I chose for this entry.

58384974.jpgInternet memes have been a great and often positive way for the global community to bond together in a virtual space. From classics such as Rage Comics to more recent entries such as the Doge, the Internet has created a vast array of inside jokes that have allowed us all to get along with each other and share a common space.

There are times, however, when the jokes go too far.

Enter “triggered,” the latest meme to hit the web. Continue reading

Anxiety – The Aftermath

BY BRANDON MINIA

Now that a year has passed since my experience with emotional abuse, I’m still rattled at just how bad the fallout can get. It still feels surreal no matter how long it’s been. And five years down the road, I’ll probably still be thinking the same thing.

My anxiety reached its fever pitch last week, hitting all-time high levels for the first timeimages
in a while. An unanswered text can leave me nervous. An accident that displeased a friend can follow me for a long time. Asking to see a person has never been so frightening.

I know exactly what causes me to experience these spells of anxiety. No one forgets being chastised for asking to hang out when the other person is tired. It’s impossible to forget the feeling of humiliation when someone turns your feelings of anger around so that you look like the bad person, despite the fact that your anger is very well justified. No one forgets being violently pressed into believing that you were overthinking something that you were right about all along about…

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We Need To Talk About Us Boys

BY BRANDON MINIA

Growing up as a Phillipino boy in my hometown of Scarborough, I was exposed to a lot of homophobic slurs despite identifying as a heterosexual cisgender male. On top of that, for a brief period of time, I went through a phase of wanting to be “white”, which I later learned was a body issue as much as it was a racial issue. It was a struggle of being not masculine or Caucasian enough.

My struggles weren’t nearly of the same magnitude as the queer, transgender, non-binarygender.jpg folk of my hometown, but they still played a large role in my realization of the kind of culture I grew up in. In much of the late 90s and early 2000s, Scarborough was — and in some ways still is — dominated by an incredibly conservative masculine ideology. Boys grew up believing that the key to success was aggression, a lack of emotions, and worst of all, being incredibly rude to women.

Despite growing up and realizing how problematic this culture was, I still notice remnants of these values coming out in my conversations from time to time, although thankfully very rarely.

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