WOW I can’t believe the last update I wrote was NOVEMBER. I tried so hard to stay on top of everything but ultimately I couldn’t. I don’t even know where to begin on catching y’all up:
I am currently in the United States. China is a very totalitarian, restrictive regime. The people you meet in your daily life are all SO lovely but they survive by only looking at whatever’s right in front of them. The actual way the country is set up is extremely difficult to work in. As a writer, all my books are banned there. I got a job as a librarian and then as a Grade 1 teacher, and we had to wait up to 6 months for English and Spanish books we’d bought to get through customs. They read them all. These were KG-G5 books. Then when they did show up they were often censored.
They have a killswitch for the internet and they press it often for reasons I can’t go into because I don’t want to get arrested.
Mental health isn’t viewed as a real thing in China. They make up all sorts of excuses for why people have problems. The most painful thing about that wasn’t having to travel 100 miles to see a psychiatrist for my own problems. The worst thing was having kids in my class who CLEARLY had special educational needs and being unable to actually do anything to help them.
And I got so depressed I was suicidal. I tried to kill myself not so long ago. Why? I couldn’t leave the house on my own. I had no access to my own money. I wasn’t being paid for the job I was doing and had no work visa so couldn’t do anything about it. I was working full time for about $400 a month which I wasn’t even receiving. Then, I found out I actually CAN have babies as long as I have an obstetrician to keep an eye on me, which is the biggest deal in the universe. Then I got pregnant and lost the baby. That really messed with me a lot.
And on top of that, a bunch of things happened with my writing career. Fantastic opportunities. If I’d been anywhere else, I could have used those things to springboard into great success. Instead, I had to literally sit and watch opportunities slide out of view while I was trying to get my internet to connect. I had other authors blocking me and defriending me online because I couldn’t do things I said I’d do, because I couldn’t connect to the internet because I was in China. I had other people telling me, “oh, we all have internet problems. Deal with it. You’re so unprofessional.”
You haven’t had internet problems until you’ve been to China. 1990 didn’t have internet problems compared to being in China. To illustrate my point, as one of many issues, a bunch of my emails and email attachments went missing because everything gets seen before you get it.
I quit my job after the fifth month in a row that I hadn’t been paid the money they owed me, and I escaped to the US in early February on a holiday with my husband. I was only supposed to be here for 10 days (FYI, to be VERY clear, I’m here legally), but I’m still here. I’m on the west coast. That’s all I’m saying on this post. If you know where I am, don’t post it on here please.
It’s taken me the last 5 weeks to just re-connect with myself, rediscover my sense of self and who I was before China, and to center myself. But I’m going to try and write articles and reviews again. I have SO many travel pics (we went to Thailand at Christmas) I will preschedule a lot of them because I am also a full-time author and that earns me full-time money now, so I have to prioritize that as my main online thing.
I have to go back to China at some point in about a week and a half. This terrifies me more than that time I had to have surgery with no anaesthetic. About 10 days after getting to the US I was able to get back off my meds. I don’t want to go back.
I haven’t seen my husband since mid-February. Leaving him at San Francisco airport was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a very long time. But he insisted that I needed to stay here and get back on top of all my online business stuff. I know he’s right… but we haven’t EVER been apart for that long, even when we separated last year for a few weeks to iron out some fundamental issues with how our relationship was structured.
I got this tattoo two weeks ago, in the hope that it gives me pause (paws?) before slashing my wrists when I go back:
Who could ever hurt Hello Kitty? I’m getting another one on my other wrist for the same reason.
Anyway, I’ve discovered all sorts of amazing and wonderful things since I got to the US and I can’t wait to tell you all about them.
But I just wanted to drop a quick note and tell you all what happened to me. I couldn’t talk about any of this when I was in China, and when I go back I might have to delete this post, but… for now… hi, how’ve you been? I’m still alive. ❤