First of all I need to tell you how grateful I am for the ’save and edit later‘ function on here because if I had posted right away what poured out of my poor heart and soul yesterday night – or actually last morning at 1am – this post would have been quite disturbing for some of you.
After an average day of a few good and a few bad moments it all came tumbling down around midnight. Right after waking up in the morning I had to deal with a text from home which unfolded into an argument and in the course of the day into something huge and time consuming. This had me start my day off with a heart beating an uncomfortable rhythm of anger and frustration.
Later in the morning a woman came around to visit (she was someone who knew someone who knew someone of my hostmum’s family) and while she greeted me with the obligatory kiss on the cheek and „Hola, cómo está?“, in the course of the conversation with my hostmum she kept talking about me right in front of me. I was there to listen to her talk about me. The fact that she did it and the way she did it made me feel inferior and invisible.
In the park when Anja and I wanted to enjoy our drumming session on the blue plastic chairs the owner of the kiosk there had the nerve to approach us and take Anja down from the chair without my permisson and tell me in Spanish why he thought it was a bad idea to put her there. I was RIGHT THERE in front of her and he thought she wasn’t safe and I was doing the wrong thing. I felt so indignant and thrown off my guard – but at the same time I felt speechless.
I had noticed that I felt more tense with the girl for a couple of days and couldn’t tolerate as well as before some things she did. I felt really stressed for reasons I couldn’t put my finger on, which stressed me even more. I tried to push it away and shrug it off. Until last night when I suppose my guard was down and I was tired and I had felt emotional all day. Everything had been building up inside of me and suddenly all these intense feelings that I hadn’t allowed myself to feel before washed over me and I couldn’t breath and there was no other thing I could do than burst into tears. I couldn’t hold in any longer and I burst into tears because… sometimes I hate it here.
That process of bursting into tears started with Angel suggesting that we start speaking more Spanish when we text so I could practice. He said I was in a comfort zone with the mum speaking German and him speaking English. I never speak Spanish in front of him, just about „class things“, and even that I dislike. I couldn’t figure out exactly why but at his suggestion last night, everything in me screamed „No, please, not you, too!“
There are a couple of other people that I text with who can speak only Spanish. Everytime I receive a text from them I feel like I’ve just been given a huge task. I need to look up every second word to understand what they say, and then I have to think about what I want to reply, and then think about how I can say that in Spanish in a non-complicated way and then I need to look up verb forms and words and hope I get the meaning right and put everything in the right order when I compose my sentence. It’s work, it’s bloody hard work, and I still can’t say exactly what I want and feel. Also I still make mistakes after putting so much effort into my answer. It’s so frustrating and it feels like I’m on a test, not like I’m chatting with a friend. It makes me feel really awful and lonely.
However, with Angel I’m really comfortable and he’s become a close friend, considering what I told him about me in the amount of time we’ve known each other. I trust him like I trust my friends at home and we joke easily, like friends who have known each other for a long time do. He has more of an idea of my personality than anyone else here seeing that I can be more of myself with him than with any other person. Because he’s a friend, not an employer or outstander or shop assistant or whatever. Sometimes he’s my teacher (and I’m his) but most of all we’re friends.
So when he suggested speaking more Spanish, I felt my friend turn into a teacher in our „spare time“, too, and I don’t want any more pressure on me, having to speak Spanish. By starting to watch my language, too, like everyone else constantly does, he will take away something from me that I need more than learning a bit of Spanish grammar or words. It’s hard enough not being me during the day when I have to deal with people who don’t understand me (language and personality wise) and when I can’t express my feelings in a proper fashion, so when I talk to a friend I want to do it without having to think about every word in every sentence. Also there is a difference in conveying feelings – in Spanish I write bare sentences without (my real) feelings most of the time. In English I know how to express annoyance or anger, joy or interest, zest or excitement. I know how to be caring and helpful, cheesy and sneaky and funny and witty. I Spanish I don’t and therefor I am not any of these things.
So his offer (even though coming from a good place) pushed me over the edge of the emotional cliff I’d been balancing on all day. Because I am definitely not in a comfort zone. The mum is an employer, even though we get on really well. It’s still different to chatting with a friend though. The people I speak to daily are not friends. They don’t get me and collectively, they make me feel horrible and stupid and hate the language and the idea of coming here and they make me miss my friends so badly and also they make me want to go home. So after pouring my heart out to poor Angel (bless him, he dealt with me really well) and saying goodnight I kept crying it all out and then I felt like writing it all out, too. So, at 1am, I sat in front of my computer, the light of which was blinding my swollen panda eyes (yes, I forgot to take off my make up … and yes, you are allowed to laugh at this image of me squinting my eyes like a granny panda), sniffing occasionally and putting on paper (well, screen really) everything that I couldn’t and didn’t want to hold inside.
So, if you are interested in how I felt at the dead of night yesterday, you are most welcome to read on (the italic part at the end of the post). Bear in mind that these are unreflected thoughts of the tired, emotional, annoyed and lonely part of my being. Today I have still been very emotional and
a bit quite embarrassed by my outburst with Angel, but I had time to reflect on what I’m feeling and why I’m feeling it and everything you’ve read up to here is the result of my thinking. So if you’d rather not read on and spoil the impression it’s fine as well.
Thank you for bearing with me on this (emotional) rollercoaster that is my life at the moment. I’m still adjusting to everything here and it’s tough – though according to Angel I’m too Colombian already a veces. Well, I don’t know about that …
Un abrazo grande! xx
I sometimes hate being here because I don’t have any friends. I cannot be myself because I’m lacking the language. I feel like there are people looking down on me and think that I am stupid just because I can’t understand them or voice my opinion. They think I don’t have an opinion when all I’m actually missing are the words to voice it. I hate it that I can’t buy myself clothes that fit. I hate being dependent on other people to tell me things or drive me somewhere or to deal with stuff I’d be able to deal with on my own at home. People think I’m inferior because I look different and can’t speak their language, so they think it’s okay to speak about me while I’m right in front of them. They think it’s okay to point their fingers at me or stare at me like I’m an object in a museum. They think it’s okay to want to take pictures of me with their kids because I’m obviously a rarity. And they think it’s okay to take pictures of me without my consent because I can’t object in their language. They think it’s okay to call me names and they also think it’s okay to stare at me like I’m a piece of something on a market table they can choose and take home. And you know what? They also think I am not responsible and taking care properly. They think because I’m doing it differently from the way they do it I’m not responsible and caring and loving and basically not doing it right. And it hurts. What these people keep forgetting is that I am a person with feelings and perception like anyone else. I may not completely get every single word they say but I get what they say about me when they think I don’t. I hear them talking about me and I see them looking my way and whispering to their friends and pointing their fingers at me. I feel their disapproving stares behind my back when they think I can’t see and I hate it when they come over to me and tell me what to do in a voice like I’m stupid and not capable of doing anything. I hate it when they snigger with their friends and colleagues behind my back and exchange glances like I can’t see that. These people make me hate being here and hate the language and regret the idea of coming here and want to go home. And I’m not in a comfort zone. At all. It may look like I am but I am not. I don’t have friends here and I’m missing them. I miss talking about big and small things that move our worlds and that we can share, and meeting to go for a walk and being able to stay home because I want to, not because I don’t have anywhere else to go. I miss being able to just trust someone. I hate the time difference because when I get up my friends’ days are halfway done and it feels like I can’t share anything with them … or anyone. I hate it because I feel lonely and misunderstood.