Hey, my name is Jun! Little about me, I’m Hmong American and the middle child of 5 siblings. I have 2 twin sisters, 1 younger brother, and 1 older brother. I’ve always been the oldest sibling taking care of my 4 siblings because my older brother has a disability. As a older sister, It’s my job to help my older brother and my younger siblings to help with their struggles, to teach them to become who they are, to treat everyone with kindness, and to respect everyone around them.
I’ve always had low esteem and depression growing up. Music was a way to comfort me. During my middle school years, I started to care a lot to what people thought about me. I cared about how my voice sounded, and how my voice would sound like a kid when I sung or whenever I talked. People always made comments on how ” You can sing!” or “You had a beautiful voice!” And I just didn’t believe it because I didn’t love myself enough… Songs just expressed how I felt everyday and music kept me alive. Eating food was a way to eat out my feelings for whenever I was sad or happy. Whenever I was sad I ate a lot more then I should. Sometimes eating, made my cries go away. But what made my life sad so sudden, was always wanting a connection with your father even though you knew he was never going to change.
You see, growing up in a home with my father, there was a lot of sadness. It was very abusive both physically and mentally. As a 8 year old kid.. you wanted a happy family, you wanted your parents to love each other, and you wanted a close connection with your father, and talk to him, and feel protected. But with my father… it wasn’t like that.
My father was very abusive and an alcoholic. My father was racist, sexist, and a narcissistic and everything was about him. Whenever he didn’t get what he wanted, he would use his anger and take it out on me. He would go to the gym every night and didn’t come home till 2 am, and would sleep till 1:00 pm. He would wake me up early to take care of the twins, and it was my priority to take care of the twins while he got some sleep. Whenever the twins fought or cried, I got my hair pulled because I couldn’t get them to be quiet. Our family was living in a prison instead of a home. Our home was always locked doors and the windows were shut and couldn’t be opened at all times. Our home was not a home and our life was filled with sadness and darkness for years… because of my father.
There was so much cries and pain, but there was always hope. There was hope my family would go far away, and we would be happy together and we could go out and do things without having to ask permission from my father. Hope, that I would find my happiness again and that I would find myself, and help my mother get away from that monster. He wasn’t a father… he was a monster.
Losing To Finding Myself:
I felt like I didn’t belong in this world, felt like I lost hope. I felt like I wasn’t pretty enough and that every other girl was prettier then me. I felt like people had a better life then me, and that I would never be happy or be myself to other people. My father still doesn’t know how much pain he put me through and how home was like a prison. He made my life and my family’s life like hell. But that ended… when my mother was done with his physical and emotional abuse and his drinking. She took us and we left…. away from that monster, away from that prison.
Mom wanted a new life and she moved us away from that place, that prison. Mother said that we were gonna live in a suburb home where it was surrounded by farm land, and the backyard was big for all the kids to run around. We were also gonna live with my uncle and aunt at the time, and I was excited to see them again because it’s been years since i’ve seen my aunt and uncle. I’ve felt like mom made the right decision to start a new beginning for us, and for her to be able to find herself, and take the biggest step in her life by moving on from her own past. Dad abused her for 15 years, and she didn’t love herself enough either to take care of herself. But living here now for 2 years, mother finally was happy and wore bright colored clothes, and she was smiling more.
For me, it took longer to fight through my depression. It took me a couple more years to realize that you know, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be sad…. and that you don’t need negative people around you. You just need to fight for yourself and love yourself more because no one else is gonna love you other then yourself. I’ve ate bad foods through pain and depression for comfort. Depression gave me hard lessons, hard love, and… hard cries. Depression leaded me to a very dark place in my mind. I’ve always thought to myself how I wasn’t meant to be in this world and that I didn’t belong here… Thinking suicide was the way for me, that everything will go away and that it will end the pain….but it wasn’t the way. I’ve learned quickly that I needed to work on myself, and that it wasn’t too late. I was meant for something in this life… then just crying through situations, and that the only one by my side was family and most importantly, myself. Most importantly my mother. My mother may be strict, cautious, and a neat freak, but loved us no matter what. She would always put our priorities first before hers.
Family is always there for you when you need it. My mother has always been by my side from the day I was born, so I don’t regret having the life I have. Things throw at you, so you learn from it. That’s when I knew, my life…. changed forever. I believe there was 2 people in my life standing beside me through my pain and cries through my years. He and she helped me fought through it. It was my god and my mom that helped me get through my struggles. Thank you for the love and the support you have given me.
Change of Mindset:
I’ve learned from losing friends, self love, and depression. Realizing, that family is everything. I’ve learned friends will go and leave you, and it shouldn’t bother you because it’s not your fault. Love, taught me to be patient finding the one and that I shouldn’t rush, and to love the ones that are by my side. Depression, is a natural emotion and it’s okay to cry out through your situations. Depression helps you conquer pain and grow, for you to free yourself, one day from the pain. And that one day, you will find yourself. Self love, taught me to work on myself, make goals, do something for myself, and for me to always keep smiling because I’m worthy enough. I found what I was meant to do. And that is making people smile and talk about who I am, expressing my music, and showing my creativity in art. This is who I am… I am Jun Yaj.
SO, for all the girls out there who thinks they are alone, worthless, wanting to attempt suicide. It’s okay to cry.. and it’s okay to be hurt… but you have to realize that you can become a better you and you can be yourself. It doesn’t matter what people think, and doesn’t matter what people say. It’s your life, it’s your choice to become the brightest star in the sky then the rest. You are beautiful, you are enough, you are you, and you are beautiful in many different ways from the inside and out. You may not believe what i’m saying, but I know there’s some good in everyone, and I believe everyone has a story to tell in their own book. And I know, you can find yourself and your happiness. So don’t forget who you are… And never let anyone take you for granted or that you feel like your not good enough. You are alright…. i’m right here.. with you. So remember– to keep smiling.
~ Always smile – Jun Yaj