Posted by: marilynmendoza | March 7, 2012

Finally carrying my own chair

If you have read my blog, I mentioned this phrase I learned in the Philippines. To carry one’s own chair is not a good thing according to the Filipinos I met. It connotes a person who is a braggart, a self-absorbed, snob.  I see the cultural value of that. My degree is in Intercultural Communication oops, picked up the chair. In a society that works together and family and social relationships are key, being self involved is not so good.

However, in my life, I not only did not carry my chair, I didn’t own one, thought and was told I didn’t deserve one and like many things we are told in childhood it was magic. I became a pleaser, a pathetic woman who allowed men, women and my own children to walk over me and abuse me. They couldnt see my chair. Then I broke the spell, by learning though words that are said to us are powerful, our souls, our being have more power. We can break the spell and live a more successful life.

So, I went on a journey, wrote a book, traveled the globe with my message about mental illness and stigma and rape and other words that were only whispered about and told my secrets. As a result, I met friends who didn’t abuse me, who love me, and voila, my first chair was earned. I liked that chair. It was comfortable. My anxiety was still there, but it was under control. I started moving my chair. I recited poetry at slams, well two, and even though my chair was not airborne, it was being pulled by my new self esteem.

 So, I started this blog and realized my chair was not as heavy as I thought. Maybe I could lift it a bit; not in a obnoxious dead lift but  in a graceful pirouette.My damaged inner child speaks, “you, you are as graceful as an elephant”. No, it wasn’t my inner child. That was my mother’s tapes, that I had let out of its stinky Pandora’s box. I started lifting real weights and dancing and the heavy weight that was my mother’s voice dimmed. I lost that weight of hate; self heat that is because my mother didn’t hate me. She hated herself. Self hate, however is more of a chore to lose. It comes  back in spurts when I am  under stress like the last two days.

I had been struggling with torn eye corne and an indifferent eye doctor who didn’t explain her instructions well and looked at me with a familiar look of disdain or so I imagined and I have been struggling with panic because another indifferent doctor didn’t bother calling me back to tell me the skin cancer he was so sure I had; after all I live in Hawaii was a fact. He did a biopsy and no one in his office bothered to call me back. My chair started moving away from me as worry and panic settled in where that chair once stood. Yet, I had more strength than I thought. The same day a book reviewer emailed me her review and my new friends were more concerned about my well being than any doctor I ever had.

So, now I jump with that chair over my head and land on my feet. With all respect to the Filipinos who treated me like family when I visited their country, I will say sometimes if  you carry your chair, it will fly.. So below is the review that lifted my heart almost as much as the loving posts from my friends proved to me that with self -love, determination and trust, my chair is now my flying carpet ready to take me to places where before I was too afraid to go.



  1. As a child I was forced to carry my own chair to keep people from over protecting me and feeling sorry for me. I rebelled and lifted my chair as high as I possibly could. Then health pulled my chair out of my hands. I no longer could lift it up. But I refused to let health take away from the life I had once knew so I started writing about it. I wrote poems good, bad and the ugly. Then I wrote my memoir “Growing Up in the Rockies,” currently I have four poetry books about to be published. I refuse to allow my chair to sit on the ground. I am raising it slowly until I once again can hold it up high knowing that I have regained control of my body, mind, heart and soul. So as I raise my chair I look forward to the places I make take it and place it. Thanks for sharing Marilyn you are a wonderful influence keep on flying on your red carpet.

  2. You are awesome and I am learning from you daily aloha

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