edge

Beach Girl, Interrupted

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

My name is Abigail De Souza and anxiety and panic attacks made last year the worst year of my life.

I was born in Port of Spain General Hospital and have never lived anywhere else in my life but the Woodbrook/St James area. Girl days were, for me, more like boy days. I was a tomboy. When I got older, I started liking makeup and dressing up and that stuff.

My mom was married before and so it’s, like, six of us children, but I’m not close with my brothers and sisters away. I have a lot of cousins because my parents have a lot of siblings.

I don’t have a family yet but I have a boyfriend, Alejandro Ortero. He has Venezuelan roots but he didn’t arrive recently, he was born here. He’s at UWI. Hopefully we’ll have a family of our own soon. I love kids. I always tell him, “I have baby fever.” But he tells me, “No, you have to wait until we’re married. We don’t have money for that yet.”

I went to Newtown Girls RC, then to Bishop Anstey High School, which I finished three or four years ago. I planned to stay in my first job a year but I’ve stayed on longer.

My original career path was art but I’ve always loved playing with little kids. They’re so innocent and don’t judge anyone. So I finally decided to apply to do a two-year, part-time, early childhood education/care on Saturdays.

I like going to the gym two or three times a week. Plus my boyfriend has a gym at his house so we work out every Saturday. Well, at his parents’house; if he had a house, we’d probably have the kids already.

I do part-time modelling sometimes. On the side.

My mom got married when she was very young. Her first children are much older than me, have their own kids and stuff like that. She had me when she was, like, 35. I want to be a younger mom. I don’t want to be too old to do stuff with my kids.

I really like social media but I LOVE YouTube. I’ll watch YouTube videos for hours cosy in my bed.

I love being in Nature. I adore the beach. Like, if I could be at the beach in a bikini all the time, I’d do that. I LOVE tanning. My boyfriend and I used to hit a different hike every Sunday with his family and a tour guide we know. Not now, because of rainy season. If you get caught in a flood, anything could happen. Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

When we now started dating, we used to go to the movies a a lot. That’s one of my hobbies. And my boyfriend and I will sometimes watch a series no Netflix. But I would say YouTube trumps everything! There are food and makeup channels I keep up with.

I’m actually born and raised a Pentecostal Christian but I have never been able to figure out why anyone should care about LGBTQ people. Why would I want to say what anyone else could do? It has nothing to do with me! In my church, they tell us to pray for them but not to judge LGBTQ people. I have friends who are bisexual and gay. Transgender people are, like, normal regular people. I don’t get why people are so judgemental. You don’t have to do [sleep with another man] yourself, so why do you care so much? It makes absolutely no sense to me!

I enjoy going to church myself but don’t go to church so often any more but only because I usually only get to see my boyfriend on weekends. Because he lives in Santa Cruz and he doesn’t own a car. He’ll pick me up Friday and I’ll spend the weekend with him. So I don’t get to go to church. Plus, he’s a Catholic.

Religion is a manmade thing.

I lost a friend. She got shot in Carenage. Wrong place, wrong time. And then I heard about Raymond Choo Kong. It’s just so sad. You don’t know what’s going to happen.

I love children but only up to a certain age. From the time they start to get sassy, I’m like, “No!” From little baby to age two-to-three is good. I’ve always wanted my own daycare centre – but I’m kind of branching off into toddler, pre-school age now. Just to be with them all the time.

I sometimes worry that I might feel I want to take care of kids but, when I actually get into it, I mightn’t like it at all. Jobs are that way. And I like so many different things, I wonder if I’ll stay with it, or just like it for a period of time. I like animals, too, so maybe I’ll be like “Hmmm. Maybe I should work with animals?” Or maybe I’ll do all at the same time. But I think I’m going to love it.

I have never played Carnival in my entire life, because of the Christian thing and because my boyfriend is not into that. But I plan to play next year!

I used to party and dance a lot more before I got into my relationship but he doesn’t like that so I might go with my friends once in a while and real enjoy myself. But there’re times when I’m just with him hanging out and that’s perfect. We went to Tobago for a week, just the two of us, and that was amazing!

If I could live in Tobago, I would. It’s like a complete release as soon as you get off the plane. Stress-free!

I worry about the crime all the time. I don’t walk home from work, even though it’s nearby. I get picked up. Even the short walk to get picked up, I feel nervous, because people have been robbed right in front of the place I work!

It’s scary when cars slow down to soot me. I love Trinidad but there are a few people in the country who make it a problem.

Last year, I had a lot of anxiety problems. It was the worst year of my life. Just walking outside, I would be shaking with fear, thinking about the possible things that could happen. It was really bad. It was the worst time of my life.

I had anxiety and depression to the point where I had to be hospitalized. It was so bad. I felt so alone. I had suicidal thoughts. Every day of my life was like torture. I had to start working part-time, take time off work, it was so bad.

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayI’d wake up and think, “God, what if I get cancer? What if I have cancer right now?” What if I’m waling down the road and get hit by a car? What if my mom dies tomorrow? These weird thoughts would come into my mind constantly and I could not silence them.

I started seeing a therapist and doing a bunch of different things to get over the feeling. I realised that a lot of people have those feelings and can’t get over them and have to live their entire lives with them! I can’t understand how they could live like that! I had it for, like, two months, three months at the most, chronic anxiety, throwing up, fainting, shaking with fright, dizzy spell. But I’m good now, without meds. Meditation literally made the difference.

I started watching this guy, “Anxiety Guy”, on YouTube. He gave so many tips, what to change in your life, what diets to follow. I learned about meditation from YouTube videos – I think that must be why I like YouTube so much. And changing my diet. Juicing. More exercise. I started doing yoga every day, like I did a 30-day yoga challenge, and, eventually, things started getting better. The biggest thing was meditation. You can’t panic if you’re following your breath; of course, you can’t follow your breath if you’re panicking!

It’s just shocking to me that so many people, especially teens, go through this kind of anxiety and depression. I don’t understand why we get this. It was the weirdest, strangest time of my life and I don’t quite know how I got out of it. Imagine, that’s just from stress! I was like, “This is why people do drugs!”

A Trini, to me, is supposed to be pleasant and cheerful and happy because we’re in a Caribbean island. We’re supposed to like to party and lime and have fun. But, sometimes, that’s not what we are. Everything is supposed to be good – but everything is often not good.

Trinidad & Tobago is my home and I love it and that’s why I never left the country to go study anywhere. I’ve travelled to the States and stuff but I would never leave here.

Beach Girl, Interrupted

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

My name is Abigail De Souza and anxiety and panic attacks made last year the worst year of my life.

I was born in Port of Spain General Hospital and have never lived anywhere else in my life but the Woodbrook/St James area. Girl days were, for me, more like boy days. I was a tomboy. When I got older, I started liking makeup and dressing up and that stuff.

My mom was married before and so it’s, like, six of us children, but I’m not close with my brothers and sisters away. I have a lot of cousins because my parents have a lot of siblings.

I don’t have a family yet but I have a boyfriend, Alejandro Ortero. He has Venezuelan roots but he didn’t arrive recently, he was born here. He’s at UWI. Hopefully we’ll have a family of our own soon. I love kids. I always tell him, “I have baby fever.” But he tells me, “No, you have to wait until we’re married. We don’t have money for that yet.”

I went to Newtown Girls RC, then to Bishop Anstey High School, which I finished three or four years ago. I planned to stay in my first job a year but I’ve stayed on longer.

My original career path was art but I’ve always loved playing with little kids. They’re so innocent and don’t judge anyone. So I finally decided to apply to do a two-year, part-time, early childhood education/care on Saturdays.

I like going to the gym two or three times a week. Plus my boyfriend has a gym at his house so we work out every Saturday. Well, at his parents’house; if he had a house, we’d probably have the kids already.

I do part-time modelling sometimes. On the side.

My mom got married when she was very young. Her first children are much older than me, have their own kids and stuff like that. She had me when she was, like, 35. I want to be a younger mom. I don’t want to be too old to do stuff with my kids.

I really like social media but I LOVE YouTube. I’ll watch YouTube videos for hours cosy in my bed.

I love being in Nature. I adore the beach. Like, if I could be at the beach in a bikini all the time, I’d do that. I LOVE tanning. My boyfriend and I used to hit a different hike every Sunday with his family and a tour guide we know. Not now, because of rainy season. If you get caught in a flood, anything could happen. Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

When we now started dating, we used to go to the movies a a lot. That’s one of my hobbies. And my boyfriend and I will sometimes watch a series no Netflix. But I would say YouTube trumps everything! There are food and makeup channels I keep up with.

I’m actually born and raised a Pentecostal Christian but I have never been able to figure out why anyone should care about LGBTQ people. Why would I want to say what anyone else could do? It has nothing to do with me! In my church, they tell us to pray for them but not to judge LGBTQ people. I have friends who are bisexual and gay. Transgender people are, like, normal regular people. I don’t get why people are so judgemental. You don’t have to do [sleep with another man] yourself, so why do you care so much? It makes absolutely no sense to me!

I enjoy going to church myself but don’t go to church so often any more but only because I usually only get to see my boyfriend on weekends. Because he lives in Santa Cruz and he doesn’t own a car. He’ll pick me up Friday and I’ll spend the weekend with him. So I don’t get to go to church. Plus, he’s a Catholic.

Religion is a manmade thing.

I lost a friend. She got shot in Carenage. Wrong place, wrong time. And then I heard about Raymond Choo Kong. It’s just so sad. You don’t know what’s going to happen.

I love children but only up to a certain age. From the time they start to get sassy, I’m like, “No!” From little baby to age two-to-three is good. I’ve always wanted my own daycare centre – but I’m kind of branching off into toddler, pre-school age now. Just to be with them all the time.

I sometimes worry that I might feel I want to take care of kids but, when I actually get into it, I mightn’t like it at all. Jobs are that way. And I like so many different things, I wonder if I’ll stay with it, or just like it for a period of time. I like animals, too, so maybe I’ll be like “Hmmm. Maybe I should work with animals?” Or maybe I’ll do all at the same time. But I think I’m going to love it.

I have never played Carnival in my entire life, because of the Christian thing and because my boyfriend is not into that. But I plan to play next year!

I used to party and dance a lot more before I got into my relationship but he doesn’t like that so I might go with my friends once in a while and real enjoy myself. But there’re times when I’m just with him hanging out and that’s perfect. We went to Tobago for a week, just the two of us, and that was amazing!

If I could live in Tobago, I would. It’s like a complete release as soon as you get off the plane. Stress-free!

I worry about the crime all the time. I don’t walk home from work, even though it’s nearby. I get picked up. Even the short walk to get picked up, I feel nervous, because people have been robbed right in front of the place I work!

It’s scary when cars slow down to soot me. I love Trinidad but there are a few people in the country who make it a problem.

Last year, I had a lot of anxiety problems. It was the worst year of my life. Just walking outside, I would be shaking with fear, thinking about the possible things that could happen. It was really bad. It was the worst time of my life.

I had anxiety and depression to the point where I had to be hospitalized. It was so bad. I felt so alone. I had suicidal thoughts. Every day of my life was like torture. I had to start working part-time, take time off work, it was so bad.

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayI’d wake up and think, “God, what if I get cancer? What if I have cancer right now?” What if I’m waling down the road and get hit by a car? What if my mom dies tomorrow? These weird thoughts would come into my mind constantly and I could not silence them.

I started seeing a therapist and doing a bunch of different things to get over the feeling. I realised that a lot of people have those feelings and can’t get over them and have to live their entire lives with them! I can’t understand how they could live like that! I had it for, like, two months, three months at the most, chronic anxiety, throwing up, fainting, shaking with fright, dizzy spell. But I’m good now, without meds. Meditation literally made the difference.

I started watching this guy, “Anxiety Guy”, on YouTube. He gave so many tips, what to change in your life, what diets to follow. I learned about meditation from YouTube videos – I think that must be why I like YouTube so much. And changing my diet. Juicing. More exercise. I started doing yoga every day, like I did a 30-day yoga challenge, and, eventually, things started getting better. The biggest thing was meditation. You can’t panic if you’re following your breath; of course, you can’t follow your breath if you’re panicking!

It’s just shocking to me that so many people, especially teens, go through this kind of anxiety and depression. I don’t understand why we get this. It was the weirdest, strangest time of my life and I don’t quite know how I got out of it. Imagine, that’s just from stress! I was like, “This is why people do drugs!”

A Trini, to me, is supposed to be pleasant and cheerful and happy because we’re in a Caribbean island. We’re supposed to like to party and lime and have fun. But, sometimes, that’s not what we are. Everything is supposed to be good – but everything is often not good.

Trinidad & Tobago is my home and I love it and that’s why I never left the country to go study anywhere. I’ve travelled to the States and stuff but I would never leave here.