Updated: Aug 14, 2018
It’s not because I hate alcohol, I don’t appreciate its taste just yet and I’m already internally high anyway – I don’t need drinks to have fun. I lost a great friend within its process. And tell me again, why do people start drinking?
BY ELIZABETH RAISA TEE
Let me try to justify my actions: I don’t drink because I hate it very much if I lose the control of myself (blame on me, the overly self-controlling Virgo). I have to be alert and be conscious at all times no matter where. That’s because I don’t want to let down my guards ever again, my decisions have now become crystal clear – these very words you’re reading would be the same first words my close friends will get to read as I haven’t been able to verbalise this story much – of my conscious decisions to not drink.
It's also partly because of the culture I grew up in didn't drink, nor pops at home, so I wasn't used to it or needed it around.
I could recall only 5 people in my life I could comfortably drink with. They’ve gained my complete trust, and I’ve only gone out to drink 8 times so far, counting one farewell two weeks back, at the time of writing.
Besides, I’m still questioning you people – what’s so good about a hangover and why are you guys encouraging me to get sick all over my house the next day? I still don’t get it. My London-based girl pal doesn’t get it either. We prefer hot chocolates, ice cream and pizzas over drinks any day - if we're stressed out, there are plenty games and comics and anime marathons to actually get to do.
Secondly, I don’t feel comfortable at clubs, bars, and parties.
Sweaty bodies together with sleazy hands all activate my inner trauma. No one has managed to convince me to go; I’m just not interested to waste time and to be smart enough to minimize the causalities to not experience them. As simple as that.
The third comes off as a personal story that helped clarified my actions in the past: in a position of being a friend to someone. I had a close girlfriend once. She was older than me. She became promiscuous. She gave her consent – that is different, it’s her life, so go ahead – to all her rendezvous.
As a female, sure, that’s her choice.
As a friend (plus being all Asian on this and I know her parents well), I felt sad that if our price of value and integrity has gone all rock-bottom in the name of sexual pleasures and men – here’s me not giving in the name of men.
Again, I felt disgusted of her, and couldn’t even respond to her text asking to hang out after a while of disappearing and being busy with her then rendezvous schedules. I’ve now realised why I couldn’t respond to her texts back then, as I felt extremely off-putting at her behaviour which I only can say ‘jijik’ (disgusted). I was tormented how I couldn’t sort of . . . well, it wasn’t help.
She didn’t need help, anyway.
This girlfriend I have had wanted all of that and she sought that attention.
She didn’t need to do it when she then had a long-term boyfriend in parallel and that I know the guy too.
It broke my heart completely that I couldn’t save a friend and the honesty towards her then-boyfriend. It took myself a while to ignore her and kept a distance; I was afraid I would retort demoralizing words against her so it was the best to avoid her at all costs, including on campus so I didn’t have to respond to her for a while or to see her.
I'm the old-school old hag speaking here, and I'd like to justify my virtues growing up as a female in the times of female equality isn't to diminish your own integrity and value - we were born to have earned this amount of respect and yet - sure, Pussy Power - I think we're just a bit more smarter to not be toyed by something fickle when we can be a go-getter on so much more things.
Writing this as a reflection, I ultimately realised that I was actually angry at myself because what she's done isn't in line to what I thought what independent females were to be like.
I understood what made me think that I wasn’t worthy to be part of the human female market – I felt disgusted with myself after all I went though and I wished she hadn’t done that to herself after what I had experienced when I was young.
It's been her choice, but I had hoped that from an angle of a close friend, she could've shown a better example and to keep her integrity as a female, a daughter, and a friend.
About the Author
Elizabeth Raisa Tee is the founder of Perempuan Tagar Tegar (P#T) , a non-profit movement and online hotline for all your female toxic issues and also currently serves as assistant producer of It’s A Girl Thing Live,, the first international girl empowerment conference in Jakarta after Singapore and Manila, among the many other things she’s done and still runs in several cities and countries. She is aged 25 at the time of writing.