About Blog

Welcome to Hopeful Panda. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I strive for this to be a place where people like me who have abusive parents can come to find information, support, and resources to help them learn, survive, heal, and thrive. But of course, anyone who’s interested or can benefit here is welcome, too.

I aim to create content that can help you (and myself) as we go through our healing journeys from childhood abuse. All articles are by me, but I am not a professional. I am just someone who’s been there and wants to share my experiences and lessons learned to hopefully help others begin healing.

I try my best to consider different perspectives and needs. But everyone and their journeys are different, and that’s okay.

Healing doesn’t come with a rulebook. It’s all about finding what’s right for you. Please never feel like you’re not healing correctly, at the right pace, or fast enough. If you find something here that makes you uncomfortable or doesn’t work for you, that’s okay. Your feelings are valid. What’s important is that you do what’s best for you.

About Me

Hi there, I’m Estee! I’m a first-generation Chinese-American born and raised in New York City, currently living with my awesome husband and younger sister in the suburbs of Florida.

A Little Background

I grew up with a physically and emotionally abusive mother and a father who let it happen. I covered some of my experiences here. Having been called every possible insult in the book, beaten and starved countless times, and constantly gaslit, ignored, dismissed, manipulated, and hurt by my own mother no doubt left many invisible scars that have yet to heal.

It took me a while to acknowledge that my experiences are abuse. I finally came to terms with it as a teenager, going deep into a rabbit hole of abusive behaviors and their effects. I eventually came to understand that my depression, anxiety, and other mental, behavioral, and health issues very likely stemmed from the abuse I experienced.

I am no longer in contact with my mother, but I’m still working through the effects of the abuse. I expect this to be a lifelong journey, but I am in a much better place now. There are relapses, setbacks, and a whole lot of hurt every so often. But thanks to my husband as well as my own hope and determination to feel better and be better, I’m making progress. All I can do is keep trying and keep hoping.

My family is my motivation to heal, especially my husband who has been a constant source of support, comfort, and encouragement. Hopeful Panda wouldn’t be here without him. Wanting to give my younger sister and future children the parent and life I didn’t have also pushes me to do better. Read the story of how I got custody of my siblings.

My upbringing and interest in bettering my mental health motivated me to pursue psychology. I graduated summa cum laude with an Associate’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with minors in Sociology and Health. What I learned and experienced in school and life inspired me to create Hopeful Panda.

I don’t have a success story or anything. But as cliche as it sounds, I do have a story of hope. The effects of the abuse I experienced can’t be magically erased, but they can be managed. Some days are tough, but there are beautiful moments in each of them if I look hard enough. And even if not, I hold onto the hope that tomorrow will be better.

I strive to heal from my past, enjoy the present, and hope for the future. And if I can do it, maybe you can, too.

My Day-to-Day Life

As of now, my days mostly consist of homely duties and working on this blog. Life isn’t very exciting or interesting, but to me, that’s the beauty of it. There’s no more daily screaming or tantrums. There’s no more walking on eggshells or keeping our guards up.

I can be who I want to be and do what I want to do. I have an amazing husband and a beautiful home that I never thought could be possible. I used to think I wanted a lavish lifestyle full of adventures and success, and that anything less than that was a failure. But a simple, peaceful life was all I truly wanted.

I get to spend my days doing what I enjoy like cooking, organizing, meal planning, trying new foods, discovering the best deals, spending time in nature, building with microblocks, and spending time with my family.

And just for fun, here’s a collage of things that bring me joy that I try to incorporate into my daily life.

Estee's Happy Collage | Hopeful Panda

I’m always happy to make new friends, so please don’t hesitate to reach out. Tell me what brings you joy, share one of your favorite recipes, or let me know where you are in your healing journey. I’d be happy to hear from you!

Behind the Name

So why Hopeful Panda? Well, one of my goals is to inspire hope.

Hope used to be such a foreign idea to me. I didn’t see a future. Everything was bleak. I don’t even know how to describe the hopelessness and emptiness I felt back then. I honestly didn’t care what happened to me because everything was pointless. I remember wishing time and time again that I could just stop existing.

But as good things started happening to me, or maybe I began to notice them more, hope became something closer, something that kept me going. And now, I’m glad not to just exist, but to be alive so I can experience all the good things life has to offer.

I’m aware of all the sucky parts of life, sometimes a little too much. But that’s even more reason for me to try my best to enjoy the little things and do what I can to make improvements.

If anyone were to tell past me that I would ever feel and see things this way, I’d be sure they were lying. That’s how much I truly thought that life would forever be miserable. So I guess I want to be that voice for others, to show and tell them that feeling better and more hopeful IS within reach.

As for the panda, it’s my favorite animal. I find them cute, cuddly, and carefree. They bring me joy and my home is full of ’em. I hope incorporating the panda alongside all the other cute characters, childlike drawings, and pastel colors in this blog can make heavy topics like abuse more lighthearted. I also hope it can help us embrace and heal our inner children.

Also, Hopeful Panda isn’t just about hope and healing. Like how pandas are, it’s also about trying to enjoy the little things in life as best as we can regardless of the hardships around us – like laying back and savoring some bamboo, goofing around with our loved ones, or rolling around in the fresh, white snow like nobody’s watching.