Halfway there.

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3am thoughts

On nights like this, when I’m lying on my bed and idling time away, I often think about us. About you. About why it works with you, despite the blaring reasons why it won’t — or shouldn’t.

For someone who meticulously plans her year ahead, you are my last minute change of plan. You are the spontaneity in my humdrum life. With you, I can never predict my future because tomorrow might be an entirely different life.

You keep me on my toes, yet I am secure, knowing I’ll always be part of your life. Our roles keep changing, but one thing remains — we are each other’s confidante. The openness of thoughts and rawness of feelings during our moments of vulnerability speak volume about our relationship.

Sometimes, I lose sleep pondering on unnecessary questions like why you mean so much to me, or why I always seem to understand. But when I already have you and we promise to make it work, does it even matter if I find the answers?

I was raped as a child, and this is my story. (Part 2)

My 4th semester consisted of a string of bad life choices.

IΒ tried hard to keep sane from the internal struggle of accepting the reality and holding on to the lies I made myself believe for years.

There were days when I’d walk for hours because it made me feel at peace, focusing all my mental energy into walking without any regard where I was going. The farthest I’ve walked was probably from UPLB to Calamba Proper, and I did it for 4 fours with no rest.

I couldn’t take it anymore, so I had to tell my parents.

They were shocked. They had no idea. They didn’t know what to make of it.

I ran away from home and went into hiding. My mother looked for me, and she found me, hiding behind a door in an apartment somewhere in Pansol. She was calm. She told me to pack my things because we were going on a vacation. That I needed rest, far from home. We took a bus to Catanduanes, where she left me with my paternal grandparents.

She’d send me weekly allowance, and I’d spend my days by the beach, thinking about life and what was waiting for me when I return to Manila.

I went home after 2 months.

I dropped out of school and decided to help out with our expenses. My parents helped me recover my health – physically and mentally. They made sure I knew how much I’m loved and that I need not run away from home again.

I started to rebuild my life, but it wasn’t as smooth as I thought it would be.

I was raped as a child, and this is my story. (Part 1)

No, this is not a story of abuse.

Rather than detailing the harrowing experience, I’d like to share my lifelong journey to acceptance.

Β 


 

It all started when I was 7.

Growing up in a devoted Christian family, sex and rape weren’t discussed openly at home. Hence, I didn’t know I was raped. The day after it first happened, I just felt different. I had a nagging feeling that something was wrong, but I didn’t know exactly what it was.

I was a shy child as a result of having strict/conservative parents, so even if I began playing less outside with others, it didn’t seem strange at all to those who knew me. But in my head, I couldn’t bring myself to face other kids because I was afraid they’d tease me if they knew what happened.

I lived in denial for the rest of my childhood. I made myself believe it didn’t happen, and that I didn’t know what happens between the sheets. I lied to myself over and over until I was satisfied that if sex was to be discussed in school or even during hangouts with friends, my reaction wouldn’t betray me.

Socializing wasn’t a huge problem when I was in elementary. Being on top of my class, everyone wanted to be my friend. I graduated from elementary with flying colors and entered the most sought-after school in my city. Then the struggle became real.

Aside from the academics being about twice as much as a regular high school workload, I also had to deal with hormone-driven teens. Girls gossiped, and boys fooled around. Most of them were just malicious, but no one really had any experience in sex. At this point, I already knew what happened to me, but I had nobody to tell it to. And so, I was still different.

I couldn’t maintain a relationship – be it peer-to-peer or romantic – because I couldn’t stop lying. In my attempt to hide the truth, lies became the foundation of who I was. I was deluded into thinking I had to appear “normal” to have friends.

Finally, college came – my much-awaited escape. The first year was okay – I had my fair share of problems, mostly financial, but I got by. I gained a few friends, but still none of them was real to me.

It was my 3rd semester when things took a turn for the worse.

That particular semester, I had nightmares almost every night. In my dreams, I kept reliving the experience. After 10 long years, truth finally caught up to me. Then I started getting sick and losing weight. I tried my best to lead a normal life, but by the end of the semester, I was starting to lose it.

My parents didn’t know how many times I tried to kill myself. I was terrified of blood, so I’d cross the street and make sure I was only an inch away from any passing vehicle. I wanted them to hit me, but they’d always manage to steer away from me. And at the end of the day, all I’d get was just an earful of cussing from the drivers.

It was a downward spiral from there.

To you, who’s struggling to keep yourself alive.

(More than) a month of depression, severed ties, stress, and loss, I was ready to give in, to end things once and for all.

Almost.

I laughed hardest whenever I was outside, but I slept my days away, waiting for something I didn’t even know. I was always surrounded by people, but I was alone in a sense that I felt disconnected with everyone I know. Talking about it didn’t help at all – I only heard prejudice and malice, when all I wanted was someone who’d listen.

I wanted to hush the voices in my head, to stop my mind from having more thoughts, and to escape from my own reality.

It was just too hard. I was exhausted, even with more than 12 hours of sleep. I’d wake up and force myself to survive another day, even if my very existence didn’t make sense at all.

The day I lost my dog, Jerry – the only living thing I clung onto while I was at my lowest – I was already suicidal. I couldn’t find any meaning in living – it was all for naught for me.

But I couldn’t do it, not when I thought of those I was leaving behind. So, I decided to try to live another day, for the sake of the people who’d be devastated if I were to end my life.

After I posted about it, I felt a sense of relief and hope. I was relieved because I was able to let it all out, and I was hoping someone who’s going through the same ordeal would find solace in my words. That he/she may be alone in his/her battle and suicide might look like the only option, but know that it’s not the answer.

There is help. There is hope. And it comes in comforting messages, tight hugs, a pat on the back, a simple greeting, medication perhaps, and even in silent company – where no words are necessary and mere presence is enough.

It gets better – this is what I’m sure of.

It hurts everyday, but it will hurt a little less as time goes by. Life doesn’t mean anything, unless we find it ourselves. And its meaning doesn’t come in grand gestures or life-changing moments – it comes in the smallest of things, like how the sun rises everyday, or how our hair makes us look effortlessly good, or how good we are at handling a certain task.

It hurts, I know. Let it hurt until you’re ready. Take a deep breath.

It will get better. Dying isn’t the answer.

#ATM: April 2017

  • Attended Loyalty & Retention Q1 Team Building.
  • Continued teaching.
  • Suffered from a viral infection which resulted to me losing my voice for a few days.

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  • Hangout with people close to my heart.
  • Spent time with friends and ended the night with some booze at Marikina Riverbank. #after16years

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  • Random office photos.
  • More selfies just because.