Invisible Prison

Just now I’ve read about the story of my friend. It’s titled Purple and Red. It’s about a battered girl who remained silent about what she’s going through. It somehow angers me everytime I read articles or stories about these happenings. Why don’t they fight for their lives? Why don’t they tell their families or friends about it? Why don’t they file a case against their partner? Why don’t they just simply leave the relationship? It’s just simple…walk out and never look back. Or so I thought.

It has been my number one rule in entering a relationship: Never let your partner hurt you no matter how light that slap or punch that is. Once I was hurt, there’s not turning back. I just leave. I’ve been through a lot of relationships before and never did any of my previous partners hit me. They all know my rule.

There was this couple I know. At first they were happy. They were able to show everyone that they care about each other. They were able to overcome all the trials they faced. Until one day, the guy saw the girl having a conversation with an old guy friend. When the guy approached them, he’s all smile. He even joined the conversation. When they arrived home and were already inside their room, the guy changed mood suddenly. He shouted at the girl and slapped her. The girl was shocked with what happened. In that instant, everything’s changed. The girl was prohibited to go out alone nor talk to all guys. She’s not allowed to wear mini skirts or shorts or sleeveless blouse. She can’t wear make ups, not even lip gloss. Everything she does, her partner needs to know. Everywhere she goes, her partner needs to be informed. One little mistake she commits, she’s all blacks and blues. She’s even allowed the littlest time to spend with her family and friends. Whenever the couple is out in the public, the girl is humiliated by the guy by shouting at her and calling her inappropriate names. She was called bitch, whore, stupid. Numbness ate her and no more tears are coming out of her eyes whenever she cries.

Image

The girl changed instantly. She became aloof and scared. She’s also become like a robot waiting for the guy’s command. Now, everytime after the guy hurts the girl, he always (and I mean always) realizes what he’s done and like a cold water splashed onto him, he became the sweetest guy ever again. He wooes the girl and apologizes to her. He makes the grandest effort to be forgiven.

One day, while doing the usual chores, she accidentally dropped a glass and broke it. This caused the guy to burst out again. She was slapped and punched and was called stupid and dumb. Things were thrown to her. She’s had enough, so she packed her things and tried to walk out, but failed to do so. The guy was quick enough to follow her in the room. Again, with all his charm and magic, he tried to say sorry. The girl didn’t want to forgive and forget this time so she still tries to walk away. The guy didn’t let her do so and began to beg for another chance. The girl was strong enough not to show pity and this time is decided to go. Having exhausted all his charm, the guy became mad again. This time, even worse. He choked the girl and threatened the girl that if she left him, he’d kill her first then himself. Naturally, fearing for her life, she gave in to the guy.

Those were not the only things done to the girl. The guy, a lot of times, threatened the girl with a knife, moreso, with a gun pointed at her. Those were not the only threats given to her. The guy even told the girl that if ever she leaves him, he’d kill all her family and hurt her friends.

The girl didn’t know what to do. She really wants to get out of the relationship but so scared of what will happen to her family and friends. She doesn’t love the guy but only fears for her life.

The guy even got all her logins and passwords in her social networking accounts. He checks on her cellphone randomly, from text messages to logs to photos and different activities. She has nowhere to hide. Whenever a friend calls her, she needs to put the call on speaker so that he’ll be able to hear wahtever they’ll be talking about.

The girl is so stuck in this relationship until the guy himself asks for a breakup. She can’t do anything she wants unless known by the guy. She’s like a prisoner without being in jail, hoping and praying for the time she’s finally free.

A lot of people is asking why she let him do that to her and why she didn’t do anything to stop it in the early phase of the relationship. The girl is intelligent enough to know the law. She even researched about the R.A. 9262 law. She even got all the information about NGOs and women’s rights advocate groups. She’s even smart enought to write a journal about what’s happening to her. But why then she’s still trapped in that relationship?

A lot of factors are still to be considered when you’re in this kind of a relationship. I’ve read articles about this and battery is not just for wives, they can be girlfriends and live-in partners as well. It’s not just done physically, one can also be psychologically battered. Battered Woman Syndrome, or BWS, follows a certain cycle, which is hard to get out of.

bws

So, what really is in the mind of a battered woman? Let me tell you. The first time it happened, I never wanted to be with him ever again (and yes, he’ll do everything to woo you again). But trust was already broken. And since I fear for my family’s life (I don’t fear for my life since I strongly believe he’ll not kill me, though he threatened to kill me a lot of times), I really can’t get out of the relationship. I was called a lot of things. I felt I am the lowest form of human being. My work was affected (really affected). He isolated me from everyone. He has his way of making me do things his way and still tend to show everyone that he’s a different person. At first, I was afraid that no one would believe me, that they’d think of me as just making stories. I kept everything to myself. I only had my notebook as my friend. It knows everything that’s done and said to me.

A big thorn was pulled out of my heart when I decided to tell my friends about what happened to me. They were all supportive. I guess one step at a time. At least now, I have some people I can share whatever’s done to me. And yes, I prayed different novenas to ask for him to break up with me. Hopefully one day, I’d be free, free from this invisible prison.

I Have MCS

On Feeling All Alone

I was born second from five siblings, however, the last two (Eljay and Lei) were born almost a decade after my sister Prei. So for the longest time, I was the middle child of our family. I am just an ordinary girl growing up, and yes, I’ve experienced the “Middle Child syndrome”. A friend of mine actually introduced me to the term itself and immediately, I know what she’s talking about. You don’t need to have a doctorate degree to understand what it means. moreso, if you’re a middle child, you’ll get it based from experience.

So, what is middle child syndrome? According to the Urban Dictionary website, “middle child syndrome is when a middle child — typically of a family of three kids who close in age — feels left out or neglected.” (BOOM!) And that’s exactly how I felt as I was growing up.

Our eldest brother, Kuya Jojo, was of course my father’s junior. He was considered “the king” of our house. He was given everything he wanted. I remember before, everytime a new gaming gadget was out, he instantly gets it. He was not only my father’s favorite, he’s also a mama’s boy. His godfathers and godmothers were also specially picked by our parents, choosing only their best friends (and they’re a lot).

Now, as for Prei, she’s our “bunsay” for almost a decade. Everybody loves her because she’s “bibo” and we always call her “sipsip”. She was born in my father’s provincial house, so she is loved by my father’s relatives. Her ninongs and ninangs are mostly our relatives in the province (and also a lot). She is our baby that time.

Moving to me, myself and I. I was born in Davao and immediately after I was born, we needed to go home to Pangasinan, so my baptism was done right away. I’ve had a set of ninong and ninang (my mom’s friends), and only just after 33 years that I have finally met one. I was the maldita one and I was the blacksheep of the family.

Yes, I experienced the middle child syndrome. There were times when I felt invisible and left out. My brother’s birthday is close to mine so we grew up celebrating our birthdays together. Imagine the envy I was feeling seeing my brother having lots of gifts from his ninongs and ninangs. And of course, Prei’s birthday was always big.

I grew up being depressed and it’s a must that whenever something was given to my siblings, I should have the same thing as well. But whenever I have something that they don’t have, I felt so happy and loved. There were even times whenever Prei and I fight, she instantly cries even though it was her fault. Automatically, I was scolded because I was the older one and I should be the one understanding her.

Growing up in that kind of environment made me feel neglected. I oftentimes do silly things just to get attention. I remember when we were younger, our mom orders us to sleep in the afternoon. What I usually do, I close my eyes and when I feel my sister is already sleeping, I’d pinch her legs. Even our relatives are not close to me as much as they are with my brother and sister. I became the loner of the family. I hardly participate in any events unlike my sister. There were times when we were asked to sing in front of everyone, she does so right away and everyone liked her performance. (She always sings)(live). As for me, I won’t do it unless my mom glares her eyes on me. And so I’d do it but I only do lip synching since I don’t know how to sing. And they return praising my sister.

I must say growing up to be the middle child is very difficult. It’s not to be taken lightly, somehow because it can cause tension between siblings. However, I strongly believe that being a middle child has had some advantages to my life. I became more independent than my brother and sister. I remember when we were just new in our school and our service is not there yet, my brother was crying because he was afraid while I was the one consoling him. When I grew up, I tend to become more sensitive to other’s feelings, making me change. In fact, when I was already a teenager, and when our relatives visited us, they were shocked to find out that I became understanding and really nice. I also became more patient and giving, since I often have to give in when I was a kid. Again, I tend to become fair and just, since I grew up feeling that I can’t have what I wanted.

So I guess I have to be thankful that I was a middle child and felt the condition as I was growing up because it made me stronger now. I am not saying that my parents didn’t love me way back, but we can’t deny that there really are some favorites. I know they love me and even now, we’re closer. I strongly believe, it’s just how one sees the situation and how one carries herself in the situation. Everybody changes and I know, middle child syndrome can be overcome by having strong support from the family and with open communication.

I’ve Prayed to Have You But…

 

Having raised as a Catholic, I know almost all the prayers. I was taught that when we pray, we thank the Lord for the blessings He’s given we and your loved ones (that’s why we say grace before meal). We also say sorry for all the wrongdoings we’ve done, whether it’s intentional (yes, with evil grin) (mean girl) or unintentional (a white lie maybe or an accident). We give adoration as well. This is simply to tell Him that He’s the only God we have. Lastly, we ask Him of something we want or need. This is usually where I spend most of my prayers. Not that I don’t thank Him enough or praise Him enough or even ask for His forgiveness enough. It’s just simply because for me, the first three are straightforward and asking for something, for me, must be specific. Actually, that’s how I pray. I always use the Prayer of ACTS.

 

Moving on, everytime I ask for something from God, most of the times, He gives it to me (I guess winning lotto will never be answered by Him)(maybe because He knows I don’t really need it)(just kidding)(of course I need it). But there really are these unanswered petitions that no matter how much you pray, He’s not giving to you. And yet, you just don’t give up. So when the right time comes, once He finally answers your prayers, you cherish them so much. You hold on to that for as long as you can.

 

There was this one time, I have already been desperate to have a boyfriend. Most of my friends are already starting a family and yet as for me, I’m still single (up until now). I prayed hard to Him to already give me a partner. Again, being specific, I ask God to give me someone whom He’s created for me. Someone who’s kind-hearted, God-fearing, handsome (well, at least for my eyes), someone who’ll love my family, my family will love, I’d love his family and his family will love me as well. I also pray that He give me a guy who won’t hurt me physically, emotionally, psychologically. Someone who’s not a womanizer and doesn’t have vices.

 

Months went by and I didn’t give up. I just prayed and prayed until the day came and I realized that He already has given me the guy I’ve been asking for. He may not be perfect to everyone, but he’s perfect for me (or so I thought). We started out as friends then eventually ended up as a couple. Everything’s going so smoothly. Our relationship is ideal. Until petty things start to pile up. His parents passed away when he was younger so I didn’t get to meet them, but he grew up with his ate, lola and other relatives. I’m okay with his family. Growing up without his parents, he became so close to his friends (elementary and high school friends) to the point that they treat each other as siblings (by the way, it’s Siblings Day today). And that’s where it went wrong. I forgot to ask God that the guy should make me his priority. It turned out he always choose his friends over me. Another missing part of my prayer is for that guy to be not afraid of commitment. Being his first girlfriend, there are still lots of things he wanted to explore, and I was not part of that. And so, what I have prayed for for a long time just vanished. Yes, we parted ways. It may have been painful at first, but I guess, it’s a way of God telling me that the right time hasn’t come yet.

 

Probably the most painful thing happened to me when this prayer was answered. Since I first fell in love, I have consistently asked God for a baby of my own. It even came to a point (maybe until now) that my prayer only included a baby but not a husband. So when I learned that I am pregnant, which is unexpected, I was the happiest person alive. I have already made plans and all for my baby. I have already chosen a name. If in case it’s a girl, Odessa Sophia; if it’s a boy, Genero Theodore. I went to an OB right away and have everything checked. All that’s needed — lab exams, vitamins, food — I buy. All that’s prohibited, I stay away from. I try to not be excited cause I believe when you get too excited, it will taken away from you. True enough, not long after the happiness, pain and depression wrapped around me. I got a miscarriage. When my aunt (a midwife for the longest time) saw the fetus, she immediately told me that it’s a boy (yes, she said that the genitals of the baby can already be seen). She also told us that he could’ve been tall. Up until now, whenever I see mother and child, or new born babies, or even pregnant women, I always think of my baby. Until now, I always compute how old he is now, if given a chance by Him.

 

I’ve prayed for you but as soon as I am embracing the fact that you’re God’s answer to my prayers, you’re taken away from me. Of course I don’t want to question God’s decision over my life, but no one can blame me if I feel hurt because of those things.

 

Of course there are still other prayers like these two. I just hope one day God will finally answer my prayers and not take them away from me.


Image

Songs From My Past

You know how when you hear certain songs, you’ll automatically link them with a particular person or experience? I have lots of those. I love listening to music, different genre. I associate them with how I feel at the moment.

On songs that make me remember people and happenings. Whenever I hear “Lost without Your Love”, “Broken Hearted Me” and When I Met You, I remeber this my first love. When I Met You is a song by APO Hiking and this makes me feel the “kilig” all the time because everytime it is played, I remember the time when he sang it to me inside a hut while playing the guitar. He’s a great guitar player and they say that once you know how to play a guitar, you are a great singer as well. But he’s a total opposite. He barely gets a tune. But the fact that he made an effort of singing for me, that’s more than enough. (smiling while typing) Now obviously, the other two songs are very memorable when we broke up. And yes, he broke up with me, and yes he broke up with me over the phone (I know that’s ungentlemanly) Anyway, is there even more painful than hearning the love of your life breaking up with you over the phone? Definitely there is! While we’re talking (at the same time I was crying to the max) (of course I was hurt) the radio kept on playing broken hearted songs. And these two songs were the ones planted on my brain.(of course I cried even harder duh) Imagine yourself being dumped by the first guy you fell in love with (again, emphasizing “over the phone”) while these words kept playing:

No I don’t think time is gonna heal this broken heart
No I don’t see how it can while we are still apart
And when you hear this song
I hope that you will see
That time won’t heal a broken-hearted me
(excerpt from the song Broken Hearted Me by Anne Murray)

and

All I want is just the way it used to be
With you here close to me
I’ve got to make you see
(excerpt from the song Lost Without Your Love by Bread)

Of course I was young then and never thought that something so beautiful and something that makes you really happy could end just like that. Oh well, in all fairness, we didn’t really broke up (maybe he got scared that I might have a heart attack because of the pain), we just had a cool off and nothing will change. (eyeballs rolling)

On the other hand, songs of Stevie Wonder and the song Kiss From A Rose
makes me remember another past love (yah yah, all are past loves, so what?!) This time, he’s a great singer and he sings Stevie Wonder songs perfectly. And his favorite? Yes, you got it! Kiss From a Rose. Well, no more kilig factor, just remembering the guy… More on “I remember the boy, but I don’t remember the feelings anymore’.(not smiling at all while typing)(I know I’m quite biased on my story telling. not too much emotions for this guy)(wow this guy!!)

Another very memorable song for me but with no love life story attached to it is “Ave Maria”. I was in high school when I was asked to lead the Rosary for the whole school. And I was a transferee to this new school. So growing up studying in a Catholic school, I know how to pray the rosary by heart. I led the prayer inside our classroom in front of the class while speaking in the mic so that the whole school could hear me and will be able to respond. Prayer…yada yada..until the end of the rosary. Of course we need to sing “Ave Maria”. One fact you want to know about me: I don’t sing. (duh! more on I can’t sing! I’m out of tune! Tone deaf!) (okay fine, point gotten.) Naturally, I tried giving the mic to my classmates. However, I was the only one who knew that song — or so I thought. And when I sang Ave Maria, on the first note alone, from seriousness, everyone laughed out loud literally. Good thing I was new in the school and no one knew that I was the one singing(of course aside from my classmates and teacher).

Random songs which are not important to others but to you, they’re part of your life. They somehow complete you. They make you want to come back in that memory all over again.

Why Write?

I t has been a long time now since I’ve planned on starting my own blog. I’ve always wanted to write, though I’m not really a big fan of using any hard-to-understand words. Well, I admit that I’m really not that great at grammar or vocabulary. I only know the basics. Although guilty of it, I always sneak  in to the thesaurus to check on synonyms of certain words so as to avoid repeating myself — at least having something new to see in my paragraphs. Writing, and not being an expert in vocabulary and grammar, makes me conscious about my writing. I am not an English major nor do I have a formal training.  (Oh well if you could consider formal themes in elementary and high school, and college newspaper a formal training, then I have lots). That’s exactly why I keep my words simple.

One big dilemma I a have as well is the subject of my blog. I don’t have wealth for travel blogs. I don’t even have budget to give my thoughts on fancy restaurants and their foods — even blogging about expensive items. I only have my thoughts and experiences however long time ago that was or my hopes and dreams.

In this blog, I plan to write everything I’ve always wanted to share. All the pain I’ve been through, the ‘kilig’ moments, the funny anecdotes I’ve experienced and all. I want to share my hopes and dreams, what keeps me busy right now, my dilemmas. I might write about my current and previous jobs — maybe comparing the different voicewriters I was paired with (haha).

I am very excited, on the other hand, about this simply because I’ve always wanted to do this. In fact, while on the way to Manila, lots of possible subjects are passing through my mind. I needed to take note of those so as I won’t be able to forget them. That’s how I am when I get excited. I tend to plan and think ahead of time, yet not able to finish what I started. So I somehow see this as a challenge to myself that I may be able to continuously update this blog.

This is basically all about me and what my points of view on things are. This is like my journal. Whatever you read in here is me. Hopefully everyone who get to read my blog would appreciate my thoughts. Most importantly, this is for me. This is a way for me to express how I feel and not to keep it, which I always do.

Right now, I am already thinking what to write about next. Do I go and write about what’s happening to me now and make an impact? Or do I write something light and feel good? How about writing about my work and my officemates? Whatever my next article will be, it definitely is going to be about me.

See! Writing for me keeps my mind alive and working, plus I love to write. Although as you can see, my thoughts are scattered everywhere — from here to there and back again here. But still, I love to write and that’s exactly why I have started this blog.