The Living Dead

•October 27, 2014 • 2 Comments

The worst kind of death is that which happens when you’re still breathing, granted.

The even worse kind is when someone you love dearly ceases to care. Every time you need them, you will remind yourself they are no longer there. In a sad attempt to soothe your agony over their absence, your mind would tell you “if they were dead, you’d be missing them silently instead of whining about why they don’t care anymore”, but here is the thing: death comes with its own closure; it’s final in a sense… you can’t argue with death. Abandonment however is a different thing; it comes with rejection and raises all the issues and insecurities you had buried, and you’re left with nothing but those demons eating away your sanity.

How I learned to be a Mother

•September 18, 2014 • 1 Comment

I learned to hold them every chance I get.

I learned to tell them I love them every time I felt like it, which is mostly every time I look at them.

I learned to praise them all the time so that they would always be assured of my appreciation of them, and so that they would never underestimate their worth.

I learned to not insult them in public (but I am still learning not to use too much sarcasm either, not even jokingly).

I learned that there are situations where I need to put my foot down with no explanation, and that I can not be bullied into feeling guilty about that. I also learned that there are times when I should give them more credit and explain to them why I make some decisions, and even involve them in those decisions.

I learned to never ask them to lie for me; I also learned to stick to my truths and live up to my promises. Most importantly, I learned to not punish them for telling the truth, and that when a punishment is due, it can be reduced when they come to me with the truth.

I learned to explain it to them when I was frustrated about their behavior, I learned to express to them that my frustration never meant that I loved them less, but that it was rather because I loved them that much.

I learned to call them when I missed them, but never scold them for not calling me to say they miss me; they are kids, they lose track when they’re having fun, and that’s a great thing to forget about me because they’re having a good time.

I learned that no one comes before them, not my friends, not my sisters, and not my parents, and that if any of the aforementioned is offended by them, I should stick to their side and never make them feel forsaken even if there was a lesson of discipline that they must learn; they will learn it, but without ever getting the idea that I chose anyone over them.

I learned not to speak ill of those I dislike in front of them, but I also never told them to respect an elder I didn’t think was worthy of respect; I want them to learn that respect is earned not imposed.

I learned to admit it when I did a mistake and they caught me on it. I learned to apologize and ask for their forgiveness when it was due, but I also taught them that apologizing once is enough, and it was up to the receiver of that apology to either accept it or reject it, but I will not humiliate myself by apologizing over and over, and neither should they.

I learned that I should not hide behind religion or social norms to justify an unfair behavior.

I learned to give them space when they were angry and would not talk to me, but I would also express my dismay when I call for them and they refuse to answer because they’re angry.

I learned to NEVER make them feel like they owed me for all the things I do for them as their mother; it was I who owed them that much the minute they were born.

I am still learning not to let my anger take over in terms of any verbal or physical abuse, regardless how minimal or “justified”.

I am still learning not to use sarcasm as my default way of communication, as hard as it is with how cynical and bitter I become each day.

I am still learning not to be too hard on them when I mean to teach them a life-lesson that I think is important for their growth and maturity.

I am still learning a lot of things and it’s about the one challenge I have in this life that I appreciate regardless how I occasionally like it and how I mostly resent it: my challenge is that I would be a good mother to them, a mother they love and appreciate despite her numerous mistakes and occasional failings, a mother towards whom they feel no resentment.

I learned all that because it was the opposite of what my parents did (combined), and I refuse to give my parents credit for having to taught me to be a good parent by being lousy ones (on an emotional level, not a material one). I don’t owe them that; if I owe it to anyone, it is to the mother figure who had taught me unconditional love, and to the brother figure who had always been there to support me when I needed it, even if he didn’t always know about it, my late Nana, and my youngest uncle. If it weren’t for them, I’d probably be passing on the abuse to my kids using the same lousy justification: that’s what my parents did.

So no, as far as my emotional sanity (or lack of thereof) goes, I don’t owe my parents shit. Every day of my life has been an uphill climb trying to rid myself of the damage they caused, and I can’t say I have it in my to forgive them yet; I deserved better than that, and my kids do deserve better than what my parents made of me. And if there is a reason as to why I am not taking out my anger at my parents now that I can, it’s because I believe I have no right to deny my kids their right to love and be loved by their grandparents, as lousy as they can be, even as grandparents.


•May 8, 2014 • 2 Comments

Men don’t like strong women” they said. They don’t like independent women who know how to do on their own; they don’t like women who don’t need them”. That’s what people said; it was the agreed-upon rule that was dictated to her over an over every time she tried to voice out her opinions.

She couldn’t oblige and she decided that if a man doesn’t like what she’s struggled so long to be, then what is there to like about any man!

Perhaps naïve, but it was enough to keep her obliviously happy.

Until there was him. 

 “I admire smart women, I find them attractive the way they carry their own weight, unlike the needy ones who feel like a heavy burden that weighs me down” he said with his eyes peering though her, unraveling through under all her layers of strength and self preservation. In time, her entire world revolved around him; she could feel herself getting weaker and dependent inside but she was smart enough to not let it show, to not let it take over. That was what made her special and she wouldn’t forsake it, not out of pride, but out of simple logic: she wouldn’t allow herself to be anything less than who he loved. 

So when his actions broke her, the only way she could manage to not fall apart was to retaliate and return the favor; eye for an eye. She wasn’t exactly aware of her actions; she was driven by her desperate need to not break, to remain strong and independent at any cost. However, when she came to her senses and realized that mirroring a wrong action does not make it any less painful, she came clean and admitted to him all her mistakes and owned them like a strong woman does. 

He was outraged with pain and anger. He kept saying all she had to do was speak of her weakness, that he would have preferred her to be weak than to cross him, and that even after that he would have preferred it if she had kept it from him even if it meant she’d think less of herself. He punished her for her strength, and as days passed, she became more fragile than she has ever been in her life while he kept taking away pieces from her deeming her more helplessly in love with him despite his anger and his unforgivingness. She rationalized his emotional abuse and gave him all the excuses in the world, ones he wouldn’t even consider giving her. 

Until she completely broke down and collapsed right before his eyes, until she was no longer that strong independent women he admired. She fell apart right in his arms and he failed to hold her. And so… he left.

He said he was leaving because he loved her too much to cause that horrid change; he loved her too much to take out his anger on her and cause her to become someone who would forever resent him the minute she realized what he’s done to her. He left.

She was never the same; she might have grown strong scar tissue where he had ruptured her heart and soul, but the sad truth is that scar tissue is dead; it may not feel pain, but it never heals or grows either. He has forever scarred her and robbed her of the essence that was behind her strength. 

He left because he said he loved her too much, didn’t he know that you never leave the one you love, especially not to their demons and their despair deprived of hope and faith and feeling nothing but loss.

Soul Bleed

•April 15, 2014 • 1 Comment

Dostoevsky said “The more I love humanity in general the less I love man in particular”, I agree.

The problem is that with every man I hate (or woman for that matter), a part of my soul bleeds away its humanity. My general resentment and anger towards mankind keep on growing with every day; it’s poisonous; it’s not just making me hateful, it’s making me mean and cynical and not the fun kind of mean and cynical. 

The deal I had with myself was to observe the things I dislike about life and people without letting it get into me, without allowing myself to judge it, just observe, and try to accept the things I cannot change, but never let it change me. I never said it was easy and I never said I succeeded every time for I know I have surely failed quite a few times, and I know damn well I paid for my failure in blood an tears and I am still having trouble processing it all. 

Recently however, I can’t help but feel the anger building up, fueled by helplessness and despair, I feel the darkness growing inside me and making me envious and malicious in thoughts. I have come to wish people harm because I can no longer see justice, I can no longer believe they will eventually get what they deserve. I’ve been told I only see the part of the picture where they get away with the harm they have inflicted without anyone so much as pointing fingers at them, I’ve been told there shall be more to it, but I don’t care because with my bruised faith, I can’t acknowledge but what I see. It makes me worry about what it would come to if I could do more than wish them harm, would I bestow on them the pain I believe they deserve? Since when have I appointed myself to what people deserve and what they don’t??? It’s right there, I am becoming more judgmental by the day and it’s scaring me. 

The slight shift of character is taking place right there! I always believed true change never happened vividly or dramatically; when it’s too obvious, it’s never real change, it’s rather a defense mechanism, unreal, and/or temporary. Real change however just happens, very slowly and subtly that you only recognize it in retrospect, just like the minute I caught myself wishing ill upon those who have wronged me instead of getting over it all already. 

This is how societies have deteriorated, isn’t it? The “good” and the “moral” grew tired of fighting wrongdoings or were defeated time and time again. With every day their ethics and morals fail to protect them from the malice of others, they cease to overcome injustice (in whatever form it came); they stop thriving and all their energies are wasted on mere survival until even that becomes a luxury they simply can’t afford… And they slip, and it’s all downhill from there. Generation after generation, people no longer value those old ethics and morals that were once practiced because all but those morals had prevailed. This is what I see everyday in society and it always disturbed and saddened me. I always knew it was only a matter of time until I am as tainted as everyone else. 

Two years ago, I wrote a post expressing my hurt and confusion, and only now do I recognize how it can be summed in Nietzsche’s words“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” I feel like the world’s ugliness is eating up at me and making me as ugly. I don’t want to be ugly, I don’t want to be a monster, and neither do I want to learn to live among monsters, but I can feel something within me changing down within the folds of my silent rage. 

I go further back to the first day I walked into a therapist’s office seven years ago and said those exact words “I think my anger is destroying me rather than giving me character”. Two sessions later the therapist said my anger was on the healthy side rather than alarming; she explained that we live in an abusive society where you can either get angry or depressed and that I was lucky to experience the earlier. 

Back then, I had not yet unraveled so much about myself. I was much less informed and I also had faith, or at least I believed if I played my cards right, I could have God on my side. Now faith is another ongoing crisis; this time, I am fueled by a strong feeling that God had forsaken me. They say people usually find God or lose Him in times of adversity; I strongly reject to let either take place and it’s leaving me with even less to hold on to with all that’s going on. The things in which I could once believe are now alienating me and strengthening my feelings of estrangement to the extent that I have caught myself resorting to some kind of self-inflicted exile. 

Another alarming thing is that I spent the past month or perhaps even more severely depressed that I barely left my bed, and before that I have been avoiding most of my friends willingly; what’s the point of having fun if all the negative things from which I run find their way to me the instant I am alone. I just surrendered and I was completely okay with my depression; I was no longer fighting it with anger. 

There again, right there: another change that I notice right now in retrospect that had taken its course so subtly over the past couple of years only to show itself clearly right now. 

A lot of things have been going on, and instead of writing like I once did, I kept it all to myself or limited it to empty angry rants to which my facebook contacts have been exposed. A part of me has been struggling with the whole writing process. Writing is a form of committing to certain thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, even with the full acknowledgement that all of it is subject to change, but I have been avoiding writing as if it would document my transformation. Whenever asked why I no longer write, I just mumble any nonsense and hope they change the subject. I could no longer deal with all the things I was served, let alone analyze them and diffuse them so they don’t explode. 

So I either get too angry or too depressed? Is that what it all really comes down to??? 

I am a fighter, and I am a good person. 

But I am losing, and I am not sure I want to remain good… or I do want to remain good, but I am aware that it’s not protecting me or even allowing me to survive. 

So what? One of them shall eventually change, I will either be defeated or I will let go of parts of my soul to fit/survive. 

I have no idea what will happen, nor do I think anyone has answers. I don’t want to be comforted or told that all of it shall pass or that I am blowing matters out of proportion. I am genuinely scared and I feel alone and forsaken, and if there was a time I would have reached out, I have learned the hard way that no one can help. I only wrote this as a form of rebellion against whatever it was that kept me from writing; it had to be let out somewhere.


•April 27, 2013 • 1 Comment

And after a day of laughter and good times with my friends and my kids, I found myself relapsing into the same old pit of self-destructive thoughts that took me to a few years back, as if time hadn’t passed. 

And I am right there all over again. 

The Eighth Sin

•April 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment

If like me, it took you quite a while to grasp why Pride was among the seven deadly sins; then brace yourself for this one for it has taken me even more time to understand how righteousness is definitely the eighth sin.

He was a man of principle; he believed himself to be a man of black and white. “Everything is crystal clear” he said. There was no room for gray or any other color even though there must have been a time when he saw other colors, when he actually enjoyed their variety and glamor, but something mysterious happened to him that led him to believe that honesty and morals only reside in white, whereas their absence is marked by black.

He was a man of morals and sound judgment, or so he strictly believed. He marked people with the only two colors he acknowledged. He refused to believe that even the purest of people can sin, just like he wouldn’t accept that those who sinned could be benevolent. One sin was “black” enough to taint a good person for life. He refused to see the colors of the rainbow in the human spectrum, only black and white.

And by doing so, he tainted his white soul with the blackness he saw in others. His spirit lost its vibrant colors and got colder and harder that the white faded into gray, and gray faded into a color deemed black by his very own moral standards.

And so, while others could have been forgiving of his rigidness and cruel righteousness, he on the other hand condemned himself as harshly and cruelly as he did others. He no longer found mercy at his heart for his own tormented soul that was no longer as white as he believed of it to be.

He broke. He just broke.

I will never know if I ached for him because I love him, or because I was once as self righteous as he is, or because I pity the fate he had chosen for himself. Would my past righteous self have resented him had he chosen to repent from that sin and break free in search for a world of colors? Would I have hated him if he had it in him to start anew and chase rainbows after all the damage he had caused others in his black and white days, the damage he had caused me? Am I so forgiving of him because of my newly found forgiveness or because I find his fate so poetic and “fair”? Am I any better really?

All I know is that I sincerely love him even though I was one of those he had judged most cruelly, even though I still bear the scars he cut so deep in me, but it is to him that I owe my repentance of that sin, self righteousness.

On Different Kinds of Love

•April 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I have been in love, and I have loved and still love alot of people in my life in quite different ways.  

No, wait, this is not how I wanted to say it…

I meant to say…

Having been in love, and having had my heart crushed into shatters in the process, I have questioned love, not in an attempt to refute it, but rather in an attempt analyze where I lost my way to it; in an attempt to understand what it’s really about so that I don’t spend the rest of my life begging my heart to become stone. 

If love was so great and liberating and fulfilling and inspiring, why does it fade? Why does it die? Why does it get sore and we find ourselves aching because of those we love until we resent them??

It made me think that maybe that because of which we suffer is not what love really is… no, I don’t mean that what got my heart broken wasn’t love, it was most certainly something so profound as abusive as it was, or to be more exact before it got to the stage where it became abusive. Something about it was magical, captivating and just heavenly that I still find my heart skipping more than one beat when I recall how it felt.

Let’s not go astray, what is love? Or what was missing from that love, what’s the “preservative” needed for love to prosper and grow,regardless of course of the pain the journey itself would take…

And I think I know it, sadly enough I don’t think I can name it…

It is safely longing for my kids when I am not with them,but surely knowing that I will go home at the end of the day to hug them and kiss them even if they had long fallen asleep. It’s knowing that they love me regardless of how my discipline might get out of hand because at the end of it all, they would still curl into my arms and hug back when I reach out for them. 

It is knowing that I can call out my close friends at whatever time (or text them when it’s ridiculously late and it’s too mundane to just wake them up) and cry my heart out with the most existential questions like “why was he so caught up in his issues that he just couldn’t hold on to me like I needed him to?” and that I can actually find comfort in the fact that they would feel my despair even though I am fully aware they can do nothing to help.

It’s feeling happily and desperately in love with my uncle for standing up for me even though I had just stood up for myself because I learned long time ago that it is my job to do so, but yet feeling absolutely safe that someone is out there to protect you in case you’re too weak; it’s feeling this kind of safety that someone loves you unconditionally no matter how you might have wronged them.

It’s the kind of security I feel about my close friends with whom I haven’t kept in touch, yet I know nothing I tell them would ever make them think less of me because I know that no matter how much they would disagree with me, they would still give me the benefit of … the benefit of understanding that I am having my own journey and their respect for it.

It’s being comforted and reassured merely by the existence of some people even though I haven’t yet gotten the chance to know them well, yet knowing that such genuine people are out there within my reach gives me faith that there are things in this world that make life worth living.

Real love… no wait, I won’t call it real love, who am I to know and define it for everybody…

The love I described is the only constant love in my life that had kept me safe from losing the remaining shreds of my not so reliable sanity. The people in my life whose mere existence helped me gather the little pieces of my heart and put them back together so that it would be healed and reassured by their love.

I know I get too overwhelmed with my pain and my despair from time to time, but I promised never to let it steal away my gratitude… I am grateful for feeling loved like that even if the love of my life had failed me,and I am deeply in love with the people I have in my life whose love has carried me through it all.