The Pains of Being Lonely

I cry.

You say, “Be strong”.

I cry some more because you don’t seem to understand.

You say, “Be strong for him”.

I cry even more because you really don’t get it.

I cry because I’m lonely, not because I’m weak.

I cry because I’ve been trying to be strong. Not for anyone, not for him, but for me. Because first and foremost, I need me to survive — every day, every hour, every minute.

I cry because sometimes the loneliness just creeps in and some days, you really don’t have full control over it.

I cry because I will never get over it.

I cry not because I’m weak, but because I’m lonely.

And it’s sad that you can’t seem to understand.

It’s sad that you might never get it.

On Getting Older

“WHITE HAIR!”, I exclaimed rather too enthusiastically while checking my reflection in the elevator mirror.

“Why are you so excited?”, the puzzled husband asked.

“It means I’m getting old”, I answered.

“Then why are you so happy?”, he asked still puzzled.

“Because not everyone gets to be old”, I quipped.

Which is true when you think about it. We’ve all been conditioned that getting old is a bad thing, especially the ladies. White hairs, wrinkles, sagging skin, freckles, and (gasp!) expiring egg cells are some of the things that we should fight against all odds. Or just try to prolong from happening as much as we can, no biggie.

But please hear me out. Getting old is a blessing.

Every waking day that we get is every chance that we get to live our lives the way we want to – go to places we’ve never been, hug and kiss the people we love, have a good laugh with friends, read that book that’s been collecting dust in the shelf.

So rejoice if you start seeing white hairs, wrinkles, or sagging skin. These are testament of life lived.

Dial 8-Delivery

I’ve been thinking: What is it with people asking me about babies and weight gain that really, really bothers me?

This due to the fact that I attended several reunions (forced and not) over the holidays and got into the usual roast with people.

Reunions that made me realise why I’m starting to hate reunions. It’s like looking at a cracked fucked-up mirror held up straight to your face by that someone.

That someone who shouts to the world “Ang taba mo na!” even before the “Hello”.

That someone who sarcastically comments “Ah.. kaya ka pala tumataba..” on anything remotely related to weight or body measurements without even knowing about your hormonal and emotional struggles.

That someone who blatantly asks “Bakit wala pa kayong baby?” before the “How are you guys doing?”.

That someone who imposes “Dapat gumawa na kayo kase tumatanda ka na” like I’m some sort of baby manufacturer about to be bulldozed in a few months.

And that someone who has a pathological need to always reason out the miscarriage “Kaya ka siguro nakunan kase…”.

It may be a culture or a generation thing but I really find it insensitive and bordering on rude.

Weird thing is, I’ve met with friends who asked me about the miscarriage and my weight gain that did not bother me at all.

Which led me to realise that it has nothing to do with the subject of miscarriage or weight gain. It has more to do with the delivery. I felt more receptive and open to people who sounded genuinely concerned with what I’m going through compared to those who sounded mocking or even accusing.

I don’t really mind if they want to know what happened and if we’re trying again as long as it doesn’t feel like it’s an imposed requirement for a marriage. It’s so archaic it’s giving me migraine.

And what is it with people and their love for humiliation? Sometimes it’s so ingrained in their system that they don’t even realise that their idea of small talk is already humiliating someone.

I’d appreciate it better if you give me tips on the most effective diet or exercise for someone with hormonal imbalance instead of flashing your abs at me, thankyouverymuch.

Tone and timing is really essential for good communications.

Manners maketh man.

Chapter 3: Goodbye

My Uncle’s funeral took place on December 29th, on a very rainy afternoon. We attended the last mass and listened to my Aunt’s final eulogy. Aside from thanking everyone who’s there, she basically repeated what she said the other night: To forgive my Uncle in all his shortcomings and give him his needed peace.

Before the trip to the cemetery, I went over to his coffin and said the same words again: I forgive you. Rest in peace, Uncle.

Have you noticed that when on the brink of goodbyes, we tend to just repeat what we say over and over?

Turning around, I saw my cousins (his daughters), and did the next normal thing. I came over to them and gave them each a hug. There were no words exchanged. The hugs were enough.

Over the years my relationship with my Aunt and my cousins has been tainted because of my Uncle’s nuclear temper when drunk. I really can’t blame them. They are his family and they will always choose his side. I think it also didn’t help when I chose to stand my ground and distance myself from them. Not inviting them to my wedding was clear evidence of a broken relationship.

But on that day, I chose to set that aside. And they did, too. After all, we are but collateral damages to my Uncle’s drunken mess.

I was comforted by the fact that they acknowledged my Uncle’s errs. I used to always wonder why they never said sorry to our family. That they always act as if nothing’s wrong. It used to piss me off a lot.

But that day was not the day to get pissed off.

I found myself fighting back tears as we were going out of the funeral home. The past years of harbouring ill feelings came back to me all of a sudden. But it was gone as quickly as it came and I was left with nothing but a relief. It’s as if a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders.

On that day, I bid my goodbye not just to the dead but also to the past.

Chapter 1: Death

It was the morning of December 24th when I got a call from Mommy.

Your Uncle is gone

I was surprised. From what I indirectly heard, he has been steadily recovering post-ops in the ICU. And based on the Facebook posts from various aunts and uncles, he’s been responsive.

I should have been shocked… but all I felt was emptiness. A kind of resolute nothingness that is neither good nor bad.

After all, how do I wrap up years of semi-hatred into an acceptable state of mourning?

For a fraction of a second, I felt guilty that I haven’t properly interacted with that Uncle for several years. So much feeling of indifference has been built between us that I even decided not to invite him and his family to my wedding.

Any positive memory that I had with him has been buried deep within by a series of bad memories, all of them done in his state of inebriation.

They say words can hurt you more than any physical force. Especially if you’re young and don’t fully understand why you have been at the receiving end of such hurtful notes.

It’s true.

Every time I see him when he was alive, all I can think about are those instances when he would be spewing bad words at my brother, my Lola Nanay (Mommy’s mother), me, and even my Daddy (his brother) who has done nothing but save him from his multiple life troubles.

We were supposed to go to the hospital this morning. He requested for us to be there because he will say sorry and ask for forgiveness…

Really?, is all I can say to my Mommy.

Funeral’s on the 29th. Are you going home?

Of course. I’ll look for the next available trip…

The thing about family is you can never truly cut yourself off from them. There are certain things that you need to do for them because you are bonded by blood. Sometimes, family solidarity is more important than any personal principle.

Attending a funeral is one of them.

Blindsided

In life, we are taught basic rules for survival. Like looking left and right before crossing the street. That, or risk being a roadkill. Or worse, a roadkiller.

But there are times when we completely forget about this childhood lesson. We are so much in a hurry to get to our destination that we…

BAM! The door of your cab hitting the motorcycle that just sped by..

Ano ba? Di ka tumitingin sa paligid mo!

Sa susunod tumingin tingin ka muna bago ka bumaba!

You’re frozen for a minute or two, unable to comprehend how this basic rule could elude you. But then you’re reminded of life’s other basic rule: apologizing for your mistake.

Sorry po. Hindi ko po sinasadya.

Nawala lang po talaga sa isip ko.

There are three requirements for an effective apology: (1) humility (to admit that you were wrong), (2) courage (to own up to your mistake), and (3) good timing (to get the other to forgive you).

Right now, you only have 2 out of these 3. He’s still fuming mad, face beet red, eyes blazing; but the lady with him gave you a kind smile.

And it that moment, it’s enough.

Despacito

I just want to make a quick post while everything is still in my head… And in my heart…

The past days I have crawled back to my lethargic self. I’ve been feeling under the weather lately, mainly due to a recent illness that I’ve acquired. Two months after my D&C and here I am, fresh with a newfound abnormality. I hope this can be cured by the numerous meds that I’m currently taking. I’m crossing my fingers that the good doctor would be the bearer of good news come Tuesday.

As such, I have postponed my Yoga and Muay Thai trainings yet again. Why is it that every time I try to get up on my feet, something bigger tries to push me down further? How can one person be so unlucky in just a span of two short months?

All these negative thoughts are encircling my head day and night. I confided this to my husband when I couldn’t take it anymore. Cris told me, in turn, that I should go out and not confine myself in the four corners of our condo. I need to take a breather, he said.

And a breather I took today. 

I went to visit Mils in her condo, which is also my previous home. Before getting married, I was renting a room in her condo. She was still on leave due to a recent eye operation. Lately, we always talk about how we are in the real world now, facing and dealing with real adult problems. We have arrived to an obvious and inevitable conclusion that we are getting older. 

Two of our college friends also visited her so I got to spend time with them, as well. We spent the day looking for trashy reality TV shows and laughing at them, eating pizzas and mojos, and jamming — they sang and I played the guitar, more like.

This was definitely the breather that I needed. 

The husband was right. The road to recovery would entail some action on my part. Start with little steps; one day at a time. Take it slow until you’re strong enough to take everything in stride.

All you need is to take that first step and get out of the four walls of your room. Let a little sunshine touch your face. And if you’re luckier, a little bit of moonshine*, too.

*On our way home, I caught a glimpse of the half moon in the sky. It was a beautiful sight. I wouldn’t have seen it if I did not go out today. 😊