Day 2 – The Fear of Reaching Out to Someone You’ve Wronged

They’ve always said that you always hurt the ones you love most.  As much as I wanna cry foul over that statement, I know I did just that to him 7 years ago.

Last time we saw each other, I said a lot of things I really didn’t mean.  I was sick with chicken pox, young and stupid.  I also just had a grueling NatSci 1 (a Physics and Chem combo GE subject for everyone who’s not from UP) midterms that I somehow managed to do great in despite my sickness so that might  have contributed to that, too.

“You never accepted me as your dad.”

“You know what’s funny?  The year I finally told myself that I want you two to get married, you do this to us. So thanks a lot for ruining our lives!”

I was tired of hearing my Mom cry herself to sleep.  I was tired of seeing my brother waste a year away just because of what happened.  I was tired of trying to be strong for everyone when I was also hurting.

The only family I knew is falling apart in front of my eyes and I cannot do anything to prevent it.

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I picked up the phone, dialed AFPMC’s number and tried my luck into weaseling my way through the operators to talk to my ex-stepdad over the lunch break today.

It’s been 7 years.  I actually never thought I’d be able to hear his voice again.  I don’t know why but the minute he said hello, the tears started streaming down my face.

It was so good to hear his voice again.

We did the usual small talk.  I asked him how he is and he told me that his diabetes has taken a turn for the worse over the past few years.  He now has to undergo dialysis three times a week.  I winced when he said that.  He told me about seeing Inka and Topher last year.  Inka’s going to college next year and Topher’s doing great even if the kid is kinda sickly.  He also told me the last time he saw me was on TV.  I marveled at the fact that that seemed like ages ago.  My voice apparently changed, too.  I laughed a little and said that 7 years is a really long time.

He also answered the question that was plaguing me all these months.  It was really him whom I saw in Megamall on a wheelchair some months back.  He told me he saw my hair and knew instantly that that was me even though he didn’t get to see my face.  I told him I regretted not stopping to say hi.  I wanted to tell him that the reason why I stopped is that I couldn’t bear seeing him that way.  You never really want to see your parents (biological or not) that way. Ever.  I was not ready to accept the fact the he was that sick.  I wanted to tell him all these so badly but I didn’t.  I guess I wanted to tell him that in person.

I wanted to talk more but he’s scheduled for a dialysis and had to go.  I left my number and told him I wanted to meet him for dinner and I am bringing Oyie, too.  He told me that he’s free by Thursday next week.

If he doesn’t text me, I’ll call him next week.

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Next up?

Contacting my real dad.

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Day 1 – The Fear of Knowing Where I (Don’t) Stand

Go ahead, ask me.

Q: Given the choice, would you rather know or not know?

A: Not know.

Q: Why?

A: Knowing seems so final and I’ve always hated goodbyes.

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Of course, you don’t have a single clue but I actually started The Brave Project yesterday with you.  Yes, you.  If you just knew how much I wanted to dieeeee that time than ever having that conversation with you.  The fact that you won’t get to read this is a tinny tiny consolation. Yay me!

I was able to say sorry but I don’t think I ever got to say thanks.  For everything.  You are partly the reason why I am doing this.  I know I did stupid stuff before like shrugging off the people who has laid the groundwork for this massive overhaul but I guess I just said that to be funny.  You were very patient and I appreciated that a lot.  I just have a really funny way of expressing it sometimes.  Really sorry about that.  And yes, I know.  My sense of humor is the pits.  At least, we can always agree on that.

The last time I was here, I burned the bridge.  Pulled the pin, threw the grenade and walked away without even so much as a peep on where it hit.  I frankly just didn’t care.  I was hurt and and confused. I also was 22.

“How dare you wrong me? What did I do wrong? Why me? I me I me I me I me I me I me I me I me I me!”

He was bad news so it was prolly better that way.  To be honest, a part of me wants to do that to you, too.  But I cannot make myself do it.

Maybe that’s the thing about doing the right thing.  Maybe doing the right thing especially when it comes to the people who matter is really hard to do.  All srs bsns ’cause you always risk hurting them or worse, losing them.  Doing the right thing can also mean shoving all your wants and desires aside to make room for what the other person wants.  It is actually listening, not merely hearing.  An actual two-way conversation, not self-aggrandizing monologues from both camps.

I won’t lie.  Right now, it feels like my heart is being ripped apart into a million tiny pieces and all I want to do is build these massive walls around me and shut you out off my life for good because the thought of facing you again hurts so much and it makes the simple act of breathing excruciatingly painful.   But I cannot do it.  What good will that bring me?  I know that really wouldn’t solve anything.  I am just pushing the issue under the rug.  And well, you don’t really deserve to be treated that way.

So I gave myself a weekend to be stupid, faced my fear of dealing with the issue, learned to accept the facts and however painful it is, walked away quietly to move on.

I miss you already.

Do you believe in second chances?  I hope you do. Cause maybe next year, we’ll just laugh about this.  Maybe next year, I’d squirm at the fact that I liked you.  Maybe next year, I’ll look back and go, “What the hell was I thinking?”  Who knows, right?

But for now, I  am waving a little goodbye.

P.S. Did I sound like a total cliche or what?

Day 0 – The Why

Lady Gloom Angel made quite a grand entrance in the form of “heap on the floor” (to quote She & Him) me last weekend.  I was a wreck.  I would normally give a detailed, hourly account of that fateful night (Cause I am a glutton for punishment that way, ha!) but even the usually thick-faced (especially at every chance to laugh at myself) me thinks the specifics are kinda embarrassing to detail here.  Let’s just leave those to your very vivid imagination.  Always remember the wise words of Pablo Picasso.  Everything you can imagine is real. (Lolwut?!)

I ended up talking to a friend online about my boohoos around 12 midnight-ish.  I was going on and on about the major suckage that is my life and how much I hate failing in everything I do when he practically shouted through the screen.

WHEN HAVE YOU FAILED IN LIFE?

I have never been tasered but I am pretty sure this is his equivalent of virtually tasering me.  And this is a bohemian (?) dude who never says anything nice to anyone when he’s sober.  He asked questions, I whined some more, he gave some stupid advice, we laughed it off, I whined some more and then he had to go to sleep.

I was left to ponder with the question above.

Do I really think of myself as a failure?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is below.

This is Dexter’s letter to Emma, taken from One Day.

To say that I can relate is an understatement. 

My life is far from perfect.  Most of the time, I dunno what the hell I am doing.  Sure, I “try” (really really hard) to make it seem that I am okay on the outside.  I project an image of a put-together girl who has it all figured out.  I even have the nerve to push people away when they don’t get me.  But in reality, I don’t know a freakin’ thing about anything. I talk a good game about seemingly having answers to whatever is thrown at me but I don’t really know jack about the things that matter like faith, hope and love.  Couple my ignorance with the important stuff to my extreme paranoia when it comes to letting people into my life and voila, you have the accident waiting to happen that is moi.

It took me quite a while (and 3 angry close friends’ confrontations in the span of 4 days) to admit what I am about to write here to myself.  At the risk of sounding like a suicide risk, I am starting off this blog/project with this confession.  (Contrary to popular belief, killing myself is not really my style.  I am too scared of blood. Yep, there’s that word again.)

I am just so freakin’ scared to do anything that I end up blocking my own shot to being happy.

I implode. I self-combust. I crash and burn. (These all sound like really cool superpowers, don’t you think?)

Out in the world, I am this giddy girl who believes in unicorns and fairy tales.  But late at night in the solitary confinement of my kingdom(which is the top bunk of a double-deck bed somewhere in Pasig), I blame myself. For everything.

If only I were this.  If only I weren’t that.  If only I did this.  If only I didn’t do that. If only. If only.

Playing the victim can be very romantic when you think of it. Oh, the anguish! Oh. the sleepless nights! Oh, the nonstop worst case scenarios! Cue the world’s tiniest violin. (This is precisely the reason why Wuthering Heights is a classic.  Tortured Heathcliff ftw!)  Make these thoughts reside in your head for 25 years and they will become your drug.  Who needs illegal pharmaceuticals when I can get my fix by just going to a dark corner to sulk ala Angela Chase?  (Yes, I do realize that I am sounding like an immature 15-year-old by comparing myself to a fictional teenage heroine of the 90s. Btw, go watch it if you haven’t seen My So-Called Life. ‘T was a great show that was off the air way too soon. Check out Twin Peaks, Freaks & Geeks and my beloved Firefly while you’re at it.  These shows were also gone way too soon. Sadface.)

If I am honest with myself, I can even say that this dark abyss of a reality that I have created for myself has become my home.

I can rant off all the excuses in the world to rationalize my shitty outlook in life.  Daddy issues.  Abandonment issues.  Bad childhood.  Sexual abuse as a kid.  Betrayal by my own family who turned a blind eye on said abuse because of money.  Feeling that I’ll never be good enough for anything or anyone because I am dirty.  Having to prove my worth over and over again to people who just don’t “get” me.  Growing up in a family who finds it hard to express encouragement.

But these are just those.  Freakin’ excuses.

2 Corinthians 5:17 New International Version

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

This verse is very much basic Sunday School and yet I can’t claim this promise.  And I dare call myself a Christian, right?! (And a Sunday School teacher at that!) I can really be such a hypocrite.

But I need to stop all this before it’s too late.  I need to stop blaming myself for stuff that wasn’t my doing.  I need to stop with the pity party and begin seeing myself the way God and the people important to me see me.  I need to stop letting the hurts of the past deter me from pursuing the things that will make me happy.  I need to stop holding on to grudges and start forgiving the people who have wronged me.  Ultimately, I need to stop with the if only’s and begin the probably long journey of forgiving myself for feeling this way all my life.

Things like this keep me up at night.  I cannot believe I am baring it all for the world to see.  Yep, universe.  I am deeply flawed and I am telling it all.  The process of revealing how dark and black my heart really is frightening and liberating at the same time.

So I am starting The Brave Project to push myself to get past these issues and live a life that’s good and right and real. (I love you, T. Swizzle! Listen to State of Grace now!)

Please be my strength through all this, Lord.  I need you more than ever.