Archive for the ‘Hushed’ Category

A Knife in the Back

No parent should have to bury their child.

—King Theoden, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers


While washing dishes, a kitchen knife fell on the floor, its metallic sound echoing against the tiles. In the movies, this is what they call a foreshadowing. Fast-forward to three days later, a room in disarray. Clothes, sheets, and pillows were scattered everywhere. A freshly laundered shirt still hanging out to dry with a massive hole in the back. She was reminded of a heartbreaking scene in which King Theoden visits the grave of his only son and heir, Theodred. She recalled seeing the devastation on his face as he broke down in tears.

I have a lot on my plate. First of all, let me just say that I love my family—all of them. I moved back home because I want to help out my parents with the expenses, the chores around the house, and just basic moral support. That said, for the past few months, not only was I stressed out from the my deadlines and the never-ending chores, I am also locking horns with my baby sister. While I am not one for airing out dirty laundry in public, I don’t want to hide it away either like a shameful family secret.
A quick backstory between my sister and I. We used to be very close. In fact, I had her move in with me in Cebu a few years back. She’s been having problems with our family and her studies. Then there was that brief romance between her and my long-time friend. Somehow she ended up despising me and left. I think that’s how it started. Due to fortuitous circumstances, I  decided to move back home November of last year. She followed suit in March. She finally gave up the pretense of “going to school” and went home just before we had to leave for Japan. When we left for our month-long summer vacation there, we were not on speaking terms because of a few altercations, not yet physical then. But we seemed to have patched things up in Japan. However, the second we came back, her attitude toward me changed drastically again, which prompted me to stop talking to her entirely to avoid any more trouble. Just last month,  I panicked because my laptop would not charge and I had a deadline that very night. As it turned out, she poured oil all over my battery pack. I had to clean my battery and let it dry for hours before I could turn on my laptop again. Thankfully, the problem was fixed and I resumed working. But since then, my laptop won’t go full charge, just 90%. I said nothing, but she continued messing with my stuff.
Barely a week after our uncle’s funeral two weeks ago, I woke up very early after sleeping soundly the night before. It was the first time I slept through the night in a very long time since I normally go to bed around 5:00 a.m. When our labandera, someone my mom contracted weekly to wash our clothes, failed to show up for two weeks in a row, my dad had to do the laundry right after cooking breakfast. As soon as I finished eating, I took over the washing while he had his breakfast. All I did was move some of her hanging clothes she washed the night before so I could hang Dad’s laundry.
Without warning, she erupted in rage. I found out as soon as I finished hanging up the clothes that she trashed my room,  threw some of my clothes to the roof of the garage, and cut up some of my shirts.

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I did not tell my parents to avoid another conflict, but I did show somephotos to my siblings. My ate told my parents because they were concerned for me. Obviously, my parents confronted her, but she just ignored them and kept singing to herself. I let it slide and didn’t talk to her, which seemed to anger her even more. My mom used to complain to me about her attitude because she’s been disrespecting our mother for years. I called her out on it one time, which ended in a massive shouting match after. She even attacked our dad because he took some of her dried clothes off the hanging racks a week before this happened. Still, she wouldn’t back down or even apologize. I had to change the locks on my room to avoid any more thrashing. She also threatened physical harm for “locking her door,” which Dad did, not me. “You mess with my door, I’ll mess with your face,” she kept saying over and over again while having trouble getting into her room. Eventually, it gave way before she almost destroyed her own door. After finding out shortly that it was Dad who checked out her room, she gave me the old stink eye, muttering curses under her breath if I dared to mess with her stuff again. I chose to ignore it and continued working on my computer.
So this is what I have to deal with every day. Needless to say, I’m beyond exhausted. The struggle continues today. She seems to relish messing with my stuff, like emptying my water bottle and putting it back in the fridge, taking some of my weekly food groceries, and this:
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A few days ago, our mother bought three bottles of honey: one for me, one for our dad, and one for her. As usual, she took hers to her room. But then she also took some of mine and hid my bottle in the cupboard. My dad just found out my bottle last night.
To be honest, I would love nothing more than to get out of her hair and fly back to Cebu to resume my life. But I’m afraid that without my stuff to take her rage out on, she would turn her fury to our parents. That I cannot take. I’m not scared of my sister at all, but I am concerned for my parents. Plus, I made a promise to my siblings to stay put. Until my ate and kuya come home for good, I can’t leave our parents alone. My brother-in-law said my sister could be suffering from schizophrenia. I don’t think he is off the mark. If we had money to spare, I know my parents would have her treated for this. Until then, this is what I have to endure daily. I’m not disclosing this to extract sympathy. It is what it is.
Whatever happens in the future as things continue to escalate, she has no regrets. Although she knows she has not accomplished much in life, she takes pride in making sure the floor is swept and mopped, the dishes washed and stowed away, the kitchen counter is wiped clean, the garbage bins are emptied, there are fresh sheets on the beds, and some bills are paid off. Her only wish is that if people bump into her parents, she implores that they offer them kind words. They have been through enough already.



I want nothing more than to lock myself in my room and cry until all the pain has left my body and all that remains is numbness. Knowing that its familiar views are numbered, I take a few, long looks of myself, my room, and the house. I can feel fresh new cracks in my heart.  I can hear the distant bell chiming the beginning of the end. I can taste the bittersweet memories in my mouth.

Change is never easy. It is a terrible monster that lurks in the shadows, biding its time. Sometimes it comes swiftly like a thief in the night. Most creep ever so slowly until it’s practically right in front of your face, about to pounce. There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Change comes to us all, whether our arms are stretched wide open to welcome it or we are cowering in the darkness. Like death and taxes, it is an inevitable force.

If we don’t embrace it, what are we afraid of? If we don’t take a leap of faith, then what are we alive for?


Of What-ifs and Maybes

It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.

―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

You thought you had it under control. You thought you had already healed. You thought you have shoved the pain so deep, nothing less than kingdom come could ever dredge up all those memories from the deepest recesses of your subconscious. You were wrong!

All it took was a word or two and someone somehow managed to drag all the pain back to light. Like a freshly opened wound, the throbbing starts, the emotion swells; before you know what hits you, you are on your knees again, writhing in agony and crying your heart out.

Will it take another ten years to numb the pain again? Will the memories ever fade? Will the tears eventually run dry? Will the scars remain? Will you keep perpetually reliving all the unspoken words and opportunities lost?

The pain will never end. The maybes and what ifs still linger just below the surface, lurking out of sight, biding its time, and waiting for another chance to inflict more damage and bring new cracks to your carefully veiled facade.

Until then, the heart still bleeds and the pain endures. Love abides!



“And hey, what’s this roaring sound, whooshing past what I’m suddenly gonna call my head? Wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Is this what it feels like to be unbroken, unattached, and unrestrained?

The chains around my feet finally fell away. I could feel my soul rising, the soles of my shoes lightly kissing the ground before lifting off from the earth. My heart burst forth as it floated yonder, buoyed by the swell of my emotions.

Like a solitary balloon, I rise steadily upwards. My fingers caressing the soft fluffy clouds as I held my hands aloft. The cool crisp air fills my lungs, and for the first time in a long, long time, I could breathe again.

Gone are the shackles that held me back. I taste the freedom that has been denied me for so long. My dreams are within arm’s reach, and there would be no one there to say no as I take them. I’ve never felt more alive in years. The places I want to visit and people I want to see are no longer distant desires. Endless possibilities are shimmering before me like starlights.

How did I let myself be imprisoned by fear? It is time to push back the veil of darkness and doubts. The era of oppression is over. I grasp freedom firmly by its neck, and I will never let it go. As I climb higher up the cosmos, my light will shine brighter, whether somebody would be there to catch my fall or not!

In the immortal words of one so utterly reviled, “Don’t let your dreams be dreams. Just do it!”

And so I shall!


Jaded Journal #1

“People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


Not all those in a long-term relationship are happy, just like not all those who wander are lost. Sometimes being with someone familiar for years is a slow and painful death. The years hack away at your soul until there is nothing left but a sad echo of yourself.

Sometimes you convince yourself that he’s all right. He has never hurt you on purpose. He has never been intentionally mean to you. He never raised a hand at you. He never talked back at you in every fight you’ve had. He shared with you everything he possessed. He is the most nonviolent person you have ever met.

Still, something’s nagging at the back of your mind. It’s not enough. You think you deserve more.

You tried to change him. Make him act his age. Make him see things from your perspective. You tried pleading with him, tried to bargain with him, even nagged him time and time again. Nothing worked. He still doesn’t realize that you wanted him to be better than he is, because you only want what’s best for him.

You’re at the end of your rope. He has succeeded in making you into someone that you’re not. You hate being you when you are with him. He made you say mean things to whip him into shape. You throw things at him and became a totally crazy person. Your moods go up and down many times a day because of something he said or did.

His little gestures and quirks, that you once thought were cute, irks you to no end. He never quits monkeying around. He never lets up doing or saying something that annoys you, every single minute of every day.

You start looking back at the last ten years of your life, and it felt like hell on earth. You still remember the time when your world did not have him in it. Yet those were distant memories shimmering against the dying light of day. You can’t remember a time when you had been truly at peace with him for the longest time. The frequent little adventures you had long ago were reduced to buying groceries twice a month and eating out occasionally, if you were lucky.

You spent months and years in bed sleeping, while he played games on his computer. Sometimes you wish he never stops, because only then, did it give you some reprieve from his childish antics. Sometimes you look at him while he is sleeping and wonder how you could have ever thought yourself to be so lucky to find such an uncomplicated and unassuming man. Your relatively drama-free life together felt like a vise on your throat, slowly choking the life out of you, year after year.

He is not perfect. He never will be. And yet, you still  compare him to other guys half his age who have finally decided to grow up and act like an adult. He doesn’t have money saved up even for a light drizzle, let alone for a rainy day. He has no plans for the future, not even for the next forty-eight hours.

How can you ever trust someone who thinks you will be together forever but does nothing to ensure that promise? When will you have enough courage to leave? What do you look forward to when you are stuck forever in a toxic sludge of indifference? Why is it that every time you look deeply into his eyes, all you see is your own disappointment staring back at you? Will you get excited over the prospect of spending some alone time together? Or will you find yourself crossing a bridge, stepping over the railing, and jumping off into the churning waters below?