Crying, I ran outside the classroom, hugged my father, and begged him to stay. I was in grade school and just like most kids, I’m not too happy being left in one place without a parent. It took me a little longer to get used to it. I remember that at some point, I would stay in my seat, look out the window, see my father walking away, and cry quietly. I did not run outside to chase him anymore but I remember the heavy feeling of thinking that I may never see him again. The scary feeling of being left alone.
Almost two decades later, I found myself living alone. I have not seen my parents for more than a year now. I did not text or greet them on their birthdays. I did not visit them on my own birthday and I did not allow them to visit me. They did not know exactly where I live. I moved out of the first condo unit I lived in and I’m bound to move out to a third one this year. Christmas, New Year, and every holiday, I spent alone. I did not respond to their texts, calls, and any relative who dared to “give advice” to persuade me into seeing my parents received a mouthful. After a few months, I got tired of it and ignored all the messages I received. I even blocked some of them. From my perspective, they are destroying my peace with their hypocritical suggestions.
“It was so easy for her to forget.”
That’s what my mother told my sister-in-law via text message. She admits that she did not read or remember most of the very long message my mother sent her except for that one sentence. My brother and his wife (my sister-in-law) often stays in my place with their cute little son while their house is being finished. My brother does not talk to my parents and avoids most of our relatives as well even when he visits his two other kids who schools in the city where my parents live.
It is easy to understand why I became detached to everything once you know the story but it is hard to imagine the progress towards the mentality that has become my way of life. All my childhood, I loved my father very much. I was closer to him than I was with my mother. I remember that until I was in high school, he would bring me food during lunch time. I rarely ate lunch with my classmates. He would serve my meals on a picnic table on the grass near the guardhouse and they would all say “That’s sweet.” But now he has become the man I would hate to see the most.
A few more family tragedies happened since I was a child. Things that are too much for me to bear at such a young age and it never stopped. I tried to fix it, me and my brother until we realized that some things cannot be fixed. I realized earlier before he did. I’ve always had this vision of where something would lead to. I knew that we would all drown unless we escape. I knew that fixing our family was not possible when the other members of it are too afraid to let go of the anchor that sinks our home. I felt uneasy after calling it “home” because it was not. I never had a home in my life. I had a roof over my head and I was thankful enough for that.
I do not know where it all started but the feeling persists in all my relationships and life decisions. Every time I see that something has no future and it does not satisfy me, I start planning my way out. It’s as if I have a bottle of liquid that represents my life and I only have a few drops left that I must be very careful not to spill. I became more conscious, suspicious more so, about the people around me. Who among them intend to drag me down? I looked out for signs that there’s a possibility that this person is one day going to betray or neglect me.
I always had this reaction that I did not plan or do on purpose. When I sense that someone, more specifically of the opposite sex, likes me more than they should, it brings out feelings of disgust. It happens even when I liked the person very much. The moment they begin showing feelings, my danger alarm goes off and tells me to run away really fast. Maybe it was a result of my experiences of maybe it is just the way I’m programmed. I’m not a robot. I cry, I miss people, I’m sometimes afraid of losing some of them and start thinking of ways to cope when they are gone because eventually everyone will be gone.
If I had to choose who I’d rather be with, I’d rather be with me because I’m the only one who will always choose me.