Square Peg in a Round Hole

For years, I have always struggled with trying to conform to what people want and expect. This is written at the very point in time when I have firmly decided to be real to myself, to unfollow shitheads in social media and in real life, and to just go for where I belong, not force myself painfully to what society or anyone expects like a square peg painfully trying to fit itself in a circular hole.

Control is an illusion. You do good or not and shit will still happen. You cannot always trust who you are with. You cannot count on promises because they are made to be broken. We may make the most elegant of life plans but things that can go wrong will go wrong if it can.

Despite that, we continue to try to wake up each morning with hope even when the night before you feel like jumping into the darkest depths of the pitch black sea. And just for waking up and resisting the urge to kill yourself is a tiny victory that you need to celebrate. And you struggle with it every single day.

You try to be nice to a complete asshole of a person and you will never get any guarantees that this person will not mess with you. You enter willingly into commitments without really knowing how much it cost. You punctuate your pain with silence because silence is the only language free of external judgment, belittling or any form of ostracism often by and especially done by those who can hurt us the most.

The futility of trying to explain yourself is a useless exercise, a waste of energy that you can no longer remanufacture. You have to sit still even when you are completely stuffed and suffocated with the shit lying around. And you have to keep a straight face.

It is just useless. In retrospect, if you are going to squander away your life’s resources which are too finite, every single second you spend with a horrible or harmful person is a painful waste of time and everything. So make sure that the person beside you is worth all the pain. Otherwise, you need to prune and limit your list of people in your hang out list.

Compassion Fatigue

Frankly, I never thought that I will ever reach this point of saturation known as compassion fatigue. But I have done so with certain people this year. I think 2014 is the highest concentration of my defense mechanisms actively eliminating bullshit from toxic people.

Scientifically, they called it secondary traumatic stress. It’s when you get so much external stimuli of shit that it comes to a point where you become cold and unable to sympathize with the source of the toxicity and pain.

This year was the only year I really had it in full swing, I think.  I think I have around 5 people who elicited this response from me. It was really very difficult to go back to my old empathizing self after I suffered from the trauma of unending bullshit.

I think I am especially prone to losing my compassion reserves when the person perpetuates the painful condition by blatantly making more stupid decisions despite warnings and sound support from friends and family. Some people just don’t listen but expect never-ending drama sessions.

In a nutshell, I got tired of helping people who do not like to help themselves, not even to pick up the pieces. There are just some types of people who expect others to carry everything for them and make things even heavier for those who have taken on the liberty of helping them get out of their slump. Some would even have the feeling of entitlement that they deserve good treatment from me after dumping me and overloading me with so much shit. They use their problems as an excuse to harm other people with toxicity.

I know, it’s the most un-Christian thing I have ever written in my entire life. Yet, I keenly feel it as some sort of after effect. Last month was probably the worst of it.

I guess after all that has happened, I am now more or less as cold as ice and I do not know how to bring the warmth back. It has helped in eliciting business-like efficiency but little in the way of relating and nurturing people.

Much of the warmth is artificially manufactured or completely forced out of me. I am exasperated. I never really saw this coming but right now, I am practically frozen and inundated, like I no longer have room for excessive feelings. It’s kind of hard not to blame the people who maxed out my compassion this year, but I take responsibility for succumbing to the worst of this compassion fatigue episode.

Now, I’m just in this calm and flat state where I don’t really care for these toxic sources as much as I used to. Now, I just want to get things done.

Is this a sign of adulthood or is this the cancer of this impersonal and gadget-fueled generation?

I’ll just wait, see, and discover for myself as the days roll by.

The Dark Side of Wedding THINGS

“Oooh… Aaaaah…”

That’s what people say when a woman is about to get married. You will see bright pearly whites flashing on the latest wedding magazine covers and cute fondant cakes and dresses for flower girls and bridesmaids. You’d think and dream of having it someday. You think that it’s all about walking in that precious aisle and looking pretty, with everyone gawking at your dress. You say yes in your engagement and feel so awesome, tears welling up in your eyes with that bling thing on your ring finger.

Goes without saying, I went for the traditional way of getting married here in the Philippines. And this means humungous expense,  a kilometric gown, a fight for the guest list, and a bunch of spoiled brats in the entourage and guest list cauldron.

Some people say they are envious of brides. But here is the other side that the wedding magazines, wedding industry, and wedding suppliers won’t exactly tell you in detail about getting a traditional church wedding.

Just like the many things that piss me of royally, I have decided to write about it now while I deal with my pimple problems due to excessive stress from these items I have painfully discovered recently. My supposed beauty rest is not really working as well as I had planned in my tiny head a year ago.

Truth be told, all I wanted was an elopement wedding. But I am not the only one deciding in this lifetime event and I had to abide by tradition to honor the man that I love.

He is worth every single tear I have shed since this ordeal began and I will not trade it for anything. And partly, he was right. We cannot cut out the family and close friends in this big decision together. So we decided to enter the lion’s den in this wedding planning shizz.

For the benefit of dreamy readers, here are some things that you have to watch out for, a.k.a the horrible GREMLINS under that bridal gown train with the killer Elizabethan corset.

1. Other People with Too Much Entitled Feelings

You will encounter people with so many opinions at how wrongly you are doing your wedding.

They  will eat unlimited amounts of rice and whine unbearably during the gown fitting that the designer can’t zip them up and throw a tantrum about how ugly they look with their dress. They can just throw tantrums from your taste in colors, motifs, and themes.

You will find suppliers who will verbally agree with things and not deliver even when you have sold your arms, legs, and organs just to pay them on time. You go back to their shop every week and they all just give you more schedules to fix and deal with and more tantrums to defuse from dissatisfied people involved in the wedding.

You will write task lists, check lists, and all other lists to ensure that nothing goes wrong but it still goes wrong anyway because YOUR SUPPLIERS DON’T FUCKING READ IT.  And they make you feel like you are just one of many even if they call it your “special day”. You cannot help but feel that you’re just another statistic in their money making enterprise. You actually are.

And this is compounded by inconsiderate people who throw their weight around and feel that their preferences and ways of doing things are more important than that of the bride’s and groom’s in their event.

We pay for the shit and we get more shit from basically everyone. 

You will actually feel tempted to commit manslaughter in the face of this prima donna-ness. But you have to hold your horses. But slowly, you cut them out of your life and circle of trust in sheer disgust. When a person messes with your life at such a crucial time as this, it is quite difficult to forget the hassle they caused and you tend to REMEMBER it vividly.

2. The Mess-Communications

This is biggest shit load of all. No need for words to explain.

3. Things Falling through the Cracks

So, I made this comprehensive PDF document lining up everyone’s preferences and deliverables.

But even if I did that to avoid problems, these suppliers are not robots and they will still do it the way they want. Your entourage will still condition their hair 24 hours before the hair and makeup session despite the artist’s requirements.

I threw away the fucking task list (which I worked on vigorously for THREE DAYS) last night after I realized this. Fricking wasted my time conjuring that up. It’s still chaos and mayhem anyway.

4. Severe Fights with Your Partner

Mr. Right does not seem so right when you are fighting over tiniest to biggest details.

But he still is that person. Somehow, that wonderful person you are to marry is hiding under the wedding preps stress cloud that you are both under. You just have to remember that when he screams at you over gowns or something. (“No I was not screaming. You are not listening!” Wails. Sobs.)

You really  have to LOVE the person to endure this heightened level of stress together.

5. The Fierce (Sometimes Bloody) Tug of War in the Guest List

Two words: BLOODY HELL. It took us all of ten months because we fought tooth and nail for the first six months to put in everyone.

Conclusion: Nope, our wallets cannot possibly handle everyone. I don’t want to make everyone happy with their thousand peso plates while I go broke for a year trying to pay off a sizeable loan.

Sorry, but I am not sorry.

6. Non-RSVPing Douches who Actually Show Up

I was like this before at my cousin’s wedding. Spell KARMA, bitch. This really sucks. You cannot even tell your caterer how many people will be there because some did not bother telling you if they were coming or not.

So you just put a bunch of maybe’s and heaven knows if they are coming. But you still pay for their plates even if they do not materialize their asses in that day. Money does not come from trees but there are monkeys in your guest list, who cannot even consider your plight for the head count.

7. The Perpetually Moving Calendar of Events

This really lost my patience for real. I set schedules and can you just imagine how many lives I have to get a common time with?

You get people who work, study, and do their stuff.

And you have to find a single day in the calendar that works for EVERYONE.

This totally sucks and I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE this.

HATE.  I will never finish typing HATE in this part.

8.  Your General Feeling of Dread for the Things You cannot Control

Here is a short list: What if it rains and blows off the roof of the church? What if my suppliers die while they do their deliverables? What if I die? What if I trip on my long gown? What if my gown does not fit anymore after eating this pasta? What if people don’t come? What if everyone comes? What if I wake up looking like shit on the morning of my wedding or with an allergy attack? What if someone tries to ruin my wedding (and believe me, even in that intimate guest list, there are non-well wishers you cannot kick out!) ? What if I just dissipate? What if the world actually ends on my wedding day? What if the traffic eats up my time and the church closes on me?

What if… What if….

The Gorgonian heads of hatred, stress, fatigue, and anxiety do pile up and can make you this monster called bridezilla.

Yes, I am not even denying it. I am going bananas right now with these what ifs. I pity the poor souls who will cross me from today until my big day because really, THERE WILL BE LOTS OF BLOOD.

I am no longer in the phase of life where I can tolerate unnecessary shit that people manufacture naturally. Not this time. And probably, not ever.

9. The Immensity of your Lifetime Commitment with that One Person

THIS. Well, this is something. You start feeling the immensity of that commitment. It builds up like a huge bile that goes up your throat and it stays there until you say those words. I DO.

You love him so much and you think if you can handle having kids, if you will make a good mother or a good wife, if you can learn how to cook something other than hard boiled eggs, if you can learn how to embrace another person who lived in a different way and will have completely different habits as you…

You just want to give this person everything, beyond what you can naturally give sometimes. You actually agree to all this crazy jumanji-like chaos because you know that this will make the other person happy.

You think of yourself, what this event means underneath the shitty entourage tantrums, supplier woes, and bridal prep stress.

You think of how you will be leaving your old life and begin this new and unknown one, and not be sure if you are cut out for the requisite hardships and strength that married life requires.

(As you think of this, you think too of the shitheads who pressure you all the more with their insecurities and life issues as you think of this HUGE life decision and you want to grab an axe and cut their heads while you get your bearings together. But you only dream of it, it’s illegal to carry it out.)

So there. In case you are feeling envious about anyone’s wedding gown, think of the gremlins under the train and be thankful that you are not yet subjected to it.

I wish I could say I am the only one with this problem. But if you google bridezilla and unhappy brides, you will find a plethora of horror stories that not even the biggest wedding gown train can cover up.

***

And after writing that, I just went all Zen and Murphy’s Law. I don’t know what happens after this but I just want to get married. It does not even have to be in a stuffy gown. All the shitty people fade in the background. Because that’s just what they are: WHITE NOISE in the biggest day of my life.

The essentials, you go back to it after you drain your wallet with the expenses and you cry your heart out and feel like buying a punching bag.

And finally, in that state of calm and come-what-may acceptance, you become ready to embrace the real deal of it minus the bullshit that other people threw at you while you were figuring things out. It’s just you, your partner, and God. And nobody else matters even if you are grateful to have them around as the witness to your decision.

At the end of all the hyped up wedding preparations and the fireworks and the flashy outfits, it’s what we are going to do with the rest our lives that mean more. And when you are in a very dark place as you plan your wedding and you cannot kill those ungrateful bitches who make your wedding planning a living hell, you just think of that bigger picture that comes after that big day.

What the F-ic Fail

As I add years to my life, I realize that life makes you stronger or stranger or it just simply kills you.

It inevitably does either of these two because it’s a series of watching more hearts get broken over time, one’s own heart or other people’s.

Sometimes it can already be considered a huge feat to be able to stand strong. Or just basically keep standing. Sometimes, standing is all you can do. Or crawling if you cannot stand it anymore. And when they keep stepping on your face while you crawl, you eat the dirt and grovel in it and make it your food until you can stand again. Or you die, basically. Die trying or just will yourself dead.

I was a fan of positive psychology. But it is not the be all and end all of things. It’s not enough to just fill your head with good vibes. For years, I deluded myself into thinking that drowning out my head with positive thoughts will insulate me from the evils that lurk and wreak its poisonous tentacles in my life and the lives of other people I have met in this world. Those superficial “it’s all in the mind” bozos probably did not have to ride the tides of mania and depression or probably did not have to meet the people I unfortunately encountered in this lifetime.

I tried so hard to resurrect my natural belief in the goodness of people. But often I am faced with the opposite.

I find many things, mainly that people are evil.

People are greedy, insensitive, horrible, and difficult to be with. People can disregard that you deserve your slot and force you to pay for their gym memberships even when they will be the only ones using the room for months on end.

People will insult you randomly because they need to for whatever life issue they’ve got (e.g. lacking an ovary, bitch fit, stress, etc.)

People just discriminate, judge, tell your secrets, put you in a bad light, and ask you to trust them with all of your heart but bullshit you behind your back.

People will call you a friend so that they can make money out of you, split your check shamelessly, and make you pay for their meals when their boss screams at them.

People will ask help for their websites then forget about you when they get what they need.

People can disregard your years of being together just for career advancement or some gain they cannot carry to their graves.

People will get your market value and sell your intel over to your competitors. Even when you got things fair and square, they will steal and badger their way in.

People will fuck you over even when you are good. Oh wait, let me change that. People can and will fuck you over especially when you are good or loving to them. People will piss on your face and shit on your hand when you hold it our for a handshake.

Everything I was ever taught since I was young tells me otherwise. But everything I have ever seen apart from what I was taught is mostly this– pain, struggle, grovelling, survival. And the immense greed of man.

The tiny cracks of disillusionment has become the biggest trench of this mind.

News flash: The world is never fair.

Prediction and More News Flash: It will never be fair.

I have found good people but they are as tiny and few as the fairies of Neverland. There are more ogres that pay obeisance to the immense and boundless greed of man. My default setting is to avoid being abused or hurt by the people around me, whether they do it intentionally or not.

I used to be such a risk taker.  I was the daredevil, always opening myself up to people with the inherent belief that there is good in every person.

But these days, I question every step I make. I question everything. I question even periods and commas and exclamation points in the syntax of my life.  These days it’s just a bunch of bullshit ellipsis. (No offense meant to this lovely punctuation mark which I bravely sully in my current distress.)

Now even in places where I placed periods, there are just question marks. Question marks on periods that I used to ascribe as truth.

No more periods. Just a bunch of ill-placed commas.

I’ve found futility  in trying to disentangle myself from my uncertainties. Uncertainty is the only certainty. And when something can go wrong, it most certainly will.

I used to just view stark and dark cynicism from a distance. Now, I am smack in the middle of it, breathing it, living it, eating it for breakfast lunch and dinner, bathing in it, and sleeping in it.

I used to look inside and I find light. These days, I look inside and I just find pieces of the old me but they’re barely traceable. I hardly look in the mirror because I do not know what I’d find.

It seems like it can never go back to the old self and it’s turning into something else.

I used to love to share whatever light I have to people. I loved encouraging people. Now I just want to wither away silently and conserve energy just like they do with Mother Earth now. Because frankly speaking, there’s nothing left to give.

They say what you are when you are young stays with you until you grow old, that people have templates or destinies. But I don’t think that applies for me. I am just changing.

Into what, I am not entirely certain. It seems it’s becoming stronger and stranger and angrier by the minute but none of it is comforting.

This world is filled with people I cannot trust, but I have to continue to live in it until the ground opens up and swallows me permanently. I’d be a coward to get a shovel and bury myself but every inch of me is tempted to do so sometimes. But that won’t be necessary. Other people are already digging up for everyone else. Eventually, I’ll fall into a grave for good. Everyone’s headed there, why the rush.

For the meantime, while I try to debug my life, there’s this face for the rest of the world, and there’s an entire galaxy of deeper things within myself that is best kept there for its own good.

And I will never have to share my milky way to anybody in this life, my past life, or the next life. Or the afterlife.

The things I shall leave on the outside for the rest of the world to devour and attack is a tiny patch of earth, a tiny speck of dust, a molecule.

Except when I write. ‘Cause when I write, I cannot really lie about the lens with which I see the world. But those are just words.

And sometimes, words are enough.

 

 

The Friendless Feast

Life has been a huge Bermuda triangle recently, all mystery and no sense. Then I had to make crucial and drastic choices that are quite life-changing in the midst of it.

So let’s add more senseless mystery to my universe, shall we?

I had to make one more major decision about my wedding preparation: to make it into a friendless feast.

Yep. No friends on the guest list. Not even a single best friend from the outside world. Just the relatives. Acquaintances will have to be really in a dream-like state to consider inviting themselves over because I even had to chuck out friends I have known for decades. Yep. Shit, right? Even family friends or friends of mom are not in.

To be quite honest, I am absolutely devastated with the decision. But given personal circumstances and some unexpected turn of events, it has to be done. I have 5 slots for friends and I can’t play favorites. I love all of them.

It’s just like one of those painful surgical incisions of life. My friends will probably disown me after I sent the email this morning. I don’t know what else to do. It’s 4am and my eyes are all puffy from crying yesterday. Now I know what “Shit happens” really means this time. Everything just went wrong. I even have to remove bridesmaid friends on the list.

Yeah, yeah, I am a bad friend. Totally. I’m a bad bride, probably.

Fortunately, I do not have Facebook so I won’t have people popping in my chat window to ask about my preparations. It’s just not going as well as I had hoped. I don’t know if those other brides are on steroids but I am not happy with having to worry about plates and guest table arrangements.  What bride DNA do other people have that I don’t? I just don’t seem to be enjoying this detailed preparation set.

I know that other people have bigger problems than this (e.g. famine in Africa and all that crap), but it’s still a crappy situation to be in.

I never imagined getting married and walking down the aisle and painting my face without my BFFs.  But here we are anyway. I count this as my contribution to the bucket of silent global suffering. Why I amassed such a number of BFFs eludes me. I will probably be losing most of them after this, anyway. I should start getting cats after the wedding because I am going to be one busy cat lady.

Some people actually make LOANS in the bank for their weddings. But we are definitely not doing that. I can’t do that to our future, much as I wanted to take in more people in my guest list. We still have to save up for buying a house. Anyway, I refuse to think about mortgage because I am still thinking about catering and wedding gowns now. And the money we refused to loan will later go to our kids.

Because I want to give my kids a nice wedding present: the gift of financial security, where they can afford to invite whoever they want.

I hope some of them will still be my friend after I change surnames.

I was actually okay with an affordable wedding ceremony. It’s still the sacrament of marriage that matters.

All I initially wanted was pizza takeout reception and a tiny church wearing a simple RTW white dress. Contrary to what most people think, I was actually rooting for a simple and affordable ceremony. But we’re not the only ones deciding and massive forces in this Universe have a different idea of what a good wedding looks like. I just had to comply, me being the citizen of the outside world.

Now it’s a long aisle, a caterer, a midlevel designer gown, and a large classic church. But none of my friends on the guest list.

It’s just meaningless to a certain extent. Instead of focusing on the sacrament and the magic of sharing the moment with the people who matter, it’s now about the things that the world prescribes as an ideal wedding.

But I do know that marriage is actually about giving up yourself and making the other person happy. Go figure.

I’m going to be out on a silent retreat next week to think of what to do after I lost all my friends from this morning’s email.

Jobless and friendless, I now start praying again to the one God I am subscribed to.

Senseless and mysterious as it may sound, I’ll have to be okay with that for now. I cannot pretty much do anything else.

 

Fast Car Feelings

She lay in bed for what seemed like an eternity. Her mind was a thousand miles away as she drags her butt out and stares out by her bedroom window, farther than the farthest galaxy that Doctor Who has travelled… Her mind drifts as she stares on, with nothing to do but think about her life in a state of quarantine and so much duress. She wards off the dust and listens to lines from a song from childhood.

“You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere”

Maybe we can get somewhere. Maybe we can make a deal. A ticket to anywhere. It just no longer mattered. Everything no longer mattered as much as it had. Suddenly, everything seems too futile or miniscule to life a finger. She wants a ticket, indeed. But where to, she does not seem to know. It’s all too dark and dreary from where she stands. Wobbly-kneed and filled with pustules, you will find heavy clouds nesting in her long hair, now stringy as spaghetti and unkempt for days.

“Any place is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we’ll make something
Me myself I got nothing to prove”

There is no more any lower level at the bottom of the pit of vipers she has found herself in. She realized that she was spinning wildly without control for quite a while, only to suddenly crash to the bottom of this pit full of venom and spite. Eventually, when all the venom has done stinging her skin, she finds that there is no more, just nothingness. Just nothingness and herself.

In this nothingness, she found strength to say no and start again from this bottom, this scary bottom where she sees nothing about the future and she does not have the fast pace of spinning aimlessly to shield her from the pain of having nothing and of being nothing and of being reduced to nothing.

“Managed to save just a little bit of money
Won’t have to drive too far
Just ‘cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living”

She wanted many things and she worked hard for them. But they seldom pan out. In fact, her whole life felt like a trajectory of a trial rocket in space. There are numerous calculations and planning sessions and all those things they call to make a good endeavour. But it will have a huge margin of error and it can fall crashing down anywhere from the North Pole to Timbuktu.

She aimed for the moon last month, and well, the toothpick rocket kind of ended hitting cow dung in a far flung farm, still very much on earth and in its most ungraceful bowels, if I may add.

She dared dream of new possibilities and extend herself. She takes risks. She puts herself out there. She dares make unconventional choices. And these unconventional things… both led to her doing and undoing.

“So remember when we were driving driving in your car… Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone,
be someone,
BE SOMEONE.”

She struggled to grasp at threads of her life, thinking of those moments where she belonged, where she felt like she was on top of the world. She was nowhere on top of the world as she tried to grasp those moments from her fleeting memories. But she knew that even when she has a hard time recalling those good times, it is there underneath, tucked away in an untouchable place in her soul for retrieval once she is done and over with this gruelling and empty phase of her drive of life.

“I know things will get better
You’ll find work and I’ll get promoted…”

She reels from the unemployment rates in her country and thinks that promotion is realistically more of having a roof above her head, good health, being surrounded by the people who means the world to her, and doing what she loves at a pace that is just right.

In a third world country, promotion is not really getting a higher paycheck. She acknowledges her lot in life and thinks that she’d be lucky to find an average-paying job where she is being treated as  a human being and not as an object or machine that can be turned on 24/7.

She struggles with the concept of value, and how twisted the world ascribes such value to people in merciless ways. She seeks a promotion in the form of carving her own path, because the previous paths lined up before her are all horribly unsuitable for what she dreams of for her life. But she does not know where to start, and she needs to continue putting food on the table than paint a picture of herself as a struggling artist.

“You got a fast car
I got a job that pays all our bills…
I got no plans I ain’t going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving”

So she does the one thing that her mom will not approve of but her soul needs. She departs and she soldiers on. She assesses who she is from the dark and bottomless pit. She decides to change her life.

She decides to draw tiny circles on a blank canvas when the world expects her to paint a Picasso, and judges it as GOOD ENOUGH FOR HER, for this space and this time of her life.

She affords herself the RESPECT that other people denied her. She learns to love herself in the dark nothingness. And she keeps driving upward until she finds the light again.

She acknowledges all the things that happened and realized that she was, in fact, VERY HUMAN for feeling these fast car feelings.

“You got a fast car
Is it fast enough so you can fly away?
You gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way”

She finally DECIDES. She chooses to stop climbing in the usual way as she has done, for insanity involves doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results.

She decides to fly in her fast car of life. And she no longer apologizes for the long-overdue decision she has made.

She knows that even when the rest of the world thinks that she is just another fast car, her soul is flying inside and there are things that make her VALUABLE enough to nurture her fast car feelings.

A Post for the Past

It’s truly impossible to get to where we are without being revisited by past events, by things that we did not understand then but shaped us to become who we are today. I think this post may seem more like Lent than Christmas but then, it all happened this December for a reason. I just realized that coming full circle, having an epiphany, and taking a higher step towards maturity is something that is welcome for all seasons. I need not wait for Easter or Ash Wednesday to think about these things.

Blast 1:
(around a week ago)

I am happy to report that I was finally able to face a person who caused me a slew of panic attacks almost 2 years ago. And I was shocked to find that the person seemed delighted to see me. Some pleasantries were exchanged. There were a few words to say, save for the sincerely meant “I’m happy that you’re fine and Merry Christmas.” I checked my breathing after the encounter and it was very normal. I no longer needed brown paper bags to comfort myself in this person’s presence. I was grateful and relieved that things turned out to be okay for this person and for me.

I also managed to go back to that place where I used to lock myself up and cry for an hour or two. It had zero drama although I had eerily clear memories of the things that happened there. I was even able to stay there for 6 hours straight without disturbing my inner peace. It was not a walk in the park or a cool breeze to go through. But I felt like I needed to experience it at this point in time so that I will know that God has been good enough to be there for me and it did not happen without cause, that things were not as hopeless, that things were not totally in vain. And one more thing: time actually heals all wounds even if it does not seem to show us how we have been progressing as we go through the healing process.

Blast 2:
(sometime mid-year and most recently, 15 minutes ago)

In addition, some apologies have been conveyed to me through other people this year. One particular person continues to handle the guilt feelings of hurting me nearly three years ago. I will not deny that I have always considered this person as one of the worst to have arrived at my life. For months, I asked the Lord why He punished me with so much. I wanted to die, I was dead inside, and I became undead. Then, I became alive again.

To the person who apologized: please be at peace. I reiterate that even if I wish you peace, I do not intend to see you now and forever. I hope you can respect that. I believe there is no longer any necessity for our paths to cross. I have gotten your message and I appreciate the apology. But I maintain what I said three years ago: this life I am living now deserves to exist in a manner that is fully divergent from yours, perpetually. I hope you do understand that this is for the best. It may sound so strong from a reader’s view, but you know exactly why this is so.

I cannot deny forgiveness which has been given to me super generously by the Big Guy in the sky. So I forgive you and I wish you well. But I hope that this year’s text message would be the last that I will receive from you albeit indirectly. Enough apologies have been said on the matter and what’s done is done.

I have good reason to believe that you are still able to read this blog. I hope that you recover and I wish you a very good life.

I have received this one message you sent for this Christmas, so please do not send me another one. Merry Christmas to you too for 2013 and all the years to come. It’s really awkward doing it like this, so I’m sorry. But I do not want to see you or make another already uncomfortable person reply to a message that was clearly intended for me.

Blast 3:
(around a week ago, again)

I was at a final wake in a funeral when I found a mellowed version of a loved one who has hurt me immensely. I felt no more anger but only sympathy. I will still keep my walls to protect myself from this person.

But I will not forget that the person underneath the painful words and actions is still part of family to me, a person with feelings that need to be treated with as much respect as humanely possible. No matter how much she has hurt me, I cannot deny an embrace at such a time of loss for me and her.

I realized that I can still give a sincere embrace and retain the right boundaries that keep people from crossing the line. Life is far from perfect, but if I can already do this, I think that life has taken a turn for the best.

End of drama. I’m writing something else.