Fear and Empathy

Fear. A natural emotion and a survival mechanism.

I’ve a number of them, but until then that I’ve come to realize what my biggest fear is.

I’m a member of a broken family that witnessed the crumbling from within as early as six. The pain that I had is still there, alive and kicking after 18 years. And little did the six-year-old me know that this will affect me in my future relationship.

It took me quite a while to finally get myself into one, by the way. I took my time being single and was getting pretty good at it until someone came along. Yup, this 24-year-old just had his first boyfriend. I’m happy in what I’m in, yes. And I pray for this to last.

I started being a friend to him, and the good friend that I am, I showed empathy and was a good listener.

However, the empathetic side of me has taken its toll on me.

I’ve regarded being empathetic as a gift somehow, because I can easily put myself in somebody’s shoes and consider his/her feelings. This has helped me in my relationships to everyone I know and value. But some people say that it’s both a blessing and a curse to feel too much.

There are relationships (and families!) around me that are being broken up all because of cheating, and a third party in the picture. The same pain I’ve had as a child and while growing up — I just couldn’t help it but feel them all again right now that some people close to my heart are experiencing it. My heart is breaking into pieces all over again.

Now that I’m in a relationship of my own… I just couldn’t help but fear this to happen. I trust my partner, of course. But just the thought of the circumstance happening to me frightens me too much. It scares me deeply that I’m even crying just by thinking about it (and while writing this).

Overthinking? Yup, at one o’clock in the morning. Whilst I do my best to stop and get rid of these thoughts, it truly is not that easy to dismiss.

This, for me, is my greatest fear. And though I trust my partner about this, I need also to place my trust and confidence in my Heavenly Father. That He knows about my pain and will not allow for it to happen again with me as the direct party being inflicted of it.

Not easy, it never was and never will be. And so I pray that my heart be at peace and my mind be rid of all these negativities, day by day.

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Why do mean cheat?

This question has haunted me ever since I was a child — when I witnessed my father cheating on my mother. It’s something that has always, always given me a cloud of doubt whenever someone from the opposite sex shows interest in me. How sure could I be that they would not do the same thing? When even the man whom I expected to never hurt me gave me a wound that never really healed?

I was only six or seven years of age when my mother brought me with her to follow my father, who was apparently having fun with his coworkers in a restaurant. Fun it was, as he was also flirting with this one woman I could never forget the face of. My mother and I went home as she was struggling to keep her tears to herself. It was heartbreaking for a child my age. It was one of the days during my childhood that I still remember perfectly, and perhaps the day that I learned how to think and put the fragments of what was happening all together. My father has been coming home drunk more frequently and they’ve been having discussions with loud voices that me and my brother used to wake up in the middle of the night.

Eventually, they fixed it and my father changed somehow. My mother gave birth to the twins and things were going well. Or at least I thought it was. About three years after my youngest sisters’ birth, they were having arguments again and now even worse than ever. My mother was being beaten and my father being more drunk every night. I did not exactly know how to cope up with all that was happening but I tried to act normal despite the family crisis I was in. It went on until my mother left us to work abroad… and the rest is history.

Up to this day I could never comprehend as to why mean cheat. But some time over the past few years, I realized that I need not know all the answers to all my questions. It happens and we could never prevent that. I’ve made peace with this query and bit by bit, I’m starting to forgive my father. He is my father after all, isn’t he?

What saddens me is that he is known for this one deed he did that I could never deny or even defend him. And what evens doubles that sadness and pain is that  I couldn’t say at the very least that he was a good father. My happy memories with him go way back to the first five years of my life — and I deeply miss the father I had back then.

I’m starting to forgive him, yes. But it might take some time. I have this wound that never stopped bleeding ever since that day that I saw him with another woman . I choose to forgive because hating him could never ease the pain and could never make the burden any lighter.

So please. If a man is reading this, I beg you to choose not to cheat. You never know the pain you could inflict on everyone around you. Such pain echoes, and it shows.

22 and Single Ever Since

“Why haven’t you had a boyfriend since birth? Ah maybe you’re intimidating because you’re smart.”

“Perhaps she’s got a strong personality that boys don’t find attractive.”

“Is it because you’re not pretty enough to some? But you’re lovely! There must be something else wrong!”

“You must have been too focused on your studies that you didn’t even consider it in the future. The future you’re in now.”

“You’re not getting any younger! Or maybe you want to grow old on your own?”

Maybe you don’t prefer men?” (WHAT?! THIS IS THE WORST.)

ON AND ON IT GOES. I know I’m not the only one that heard these comments and ‘compliments’ from family, friends, workmates, and even strangers you’ve only known five minutes ago. I’m 22 years old and never had a boyfriend since birth. I still can’t entirely figure out why this is such a big issue to some.

I met a new group of girls and we were having a talk about relationships. I’ve been quiet the whole time until one of the girls asked me about that aspect of my life. I told them the truth and shared that I chose to remain single and did not give any intention to anyone that I wanted to be in a relationship. The girl who asked then said, “Girls, when a boy shows interest in us, we should entertain them because later on we’ll truly regret doing otherwise. We’ll come to a point when we feel lonely and seem that we have a part of us that’s missing.” 

We only met and here she is telling me that I made the wrong decision. No, I could not hold my silence and said, “I don’t regret it. I don’t feel lonely and I am not in need of anyone’s  attention to feel complete. I’m happy of my decision and he’s happy wherever he is. When I finally decide to get into a relationship I want to be whole and not half, making him complementary in my life and not just a piece of a puzzle I was looking for.”

She agreed in my opinion and we quickly changed the topic so as to get rid of the steam around us. Please, do not instill on everyone that we’re all halves meant to be made whole by respective partners. We can be single and complete with or without a romantic partner.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against being in a relationship nor do I plan on being single all my life. I’m a hopeless romantic. I love romance and I admire couples who’ve been through all sorts of storms but still manage to be together, and I do dream for a family of my own.

I’ve thought about this through and through for the past few months and I’ve come up with good reasons why I’m single and never been in a relationship:

1. I was focused on my studies. That doesn’t mean that anyone who’s been in a relationship while being a student means doing the opposite, it simply means that I did NOT show any intention of being in a relationship while I was one. I’m not pertaining that it’s a distraction, but for me it’s unfair to get myself in one when I couldn’t commit myself to invest time for him when obviously, he’s not a priority at that point of my life.

2. Trust issues. My father left home for that reason you were having in your mind. Unconsciously, the pain I had (or rather, I still have), in one way or another, is making me doubt whether I could trust any man. As open-minded as I may be, it’s not that easy to tear down the walls I’ve built over the years and risk my fragile self. It might take time before I could really trust a man with my heart, as the first man I ever loved broke it.

3. I don’t want a pastime relationship. For me it’s immature to get into one without the intention of marriage. I’ve witnessed the conflict this has brought to married couples. It doesn’t help to give a part of me to a man I’m not even sure of.

4. I want to be whole and pure for my future husband. Not everyone will understand this but this is my philosophy as a Christian woman, and those who understand already knows what I mean without any further explanations.

It’s not easy living in a society that sees single men and women incomplete. Not everyone is the same and we’ve all different perspectives in life. Some chose to stay single but are as happy as they can be. You see, singlehood should not be a burden to anyone but should be a stage where we all embrace our individuality without having to depend on anyone.

I choose to stay single for the time being. When the man for me comes it surely will not be easy to give up all the perks of being independent but I’ve faith he’ll prove to me he was worth the wait. Moreover, I believe he’s that one man I’d be willing to give up my single life on. For the mean time, let me work on being a better version of myself.

Wherever/whoever he may be… He’s one lucky man.

Hold on or Let go? 

A year ago I desperately wanted a job that I’d take anything offered on the table without thinking twice. 

Now I’m on this job anyone who only considers the pay would grab it in an instant. In the first place, I accepted this because of it. Not knowing what I was up to.

There’ve been ups with this job. I was able to provide for my family, bought new clothes, travel (both official and personal), and food trips with friends. But are these enough for  me to hold on longer?

I was still inexperienced when I accepted this, and on my first day I was already scolded. And on the next week, and the week after that. On and on it goes that I told myself that I should get used to it, that it’s part of the job, part of the learning process. 

It’s been eight months now. Eight months and I’m still learning. Is that a crime? 

Last Tuesday night I was on my way home from the hospital when the big boss called. My mind was disorganized and I had a lot going on in my family, so I just let her do all the talking. Then I went straight to my room and cried myself to sleep. Who wouldn’t do the same thing? Try putting yourself on my shoes before you tell me what to do. 

It’s been a week now and unusually, I haven’t received a call or text from her. Yes, I think I just lost my job. It’s as if she’s just waiting for me to submit a resignation letter. 

I really hate to admit that I need this job, but I need my sanity even more. Now I’m torn on whether I should leave or hold on a little longer, just up to the end of the year (end of contract). 

It’s toxic. Somebody send help. 

Just as the saying goes,

“Sometimes holding on does more damage than letting go.”

It’s Not Enough That He’s a Christian

joenasandiego.com

I’m sorry but you read it right and I mean it.

It’s not enough that he’s a Christian.

Beloved, you need to hear the truth.

Repent

1. There’s a lot of nice Christian boys, but not a lot of Godly men.
You see, a lot of guys out there can easily serve in the ministry. You can spot them in church every Sunday. Hitting the drums so passionately and leading the worship in all its honor and glory. Yet, are these really the marks of a guy whose life is fully surrendered to Jesus Christ? Are you seeing him leading younger men towards a greater encounter with the Lord? Are his words a reflection of God’s grace or better yet, do you feel God’s grace every time you talk to Him? Does he spend more time reading his bible rather than being cozy in the comfort of late night fellowships? Does he…

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