Letter To My Recovered Self

Dear Self,

How are you doing? Did you do anything that makes you happy lately? So, I’ve noticed that you are getting comfortable with him again, even hanging out together though not just by yourselves. This is your sober self writing. I know you are very forgiving and trusting. Those are both your strengths and at the same time weaknesses. You have healed, I can see that. I even think you are back to your old self again, which is really nice.

However, I would like to talk to you about something. Don’t make the same mistake twice. I know that your getting comfortable hanging out with him makes you see the “good” side of him again. It’s nice to see the good side of other people but PLEASE don’t forget his “other” side that you saw also. Please, I don’t want to go through all the emotional abuse again.

He may have changed and that is excellent but please don’t be the guinea pig to know whether he is still toxic or not. Just let him be, let him go…if he would be happy with someone else, then good for them. It means God answered your prayer. Don’t wish to be that girl. You deserve better.

Be strong, be firm. Don’t just do this for yourself. Do this for HER also, and all the other people who have been through what you have. Make your life a testimony, that not everyone who experienced abuse will forever be victims. It is said that a victim goes back to her abuser seven times before she finally says “enough”. Be stronger than that.

Don’t waste this chance to freedom and chance of being in a healthy relationship where you would grow and be loved. You have to thrive, don’t just survive. Keep dreaming. Always remember that everyday is a new day. Always think of what you want to have, not what you had (they were all staged anyway).

Every time you feel like running back to whatever hurt you before, remember me, us. We’ve been through a lot to get us to where we are now. Don’t waste it. Let’s make a better life. Let’s make good choices. Let’s let God bring us to the place He wants us to be. I’m sure it’s not where we were.

All the love,

Self

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Trying the Connection Again

Before I get back to work, I want to share something. I just came from a Bible study camp-meeting. The focus was on Peter. I’ve heard Peter’s story since I was a child. I knew that he was a sort of leader of the disciples. He’s always with Jesus but in the end he betrayed Him but Jesus still forgave him. I know that story by heart. I’ve also heard of countless sermons about grace and forgiveness.

I heard. I heard them all…but it seems that I have not fully experienced them. Tonight, as I sat there listening, it felt that the message was made exactly for me. For several weeks now, I have been struggling. I know I drifted from God and every once in a while, I would draw close to Him again and with just a minor nudge, I would go my way again. I miss the connection I had with Him before. I wonder if it would ever happen again. The mistakes I did still have control over me very often and I would make up a lot of excuses to justify my deeds. I felt hopeless sometimes. I don’t want to sound dramatic here but that’s the truth.

It’s hard to believe because I was never this way before. But now I am. I promised myself that I would try everything to get connected with God again. I said I would make time in my schedule to attend the camp meetings. I thank God for bringing me there. Now, I desire nothing but to be connected to Him again, to finally be able to say, “here Lord, I am ready. Give me my assignment.”

Angels and Demons Part 2

For a while, I have forgotten the “angel” part of you. All I can see was the demon. It doesn’t help that I keep getting “excerpts” of your messages to her. I know now that a big part of the motive of the sender is to get my sympathy, to make me jealous probably, and to make sure that we never get back together. It worked.

There were times when I would lie in bed wondering what I was thinking, how I did not see the red flags waving, why I chose to go that path with you. I educated myself and learned more about the disorder and joined a forum of victims of people similar to you. I read their stories and it felt like it was my story they were narrating. The more I learned about it, the more I was convinced. I asked her also if she thinks you’re that kind of person and she said, “totally.”

For a couple of months, you are a demon in my sight. It did not help also that you confused how you treat me with her, you forgot that arrogance and fighting does not work with me. I don’t retaliate to such provocations. By doing such though, you just “demonized” yourself a lot more.

I decided to go “no contact.” It was not easy but I was able to do it. During that time, it helped that someone else was giving me attention, someone I also liked. That was when the Pastor decided to give a series on Joseph’s life (coincidence? lol).

The sermons focused on how upright he was. After that series, I have an ideal man in mind. The focus then shifted to Joseph’s father and grandfather; Jacob and Abraham. Jacob was a cheater, Abraham was a liar. Both are adulterers. Yet God used them mightily. God was able to transform them. They did not ask to be transformed. God just chose them and did whatever was needed to change them.

That was when I started looking at you differently. It’s probably the advantage of being a Christian. I saw you the way God saw those two patriarchs. I realized that no matter what evil you did, if God would choose you, He can use you in great ways. That was when the hatred disappeared. That was when I was able to let go.

Right now, I am happy whenever I see you active in church. I have yet to hear you participating in the Bible studies again. All of us have struggles, all of us have weaknesses. I hope and pray that God would bring healing to both of us. You damaged a part of me and by doing so, I discovered that there are more damages within that I did not give any attention of fixing because I was oblivious. You brought them all to light and because of that, no matter what you did to me or what we went through, I thank God for you.

Angels and Demons

Sometimes I think of you and I wonder what is going through your mind. I know a lot of things that I could not share to other people because they do not have to know. At the same time, they would not believe me also. I had a hard time explaining it to myself as well. I remember a conversation I had with Renee, a girl I met in Georgetown. I said, “I’m confused. I don’t know what to feel. I don’t know if I was really ever in a real relationship, with a real person. I feel like everything was made up. I could not believe he could do that…all the things he did to me are pure evil, and I still could not grasp that he is capable of such things because he looks like…an angel.”

Reading about a particular disorder after a few weeks made perfect sense and in a way, gave me closure…something that I would never be able to get from you no matter how much I might have begged for it. I remember talking to someone after “the decision.” She told me that I have to be very careful and really guard my heart because no matter how strong I may appear at that moment, I would never be able to tell if I could stick to my guns or give in to your charms once we talk again; because all the girls in the past were not able to move on. I wondered then how that would be possible. Now, I know. You don’t give anyone closure. If all the past relationships are like ours and the girl before me, I now understand. 
It’s funny that my description of you is almost a word-for-word description for other people, people who are like you, people who are not…normal. I prayed for you after we parted ways. As much as I feel bad for myself for getting hurt, I probably felt even worse for you. I can heal, I know I have a chance at true love, of being in a healthy relationship. I prayed for your miracle. That one day, you would stop craving for people and things you don’t have, that you would finally find real happiness. I’m still hoping that day would come. Hopefully, it comes when I can witness it. Then, I can fully say that God has indeed answered one of my most heartfelt prayers. If not, I feel bad for the next one…and I still feel bad for you. 
I know that you tried to make us work. It’s just that you have needs…and your needs require other girls. At that time, there is no girl that could make it stop. I know you also dream of having a family, of raising kids, getting known in the community. However, you just can’t resist the temptations. One day, you would get married (again?), start a family, have kids…but I feel for your wife. I can already imagine all the stress that she would have to go through to keep you and your family together. The fake laughters, the fake smiles, trying to maintain the image that everything is going perfect. 
However, the truth is she is losing sleep checking your emails, IMs, fb messages, texts, everything because she feels that something is wrong. She would try all the anti-aging creams and all the beauty products she could get but she would look and feel older and uglier than ever before. She would die a little bit each time you give another girl a glance because she knows your capability to flirt…she knows because she also fell for it. She would cry at night looking at your kids and looking at herself wondering if that is the kind of love she deserves. She would read every article on making relationships work and still feel like a failure. She would read checklists of ideal and/or healthy relationships and she knows that she is in the wrong one so she stops reading those stupid guidelines altogether. She would tell herself that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship anyway. 
Your future wife used to be very confident and she is talented and idealistic. She has a strong persona. But you were able to break her…and she is now walking on eggshells. You are trying your best to hide everything you are doing from her just so she does not get hurt and make you stop doing it. You know you can’t stop. You also don’t want to. It feels good for you, to feel wanted and desired, to be the center of attention, to get everyone’s sympathy…and you still feel hallow inside. Your happiness are all short-lived because they are all superficial, based on latest exploits. Once you get tired of your trophy, you would want another one, a different one, or one you have let go of temporarily. You are a player, a hunter, a circus master all in one. But when the lights are out and the show is over, you are still empty. That is why you always have to be in the company of a lot of people and at the same time withdraw from all the people. 
I wish I am wrong. Being friends with you again now and getting back a big portion of the attention you once gave me, I had to write this…because anytime, I might fall again. I have to remind myself that you are a good person in my sight once again but there’s another part of you that I have seen and I should not forget that. This is one of those moments when I feel the need to save me from myself. I am leaving soon, I don’t know if I would ever hear from you again. I honestly hope not. It would be nice to see you in the future but only after I have found myself the right guy already. I don’t want you to be a factor in my life and in my decisions once again. I want to be set totally free. 
It’s a big world out there. There may be a lot of people like you, but there are more people like me.

Am I Being Stupid?

It’s a new month again. Another month off my countdown. A few more and I’ll be saying goodbye to the place I call home for the past four years (almost). I’m still being asked if I’m really leaving and if there is still a chance for me to change my mind.

Honestly, I am in a point now where I am feeling scared. I have a job here…a big portion of our professionals are struggling to find a job that could make ends meet. I am in a good environment, no pollution, no traveling required to get to the workplace, I don’t have to pay for rentals, I have a car (that I love so much but I could not bring it home), I don’t have to worry about religious freedom, there is an assurance of a salary fortnightly. Why would I leave, right?

There are times when I would think of a lot of what ifs. I am also starting to feel homesick for this place. The people, the place, the activities…and the list goes on. I have adapted the island way of living.

Sometimes, I wish I am like most people. With that, I mean the people who has dreams that go like this: finish school, find a job, get married, get promoted (several times), have kids, retire. Life could have been a lot simpler for me and I would have gone a lot farther in my career already.

But as life would have it, I always choose to let go of things that are stable. Uncertainty definitely scares me…but certainty also does. If I don’t leave now, I know almost exactly how I would be years from now. I don’t have to look far, I just have to look around. There’s nothing bad with what I’m seeing, it’s just not how I dreamed my life to be.

I honestly don’t know where I’d be after Palau. I don’t have exact plans yet. I don’t know if there ever will be. But you know what the best part of my decision is? I started dreaming again. I would sometimes lose sleep thinking of all the possibilities. I would have an opportunity to work on what I really want. For that sole reason, I think I am making the right decision.

The quote that inspired me four years ago, inspiring me again now.