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I am not very good at keeping boundaries. I find it hard to say no, even at the expense of my own time, money, health, and well-being. I don't have to rehash history; I perfectly know this is rooted in being a "parentified" child, when I had to constantly sacrifice my own needs and wants for the sake of others. I was made to believe that I had to be sacrificial, otherwise I'm a horrible person who deserves to be subject to verbal abuse. And what of my own needs? What of it? They don't matter.

While this has molded me into an agreeable, people-pleasing person, of course it eventually led to burnout. Nobody can healthily undergo self-denial without being filled, and for no good reason other than putting what others want first. No wonder I thought I didn't matter. No wonder my self-esteem plummeted.

It's only now that I'm learning to say no, and to be honest, I still feel guilty about it. There's still the urge to be a "yes person" all the time, to be a martyr. But each time I say no, I choose how I want to spend my time. This is not selfishness, but keeping healthy boundaries. Because nobody will respect those boundaries if not for myself.

Tamang kilig lang

Me: Sa tingin mo, gaano tayo katagal magtatagal?
H: Bakit mo naman tinatanong yan? Sawa ka na ba sakin?
Me: Hahaha hindi no. Estimate mo lang. :p
H: Sa tingin ko mga 40 years. Bago ako mamatay at age 67. Of prostate cancer.

*in his bed, lying beside each other
Me: Are you happy?
H: Why are you asking these questions? Sawa ka na?
Me: Hindi. Wala lang. Kasi ang dalas natin mag-away recently. Nung christmas nag-away tayo, bago tayo pumunta sa splash island, tapos new year nag-away din tayo.
H: but we're here now, right? So it doesn't really matter. Of course i'm happy.

Mental health awareness - family version

People still think people with depression (and other related conditions like anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, OCD) just have a "coping problem" and "lack of faith". They should understand that it's a sickness, just like other physical ailment but it's an illness of the mind. It is not their fault. Just like other illness, it needs to be treated. People don't just "get over it" the way diabetics don't just "get over" diabetes by not eating too much sugar.

I had a conversation with my mother about depression. It was about another person, not me. I haven't really opened up to her about my case (she doesn't even know I'm actually diagnosed). This is the first time I got to hear her thoughts about it. It went down like this:

"Sa tingin ko lahat naman ng tao nadedepress. Part talaga yun ng buhay. Kasi pag tao ka mararamdaman mo talaga yung ups and downs."

"Pero hindi lahat ng tao nagiging clinically depressed."

"Oo nga, kulang lang sila sa pagcope. Lahat naman ng tao dumadaan sa mga problema, nasa pag cope lang."

"Kahit lahat ng tao nagkakaproblema, yung may major depression o severe depression iba rin pinagdadaanan nila."

"Kaya nga, bakit hindi sila maka-cope? Tsaka dapat nagdadasal sila, kapag may faith ka tapos magdasal ka automatic naman yun bibigyan ka ni God ng peace of mind diba?"

"Hindi rin automatic ah. Yung iba years pa rin nagsstruggle kahit ilang dasal o kahit gaano katindi pa paniniwala sa Diyos."

"Basta dapat kumapit lang sa Diyos. Yung friend ko nga si B*** O** grabe din pinagdaanan nun, may 6 na anak siya tapos inabandona ng asawa. Eh mayaman pa naman asawa nun. Tapos kung saan-saan na lang sila nakikitulog, kawawa naman. Tumira lang sila sa garahe. Pero ngayon meron na siyang anak na nakapagtapos, ang laki na ng sweldo tapos tumutulong sa kanya. Nakaka-inspire yung ganun diba? Kaya dapat kahit anong problema, maniwala ka na malalampasan din yun."

I know she means well pero medyo sala pa rin ang intindi niya. Hindi na ako nag-push masyado kasi sobrang daldal ng nanay ko, mas marami pa rin siya sinasabi kaysa sa akin. Lol. Someday though, I hope people would understand that mental illness IS A  REAL SICKNESS, and people struggling with it DO want to get better. They are doing the best they can. They are doing everything they can. Even if that means just getting out of bed, making a meal, taking a shower. Normal people take it for granted that they can do that every day but for some people just to be able to do that means winning the battle in your mind.

So Ji and I went out like this on Halloween.

The perfect joker laugh right there.

As we rode public transportation from our house to Cubao to Laguna, reactions varied from:
"Nyaaaay! Mumu!"
"Ayan na mga zombies! Train to Busan!"
"Uy si Dracula!"

No one got the reference.

At first I was kinda embarrassed doing that stunt but I got a kick out of people's reactions. Haha. The adventurous side prevailed.

That day was also the day I slurped down soy sauce and ate 2 siling labuyo because of a dare. And my mouth paid the price for it for about half an hour later. :P Grabe the things you make me do, ji. You carry me away with your excessive Ne. Haha. But I must admit, it was fun. :D

I deserve it.

That feeling when malaman mo na kapag kinukuwento ka ng kapatid mo sa kaibigan niya, puro reklamo.

"Si ate walang kwenta nakahiga na naman buong araw"
"Hindi man lang nagluto buong araw, wala man lang ginagawa"
"Kabuwisit siya lang ba may problema? Buti nga siya nagagawa niyang maging depressed lang. Kung pwede lang ganun na lang din gawin ko"

And the worst part is. I agree with her. Nagegets ko kung bakit siya nagrereklamo. Ako yung mas matanda, i work when I can, pero mas hardworking siya. Maraming beses ang loser ko lang talaga. At apathetic na ko sa mga nangyayari. Wish ko nga maaksidente ako o mawala na talaga sa mundo...para makuha nila claim sa insurance ko. Para kahit papano may kuwenta na ko.

Wala talaga kong kuwenta. Oo tama siya. Wala nga kong kuwenta.

I competed in the special olympics today.

Seriously, nakakapagod makipag-debate sa internet. Nobody ever changed anyone's opinion because of a random internet stranger's argument. Well, maybe in r/CMV. But online debates pretty much just devolve into flame wars or name-calling. Mas gusto ko pa makipag-debate in real life, at least never ako napikon in real life. At hindi nakakatamad mag-type.

So today there was this post in the closed FB group Taga-UP Diliman Ka Kung... it was an article about how correcting other people's grammar is pointless. And there's this Random Internet Stranger I got into an argument with (petty, but pretty tame for internet standards).

Disclaimer: The following is an exaggerated, biased summary of comments that paints me as the level-headed, rational one and the other person as a caricature. TBH naging snarky and sarcastic din ako.

RIS: No!! Grammar Nazis FTW! Without them we'd have linguistic anarchy
RIS #2: Free quality education is the answer! Not being grammar nazis ;)
RIS: Does irrelevant calculations
Me: Hey, I think you missed the point
RIS: It's just ONE PERSON's opinion. And I disagree with him.
Me: Actually it's what the experts also say
RIS: I think for myself!! You are just conforming to their opinion
Me: This is why you are wrong, let me present reasoned arguments
RIS: But the person interviewed in the article is not a even linguist! Ha!
Me: I didn't get it from him alone. Here, have some *scholarly* references.
RIS: You are being pretentious!
Me: ---> the point

your head

RIS: You're just covering your ass! I'm outta here. Boring!

must be the april spell

April was my first kiss. First time I said yes after making pakipot for nearly a year. April was when I first snuck in someone's room when their parents weren't around. It was also April when I spent hours on the phone crying, trying to hold on to something that has long slipped away, until I fell asleep on the floor.

Tides turn, April brings something -- someone -- new.

To the most exciting thing to happen in my life, the craziest gamble I made, the surest uncertainty I met: you know who you are. You came unexpectedly but it was the sweetest surprise ever.

You're the Heart to my Brain, spontaneity to my structure, yang to my yin, Ne to my Si. We complement each other so perfectly it gives credence to the Greek myth of Zeus splitting people into halves. Who knew my other half was just living somewhere at the other end of the MRT.

One month feels like a lifetime ago.

But this is just the beginning. :)

P.S. I just noticed I used quite a lot of adverbs in this post. Amateur. Haha. :))

Tinopak ang keyboard

Typing trying to tewt keyboqre why iw it like thiw???

Ano ok na kaya ang samsung keyboard? Tinotolak pa rin :( aamaung amaung aamaung waaaaa

Ailly ally wanta to bake pie
Ahw awlla aeaahella on tha aeaahorw

Ok how about now? Ive tried clearing data and doing force atop on àmaung keyboard. The 's' key ia atill not working properly!!! Asassaasaa aaaasaaaaasaaasaaaaaaaaaaasssssssas

I know! I have to press it on the lower right edge.. assa aassa aass haaaay ao inconaenient

Ahe swlla aaaahella on the aaaahore

Shw aella eaahella on the seaahore

I tried reatarting the phone but the keyboard atill aucka. :( arghhhh

Shw sella aeashella on the aeaahora
Ahw aella aeaahella on the awashore

Tried clear data again..ooh look like it's working better now!
She sells seashells on the seashore

Yaaay! But boo for you, samsung keyboard.

Flashback Friday: Teenage angst edition

Year 2006. Third year high school ako. Consistent Director's Lister, class president, active sa theater group and Christian org. Also, a "parentified child" (ngayon ko lang nalaman may term pala dito). We had parents but we had no parents basically.

Week ng perio. Nag-aral ako buong weekend, being the good student that I was (lels I know, how far I've fallen!).

And this is the last thing you'll expect to hear the day before periodic exams start:

"Puro naman sarili mo lang iniintindi mo... dapat inuuna mo ang pag-aayos sa bahay."

Thank you so much for your narcissistic parentification!

Source: March 5 2006


Adding another good one. I'll never forget this one. In third year I was also part of the cheerleading group of our batch. The cheer competition is a pretty big deal, and we would practice for MONTHS before the competition. Our batch was really going for championships this time, and we had a good shot at winning.

The day before the competition, we had a final practice. I even twisted my ankle during the dismantling of one pyramid. But I still rallied on! Cheerleader rah rah rah spirit! And since I was an officer I had to stay to make sure the batch shirts were distributed. We packed up at 10 PM. Since it was already late, one of my classmates offered to give us a ride ("us" being those who commute). I got home past midnight, accompanied by classmates and driven by their parents.

While we were in the car I informed my father that I'm on my way home. Because he requires us to tell him when we get home. Because he rarely comes home.

He was furious.


Eh final practice na po kasi ng cheerdance namin, bukas na yung competition..tsaka nag-distribute pa kami ng batch shirts. Ihahatid naman po ako hanggang bahay kasi nga late na po.. (I didn't say it as cool as this. I was crying and intimidated)


eh kasi officer po ako--


oo nga po kaya nga ihahatid na din ako hanggang bahay--



(Wala akong nasabi, nanginginig na lang ako at umiiyak. Iniisip ko paano yun, sayang lang yung ilang buwan na practice namin kasi nagalit ka? Isa ako sa flyers, masisira lang yung pyramid at performance kasi somehow your anger trumps everything?)

Masyado kasi akong deferential sa magulang ko. If that were to happen today eto na lang magiging reaction ko:

(WTF? Sige stop me. Wala ka naman sa bahay eh pano mo ko mapipigilan hahaha)

Pero grabe ang weak ko lang talaga nun. Eto pa ang naiisip ko:
"A million protests coursed through my mind, but I couldn't verbalize a single one."
"I was determined to go, but going without permission was out of the question."

Guuuurl sana mag-rebelde ka naman kahit minsan. To rebel is justified if conditions are unjust.

Anyway good ending naman kasi ni-lift din niya yung pagbabawal sakin (Tinawagan pa siya ng batch president namin para pakiusapan na payagan na ako sumama sa competition.)

Source: September 2 2006

On a related note, yung isa kong kapatid naman pinagbawalan din niyang mag-compete sa isang UAAP event. Swimming varsity siya. Pero tumakas yung kapatid ko at tumuloy sa events niya at nanalo siya pa siya ng medals. EDIT: Hindi daw pala galing sa UAAP yung medals nya sa swimming, sa UPIS lang yun. Oops my bad.

Kumakatok uli ang isang kaibigan

Tawagin natin siyang Depression.

For the past, oh I dunno, six or seven weeks, nagiging insomniac na naman ako. Hindi makatulog kahit anong pilit ko. Naging normal nang gising hanggang pagsikat ng araw, saka naman ako makakatulog, kaya naman tanghali na makakarating sa lab, maghahabol ng lahat ng kailangan gawin sa hapon, papasok sa klase, may tutor pa hanggang gabi, at pagkatapos gising pa rin magdamag at magpupuyat. Rinse and repeat.

Dahil sa weird na naman ang body clock ko nega na naman ang epekto nito sa aking self-esteem. Feeling ko wala na akong kakayahang maging normal functioning adult. Hay. Tila wala akong control, i feel so helpless. I always resort to escapism; I shun responsibility. I waste hours and hours on the internet accumulating useless trivia and reading endless listicles, playing time-wasting games.

Minsan naman kinokonsensiya ko na sarili ko. Kaya ginawa ko, banned ako sa paggamit ng ipad. Kaso cellphone ko naman kinaadikan ko. Dinelete ko lahat ng social media apps and distracting apps sa phone. Kaso hahanap at hahanap pa rin ako ng paraan to waste time. Regardless of the gadget, ako talaga yun eh. The will to escape reality is inside me and will do whatever it takes to get what it wants. It brings temporary relief but i feel overwhelmingly guilty after. It's a vicious cycle.

I try to get my act together, it works for a few days, and then i crash and burn and I'm back to feeling like a loser. It's really a cycle. I haven't been eating well again, some days I go on without eating anything at all and other days I binge and stuff it all in.

I scheduled a counseling session in CeFaM last week. It was quite helpful, and my counselor said she'd refer me to a psychiatrist so I can get a proper work up. The thing is the pdocs in CeFaM are out of the country so I still have to wait until they get back. In the meantime I'll try to live, even if it takes every strength of my will to go on. I know I'm not alone.