White abyss

A day unnoticed. Again. Every day passes unnoticed.

Sadness, unreasonable sadness. I am enveloped within a childish kind of sadness. I am weak, oversensitive, and hyperaware of everything. I crumble at every failure made. I curl up at every mistake committed. I always try to get myself back up by reminding me that happy people focus on what they have.

But the gap, the void, the space, the hollowness, they’re glaring at me yet again. I am okay. I am okay to an extent that can be called happy, but depression peeked over my shoulders feeling left out.

Why do I feel lost again
Why am I so obsessed with being sad

I always manage to get my life together and somehow, I always manage to flip it a day after. I am already contented. I am satisfied with how things are working out. It wasn’t perfect –-– there are many areas for improvement, but I no longer feel that bad about being like this.

I do not know how it’s called. How this is called.

An imagery. A garden where everything and everyone is elated. Colors everywhere; Humor ran around while Serenity rest content seated on the grasses, feeling the cool breeze. Happiness, of course, was the most prominent feeling in the garden. It radiated cheerfulness as bright as the sun. But, looking disquieted, he stood at a corner gazing at the direction where Sadness hid–––as if an older sibling concerned about the insecure and ignored little brother. And, as if stricken with guilt, he stepped out of the garden––-now leaving me seated at the center of this white abyss, across Sadness.

It skipped and hummed while it drew shadows, satisfied that he finally had the garden’s attention. The garden which he now bleached colorless. Both Humor and Serenity have gone out of sight–––but came Sarcasm and Emptiness to keep us company. Emptiness is peaceful like Serenity, he whispered, and that Sarcasm can replace Humor’s entertainment. It smiled, as if to assure me;

and though a faint one,

I responded likewise

with eyes cast down.

Thinking how disappointing it was

to have let it become selfish

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The tightwad inside

[Drafted post] [The names are changed]

I checked my email today before I sleep, and found two forwarded emails from Cecil and Carla. The other one’s from Anne. Found the ‘weloveufaye’ address on both the former, and it all makes sense now. I found the same address in the email Sir Espanto sent me. And I already have a good idea who did all of that.

Anne. Of course it’s Anne.

I haven’t posted about it, but Sir Espanto sent me an email last Monday. It contained the following message:

Congratulations, Ms. Fajardo:

I hope you didn’t mind me walking you to stage last Friday. Teachers, you know, are parents to their students too – in the exercise of vicarial responsibility. But I am sure your parents and siblings would have been proud if they were there. For that alone, it was truly a privilege on my part.
I should have sent this message earlier, in time for Sunday’s university graduation. The delay was deliberate as I wanted to make it solemn and sincere.

I think I understand now why you contemplated on cutting short your stay in UP. Believe me, I know how it feels to be alone. It seems staying and finishing the degree was a good choice after all. It was really brave of you. Any parent to a child like you would be truly proud.

I think you know your strengths so I am not going to list it down here. I do want to tell you though that you have more promise than you actually know. You have more potential than you would like to believe.

Most graduates in our discipline would opt to go, you know where, afterwards. That is the usual path for typical graduates of our field. You are not that type, of course, for you are more. I cannot force you to love my science but I think you will also do great with it. Then again, you can also choose to be typical. But where is the fun in that, right?

Whatever, whichever course you chart henceforth, I hope it leads you to the stars.
Congratulations,

[Manuel Espanto]

***

I was wondering why I didn’t bother post about that when I remembered that I don’t–––if not never–––write about happy things. Anyway, so that happened. I was really delighted by it. I know I don’t sound like it because I lack the appropriate punctuations but the happiness already passed and all I’m feeling right now is a sad kind of happiness.

Like the kind I didn’t deserve

Or the kind withheld from me for a long time and was given a chance to touch tonight.

I read all the emails and I’m crying. But mostly due to Anne’s email.

I’m crying because I don’t know what to say. I don’t know the right words to say. And I loathe myself because I can’t appreciate her enough.

I don’t know. I don’t understand what genuinely selfless people like her sees in genuinely rotten people like me

It’s mind-boggling. It’s leaving me at awe

It leaves me at awe that I was actually capable of being loved, of having someone look up to me with constant admiration and amazement in her words

I least deserved to be loved like that

I least deserved to be loved by people like her

It rains every night but tonight was a downpour
I’m sobbing and my chest is burning

I didn’t think I really have friends at all
I didn’t think it really mattered
I didn’t think I could impact a life
I didn’t think there is that much value in every thing I say

It’s funny how people unrelated to you can appreciate you better than your family. Haha, funny world

But thank you, God

Thank you

The fault in (my) words

My life lately basically moved in between sleeping, eating, reading, and watching animes. Not that I have a problem with it, but it sure does require some getting re-used to. My senior life in college was practically the opposite of that—I couldn’t stay put in a room, a quiet one at that, and I constantly seek to hang out with my friends and orgmates, or with anyone for that matter.

I’ve become dependent on the company of people, haven’t I?

Well, it seemed like it. Funnily enough, no one believes me anymore whenever I claim to be introverted. Almost everyone thought otherwise. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s a bad thing. Maybe both. Why am I confining the thing in the first place?

But for a moment, I wondered if it was actually the case now. I began hanging out with people I barely knew. I began craving new faces, new voices, new people in my life. The small circle I used to bind myself in began expanding—but, it was a change I’ve acknowledged and realized a long time ago. For some reason the fact overwhelms me again. A matter of restrospection, could it be? It’s only from a restrospective view of things do we realize the full weight of the changes that occurred in and to us, and in everything and everyone around us, after all.

But, I couldn’t distinguish the me now from who I’ve always thought I was. Is this the person I have always been? Or the person I always wanted to be and have finally become?

Did I lose myself, or simply found it?

And yet I wonder if the answer to those even mattered.

I wonder if this thought engagement should be taken as a positive thing, because I only write when I’m lonely. I never learned how to write about happy things, because majority of the words in my vocabulary are associated either with sadness or hatred.

Initially, I wanted to write about Sarah.
I wanted to write about how she doesn’t understand how important she’s become to me, and I will never mean to hurt her.

But I was never good at appreciating people and things.
Or at least, I was never good at expressing appreciation.

I don’t know the right way to keep people, the right way to keep friends, the right way to keep people I hold dear.

Because I always end up destroying everything I love.

You’ve grown on me. I’ve become severely attached to you. You’ve become too important. I was convinced I wasn’t born like everyone who were born in pairs, who needed to find the other pair to be complete, but you came. You came and I thought maybe I needed something, something like ‘the other half’. But these are things I don’t casually tell people, not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t know how. I was straightforward, but I’m not good with words; I had a knack for confrontations and debates, but I don’t know how to communicate appreciation and gratefulness. I can only communicate sadness.

I don’t know how to properly patch things up without making it worse, without saying things that will only fuel the fire.

How do you make someone understand something you don’t understand yourself?

How do you evade the fallacy and ridicule that comes along with justifying a supposedly wrongdoing?

Is there a better way to put it? A better way to make it understandable and comprehensible?

That the people we loved the most are the ones we were most cruel to?
It doesn’t need logic, does it?

I’m sad.
I’m lost.

I’ve been self-destructing and self-loathing since that day and I’m beginning to lose my mind. I began hating social media. I immersed myself into other things, anime mostly, to steer my thoughts away.

And little by little, I’m beginning to seal the void I thought you were made to fill in.

Little by little, I’m starting to get re-used to this.

Feeling like this.

Feeling nothing.

Dissonance

My depression hasn’t been around for a while now, but when it comes it sure does a lot of damaging to my brain.

How odd. How odd it is to feel everything and nothing at the same time. I don’t understand how sadness can come out of nothing, nor how people can feel exactly opposite things simultaneously. The only thing I know is that this kept happening to me. And I’m always left feeling unable to distinguish what’s real from what isn’t.

I’m always conflicted about how I should deal with things when shit suddenly decides to blow up. Voices, there are too many voices inside my head. The emotional and the logical one. The quiet and the talkative. The friendly and the snob. Happy and lonely. Each of them siding on two opposing entities; bluntly put, between who I am, and who I wanted people to think I was.

I’m always torn between protecting the peaceful life I have, and speaking up to rectify the bullshit being paraded right across my face––-I see things, I understand, and I keep quiet about them–-–as much as I want this to be the case, the urge to do the latter becomes stronger whenever I realize people see the same stupidity but choose to keep quiet. I cannot not do anything.

I can’t. It’s stifling. I can’t just shut up even if it is the better option.

And that’s some serious problem.

I am unable to enjoy the “peaceful” life because I keep getting into trouble. I keep getting hated, being made fun of for saying what everyone couldn’t. I keep thinking about the damage I made and how people will try to get back at me. I think about, just every thing.

I am in dire need of a peaceful life but this deadly urge to correct the bullshit every time just makes it a glaring impossibility.

There will always be this vexing disharmony between what I want and what I do.

A feeling long forgotten, trapped in a memory

Note: The names are changed. (Still undone)

Last night, when Sarah and I were reflecting about our lives, a realization hit me.

It was 2am. We were talking about a lot of things. We were pondering on every stupid thing we did and were about to do, when we started discussing the consequences of confessions.

Yep, confessions.

She had planned to confess to Peter the following week. Her feelings have become toxic to her. She overthinks and overanalyzes everything nonstop, and it’s becoming destructive. She never tires of creating conclusions based on far-fetched assumptions and incomplete information, despite realizing it’s to her own detriment. She needed answers. And she bothers Beth and I a lot. Way, way, lot.

But the thing is, what we have were merely conjectures like her own. We don’t know Peter the way she does. And Peter alone has the answers she’s looking for. Does he feel the same? He probably has a clue, right? Why is he awkward? Why did he ignore me that day? He thinks I’m being stupid, right? Maybe he doesn’t even care? But why won’t he talk to me? God, you go add to the sequence. It’s the same stupid questions you’ve probably thought of or came across yourself. I’m guessing it’s driving her insane because her feelings felt too foreign, and it’s overwhelming her.

Beth and I advised her to confess already because that’s the only step she has to move forward. Her world has stopped. She couldn’t study, she couldn’t do anything because he fills up her mind. (Oh, how familiar. Overly at that) She would argue that it’s too early, that she’s not even sure about how she feels yet, and Peter might think she’s ridiculous. Trust me. There’s no talking her out of this. It’s gotten exhausting, actually. Calming and consoling her can get pretty tiring. We always had to rationalize things for her, as if everything always has to make sense. Every tiny detail about that night when she developed feelings for him, I got completely covered. We’ve basically dissected every word uttered and every movement made then. I can seriously write a novel about that one night, basically a shit ton of overanalysis of gestures and semantics, and details distorted due to heavy overthinking. I don’t even know why I carry this burden. Humans call this friendship.

Anyway, while on our beds, we were contemplating about the implications of whatever response he’d give her. The other day, she told me that Peter might accept her feelings thinking that she’d be a “waste”. She’s got a point—of course, under the assumption that Peter never got a confession before. After a couple more exchanges, I concluded that whether he returns her feelings or not, she’s damned either way. She’s still going to dissect whichever response he gives her. Although she could be right about the ‘waste’ part.

Because it’s how it is for most people, right?

When you find out someone out there sees you the same way you see someone you like, it makes us happy. It is elating and fulfilling. You’d think you were doing something right. You were doing something beautiful. It makes us even more happy when that person gathers up the courage to confess, because not everyone has the guts to do that.

But sometimes, how we respond to those feelings can render us selfish. We liked it. We liked the thought of someone being invested in us. We liked the thought of being important, of being the center of someone’s universe. Some of them even put us on a pedestal. And sometimes, though indirectly, or unintentionally, we end up giving them false hopes. We make them wait. We take advantage of their vulnerability.

They are left hanging, suspended on the unknown—just so we don’t lose them. We knew it was selfish. We knew. But we don’t want to lose them.

Or more accurately, we don’t want to lose the beauty, the importance, or the wonderful things they attribute to us. We don’t want to lose that feeling of being special. It’s understandable.

We circled around that topic when my confession to George crossed my mind. To be honest, I have moved on and forward — suffice it to say that since that day, I have become better. But I’m not happy for him. In fact, sometimes I want him to regret not choosing me. All that for my ego, though. It’s not because I still have emotional investments.

And then I realized that whenever I think of him, or talk about him, all I remember was everything he was after the bad things occurred. That night, it dawned me that after the confession, I barely remembered the reasons why I liked him. I barely remembered the good things about him, or the memorable things he did and we did together.

Like how, randomly, he would text me just to tell me that the moon that night is stunningly beautiful. He knew how much I loved the moon. He knew how much invested I was in the stars.

Or when he was dismissed in class and instead of going straight to the tambayan, he would sit with me on the bridge strangely carrying a washtub. He would pester me, and I’d be just happy talking to him.

Or when he’d withdraw and ask me to tag along, and then we’ll walk around the oval debating on the philosophy of confessing. Little things. We talked about life a lot. We talked about a lot of things. We talked about everything, and it felt like a lifetime would not be enough to talk about the things we could. You do not meet a lot of people who you could naturally and intellectually share your sentiments about the world with. Just like what Celine said in Before Sunset, when we’re young we think we’d connect with many people—later in life we’d realize it only happens a few times.

And we could ruin it, you know. Misconnect. 

I guess he was someone I really connected with. And misconnected.

 

I forgot.

I forgot how and what I actually felt for him after the confession.

Now, my feelings are raining on me.

Now, it dawned on me that I actually, immensely, profoundly, really liked him. For everything he was. For everything he had been.

But everything he did and everything he was after the confession blindsided me into thinking that he was simply a puzzle I preoccupied myself with because I was bored. That I did not like him—I was bored, I was just bored. And that I mistakenly—or subconsciously—chose to de-bore myself with a mere douche, a conceited jerk who’s completely naive of his own egotism and narcissism.

He was a douche.
But he was a douche along other things.

He was the person I liked, the person I admired, the person who made me happy. He was the person who once made every waking moment meaningful.

And the same was with everyone I decided to remove in my life. They were toxic along other things.

That night, I slept with tears wetting my pillow.
I slept wondering what it is that I have forgotten, what it is that memory has resurrected.

It was a feeling long forgotten, trapped in a memory buried deep in my insides, imprisoned, meant to be locked up for goodness knows how long.

Whatever it is, however, the fact remains that George is just a memory now, a small memory now relegated to the past. And it shall stay there.

Blind side

December 31, 2015
5:45am (drafted post)

About five days ago, Dad came over. He visited us after Christmas to see baby Coleen.

I was glad. I liked talking to Dad once in a while, but I honestly don’t like if he sticks around too long. We talked about many things when he offered to drop Mich and I off in Santolan. But it didn’t actually turn out well. I don’t know. It’s either because I’m too feisty, or his point didn’t come across to me properly. Nonetheless, I don’t like people telling me shit I already know. I don’t like people devaluing my hard work just because theirs didn’t amount to something worthwhile. I don’t like people imposing me their belief system.

I don’t like people preaching around like a damn saint just because they’re claiming to have found their salvation.

It disgusts me.

Dad and I somehow got into an argument because he keeps insisting his opinion, and when I point that out he disclaims it. He started blabbering about this thing between using your heart and brain. Somewhere around the lines “you’ll end up really sad if you only always use your brain”. Don’t know. Numerous clichéd lines you probably know.

It came off as an offense. It felt like he’s trying to tell me that I’m all just about brains, no heart. Jeezus. I don’t even know where he’s getting all the crap he’s saying. He doesn’t know anything about me, about any of us siblings. He’s just a person who happened to have ‘our dad’ label.

And it pisses me off.

That exchange didn’t seem enough when he stayed around for another day in the house, even inviting my young cousin Harris for a drink. He began preaching about some random thing again about courage, and I jokingly corrected his pronunciation. They all laughed, and Ate Ten pointed out, “Taga-UP yan! Haha”, which I didn’t exactly liked. Then Dad started blabbering again about this story about his friend who happened to be from UP as well. He told us about how this certain friend’s intelligence went to his head, and when they had a fight he remembered reciting a couple of supposedly staggering lines to get him through his senses. He kept pointing out that his friend’s being from UP wouldn’t have been possible without his help. And that his intelligence is complete naught if he ain’t street smart, to which Dad accredits himself.

Thing is, it’s the same stupid sequence. He starts blathering on about things he could glorify himself with, and puts down other people for relying on their brains. I didn’t understand. It ticked me off. In fact, Dad is smart. Mom had stories about him in high school when he’d ace exams without studying. And I could tell he is because he has a wide set of vocabulary. And he speaks well.

Is it insecurity, Dad?

That night, I know Dad realized he pissed me off. Because I kind of exploded when he continued his bullshit story. Almost shouting, I exclaimed how I should have just fuck it over with my damn studies if they’re just gonna give me a lot of crap for supposedly being “intelligent”. What the fuck do you want? Weren’t you all the one who wanted me to become who I am now? Weren’t you, lolo, and lola the ones who pressed me into doing all these fuckery now? You all made me think I needed to be somebody when I grow up, and the only way to that is to become who I am now. And now that I am who I am now, you’re giving me that crap? Bullshit.

What I told him wasn’t much, in fact it was short, because I said that in a slightly blind rage. But it was long enough to make him realize he crossed the line.

I vented out on twitter, wondered how pathetic insecure people are, because they’d try to put you down for everything you are, because everything you are is everything they’re not. I know it was mean of me to think of Dad that way, but he really hurt my pride. He didn’t have the right to be proud of me.

Two days after, Dad was back here again. When he arrived, I asked him why he was here, in my attempt to be rude. I know, how immature. Anyway, Ate told me he left his charger so he dropped by. Then I left to meet Dhea in UP Town Center.

A few minutes after arriving back, I found myself fooling around my siblings over Mich’s ridiculously bleached hair. And then Ate Ten mentioned that Dad would probably reprimand Mich if he sees her tonight. Surprised, I asked her if Dad’s staying in. She confirmed it, saying it’s just for the day. I’m guessing Dad went out to hang out with his friends so as to not waste his trip here (he lives in Pampanga, with my grandparents). And then I went acting annoyed. Ate Ten brought up the day when I burst out in front of Dad, told me Dad talked to her that night, saying he was surprised and saddened by how I reacted. To make the story short, I ended up arguing with my sister and her boyfriend about it, both of them insisting that I got it wrong. And Dad was sad. I know Dad is insecure, because I know despite his brains, he didn’t have a good life. He was a drug addict. Grandpa put him into rehab thrice, and was banished many times. I know life fucked him over, but that doesn’t give him the license to behave like that. I can’t help but be angry with him, even for reasons that didn’t involve those certain exchanges. It’s just like me. When this kind of things happen, flashbacks would haunt me. Specifically the bad ones. They always seem relevant when something’s fucking up in my life. I then remembered the days when I was a kid, barely familiar with the world. I was five then, and from school I arrived to a sight of Mom crying quietly in the living room, her neck bleeding; my younger sister screaming and crying apparently locked down in one of our rooms. And then I was seven. I woke up to the sound of two women crying and pleading. Slightly opening the door, I could see Dad throwing punches at mom, who’s apparently trying to cover and protect my then 16-year old eldest sister, who went home at 11pm to Dad’s rage. There were many. I witnessed a lot of things – awful, sad, tragic – when I was young. And almost all of them were times when I’d just stand there quietly, crying because I can’t do anything. My childhood wasn’t particularly happy, but it wasn’t exactly miserable either. To be fair, there are good memories with Dad. We were happy once. There were a lot of pictures of us looking really happy and content. I don’t know. Drugs fucked him up. And it broke our family.

And then Ate and Karl told me that it must be really difficult for Dad to deal with those insecurities because he knew he wasn’t able to fulfill his role as a father to us, and maybe it’s eating at him. And perhaps, whenever he gets together with his friends, they ask about us and he couldn’t say anything because he doesn’t really know anything. Maybe he didn’t expect us, especially Mom, to get through everything despite him abandoning us. Maybe he was drowning in regret, and this was the least he could do.

How much of it do I don’t understand, really?

Somehow, after that, my anger faded. And I’m writing this. Because I’m sad.

I’m sad for a lot of reasons. And I’m still trying to figure them out.