At 10, I experienced bullying…
I was on my 5th grade that time, everyone calls me “blacktooth” because my front tooth was literally black. I was good in Art but nobody noticed that, people only see how you look and judge you by that. I have this potential to lead my batch mates in Girl Scout, but my teacher choose other kid because yeah! Who will respect a bullied girl like me?
At age 10, I lost my self-confidence…
On my 6th grade, I get used to of being called by silly names and my classmates eventually got tired of making fun of me. 6th grade was the time that you will graduate from elementary to high school year, yey! That sounds exciting (roll eyes). A mandatory graduation picture was conducted.
The photographer told me that I look like someone he sees on TV, as a child who was being bullied since day one, of course I feel flattered. But then, he told me that I look like that comedian girl who puts chocolate in her tooth just to look funny. I got hurt and felt shy to smile in front of the camera, my elementary graduation picture was a mess.
At 6th grade, I lost my smile….
2nd year High school, I was trying to climb my grades up just to prove everyone that even if I look like this, I am worthy of respect, I am enough and I am more than just a bullied girl.
But then I fell in love
I thought I was in love
I had my first boyfriend at age 13, as a girl who was being bullied almost her entire life, a girl who felt ugly and nothing, having someone who makes you feel that you were loved and beautiful is everything. I was in love that time, so in love that I even let my grades fall down and let the opportunity to prove myself to everyone to just be gone. I was so head over heels that time until I figured out that he was just playing tricks on me, that the only reason why he courted me is because I have high grades and he could use me to pass his grades.
I was a fool, stupid and ugly little girl
I was so ambitious, do I really think that there could be someone that can love me?
At age 13, I trust no one…
3rd year high school….
My teacher asked us to write a poem, I write poems when I was sad…. I’m always sad… so I always write.
“ tanikalang di mahigpit,
At ang kaniyang himig
Yan ang aking bitbit
At ang kaniyang pag ibig…”
My teacher got mad, she told me that I plagiarized that poem, and someone like me can’t make a poem as beautiful as that.
I cried while telling her that I was not lying and I really did that poem,
She didn’t believe me, she was so mad that time and didn’t even bother listening to me
I told her that “how can I plagiarized someone else’s poem if you ask us to do this on the spot?”
She just shut me up.
At 15, I stop writing poems…..
4th year high school, senior prom.
The worst part is yet to come…..
Gowns, heels and dances are not really my thing, but since we are obliged to attend this hell ball and I never wanted to be the “kill joy”, I came to the party.
Almost 11 o’clock in the evening and I’m still sitting here at the corner of the bleachers waiting…. Hoping …. Wishing for someone,
At least one to dance me…But…. Who am I fooling?
I didn’t dare to finish the party, laugh at me sure! But I ran away. Ride a jeep back home and walk on my foot in the middle of the night while holding this god forsaken gown and heels.
I was crying that night…
At age 16, I told myself that I am no beautiful…
At 17 I got my tooth fixed, that I thought I could get my confidence back. Since it was my first year in a University, I constantly tell myself that it was a new life. This is the beginning of my new chapter. I was so happy thinking that no one could ever bully me again, that I can be who I am without worrying that someone could make fun of me. No one from the past knows me here…
First semester, I had this classmate who has a friend called “Ashley”. That girl named Ashley was beautiful I admit. Then my other classmate pulls out a joke “lahat ng Ashley magaganda no? Now I know bakit hindi Ashley pinangalan sayo ng mama mo”, then everyone laughs at it.
I know it was just a joke, and call me soft hearted and weak but I walked out. I was hurt, you can’t blame me.. I was bullied my entire life and the fact that I had fixed that one imperfection that I think was keeping me from being acceptable. I thought I could be one, I thought that I can be beautiful.
Random things got into my mind …. “Maybe my tooth was not the problem” … “maybe I am” …. “Maybe I really am ugly, and there’s no way I could change that” … “Maybe no one can accept me”
That time I accepted that I was no way of becoming beautiful…..
My friend approached me and apologies saying that he was just only joking, then tells me that I am “iyakin”.
Since that time I started to hide my tears and emotions because I was afraid of being judge and misunderstood. I don’t want people to think that I am weak and vulnerable. I don’t want people to think that I am “maarte”, “iyakin”
That time I learned how to keep my emotions…..
I learned how to put make up on, and I won’t deny I felt more confident because of that.
Since that day, I never leave the house without make up.
Second semester, I had my second boyfriend and I was so in love. I was happy that finally I can be beautiful in someone else’s eye, that finally I could feel special and important.
But that feeling won’t last long, I discovered that this guy was cheating on me…
I ask myself what’s wrong in me. Am I still ugly? Do I have to add more make up? Is it me?
Since that day, I started to trust No man…..
Fast forward…. Life happens and I have to stop in school, I was so sad that time because I never wanted to be left behind, I wanted to finish this course, I want to graduate on time.
I’m still proving myself….
I’m still yearning for acceptance and respect.
I constantly ask God why? …. Did I do something wrong? …
I learn to be optimistic that moment, I tried my luck applying to different companies but I was being rejected all the time.
Rejection makes me doubt my capabilities and abilities.
That day I told myself that I am useless and I would never be enough.
A year past I become extremely sad for hoping that I could go back in school that time,
Because of disappointments I felt, I cried myself to sleep every night asking God what I did wrong, and even came to the point that I no longer pray because I thought that it was pointless.
Everyday my mind constantly remind me of things I felt in the past, my moods keeps on changing from good to irritated. My menstrual cycle became so irregular that I just experienced it some-times in a year.
My chest always feels so heavy and sometimes I still cry myself to sleep at night.
I easily get affected on little things, rejections and hurting words.
I’m still afraid to share my feelings and emotions because I don’t want people to judge me and think that I was just fishing for compliments and attention.
But, little by little, I try to manage my emotions, I try to be positive and laugh and be happy.
I try to keep myself busy and occupied so that random thoughts could not get into my mind.
I keep on going. Because that is life!
THIS IS LIFE;
Fast forward to present, I now be able to continue my studies. I feel pressured and I want to rush things because I feel so old and left behind, my batch mates already graduated in College, some are working and starting their own family.
But I always try to look at the brighter side of the picture.
Compare to the past me, I am way better
Thank you, to my family who keeps on reminding me that even if at age 22 I’m still in school, I am still the smartest for them. Thank you for constantly loving me and supporting me for everything.
To that one good friend I have, thank you for constantly asking me how am I feeling every day, you were there on my darkest days. Thank you for letting me know that I am more than enough and I don’t have to feel envy on someone else’s life. Thank you for always being there even if I never asked you to be. You are the only person who knows everything, every struggle and past stories but never judged me. You are really worthy on that field.
You’re all the reasons why I keep on going, I hope that everyone especially those who suffer from depression have someone like you in their lives.
I’m still learning to pray for my emotional healing
To those who struggle on depression. Diagnosed or not. To those who constantly feel sadness.
It’s a process, little by little you’ll learn to accept things. It’s hard I know, it’s hard to forgive and forget.
But no one rushes you to do it immediately
Do it one at a time.
Just keep going…
And to the people, who never thought of someone else’s feeling. To those who invalidate someone else’s struggle just because they don’t understand how their actions and words could may affect someone.
It’s not too late to change things, you can still do well.
Start touching people’s lives by inspiring them.
Start saying positive things to people than criticizing them and pointing out their imperfections and negatives.
You don’t know how a single word could affect and change lives.
You don’t know how much weight you add to that little girl’s heart.
You don’t know how much she mind about those jokes you’ve pull off.
Lastly, sharing my experiences was not easy for me. Still I am afraid of criticisms, I still think that someone might think that I was just fishing for attention, that I was just joining the bandwagon.
But despite all these “what ifs” I still choose to share this, not to put guilt on the people who contributed on my struggles, but to simply put awareness to each and every one who read this.
My story was just a little and simple acts that just piled up on a little girl’s heart and then eventually affect her life entirely; which proves that small thing makes a big difference.
In this world of period. Be the semi colon;
————– I am not alone, so are you —————-
#projectsemicolon #semicolon #stopthestigma #depression #MentalhealthAwareness