Harassed Again

It’s fucked up how almost 2 months have gone and I am posting about sexual harassment AGAIN. 

We were walking innocently towards our apartment when this guy followed us and he came up behind me, pushed behind my back and touched my butt while he groaned. I was caught off guard as a shiver of fear ran through me but my body reacted first; I moved away from him while shouting an involuntary ‘fuck’ then I punched his chest. He moved away and I screamed “Fuck you! Fuck you” and I wish I could have done more than scream that helpless litany towards my assailant. I wanted to go and kick him, punch him in the face but the moment he looked back, fear went through me again and I ran inside, chased by my friend who could do nothing but stood frozen on the sidewalk beside me. If I had a gun, I would have shot that fucker and never regretted it. He didn’t regret what he did anyway. 

And if in some fucked up case you think I was worth being violated, I wasn’t. Nothing in me warranted violation in these fucker’s eyes but he still did. I was dressed in a black dress that went until my ankles, had cardigan over it, and I am fat so I felt like no one would want to touch me but I was wrong. An assailant would attack whenever he wants to whomever he wants to. 

So for all of you sick psychopaths who thinks it’s allowed to touch someone against their will, I curse you all to hell and wish your reproductive organs rot and be as useless as your brains.

 I have never been violated in my own country, no matter how poor my country is, at least we have manners. This fucking Arab country is so filled with fucked up perverted shitheads that I wish I could go home immediately and never go back. I wish I never came here.

Sexual Harassment

Do you know how it feels like to be touched against your will while seeing the obvious intent clear on your assailant’s eye?

It starts with you feeling the awful mixture of dread, horror and disgust suddenly surging through your system, making you incapable of forming an argument until it is over. When it’s over,the awful remembrance of the incident replaying through your head at every moment you are caught off guard. The inescapable memory of his hands violating you, filling you with those emotions and starting the cycle all over again.

Remember that the next time you harass someone sexually. Remember that you’re taking a little light from your victim, amd may that light that vanished dim your world as well. May you be consumed with guilt; oh how I wish you drown in your guilt and suffocate. Nobody deserves to be violated, be it a male or female.

I wish I could erase the memory but I can only curse now. I can only mutter fuck you’s as I care for the man who told me nasty things and touched my butt without my consent. I am a nurse, I don’t get paid for you to violate me.

 Fuck you.

Threads Connected

It’s 5AM and I’m aboard a bus going to the city. Normally at this hour I wouldn’t be awake but I have to get to Dubai before 8:30 AM. I’m starting my training to become a homecare nurse, and as much as I am grateful to have found a job within a month, I’m still a bit melancholic because this job will be dictating so much of my future. With my signing the offer letter I am already signing on to giving 2 years of my life to this job. When the contract ends, this job will dictate whether I would ultimately go back to my home country and settle down, move on to a probably better foreign country, or stay here for another 2 years of my life. 

Looking back a month ago, I wouldn’t even be thinking these things. I was hell-bent on earning enough money to go back to my family and pay off my debts but as the gravity of this path settled down on me, I realized I couldn’t. I have to, no matter what, finish this path I’ve insisted on taking. I wanted to fly away, spread my wings, test my freedom, I once wrote on my diary and now I’m doing it. I’m even commuting more than 3 hours one-way on this stretch of foreign land alone so tell me if I’m not ultimately spreading my wings. I must have wrote that for a reason and even though I have now forgotten why I was so bent on moving away, I think it must have been for a good reason so I intend to continue on this path my 17 year old self has dictated for me. 

And I’m now writing this because I know so many people is the same as me; that feeling of wanting to move away and find yourself… I’m telling you it’s going to be scary. You’ll ultimately feel you want to go back that plane the moment you realize you’re miles away from home. You’ll probably cry a lot the way I did too. You’d be so sick of your mopey self and your friends who’d be there will probably be too but you couldn’t do anything because you’d feel so lost. . . But this is a great adventure! I know that now, and I intend to see the end of this so I hope you do too. Take that first step alone if you can so you’d know your limit, and continue taking the step after that. If I had done it, I know you could too. After all, we’re both wild creatures at heart; we’re siblings, you and I.

The Future Set in Waves

If I meet my self in 20 years time, will I be able to recognize myself? 

If I look back to the past, will I have sweet nostalgia or bitter memory?

Will there be a permanent frown plastered on my face, or will my face be lined with countless laugh lines? 

Will I teach my kids to do whatever it is they want as long as they’re happy or will I teach them to suck it and endure as long as they have a stable future? 

Will I even have kids to teach? Or a husband to hold? 

Will I be living back home again, or will I have made another place my home?

Will I still be doing this profession I enjoy but is constantly struggling with, or will I have made a name for myself in another industry?

Will I still be close with my family, or is my going away now the start of a distance much harder to cross than a thousand miles of endless ocean?

Will I be able to remember all the journey I would have to make to get to where I will be or will those memories be erased by suppression, repression, or a grave illness? 

Will I still be alive then?

Looking back at all these questions that I would probably have an answer by then, will I be satisfied by the answers, or will I wish I’d never known?

Will I know better, or will I still be fumbling like I am now?

No matter which path I take, the future is set in waves.
What I might be considering a minor mistake now could have a large impact on my future.

Like how I made an impact by insisting I go away.

No one made me to, no one told me so; this move I made all on my own. Because I put such a burden on my shoulders, because I cared too much about things that were considered parental problems, but still all of this I did on my own.

So when I am ready to go home, and yes it is a when because I have accepted by now that I have no other choice but to endure and hope to God that I enjoy this journey, it will also be on my own free will.

I just hope to God it will be on the positive spectrum starting now.

Operation Go Home

So I have devoted the best of my day yesterday and this morning coming up with various scenarios in my head and I have come up with plans I hope would work.

The goal is for me to raise an amount of Php 250,000, which amounts to $6,000 USD or 20,000 AED. This amount is the lowest I could think of which would pay off the expenses I loaned from my parents to get here, afford me a flight ticket back home, and live contentedly there forever. Never mind getting to know the world when I can’t have my family beside me.

So, I have to look for a job and as I am a Registered Nurse in the Philippines, I could only hope that I’d find any nurse-related job here in UAE in the span of a month! So 2 days down and 28 more to go.

As I am looking for a job here, I’d also try to find any nurse-related jobs, caregiving jobs anywhere abroad (as long as it’s not a Muslim country anymore) so that if any company might want me, I could go over there no matter where and hope that the awaiting job would take my mind off my sadness. 

And then I’d earn enough and go home! Yay!

The problem though is, what if I can’t find a job? What will happen to me then? I would have to go home to my country and that would inexplicably make me the happiest person but that would sadden my parents. I’d be this big disappointment because I came out here to help them and I only ended up using their savings which they could have put to good use hadn’t I insisted I could make it out here. So unless I bring home a payment for their expenses, I could never face them ever again.

This is terrible planning. Why did you make such a mess of your life, Danna?

I feel so helpless and hopeless. Please, any help?

Where Art Thou Travel Bug

All my life I told myself I wanted to get away, get to know the world, but the moment I landed on my first country to visit, I’m wishing I’m back home.

It’s sad, being stuck in a country you don’t want to be in all because in some weird part of my head I put it on myself that I’d one day go away and never come back, only for the truth to slap me and tell me that I never want to go away from home. 

I miss home, like a terrible bruise blooming inside my chest for days, making me unable to sleep and eat properly for days. I have only been living on pecks and naps because the moment I get the momentum and actually enjoy myself, I’m reminded of my family back home and have the case of the worst homesickness ever.

But I can’t go home. I came here to work, to help them get up on the lower middle-class ramp we’ve been stuck in since I became aware of our social status in life. I can’t go home because I don’t have the money to buy my ticket flight back home and pay for the expenses I have wasted upon coming here.

And I know I might sound ungrateful because so many people want to go abroad but I’d rather trade places with them, if only to be with my family.

I can’t believe I thought I wanted to go away. Or maybe I can, but I can’t believe I came to a Muslim country when all I wanted to go to was somewhere where English is the main language. At least maybe if I went in America or Europe I’d probably relinquish the experience of going abroad. At least there I’m comfortable with the language and culture. I feel like a sore thumb sticking here in a Muslim country when I’m very much Christian. No wonder the travel bug left me.

Figuring Out Who I Am

When I was five, I have always known that one day, when I grow up, I’d be someone else; an adult whom I have not the smallest inkling what she would be doing twenty five years in the future but always, always, I imagined that adult to have her whole life figured out. At twenty-one, I am only now realizing that I couldn’t have been farther from the truth. 

At one and twenty, I am already a registered Nurse, albeit someone who have just a mere five months of service but I consider it a success nonetheless. I am happy with the state of my life, although a little discontented sometimes, but we can’t all be contented and happy at the same time, right? 

At one and twenty I realized I am actually just flailing my feet underwater, content on waddling on my behind and not daring to look past the dream of flying. After all, flying is just a dream that I could never really achieve. I am happy with the way things are, even as I am aware of how things are going and how much I’m missing out. 

But fuck, who am I kidding? I’m not always happy and neither am I often contented.

I have always dreamt of the strange lands and the stranger people out there, always wishing I could venture out and spread out my wings. Inside, I have always felt like a vicious tide rocking against a cliff. I wanted the whole world for myself and I have not the least bit of knowledge how to conquer it. 

At one and twenty, I figured out I don’t have a single idea how I want my future to fan out. 

I want to be happy, yes.

I want to be content. 

I want to be with my family.

I want to fall in love.

At one and twenty I am finally leaving my home. The first time I wander out alone and I’ll be taking miles away in stride. I guess my parents not wanting me to go out as often as I would have liked or them not allowing me to sleep over with a friend when I was younger were all in moot point, seeing as I’m reclaiming my freedom oceans away from them.

And even in my sentimentality about going away, I recognize the fact that my city can no longer contain me. I have bigger dreams and in order to achieve them, I have to figure out who I am, what do I really want, how do I live with myself and love me for me, before I go on branching out, touching other people’s lives. I have to carve out my own path and not just rely on the road sloppily planted before me by well-meaning parents and other adults who told me to be someone else at such a young age that I don’t even know who I am right now.

In order to achieve my young mind’s dream for myself, I have to lose myself out there and hope fervently to God that I’d find me somewhere. I have to be brave and courageous even when all I’m feeling is cowardly and scared because when the fog of fear and anxiety clears up, I know I took the right way. I have to.

After all, the future is a long time to be spending in regret about paths not taken.

Rushing Ahead Yet Still Taken Aback

The news came to me today; I am to fly to UAE within two weeks.

 Suddenly, I am not sure of flying away anymore. 

My dream of going abroad ever since I realized that there were more and possibly better things out there is only two weeks away from conclusion, and suddenly I am freezing up with nerves and sadness that I am actually going away. The dream that I so vulgarly announced that I would one day achieve is finally happening and I didn’t realize, I only really liked the thought of going away but not following through. It was a dream that I never thought I would achieve, a safe dream that would tether me in the lands of fantasy to excite me every once in a while, at times when reality goes mind-numbingly dull. 

I am about to begin to leave the confines and comfort of my home, something I didn’t realize would factor a great deal in my travelling away, and suddenly I don’t want to leave anymore. I want to just stay home, stay cooped up with my parents and siblings and never wander away and think of those distant mesmerizing places. I’d rather stay at home and spend my days with my 2 year old brother, never mind that I wouldn’t go far from life with just this in my thought. But that is where the catch is, right? I couldn’t just go on having this carefree dream, sighing contentedly in my middle-class life. I have to dream bigger and by doing so, I need to extend my horizon, possibly abroad. This dream isn’t just for me; this sacrifice of leaving my safe haven isn’t just for my betterment. It is for my whole family. And as much as I would like to just stay here, cooped up as I am now, I am scared I wouldn’t actually be content of this life I am living in the long run. Maybe This is my fear of going away talking and I’m scared that if I let this go, no other opportunity would present itself in the future.

I wish I’m still in grade school, that way I wouldn’t have to worry about going away and leaving my family  and thinking about the future. 

Ugh. Adulting sucks.

Playing Hard To Get Got Me Nothing At All

The first time I talked to him, we hit it off the way a friend hits it off with her friend’s boyfriend. We chatted about my friend Roly (not her name) at first but because I knew my friend was two timing him in a way that she didn’t really mean to (she was kind of forced on the decision of being with him after he threatened to never contact her ever again if she didn’t answer his call so she did because she doesn’t want him gone from her life although she already has a boyfriend), I tried talking only to him when absolutely needed (i.e.when he’s asking her whereabouts). 

The time they broke up, I wasn’t sad for my friend nor was I feeling any pity for Jared (not his name); they made a mess of things by committing prematurely while he doesn’t know her well and she still has a boyfriend. Nevertheless, I was there for them both, and soon realized Jared wasn’t really that into her and so was Roly and their relationship was thrown under the rugs as Roly tried to tell me to start dating him! 

Outrageous, I know, but by then I was getting to know him better and he was coming off quite flirty, asking me about my favorite male actors and telling me a friend once told him he looked just like that actor I mentioned, and although I didn’t appreciate his past with my friend and the way he’s moving on quite easily, I admit his not-so-subtle way of flirting with me was endearing. It was all that for me though, a way to entertain myself as I couldn’t possibly believe he’d go for me when his type is my friend-short, sexy, long smooth hair and wide, twinkly eyes- and I look quite the opposite. So as not to hurt myself, I didn’t do anything but talk to him, entertain him while entertaining myself, and soon we were bantering and I underestimated the power of humor and words for soon, I was smiling at the thought of him and realized I was already starting to like him. 

It was probably predictable the way things progressed between us- him flirting with me but dropping hints that he wouldn’t actually want to date again, soon only messaging when his wit reminds him of me while I grew even fonder of him and missed him when he didn’t text. I realized as the messages from him dwindled to not more than 10 detached messages every three days that I was looking quite pathetic, pining for a guy that once went for my friend (!) and so I forced myself to not reply to his messages when he did text and soon we’re nothing but a thread in an inbox. 

Five months ago he contacted me, saying he saw me somewhere and that we should probably go out sometime, as friends of course, and that we should bring our other mutual friends too. We didn’t get to going out though but we did start talking again. By that time I was clear on the realization that he really wouldn’t date me as he said he wouldn’t want to mess our friendship, and he asked me things about my other friends, about who could possibly be single at the moment and whether I thought that particular girl was nice enough for him. To say I wasn’t hurt that he would be asking me of those was a lie but I gritted my teeth and forced the hurt down and told him that a particular friend of mine would be good for him, but he should be good to her too as she was new to all relationship stuff, and at first he pretended he would think about it but I knew him well by then that even in his silence, I knew he was planning on the ways to getting to know Kris (not her name) and possibly making her his. He did told me though that he would be the one to tell me when or if they got together and I thought whatever, because I really wouldn’t want to know if that did happen.

A month ago, a messaged pinged on my Messenger, and it was from him. The message said:

Attorney, we’re together. 

[He called me Attorney because I once told him I wanted to be a lawyer, and I called him Sir, because he said that he wanted to be a lawyer too but that we shouldn’t have the same profession (something about me being smarter than him in his opinion, so he’d rather not go against me academically) so he’ll rather be a teacher instead. ]

I didn’t know how to respond to his message. I stared at it for minutes, the stark one-liner staring back at me. I lifted my fingers, typed a message and loaded it with congratulatory emojis and turned off my phone. The hurt inside me was confusing in a way that I believe is unwarranted. I haven’t been talking to him for months and I expected the silence to go on forever, his promise of telling me hopefully forgotten. But he didn’t forgot, and the bastard fulfilled his promise and I was hurt beyond explanation because I thought I was just liking him in a way that could be easily forgotten.  I was mad to think so though because nothing emotional ever comes lightly to me. And he fulfilled his promise! And I should be glad that he at least had the decency to fulfill said promise but I wished he was one of those bastards who forgot simple promises like that but of course he wasn’t. 

And so my unrequited love ends here, and wished I wasn’t so stupid as to play hard to get and told myself he couldn’t actually like me, distancing myself but coming up short, chastising myself for starting to like him because he wouldn’t ever fall for an ugly girl like me when in reality I was just afraid of the judgments inside my own head. 

This sucks. 

I Wonder Of Love

In all my topics of love and love lost, of heartbreak and despair, I have actually yet to feel the real emotions behind those words I find so enthralling that I imagine I know them; like a painter knowing its masterpiece even before he makes it. I only know of love in the varied books and quotations I purge in, in the whispered endearments of my friends to their lovers and consequently of their heated arguments; every bit of love surrounding me I inhale so deeply that I almost feel it thrum inside me. In all of my lackadaisical ponderings and wishful thinking of the romance that is yet to come to me, I never really noticed that my friends were starting to worry about me. Twenty-one is an early age, I say. Too early for the romance that I wish I could have. Twenty-one is the right age to start getting to know your likes and dislikes, they say, and I look at them with wonder. Of course it is of no shock to me that they’d tell me that knowing that they have had various boyfriends over the course of their teenage years, and maybe they just want me to learn early so I wouldn’t be too hard on myself when I finally meet the guy I would like to spend my days with, but the point is, is it really alright for me to go on dates with guys that shows no interest to me and I to him? And am I not too young for romance? I admit I feel the urge sometime, the desire to belong to someone in ways that makes a person feel good, the wanting to be in to the greatest secret in the universe. How doe it feel like to know that no matter how hard your day will be, there’d always be that person who’s willing to change it all for you? To go out without worrying you’d have no one to accompany you, to sleep with the knowledge that you are loved. These things, they make me want to give in sometimes, but I feel like love should be this great one-of-a-kind thing and I am willing to spend a little more time alone if only for the knowledge that I am already romantacizing the great romance that is yet to come to me.