I look back at the past 27 years, especially my teenage years, and I remember thinking to myself how hard it is to live in my shoes. Remembering this, in my mind, I see my younger self in glimpses; crying myself to sleep, struggling to get out of bed every day while muttering “ayoko na,” over-eating or not eating at all, being scared or worried or anxious or paranoid, thinking that I will never be good enough, being insecure about the way I look, and constantly overthinking every damn thing. It was such a hard time.
The worst part was that no one, not even my closest friends, knew what I was going through. I’ve always kept things to myself because I was so used to hearing “nag-iinarte lang yan” whenever I speak out my feelings even when I was still a little girl, so I never really knew what having a support system felt like. People who know me since then knows how mentally and emotionally damaged I am to the point that someone even asked me, “Who hurt you?”
Up until now, I don’t have the guts to tell people who hurt me and what caused me to act the way that I acted when I was younger because it’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to say that the people who hurt me were the ones who should have been encouraging me to be the best that I can be. Instead, I grew up being told that I’m not pretty, that I’m not smart, that I’m hopeless, and you know what? I used to believe that. When you are a little girl, you will believe what adults tell you.
Fast forward to present time, I’m no longer that little girl — I no longer let people boss me around, push me to the ground, or hurt me. I let every word that come out of their mouths bounce back to their faces because whatever negative thing that they say about me is a reflection of who they are. I realized that I was never the problem — it was them. I also realized that just because we are blood-related, doesn’t mean that we are the same nor should I carry the burden of the mistakes of my successor. It was their mistake, I should never be held liable of whatever shit they did when they were younger. I should have never dwelled in the pressure of being the perfect daughter, the perfect grandchild, or the perfect person. I am my own self, and if they don’t think I turned out to be a better person, then that’s their problem. I don’t have to live up to their standards anymore, because I am my own. The toxicity stops with me.
This is a past that I will never get to run away from, and I don’t have to. I just have to make sure that it remains there — in the past. Besides, all those struggles, pain, pressure, and anxiety led me to where I am now. I may not be successful yet, but I’ve come a long way and I am proud of my achievements may it be in work or in my personal life and no matter how small it may be.
This is a fuck you to every person who has ever doubted me in the past. Thank you for dragging me down because it caused me to soar higher. All I had was myself, and I am grateful for me. Whatever it is that I have now, I thank myself and no one else. So thank you, self, for braving all the bad days away. You turned out to be stronger than I thought you would be. I’m sure that my 15-year-old self would be so proud. ♡