To know me, you have to read me. Otherwise, I'm just like everybody else. Without identity. Choose well.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

DABDA part 2

continuation from DABDA part 1...

When you're down, find your new happy place.


Anger is another stage of the grieving process. Oftentimes, this is what people feel for the most part of the breakup. There are also cases where many get stuck in this stage. Therefore, a necessary process to overcome and let go. For those who have had bad breakups, they probably jumped straight through this phase. The good breakups though prove harder to bring anger out. But no matter how good the breakup was, you'll be surprised which places in your memories occassionally resurfaces the old pain and hurt that you used to shrug off to get by. You have to find them and acknowledge them or you'll end up getting caught unawares.

I had my own share of it. The Remember blog I published 2 months ago (Anger part was written on July) was an evidence of that. But I realized I wasn't finished. I had too many things to say. Too many things left unsaid. So here they go. These were the thoughts in my head back then. To the guy who did not choose me....

I hope you realize that I chose you back then. I chose you even after all the sacrifices I had to make. I still chose you. And I would have continued choosing you no matter how painful it was. No matter how much of an “Us against the world” kind of love story  we had. Because, for me, you were worth it. And yet, to you, I wasn’t. I wasn't worth a disappointed look from your family. I wasn't worth the risk, for them to actually know I exist. That's what was so hard for me to understand, to be so worthless to not even get to that point where they knew about me and made you stop seeing me. I think, I might have understood better if that was the case. But it wasn't. The minute someone started to suspect, you let me go just like that. Fears and suspicions, that was all I amounted to. 
I regret. Not about meeting you. Or the memories. Because it was meant to happen. To teach me a multitude of things about life and love. And although I wouldn't have wanted to learn it the hard way, but I did. And because I was in pain, I regretted all the memories and the friendships I've made and will break. I regretted putting my faith in someone who I thought eventually will have a little bit of fight in him. I regretted believing in the wrong person. That somehow, some tiny hope in me believed that he'd never give up on me, he'd never want to lose me, he'd never want to hurt me this much. But he did. Something I couldn't do, he did it easily. Those were the regrets I initially felt and told you during "The Last Stand". But they were temporary. What I really regret,was that, I wasn't the one who ended it. If only I knew that's how it was going to be, I would have ended it first. I regret that I wasn't strong enough to muster the courage of leaving. That I did not prepare myself to leave just like you did. But I would never leave people I love. Who has done me no wrong. It goes against my being. So everything else, I knew, was meant to happen. 
I should have known. That you were willing to leave for the “idea” that someone out there could be better for you. That there is an easier and less painful path. But is anything worth it ever really easy? I hope you also had thought that I too, have that option. I too could have chosen an easier path for myself. But I didn't. Because I am not accustomed to the easy life and easy choices. Being the iron-born we Pinoys are, we rarely are given smooth paths and uncomplicated choices. We make decisions seeking for solutions. We meet halfway and make the most out of our situations. Being the highborn your race deems they are, they seek opportunities to grow wealth and culture, then protect it, to the best of their ability. No matter who they hurt in the process. Even their own kin. Maybe because they worked so hard to reach where they are, that they do not trust to let Pinoy's or any other race destroy what kingdom or self-sufficient community they have built. Indeed, The Great Wall of China. I guess, the highborns are so accustomed to the easy life that you collapse against anything that threatens it. Which must seem fair for them, as it must have been laboriously difficult to get where they're at. That, you can give them credit for. 
I hated your twisted idea of adulthood. That choosing the easy way out and leaving someone just like that means being an adult for you. Nothing about selfishness and cowardice makes an adult. No matter how you try to rationalize your behaviour that this is what your culture dictates, that we are not right for each other, and that this has nothing to do with financial status. Becase you and I both know it has. It has to do with a lot of it. You can keep trying to delude yourself that you did this for my sake and my future, but you know it's not for me, it never was for me. You did it for yourself. For your own security and peace of mind. And I guess, I shouldn't hinder you from getting that. We all deserve security and peace. As long as we don't hurt anyone during the process. Just know that, we regular Pinoys may not have riches and bigtime connections, but we have the freedom to choose the life we want to lead, and the people we want to keep. That old friend, is true wealth and real happiness. :)

I had a hard time getting to this phase. My ex-lover was one of the best support systems I ever had. Do not take him wrongly, he was a great boyfriend, for the small things. He was just really bad for the big things. But since the small things come in the form of daily routine, finding anger proved harder than I thought. It was hard to shatter the pedestal where I put him on. The glass I had built around our little bubble. You would see it from my "Remember" blog and the thoughts above. The glass was so thick that a dent was nowhere near impossible to make. But I did it. I found it. After a month or so from the breakup, I found the hammer that helped me break that glass little by little. The glass that blinded me from his flaws and inconsistencies, the selfishness and immaturity, the painful route I travelled just to be with him. The glass of love. Do you know what that hammer was? It was in the form of a dating site. It was when someone found him on a dating site a month after the breakup. I was furious. Shakingly furious. The first layer of glass broke then. And it ricocheted cracks here and there. I was so furious I broke down at a Greenwich fastfood chain, with my dear friend who also cried with me. I couldn't care less where I was and who was looking. But that was the most painful breakdown I've ever had since the breakup. And you know what? It was the "One last cry closer to my one last cry".

You see why Anger is important? It's because it helps you break that glass. Find that hammer. There is a lot of it lying around. Talk to your friends, they will reinforce offering those hammers that you easily rebutted before and sometimes even get mad at, because you wanted them to tell you what you wanted to hear. You refused to believe he/she was wrong for you in so many levels. Not because you have different cultures and financial status, but because the other party never really wanted to make both ends meet. You were underprioritized, hidden, and a once a week thing. You weren't even part of his immediate future. You were the temporary girl. Yet you thought your ex was THE ONE. In some ways maybe, but you have to remember, those who chose to leave you and still sleep soundly at night knowing you are in so much pain, are not the ones you'd want to spend the rest of your life with. He is NOT the one, simply because he never tried to be. Simple reinforcement but effective. Little hammers that go a long way.

So when you finally find those hammers, use them. Use them with all your might. Use them everytime you remember a good memory. Because memories will want to kill you. Almost all the time. Your ex's ghost will be a bitch that will haunt you every chance it gets. They will catch you unaware and leave you in a pile of crying mess. But you can fight it. Someone once told me, that the trick to countering good memories, is to remember something bad that happened during that time too. Something you got upset about with what your ex did or thought at the time. More of this later in the depression part. But for the sake of an example, there is one hammer that has been my favorite. Whenever I go to a mall or restaurant we used to go to, and I remember our memories, I try to find something that I got upset about at that time too. Like I try to remember how he could not hold my hand, or walk side by side with me. How he kept scanning the vicinity for familiar faces before settling that it's okay to stay near me. How that made me feel like a mistress of some sort. Anxiously being hidden. All the time. I try to remember all those other memories where I am being hidden, which I had no choice but to be comfortable with so I can continue to be with him. And it works like dry wood to a flame. You get that fiery anger. Sometimes strong, sometimes not. But nevertheless, something you can work on. It's like tainting that memory so it doesn't feel dreamy and good anymore. This is going to be a painful route yes. But drastic times calls for drastic measures. Besides, this route is not gonna stay for long. Once you get to the acceptance stage, these memories will no longer sting. And therefore no longer require redirecting of your thoughts.

Although I can tell you that it took me a long time to master redirecting. But if you have trained your mind constantly, it will somehow unconciously build that pattern for you without you even realizing it. It will eventually become automatic. Again this doesn't happen overnight. More so, even when you have found that anger, you can regress back to denial or bargaining. Just remember to go back to where your last progressive state was. Go back to the last known good configuration. It's a tough cycle to get out of but you can do it. Just follow the rules. And you will be able to get there.

Side note:
What are the rules to properly move on? These are the ones I have read from articles that proved really helpful. Well, it worked for me. :) This is going to be a small part but more on this later on a different blog post.

  1. No contact rule. No stalking. In any form. Block your ex everywhere. At least for 6 months.
  2. No break up sex. I haven't done this and I have no plans to, but trust me, it won't do you any good.
  3. Mourn properly. There's what we call controlled mourning. Do the 3-month rule of no dating. Actually for me even at 4 months then, when I tried to date, I realized I still am not ready.
  4. Don't seek revenge. It's not gonna change anything.
  5. Don't rely on rebound sex. It's just gonna make you feel worse about yourself.
  6. Don't make your breakup known all over social media. In fact, if you can, stay out of it for 60 days, it would be beneficial for you. Go low profile. It's a whole lot better. For me, no one aside from family and close friends knew about our break up. My workmates realized it after 3 months. When they noticed I haven't posted anything about my used-to-be-boyfriend. In fact, i didn't even post any other thing at all. Silent FB for 3 to 4mos.
  7. Delete pictures. Throw away or give back items from your ex. They will only hold you back. You may not be able to do it right then and there like I did. But, eventually you'll do it anyway. When you realize it's necessary. 
  8. Reach out to your friends. Those who will really listen. Make them your constant chatmate so you can slowly get used to losing the constant chatter you used to have. 
  9. Hang out with your family. They're the best pain relievers.  
  10. Start getting back on your own feet. Back to the comforts of being just by yourself. You'll get there. Trust me. :)


Bargaining is a tricky business. But it is something you should allow yourself to do. The question is, for how long? Bargaining is another stage of the grieving process that will make you realize you are capable of lowering yourself or swallowing your pride to some minimal or extreme extent. Nevertheless, it is part of the process and therefore something that is entirely normal to go through. Either in your head or acted upon. Some people who act tough will never allow these kind of thoughts on their head to get out from their mouth and executed by their body. They think they will have it under control. And then do it anyway when it's too late. But to us who really wants to move forward as soon as possible, some bargaining needs to be done. For your peace of mind and for closure. If you have things left unsaid, or questions left unanswered, have a one last conversation with your ex. Do not be that person who has a lot of regrets afterwards, for not being able to say everything and get hung up on all those what ifs. I would suggest to brainstorm those thoughts first with your family and friends. They will prove to be really great debaters and can either talk you out of it, or let you do it just to get it over with. I personally would want you to get it over with. Be a fool. Be weak. Be less proud and speak. But do it in a more dignified way. Do it so your ex will realize what a great person he/she is losing and ask if they're sure that leaving is what they really want. And if he's sure, if he doesn't choose you again, then leave. And don't look back. I myself had my "Last Stand" with my ex. I noted down in pieces of papers every question, every "sumbat" or reproach, and every clarification. It was one of the longest 2 and a half hours of my life. But after that, I felt better. It was the first time I was able to slowly let everything go. There were some things I forgot to say, hence my "Remember" blog and the Anger part above, but it's something I realize, back then, are thoughts better left unsaid. (That is considering he never gets to read my blogs. Haha.)

The trouble with the first few weeks of a breakup is that, your mind seems to highlight all the good things your ex-lover did. You remember all the good memories instead of the bad ones. You forget that before you broke up, you already had that resolve that he wasn't really right for you from the start. You forget all the pain and hurt he/she has caused you. The repeated inconsistencies, disappointments, and incompetence. The blatant disregard, lying, cheating, and violence (if there was any). The choking love or the lack of it. You forget how you were crying most of the time because of the wrong man. In the first few weeks, all you could think of is that, you don't care what your ex used to put you into and all you care about is that he/she comes back. Every resolve, every brainstorming you previously had with friends, every breakup plans, they all go down the drain. It's like you are in a reverse psychology experiment. Everything becomes crytal clear for you that you can excavate and then throw away all those daggers lodged so deeply just to have everything back to how your relationship used to be. That is again, perfectly normal. But do not act on it if you can help it. Because it is temporary. It's a passing phase. Although it proves really hard to not give in to this urge. So if the urge is really strong, by all means do it. Do it for your own peace of mind. Do your final bargaining. Congratulations you have reached the next level!

However this stage,  again is going to be temporary. You will eventually realize, that even if you can throw away all those daggers and swallow every bit of pride you have left, the fact that nothing in your situation or his, will have changed or no one will want to change anything, then those daggers will just come crawling back to the holes that never got healed. Old wounds heal very slow my friend. As they say, band-aids don't fix bullet holes. There is no quick fix to anything. Especially pain. If you have given it everything you've got, and worked it out with the person in every possible adjustment you can make, and still got left/cheated like that, or you chose to leave because of repeatedly irreconcilable differences, then this has nothing to do with you anymore but a lot more to do with your ex and his/her views. If that person's perspective, choices, plans, and priorities remain incompatible to yours, will bargaining ever really make a difference? It's like you're only prolonging the inevitable. You're only going back to have one last moment or moments at that. So think about this, even if they will take you back, or you will accept them back, is anything bad that happened before can never possibly happen again? Has he changed?  Is the situation gonna change? Do you both have the willingness to work on it? Or are you going to be taking the same one way roller coaster ride of pain and suffering? Unless you are certain about all of this changes, and the other party is willing to go the extra mile or start following you in the same direction you are heading, none of the bargaining offers are ever going to make a difference.

So why do this to yourself? Why go back to the things that broke you? When you finally got the chance to find what God has in store for you? As they say, the best has yet to come! Wait for that. Wait for the love of your life. Wait for the person who will be worth experiencing the joys and sorrows with. Who will continually strive to give you the life and love you deserve. When you are ready. When you have a better understanding of the future you want to have and become. You have come a long way to self-rediscovery only to break it apart piece by piece once again. If you have searched deep in your heart and you still think that having them back in your life will be the best thing to do, then by all means do it. Just don't say we didn't warn you if everything falls apart once more. At least you gave it another shot. But don't make it countless chances. For your love alone will not change a person. Their love for you will. That doesn't have to take countless chances. If they really love you and truly realized that, they will give everything they've got even with just one last chance. This is gonna be your choice my friend. And if the chances given had been wasted, you owe it to your countless miniature broken selves, to glue it back together so much better than the last time.

to be continued...

Monday, July 18, 2016

DABDA part 1

Whip your hair back and forth. Shake them off.

Being in a hidden relationship, you would think it’s some high school forbidden love affair that requires sneaking out in the middle of the night or going out during the weekends telling your parents you’re with friends. It is, in a way, a little of both. But with bigger repercussions.
Beware, as this is going to be a rather lengthy discussion about the intricacies of breakups. This is mainly for those who are first timers in the field of heartbreak. Or those who are not really first timers but haven't done the process of healing properly since they started dating. I hope this can help.
You see, I am pure Filipina. He is traditional and pure Chinese. We had different worlds. But then again, these situations are not rare. This has happened to quite a number of Chinese men and women since the beginning of time. And eventually what it all boils down to, is if the Chinese partner will fight for you or not. I had stumbled upon a blog specifically about the Chinese interracial relationships, the hardships and cultural differences, written by a Western woman who married a Chinese man inside China - On the Rarity of Foreign Women and Chinese boyfriends/husbands. I only read this particular blog post and do not intend to read any more of them as it pains me too much to know that even a Chinese man living in China, preferred to date and marry a western woman. While I, Filipino (Asian) and he Chinese (Asian), BORN and RAISED in the Philippines as well, could not even bring to hold my hand in public out of fear. You can see why by the end of our relationship I would feel so little about myself that, I must have shrunk to the size of Tinkerbell. More of that later.
The trouble with star-crossed lovers in books, movies, and fairy tales is that, their knight in shining armour is almost always, a GALLANT knight. It polluted the minds and created the hopeless romantics around the world. I was once a hopeless romantic myself. I struggled to get out of it. But I know I had to, because most of the times my day dreaming just doesn’t make sense anymore. Borderline cheesy and stupid. I blamed my high school years worth of reading pocketbooks and novels, watching teleseryes and koreanovelas, that I became so hopeless I was so positive about love. Boy was I proven wrong. As I’ve read more and more about life and the world, I no longer am a hopeless romantic. I’m just a romantic now. Doesn’t really totally die down unfortunately. Darn you Mr. Darcy! But as Katy Perry said, “It’s not like the movies. But that’s how it should be.” In reality though, most of the times, your knight turns out to be the devil in disguise. In my case, he was the “Rumplestiltskin” to my “Belle”. If you’ve watched Once Upon A Time (tv show), you’ll get it. Although that comparison is quite exaggerated. Simply put, he was the selfish coward (Rumple) who couldn’t go against his true nature and pull through for me (Belle). Not even for true love. But then again, was it really true love for you Rumple? In the end, maybe not.
Our story is nowhere near extraordinary. Just two people who loved and got hurt. As we all know, not a lot of exposure is being given to the stories that didn’t quite have the ending anyone would want to hear or see. No one writes about people who didn’t end up happy. And we understand. Because, no matter how cruel life can be, we always want to have that little hope that if other people can have a happy ending, so do we. I have loved and lost someone that was dear to me. Who at first I thought saved me from a solitary, robotic, meager of a life. And for a while there he did. Until his reality started sinking in, and I was left becoming the depressed, lonely, and unassured woman I would soon turn out to be.
In my 26 years of existence back then, I fell in love for the first time. I was whole and positively radiant. I had high hopes for the love I was deprived of for a long time. Really long time. You see, before I was ready for love, I was afraid of it. I cringed at the thought of intimacy. I was an emotionally unavailable woman. I had suitors that I shrugged off because I was afraid they would marry me instantly. (Not to brag, but I am slightly quite a catch. LOL.)But eventually, for some odd reason, I wanted it. Funny how the universe works, when you don’t need something, the universe provides it abundantly. But when you finally need it, it gives you nothing. Nothing at all. For 3 long years. Until I became desperate enough to feel what everyone was talking about. In the movies, books, radios, and songs. I wanted it so bad. My firsts. First real kiss, real dates, birthdays, Valentines, and Christmas with someone I love. And since I was desperate for the next flight out to love and adventures, I hopped onto the first plane that seemed to go to the same direction I was going. Or so I thought. However, these planes will land just like any other plane. I didn’t realize in time, mine was heading in the wrong direction. Or that maybe in between, I was the one who wanted to change course. It was then I realized where I actually needed to go. And then, as per Mr. Amari Soul, “You won’t realize you were on the wrong plane until you’ve landed in the wrong city and by then it’s too late.” By then you realize, you got stuck. In a plane you don’t want to get out of. Because some part of you believed, and continued to believe that the plane could land in the direction you wanted it too. If you gave all it needed, hang on to every turbulence, and compromise with seating priorities, you’d think eventually, the plane will perform the highest hacked programming of them all, change course for love. LOVE makes you hope that it can fuel the plane to go the extra mile. LOVE makes you believe you can move mountains, even aviation laws. Because, LOVE, in it’s finest form, can conquer the impossible.
However, you forgot that love must be two way. And must be reciprocated with (at least almost) the same intensity and passion, to provide the buoyancy you need to stay up in the air long enough to reach the same desired destination. But you can’t control love. You can’t control the plane. A lot of things can happen in between. Again as per Mr. Amari Soul, “What you can control is you. When you get to the airport, you pay attention to the signs so that you don’t waste hours of your life on the wrong plane just to end up in the wrong place and have to start all over. You should have a clear understanding of what you want and need and where you are trying to go. Then, you should pay close attention to the signs. If it appears that he is headed in a direction that is not where you want to go and he’s not willing to change course, get out before you waste years of your life just to wake up one morning and realize you’ve landed in the wrong place with the wrong man.”
Unfortunately, I did not get out in time. I was the hopeless romantic, head over heels girl to a guy who in more ways than one, flat out said, I refuse to see a future with you. The signs were blinking faster than ever. But just like any other hopelessly devoted individual, I ignored it. Until the time came when I couldn’t ignore it any longer. So there I was, landed in the wrong place with the wrong man. He left me at the airport to find the next flight back. Back to the easy life of luxurious travels, high-end feasts, spoon-fed jobs, and mapped out lives. Back to the comforts of wealth, security, and status quo that he was used to. Back to the world he belongs. Then there I was, left shivering in the unfamiliar city of loss and heartbreak. Unable to get a flight back to my world and my people. Looking dejected and pitiable, I walked around carrying a huge baggage of fears, anxieties, and low self-esteem. I was unrecognizable, even to myself. And for the first time in a long time, I was lost.


DABDA is the five stages of grief. Please do search it in google to understand the concept of DABDA. D for denial. A for Anger. B for Bargaining. D for depression. A for Acceptance. These stages, by the way, does not occur in chronological order. Today you could be depressed, tomorrow you could be angry, or the next moment you could be in acceptance. Any time of the day you can be in all stages at once or one stage for an entire week. It is important to know that what’s happening is entirely normal. That was what I had to keep telling myself over and over again, because I kept freaking out. I felt like an insane person. For the first time, I felt pain I had never felt before. I haven’t felt pain of losing someone you see. I mean losing someone very dear to me over an illness or accident (God Forbid!). I have fortunately never had the chance to feel that. And I am truly grateful to THE PROTECTOR for it.  So, this kind of pain was very new to me. I have been through numerous emotional, physical, and financial pain in my life, believe me. They are in some of my blogs. I’ve had a series of unfortunate events that did not break me. I am a very strong willed woman. But heartbreak tested that. It broke me into fragments of unrecognizability. I had been depressed before but not like that. It was so different and alien to me that I had so much trouble coping. It felt like someone died. Or maybe because, a part of me did die and got chunked away somewhere far and unreachable. That’s where denial comes in.
The feeling of overwhelming loss and grief tends to overshadow the reality that you refuse to accept. Since your mind is protecting you from the barrage of emotions and memories you refuse to tackle, it gets lodged at the back of your head. You refuse to believe that what is happening is really happening, and therefore you do not feel the initial pain of loss. You believe the other party is not being serious, or will eventually change their mind, or will not be able to endure not having you in their lives and will definitely take you back. On the other hand, the ex-lover also has his/her own thoughts. He/she must be thinking, this is the right choice. I did the right thing by  turning my back against that uncertainty and close the chapter. I’m doing this for myself and my future. All these things run through your heads, while you go about your daily life and routine. Although rather spaced out and clumsy, but you are still able to do what you normally would do on a given day. But this doesn’t last long. It can last a few minutes, hours, or days, but it will stop. Eventually, reality will sink in. Once you see that no one is changing their minds. After you have talked to your friends, or the friends of your ex lover, and anyone who cares to listen. After you have brainstormed with them every little minute detail. After you have done "The last stand" by talking to your ex-lover one last time for closure, for the unanswered questions, the what if's and could be's, the empty promises and the bargaining, and ultimately the final NO. Then you realize, this is it. This is really it. The finality of the situation will open the floodgates of emotions. Like an avalanche. And you let yourself drown in it, whether with tears, or unlimited shots of alcohol. Congratulations my friend, you have reached the next level.

The good thing about denial is that, it protects you from that avalanche. Because, you would have not been able to cope if you get that avalanche on the first day. You will have died of a heartbreak. It would have consumed you like quicksand. Such is the beauty of our biological and physchological defense mechanisms. The unsurpressable urge to cry and breakdown is our body telling us to get the temporary relief from such emotional pain. If you haven't noticed, after you cry, you feel better, and be able to get that sleep that has eluded you the past few days. That is the start of the avalanche phase. That is baby steps. You will get closer and closer to the time you can start sleeping and eating properly again. Might take a few weeks but you'll get there. Taking vitamins will help. This is the perfect example that a process is important and necessary. You must realize this before you stupidly try to find shortcuts, pain relievers, or avoid pain entirely. You must realize this from the onset. Because if you don't realize this, if no one tells you how this works, you will end up prolonging the denial stage and by then you will realize months has already gone and you haven't progressed at all. It helps if you read articles about how to cope after a breakup. They tell you to create benchmarks. So you could see how you are progressing. I've reached certain benchmarks now that on the first or second month, I thought I would never be able to do again, like e.g. eating at one of our favorite restaurants. Although, you will regress, and it will keep happening. Just don't get depressed as to why. It is again, perfectly normal. Just go back to your baby steps. The articles help ease those anxieties and fears too about not being able to survive. If you don't have friends available as of the moment to talk to, read those articles. Hearing a multitude of testimonies from other people who had suffered a loss and came out better, helps you with the process. You will not understand when someone or everyone tells you that it’s going to get better because you currently feel that it will never happen. That is perfectly normal too. But trust me it will get better. If you follow the rules. It will get better if you have the discipline and willingness to overcome it. Read those articles. Search for them for whatever doubts or anxieties you encounter. The world wide web offers tons of psychological and emotional help if you only care to search. And in my country where there’s stigma about getting psychological help, the internet will be your ally. Make use of them. Because they helped me. They helped me so much. Trust me.

to be continued...