I honestly don't know how to start writing about this. It has taken me 2 weeks or so to think about on how to start this chapter.. I don't know why, but maybe because I find myself having a hard time to recall the past..? Yes... probably. Though I had a pretty fun childhood (because I choose to think of it that way, hehe) because I made many childhood friends.. it was a really tough phase for me. My childhood forced me to think and be more mature so early.. way earlier than any other kids of my age.
When I was 12/13, I would aways imagine myself 10 years later.. 10 years later, what would happen to me and my family? Would it still be that hard like the times when I hated every single day in our "home".. wherein it didn't feel so home-y? Would my life change completely?
Anyway.. I'll just start with describing how my family situation was.
I have four older brothers. My mom even named me "Angela" as my second name because my parents thought I was the "angel" in the family (and still is, in my opinion hahahaha). I would like to think that my brothers were delighted when I was born, haha! My mom really wanted a baby girl ever since.. and after four unsuccessful attempts, here I am. (Just kidding, Kuya's~)! Btw, "Kuya" means "older brother" in Tagalog.
Many would think that it is only me and my brother Eric in the family because I rarely talk about the rest of us (Mark, Patrick and Francis) in my blog entries. My brother Eric had / still has a huge role in my life.. and we are the two that got along very, very well. Things were getting shitty (sorry, no other term to best describe it) in the family and I grew up seeing my brother Eric fighting for his dreams.. by his own means. There is this vivid memory of me and my brother talking via a long distance call that was about to end soon... he was describing me Japan. I asked him if he could bring and take some "snow" with him when he comes home, since I have always wanted to experience snow just like my classmates who were blessed to travel to other countries. That time, I was really worried about him because he went to Japan on his own, without financial support from Mommy and Daddy. I look up to my brother so much because he is the proof that life is all about taking calculated risks.. and never choose the "safe" option (if you want to make a change in your circumstances). And I would never ever forget the moment when Kuya Eric gave me tamagotchi and an uchiwa (fan), after he came home from his first sponsored "Japan" trip by his school. My brother Eric studied in a science highschool where he was an achiever and teachers would often send him to represent his school. I wanted to be street-smart like him even if my level of intelligence is incomparable (lololol always passing score) from him / my other scholar brothers. I wanted to become a brilliant student too.
As a child, in all honesty, I compared my family situation a lot to others'. Though I was blessed to be enrolled in a private school (public schools in the Philippines are different from other countries'), I found myself getting jealous of other girls whose parents could afford and provide more. My mom was a life underwriter and is a great salesperson. I learned a lot about sales and scoring deals from her. My dad is a super genius Chemical Engineer who was working for a prestigious corporation. If my parents had great career.. what happened wrong then?
Since we were 5 siblings (5 lives... 5 people to feed), you could imagine how big the demands and needs for each of us. My family started to get depressed together (yes, it was infectious) when we learned that my mom was diagnosed of cancer. As a young girl, I was scared as hell about my family and I thought that I wouldn't have a future.. because it was all uncertain. When people ask me why I'm prayerful... (though I am not that religious type), I was praying incessantly everyday because it was the only thing I could do. To offer prayers and ask for help from God to ease and wipe all of my worries... that was the only way I could help as a 12 yr. old. With God's grace and for some miracle, my mother is now a cancer survivor. Since we were already 5 , my mom couldn't work (and she was still helping out our extended family members), my brother Eric wanted to reach his dreams, our eldest brother Mark was frustrated with his studies that he would often lash out and have problems with managing his anger, my dad got laid off... bills kept piling up.. it was such a hopeless situation. I wouldn't be surprised if I had to stop my school. There were times that I would lose hope and just accept our family situation... and think of my dreams as just dreams. I don't know how I managed to survive highschool.. I thought that I should just be "mature about it" so I opted to have "two lives". It was the best option I could do to maintain my sanity. I was this cheery, bright-eyed, happy-go-lucky Kaila that people knew in school... but at home and when I'm all alone, I was just so sad. It was only through God and my constant self-motivation cheers of "Kaya mo yan" (You can do it).. "Matatapos din ito" (These will soon pass).. that I struggled myself with.. so I could survive. I don't know how long it was.. how long we had to endure the tantrums and depression my eldest brother had. There was a time whenever I would hear some banging on the door, I would get scared and emotional. Nobody was physically abused.. but I think that because my brother had many resentments and hurt, he expressed it in not-so-good manners. Hurt people.. hurt people. It was more of a mental and emotional torture for me. The threats, the yelling, the times when we even had to go and run outside from our own home and ask help from neighbors because we were scared of getting hurt, the embarrassment... it took me sometime to forgive him. To understand where he was coming from... I had so many questions in my mind.. whenever we go to chapels to find comfort, I would often ask the same question to Him. "Why, God?". I didn't want to end up that version of him so I chose the bravest and hardest act.. I chose to forgive him for everything that "old version" of him did to the rest of us. I would like to remember my brother as a good person, and I believe that he had always been one. He was just hurt and frustrated.. and needed more love. Although my brother Mark and my family had lost contact already (I'm sure he's doing fine wherever he is.. hope you're fine, Kuya Mark ^^).. I know that someday we will reunite again as a family. A more loving one that I have always dreamt of. : )
When people ask me... "Where the hell do you get that kind of motivation and optimistic spirit?" Before, I would just tell them that it's just me, my personality. But it is actually because of my desire to become a successful person who I thought was an impossible thing to achieve. It is because I do not want to turn out miserable and unhappy (and cause unhappiness to others).. My aim in life isn't just to be financially successful (millionaire by 25 lol)... but I just want to be genuinely happy. I want to look back and surprise myself that I have come so far.. so far from that little girl who was scared to death in her room, down on her knees while praying for all the yelling and curses to stop.
And I think I did a pretty good job, because I even had a hard time to recall that.. that "hard phase" did happen. This is actually the first time I talked and wrote openly about this... the dark side of my childhood. The most reassuring fact about this is.... it's all in the past. And my "survival" story can now serve as a source of inspiration to someone out there who is currently confused and sad like who I was before. I had made my not-so-good past as a solid rock foundation of my confidence / resilience / positive attitude now. Because of my hard times, I became this unshakable person who is ready to face any challenge that comes her way.
I am proud to say that.. a long time ago, I had finally woken up from my nightmare and my happy dreams have taken over. :-)