What I Hope
I believed that I was smart when I was a child. I understood and saw things that I wasn’t supposed to. When I was five years old, I saw my father in the roof of a girl’s dormitory at the front of our house, and later on, I realized that he was peeping.
When I was seven years old, I saw him peeping through a hole; when he saw me, he asked me to buy cigarettes for him. I noticed that our neighbor’s housekeeper was getting dressed through an open window. I told my mother about it, and she confronted him. Later that afternoon, when I woke up from a nap, he was the only one with me. He physically hurt me. It was not the first time. He slammed me in my head with a big pail containing a casserole. He made me bring the pail back to our home as I cried.
I was angry at my mother that time. I felt alone. Why did she leave me?
When I was 14 years old, I found my father touching our maid, who was about my age, while she was asleep. Everyone in the family knew about this, and the girl went back to her province. I lived my teenage years watching my parents fight. I wanted them to separate and live their own lives, but poverty binds our family together. They weren’t capable of living alone because of money.
I thought that I was not enough for them to be good parents to me. When I was 18 years old, everyone in the family seemed to have their own life. My bad dreams started, and sometimes I felt like someone was touching me in my private parts. Sometimes, I struggled to sleep. I couldn’t sleep without a blanket that would protect my body parts from my bad dream.
I was 20 years old when my father harassed my mother, I had to call the police to stop him. He threatened me, my mother, and my siblings and said he would kill all of us. At that time, we learned that he was drunk and high on drugs. Today, my father is in a rehabilitation center. Despite all of the situations we have gone through, I can’t let him waste his life because of drugs.
I wanted to believe that he was once a good father to us; he was a good provider as a jeepney driver. Even as a daughter, I believe I failed to understand him and make him feel that he was loved. We struggle to pay for his fees. Luckily, I am graduate of architecture now, looking for a decent job to help my family.
I learned that there’s a level of care that humans can give. Someone might care, but they might not be fully capable of making the effort to make you feel that the burden you’ve been carrying for years is now lighter.
Drug dependents are in need of emotional support from their family. In my case, it is my father who gave me sleepless nights and countless emotional breakdowns. It is hard to take care of someone when you are damaged, too. However, if he’s changed, he might be the one who can give me what I’ve been longing for: a family who considers everyone important and a family that lives in peace.
I now realize that I’m a strong girl, but being strong doesn’t mean that I never wanted to take my own life before. I can share countless stories that made me feel weak, but I’m proud that I still managed to show my support for others who were struggling in life.
Give me an opportunity, and I will take it. And someday, I will be a great architect.