22nd May, 2007. The date of my saying “yes” for the first time to a love being professed by a man seems to be figures written in permanent ink that are too hard to be erased in the white particles of my neurons.
I always pretend that there is nothing significant when the 22nd of the month arrives, but my brain cells always emerge to the front of my forehead reminding me “Hey, happy founding monthsary of your foolishness”. Teasing?
Yes, in a hurtful way.
Several years back, I said “yes” to a man whom I thought embodies a perfect description of my ideal man. An engineering student, a college varsity for sepak takraw, a musician, a church-grown individual. Who would have thought that deep inside him he has the genes of the devil and cells of a dead man? Pity me, I was fooled by Cupid.
Romeo was not a so-good-looking individual but for me he was the handsomest guy on Earth. That was my perception during my 19th year of existence. I was in love, madly. And a whirlwind romance occurred. As expected among teens who have the liberty to be always together and do the horrible things involving human organs, I got pregnant.
I did get to see many eyebrows raised when people noticed my growing tummy. Whispers here, whispers there. “A high school valedictorian at that, a college student council officer, an academic scholar, and the college paper’s EIC – hasn’t she known of birth control pills, of calendar method, of withdrawal, of other contraceptives?” “ OMG, is she really preggy? Who’s her boyfriend? All along, I thought she has the highest moral standards.” I ignored all these. I was happy. I was contented with what life has brought me.
It was the 19th of September 2008 when I gave birth to a cute kid whom I named after a famous Mathematics textbook author. I was feeling fulfilled at first. But few months after, the aims of a bright and happy future with a family I can call my own began to take a dim color.
Romeo joined his band and began to perform night after night in different bars and on different occasions. He had less time for us. He slept at daytime, practiced after lunch and left home at 6:00pm to perform. He was the keyboardist of the band. It was okay at first since we had the money to provide our kid with. A month passed, and we had small fights. He started hiding his cell phone from me. He started giving me only a hundred pesos in a day. And the worst thing came: I had a taste of his fist on a few fighting sessions.
I became a battered partner. As I didn’t quit studying, I experienced hardships and failures in my academic aspect. He has not ever learned how to support me morally. I finished the 5-year BS Accountancy curriculum yet I failed to bag an honor. I was all pain, but I didn’t have the guts to leave him because I always believed he would still change for the better and also because I don’t want my precious kid to grow up without a dad.
Having been raised into a broken family, I fully understand the angst of a kid without both parents to stand with.
Four years into our relationship and I found myself in the busy district of Makati working for an accounting firm. I left my kid under the guardianship of Mark’s family for reasons of being able to work and save for our future. And in here, the harassment from Mark continued.
He would come to my boarding house and threaten to kill me if I don’t give him my hard-earned salary. I still didn’t heed my friends’ advice to let go of him for I don’t deserve all these. But I just couldn’t. I still love him and at the back of my mind, I still think these are just challenges to our relationship which we need to overcome.
On that particular day of March 2012, I might have bumped into a hard wall that I strangely thought I couldn’t stand all these anymore. I had bruises due to a fight we had at a street in Manila and I regret the thought of not being able to drag him to the nearest police station.
He was so mean. And this was the time when I realized I just won’t permit to have my kid grow in a family with this kind of father. I could live without him. I’ll fight for my kid. I’ll fight for my right to live a hassle-free life. At 23, I am still too young to live a shattered life.
I am sharing my story to give enlightenment to those women who also suffer harassment physically and emotionally from their partners. STAND UP. RISE. Have the courage to walk away from the tortures of a broken dream.