Monday, May 2, 2016

It's real. 

No, it wasn't a dream that I imagined. Or a nightmare that happened over the span of twenty four hours. It actually happened. And it happened to me. 

I honestly have no idea if this is permanent. Half of me is hoping for some sort of reconciliation. Not closure. Maybe just a chance to get it right this time. One last time. The other half of me is expecting that nothing good will come out of this. That he won't change his mind. That it really is goodbye. That time won't heal all wounds. That we'll be one of those could have been couples. One of those we kinda were but now we're not. But you know, if this is permanent and final, I guess I can't do anything to change his mind. I can't take back anything I did because I did it. I can't take back words because I already said them. I can't. All I can do is live with the fact that I pushed away the person I loved the most. And for that, I blame myself. 

The funny thing is that when things come to an end, I tend to play back everything that happened. And now I'm drowning in my thoughts. And I curse myself saying, "I should have seen the signs." I really should have seen the signs that something was wrong. That maybe we were not really that okay as I thought we were. That maybe I'm too harsh, too needy, too demanding, and too difficult to love. For the first time in my life, I'm blaming myself at a failed attempt at love. 

I'm going to miss him. I'm going to miss how he says schedule. How he believes that you have to put salt and pepper on everything. How he tried his best to watch SHIELD. How he got along with my friends and introduced us to a whole new world of drinking. I'm going to miss his black shirt which I wear to sleep. And his slippers I borrow. I'm going to miss the new recipes we were always trying out. And his love for cheese and pizza. I am going to miss him every time I need to give my cat, Bummie a bath. How he held Bummie even when the stupid cat gave him so many scratches. Bu't more than all that, I'm going to miss the love he so freely gave which I took for granted. 

My head is spinning. I can't think. I'm not even making any sense. 


Thursday, January 21, 2016


Mom died. 

Mom died last January 3, 2016. I still haven't had the time or energy to process the fact that she's gone and never coming back to this earth. We're all dealing with this in our own way. I don't know how my brothers are doing. But I know that Papa and I are dealing with it through silence. Papa rarely doesn't anything productive now. He sleeps. A lot. He watches shows on TV. He stays up late. He eats only when I remind him to. Sometimes I have to force him to. He still doesn't talk. No words. 

I tried for film school.

I tried out for film school and yet I know that after this process of getting accepted, I won't actually be able to pursue this dream. I thought that when mom died I would be able to have and live my own life. I thought I would be able to work or get into film school. Or leave. Or get out of this house. But no. I'm still stuck here caring for Papa. I don't regret it. But I don't exactly love what I'm doing. Get a maid? We have one. Get a caregiver? We have that. So please explain to me the pain I feel when I leave the house to get a job and come home to find Papa sitting on the couch exactly where I left him nine hours before waiting for me to come home and be with him. Explain that. 

So here we are. 

So here we are and I am so confused and unsure. I never thought that I would be this lost. I never thought that I'd lose everything all at once. Because honestly, I've lost both of my parents (mom to cancer and papa to his heart attack) though papa is still alive. I've lost my dreams because I am stuck here doing something I hate for someone I love. And I've lost my drive to. .Well, live. 

Happy New Year. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015


There's a light at the end of this tunnel.
In the dark it calls out to me.
To light my path keep me from falling.  There's a light calling out to me.

It's nights like these that get me.

When all the visitors are gone. When friends stop messaging. When family is all asleep. When I'm alone in my room. And there's no one to see how desperate or depressed I really am.

The tears start falling. The shaking begins. There are muffled sobs and moans of pain. And my own arms and hands reach out to comfort myself so I can make it through one more night.

Three hours of sleep. At the most four. And then my new normal day begins. Check if they're alive. Check if their chests are still moving. Remind them to take their medicines or force it down their throats. Carry them. Up from the bed. To the toilet. To the shower. To the table. Clean them up. Keep my cool. In and out of their room always ready to fulfill their next request. But always, to make sure they're still alive.

But right now, to stay sane, puff a cigarette or two. Drown out the smell with some perfume. Drink some beer from my stash. And cry. Sometimes I laugh at the stupidity of this situation and what kind of bind we're all in. But mostly I cry. And I lie to myself. That somehow we'll make it through.

And if I have to lie to myself so that I can make it through the night, I'll do it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


A few weeks ago, my mom was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. I haven't had the time to process what that means and how this will affect me in the long run. All I can think of now is how to get by every day. 

After the initial shock of hearing, "Mom has cancer!" my brothers and I had to tell extended family and close friends. There are days when I find comfort in knowing that other people share our pain. Yet, there are times when I think telling people was the wrong choice. There are things I don't want to hear right now. There are times when I don't want to see people. There are days when I can't deal with the questions. 

To pass time while visiting mom, I've put together my own list of annoying things people have said and done in this difficult time. 

1. When can we visit? Can we go today at a time that's convenient for us? 

There are some people or families who do want visitors every day. Others, families like mine, just want privacy. It would be really nice if people asked (not told) us if they could visit and didn't just show up at home or in the hospital. 

Please, if you're allowed to visit, do so at our convenience. Just because you're free at 8pm doesn't mean that that's a good time for us. 

Also, please don't bother to visit my mom or the rest of us if you want comfort. Let us be a bit selfish. We need the comfort. Don't come expecting us to dry your tears and to tell you that our mom will be okay.

2. Have you considered so and so treatment? I'm selling so and so supplement that cures cancer! I'll drop by to give my sales talk.

Yes, we have researched all the possible treatments out there and we have decided on one already. Thank you for your suggestions, but please respect our decision. 

Oh, you're into supplements. Please know that there really isn't any cure for cancer right now. Medicine can't cure it. Supplements can't cure it. And no, you cannot do your sales talk. Do you want to make money off us or something? 

3. You know, my so and so had the exact same cancer as your mom. 

I know you're just trying to make connections and try to understand cancer as best as you can. Please stop with the stories. Please don't even tell the story if it has a sad ending. It doesn't do us any good and we all know where this is heading anyway. We don't need to hear it again. 

4. What can we do? Call if you need help. 

The problem with this statement is that we have to think of something that you can do for us. It's not like I can ask you to pay the bills, clean the house, take care of my cat or do our laundry. I also won't have the time or energy to call you for help. 

Instead, say something specific like, "I would love to cook for the family. I'll be bring lasagna over on Friday for dinner. Will this be alright?" This kind of help is the best kind there is. 

5. Can I tell so and so about the cancer? 

There is a reason why you know. You know because you are an important member of the family or you are a close friend. Why do you want to tell someone else? Is it so that you have someone to cry with or will that person provide much needed support to my mom and the family? 

See, if someone tells you they have cancer, they might not appreciate it if you go around telling others. 

6. I visited. I took pictures. They're up on social media. 

What. Just what. What?! Unless the person allowed you to post pictures of themself looking sick and fragile, then please go ahead and post the pictures. But if the person doesn't know you're posting them, then just don't post the pictures. 

7. Questions. Questions. And more questions. 

When people keep asking questions over and over again, I get really tired of answering and just shut up. 

Many some people like answering the questions, but I don't. Please know that whatever info I have about my mom I dish out on my own discretion and I expect that you don't pester me with questions. We're also still trying to figure things out. 

8. I'm praying for your mom. (And then begins to quote some Bible verse.) 

While I do appreciate the prayers and Bible verses, there are days I want to scream, "Your prayers and your Bible verses are not a cure for this!" 

9. We're here for you. 

Thank you. 

I hope you know that you might need to be 'here for me' for days, weeks, months or even years. If you're not up to that, don't give me that false promise. I don't know when I'll be okay. I also don't know how long this situation will last. 

This is all I can think of for now. I might add more. Let's see. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

This That Is

"I'm serious about giving this is a shot," you say.

You've been saying that a lot lately. I don't understand numbers, but I know you said it more than five times today. You've been telling me that since day one of this. This? Yes, this. This that is undefined and unclear at the moment. It is what it is and I am sure there are words to describe this. We just can't decide what words to use to define whatever we think we have. Funny how we love words but can't use them to determine what we are. 

"I'm up for anything," you say.

Anything? What is anything and how do you define that? What are you not up for and what determines what you are willing to do? You being up for anything scares the hell out of me. I might be leading you to hell and you'd still thank me. No. I'm not up for anything. I'm up for two specific things only. Either this ends now or we prolong this by labeling it. 

"I don't know what I want," you admit.

I know what I want. I want this to begin before we decide that it should end. I want us to stop being such a pussy about it. I want to look you in the eye and say, "Well, we're so fucked up now aren't we? We can do so much better than this." I want an explanation. I want to know what's going on in your head. I can't read your thoughts. I want this to end. Or I want this to begin. We can't have both. It's all or nothing.

"But I am serious," you assure me. 

And yet here you are with those eyes that may have the ability to see into my soul. You assure me and reassure me over and over again that you are serious. I am beginning to think that you repeat that phrase to remind yourself that you asked for this too. I didn't. I never did. But god, am I enjoying the torture you're putting me through. 

"How serious are you?" you ask.

Serious enough.

Monday, April 14, 2014


How are you?

Simple question that irritates me. So please stop asking.

(Total tinitingnan niyo ako at hinuhusgahan ang bawat galaw ko, diba? So baka mas alam niyo pa ang dapat kong isagot sa tanong niyo.)

Person: Hi Anna!
Me: Oh hello there.

I know what's coming next. Can we skip the part where you ask me how I'm doing? Can I smile and pretend that you won't ask? Can I turn around and walk away from you? I cannot? It's rude? It's not socially acceptable? It's insulting? Alright. So let me just stay here and put on the most real form of this fake smile of mine.

Person: How are you?
Me: Uhm. . Hmmm. .Like. .

How many more lies can I spit out to make this person go away and leave me alone? If I tell this person how I am, there will be a backlash. I do not want to deal with that right now. I also do not want to hear what Scripture verse I should be reading or what prayer I should be praying. Trust me, I've tried reading those verses and praying those prayers already. I do not want to hear that when you were my age you also dealt with a similar situation. You did not. My situation is not the same as yours. Do not pity me. I am strong enough.

Person: Should I not be asking how you are?
Me: Maybe.

Yes, you shouldn't. Unless you can take hours of me ranting, venting, crying, then please ask. If you can take my mood swings, depression and fleeting moments of happiness which I seem to ignore, go ahead and ask me how I am. Better yet, ask me about my dreams, my passions and my interests. Ask me why religion irritates me. Ask for my opinion. Ask me why I am scared of marriage or family or even relationships and love. Ask me why I cry myself to sleep, yet wake up the next day with a smile on my face. Ask me how drowning feels like.

Person: No, really. How are you?

I am not fine. I am not fine because I am messed up and screwed up. I am hungry and in need of food, but I don't want to put on weight. Let me starve now. I lack sleep and am crabby, but coffee will fix this for me. I am sad because I know that look on your face. You look at me and judge me. I know you hate my piercings. And my green hair. And my black clothes. I am weird and wild but I am still my mom's angel. I am bored. I am happy. And sarcastic.

Me: I'm fine. Thank you.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Live With It

This is for that ophthalmologist who saw me last week.

I came into your clinic hoping to get a pair of glasses or contacts to replace the ones I broke. You led me into a small room and made me read stuff on the board. I could read everything clearly, but I kept reminding you that I had no grade and only had astigmatism. After you checked my eyes you told me, "You don't have a grade or astigmatism." You said it in a way that sounded like you were accusing me of lying. That was when I had to explain to you that I have optic neuritis. Some days I'll have a grade. Some days I'll have astigmatism. Some days I'll see well. Some days I won't see at all. And one day, people must find a cure to this.

While I was thinking about how doctors have not found a cure for this yet, you said, "There is nothing I can do for you but pity you." I nodded my head and forced a smile. But really, I don't need your pity or your sad looks. I don't really need a cure for this or someone to tell me that it will get better in the future. Am used to taking painkillers, throwing up and sleeping off the pain. Am used to not eating seafood, chocolates, chicken, peanuts and anything else that might make this sickness worse. Am used to the headaches and tunnel vision and the dizzyness. You are not obliged to do or feel anything for me.

What irritates me however is that you told me to just live with it. You said, "Just live with it then." Isn't that what I already am doing? I have stopped hoping that some type of medicine will be invented to regulate the pain. I have stopped wishing that some other person had this instead of me. I have stopped dreaming of a day when my head will stop throbbing. I have also stopped praying to God to heal me. Don't tell me to just live with it. I don't want to hear that from you. I don't want to hear anything from you.

See, I've heard this all before. You're not the first ophthalmologist or doctor or neurologist who has told me that there is nothing you can do for me. I know the lines. I know the spiels. I know you're just doing your job when you tell me these things. But I don't need to be reminded that I've got to live with this. As much as possible I just try to block it out of my mind so I can concentrate on living life.