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Once Alive

At birth, I grew from a very nice environment whereas everyone was treated with respect and we were given values that we could treasure a lifetime. When I reached Grade 4, I was transferred to Davao City on where I experienced a totally different environment.

I lived with my step Grandmother.

At first, I was sort of comfortable with her since she was quite nice. As a child, however, I am quite a cynical person so I begin to think there will come a time that I will be scolded, a time where I dread it will happen... but it did happen. It was a nightmare.

Every time I will be scolded, our neighbors would hear. One of our neighbors runs a home cafeteria business and so every time she scolded me her voice would reach faraway places. It might’ve reached Mount Apo (Nah, just exaggerating). It was the worst experience that I could possibly have. On my Mom’s side of the family, sure we were disciplined physically, but they made us feel that we were disciplined through love and it was meant for us. On my stepfather’s side, I wasn’t hurt physically but my self esteem and my confidence went downhill from there. It came to a point that I never wanted to go outside the house because of embarrassment.

There was a time that I didn’t went home because I had forgotten a medium sized plastic container, which contained my lunch. She sternly told me,
"Wag kang babalik hangga’t hindi mo dala yung Tupperware (Do not come back if you didn’t bring the container with you).”
I was problematic at that time at school because of that. One of my classmates offered me a place to stay, their family welcomed be as their guest. Later that evening, I was found by my aunt and immediately was returned home. My mom called me but then my grandmother whispered very strong words in my ear.

“Wag na wag mo sasabihin sa mommy mo na tungkol sa Tupperware yan (Don’t ever tell your mom that it’s about the Tupperware)”
My mom asked me what was wrong. I just cried.

In the end, she learned the truth about the whole incident from my teacher when we got my grades. I was then transferred to Kabacan, Cotabato.

May 3, 2009. I received word that my step grandmother has already died. I never mourned. Not a single shred of sadness took over me. I just remembered all the hell that I went through when she was once alive.

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