Sunday, September 27, 2015

Project U

We are stars made of stars. And if you're a little New-Age-y like me, you're a star whose fate is in the stars...
...what happens when your stars die?

Hello, I am "Lilith". I'm back because I never should have left, ever. I never should have left my LiveJournal and Blogdrive blogs. I'm back because I know who I am by keeping a journal. I'm back because I find pieces of who I am from my old entries. I'm back because I met an awesome woman in her forties who I aspire to be, who pushed me to revive the old me.

I have lost myself throughout the years. Unfortunately, when I found the love of my life, I had to give myself up... I forgot who I am. I don't know who I am anymore, or I'm not sure. I don't even know what to do.

Who am I?

You won't find out who you are by thinking about it, but by actively making your life better. How do you know where to start when you have too many things to do and you don't know where to begin?

I make a list at work.

Where am I now? What is going on? What are my deliverables, who is the person in charge, what's the deadline and the status?

I think my life needs that right now.


1. Family

Mom is done with her chemotherapy. It's been almost a year. I was crushed a few weeks ago when she told me that her oncologist said that the effectivity of chemo lasts for just two years. I don't know if she noticed a change in my expression when she told me that, but I felt... what was it? A rush of heat go up my chest from my stomach? I think remnants of that sensation reached my face. Some mothers can tell how you really feel behind a heavily-cemented expression... I can only pray that I've become so good at displaying a tough, positive exterior that it gets troubling because people think I'm okay.

I'm not okay. It's been almost a year since mom started chemo. The possibility of metasteses will go up two years after day one.

How is she? Is she okay? She said it so casually that I can't tell if she is learning to accept her situation. Once, before she told me this, she used the word 'terminal' to refer to her condition. It bothered me, but I brushed it off and thought she was just being pessismistic or did not want to have high expectations for her survival. I honestly believe she will crush this cancer and overcome it and age as I have always imagined her to be... together with dad... but I wonder if she's just handling things one day at a time, attending to day-to-day concerns as usual, until whatever happens, happens. I hated that thought. I hated that things have become lax at home... and that I am responsible for it, as well. 

I was the leader: I had the best plans that will help her recover fast. I led activities that not only helped her get healthy, but made her happy and brought our family closer, as well. Unfortunately, dad was just not into it. He's was too into himself and his own concerns that he could barely be bothered about his wife's health. I've learned long ago to accept that he doesn't love mom the way he should, but I had a bit of hope when mom was diagnosed.

Apparently, the crying and worrying and getting sick over mom's condition wasn't really for mom, but for himself. Who's going to take care of him? Who will stay by his side through thick and GODDAMNFUCKINGTHIN? He knows there's a huge possibility I would go the other way if he and I were left alone because he knows just how difficult of a person he is. He knows I wouldn't put up with his attitude. I love him no matter what, no matter how he is--but now, I'd like to make it clear that I have a love-hate relationship with dad. He treats mom so badly, it's unforgivable. He's unapologetic and yet he years for pity. Indeed, he is pitiful... but there's a whole side of him I just can't accept.

Dad's sick, too. He is afraid of getting checked because he knows he would lose it if the doctor tells him he has something terrible. Mom's condition was a shock; unexpected. He can't stop thinking that the same thing can happen to him.

Has our family bonded more since mom was diagnosed? A little. We still get on each other's nerves, we still scream at each other. Well... mom and dad do. It's like nothing happened. Whenever I'm around, I try to neutralize (WHAT. NOPE.) things by taking mom's side and yelling at my dad (YES. WRONG.) but when mom's on her own, I just wonder how much damage my dad does to her health. He's done so much, but he's in denial... so he keeps going.

Do I know a possible solution to help bond our family? Yes. Can I fix my parents' relationship? No.

Dad will always treat mom as a punching bag and a stressball. He will always find her annoying. I will always be angry that mom will never leave him, because I have tried to convince her so many times and even told her I had been dreaming about it since I was ten... but no. She never will.

All I can try to do is make sure he will never be her cause of demise!

2. Health

I may have fixed my bowel problems, but I am feeling all sorts of wrong somewhere in my abdominal area. I first felt discomfort the same month mom was diagnosed, but I brushed it off, thinking my body was having sympathetics... symptoms (?!) similar to mom's. I ignored it, and it didn't bother me until mid-year.

I experienced some pain after relieving myself. The pain was inconsistent, but it was always after I went to the bathroom. I got sick, got cured, had lab tests and everything was clear. The pain stopped.

The discomfort is apparent this month. I also had a few episodes of the same after-urinating pain and it lasted for a few minutes. At one point, I had to sleep it off so it would go away. I think I can feel a bulge inside my abdomen. I have a feeling I have stones... where and what kind, I'll have to find out when I see an OB.

I'm not okay.

3. Career

My third job redundated me because they can't afford my talent fee. Hmph! Eff you, too. It's okay, I was handling a dying brand... even though I had such good memories with that brand. Mom and I bonded over it and it's what got me into a particular Asian cuisine. Oh, well. I was thankful to get an invitation from an international company belonging to the same industry as my second and third jobs. The position was higher, the pay was higher, the people from my department are amazing and the brands somehow had a budget to spend initiatives on. Most people were difficult, though, especially our internal clients... but that's just how it is.

I won't lie, the job is difficult. It takes someone who is really in love with her field to stay as long as she can within the company. And, since it isn't family-friendly, and my family really needs me at the moment, I resigned after just 2 months. Initially, and on my first month, too, I brought that up with my boss. She declined and asked me to give it another chance by splitting time between work and my mom. I did... and stayed for another month. It didn't work, and now I have health complications, too. I end my contract with them next month... now I'm troubled for my career path.

I'm Miss Starts-Something-and-Never-Finishes-it. I've always been... well, since high school. Fuck high school, man, seriously. So much trauma from high school and college fucked me up and turned me into who I am, now. It's hard to accept who you are if you don't like who you are. I'm everywhere and nowhere. Mostly nowhere. Mostly a nobody. Nothing.

Now I'm looking into freelancing. I want to write and do voiceovers on the side. Here we go again. Because I don't have connections, and my skills need honing, and how fucking old am I? I feel demotivated about even starting somewhere. That's what always gets me down. Here's how I've always handled my career:

"I'll never be as good as _____."
"I'm not that good."
"She is better than I am."
"I wish I could be as good as _____."
"My skills aren't enough."

"I'm not as skilled/experienced."
"It's so hard."
"I'm trying hard, but am still not as good."
"It's a long way ahead and others my age/who are younger are more advanced than I am. It's useless, I'll just stop here and go with the flow."

Mom and dad told me I had a defeatist attitude ever since I was little. They didn't know where I got that from, because they couldn't think of anyone who was like that. When they asked me to do something, I would take a look at it and say I couldn't do it - e.g. climbing a wall, etc.

I fell out of love with my current field and, strangely, even when it's fucking annoying, I'm okay with it. At least I know it wasn't something anyone forced on me. I wasn't pressured to take all the fields I took since I graduated. I think that I am, at the moment, undergoing trial-and-error (bad for someone in their mid-twenties due to the increasingly demanding, aggressive and harsh world we live in!) career-wise and I'm taking baby steps to find myself in this regard. There's no other way but to do so, so I shouldn't really get mad about it, no matter how frustrating it really is. If I keep making the same mistakes (not exactly mistakes since it's T&E), I'll always be unhappy.

Who was I before all the pressure started? I was a writer and an artist. I was interested in sketching, speaking and writing. What were my favorite subjects in school? Retracing steps would probably help, so I'll do that.

I continued getting interesting interview invitations from good companies since I started at my current job but I knew I couldn't commit to a similar position after this. God knows I would have continued practicing my current profession if my previous employer didn't kick me out just because they were poor. If I had received the right kind of attention and training, I would have been great. I would have matured in this industry.

Alas, God has other plans for me.

4. Love

I broke up with Miles* when I started at my new job and I think we're currently at the process of patching things up. It really takes both parties to do so, because we've been going back and forth, switching roles all the time. We're both naturally terrible to each other, but one always gives way to the other. We just never happened to gentlemen at the same time... until now. I think.

Before all this, I felt slightly lost, but tried to look at the good side of things. I wanted to go wild. I wanted to mess around with strangers I'll never meet again. I wanted to be bad. I wanted to date, meet new people, pretend I have a vice or two... or four. I found myself talking to Jesse*. I don't know how things escalated that fast, but within weeks were... dating, or in some sort of exclusive mutual understanding. That was days after I left Miles. I was transparent with him, and I thought he understood my situation. Although I had always been interested in my relationship with him in another universe, or another time, I knew somehow it could never be on mine. We attempted that... we failed. 

Although it wasn't my fault, it was made to look like I fucked things up. Typical Jesse, actually. He blows up out of nowhere and you just can't figure out what sets him off. I thought he had finally grown out of that attitude. It is now clear to me that that's his nature... just as mine is I am unforgiving, and Miles is he's just uninterested, and dad's is he just thinks of himself/he's selfish. Jesse just finds a way to get pissed or upset at the strangest things. And he gets so, very, passionately upset.

He dumped me because I wanted to be selfless. I was thinking of his feelings, of his heart. I didn't want to hurt him. I wanted to do the right thing.

I hadn't gotten over my six-year relationship to my ex-fiance, and I had problems left and right. I told him I was broken, I told him if I wanted to deserve him, I had to be whole, and since he said we should take it easy, that I should slow the shit down, that WHOA MUHFUCKR I should step the fuck back for a sec, then he shouldn't be talking about getting me to move to where he is and living under one roof and marrying me. It freaked me out--yes, strange, those things usually don't! It did.

I also didn't like the way he played hard to get, like Hugh* did when he got at me and manipulated me. I now realize I do these things to Miles... all the time. Getting a dose of your own medicine never goes well... at first. If it teaches you a lesson, it's worth it.

I've become quite the optimist. I have to be... for my loved ones.

Uh, going back... after the dumping, I focused on work and other things, and when I finally tried to reach out to Jesse again, he made a snarky comment about how I "just didn't feel like talking to him" two weeks after our last conversation. I figured that he obviously ignored me on purpose. I was disgusted, but since I wasn't trying to chase him the way he wanted, I decided to slow down even more. I figured he wanted to be chased, and I didn't want to. I wasn't going to give him that because what he did to me made him unworthy. I saw Hugh in him and I was correct to never chase the guy.

A few years down the road, and if he changes into a better man (like Hugh) and I happen to be single, I might.

Well, because Hugh changed. He's less of an asshole, though still freaky/creepy, and getting less and less genuinely interested in me. Probably happens when you slowly realize you'll never really end up with the person you're in love with.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is why two people who used to have romantic feelings for each other can never truly be just friends, except in special situations.

In my case, men will only stay interested in you as long as they can get you. If all you want to be is friends with them, no matter how many times they swear they have your back even when you don't end up with them...'s horseshit.

5. Friendship

I'm also trying to trace my friendship traumas to find ways to fix it. One of the reasons I'm introverted at the moment might be the shallow, selfish people I am surrounded with everyday since high school. I've always had trust issues and I never get to keep good friends for a long time. I also barely see or hang out with the ones I'm close with... and they're what, one, two people from high school?

It's a problem because I long for companionship. Gross, did I really say that? Lilith v.23.0 wouldn't even dare mention her weaknesses! Then again, I'm the latest, upgraded version! I am better!

Acknowledging your demons is a good thing. You have to find out next, however, how to deal with them. All my personal issues are interrelated, so I need to fix them one by one. My desire for relationships with friends that run deep would affect my personality, my drive, my mood, my passion. I could be more successful, more confident, see more of the world, save those who need saving, cry less, be happier if I had more and better genuine relationships with friends. 

I don't know where to start here; I think it all begins with myself. I think the current reason why I repel people (which is the problem) is that they don't give a shit about me. They don't give a shit because they're not interested in my shit. They're not interested because my shit is all negative. My shit is negative because I'm just generally sad. Because nothing really great happens in my life. Because I am demotivated. Because of my past traumas.

An ex-boss said you will have an AHA! moment and figure out how to go about things when you run out of answers to the question "WHY?". That's what I think I should do to fix my bullshit.

6. Self

I need to figure out who I am, and what I need to do. Funny how fateful meetings with blessings in disguise (hello, close friend (would you let me call you that?) who I hung out with overnight just weeks ago, and 40-something inspiring writer/artist/biker I just met!) trigger you to do something big: I'd like to call it PROJECT U (U as in you, and U as a Southeast Asian word meaning 'to progress') in my case. 

When I find out what I want to do and do what I want to do in life, I'll be better. When I'm better, I can project better to other people (Miles, or, realistically, potential partners out there; relatives and loved ones; myself) and gain genuine friends. 

Unfortunately, gaining friends and partners means grabbing their attention the way an effective advertisement does (via interest). I guess I just have to accept that humans will always be selfish and unconsciously consider this question: "what's in it for me?" before they even commit (be friends with, go out with, buy, spend time, effort, etc. on) to something/someone. 

Fortunately, there are people like me who know this, and we can help others realize this, too. I think the end goal here is, when all is well with me, to help and save people in any way I can.

Wish me luck in this new project. Help me, God. Help me, Universe.



*Code name/s

Sunday, February 22, 2015

February 14, 15, and 22.

Today is Valentine's Day, 2015.

I have stayed for almost a year at my job. That, I consider an accomplishment, as it's been so hard to look for a good job you like, much less tolerate. To be honest, things are still confusing where I work because of the company transition. So many people are laid off and so many leave on their own too. The rest are on their toes. It seems only top management can really keep their head together--they know they're almost indispensable.

I feel mostly disrespected at my job. Yes, the people are approachable and you can ask for their help and they will help you most of the time. However, I feel like second class. Actually, in the eyes of the higher ranking employees, I feel like garbage. Sometimes I feel like I'm being treated and viewed as garbage, too. I don't really blame them for thinking that way; this isn't Agency life. This isn't PR. I feel demoralized here (it was much worse in my second job, though). People like to powertrip sometimes and put so much importance on the power of their positions. I can't do much about it; I'm seen as small fry. I know I'm not the only... "small fry", but I'm the only affected one. I know I'm not what they think I am; I can do so much more. Now I realize I'd rather be trusted too much, be given hard projects because they believe in me and because they know that despite how hard it can be, I can do it... than not be given challenging (not even the super easy ones) tasks because I'm considered "too junior".

Today is Sunday, February 15, 2015.

Anyway, I've had the most wonderful holidays for the longest time and today I am glad that I did. Miles* spent Christmas and New Year's Day with me and met most of the relatives important to me. Grandma really liked him and this time I'm sure she's sincere about it and not just being polite. We've had a few nasty issues when he was here that made me reconsider my relationship with him. I was so scared and I still am, but I'm just playing things by ear for now.

When we went to Boracay with my parents last January, he proposed to be while we were out sunset sailing. I've never loved an island before and I've never loved the thought of a vacation as much as I did after Boracay. We had so much fun, despite the island beingless than perfect. I had such high expectations that they weren't completely met; haha. Nonetheless, I loved it there. Nobody cared what you did or wore or who you were with... except us. We had started playing a game where we tried to identify golddigging women who were with foreign men. I'm pretty sure that we were identified as such sometimes... but I'm fine just knowing they had to take a good long stare or a second look because they weren't sure.
Now, looking forward, my parents and I plan to visit Miles' family in Florida in November. That was 10 months from when we considered it. At the moment, my dad is still not over it and freaked out a lot when we announced the engagement. I felt so bad for him; he was drinking and crying to my mom and I wish I could comfort him and instead make him see how it's actually such a good thing. He knows it is; he just didn't want me to be away from them—it's one of the things he hates the most. I'm sure mom was sad, I was finally at “that level” and ready to leave the nest. However, she was also taking it fine, so I'm confident she will be good for dad whenever I leave. I wish he would be happier that I will start a better life even when I don't see them physically everyday, because I'm finally starting to build my future with decisions that will make it significantly brighter and better.

I was looking forward to all that. There's actually more to what's been happening recently, but right now, the most pressing matter than stirred us around was the news Dad and I found out on Valentine's day, 2015. After showing signs of sickness for about 4 months, dad brought Mom to the hospital to be confined. On Valentine's day, I was scheduled to stay with Mom at the hospital. Dad was updating me on the procedure they were going to do and was telling me to hurry and come over. I was scared and hoped they didn't find anything, but hope slapped me in the face. They did find something, and it was bad. Dad took it... badly. So did I. No details on that.

All I can say is I hope the pain she's feeling will just go away... but we still have around a couple of days for the test results. For now, all she can do is bear with the pain, gas filling up her stomach. She can't eat or drink yet, so it's uncomfortable for her. But Dad and I have been doing our best to make her as comfortable as possible. We spoiled her with love and attention and support, with all our might. I haven't stopped and I never will. Once all three of us get through this, Dad and I will take care of her; we'll all take good care of each other from now on.

I stayed with her all day at the hospital yesterday and she was exhausted because the pain went on and on all day and it was such bad pain. I wish I could just take all of the pain at least; something, anything bad on her body that's been making her miserable so she can go back to being healthy and happy. That's all I want. I know I would be so scared of the pain and I wouldn't be able to take it, but anything's better than seeing my dearest loved ones in pain.

When Dad arrived late at night, he took over and I felt like I turned to mush from staying perfectly solid all day... and was glad I could somehow recharge or share the job with him so that we can preserve our energy and work together in giving them to Mom. But that night while I was sleeping/trying to sleep I heard things and I felt lost again. I knew I needed to be stronger, I am training myself, because it's not just for Mom but Dad too. They need me, and I need them. We will be drawing strength from each other so the set-up for now is for Dad and I to be strong, gather strength from one another and offer each other strength; then getting additional strength from our other loved ones.

Dad and I took a quick run to the house to grab a few more things and had time to talk on the way back. It was because my head was hurting so bad. I wasn't tired; even though I haven't been eating properly and sleeping. It was all the... feelings that have physically found their way up to my head. I was feeling faint and like I was about to burst after Dad and I left Grandma's house; so then I let it out on him. When he let it out, too, I was the first to stop to make him snap out of it. There were things he spoke about that reached out to me with the way he said them; we talked about each other's fears and hopes and dreams and I guided him towards planning for our next steps to keep him grounded. It was hard for me and I expected he would be the one taking charge but I managed to make him take charge with me. That's a good start.

I've been reaching out to friends and my close family members for words of strength because I don't know when the shock will leave me. But whenever I'm with Mom somehow I find strength and somehow I remain sturdy because I want her to trust me completely and rely on me. And somehow, I think she does. I now just need Dad to do the same, to be able to command the bad stuff inside her to get up and leave her alone forever.

I also talked to Dad about fixing my relationship with my half-sister. This time, for some reason, I was okay with it. I had always been against doing anything that has to do with her, but something about my dad's words was convincing this time.

It's February 22, 2015.

All throughout the day of February 16, my mom was in pain. Her stomach was so much bigger than the past couple of days and it scared us, because the stomach could burst. We waited in pain 'til noon because she was scheduled for operation in the afternoon of the 17th. We went through so much and we were terrified over and over again because her stomach felt like it was going to burse and dark colored liquid was coming out of her stomach through her NGT. When she hugged my dad and I and told us to take care of each other, I wanted to pass out. I had been in contact with all of my relatives, including those in the UK and the US, and my cousin got in touch with her brothers and whoever she could get a hold of to donate blood to my mom. My cousin rushed here with his girlfriend and my aunt and uncle came along—thank God. Mom needed blood transfusion before going under the knife and the fact that we weren't getting any blood really kept us on our toes.

The doctor at the blood extraction laboratory was being a real demon as well. He wasn't accommodating, refused to take my cousin's blood because, according to him, it should be taken in the morning (it was morning...). My cousin got so pissed his blood pressure went up, and he got disqualified as a donor. My mom found out and panicked and told us to call this politician connected with the Red Cross. Thank God he woke up from the text. He responded quickly and my cousin drove to the RC to get three bags of blood.

When the surgeon arrived on the 17th, he cancelled everything he had that day for my mom's stat operation. Dad and I were still scared because her red blood cells and albumin levels were still low and it was dangerous for her to undergo operation. We prayed hard and when my other relatives came, we were somehow consoled a little. My grandma was also there—she was so calm and awesome to look at. Her face was bright; and despite knowing what she now knows, she had a pleasant and peaceful demeanor about her. Before my mom went into the OR, I told her to focus on what she wanted to do in the future—to pick one thing she was looking forward to and hold on to it. I was talking about my future daughter. I told her to imagine a baby she was going to take care of.

When she went in, my dad started bawling again. I wish he would someday be brave enough to get a hold of himself... but I know how he feels, and I feel so bad about how scared he is. We went back into mom's room with my relatives and gathered there while we waited for the operation to end. My relatives were forcing me to sleep; I haven't had any because I needed to get my mom through days and nights of intense pain. I didn't mind at all and I wanted to; I wanted her to stay strong until we get to the next steps. When I look back on all of that now, I realize my dad was a bigger mess than I am... or mom. He's been all over the place and needs me just as much as my mom does. They basically share the same level of pain and illness; just showing it differently.

After over five hours, we got a call from the OR. They asked dad to come down. He immediately asked me to go along, and one of my Aunts offered to escort us as well. She knew. I'm so glad she and my other relatives knew my dad and I were at our lowest low and stayed with us. I cried so hard when they showed us the mass. I didn't look. I couldn't. I was scared of it. It was huge... no wonder my mom was in such pain. He said it looked malignant and the stage looks about 2-3. My heart broke for the thousandth time... I thought I was going to die. I was so afraid... to be honest I still am, and I think I always will be. I feel like I was running out of people, of things to hold on to. Especially hope. Yes, she was going to be okay... but what is the extent of that?

She was back in the room after staying at the recovery room for about 2 hours. My relatives went home after the operation. I was so grateful to them and I will forever be... they were such a powerful bunch... especially my grandma. She was inspiring. She lighted up the room.

I ran to anyone and everyone who sat and listened to me. I made a new friend; a girl I went to college with for four years but was never close with. All the while, they—but especially my new girl friend (Zoe*) and a guy friend (Ray*), both into their faith and draw strength from it—told me that God will save us. Call me a hypocrite for being so into modern, radical, New Age-y spirituality because now I am more Christian than anything else. I don't want to call myself that, though. I still feel New Age, but I am working on getting closer to God again and trusting Him with everything I have. I really felt that He was the one who got us through the operation, and the pain before that. While we are waiting for the histopath results on the 24th, I have to believe that my mom is cured. She is healed. And that no matter what the future brings, God will provide and good will prevail.

Zoe went to the hospital to visit me the day after mom's operation. I thought it was really sweet and I felt so embarassed she went all the way here to see me. She brought two friends with her, both of those friends go to this assembly for a morning prayer near the hospital where mom's confined at. They invited me to go afterwards, which I would love to do, if only the place was more accessible. They were such strong women. They were going through things as well but they had the strength to pass on some energy to me... and it made me question why they were doing it. What do they get from it? Why would they pray over me? They were meeting me for the first time. How can they smile despite the heavy shit they were going through?

I always lose grip on what's important, every now and then—and that's my faith in God. I held on to Him, gave it all up to Him right before mom's operation—but it wasn't giving up. It was only then that my mom was relieved. I thought I had been lifting everything up to God before then, but I haven't been. The truth is, I was still relying on my own energy and power, and my loved ones'. Not God. I need to keep doing that, because I know that God wants me to. For some reason, despite how bad I can be as a person, I found a way to shamelessly cling to Him. I just knew He had already forgiven me and that He will take care of things. That's something my dad needs to work on—he feels so unworthy; he feels punished. He is afraid because he feels this is karma workin against him. Perhaps it is; but never mind that... what's more important at the moment is for him to accept himself, forgive himself and love and appreciate himself so that he would understand that God will be there for him. He needs to trust in God so that he can lift the weight off his shoulders and help me and mom get through this big challenge.

Learning that the sickness started more than 10 years ago and understanding exactly what caused it broke me again. Mom now explained in detail how she felt at the time (her world ended) and I don't know how I could've handled it. I would've ran away... but she stayed because of me. I keep on looking back on so many things that could've saved her, that could've made things different. There were so many instances and it drives me crazy knowing if only one of us pushed harder, things wouldn't end up this way. I am so obsessed with processes and looking back on what went wrong and what could've been done and it gives me headaches because obviously it can't be undone and redone. But now, I know what to do... at least for myself... if I can still save myself.

Keep doing what I'm doing and not change. At the first definite sign of danger, run. Don't stay. Don't look back. I won't regret that I am not sick. Nothing is worth it if you yourself aren't happy. Other people's happiness aren't your happiness—never. Your happiness is yours. If you are as happy as the people you love, then that is happiness. But you need to put yourself first—it isn't selfish—if you love your loved ones. How can you love others when you don't love yourself? How can you take care of other people if you don't take care of yourself? How can you make others happy if you're not happy? The truth is, you can't. Virtually, yes. But it's not real. It's not real if, while you're doing it, you're destroying yourself.

This happened and we can't turn back time to undo it, so we just have to face it and fight. Right now, we are still very broken inside, but mom, dad and I need to work from the inside out (starting with ourselves) to beat this thing. God will guide us every step of the way, and our loved ones will always be beside us, helping us. But real power will come from within. I believe that.

It pained me a lot when, at one point, I got upset because an aunt told us what she felt about the mass that was taken out of mom. Mom and dad saw me get upset and were crushed! Their BPs went all the way up and it felt as if, if I gave up, they will too. Now, I know. I can never give up. The reason they kept hanging on was because I was the conduit of all the energies we were receiving from all directions, including God. It put a lot of pressure on me, but now I have accepted the responsibility. I also mustn't let it bother me or stress me out. I was doing well; I impressed my parents. For the first time, I pleasantly surprised them with something I didn't know I had—strength. They suddenly believed I was capable of anything... their daughter, who didn't go after extracurricular activities, didn't get good grades even when she tried, didn't even try to be an achiever in anything... who did most things half-assed or halfheartedly or halfway and then just left them...

Yeah, they are right. I'm fucking useless in so many things. But now that I found out I have something strong, something special that not a lot of people have, I feel empowered. I just need to work on accepting myself more, probably, and trusting in God more. Yeah, I'm scared. Yeah, we're all broken. There are more bumps ahead and it won't be a breeze going through all this. But we have God. No matter what, we will fight. All of us. God is with us... we'll beat this thing. No matter what, she will fight. And she will win. I already know it. Victory is ours.