I had a dream. I was lining up for food/drink of three kinds placed on three separate tables. The offering was salt on one table, tequila on the second table and lemon on the last. When the line cleared up on the lemon table, I hurriedly went to it. Then suddenly, I felt a sensation on my mons pubis, like somebody's touching, rubbing it. I woke up. The feel of the hand that touched me still in my memory. When I opened my eyes, room still dark, I saw a guy (whom I used to call tatay) beside the bed squatting on the floor, looking at me. I quickly sat and screamed, "ano'ng ginagawa mo?!” he calmly said, "umuungol ka, binabangungot ka. tanga!", then motioned to stand up to leave. In my daze, I asked, "bakit mo ko hinahawakan dun?!” in my half-awake memory "I think" I remember him saying, "wala na kong mahawakan". Something to that effect. Stunned. My phone vibrated. "gising ka na?" my jogging buddy's sms. I replied to her and shared what just happened. I also sms'd a couple of people about it.
I woke up/awaken 4:56am, her sms came 4:58am, my phone alarm was set at 5am. The four damned minutes that will stretch to sleepless nights pillowed in fear.
Please don’t make me dream again.
Since I just woke up, I can still remember my dream and I know I was not having a nightmare. How can lining up for tequila drink count as nightmare?! Unless they ran out of drinks. I didn’t reach that part of the dream yet. So I am sure in my conscious state that I was not "binabangungot".
And assuming I was, won't you turn on the lights? Shake the person and act with sense of urgency? Not with calm, in pitch dark and certainly not have time to reach for something below the belt.
Hindi ako tanga.
I have been violated. In my mind I rationalized, at least I was not raped. But that doesn't dismiss the fact that the act happened. I have been violated. What’s more violating is that I have to repeat the scene over and over in my head to dichotomize what's dream and what's real.
Since what happened close between my legs happened between my asleep and awake moment, the memory gets blurry the more I recount it. My first sms of it was the freshest memory of what I think actually happened. The more I try to recall, the more I am unsure. Was it a dream? But he was right there when I woke up! Was I sure? I can faintly remember him removing his hand. But can't determine with certainty if I actually saw it touching my body. But the sensation of the hand invading my body haunts me no end.
What I think happened made me doubt my worth. Like am not worthy for anyone anymore. :(
I initially wanted to tell my sisters and mom. My mom was out on vacation then. But then, since I am uncertain of the details, I don’t want to cause uproar over something unclear. Thus, I figured it best to confront him about it. Was meaning to catch him, but he's often drunk if not locking himself in their room. I talked to my mom about them and she said, the man apologized to her from their last fight and have been kind to her. My mom was obviously happy of the change. I wouldn’t want my mom's new-found happiness become short-lived over something I haven't figured out.
Seeking the opinion of some people, I thought am okay. Like we've bled the situation dry and am sick of it. But come night time, I surprisingly get conscious of my sleeping position, pillows and blanket to cover me. And without warning, my chest would tighten and my eyes would well. I think I lost weight these past weeks with all the crying I did. So much that when I saw an ex-ofcmate the other day, she exclaimed, "ang payat mo na! anong nangyari sa yo?!" fuck her! I didn’t respond. But my mind quipped, "mataba ka lang". I've always been slim so I dunno what she's horrified about. The dress I was wearing must have made me look skinnier than usual. Mental note not to wear that goddamn dress again.
One morning when I decided to sleep longer than usual (and be late at work) to make up for all the sleepless nights, I saw a glimpse of him hesitantly at the door checking if somebody's in the room. I know he usually turns off the lights in the house to save electricity. But noticing that I was still in bed, he didn’t come close anymore. For a moment there I felt a pang of pity for the man. I think he intentionally avoided me given my reaction. And he appeared smaller than before. For once, I think I saw him stoop. And I am sorry for him.
I hate it that am soft hearted. And weak.
After processing what happened for weeks and still remain unsure, I have decided to stop this suffering and just let go. Of the pain, the bad thoughts, of being a victim. I just woke up and felt this surge of intensity to reclaim my life, my right to live it the way I want it. I am ready to move on, not forgetting, but forgiving and being more careful now. To forgive is to be free. And I am now free.
In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer
During these past weeks of struggle, I'd like to sincerely thank three people who've helped me find my way to sanity.
A - there are no perfect persons, only perfect timing. Thank you for being with me immediately after. The whole day adventure you dragged me into was just what I needed then. I know the madness of a life I have is something remote to you, but still you tried. I think you said it best, "Ano'ng magagawa ko?"
B - all I needed to say was, "can we talk now?" and you said, "wait, will just shower" (even though you haven't had a wink of sleep yet). Thank you for making it easy for me, for not needing to laboriously explain. For combating my emotionality with your cold case approach.
C - you are a living testament that I can surmount this. Your encouragement and honesty helped me make sense of what was wrong in my victim/loser-mode perception. I never thought I'd say this, but thanks for that painful slap. :)
I initially didn’t want to post this, but I feel that others may have had the same misfortune. And so, this is me telling you - you are not alone. And I am here for you.