I have this one particular co-worker.
We sometimes meet at the pantry, and usually talk while having our lunch.
But there’s one reason why I said that she’s a particular co-worker.
It’s because she always says sorry whenever she could.
And it was not because she said something wrong, I never actually feel offended or confused on what she said, they were all just small talks, really.
But, if I may say, it’s just because she’s afraid of people NOT accepting what she actually said to them– that she’s afraid of saying something wrong.
Sure, you could say that she’s just being polite and all.
Well, I beg to differ.
I hate kids– somewhat generally; why, you ask?
Well, when kids are cute, they could be sooo goddamn cute.
But when they are annoying – which I think they usually are most of the time – it feels like they are spawned from the 10th hell itself.
But, here’s the thing about kids that I’ve realized:
They aren’t afraid to say what they have in their minds.
Unlike us adults, they do not afraid to say stupid things.
And they do not have their prejudice to people like us adults do.
And, well, they won’t say sorry after everytime they said something.
People said, growing up could be described in triangle– bottom-up.
Means that, if the bottom side of the triangle is you when you were young, and the top side is you at 500 years old (which is impossible), your point of view and some of your thoughts are getting narrower.
Imagine a triangle.
When you were young, you could imagine things, it was as if everything is possible.
But as you grow older, and older, your point of view will get narrower, because you understand that there will be some impossible things, and there will be some definite things that you learned from your past.
That, is what shaped your reality.
That, is why people’s reality are different.
And that, is why you need to keep an open mind at all times.
Sometimes, there are some things that made our triangle went narrower that it should be, that made it bent, weird-shaped, unlike the normal triangle.
Those things are called Trauma.
18 years ago, I was talking and playing around with my sister.
We were playing in back porch of our home.
It was raining, and I saw a leak in the ceiling.
My sister went in to call my dad, and I was just standing there, staring at the water dripping down from the leak at that one point in the ceiling.
The drip went faster and faster, like opening a water tap.
And the ceiling broke because it wasn’t able to handle the water pressure.
Where was I? Right beneath the broken ceiling.
The water washed over me, and I was tremendously shocked, by the sudden rush of water, and, well, I was obviously crying from what happened to me.
My dad and sister went out only to find me sitting at the porch floor, crying.
That small incident left some light trauma in me.
I was afraid the sound and the sight of running water.
I was afraid to take a shower, to open a faucet, to see rivers, to hear dripping voices, to hear the sound of running water, almost everything that relates to water; and at those times, I even stopped taking shower and took bath daily.
The thing went on for almost two years before I could finally brave myself to take a shower and even getting to the beach with my family and friends.
And if I may say, maybe that’s the reason why I can’t swim until today.
Yes, I know that I could learn, and maybe I should later.
The thing is, maybe that’s why my co-worker was being like that.
There might be something in my co-worker’s past that made her like that.
That made her afraid to offend people even though she didn’t even offend anyone.
I don’t know, maybe some people abruptly shot their anger at my co-worker and said that all that my co-worker has said to them was stupidly stupid?
Speaking of trauma, I remember Her.
Well, she has a lot of things going on in her past.
From being bullied, being abused by her ex, family matters, fake friends, being betrayed, depression, slight Cherophobia, and a lot of other things.
Let me tell you that she has lived through her trauma.
She has lived through situations where her body, mind, and self was not her own.
I believe she felt disjointed, ripped from her ownself, her safety and sanity.
There were moments, or experiences, where her trust was smashed, and where she felt like her worth was gone, and all there was, was pain.
She was pushed into the deep end of the pool when she didn’t know how to swim.
But she somehow found her way to the ledge anyway.
She walked through a forest fire and didn’t succumb to the smoke, but she dealt with the burns and made it out in spite of the flames around her.
I remember her calling me when she was afraid of fireworks years ago, and I remember her when she was being depressed and wanted to cut herself where I deliberately said that she should not do it.
Yet she found herself in free fall, but refused to break upon impact.
She survived; she did.
But the thing about trauma, is that even when it’s over it never really goes away.
And sometimes, sometimes trauma is just so loud.
Sometimes trauma is the monster banging at the windows of her room, and screaming gutturally and demonically inside of her nightmares.
Trauma is the nails on a chalkboard, and an earthquake that rattles her floors.
It smashes everything in its wake and forces.
And it demands that she acknowledge its horrible, horrible presence.
It made her left with no choice but to sit with her hands clapper over her ears, making sounds that are barely human because she just wants everything to stop.
And it won’t.
Other times, trauma is quiet– it is sneaky.
It is the feeling that she is being watched.
Or the feeling that she is walking down the street with the word “victim” being painted on her forehead in purple, and everyone is privy to her secrets.
It is the disturbing fear that if she goes to sleep, her dream will be anything but restful, I even remember she said that she was even afraid to go to sleep.
It is the little whisper that says, “you will never be whole again.” that itches its way into the back of her mind and repeats over, and over, and over again.
And no one could see it, I even barely could.
Because she convinces herself that she is the only one who knows that it is there.
Maybe it is the feeling that she felt like a million piece of puzzle of black, and grey, filled with mess, with everyone staring at those pieces while realizing that putting her back together as one is just simply not worth the goddamn effort.
I know that I love her.
And it means that I love a girl who’s gone through trauma.
Let me tell you that I see the worth in helping her bandage her wounds.
I see the worth in her that someone else tried to bury.
No, I am not afraid of the bad days that she has and will have.
I will make her see the beauty in the good days.
I know that a lot of things will scare me.
I am afraid of heights, I was afraid of running water, and other things.
But let me tell you that trauma is not one of them.
Because when you love a girl who’s battled trauma, you’re really saying:
“Love, let me help you heal, because I believe you can.”
If you ask me, what does it like loving her?
Loving a girl like her, who has managed to make it to the other side of a traumatic experience is like.. Deciding to restore a house that has been abandoned for years.
For she has the framework, and the good bones, but I may need to mend the holes someone else left behind on the walls in the entire house.
She has the makings for beautiful and light-filled windows, but I will need to replace few cracked panes around the house with new glass.
She has the door frame, she just needs a door.
Yes, she’ll make a lovely home– oh she already is.
But I won’t deny that the house would need some care in order to make a beautiful and comfortable space where both of us – me and her – can fit inside the house.
Let me tell you that loving a girl like her with such past in her history is NOT some choose-your-own-adventure, or some level in a silly game that I need to beat.
I know that it takes time and patience.
I know that it is NOT something that I win at.
I know that it is something I deal with day by day.
And I know that it takes a level of commitment.
Because on some days, loving her could be so complicated.
Oh, she is inherently complicated.
She is stained with memories she wishes she did NOT have.
But at the same time, memories that she will never be rid of.
She’s pieced together, and the stitching may be tighter in some spots than others.
And I know that I have to be careful not to unravel her with one careless tug.
But if there’s anything that I knew since years ago,
Is that she is brave, and she is strong.
I hope that she will realize that I chose to love her since years ago.
And definitely NOT to hurt her.
I know that she is able to love with the same kind of tenacity as I have for her– the same kind of tenacity that it took to walk through fire.
I want her to hold out her palm and show me all the burn marks that she have.
And I don’t want her to apologize with her appearance–
I don’t want her to apologize with all that happened to her.
I just want her to trust me and hold my hand and have faith in me– to trust me that I will love her without trying to change anything that she has.
Because I do, love her, with all that she is,
With all that she has been, and all that she is yet to be.
I never once loathe you because of what happened to you.
I’ve known you since years and years ago, and I know what you have been through.
And I smile, I always smile looking at you.
I smile looking at your creases and cracks, for the beauty of morality burns within you– a beauty that is not born along with you into this world.
But it is rather a beauty that is suffered for– earned and become.
The beauty of a heart and soul, so deeply scarred by compassion,
That all else in this world becomes insignificant by its comparison.
Love, the purpose of this life is not to endure it.
But also to soar, stumble, and flourish.
And you, even though you still got a long way to go, did all of those.
Many people are only doing things that they told to do, and not doing things that they actually want to do– they need to fall in love with their existence.
We were born to live, and not merely exist.
That is why, I always think that confining your heart and taming your spirit would be a fate far worse than death for you.
For it would be the ruin of everything that makes you so unique and precious.
So I’m gonna love you, but not keeping you in a cage.
Love, my love for you never was, never is, and never will be a cage for you.
I need you to know that it is just the same as your freedom.
For I just want you to be truly beautiful in your own right.
Know that I love you just the way you are,
As flawed and tattered as you might be, as unattractive and uneasy as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are.
To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that I’m incapable of loving what is less than perfect,
Is just the same as believing that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room completely.
Our body is merely a vessel, and our face, a distraction– superficial facades.
Know that I dare to love you beyond your flesh and beneath your bones, to love you in all your twisted glory, and be madly in love at what I find hidden within you.
For, Love, you bloom even when darkness engulfs you completely.
And nothing could dim the light that shines within you.