7/13/2016
In control

"Suicide is not an option," I wrote eight years ago, and, yes, I am amazed at how fast things can change.

But then again, that was eight years ago. That was when I still had a good idea of what would, or should happen. That was when I had, as it turns out, no idea what really awaited me when all the shackles are off.

And I thought I was in control.

Most people seem to be in control. Maybe it's taken them long, too. Eight years is a long time, to grapple with what you can and cannot do, to find your footing, to get yourself where you are right now. And then you get the license to show off. You no longer have to worry about making sense of where you are and where you're headed. It's all automatic: you know what you're getting, you have your preferences, you get the idea.

Yes, I know not everybody's that successful, or that remarkable, even. I happen to find myself in an unusual place, surrounded by people who were always primed to be in control because they come from rich families. Yes, I studied in La Salle, but I also had to take two jeepneys and three tricycles to visit my grandparents when I was a little boy.

Yes, I know I could have worked harder. I should have worked harder. I know, or at least I'm always told, that I am capable of things - but navigating this whole thing isn't one of them. When it comes to politics, I'd rather watch than be in it, because I will just freeze and fall over and heaven knows what else. In the things that I can do, apparently, I find myself stuck, for some reason - some of those reasons being of my choosing, but others, well, I end up coming short all the time. The good days are a fluke; the rest are, well, typical.

I am not in control.

Nobody is, but most people seem to be in control. I guess it's an illusion you keep up for so long, until it becomes a reality, whatever that means nowadays. If you don't have control - if you recognize that you don't have control - well, I'm sorry, but you're weak, and you deserve all these hardships for being weak.

I remember when I was around fourteen, I think. I saw a beetle and yelled in surprise. My father, angry, forced me to hold the beetle. I was crying. He was angry. He seemed to relish that moment.

I cried a lot as a kid. It became a badge of shame for me. "Iyakin siya," I'd often be described, as if that singlehandedly invalidated the previous things they said about me, the "mabait siyang bata" and the "matalino siyang bata" bits I took for granted.

Yes, I still cry a lot, but only lately. I suppressed all that because, well, it's a sign of weakness, crying. It's natural, but it's a fucking sign of weakness. You want to be in control? Keep your head above water, be thankful, and above all, stay positive no matter what.

There are things to be thankful about, but I am human, and I will take those for granted. I am human, and I will focus on the things I want but don't have.

I don't have the sense that people around me accept me for who I am, and not for what I can do.

I don't have the assurance of knowing somebody will have my back when I need it.

I don't have the confidence that, even if right now I am in a better place than most, things will get any better.

Oh, but I'm just whining. I'm selfish. Above all, I'm weak. I should get help. The sooner I get help, the better. The faster I can get myself off your backs, right. Because that's where we are right now, yes? In the quest to become in control, the quest to define who we are and where we want to go and how we will get there, the quest to figure out what kind of coffee you like and what paper you prefer for your greeting cards and which artisan gets to sculpt that stupid thing on the corner of your not-really-humble apartment, you forget that while we're all the same creatures, we all don't operate the same way - but we ought to be in the same footing at one point.

Instead, most people choose to be in control - or, at least, keep up the illusion of being in control. Must be fun, knowing you're not like me, and then shrugging me off - shrugging all of us off.

And your responses...

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