A Spirit Told Me I Would Die on August 3

          This happened just 10 minutes ago, 2:35am, on August 4, 2015, and I’m shaking in fear. I fell asleep less than an hour ago and when I woke up, I couldn’t move. It’s like sleep paralysis only worse. The room was dark (I don’t sleep with a night light) and and suddenly I could feel a large gust of wind circulating my room. I saw faint but flashing lights on my ceiling. Sometimes they looked like shapes. 2 shapes. It looked like Jesus or Batman (I’m not joking). It lasted for a few seconds. I couldn’t do anything but lie on my bed. Then after a while, I heard a voice. It was woman’s voice. She said “insert my name,* on August 3, you will die.” I don’t know her voice but under normal circumstances, I may have found it soothing due to the tone of her voice. It might have been what Mama Mary would sound like if I knew her voice. There was no figure of a woman. Just her voice, some faint white lights, and then she was gone. There was the wind again, but fainter. I begged her to come back and tell me why or how. I could only speak for a bit but I couldn’t move. After a few seconds, I could move my arms again. I did not want to get up but there were 2 lights (what would usually spill over from the room next to mine so I consider them normal) but this was different. THEY WERE MOVING. And I swear they were morphing from squares into shapes! Again, they somewhat resembled Jesus. 1 was Jesus looking, and the other, something negative. Like, I got bad vibes from it. And they were getting CLOSER! I got up and turned on the lights on my dresser and they disappeared.

            I’m feeling intense goosebumps all over my body. My heart is racing and I don’t know if she’ll come back. I’m afraid and I have no idea what she meant. She never mentioned a year but I CLEARLY remember her saying August 3. Will it be next year? The year after? What do I do? I was afraid that I was going to be harmed but I got the feeling that she just wanted to warn me. But why? Is August 3 going to be when Jesus returns? Judgement Day? And as I wrote that sentence, the goosebumps returned with intensity. I typed this down now and wanted to get it out there ASAP. Should I go to church? Who do I go to talk to about this incident? Dear readers, I’m afraid. Very afraid. HELP.

Today Is the Last Day My Dad Can Beat Me

          It happened today in the car, while he was bringing me to work. We had a disagreement with the Bible and my career path. I said that I don’t believe that the Bible is 100% correct and I want to quit my job that isn’t making me happy. He did not like what I said about the Bible. He lost his temper and gave me a beating in the car while he was driving. He kept punching me, pulling my hair, and slapping my face. He cursed me and accused me of being gay because overtime he brings out the topic, I refused to talk about it. In those few seconds, I was terrified he found out the truth. Thank God it was just a speculation. However, he still continued hitting me. I wanted to get off the car but it was moving and I was worried that we might crash. He only stopped when my Grandmother called but before leaving the car, I yelled “Grandma! Daddy is beating me!” He pulled my hair and half my body was out of the car. I think he wanted to pull me inside and I screamed and fought and people were staring. He didn’t want to cause a scene. I ran inside the building. I arrived at the office but left 15 minutes later because I was too depressed and just had to cry. I went to a rarely used restroom, called my friend and broke down. Thank God she was there to listen to me. I was on the roof of that building. I contemplated suicide for an hour, wondering if I should just jump. It would be so easy. The rail is just in front of me. But I had to think of my Mother. She would never forgive herself. My little sister still needs me and I’m not done teaching her how to survive in this cold, unforgiving society. My brother has an addiction and it might get worse if I leave him.

          My Mom was furious when she found out. When I was 15, he once beat me up so bad that I nearly ended up in the hospital. He has always had temper issues. When someone disagrees with him or pisses him off, he curses and beats the other person. He thinks that we don’t know that he beats and rapes his mistresses but our driver quit because he was traumatised by the deeds of my Dad. He confessed to our maid before leaving and that’s how we found out. He used to beat me black and blue for having bad grades, while I was making my breakfast, or when I disagreed with his opinion, and he also tortured my brother by stabbing his fingers with needles (those syringe one cause he has diabetes) when he was 7 years old. He did different forms of abuse on us growing up. We’re taking measures now. We’ve gone to several government agencies to have today’s incident recorded and what he did will strengthen my Mom’s annulment application. He dug his own grave. Honestly, what kind of God-fearing Christian reads the Bible and proceeds to beat up a defenceless woman? I did nothing to deserve this.

          I’ve had to put up with this crap for more than 13 years and I’ve had enough. I don’t know what I’m going to do but I will get through this. I refuse to let my depression take over me again. Feeling sorry for myself never got me anywhere and though I find a morbid delight in drowning in my own misery, I can’t do that. Not just for myself but for my family. My sister is still a child and she is traumatised by this. If I don’t do something, she might think it’s okay and not put a stop if something similar happens to her. That is unacceptable. I’ve cursed the mantle I was given as the eldest child, forced to protect and shield my younger siblings when it would have been so much easier to just give up but I can’t. I have bruises on my face and it feels like fire every time ice is applied. I can’t go to work like this. Not in my mental and physical condition. I’ll get help. I’ll get better. At least I have my family and friends on my side. I will survive. I WILL LIVE.

Stop Outing Other LGBT People

               “Hey, this is Dyana, my lesbian friend.” My friend as she introduces me to her friends.

               “This is Joe, he’s gay.” An acquaintance says as she drags her buddy over from the other side of the bar

               I’m out and proud of my sexuality but that doesn’t mean I want a bunch of strangers knowing about it. I don’t like the way my preference is highlighted and solely becomes my identity. That as lesbian, this is the way my friends remember me. The ONLY way they remember me. If people came up to me and asked, I’d be happy to confirm and answer a few questions.

               I’m sure that us out of the closet people have experienced this a handful of times. A friend introducing us to his/her collegues or friends and immediately bringing up our sexuality. This is usually a product of tactlessness and ignorance. Often, this is done by heterosexual friends. They don’t mean to offend us. Maybe they do this because they like having friends from the LGBT community that don’t fit the stereotype (lipstick lesbians and masculine gay men). It still puzzles them that we don’t fit in with the image the word associates with. Or maybe they’re just happy that they know gay or transgender people in general. Whatever the case, this is a very common occurrence.

               I’m writing this because this is exactly what happened today at work. My officemates ordered pizza and our entire team of 22 people were eating and having a good time. We chatted with our cliques when one of them from the next table brings it up. “Hey Dyana! You’re a lesbian right?” Suddenly it was quiet. My spine stiffened, I was having an internal panic but I tried to play it cool by laughing it off. Then one of them said “You didn’t say anything! That means yes, right?’” and I replied with “I didn’t say yes, but I didn’t say no either” and laughed if off again. Even though I didn’t confirm it, it was a still a silent yes. I only told a handful of my team about my sexuality (maybe 7 people at most) and now 16 other people know. This is not good. Some of them could be homophobic and treat me differently.  I felt embarrassed, and irritated. The bisexual girl beside me could only give a sympathetic smile cause she must know how I felt while one of my coworkers who I’ve told commented that it was such a tactless move.

               My point is that people should stop outing others without the other person’s consent. It’s not cool and it does not make a good ice breaker. It’s awkward and can bring questions and judgements while barely knowing the other person. If a person wants to introduce a gay friend to their friends or colleagues, then bring up other things that make them interesting like they skateboard, paint, or write. Just don’t bring up their sexuality immediately unless permission is obtained.

Why People Judge Based on Appearance

In my last article, I talked about how as a child, I was bullied a lot for not being society’s version of beautiful. After some contemplation, I realize that I can’t blame kids for judging other people based on how they looked. They were taught to be that way. Let me explain. When it comes to picking toys, what do kids want? Isn’t it usually the bigger and shinier toys? Few kids are going to want the cheap Barbie knock off when the original and more expensive version is just beside it or a toy car with its stickers about to fall off when there’s a Hot Wheels version complete with a race track next to it. When they’re with their parents’ grocery shopping, it’s always the perfect produce that gets picked- no bruises, dark spots, etc. Kids pick up on these little things and subconsciously, the mind-set is that prettier=better. This extends to people too.

photo from http://styleshack.com/summer-style-kid-fashion/

In school, I’ve met beautiful kids with the kindest hearts and then pretty faced dolls whose souls feed off making others miserable. There were also those with features not as aesthetically pleasing but with wonderful personalities that made you just want to have them as your friend or who carried themselves with the aura of Regina George (Mean Girls reference!) but had the face of a raisin. Even though children are taught not to judge people on how they look, it has already been ingrained in their minds that the prettier things are better. As children, this is excusable behaviour because they don’t know any better. It doesn’t make it right but it is understandable. But if an adult still judges others based on their appearance, that just makes them a dick.

The Lingering Effects of Being An Ugly Duckling

When I was a kid, I was fat. Ever since 1st grade, other girls made fun of me for being fat and a weirdo. I’ll admit that my personality is way too eccentric and I wasn’t the most attractive kid around. However, I was happy. I had friends, a good self-esteem, and didn’t care about how I looked. When I hit puberty, things got worse. I had terrible acne, I was still chubby, snorted when I laughed, had braces, ugly glasses, bad hair, and basically looked like an Asian Version of Ugly Betty. It did not help that this became my nickname for a full year.

This is how my hair and glasses looked in high school. Obviously she's not me.

This is how my hair and glasses looked in high school. 

By my sophomore year of high school, my mother had enough. She was not happy with the way I looked and I didn’t blame her. She got brought me to a salon who gave me the best haircut of my life, and forced me to wear contacts. My hair was rebonded on that same day. By this time, my acne was starting to improve and I was losing a bit of weight. After the entire thing was done, I couldn’t recognize the girl in the mirror. I spent a long time looking at her thinking, ‘Is that really me? Why do I look so different?’ I couldn’t admit to myself that for the first time in my life, I looked pretty. I was scared and nervous to go to school. ‘What would everyone say/think’ were the thoughts running through my head. I went to school the following day and EVERYONE was shocked by the transformation. I literally felt like Mia Thermopolis from the Princess Diaries that day! Because of that experience, I knew exactly how she felt.

I could feel the eyes of my classmates on me and I wanted nothing more than for the floor to swallow me whole. By recess, pretty much the other classes knew as well and I could feel the stares. Then as the days passed by, I noticed that people started treating me differently. The popular girls started talking to me, one of them even asked me out, and a lot of people complimented me on how much prettier I looked. That day, I realized the sad truth that how you look plays a huge factor on how people treat you. It’s sad and shallow but oh so very true.

It’s been 7 years since then but I still feel like the ugly girl from years ago. I’m still confused by the compliments from both men and women about how attractive I am when I’ve spent almost my whole life hating my face. I still do. There are days when I look in front of the mirror and I’m baffled by the person staring back. There isn’t a single zit on her face and her teeth are perfect (those braces better have been worth it). My self-esteem is still down the drain, and I still say to myself every day that I’m fat but in terms of appearance, I’ve grown leaps and bounds from that girl in high school.

I’ve become extremely narcissistic and a big chunk of my money goes to beauty products. When I started working and couldn’t wash my face at night because of the strain it would put on my eyes (working on computers at a night shift), I started regressing and the pimples from when I was 13 came back. I panicked and that girl was all I could picture. I did not want to go back to that. I didn’t give a damn anymore on the eye strain and religiously did my facial ritual every night. After 2 weeks, I could rest easy because the acne started to fade away. There are times I feel sad because I miss being that little girl who didn’t care about my appearance and now, I’ve become one of the most insecure women to be sucked by the beauty industry.

I was very thankful when puberty arrived

I was very thankful when puberty arrived. This is me at 12 and 19.

Why Coming Out Will Never End

When I was in high school, I used to think that coming out of the closet would be limited to family and close friends. When I told my siblings and clique, I thought that my job was done and my life would be full of rainbows and unicorns, and people would accept me. Now that I’m a little older, I’ve come to realize that it’s not the case. When I started college and had to come out again, I had to repeat the same explanation. I’m sure that I’m not alone in this. Amongst the top comments/questions would be the following:

How long have you known?

Are you sure?

It’s just a phase.

Maybe you just haven’t met the right guy yet.

But you don’t look gay.

I could list plenty more but I’m sure you all get the point. It’s hard when you can pass of as straight and people make assumptions based on how you look. When you start a new job, new gym, or meet new people, they tend to ask questions either to get to know you better or just make small talk. It’s complicated to answer when they ask if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend when you’re current status is your dating or in a relationship with a woman/man. You have to be conscious at all times about using a third person pronoun to hide a significant other’s sex. Not because you’re ashamed of them, but you’re not sure if the people you talk to are accepting of the LGBT community. Though not as close to you as your family, you see these people often and wouldn’t want to make your relationship with each other awkward. Because whether your interactions with these people are limited to the gym or daily at work, you don’t want to screw up the level of comfort you already have.

As we go through life, we’re going to keep meeting new people and make new friends. The next step would be to hope they’re okay with your sexuality and come out again. The questions people ask are pretty much the same since you went to school (if you came out during that period) or first came out , but over time you get used to it. You’re aware of the process and precautions you have to take. Hopefully one day, the social stigma with the LGBT community will end but until that day comes, you continue with this operation for the next 5, 10, 20, or even 50 years.

Why I Never Wear White


White symbolizes purity, innocence, and virginity. There’s a reason why it’s the main color used for wedding gowns. However, white has never sat well with me. I feel like I’m not worthy of that color. When I was five, something precious and innocent was taken away from me. As a child, my parents were rarely home and I was left with the house maids. For seven years I was molested, beaten, verbally and physically abused by them.  Then for another five years, my Father would beat me, and psychologically and verbally harm me as well. This post will not delve too deep into what those monsters did to me. That is a story reserved for another post.

What I went through for 12 years has obviously damaged my psyche and self-esteem. I don’t believe it when they say that child abuse victims fully get better.  Yes, it does get better but we will never be 100% okay because like a scar, their childhood trauma is deeply embedded within. But with time, therapy, and lots of love, we heal. We get can be well, drop the razor, alcohol, drugs, suicidal tendencies, and rebellious attitude (to an extent).

But I digress now. I wanted to write this post because every time I put on something white, it has never boded well with me. I can’t wear a white top without something black dominating the outfit and I haven’t worn a white dress since my high school gala (a gala is a white dress worn by girls during the first Friday of every month. It is a uniform so we all wear the same dress. It is a practice often used in private all girl Catholic schools in the Philippines). I usually dress like a stereotypical emo kid: black skinny jeans, fishnets, leather jacket, fingerless leather gloves, skull tops, studded collars and necklaces; you get the picture. I like this style because it symbolizes how I feel inside: strong, angsty, dark. Sometimes I try on a white dress but I put it back on the rack because I just can’t stomach wearing it. I look good in them but the meaning of the color was often emphasized while I was growing up so I just can’t muster up the will and courage to wear it even though I really want to.

I know that I’m just damaged goods now and I understand it’s going take me a while to find someone who will fully accept me. I’m afraid to open up to friends because I don’t feel like burdening them with my problems is fair and they can only listen for so long. I can’t remember most of my childhood life at home and the few I do aren’t very pleasant memories. I am getting better though. I’ve been fighting this battle for four years now and the depression has greatly decreased and I haven’t cut in a full year so that’s a plus. Occasionally I’ll get nightmares or flashbacks of things I never remember and at least once a week I fall into this black hole of depression which can last for as little as 30 minutes to a few hours. Compared to how broken I was in high school, I’ve definitely made a ton of progress.

I understand that what happened wasn’t my fault yet a part of me still blames myself. What if I just spoke up more? Why didn’t I defend myself? Why did it have to go on till I was 16 before I took action? I am not looking for pity or attention. I just wanted to open this up because I don’t like telling my friends and family these things. People on the internet will judge me but I’d rather have it come from people I don’t know in real life.

The best I can wear is dirty white but I haven’t found a dress with the design I really want. I want a version of white that can express how I feel inside. Something torn but beautiful like my soul. I am dreading my wedding day because wearing a white wedding gown is really not something I look forward to. White symbolizing purity and virginity is a really old practice and I get that it’s the 21st century and all, but it’s still a popular belief.


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