Sandra* was my college professor in a psychology course back in 2008. She is the mother of two girls and has a master’s degree in psychology in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (Manila). She is very smart, a fashionista and fluent in speaking English, which really amazed us. At the time, I thought that she was a foreigner.
She had a sweet boyfriend then who would bring a bouquet of flowers to the school to celebrate their special days. We were so kilig (romantically giddy or excited) about them. After a year, they got married in a Greek motif on Nov. 16, 2009. They were so gorgeous. I was so happy for them because they were both kind and loving people.
Years passed and I bumped into one of her posts on Facebook. She spoke of being very sad and disappointed about her relationship. We talked about it over the phone. She said that their marriage wasn’t going well. Her husband didn’t want to work anymore; he was just relying on her job because she’s a workaholic teacher. There came a point when she gave birth via caesarean section and almost died due to complications, and her husband had no money to pay for the hospital bills.
She broke up with the man when her child encouraged her to do so because they were always fighting. Hearing her daughter say those words at a young age, Sandra decided to separate from her husband on June 15, 2019.
But this experience with her ex-husband isn’t the worst of times for her. She also remembers being raped several times in her childhood – trauma she prefers not to go into detail about. As a result of the sexual violations she doesn’t have [many] friends and prefers to be alone.
“Healing is a process; it’s not automatic,” she told The Weight She Carries. “It doesn’t happen overnight. Until now, I’m still healing. I cannot actually say I am fully recovered. I’m still learning every day and I see myself, hopefully in a few years, better than I am right now because I have a lot of other things that I want to accomplish in life. It helps me keep my mind off my problems.”
No one knew the pain she had gone through. They were all hidden behind her beautiful smile every day in front of her students. It is really amazing how she stood up despite all odds. Asking her how she was able to do this, she just said that her inspiration is her kids and just being happy.
“Before, my world revolved around him, but not anymore. I realized when we broke up that there are a lot of guys around me and there’s so many people who want to be with me and are more capable of giving me a better future for me and my kids,” she said. “But right now, that is not what I’m after. I’m not focused on those things. I’m enjoying my life a lot. Especially now that I can do whatever I want with my life without anyone restricting it. And maybe someday I will settle down if I find the right person for me.”
“My advice is: make this experience something that you can laugh about in the future. Don’t think about it too much. I often say this to people: life is a box of chocolates; you don’t know what you’ll get next. It has a lot of surprises, so just enjoy the surprises whether it’s good or bad. It will teach you some of the things about yourself. And do not put yourself in a hole. You have to get yourself out of it. Because no one will help you. Don’t trust people too much because they [may] hurt you. Just enjoy life.”
*Name changed to protect her identity.
I was born in Dinalupihan, Bataan Philippines. I am 29 years old and a happy, contented mother of three children. I have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and enjoy cooking, gardening, reading and writing.