What Keeps You Holding On

Let it go… no, it’s not a song…

 it’s just the most common phrase I hear every time I seize

The fact that everyone knows what brings me down, they feel the struggle

Frustrations come into mind, and somehow, they tell me to just let it go

And I want so much to, but there are things that cannot be immediately changed

 Not because I do not want to, but because there are strings still attached

Matters that cannot be immediately cut…

Memories that cannot simply be dismissed

It is true what they say: “those who know, understand

What this pain is about, not everyone would get

Some might judge that it is just a mess I make in my head

That I just cannot let go, because I refuse to…

I cannot explain, and I need not to

But to those who have gone through the same, they just smile

They know… and yes, they understand

It is not a path that is easy to walk on, it is not for the frail of heart

It is for those who are willing to survive amidst the deepest and darkest parts

Of the crisscrossed caves that lead to a blank abyss

It is both tiring and confusing to travel

But to have at least one who would say, it would be safer around the bend

Is enough for a survivor to push forward as the journey is about to end

If you are like me, then perhaps you’d understand and agree on the fact that apart from moving on and letting go, it is the latter that is hardest to accomplish. After one letting go completely, moving on comes along on a much easier pace.

So what keeps us holding on?

It was a perfect dream; the dream was so perfect that we do not want to wake up.

My psychiatrist told me that as she listened to my story,she saw how I viewed my marriage. It was a fairy tale. To my eyes, the man I am with was my knight in shining armor- that he was the one, even though I knew there were faulty flaws that defined him otherwise. I accepted everything and settled because I was already pregnant. I had to accept it, because if I did not, I would lose that one time chance I get to have my own family- a complete one.

I was willing to cover up for the many evident flaws there were.

I worked hard, to the point that I accepted everything resulting to me developing psychogenic seizures along the way. My son was five years old when I first had my seizure attacks. My doctor talked to me and asked what was mostly causing me stress. I told her that it was the silent treatment I usually get from my husband- but other than that, he’s a good man. I may be working hard for the family’s finances, but he never hurt me. He picks me up when I am sick and cares for me the best way he can.

My doctor just looked at me- with a disheartening stare as if telling me something that I did not completely get at the time.

Then she asked me, “he loves you? Do you believe that?’ I was stunned with the question.

Of course he does, he stays with me right? He’s there, he did not leave… is that not enough proof?

Then she adds, “a man who truly loves his woman is a man who would not let his woman suffer for him or because of him. He will make sure that he is able to give her what she needs in all aspects. He will fall face first if he knows that he is not able to even attempt to give her what she deserves- because he simply knows her worth” … I did not get any of it… but now, as I go back to that scene, I get her point.

I heard the same thing from my psychiatrist. Telling me that when it comes to men who really love their women, they are the ones who would give their all to give their woman the worth that they deserve. Even during fights, a man who loves his woman is a man who respects the worth of the lady he offers his life to. He will never degrade his own woman because that will be a breakage to his own pride.

He takes pride on the happiness of his wife. Hence, a husband who loves his wife does all that he can to make sure that his wife is happy- the simple fact that a lot of women fail to recognize. It is expected that such efforts ought to reciprocate by the wife… which also fails at some point in some marriages where the men are the ones who are feeling emotionally abused.

What was missing was that I did not respect myself enough, a reason why I did not require any of such respect from him either way. I learned to settle for what was being given me. I was taught in high school to fight for what I want and what I thing was right and in most cases I did- a reason for one of my classmates to ask me “what happened to you? I remember you were the one we looked up to when it comes to getting things right- how could just one man break all the walls you have built? How could one man degrade you to the state you are in now? I am not used to seeing you this weak….” At the time I heard this, I felt sorry for myself- I thought she was just lacking empathy.Now, I go back to her words, and all I can realize is “she’s right… what happened to me?” I mean, if I was in her place and she in mine, I would have said the same thing. It is just so frustrating to see a person you once adored because of her strength to be broken piece by piece because of a past that catches up faster than the present life that the person is living. It feels hopeless to help someone who may seem to have already given up. But it belongs to us to decide whether or not we are to get up.

Going back to what I was told in the past, about me, about my thoughts and the explanations behind the emergence of my frustration, I realized, somehow, I lost something in the way that caused me to be this tied up to a connection that was tearing me down.

I lost my self-respect. I began to live for the happiness of others because I thought making them happy would make me happy. I set aside too much of what I wanted that I lost myself along the way.

My psychiatrist reminded me, there is a thin line that separates self- sacrifice from self-destruction.

Self-sacrifice calls for doing something extra, something unexpected, something that you could extend to others without completely losing yourself. You sacrifice because it gives you purpose; it makes you complete.

Self-destruction takes a more precarious way of submitting you to making decisions that are often uncalled for- not thoroughly thought of-decisions that you make because someone else would be happy to the point that you lose yourself in the process.

So that’s it.

I mixed and matched self-sacrifice and self-destruction,that when I was left alone to tend to my two boys and work hard for the life that we have now, I lost the purpose, because he was the one I primarily made happy then. The purpose was to keep the peace in the house solid, to make him happy so that we’d be able to spend good times with the kids. It was my purpose; it was my meaning. And now that it is gone, I find myself groundless.

Going back to what my psychiatrist advised, I have to learn to say “no”.

This will help me rebuild the respect I have for myself.

I wait for closure- which is again, an anomaly to my progress to letting go.

I was advised to make my closure. To never expect from the other party to apologize and to never hope that they would come to realize what they have done. Because no one would say ‘sorry’; no one would apologize, especially if they do not think they have done anything wrong at all.

I make closure not for them, nor for the relationship we had, but for me.

The only person who can break the chains from the past and let go is myself. It takes a step-by-step process but it is possible. I will stumble every now and then, but it everything can be mended. There’s always a better day to look forward to- a better goal to hold on to, and right now, that goal is to rebuild myself from the dust particles that I have been reduced to.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wish you speedy recovery and healing.


    1. Ruth Serrano says:

      thank you so much for liking and for your comment Hariom… 🙂 it came at the right time 🙂 thanks a lot

      Liked by 1 person

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