, pub-9551754683506821, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 MommyDharlz.Com: June 2021

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Dear Survivor, It's Nice To See You're Smiling Again...

Dear Survivor,

How are you? No one ever asks that question anymore. Some do ask, but they'd just ask because they're just curios.  And if you try to tell people, they attack you for being negative or for simply feeling unwell. Feels like you are fighting this battle alone, don't you? So I am asking you instead. How are you? 

In Myanmar, whenever you are asked that question, you always felt awkward telling truths about discomfort or of being unhappy or sad. Why was that? You always wanted people to think that you are okay, even though most of the time, you were not. Although you are honest in most aspects, it's the "How are you?" questions that you feel needed a positive answer. So right now, can you honestly say you are not okay?  Or, would you still tell people that everything's fine and that, you are coping. Hmmm..

It has been more than 2 months since you were repatriated from Myanmar due to the unrest under the military rule. The pandemic didn't scare you that much, although your salary and benefits suffered a lot due to low enrolment brought about by it, but because you stayed home most of the time,  it was safer to stay in, and budget was also bearable, you never complained. In fact, you considered it still a blessing to have income in a crucial time. But the military takeover last February 1 drove you to leave your second home and come back to the country with almost nothing. It was a scary and heart breaking time in Myanmar, you cried everyday and every night, for fear, and with all the deaths and killings of innocent lives. Waking up to nearby shootings and the noise when the military use guns, and tear gas to disperse the people who fought for their democracy day in, day out. You were scared for your Burmese brothers and sisters, but couldn't do anything to help them. Coming home was the safest option. Everything and everyone is monitored, even until now. Communications were cut off during the night and in the morning you hear news of kidnappings and killings, buildings being burned. There was a time you were afraid your family wouldn't be able to contact you as Internet and phone lines were cut. No one monitored the COVID situation for a time, and people were dying by the gun. Traumatic for them, so much for you who can't help, or do anything to make their voices heard. How are you with that? 

You said you're going to jump to another country but first you needed to renew your licenses and prepare new sets of documents and make sure your daughter can also transition well to Senior High School before you leave again. You liked being an OFW for the salary you can't get in the Philippines plus the perks and benefits of being a foreign teacher  that it's the best option you'd always choose, but you said you will not go back until you have prepared everything. You said you're going to focus on online teaching first and do freelance work while you wait for your next departure. You have revived blogging and ventured on to vlog in YouTube. Perhaps make it monetized and earn from it too. Well it isn't too late. 

But then everything didn't work out the way you hoped they would. The house was too noisy, even noise cancelling microphones wouldn't work so you kept postponing your demo. Starting over in blogging is strange these days, and vlogging? Your subscribers are still way below the required.  Deployment and movement of OFWs are at a stand still due to travel and border restrictions! Plus,  await the schedule for vaccination. Ha! Savings have now been depleted, loans and insurance need payments, you end up thinking of ways to make things work. Overthinking right into panic's door.

So last June 11, this happened to your face. 
Bell's Palsy.. You dealt with it with your  parent's help, mostly their care and their money because you have nothing anymore. Medication, doctors' fees and rehabilitation are shouldered by them. Good thing you have siblings that care too. They made things comfortable for you. Oh how you felt ashamed, and worried because your senior citizen parents are also dealing with their own medical maintenance. You are supposed to give them comfort, and not be a burden to them. You always cringed at the thought of people being dependent on their families or the government, yet here you are, penniless like a beggar and helpless like a scared cat.
You can't speak properly, lisping most times, can't pronounce words correctly, can't smile like before. Can't move forward with your online teaching plans. Can you say you are still okay? Most times you cry without tears, and at times tears fall without you crying. But on the outside, you laugh..

Are you really sure you are still okay?

You gather yourself together, find means to earn, with your mother lending you a small capital, that you started to venture into selling Black Rice, Salted Eggs (Itlog Maalat), Dragon Fruit, then decided to make use of unsold fruits and made them into Dragon Fruit Jam to sell.

A little squeeze of creative juices here and there, until they get sold.

But your hard work came back badly knocking you out, and instead of you getting better, your Bell's Palsy has reversed healing. Oh no!

You are a mother so you assist your daughter in her scholarship application for Senior High School, and you read her scholarship application essay and cry your heart out... Is this the work of a 15 year old? She was when she wrote this,  she's turned 16, 3 days ago. 

Oh how you felt sorry that your daughter feels she is in dire need of the scholarship because you have nothing to spend for her education at this point in time. Hurts like hell, doesn't it? You ask yourself what kind of parent you are for making her go through this. Are you still saying you are okay?

Now, now. I think you are weighing things much more heavily than you should. Your daughter is smart like you, and a survivor too. This is a phase in her life that will shape her and prepare her for the bigger world you want her to conquer. She'll be fine. She'll excel as she always have. Don't feel sorry, don't feel bad. Your daughter's understanding of your situation is deeper than anyone can fathom. That is her strength.

So, Dear Survivor, stop! 

Just stop! Accept that you are not okay and deal with it!

It's time to give yourself time to heal. You haven't really rested, as both your doctors ordered. You're stressing things out and it's taking a toll on your health, mentally, physically, psychologically and if I am not mistaken, your spirit is drowning too. Save yourself. You are the only one who can!

Where is the fighter that you once were? But in order to fight, you need strength. Where is the person who always makes sure she wins? But in order to win, you have to be okay. Where is that smile that brightens everyone else's day? Bell's Palsy may just make you smile differently, but your eyes twinkle every time you do, so it has nothing to do with the mouth area. Besides, with a mask on, no one notices anything but the smile in your eyes. 

Dear Survivor, take this time not as a downtime to wallow in self pity and give in to depression, but take this as a time to replenish your energy. Think of this as a vacation. A halt. A temporary phase. You always said everything in life is temporary, so why not think that way now? Give in to healing. Everything that you feel you've lost will surely come back. Money will come. Your life will be in balance again. But you have to take this time to fully heal... 

Dear Survivor,  don't just survive! Win this battle! Because you can! You always have, you always will!

Much Love, 

Mommy Dharlz 


Dear Mommy Dharlz,

You have read this blog post over and over, and cried buckets of tears reading every word. How are you now?



Dear Survivor,

Yes, I have cried an ocean as I read through each word I posted. Everything I have written was personal, but I didn't care who've read the blog anymore. I felt liberated. I read through all the comments and I am glad I have let go of these feelings that has burdened me. I am better. I am ready to heal. 

I saw my two doctors this morning, and for the first time since my Bell's Palsy started, I could say I am ready to focus on my healing. My mother and I had a heart to heart talk in the car while my father was out, and for the first time also, I saw through her, the loving woman that she is, always ready to assist me, whatever happens in my life. The same love I have for my daughter. 

I am glad I did this. 

Thank you Universe.

Mommy Dharlz


Dear Survivor, 

There is nothing that worries me anymore. Perhaps I felt overwhelmed by the situation because this is the first time in my life that I have felt useless, and a burden. Looking at how the world is suffering right now, and how everyone is dealing with losses brought about by the pandemic, I didn't want to be someone who will add to the misery of people, especially not to my loved ones. That was perhaps what's bothered me. Well... That's hardcore over thinking. Ha! A battle within thyself. 

So congratulations dear survivor, you have finally broken the chain that has bound you, and hindered you to move forward with your healing.

Let me remind you of what you have accomplished even with Bell's Palsy. You continue to care for your family in the chores that you do. Cooking for them with love, when you can. Oh how they enjoy your delicious meals. 

That's not being a burden, you still contribute in the best way you can. 

And just recently you, as the president of your "clan", organized a 3 day online Pass-the-hat for a relative in Manila who passed away. You were able to collect P 35,000 from relatives abroad and in the country, with constant monitoring, that the bereaved family hasn't stopped thanking you for organizing it, and helping them through the toughest time in their lives.
See? Is that someone who is useless and a burden? Plus, you have started to capitalize on your other skills to make money. Isn't that something?

Anyway, I am happy you have finally come to your senses. 

Enjoy your vacation dear survivor. Everything will work out fine once you have healed. 

Lastly, give yourself a pat on your shoulder. Thank you for always trying, no matter what. 

Thank you. Thank you..Thank you..

Love you always,

Mommy Dharlz


"This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project Season 2: Dear Survivor”. The initiative continues to respond to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis.  The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. The “Write to Ignite Blogging Project” Season 2 is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, with Eastern Communications and Jobstreet as co-presenters, with AirAsia and Xiaomi as major sponsors, and with Teleperformance as sponsor."