Humans of Ateneo
Humans of Ateneo is a project of the Sanggunian: Commission on Mental Health that aims to share the different stories of resilience among the Ateneo Loyola Schools community in order to inspire the student body.
It was my fear to lose my boyfriend, and when it finally happened, I got diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. He was my hero, and I admired him so much. Losing him was gradual: there were signs I saw. For the first six months, we were inseparable. We were each other’s best friends, and we spent almost every day together. Then, out of nowhere, it faded. Spending every day together became too much for him. To this day, I still don’t know what triggered it. All I know is that after the honeymoon period, he somehow lost feelings. He had a lot of female friends, and it bothered me that he put more attention to them, and he wanted to spend time with them alone without me. Well, they were my friends too but he somehow didn’t want me there. The more he pushed away, the more I came on to him. The absence of reassurance made me depressed, and one day, I was stuck in bed unable to get up. My friend had to call me and help me get up from bed, and he brought me to the guidance counselor.
One day, [my boyfriend] shoved me in the face. It was at Perfy’s, and all my friends saw it. I guess it was because he was so angry that we spent so much time together. Sometimes, he would also grab my arm really hard and one time, he pulled my backpack in Gonzaga, which made me freeze in fear. Then, I was so shocked that he wanted a break from the relationship to fix himself. That broke me: I cut classes the whole week and I felt depressed, but I didn’t let go. I stayed for another six months.
Time and time again, he would emotionally abuse me, telling me that I’ll never find someone nice enough to make effort like he did, or that he hopes the next guy can “handle my crazy”. It became a cycle: one moment, he gets angry at me then the next, he’d be so sweet and so ma-effort. When you love someone more than you love yourself, you fear losing him. That fear will keep you holding on to something toxic yet you do it anyway because you’re blinded by love.
This is my side of the story, my truth, the truth that people attacked me for speaking about. I lost a lot of friends talking about this on social media without naming him. I talk about this, because I want people to understand why battered women stay. I want them to understand that things like this happen, yet we don’t talk about it. People hide behind closed quarters and let their loved ones abuse them. I can’t lie, I still love him. I’m sure he still knows that. I love him so much that a part of me is happy that he’s now living a life of redemption. I just get hurt that it was so easy for him to let me go.
People think that when you’re vulnerable, it makes you weak. When you say what you feel in public, it makes you weak. But, I don’t believe it. I think in fact, it makes you strong. Being vulnerable means you’re strong enough to risk being hurt. It takes a certain amount of courage to jump and risk it all. I just hope all of you can love yourself while loving another. Know what’s good for you. Know what can damage you. Know what’s worth letting go, and what’s worth staying for. I hope the world can speak up too, I hope everyone is not afraid to speak their truth.