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I Stopped Being the Victim

The author is a Registered Nurse, Teacher II in English and has worked as an Operations Manager in a BPO company for 7 years.

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I have a soft heart for everything. I cry for most things that matter to me. If I watch a movie and it touched my heart, I would cry. If I read a book and I'm able to connect to it, I will easily cry. I wasn't afraid of crying or if anyone will see me cry. I was more afraid to not feel anything or hide what I truly feel. I didn't see that part of me as a weakness. Others did and they used it against me.

I'm the eldest of 8 children. I grew up conditioned to take on anything for my siblings and whole family. I have to be the role model. I have to excel in something so my brothers and sisters will follow my lead. I don't take rejection and failure easily. My only goal is to win and succeed. If that is a crime, probably I would rot in jail. My focus is to prove that I can do things more than what they expect of me. If I can do it, therefore my siblings can do the same thing.

Academically, I excelled on most subjects except Math. Even I has weakness, Mathematics and Physical Education. I'm better with words, Science and Arts & crafts. I'm not the popular type of student because of looks or body. I'm so far from being the beauty queen. I'm a full pledged Geek and I hold nothing against it. I have great passion for studying. I have so many questions inside my head and I want answers for it. Some, I found on books because at that time there was no internet yet. Most I found through my teachers and their shared experiences. My world revolves on school and home. I may go out with friends but with limited time because I need to go home before 5 pm.

I went through grade school with lots of memories accompanied by medals and awards. Most of them are nowhere to be found after our parents' house was rebuilt. Ironically, I care less about those gold and silver badges and certificates. I treasure more the memories I got to get those souvenirs. And yes, I refer to them as souvenirs. They are just reminders of what I experienced to get them in school. Remaining as top one in class is not easy. I got pressured but my goal remained. I don't like the feeling of loosing.

When I started high school in a Catholic church, I experienced my first failure in academics. I wasn't first in the class. I was just the third. That really hurt my pride and ego not being number one. What did I do wrong? How can I be number one again? Those are the questions I had inside my head. I became more serious in achieving my goal and still I ended up second in the class or third. I was frustrated. What was I doing wrong? At that time I didn't realize that there are a lot more like me who is focused with their dreams. There are a lot of students fighting for the same thing as me. Along the way I realized what and where I am good at. I thrived on it. There are areas that I need help on too. It was difficult accepting your weakness. I must say, it took me a long time to even acknowledge where I needed to improve on. It is part of the journey growing up.

I wanted to be a teacher since grade school. I ended up taking up Nursing because at that time, it is in demand profession abroad. My auntie was the one who sent me to school. My father's salary in Saudi as a pipe fitter is not enough to sustain our education. It is a blessing to have relatives who are willing to help. My Auntie Ofelia wanted to be a nurse before but their family has no money to send her to college. Just like my father, they ended up with jobs out of necessity. So she vowed to help her nieces and nephews when she can. She did and it started with me. I have no time to complain. I took the opportunity and study nursing. My goal lies strong but at times I would wonder why I'm in that course. I respected the profession but my blood is not excited and thrilled. Still, I completed it and gained my nursing license.

Do I still cry easily? It never stopped even after college. It grew more evident when I started working as a nurse in a public hospital. I'm okay at work and just being a nurse. But sometimes when I go home and I feel sorry for our healthcare system and patients confined in that hospital. Whatever we have learned in school is not usually applied 100% in the nursing practice because of the lack of equipment and facilities that other progressive countries have. Our healthcare insurance is just a speck of what other countries offer. You can only try as much as you can and improvise for the convenience and need of the patients. Basically, that is all we can do. We can't focus on what we don't have. We can only try our best to make the patients well together with the help of our doctors. I cry not because we can't do anything. I cry because that's all we can do when we could have done more. If the medical staffs feel helpless, what more the patients and their families? They are confined in public hospitals because they want to. They are there because the medical fees in private hospitals are very expensive that they cannot afford. Sad reality for most third world countries, I guess.

Did I get tired of the routine? Yes. I had to help send my siblings I'm school too and my salary as a nurse is not enough. I shifted to the BPO industry and became a call center agent. I should be embarrassed because I have a degree and I settled to be an agent. I am not. I have learned to love the craft. I enjoyed talking to people from different states in the United States. Being able to connect with people I haven't seen is one strength I developed. Or maybe, because they aren't able to see me, my inferiority complex doesn't attack much. I am not afraid that they will judge me because of how I look. I found a new sense of freedom. You can be who you want to be but still staying professional. I see that job in a different manner. It pays well and it makes me feel good. I seldom cry as an agent.

My life rebooted when I got separated from a bad relationship. I no longer feel alone because I have someone. I am alone because I already kicked my ex out of my life and house. There are days that I would cry not because I'm lonely but because I wasted two years of my life with the wrong person and a false marriage. I am not at fault but I'm blaming myself for being deceived. I'm blaming myself because I let him use me for his advantage. I'm blaming myself because I made a mistake. Who would not cry when you felt sorry for yourself? I'm older at that time but I felt like a kid. I'm just a girl not a woman. The journey of freeing me from a bad past wasn't easy. I drowned myself with work. It became a temporary relief and fix for the broken Rona. Still, the pain was there. Anesthesia does fade, right? I was bounded with routine.

The day I stopped crying is when I declared that I'm no longer a victim. I got tired of blaming myself. In my journey of freeing myself from a bad past reached its 360 degrees turn when I started loving myself finally. I bullied myself far too long that maybe I reached the quota. Instead of putting myself up in a good way, I relied on people's opinions of me. I should have stood my ground from the beginning and marked the limit of what they can say or do to me. I have read too many fairy tale stories that I'm waiting for a fairy godmother to help me out. I should have been my own hero. Being a victim for too long is a crime. You have to find out if it's them or it's already YOU who's the problem. I have forgiven myself for committing that crime. This is the reason why I'm no longer a victim of my own thoughts.