Job, resurrected*

A letter from Tara’s friend, Abby. Abby is a victim of narcissistic abuse by certain family members and has just found out about it.

(featured image is Job and His Three Friends by James Jacques Joseph Tissot)


Tara, dear,
I’m beginning to question why I am being alive at all. Is my purpose to be abused by my family? Did God put me here so that I can be the receiver of abuse? Is this why I was created? I get born, I get to be abused, and then I die without having rest from the abuse?

Just now I was listening to my housemates conversing over our morning cup and the conclusion is that they hope we’ll get together again, the family.

My God, they have no idea how this family destroyed my life, and they can only hope that I be “humble” enough so that we all get “reconciled.”

My God. I will never ever have the chance to have a life as me, Abby, I’m gonna die being used all the way. My being a good person, a good daughter, a good human, has trapped me in this abuse. There’s no escape from it. God Himself allowed me to get this abuse. I have always followed God’s rules and this is the outcome. Is God happy that I ended up like this, and only a decade or two before I die? And then, what, does heaven even exist? What is the sense of my consciousness? Why was I even allowed this awareness? Is God happy that I suffered because of my generosity and humility and understanding and kindness and empathy? I can’t believe it all. God does not make sense.

You know me, Tara. I don’t speak unless I mean it, so may God forgive me. He already knows my thoughts before I wrote down everything.

I’ll see you soon. Until then, take care.
Hugs,
Abby

* The Book of Job, in the Bible, tells of the character Job who suffered unimaginable loses despite his adherence to God’s rules as was taught in his day (this was around 4,000 years ago, as is believed by many scholars, in the Arabian region). Job expresses his hurt and existential questions to God in the hearing of his wife and friends. The book is so much worth reading and/or researching about. It tackles one of the most difficult questions of humanity: a suffering that does not make sense.

Tara’s friend, Abby, is experiencing a similar agony to Job’s, though not exactly. I thank Abby and Tara for sharing the core content of Abby’s letter. This letter, together with the thoughts and comments by the readers (that’s you, dear friend), which will eventually contribute to the overall content of this post, will surely help the many persons around the world who are undergoing a similar experience as Job then, and Abby now.

May the posters below be of help to those who are seeking answers. May God bless us all.

Thanks many times to the owners of the posters! (uhuh, I don’t own any of them) Be well, my friend.

Got a Crush on Teacher

I.  Infatuation: Only In My Dreams.

Let him dwell there

where he wants to go now,

now that he’s freshly hatched.

Let him poke about his head

where he wills

now that he’s welcome.

Give him the benefit of the privilege

of cohabiting with your plans,

your illusions, your hazy moments

between sleep and reality.

Let him stare at you at his will

at his whim, at his time

let him be, until no more.

II.  Differing Realms.

When I nod with them

in agreement that you’re just an illusion,

I wonder at the authenticity

of my indrawn breath

whenever I witness your approach.

I wonder at the rush of clear air

entering my head

as your shoulders advance to the vicinity

of my aural space.

For I haven’t seen anything more real

than your bespectacled face,

moisturized with exotic genes and whatnot,

open to my guarded scrutiny.

For I haven’t heard anything more real

than your carefree voice,

rich with the realities of your existence,

at times rude, at times erudite.

When I nod with them, I mean to agree

that your realness is beyond my realm of defined possibilities.

III. Letting Be.
Photo by Sean Kong

You’re a detached performer

fulfilling your obligations to your freedom,

always in the present

until all the presents are gone;

so that I have no notion of the future

where you’re concerned,

me, a silent bystander with arms akimbo,

always as watchful as a dumb sheep.

(March 8, 2000)

Beach Life (1 and 2)

Beach Life. Part 1. Reason: Mom at 83.

Mommy is a frail 83 year-old lady who had pneumonia eleven years ago. This meant being very vigilant and extra careful regarding the present covid pandemic. What we did was retreat from our formerly crowded community and retreated to our rural home.

But, alas, the idyllic spot hid some camouflaging snakes of the worst kind (opportunistic humans who prey on the unwary). This, together with the distance from mom’s other family members, made her feel unsettled. It took a toll on her nerves and health. She was always worried about this and that.

So, at 82, mom once again gathered her strength to transfer the entire hosehold stuff accross the sea, to the house where she raised her children.

But, alas, the idyllic spot hid some camouflaging snakes of the worst kind (opportunistic humans who prey on the unwary). Mom named the snakes and in return she lost her good health. Her bones and muscles and heart ached, and she longed for the beach once again.

So, at 83, mom got to the beach that was the birthplace of her dear husband, my dad.

She is recuperating, and we hope to enjoy our new beach life. As God wills. Amen.

Beach Life. Part 2. Reality: Heaven Despite Poverty.

Because mom is still recuperating, then I can’t post her picture. Instead, I have here pictures of paradise.

The snakes in this paradise are harmless to us. We have personal immunity against them, so to say. We are free to go where we want in this little beach place, the thought of which is kind of next to heaven.

But don’t let the scenes mislead you. This is rural Philippines. The bottom line is poverty. Always always always. Don’t let the kids’ laughters and the adults’ smiles fool you. In the houses of families who have lived next to the beach for generations, many go by a one-day-one-eat existence. Eating twice a day is almost the norm. Many have lifetimes of debts, incurred for the family’s food’s sake. When torrential rains come, the earth-floors turn to stamping-earth-pads of bare little feet that can’t be stopped from romping around. Sweet innocent souls—muddied arms and feet and gleefully chattering like the noisy morning birds.

Don’t let the blissful looking beach trick you into believing that there can be no sadness in paradise, here on earth. Yet all who come to the water’s edge will say, “The sea breeze does wonders for the soul.” Mom and I will have lungfulls of this sea breeze and she’ll say, “It is best to let one’s mind ripple like water over the cares of this world.”

Alas, many will agree with her.

Lack of Words

When there’s a lack of words to put up an architecture

of my feelings I spread out wide nets of gropings

out about me, my sensitivities vigilant

to that rare abundance of inspiration.

Like today when the air is dry enough for perpetual

non-awareness I try to squeeze out from the

molecules themselves instances of wisdom that

have been recycled for ages.

Though I must say I do not see at all a

positive correlation between an abundance of

feelings and an abundance of words.

Like that time when I let go of Daddy.

I knew it was a day when my net of feelings

choked me into chitinous silence,

when angry glares and pursed lips were all

I could manage just to stay calm.

And for years now my wellsprings of expressions

where this monotonous pause is concerned has been void

of promptings, though my rhetorics have been abundant,

string upon string of them passing through my temples.

There’s still a lack of words, though bits of my theatricals

have been shamelessly aired to two handfuls of

down-to-earth trusted friends

Jalex, Nonoy, Atan, Toto, Magal, Nene, Emilio, William,

and you.

(written 5 years after Daddy died, missing him)

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