I Could Have Told Them

This is a sequel to the post “How Will I Tell Them?” (https://iamhappybutsad.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/how-will-i-tell-them/) This thing happened two weeks ago. It was on a Saturday.

Before what happened on that Saturday, two months ago, my sister had terrible nightmares. So she decided to start reciting the rosary. After we ate our dinner, she asked me if I wanted to join her. As I have already said in the previous post, I no longer believe, or however you call it, in rosaries. So I said no and added that I had to finish a homework which really needed to take up some time, which was true. The night after, she asked me again if I wanted to join her and again, I said no. She asked me why because she felt that I had other reasons. She was right. I said, “Basta. I don’t believe in it.” Then, about two days later my mother called and she told me that my sister said I don’t believe in God. Now wait a second?? No one mentioned I don’t believe in God! I clearly said I don’t believe in rosaries. So I told my mother that I believe in God, I just don’t believe in rosaries. Our conversation sort of ended there. Now we go to that Saturday, two weeks ago.

My father, my sister, and I went to Cebu early morning that Saturday to attend my nephew’s christening. We arrived in Cebu at ten in the morning. We stayed in a hotel and they booked three rooms because there were nine of us. While we went to the other room, my other sister, Mammy my closest big sister suddenly said, “Uy, you don’t believe in God?” There was it again. I replied no and said I don’t believe in rosaries. I lied down in the comfy bed, burrowing my head on the pillow. Mammy patted my back and asked what other things didn’t I believe in. But instead of waiting my reply, she and my other sisters started saying like, “Do you still believe in saints?”, “Don’t tell me, you don’t go to church too.” And they ended it up with, “Maybe next time we see you, you’re already doing Satanist rituals.”

WHAT?! WHAT??!! WHAAAT???!!!

How could they assume such things? Then, they brought up my college. They said they fear that if I went to UP, I will become an activist and they’ll see me on TV holding up a sign, screaming at the government. I wanted to shout that moment. But I just said, “No. I won’t do that. I only have one goal and that is to become a doctor.” Because it really is my goal when I go to college. To study medicine and graduate and help people. But they acted like they didn’t hear me say it. Our conversation was cut off when we were asked to prepare already for our nephew’s christening.

We didn’t talk about it until quarter to eleven that evening. We were in the rooftop of the hotel, me, four of my sisters, my brother-in-law, and Mammy’s boyfriend. Mammy started the conversation. My eldest sister was the one most shocked. She commented, “Huh? Why man, bata?” Then my other sister (not the one who asked me to join her in her rosary session) said, “It’s like Anti-Catholicism.” The thing that hurt the most during that conversation was how she said it. She said it as if I had sinned gravely. Then Mammy and the eldest said, “We’re devout Catholics baya.” There it is. The blow.

I tried to say something but they were just all over the place. Not even giving me time to explain. So I laid my forehead on the edge of the table, covering my face with my handkerchief , and preventing myself from crying. Mammy, who was sitting next to me, patted my back and said, “Bunso (youngest) is crying.” She added, “We’re not condemning you or judging you. We’re intelligent people baya. We’re just curious.” Then later on, she added that no matter what I believe in they will support me.

Really?? Because the way I felt it, the way it sounded it to me, you were condemning me and judging me for my belief, And you say we’re intelligent people, just curious. If you’re curious will you just keep on talking, asking questions, and not even trying to find time to know the answer? It hurt, a lot. My very own family seemed to have turned their backs against me. That’s how it felt. From believing that I don’t believe in God, when I clearly did not say those words, to commenting that my beliefs are Anti-Catholicism and that you’re devout Catholics. It was very painful. It was terrible. The most terrible night of all terrible nights. My family saying they will support me no matter what but seem to be persuading me that Catholicism is right and that my beliefs are wrong. And I can’t forget when they mentioned a classmate for whom you are “blaming” for my sudden change of beliefs. It hurt in every proportion. It hurt in every way. I didn’t even get to have the chance to tell you my side.

The morning after, Mammy said that this December (as we are going to celebrate Christmas and New Year in Cebu for the first time), I will have to explain. And I will if they just keep silent and not say anything.

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