standing up for myself
Since I was a kid, I have always been a passive kind of person. I was never one of those athletic students nor one of the 'big' guys. Thus, there had been a couple of times that I have been bullied in school or even in my own neighborhood.
This somehow gave me the potential to be a victim of different kinds of abuses in this very nasty world. I have gone through a lot of these. I have been abused emotionally, mentally and yes, sexually- but that is not yet what I'm going to talk about now.
It has always been hard for me to say 'no' to anyone. Though I know something wrong 's going on, I always find myself being manipulated by other people (even by strangers) to do something I know I shouldn't. I almost always never have been able to stand up for myself. Say for instance, the jeepney driver has given me my change less than I should rightfully have, I tend to just let it pass or say, when I am in a group work and someone else gets recognized through my work, I also just let it go. I only get the chance to stand up when I see other people, especially those who are close to me, failing to get recognized for their work or getting 5 peso change when they had to get 10, or simply being unable to stand up for themselves. That's when I get the courage to do it, for them. It somehow makes me feel that I have also stood up for myself for all those times that I should have.
But something must be different about this afternoon.
A few minutes after Darelle dropped me off in front of Pier One in Buendia (I took a hitch), I hailed a bus that would take me to the RCBC. When I boarded the bus, at least three men stood up who seemed to be going down. I tried to squeeze myself to the right as I passed through to also let them pass but the first guy was blocking my way. I thought he was just waiting the bus to stop completely, but my instinct (as always) told me something was wrong. For a split second I turned and saw him passing something to the guy behind him and as though insinctively, I pulled the second guy by the shirt and caught a glimpse of my very own celphone before I shouted, somehow passively: "Manong, celphone ko po 'yan."
Funny that I even remembered to respect him for his age with my 'po'
After he gave me back my phone and after the three of them sprinted to go down, I became an instant celebrity inside the bus (hiding my knees which were shaking raucously) before I reached RCBC. The experience somehow gave me pride and such a great but unfamiliar good feeling of standing up for myself.
Almost lost you, buddy.