January 4, 2006. Wednesday.

I went to see Dr. M to have the mole beside my mouth checked. I want it taken out. He looked at it and said that he will contact a dermatologist for me.

This morning, I started to have discomforts when I pee. After the pee comes out, there seems to be a muscle contracting inside and it hurts. And there is blood when I wipe myself. I also needed to go to the bathroom more frequently than usual. I didn’t mention this to the doctor because I thought it was just temporary. That it would get better. It was in September when I noticed blood after I had sex with H. So I thought it was just the same thing this time. I bled then for only one day.

When my appointment was done, I hesitated to go to the bathroom in the doctor’s clinic before I went outside. I was already worried that I might pee in my pants like I did last night. But it was just so uncomfortable to pee, so I didn’t. I thought I could hold it in until I get home. I did put pads in my underwear anyway. But I didn’t catch the bus that turns on our street and would take me directly to the bus stop near my house. I caught the other one that goes straight to the highway. That meant that I had to walk for about ten minutes. About halfway through my walk, I started to feel the need to pee. I sure hoped that I could make it home. I was only a block away from home when pee started to come out. Okay, I had a pad. But once that pee started flowing, I just couldn’t control it and I peed in my pants. I looked down my legs and yes, my pants were wet. It’s good that my coat reaches up to below my knees and the wetness could be covered. I heard a bus coming from behind me as I approached the bus stop. I started to walk faster. I didn’t want anybody to see my wet pants. Although hindi naman halata.

I immediately changed and washed myself when I got home.

Now I am worried. What if I have become incontinent?

January 3, 2006. Tuesday.

I went to see my dentist. They needed to get a mould of my teeth for the nightguard that they are making. The last time I went for a cleaning, Dr. J said that I am grinding my teeth at night. He could tell from the way I am wearing out my teeth. How come I never noticed? Well, of course, I would be asleep. I still couldn’t quite believe it because I don’t feel anything. Could it be caused by stress? I certainly had been under a lot of stress for the past six months. That incident with my oldest son and H happened in June and I have had a hard time forgiving H for letting that happen.

At night when I went to the washroom, I didn’t make it to the toilet. I wet not just my panties but also my pants a little bit. I’m a kind of worried.

December 16, 2005. Friday.

I was still washing the dishes when H came home at around 11:30 at night. He wanted me to move so he could throw something in the garbage under the sink. I couldn’t stand him getting close next to me so I barked at him, “Why can’t you wait ’til I’m finished?”

He got irritated, too, because I have been snapping at him lately. He pushed one of the kitchen chairs and said, “Mabuti pang umuwi na lang ako sa Pinas. Bakit ka pa nagsisimba? Ganyan naman ang ugali mo. Ano’ng ipinagdadasal mo?”

Although I knew I was wrong at snapping at him, these words rang in my ears:

Mabuti pang umuwi na lang ako sa Pinas.” That’s the same thing he used to say when we had fights back when we were still at William Avenue, ten, eleven years ago. Even when we moved here to this house, he must have repeated these words a couple of times. And although it had been years since I last heard them, it stayed in the back of my mind. And I know deep inside me that he might just do that in the end. And I would grow old alone. I just can’t understand why he wouldn’t want to have a go at sorting our problems out instead of threatening me of leaving and moving back to the Philippines.

Bakit ka pa nagsisimba?” Bakit nga ba? Dahil na rin sa mga bata. Gusto ko silang ihubog ng tama and then when they are of age they can decide for themselves if they want to continue going to church.

“Ano’ng ipinagdadasal mo?” Ipinagdadasal kong tulungan Niya akong mapatawad ka sa mga pagkukulang mo sa akin. I know I also have my own faults. I’m praying that we could forgive each other and start to have a normal relationship. Without this constant pain that I’m feeling.

I didn’t say any of these to him. I couldn’t control my tears when I went to bed. I have been sleeping in the kids’ bedroom.

December 3, 2005. Saturday.

The kids and I all had dentist appointments. When Dr. J had a look at me, he said that I will need to wear a night guard. He said that I was grinding my teeth at night. He could tell from the way I am wearing away my teeth.

How could I not know that I am grinding my teeth? Well, of course, I was asleep when I must be doing it. I remember sis was a night grinder when she was a child. I wonder if she still is.

Now, I noticed that I clench my teeth when I am seething in anger with H. Could that be it? Could night grinding be caused by stress?

November 27, 2005. Sunday.

Purplegirl called while we were having supper. Her husband has passed the road test. One take only. And they’ve just bought a car. 2005 Silver Corolla. Inabot din ng $20,000. For pleasure lang ang claim nila sa Autopac kaya mababa lang daw ang insurance. Buti pa sila. Si H ay ilang take na ng road test pero hindi pa makapasa. And at least pareho silang may part-time na mag-asawa. Talagang pinaglalaanan nila ang pagbili ng sasakyan. Wala pa kasing anak kaya may time silang pareho na mag-part-time.

Ako’y kinakabahan dito sa asawa ko. Baka kapag nakapasa ng road test, isang araw ay umuwi na may dala nang kotse. Ganyan kasi iyan. Basta basta na lang bumibili ng mamahaling bagay katulad ng stereo na hindi ikinukunsulta sa akin. Ang katwiran niya ay magagalit ako. Eh ano kung magalit ako eh kapag ganyang malaking halaga ay dapat na pinag-uusapan iyan. Tapos hindi siya gumawa ng paraan para madagdagan ang income para may pambili ng mga bagay na iyon. Sa halip ay binabawasan niya ang ibinibigay niya sa akin. Kulang na nga eh, binabawasan pa. Saan siya kukuha ng panghulog sa kotse? Baka hindi na siya mag-abot ng pera sa akin. Maganda nga sana ang may kotse pero kung ganuon naman. Hay!

November 19, 2005. Saturday.

Today is Lady Red’s (my friend) Retirement Dinner and Dance Party.

I was surprised and kind of annoyed when H decided to come on the last minute. Just this Thursday, I asked him if he was coming and of course at first his answer was “Bahala na.” And it ticked me off. Just give me a yes or no answer. And then he said, “Okay, then NO.” Fine. He doesn’t usually go with me to my friends’ gatherings anyway. And I’m actually already so used to him not going that I like it better if it’s just me and/or the kids also came with me without him.

And then I had a “monologue” about our failing relationship. I said monologue because it was like talking to a wall. Well, anyway, I think he changed his mind after talking to Purplegirl. She probably told him, “Sumama ka na para may kausap si (asawa niya).” Kaya ayun sumama naman. I told him before we left, “Huwag mo akong bubulungan duon ng kung anu-anong masama at baka mabuwisit ako sa iyo.”

I asked Mama if she could give us a ride. I also invited her to the party because she knows my friend who’s retiring. But she didn’t want to. She just dropped us off there and left after.

When we got to the Community Club where this party was being held, the tables were already arranged and decorated. Red and white motif. Very nice and elegant looking. None of my friends were in sight. Lady Red asked them to come early to help her step-daughter who is also the party planner. Two of Lady Red’s cousins were also there helping. And the DJ was also already there.

Purplegirl, her husband, and Fair Lady came at around 5:00 pm. Then few guests started arriving. My 15-year old son’s band members also started arriving. The band was supposed to play at 6:00 pm while people are eating. But at 6:00 pm, there were only a few people. I suggested to Lady Red, “Why don’t you let the boys eat first before they play. Because some of them can’t stay past 7:30. They have other plans.” So she let them eat first. My son said that his friends liked the food. Which was good. At least nakabawi sila sa pagkain dahil binarat sila ni Lady Red, paying them only $100.00. $20 each, except for my son who gets nothing because there are six of them. But I promised him that I’d give him the $20 myself. So they started playing at 6:30 even though not everybody was there yet. They prepared an hour long performance. My friends liked the piece, “The Way You Look Tonight” and requested for an encore of that song.

Panay ang patawa ni H kay Purplegirl and Fair Lady who were both sitting across the table from me. Hindi naman nakakatawa sa akin. It’s an old act. When I first met him, yun and una kong nagustuhan sa kanya. Yung pagiging kenkoy niya. Pero hindi na ako natatawa ngayon. Patawa siya nang patawa dun sa dalawa. Mas marami pa siyang sinabi sa kanila nung gabing iyon kaysa sa sinabi niya sa akin sa buong linggo.

Nuong sayawan na, nahila ako nung mga babaeng sumayaw nung tinugtog yung YMCA by the Village People at saka yung iba pa ring tugtog. When I was already sitting down and just watching the girls dance, I was surprised when my 15-year old son got up and joined the circle while a Michael Jackson song was playing. Na-enganyo siguro nung makitang nag-mu-”Moonwalk” si Kuya Boy. I also joined them at pilit kong hinila si Bunso. Then later on, I saw my 15-year old dancing with Ate Ces. Mukhang nag-enjoy naman ang loko.

We left at around 11:00 pm. I asked Purplegirl to also call a cab for us. One for them and one for us. Nung palabas na kami, sabi ko kay H duon na siya sa labas at abangan yung taxi. Malamig kasi para sa mga batang maghintay sa labas dahil siyempre winter. Nung una ayaw niya. Nainis ako at sabi ko, “Ako na nga. Lagi na lang ako.” Tapos naglabasan din silang lahat nung lumabas ako kahit sinabi ko sa mga batang pumasok muna sila. Napipikon na talaga ako kay H.

Then nung tinanong ni MissEm kung saan kami sasakay, sabi ko mag-ta-taxi kami. Then she had this look on her face na para bang nakakabigla na mag-ta-taxi kami. She knows naman that we don’t have a car and that’s how we get around, either by bus or taxi. She didn’t have to give me that weird look.

November 9, 2005. Wednesday.

I’m in a bad place right now. H was growling at (my 11-year old) at the dinner table on Sunday when he was showing something from the TV guide to his kuya (my 15-year old). “Hoy, kumain ka nang maayos,” he said in that loud thundering voice. I hate it when he does that. I see my kids’ reaction and they cower. He sees these kids only in the weekends because he works at night, and I think that he should make the most of his time with them. Sure, he fools around with the two young ones every now and then. He was just playing and laughing with (the 11-year old) that afternoon and he suddenly turned into a monster just like that. I don’t think that’s good. I wanted to call on him but I know he would react and it would turn ugly. I didn’t want to do it in front of the kids.

I know he wanted to touch me since Sunday but I just finished my period and I was still dry down there. And a behaviour like the one he showed at dinner turns me off and, I just didn’t want him to touch me. There I was again sleeping at the edge of the bed trying to distance myself from him. The slightest touch of our skin would make him think that I want to do it. This morning, he wanted to hug and cuddle but I knew he wanted more than that. It was time for me to get up anyway.

There was this couple at Dr. Phil and the wife said that their sex life sucks. There was a case of infidelity on both sides. She said that she would make love to her husband and then feel disgusted. There was a time when I felt that way. And I don’t want to allow myself to feel that way again as much as possible. If I don’t want to do it, I won’t make him make me do it. I’m sorry. Okay, my husband hasn’t slept with another woman, at least, none that I know of, but sometimes he does these things that make me feel so bad and it hurts.

When I went downstairs today to get my lunch, he was watching the video he shot during his stay in the Philippines nung nag-balik-bayan siya nung 2003. That tells me he’s feeling homesick again. His uncle is going there this month and I know that if he could, he would go. I know he still considers the Philippines “home.” And I am hurt. His wife and kids are here and he considers the Philippines more of “home” than his family here. Our crappy relationship doesn’t help. I know he misses his family there but I mean, perhaps, if he could just try to focus on our relationship and help me work on it, not just for the sake of us two, but more so for the kids. Then maybe, he wouldn’t feel that homesick.

I know that someday, he would want to go back home and settle there. And that’s not what I have in mind. I don’t have relationships with friends there anymore. I’ve been here for so long, 16 years, and I’ve already established friendships here. Besides, my kids are here and they would have families here. I want to be where they are. I want to be close to them.

We are in the path of getting older. The kids will get older and eventually move out. So now, instead of looking forward to our time together alone, I might be headed for a life of being alone if he wanted to settle there in the Philippines and I want to stay here. Sometimes I wonder if I should stay knowing that I would be alone anyway in the long run. I can be unhappy at times and I’d ask myself why I’m staying with him. Is it just really for the sake of the kids? Yet I know that they can see that we don’t have a good relationship and when he’s being a jerk, I don’t want the kids to think that that’s okay. They might emulate that behaviour when they have their own families. Sometimes I think it’s just the financial aspect – it’s the reason I’m staying with him. I don’t think I can afford to raise the three kids on my own. I need his financial support.