I can't believe I am Finally Healing

The island has no distinct seasons. Only Habagat and Amihan winds. Habagat, when the wind blows from the sea and the garden is wet and humid. Amihan, when the wind blows from the north and the garden is cold and a bit dry. Well, it rains all year round. But it doesn't rain continuously for days, something I grew up with as a child in Manila.  

There are still some passionfruit falling from the vine. A few cacao pods ripen. It is winged bean season now. Butterfly season as well. The chilis grow all year round. I will make some Korean pancakes with these tonight.

The flower of something popularly called Insulin Plant (Chamaecostus cuspidatus) is peeking through my studio window. I planted this and some Brazilian red cloak in a gravel patch made for filtering grey water from the shower. These plants love the grey water. They are all flowering beautifully.

There are plenty of flowers in the garden. I bring some indoors to have something that brightens the space. I love them. Some of them grow roots. So I can plant them into the ground later on. I started bringing flowers into the house last year. I didn't think of doing it over the past 10 years living here. I thought I didn't need it. I thought it made the plant suffer. I just forgot about it. But because I suffered so badly last year after enduring nearly six months of therapy by a badly trained and unskilled psychologist from Bohol, I tried to heal myself without asking for help anymore. It was not easy. I still needed guidance. The flowers help but they were not enough.

Today I know that I can pick flowers and plants that grow roots when I cut them. I know that flowers also die like everything else. And like everything else they are beautiful. Even my pain over the years were beautiful. I can still grow roots.

I put a small mirror out on the balcony facing west. This mirror was in the bedroom for 12 years. One day I decided to place it outside so people coming in up the stairs can see themselves. They will have a view of the forest garden behind them. The greens brighten their faces. I smile when I look in this mirror because I can see the garden behind me. 

By the door on the southside balcony I have two hats and a hanging scale. I made the colorful hat 17 years ago. I bought the woven hat 8 years ago. I bought the hanging scale maybe 6 years ago. I used to hang towels or clothes here to dry. But that didn't look pretty. It wasn't practical either. These hats and the scale are much better. I can use the hat when I go out. I can come up and get the scale if I need to weigh something in the garden.

These are two of my three tailor's dummies. I ordered them from a shop in Metro Manila maybe 7 years ago. I should use them more. Because of all my troubles I haven't been using them as much as I intended to. They are dirty now because of years of dust. I think I can decoupage them so they will be easier to clean. I think about the many things I tried to do to heal myself over the past many years.

At the moment I am still making paintings. I love my paintings. End of March this year I found a new psychotherapist. She was my first therapist to acknowledge my paintings and guide me into making art as part of therapy with intent. With intent. Previously, I asked for help finding a good psychologist to help me. They were all busy. They said they will refer me to someone they knew. But they were busy too. Some of them didn't reply back. Yet I continued to look, until I found one. I chose her from several consultants for a clinic in a city over 800 kilometers away from this island. Today I cannot believe my luck. I chose the right person. She is very young. She is not like my previous Bohol psychologist who is called "expert" and "doctor" and puts PhD at the end of his name. She is not a member of status associations. She does not have a PhD but she is skilled and compassionate. I love her. She gives me hope.

I used this rope to hang myself. I used this rope for weighing animals. I use this rope to fetch water with a bucket. Today I don't think about hanging myself anymore. Over the past 15 years, I did not think of hanging myself despite the trauma of my marriage. I did no even hurt myself. But because of therapy with a Bohol psychologist who did not know what he was doing, I started to hurt myself and I tried to hang myself with this rope. The Bohol psychologist writes for the newspaper. He is resident psychologist of the newspaper. There was a suicide contagion in Bohol for nearly 3 years when the newspaper was reporting suicide incidents in a very unethical manner. They thought the suicide incidents were "Breaking News." They put a photograph of a boy holding a noose. That photograph stayed in my mind from the day I saw it three years ago. They still have the image and the news report on Facebook and on their website. I sent messages to their Facebook Page to remove the image and stop reporting suicide in the news. But they ignored me. I asked their resident psychologist to remove the image and the news report but nothing happened. I wrote to the editor of the newspaper in October last year but I didn't get a reply and the news reports and images remain on-line. But just a few months ago I found out that the editor actually made a reply to my letter. However, he wrote his reply in a column for a newspaper in a different province. He did not send his reply to me directly. I don't think he wrote it in our own province's newspaper. I don't know what to do about his reply. 

Over the years I have learned that people treat each other very badly because they don't know anymore how to treat each other with true compassion. Many desirable things such as love, compassion and kindness have become very abstract these days. Because we have not been able to practice them. We don't realize anymore that these are skills that can be practiced.

These are my meditation pebbles. The coins are a gift from someone in Australia. I have lemon water in the glass. I made that crocheted coaster with wooden beads. I have been doing Intermittent fasting for over one month now. I do it everyday. It is helping me.

This broken teapot sits on the window sill of my room's west window. I put a glass candle holder inside it. I light a candle at night sometimes. I light an incense stick and put it in the spout of the teapot. I like the flickering light in the darkness. I like the Jasmine scent of the incense.

I don't stab the woven bamboo walls with a machete anymore. I still have the machete and the holes are still there. I hang clothes over the wall instead. Right next to my bed. I have these to keep warm when it gets very cold in the night.

These flowers are for my hair. Despite hurting myself many times, I am still able to be compassionate to myself and to others. I will wear these flowers in my hair tomorrow.


  1. I had a difficult time today. Things happen all at once, construction work started today, I feel pressure and cannot cope when I interact with my husband. The trauma is deep. I got angry and hit myself in the chest. But what made me feel better: 1 I have safe space my room, 2 my sister, 3 mindful painting, 4 asking and getting help from the workers. I must not forget the practice especially when I begin to feel bad.


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