At a very young age, I learned that you have to be your own hero. It’s a lesson you can only learn when you have been hurt too many times. When we are little, our parents are our heroes. We run to them when we get a wound, and we always feel better after a kiss. But for me, this was not the case. My parents had me when they were both 20 years old, and to them, I was the sole reason their dreams had to wait. I was the obstacle, the hindrance to their success.
My dad was never a father figure. He always reminded me of how disappointed he was of the mistakes I made. He yelled at me in public and hit me when we got home. He seldom went to my swimming competitions, and if he did, he never congratulated me. And once, on my 12th birthday, he slapped me because I didn’t want to train that day.
My parents never mentioned it but it always occurred to me that I was the unwanted child. I lived my grade school years hating them.
When I entered high school, that was when I felt most alone. Most kids who get bullied in high school still had their mom to cry on or their dad to defend them or their friends to comfort them. I had none. I couldn’t tell my mom anything because I was ashamed she’d think of me as a failure, and certainly not my dad. I felt left out in our barkada because my parents hardly ever let me hang out with my friends on weekends. The only person I went to when I was having a hard time at home (which was always) was my grandfather. We watched TV together, cooked pancakes and whatnot. For me, he was the father figure. He was my hero.
In October 2012 my grandfather died. From then on, I was my own hero. I realized that if I could live my life as if I were my own hero, I’d have a better life. I was done trying to see the good in my parents and done listening to them putting me down. I promised myself to believe in my capabilities and to live my life so that my grandfather, my superman, would look down from heaven and be proud of me.
This is for everyone who has ever felt like trash—useless and unwanted. Sometimes you have to be your own hero. Sometimes you have to do your own saving. Never give up on your life because you may not see Him, but Someone cares about you. He is planning great things for you, and unlike all the other people you meet, He will never give up on you.
Breanne Araula, 15, studies at St. Paul University Dumaguete.
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