To consider something to be not completely true or right is how TheFreeDictionary.com describes the idiom “take with a grain of salt”.
It was a bright sunny day. I was playing “Chinese Garter“* with my sister right outside our house. I jumped as high as I can but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. My foot touched the garter. It was my sister’s turn. She was getting ready to jump when I noticed a car moving towards our direction. Before my sister can jump, I released my end of the garter and beckoned for her to come to the sidewalk with me and let the car pass. However, to our surprise, the car stopped right in front of us.
I was secretly ranting in my mind. Stopping right where we were playing! Who does this person think he is? He cannot just stop there! It was right in front of our house. He has no right. I didn’t even recognize the car. I’ve never seen it, ever. I demand for this driver to leave! However, since we were just kids, we just decided to let it go and just move to a different location. I crossed the street and was about to untie the other end of the garter from the lamp post when the door of the front passenger seat opened. When I saw the guy who came out of the car, I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t move. I was so thunderstruck that it took a while for my brain to process what was happening. I haven’t seen or heard from this person for quite some time. Not even calls or texts. When I finally found my voice, the only thing I was able to say was “Pa!”
You see, my mother and father are separated. My father left us for his mistress, who happens to be my cousin on HIS side of the family (a story I will share for some other time). I was barely 6 years old when my definition of family no longer included a father. At such a young age, I didn’t understand any of it. I can only remember bits and pieces of what happened on that year. I can’t remember what my mom and dad was fighting about but I can remember that my sister and I were crying so hard. I remember clinging hard to my mom because my dad wanted to take us away from her.
Growing up without a father was difficult. I’ve grown up always questioning my worth. I was so sure that whatever goodness or affection other people are showing me are not completely true. How can I not think that when one of the two people who were supposed to always be by your side left you? How can you think that you are worth loving if you never felt love from one of the very people you thought would love you unconditionally?
I grew up a skeptic. I grew up with trust issues. When someone tells me something, I immediately question the integrity of the information and of the person. It has always been a great struggle wanting to believe something to be true with all your heart but ending up questioning it. But what is life without struggles, right?
Yes, it is difficult. What happened to my family is not something that I can just erase. Of course, it will always be a part of me. It is so deeply rooted in my soul that I will forever carry it. But I am trying. I am trying so hard to believe that I am worth it. I am worthy of the love of the people around me. I am special and I don’t always need to take everything with a grain of salt.
*Chinese Garter is a Filipino game. You may read more about it by clicking this link.
This is a response to the prompt “Grain“.