On Literally Hitting Rock Bottom: The Anatomy of a Beat Down
I had to learn the hard way that the world is not all sunshine and rainbows. It can be a very mean and nasty place and no matter how tough you are, it will manage to beat you down and knock you down, even if you fight against it and just when you've got the world figured out and at the palm of your hand, the world throws a quick, clean, bone shattering jab (well in my case, in the literal sense, it was jabs...two to be precise.) Also in my experience, I ended up on the floor- dazed. Everything happened so fast that it seemed surreal. I felt as thought the world (all because of two mischievous and sinister people) was standing over me, spitting in my face as it yelled insult after insult and in my current state, I was helpless to do anything about it. For that short time that I was on the floor, every single thing this person who hit me has done comes flashing right before me... I remember how she cursed me out, spread rumors about me, called me names and wished me death when I was about to go through one of the most difficult events of my life... where my body was literally going through a battle that I wasn't even sure I was going to survive...and there she was, tweeting me and actually rooting for me not to survive. The blows of course did not end there and things got very physical... the latest one as of then, resulting to me crashing on to the floor. I lay there for a moment or two. These were pretty powerful hits, probably the hardest ones I have ever taken.
But I realized I was still alive... it didn't kill me (even if their intention...who knows...was to...) In those moments, I breathe deeply and I think: all the mistakes I have made about not standing up for myself that led to this vicious attack came rushing into my mind. What if I had done this? What if I had done that? What if I had said that? What if I understood or knew all that before? What if, what if, what if... they were never ending. And then another moment passes and I feel helpless. Self-doubt creeps in. How can I recover? Those two hits were hard. My eyes started to water, my ears are ringing, and I find myself aching. Apparently, I wasn't as tough as I thought. I was rattled. I was scared. I was not confident. Clearly I had no idea on what to do and all these emotions are rushing in and I am still on the frigging floor. My once proud demeanor has been routed. But somehow, still, I managed to gain what little semblance of will power I have and I get up to my knees. My attackers have forgotten about me, left me in disgrace and were probably (who knows) off to destroy their next victim... or was it only me they were after?
I was struggling just to keep myself in check and whatever dignity I had left. I find my muscles are still working and that I am not completely broken... I have a small spark of fire reignite within me. What could I have done different? What could I have done to prepare? What can I not do to be put in the same situations? I kept on asking myself: What can I do? What could I have done? What can I do... the cycle continues. I lingered on the floor. I try to talk myself out of the self-pity. I motivate myself, and I push myself to get up. I feed that little flame that was doused by the vodka cranberry that spilled on to me and on my friends. Slowly, it grows brighter and I regain my confidence, my composure. I am definitely still rattled. Physically, I peel myself off the floor...stand up and leave whatever remained of my self worth on that spot on the floor that I fell down on. All I knew was that I had to leave this place, and leave it fast. Surely this is what rock bottom feels like. I didn't have time to gather my belongings... I just needed to be out of this place. I am lucky to have friends behind me to usher me away, far from the crowd... far away from my attackers. They bring me to a separate place to try to calm me down and by this time the tears were already spilling down my face. My driver comes... I leave the vicinity where I was knocked down... anywhere but here... anywhere far away from here...is the destination I want to be in. My dignity was left behind in that crowded bar but I was on auto-pilot. Self-preservation kicked in.
The hits were very very bad. I may have been toughened by previous beat downs but nothing compares to this one. My recovery time was very long. I try to reason to myself that I have handled tough situations before and that I am still here. I decide never to give up on myself even if this was probably the darkest of times. With the help of my family who had acted as the voice of reason during those times, I figured out what to do. They helped me eliminate some options and decide on what I will do. They helped me figure out what to do because I am smarter than that (special mention to my FOSSIL Dominique!). I do not defend the violence inflicted on me by violence. But I do know what to do in order to never take the same hits from these people again. I know what I will have to do- not just for myself but for everyone else who has gone through something similar. With a mighty push, I peel my dignity and self-worth off the floor and I finally wholly get up on my feet. I've decided that there was no more room for me to feel sorry for myself, no more negativity and no more "poor me" thoughts. I am hardened by my experience. I've become intense and I have a clear focus. I am implementing the changes that I have thought about, doing my work, having other people pay their dues and I find myself growing as a woman. I am becoming better and better as the days pass by. I am breaching the threshold that at one point I plateaued at and the flame inside me to fight against the wrong that has been done to me has become wildfire and its fire overwhelms my very being. That "me" who was downtrodden and who has hit rock bottom literally and metaphorically is long gone. An invigorated and vigorous "me" presently appears. I am ready. I think back at all the things I have done to create a better version of myself. I wait patiently. I do not retaliate with the same physical assault, attacks and violence. I bring with me all the things I have done so that I do not make the same mistakes again. All the things I have done and undergone. The process was rigorous. It was difficult but it was well worth it. I had to at least believe in that.
I strut up to the world. I am ready to take it on once again and I look at my assailant right in the eyes at the Regional Trial Court and I hold up my stare. They look down. Instantly I know I have won. In so many ways, the long process of being victorious in the just and legal way. Without having to say any word, I look at them in the eye... intently this time and with my gaze, I tell them, "Hey mother*bleep*, remember me? You messed with the wrong person."
PS: This girl has accused me via a newspaper feature and in her blog that I threw a glass at her. Obviously this was impossible as (1) I have exited the club when she was allegedly hit, (2) I have been too shaken up to even think of retaliating and I think that is obvious on my account of events as stated above on how it feels to physically assaulted and (3) her alleged 1-cm gash that she claims was the result of being hit by a glass cannot be attributed to me. According to Prive staff, at least two glasses or bottles are thrown from the second floor to the first floor by accident per week. (4) The fact that she is alleging that I was the one who threw it at her proves further that she did intentionally harm me and thought she was hit by a glass as my retaliation for her actions. There were over 450 people there...why was she singling me out? (5) She did not file a case against me for physical assault. Instead, she decided to file perjury against me, a case that was dismissed as a result of my complaint against her being recommend to be tried in court. In the words of the prosecutor, if she was hurt as she claims to be, why didn't she file a case against me for that?
There are many forms of domestic violence - verbal, sexual, social, financial, property damage, psychological.
Abuse doesn't always take the form of physical assault because with domestic violence you do not need bruises to be a victim.
Spread the word, help stop violence:
THE PHILIPPINE HOTLINE FOR ABUSED WOMEN is +632-922-5235 or +632-926-7744
For more information: