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by Nick Terrence Gantalao | December 9, 2022

Growing up, I didn’t feel my mother’s presence much. Being part of a broken family, she wasn’t there for a large chunk of my life. As a child, I was raised to be happy with what I had and the people I had. Despite not having a mother, I had “substitute mothers” such as my aunts and grandmother. I even had “substitute fathers” in the form of uncles and grandfathers since my father was often busy with his school and work. It was a simple and happy life when I didn’t feel that gaping hole, the dark abyss of longing for people who should be there but aren’t. I was content.

Yet, as I grew up and moved from place to place, slowly losing contact with the family that once filled the abysmal longing I have in me, I started to dream of a life with a family – a life with my mother and father. I knew this was impossible – especially given that my father already has a daughter with another woman – but, deep down, I was still imagining the feeling of having a complete family. Visualizing this image of me, my father, and my mother smiling in those family day events in school; wishing that despite any problems, I’d have people to turn to no matter what.

It is no mystery that family plays a crucial role in the development of individuals. And according to “Magazine Desk,” it is the state of a family, whether or not it is broken or intact that severely affects a child’s emotional, social, educational, and even family dynamics development.

I mean look at me, my mind is all over the place – terribly awkward in social interactions and often depressed without the proper knowledge of how to properly deal with these emotions. 

A layer of envy always enveloped me as I went to my friends’ houses and saw their family pictures. Often I would wonder what I have done to deserve my situation. Thoughts such as, “If only I had not happened to these people, then maybe, just maybe, they’d have a better relationship, and I’d be born in a better family setting,” have crossed my mind countless times. 

Yet even after all that, I must learn to let go of these delusional hopes and learn to embrace the reality that I can never attain; that I will never experience one of the most basic things that others take for granted.

Planning for my own family in the future, I vow not to make the same mistakes my parents did. At the end of the day, it is my experiences that have molded me to be the person I am today. 

Reality is often not what we desire, but in the end, we all just have to live with it and try to do better by writing a new script that our predecessors might follow.


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