Why do I have to be the one to suffer the consequences of another’s wrongdoing? Why is something that is rightfully mine being taken away from me, and I have to beg for it to be given back to me?
Unfair! Unjust! Morally wrong! Excruciatingly painful! Deeply hurting!
Oh, I sure was triggered.
A recent — and still on-going — building administration issue that I’m dealing with in our residential complex triggered me. [It began around the full moon eclipse last weekend. How can you not love the cosmos’ sense of humor and timing, eh?]
My body has tensed up since. My nerves and muscles have yet to calm. Throbbing headaches. Neck, shoulder, and upper back pains.
I’ve been quite irritable. Reacting irrationally to inconsequential things. Exploded over little things. Been accident-prone — spillages in the kitchen, for one.
Our building issue is not trivial. It merits an angered response.
But I know something else, something deep is coming up to the surface and being brought to my awareness for healing and clearing.
The issue hit a nerve. A deep, severe childhood wound was triggered.
Why do I have to be the one to suffer the consequences of another’s wrongdoing? Why is something that is rightfully mine being taken away from me? Why do I have to beg for it to be given back to me?
Because of the COVID pandemic-cum-quarantine, the Philippines Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) issued a directive to the electricity utility companies that all consumers shall be given a grace period to settle our bills through a deferment payment of our charges without interest, penalties, fees and other charges.
Oh, that was a reason for celebration by the Filipino nation [households and businesses alike]! One of the rare times that the government did something that would help alleviate the Filipinos’ financial woes! Woo-hoo!!!
Quite unfortunately, though, our building’s Admin Office has not been diligent enough in studying right away — and thoroughly — the government’s directives.
No discussion with the appropriate parties and authorities on how to properly implement the said directives in our building took place.
Our Admin Office paid the utility company immediately — and in full. They issued our electricity billing statements without any provision for the deferment payment option.
My — and other residents’ query — was what propelled them to initiate communications with the utility company. Our Admin Office didn’t even know about the details of the said directives and the ramifications of the utility companies’ violations! I had to be the one to educate and explain it to them!!
Management’s response and decision?
The deferment payment option cannot be extended to us, residents — just because the Admin Office has already settled — erroneously — the building’s bills in FULL!
What happened to the benefit that I was supposed to enjoy as a consumer?
I really just find it so unfair and unrighteous that, not only am I not going to enjoy paying monthly installments with NO interest, I am now going to be charged PENALTY for not having paid by the due date that was set by the Admin Office! This, even with the government directive, and only because the Admin Office decided to pay in full!
Oh, dear Admin Office, why do I have to be the one to suffer the consequences of your wrongdoing, eh? Why is something that is rightfully mine being taken away from me? Why do I have to beg for it to be given back to me?
I am being brought back to my dark, traumatic childhood episodes when I would be at the receiving end of the consequences of someone else’s wrongdoing. I would be unjustly punished for a mistake that I did not even commit.
When any of my siblings — or even a househelp for that matter…That’s right. A h-o-u-s-e-h-e-l-p. Not even a family relative, but a househelp — would commit a mistake [shows how distorted my parents’ priorities are, eh?] — the rest of us, ALL of us, children were punished.
Often, through physical means! Ouch! And I mean, OOOOOOUCH!!!! Brutally ouch!!!
Too bad corporal punishment was the norm during my childhood years…..
And those of us who suffered in the hands — literally — of our abusive caregivers [oh, yes, parents included — in fact, a majority of the culprits of such abusive treatments are parents, quite sadly….] were left with no choice but to take in the unfair and violent conducts.
Abused children were left with no choice but to suffer in silence.
To fight back, to answer back, to question invites and ensures more beating.
After all, who says I am in any position to argue or have the right to question, eh? I am just a child! [“Anak ka lang!”] Who says I even have any rights at all?
I just had to follow. Children were supposed to just follow. Plain and simple.
If not, more pain. More punishment.
Which meant more bruises — physical, mental, or emotional. Privileges would be taken away.
Out of fear, I abided.
Isn’t that what a dutiful daughter does? Isn’t that what society expects — and imposes upon children?
Otherwise, one would be labeled as unruly. Hard-headed. Rebellious. And all other labels that invalidate and wound even more an already wounded child.
[And one still wonders why there’s so much aggression and violence in the world?]
A neighbor of mine can’t quite put the finger on why I have been so overly intense, tensed, and distressed about our building’s billing issue.
Well, I don’t feel and see the need for me to explain to her. That’s not a conversation that would serve me well.
What is essential for my healing is my conversation with my angry and terrified little Nadine.
“We got this, little Nadine. I got your back. We will not be silenced. We will not just let them get away with their mistake and make you suffer for it. We will answer back and fight back. There is nothing to fear, little Nadine; Big Nadine is here. I am here for you.”
After researching and consulting with appropriate parties and countless edits and revisions, I finally sent my letter of appeal just a few hours ago to the Board Chairman — who, not coincidentally, reminds me so much of my disciplinarian father! On the other hand, the Board Director who directly oversees the Admin Office, which committed the oversight, is so much like my narcissistic mother!
Told ya….We just gotta laugh with the Universe’s sense of humor!
In all seriousness, though, it was a huge relief sending that communication. Whew!
Winding and Calming Down….
My body is still tensed. Shoulders and neck still stiff. Head still pulsating.
But I’m feeling a lightness in my chest — as I start to wind down.
I am filled with much gratefulness for having overcome the most significant hurdle — sending my communication.
The only thing left for me to do is surrender and allow the Cosmic Forces to do their job.
I look forward to and await a favorable response, quite naturally.
But I’m keeping my focus — not on the outcome — but on the inner shift and healing that is taking place.
Oh, I can hear my little Nadine getting the giggles! Her eyes wide and glowing. Cheeks shining. Skipping her merry way!
And here I am, Adult Nadine, with a smile that cannot be contained as I’m writing this, grateful for those who have helped make it possible for me to gain clarity and muster the courage to express myself and assert my rights through my communication with the Board Chairman.
And all that is reason enough for me to celebrate — more than and even before getting what I am hoping is a favorable response for my plea.