Friday, February 5, 2010
I am a 26 year old, female, Amerasian, tall and good looking, and so confused. My best friend who used to be my boyfriend just left in order to start life anew in the rural areas without me, without anyone. He is a foreigner. I met him when I was a high school student. He promised we will be together 'til death do us part, and we decided to start a new business together. He bought a building and had me as the owner of the building in all the legal papers as foreigners are not allowed to buy real estate properties here in the Philippines. He opened a girlie bar in the first floor of that building, and hotel rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors. We tried to make our business flourish. We worked day and night for our business. The girls that my boyfriend hired as dancers and waitresses also worked hard to seduce my boyfriend until one of them succeeded. They became 'steady' too. I was so devastated, I started working as a sex worker in his bar until I met an older man who took me away from the bar. The relationship did not last. Three more men came and went in my life. The reason my relationship don't last is because they can't keep up with my family's expenses. I am the sole breadwinner of our family. My mother, an ex bar girl stays at home now, and I also send my 23-year-old brother to school. My mother and I started several home businesses but they failed. My brother is too lazy to do his school work and is still finishing his high school. I have not finished high school as I have to earn a living for my family.
One of my conditions with any of the men who has relationship with me is that they also provide for my family. They don't seem to understand the Filipino value of helping out the family. . My first boyfriend and I became friends again after his failed relationships with several other girls after me. The building he bought is still in my name and he has entrusted me to be the building administrator as he is having the building for rent now. I feel sad that things did not work out between the two of us. I feel sad that after our strings of relationships with other people both of us are still loveless and looking. I have lost interest with men, my only concern now is earning for my family. I will be working again as a sex worker. I feel old, I feel like changing gender, I would like a change of lifestyle too as my ex boyfriend is doing now, but I have a big responsibility to earn for my family. What shall I do?
Trina, the Woman Atlas
You don't have to change gender in order to change your luck. What you have to change is your family's treatment of you as the beast of burden. Is your mother too old to move or is she invalid? If she is not, she could still work - maybe not as a bar girl or sex worker but other kind of jobs like sales girl, housekeeper, or market vendor, etc. Your 23-year-old brother could take care of himself too, and could maybe help your mom and you too, even without him finishing college. He could work and study at the same time if he likes.
We foreigners don't relish providing for the whole family of our wife or girlfriend especially so if they could fend for themselves. We encourage financial independence and responsibility. Be assertive to your family. Discuss with your family ways they could help themselves. Give them a time frame in order for them to be financially independent. You have to live life for yourself too. In order for you to help others you must help yourself first. Don't sabotage a chance of a happy relationship by having your boyfriend provide for your family.
My heart goes out to you. It must be sad to see the old boyfriend go. You are still lucky as he gave you the responsibility as the building administrator. You are earning money as such, right? If you don't, you must ask for your rightful commission or salary.
Yes, as James said, you must discuss with your family that you can not be the bread winner for the whole family. You could help them now and then, but you should assert that each one of you should earn a living and be financially independent. Tell your brother to take responsibility. Have your mom understand that in order for you and everyone to progress is for each one of you to have a source of income. If she is not good in being a business woman, she could work as an employee. Go away if you could in order for your message to your family to sink in. They will not die of hunger, they could fend for themselves. Continue your studies if you can. You are still young and many opportunities could come your way. I wish you lots of luck and God's blessings.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Dear James and Mirriam,
My husband and I have just gotten married, and we are relatively new in this town. I have a new ‘friend’ who turned nasty recently. l added her to my Facebook friends list and recently, one of my old friends e mailed me, told me to check my FB account. This new ‘friend’ gave nasty comments to my pictures. To her, it may be funny, but I and my friends find them insulting and berating. For example, on one of the group picture with my family, she wrote, you are the only person who look different here, “are you an illegitimate child?”. To my husband’s picture at the beach, she wrote, “who is this squid?”, etc. I called her attention to it, e mailed her telling her I don’t like her comments. She apologized and gave me the excuse that she lacked sleep and it affected her judgment. She encouraged me to post more pictures so she could give nice comments. She was also thankful that I called her attention to it, and of course I was happy that I was able to “teach” or help someone to have better manners. I posted some more pictures, and the next comment she gave was, “ You’re hugging a tree, have you mistaken it for Carl, bwahaha” (Carl is my husband), and to my picture, “that’s a cool pose, go ahead and use this pose to more of your pictures, bwahaha”. I am so annoyed with her comments that I deleted her on my FB friends list. I had a showbiz career until I got married, and I know how to pose, I know my good angles, etc. I don’t ‘project’ my showbiz career, I am not a dummy either, and modesty aside, in the looks department, I could still turn heads or cause huge traffic congestion if I come out with my movie star image, lol My husband said that I was unreasonably mean for deleting the nasty friend on my FB friends list. My husband and I did not talk for hours because of this. This nasty friend also sent me SMS reminding me how friends should be supportive of each other, etc. I sent back the SMS to her, telling her that I advise her the same and each time she’ll be mean to me, I will keep sending her the same SMS. She responded that maybe for now, we should avoid seeing each other. I totally agree to that. I know some common friends who don’t talk to her too. Her ploy is to act humble, give gifts of food and travel suvenirs, ‘court’ a person until they become ‘close’ friends, and then the shit hits the fan. She’ll start the verbal abuse to her best friend, which to her is funny. Comments that would annoy or embarrass the person in front of everyone, “What’s your secret, you’ve gained much weight. Maybe you’ve been gobbling too much food, hahaha, ” or to a woman friend who is working out in a gym, “your nails are so pudgy and your shoulders are so broad, you look like a boxer, hahaha’, and to someone in a party, “you don’t know how to use the proper utensils at all. Here, use this fork instead of that knife, hahaha”. I don’t mean to be nasty myself, but she should look at herself in the mirror and she’ll see a pregnant cow. She is old enough to be my mother, she acts and talks like a know-it-all person, giving the impression that she is looking down at you. She has pretensions of being a chef in foreign lands when in fact she worked only as a housemaid in
Dear Young Wife,
I don’t know what to tell you, this women meanness to each other baffles me, especially how a woman who looks like a pregnant cow be berating others for their looks. Send her a gift - a mirror. If that does not work, just punch her on her nose, that a language she’ll understand.
Dear young wife,
I think your nasty friend has a psychological problem. It could be that she has experienced this kind of abuse when she was young, and she may not understand why she is sabotaging her relationship with her friends. You are so gracious as to try to teach her good manners but she needs professional help. I agree with your decision in deleting her from your Facebook friends list. She has psychological problem and it’s not going away until she acknowledges she has this problem and would want to be treated. For now, it’s best to ignore her nasty comments, and to avoid ‘real’ conversation with her. You could say hi or hello, and goodbye in appropriate times, but not more than that. She will try to win you back and when you are happy in your friendship, the vicious cycle will start anew. Save your sanity, you can’t treat a person’s personality disorder despite your good intentions. Smile and be pleasant but be firm in your decision in not going back to the old friendship routine.