I am a single mom. I take pride of being one.

Yes, I made a terrible mistake. I sure messed up and I acknowledge it with downright humility. I am not proud of having committed a huge offense against my family. It was all wrong. But I am proud I took courage to face the painful consequences. 

I was not an extraordinary student. But coming from a science high school and a top-tier university has earned me high expectations from people. Suddenly, all those praises were reduced to snide remarks. From "ang galing" to "sayang"; hope to failure. Believe me, I've heard all other synonyms. And I cried my way through it.

I cried because it hurt. Never was I weak.

I could've run away from the responsibility and went on with a normal life, single. But I couldn't seem to live my whole life with guilt gripping me by the neck. So I took the responsibility and owned up to my mistake while the other ran away. It left me limping even more. 

"Ay, wag yan, may anak na yan."

"Naku, maagang naglandi."

"Pabaya. Nagloko. Nagpaloko."

Oh, the piercing lines that rang my ears! All I had to endure. All I've learned to let pass. Although accusatory and hurtful, I must say some of these are true at some point. I know, I know... I am well aware of the bad choices I've made in the past. But imagine these things being rubbed right at your face each time. Wouldn't you crumble? Wouldn't you feel small?

Every woman, every single mother holds a story. It's easy for society to judge because all they see is the cover. They never read the content. They never wept for all the heart-breaking chapters we had to endure. They were never there to witness the struggle. They will never understand. But my friends and family do. They know how much I bled, they know who I am. And that's what matters most.

There's beauty in every downfall. You get to sort the gems from stones. These precious people shone to my protection and I never felt more loved. They never considered me rotten but recycled, changed. Their undying support made me immune to judgment. 

Now I am all set to tell my story. I am not ashamed of my past because I owe my wisdom and strength to it. I write hoping every entry would find its way to that woman who's weeping her way through her struggles. I want her to know she's not alone. 

Pain made me strong. My struggles made me beautiful. 

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