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I Ran Away From Home

Teen mom Bea Escarcha talks about her struggles in life and how she's learned to move on with her head held high.
photo by Dakila Angeles (used for illustrative purposes only)

I grew up with my grandparents and my father. My parents weren't married. When I was only a year old, they broke up, and my mother went abroad. My dad was always away, and though it was painful for me, I understood that he had to leave because he needed to work.

Growing up, I was always at the top of my class. I participated in a lot of activities too, but I felt like I wasn't appreciated. Eventually, my dad got married and I had a brother, but a few years later, my dad and my stepmom separated, leaving me and my dad alone again.

When I entered my teenage years, I was rarely allowed to go to the mall or go clubbing with my friends. I felt like a caged bird-it was as if I were grounded for no reason at all. And because of my frustration over my family problems, I ran away from home.

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I wanted to escape everything.

I stopped going to school because I just wasn't interested anymore.

Outside my home, I finally tasted freedom. During this time, I met a guy who courted me and eventually became my boyfriend. A few months into the relationship, I found out I was pregnant. Fortunately, my boyfriend didn't leave me and he promised to help me take care of our baby. I stayed at my boyfriend's house during my pregnancy, but as the months passed, our fights became worse. I never imagined that my life with him would be like this because we used to be very happy and in love. Many of my friends told me we should separate but I didn't want my child to come from a broken family like mine.

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After my baby was born, I decided to continue my studies. I decided my baby and I should move back home since it was closer to my school. On weekends my boyfriend would fetch us so we could spend time together as a family. Though we had less time together, we still kept fighting. I tried to save our relationship, but it was too late. It hurts to know that I've fallen out of love with the father of my child, but I knew that it was time for me to think about myself too.

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At home, I still don't get the freedom I deserve, but I have no choice but to obey the rules. Though they are strict with me, I've learned to love my family because I know they care about me a lot. Maybe when I grow older and finish my studies, I will have the freedom I've always wished for. Because of my experience, I promised myself that when my child grows up, I will discipline him the right way by balancing his freedom with limitations.

Yes, a lot of bad things have happened to me over the years. I may appear a happy person in front of my friends, but sometimes, I cry at night when I think about my past struggles. Amidst all these, I still try to be strong. I draw strength from God and my baby, who is my inspiration in pursuing my dream of finishing my studies and working abroad.

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Though it hurts me to know that some people still don't understand me and talk behind my back, it doesn't matter anymore. I am happy and proud of myself because I've learned a lot from my experiences. I know I'm now a better daughter and mother. I can say that I am now wiser and more responsible, with a bright future ahead of me.

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When everything around you suddenly turns dark, the first thing we'd prolly do, as humans, is to find and grab anything that is closest and nearest to us. We'll hold onto them for as long as we can, trying to collect ourselves and gather courage to adjust our eyesights to the pitch black environment that's consuming us minute by minute. And then you'd hear nothing. Your sense of hearing would somehow go off after not seeing anything for quite awhile. You'll let loose. Cry. Panic. You'll be exhausted for fighting your way out. Then just when you're about to stop and give up, you're no longer afraid. There's only this deafening silence and pithole of darkness that's gonna eat you up alive. And surprisingly, you'll make a home out of it.

You'll make a home out of the darkness that when a ray of light suddenly hits you, you'll try to avoid it. You'll try to cover your eyes. You'll try to cover your ears from the voices trying to help you get out of it. You'll try to hide because your mind and body will go against your will to come out and live. Because the darkness that used to scare you, now comforts you in a way you thought has helped you survived life. And you'll try to live. Day by day. In the darkness. Not knowing where to go. Not knowing where to start. Not knowing who is with you. You will try to live until the darkness that once surrounds you is now within you. And everyday, it's gonna be a cycle of subtle torture. But let me tell you a secret. The darkness won't make you whole.

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You'll be broken. And in those hair-like cracks, the light will stubbornly fight its way through until it warms you up. Until you realize to check the switch and turn it on. Until you allow other people to help you find your way back in the light. Until you realize you're ready to live in light again. There's a light at the end of this long and dreading tunnel. The only question that matters: will you let them in?

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