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Mother knows best, at least that’s what I always knew

Mother knows best, at least that’s what I always knew

We were always taught that a mother knows best. She knows what you need with just one look. A glance would even suffice to know what you need. But what if she doesn’t? What if she’s wrong?

Mother knows best, at least that’s what I always knew

She’s right. I’m not hurt.

“Ma, nagkasugat po ako.”
“Tayo ka, nak. ‘Di naman malaki. ‘Di masakit ‘yan”

It didn’t hurt. My mom assured me that the wound was small. I don’t have to cry about it. I don’t have to worry about it too much because it’ll heal. She will clean it, take care of it, and then kiss it. As if her kiss will be the same as those in cartoons where the wounds will be gone just like a puff. I trust her that way. After all, my mother knows best.

She’s right. I like long hair better.

“Ma, gusto ko ng short hair, parang kay Kuya.”
“’Wag masyadong maikli.”

She’s right. Short hair is for those that are boyish and it doesn’t look pretty on me at all. It makes you lose your feminine look. Keep your hair a little longer just by your shoulder. Longer. A little more. Better. You have straight hair which makes you prettier than others. Like the princess you always watch on TV. I believe her like that. She knows what’s best.

She thinks she’s right. I’m just confused.

“Ma, Bisexual po ata ako”
“Anong bisexual? ‘Di totoo yan. At tsaka ‘di ka naman mukhang tomboy eh.”

I might be. I take care of my hair well. Look over it, comb it, more than 50 times a day. I look at it more and I get convinced that my hair is pretty. The dresses, she bought me more than five of them last week. They were all pretty, reaching above the knee. She also got me blouses. They were all pretty, too. She got me mini skirts too, even though I’m still not sure when I’ll be wearing them since I don’t find them comfortable. I guess she wants her daughter to be all dolled up, pretty, just as she always imagined.

She thinks she’s right. I am okay.

“Ma, ‘di ata ako okay. Ang lungkot ko po. Magpa check – up po kaya ako?”
“Ano ka ba? Nasa utak mo lang ‘yan. Ang nega nega mo kasi.”

It’s probably the tears talking more than me. I think I can spend another day dragging my feet. I can, right? If I convince myself enough that I’m okay, I will be. It’s all in my mind. The restless nights, unexplainable nightmares, the nights I cried because of exhaustion, and all the self–doubt. It was all in my mind, right? Why would my mother be wrong, anyway? She’s right. She is, right?

My mother is wrong.

She doesn’t know it all. When I scraped my knee, it hurt. It was small but the blood scared me. I was a kid. I was supposed to cry.

She doesn’t know it all. I like the hair where I can comb it back without my hand being sore from combing it too much. Ponytails hurt and hair bands make my forehead too exposed. I like short hair.

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She’s wrong. I’m not confused. I like both boys AND girls. Even so, I still like to wear pretty clothes. I don’t have to wear baggy clothes to tell who I like. The dresses. I don’t like them. But I like shirts more. I don’t like skirts, I like shorts and pants. I am bisexual.

She doesn’t know. I’m not okay. I’m trying. It’s not in my head. It’s not just being negative. This isn’t me. It’s not all in my mind.

She’s trying.

It’s hard. Supporting a family is hard. Mom, you’re trying. But, I hope you get to try better. You’re not perfect. So am I. You’re not always right, and it’s okay. We’re all still learning this thing called life after all. You taught me things I need in order to prepare me for the slaps I can get from this world.

I admired you so much that I believed every word you say. But, I have grown too. You need to understand that I want to be what I want to be too, not just you. I know that mother knows best. It’s just that I know myself too.

You don’t have to meet me here, Mom. But, please at least meet me halfway.

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