Right now, I’m just overwhelmed with a mixture of feelings… I was never used to writing at the height of my emotions because then I would be irrational. It happened yesterday, right when I’m starting to get used to the hang-ups of what has been starting to turn out to be my daily work routine. You wake up on a Monday…go to work. You wake up on a Tuesday…and go to work. Then it’s Wednesday. Then it’s Thursday and so on. Next week it will be Monday again, Tuesday again, so on and so forth. Until yesterday, I was shaken up or should I say beaten up by one of my ‘big’ kids that it served as a point of realization for me.
I was riding on the fx bound home and, really, I couldn’t help but cry. Good thing it’s dim as tears are welling up beneath my eyes. It just feels so sad… Earlier that day, my ‘big’ kid as I have said threw tantrums because of a petty thing – I didn’t fix her hair into a “pigtail” just because I have only one rubber band with me at that time and she doesn’t want a “ponytail”. She got really agitated, she was hurting herself, and she almost broke the wooden tables and chairs inside the room. She banged and pushed all the things on the table that they scattered all over the floor. Worse, she broke the aircon, and she almost broke the window. I was trying to restrain her, as any OT would do, but I just can’t. I can’t remember how many times I hit my head on the wall just because I was trying to protect her from getting harmed or from hurting herself during the incident. I admit she was so much stronger, taller and faster than I am that I can’t contain her. Finally, her nanny came in and she tried to calm her. When she finally relaxed, and her nanny was out already, we continued with our session. I tried my best to control my emotions, I didn’t want to cry as she performs the activities… I was crying not because I got hurt. Really, it was nothing to me. I’ve seen or handled worse. Her nanny even told me that it was not the worst yet that she did. As an OT, I was used to handling kids with behavioral problems ranging from mild to severe – from simple pinching, biting, kicking to almost ruining the entire therapy room. I cried because…I felt worthless during that time. I wasn’t able to do anything. Being a licensed occupational therapist…who am I to lecture caregivers and parents regarding behavioral modification techniques when I can’t even restrain or control this kid from throwing tantrums?or from wrecking the room? After 4 years of college, I felt like I’ve learned nothing. I definitely felt terribly awful… Before our session ends, right when she’s about to finish our coloring activity, I gave her a blank sheet of paper where she could scribble or what we call in psychiatry, “sublimate” her aggressiveness. I was surprised to see her drawing circles which later on turned out to be “smiley faces”, and she filled out the entire sheet of paper. She colored them and after that she folded the paper into four. I was watching her as she does it and I was shocked that she handed it to me then kissed me on the cheek. Oh I get it! She actually made a sorry card for me. *aww..* This kid is non-verbal and she has autism. Although she can imitate verbally the words “sorry” when her nanny asked her to say so after she threw tantrums…this is really a big deal for me - to think that she actually thought of making a card to make up for what she has done? Isn’t that sweet! =)
When I’m finally bound home…that’s when I pondered over the things that happened. Now I realized, all those “clinical reasoning” and “self-reflection” lectures by Mam Cabatan really come in handy in the real work setting. You begin to notice your mistakes and at the end of the day, you learn from them. How could I forget our psych lectures during internship?that to manage an aggressive patient, it’s not always best to confront him. If he’s mad to death, be calm and objective. That’s what I should have done during that incident. I should have tried to calm her down instead right when I see that being firm no longer works - that is what Behavioral Modification Technique is all about.
“I’ll be happy when…” Now I realize how sad that sounds and how many people commit that same mistake. According to the book I’ve read entitled “Being Happy” - If we’re unhappy, it’s because life is not as we want it. Life is not matching our expectations of how it “ought” to be and so we’re unhappy. Happiness is a decision.” Like what the father of one of my patients told me, I’ve been living a fast-tracked, clock-driven life, I should take a break every once in a while. Wu-wei…just go with the flow. I think that’s how other happy people’s lives are. Hoff said: “When we learn to work with our Inner nature, and with the natural laws operating around us, we reach the level of Wu Wei. Then we work with the natural order of things and operate on the principle of minimal effort. Since the natural world follows that principle, it does not make mistakes. Mistakes are made – or imagined – by man, the creature with the overloaded Brain who separates himself from the supporting network of natural laws by interfering and trying too hard.” I’m always setting standards for myself. I’ve always been obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist-idealist type of person…and now it has consumed me. It’s starting to set boundaries of what I could measure up for happiness. “I’ll be happy when…” Now I know I should be happy because I’m blessed for all these. And just like Winnie the Pooh’s philosophy – while Eayore frets, and Piglet hesitates and Owl pontificates…Pooh just is. I am what I am now, and it’s exactly what I need to be happy. I commit mistakes, I learn from them, and everyday I grow as a better person.
Right now, my head still aches during that incident...but it doesn't matter. It would continue to remind me of my desire to shape the behavior of my kid, to fulfill my wish if it's ever possible, to see her live as normally as any individual could. ^_^
Right now, I’m just overwhelmed with a mixture of feelings… I was never used to writing at the height of my emotions because then I would be irrational. It happened yesterday, right when I’m starting to get used to the hang-ups of what has been starting to turn out to be my daily work routine. You wake up on a Monday…go to work. You wake up on a Tuesday…and go to work. Then it’s Wednesday. Then it’s Thursday and so on. Next week it will be Monday again, Tuesday again, so on and so forth. Until yesterday, I was shaken up or should I say beaten up by one of my ‘big’ kids that it served as a point of realization for me.
It's quite amusing when you're with someone for quite some time and you find yourself wondering..how long am i going to stick with this person? Then you wake up all of sudden thinking why everything seems to have changed, and that something felt a lot stronger..
There are days when i'm at my lowest that i couldn't even paste a smile..that i want to get mad at him, i get so irritated of him for no apparent reason and yet, i just want to embrace him..that every mistake is a strong blade tearing you worlds apart and you get weaker every time..
There are times when i want to give up...and yet i don't want to let go.
There are times when he tells me the silliest of jokes and i find myself smiling..
There are nights when i can't sleep all just because i can't get him off my mind..
I just hugged him a minute ago and yet i already miss him..
It has just been 5 minutes when i last heard his voice and yet it seems like it was so long ago..
It's when you are together and you're always afraid for time to pass by..
It's when you speak in silence, and you just stare at his face through his eyes and he asks you why..all you say is "nothing, i just want to remember you.."
It's when he smiles and it makes you see the beauty of each coming tomorrow..
It's his grip that makes you never want to let go..
It's every moment that you lost him and you're filled with all the regrets..and one pang of guilt never leaves you and makes it all seem different..
It's when you say "I love you" and it felt like you've said all the words you could possibly say and it never seemed enough..
He's everything and so much more..
How can I love him like i've never done so before?
It's when...you look at him..and you're always afraid of losing him..and it threatens you about the uncertainty of forever and the consistency of the here and now..
How can i look at him and see something i couldn't hold up into the palms of my hands and yet i never want to lose grip of..
It's like feeling like crying even when you have nothing to cry about..
It's like you want to have all the reasons just to be with him...to be one with him..and then you'd wish the world would just stop turning..
It's like.....he's all you think about..and he's all that matters.
It's like a habit you've been trying to break and now you're just hooked..
It's like meeting someone ordinary...who turns out to be all you'll ever ask for in your life..someone who could mean so much that it hurts to think about..someone who stole you of yourself and yet you just gained anew.. someone..... just someone...
Someone i love
Like everyday's the last.....
The Lord really has a wonderful way of amusing us…and today, I was deeply touched. I got home today at around 8:30PM, instead of around 7PM on regular days. The reason for it is because my 2PM patient couldn’t make it on their allotted time for therapy session for some reasons so they requested if they could have it at 7 or 8PM instead. I was hesitant to give them the 8PM schedule because a 3-year old boy should have been sleeping at that time, or may be sleepy to say the least. Fortunately, the parents of my 7PM patient cancelled their therapy session for today because they have other things to take care of, so I placed them at 7PM. After our session, the father of my kid offered me a ride home and a dinner. I rode with them on the way, they just dropped me off at the corner of our street, and I no longer agreed with the offer of dinner for my family is also waiting for me for dinner. Besides, it’s too much already. =) While on our way, the father of my patient told me how denial he was at first regarding their son’s condition; that he cried so hard when they found out that his child has autism. It was an expected baby and they prepared for it for almost 11 years. They’ve given the best of everything to have this kid delivered and brought up as a healthy normal child.. Well I guess you can never really tell… At the back seat, I can’t help but wonder…this man…the father of my patient, of whom I’ve handled for only 3 sessions now, has been pouring his heart out to me that I could almost see tears welling up beneath his eyes.
“You’ve been such a blessing to us and for my child. The fact that you gave us your time, the time when you should have been already home with your family...I can never be grateful enough that you’re sharing yourself with our child..”
His words have deeply touched me that I wanted to cry right at that moment, hehe..
“Nitong mga nakaraang linggo ko lang medyo natatanggap na ang lahat…Ngayon nga naiiwan na naming syang nakaupo mag-isa sa front seat, dati ang likot-likot niyan, karga-karga ng yaya sa likod..It was actually our first time to go out together without his yaya.”
I wanted to say…”it was nothing, really.” When I started to work as an OT, I’ve conditioned myself already that I am here to help other people…that’s why I never really take it as a big deal because it is my job. I wanted to find the right words then, to comfort him, to make him better understand his child…and that God has better plans for him, but I choke on my words.
What moved me more was when he said, “there’s a book on the seat, beside you…it’s for you.” I reached for the book. I was amazed when I saw it, and It was entitled: “Why this lady can laugh (A Portrait of a Virtuous Woman).” I could hardly believe that someone appreciates me that much…the simple things that I do.
When I said this day was quite among the strangest that I’ve had, I mean it. I woke up this morning getting a little tired of what have been becoming my usual routine every day, of every week, of every month…and tomorrow is already October by the way. This past few weeks, I’ve been doubting what I do…I get a little paranoid on how the parents of my kids perceive me…on how the quality of my treatment has been affecting my kids. I get easily frustrated if I don’t get the progress I want to see from my kids, or that I don’t see a little improvement from their previous level. Then again, I spoke to soon. I realized just now that I’ve been hurrying my life so much, now I can no longer enjoy it. All of a sudden, things like this happen, sweeps me off my feet that I can’t help but say, “..the Lord loves me so much because He makes me love other people…and they love me back.” =)
Alas! I finally have the time to sit back, think of all the years that gone by…update my blog (darn, after like what – gazillion years! Nah,, just an overstatement..;p) here I am, alone, doing my regular “reflections..” Indeed, it kind of help me a lot applying all those “thinking back”, reflecting over the things I had done…and had not done, or was not able to do so due to a number of reasons; making a sense out of my shallow life.
In my life now, transition is really a big word. At first I was wondering how I would ever get out into college life struggles, not because I did not enjoy my college life, but the hours and hours I spend inside the four corners of our classrooms get longer and longer.. and it only gets harder every time. Now that I am finally out of it all, I wonder, what now?
I always find myself stuck on one corner of my room...looking back…I never understand why it feels so great to reminisce all those memories of younger years until I realize why - simply because those are the days when everything was better.
Now that I’m beginning the life of a working individual…I’m having a lot of apprehensions.. First, should I work and use my diploma? Or should I use my diploma and work? Haha! What I really mean is that, I know some of my classmates who’d resort to working in a call center instead of using everything they have learned to do what they ought to do…to practice what they really worked hard for, and most importantly, to help other people.
I was grateful and I really appreciate everything that I learned from internship. Not only did it help me apply all the theoretical knowledge we have learned from our lectures and discussions but I also get to mingle with different kinds of people…and learn from them. Internship has taught me a lot of things – from the “what-to-dos” to “what-not-to”. I had the opportunity to get along with various kind of people – from my colleagues to the parents and caregivers and patients with which we offer our services.
It’s amazing how I do this technique and then it works in an actual patient, you realize, hey that’s evidence-based practice. Haha! One example of which was when I handled a 60-something year-old patient with Parkinson’s disease. I was pretty amazed by how I see before my eyes how a cog-wheel rigidity looks or feels like, how a masked fascies looks like, how an intention tremor differs from resting tremor, and the like…stuff I only get to read from books before; and a lot more conditions I got to handle that I was only able to hear and read from medical books and online reference materials.
A big bulk of what I learned was on how to relate with other people. I admit I was never that loud or outgoing person. I was rather shy. But an experience from one affiliation center served as an eye opener for me. I remember one professional that I worked with told me, “kailangan marunong kang makisama sa mga magulang ng mga pasyente…kasi sila ang maaaring makatulong o makasira sayo..” Indeed it’s true. For me, OT as a profession, lives on because of: the parents/caregivers who trust you, and the occupational therapist who has the skills and competency to practice. Establishing rapport is not that difficult for me. I have learned along the way how to interact and get to the level of my kids and their caregivers. But to stay in the profession means you have to be tough. One life-changing incident that could almost crash down my level of self-esteem was when I worked with my colleagues (who were supposed to grade me for my performance), thought we got along well but then all of a sudden, they failed me for reasons I never understood. For one thing, you cannot make all people like you. Even if I grew that way, that I always get what I want…I never argued with anyone or had a fight with someone before…no matter what you do, or how goody-two-shoes you are, you cannot please everyone. And sometimes, you just have to bear with that. If you’d get yourself affected, you’ll only suffer. You’d only prove them that they are right all along. The best counter-attack is to always do the best that you can, prove to them what your real worth, and never settle for a substandard or “okay” performance. When in every circumstances you have the chance to shine and leave a mark. Fortunately, I got the sympathy of my clinical supervisor, he believed in my potentials and he took my side. I couldn’t put into words how thankful and how grateful I was of him then. Coming from a different university than us, I thought he would be bias and all, but then, he fulfilled his job as a clinical supervisor – fair and objective when it comes to all his interns no matter what school they come from.
I remember when another clinical supervisor from one of our affiliation centers talked with me personally about my strengths and weaknesses as an OT. One thing that really marked to me then was when she said, “I think you have the skills…you just have to get out of your nutshell..” I never really understood what she meant until I was undergoing this volunteership program that I applied for to keep me busy during summer, while I was reviewing for the boards this July and my menthor reiterated that to me. Sometimes, it really helps when you have that someone who would make you realize what’s lacking, and what you already have that you need to polish. I know what we have learned and practiced during internship was not enough, and it’s not an excuse that you are not able to give your best shot. I was talking with one parent one time and she was asking me of the summary of the re-evaluation I had done for her child. I was not able to make the summary of re-evaluation because it was no longer required of me by my clinical supervisor since it was only a make-up duty. The parent told me, “hindi mo naisip na kailangan ng anak ko yun pag magpapacheck-up kami sa doctor..” Although it was stated in a manner as a joke, I felt terrible. She has a point. I was no longer doing this to graduate…I am now doing this for my patients. I admit, at some point in my life, I was also like the others who were conscious of their grades…to meet the deadlines of their papers… and what gets compromised? The quality of the service you deliver. It feels sad seeing patients not improving…just because their treatment was not well planned and carried out. Why? Because there’s a rapid transition (not even a transition) or change from one intern to another and kids find it difficult to adjust that’s why they regress; because every OT intern has a different treatment plan from the other even though they handle a similar kid; because the OT intern’s priority is: “basta matapos lang..” Duh, patients are not guinea pigs of the internship, they are people seeking for help and because they get there, found you, they deserve at least a decent intervention to address their problems properly! Who cares if you have no or little make-up days? who cares if you have an average of 1 or 2 in your transcript? Parents don’t have to know your GWA every time they’d walk into the clinic. What they see is your performance, how you handle their kids, and how their child improves even at home because you offered them the help they needed.
I am not saying all these because I do very well in my craft. I, as a practicing OT in the future, have my own flaws and inadequacies. This doesn’t mean that I’d stop here once I realized what’s wrong for we always have the option to do better every time. And before you know it, you’ll feel that you are really happy once you realized that everything is in its place…and a major part of it is because of YOU.
THE CASE OF A. C.
During my fieldwork at NCMH, I was able to handle a 40-year old, female patient with schizophrenia of undifferentiated type. We were not informed of the diagnosis of the patients at the start of the session so as I was going on with the interview; I relied solely on my observations and on my pre-conceived notions about mentally ill individuals. It was in fact difficult to determine the case of my patient per se because in one look, you wouldn’t actually notice anything wrong about her. She has no delusions or hallucinations. She wasn’t aggressive at all, and there weren’t even any hint of flight of ideas or loose association of thoughts. Her mood was euthymic and her affect was appropriate. The only clue that gave her away was the fact that she was actually staying in a mental institution. It was only after I had gone through history-taking that I noticed some discrepancies in the information she provided as compared to that contained in her medical charts. It was documented in her charts that she was 40 years old, single and was admitted in the year 1998. Contrary to what she told me that she was 39 years old married with a 15-year old son and was admitted on 2002. I was asking myself then, was it a question of orientation or deficits in memory? Or was it her reliability as an informant? Since there wasn’t any caregiver/family member present at the time the interview was conducted to compare the information gathered.
Throughout the interview and the evaluation session, I kept wondering, was it a case of MDD or schizophrenia?what type then? Occupational therapists don’t make diagnoses, that I know, so medical diagnosis given before hand will be very useful. But in cases such as I had encountered, I tried to recall all my stored bulk of information about psychiatric conditions from the back of my mind to help me figure out what to do in the evaluation. There wasn’t stated an exact or clear cause of her condition except that client sustained a fall from the rooftop to the ground a couple of years ago and I presumed it to have contributed to the etiology of the disorder. I know that schizophrenia is idiopathic in nature. At the end, I verified my speculations to be true. My client told me that the barangay officials of their town brought her to NCMH when she was seen wandering aimlessly around the streets for days. She admitted that none of her family in Parañaque, even her relatives in the province knew where she was, of what had happened to her and what has been going on with her now. It was a bit disheartening but then, one must not be overridden by emotions.
Client stated that her primary goal is to get back to her previous work as a helper and a nanny to a one-year old child. This sort of served to be my first dilemma. I’ve decided that my target for treatment would be reality orientation and prevocational skills training since these cater her goals for intervention but I realized that there’s a lot of factors that I need to consider in coming up with these goals. First, if ever I should decide to target prevocational skills training for reintegration to work, will there be a possibility for discharge in the first place, and when? I know it is not unlikely since client has already established near-normal level of functioning. The question would then be, supposing the client will be discharged soon, will she still have a home to get back to considering almost 9 years had lapsed and that none of her family nor relatives ever knew where she was and what happened to her? Considering also her age and history of psychiatric illness, would there be a sound opportunity to get back to her work or at least to be able to work again? The OT diagnosis I formulated then was difficulty in participating in work secondary to impaired process skills associated with schizophrenia, undifferentiated.
When I evaluated my client, I hardly found predominant problems with her participation in occupations. Our clinical supervisor was right when she said that the more functional the client, the finer the problems and the more we’ll have to dig deep to understand the client’s context of occupational performance. No problem was noted in the COPM. She has already established fair working behaviors. Her MSE results were mostly good except in the visuospatial ability and insight part, and some noted deficits in her remote memory. Client generally has intact cognition and sensorium. Upon administration of Interest Checklist, client’s preference of activities helped me decide as to what intervention strategy that I should use that would best suit her. I was aiming then of providing her a task-oriented activity that is just-right and motivating for her age, at the same time, incorporating reality orientation techniques and relearning of prevocational skills. Client has a good potential to be reintegrated back to community and to return to work considering her strengths: intact cognition; good orientation to time, person, place, and activity; ability to maintain meaningful eye contact; appropriate mood and affect; absence of speech and language deficits; presence of social interaction with fellow patients; motivation to get back to previous role; absence of motor problems and physical dysfunction and; absence of comorbid medical condition.
According to Haley & McKay (2004), cooking is the most ideal activity to provide to psychiatric patients especially those with chronic schizophrenia as compared to craft and sensory awareness activities primarily because of the satisfaction it gives to the client. It is very motivating especially to adults because there’s a presence of an end product that is either retained or consumed. It is also age and culturally appropriate and it is concrete and understandable hence meaningful and valued.
Cooking or baking captures the interests of patients and at the same time, targeting improvement of an array of problems and performance deficits. In the case of my client, for example, I preferred to provide cooking as an activity to target her problem areas because she wanted to return to her previous role as a helper, and cooking is just one of the tasks accomplished by a helper.
During the treatment process itself, I was grateful to have learned that my client usually cooks in the ward during OT sessions. It was something she really enjoys doing – cooking and preparing a simple meal and later on, eating and sharing it with the other patients whom she usually hang out with within the ward.
Over all, I used a top-down approach to target my goals. I considered my client’s primary goal to return back to her work and this is what I concentrated on. The intervention method I used was more of a remedial approach since I provided a cooking activity incorporated therein were to target reality orientation and prevocational skills training by focusing on enhancing specific work behaviors that client would need if ever she decide to return to work in the future. I adopted an attitude of active friendliness to establish rapport and to gain client’s trust. Verbal cues prompts and demonstrations were also provided.
My client recognized me as soon as she saw me but she hardly remembered my name. And when she found out that we’re going to cook pudding on that day, I saw that she became enthusiastic about it. She was aware of the need to wash hands and utensils before and after an activity. She was also able to orient self to person, date, place and activity and to time while looking at the clock when asked. She demonstrated good and sustained attention and she was able to concentrate on task throughout the activity. She was able to demonstrate safety awareness while cooking (turning off and pulling the plug of the stove after cooking, and using potholders in handling hot pot and handles). She was able to follow through task with the aid of written and verbal instructions. Client was also able to do aftercare (disposing off garbage and waste products in the trashcan). She generally demonstrated appropriate affect and euthymic mood throughout the activity. She revealed good insight after the session and was able to recall steps in cooking pudding. Client was able to distinguish materials and ingredients needed to cook pudding upon presentation of materials and reading written instructions. Client was able to perform tasks when asked to, given verbal prompts.
During the cooking task, I made sure that all sharp utensils like fork and knife were just within my working area and out of my client’s reach as a safety precaution. I was also the one to open the can of milk for her. Because even if my client appeared high functional, I couldn’t really tell what might happen or what she might do that may compromise our safety and performance of the activity. I also provided a written instruction of the ingredients and the procedure in making pudding. I made sure that the steps were brief, specific and written in tagalog and in larger font so my client would easily understand. At first, she was hesitant about reading it and she told me that she couldn’t read that well. I just pushed her and reminded her that during our first session she was able to read though she encountered difficulty, at least she was able to read. So there, she finally read. I knew it was just a matter of motivation and convincing her, since I think she perceives the task of reading as stressful and requires a lot of processing. There were just instances that she was really having a hard time to read and was taking a longer time in reading and I just gave her prompts to help her. It was either, she really has problem in reading skills, or she was just less motivated to read, or she may have visual-perceptual deficits as well, since she needed to lean closer to read the material. And during the evaluation, she revealed fair performance in the visuospatial task; she needed to turn the paper to complete the figure.
I observed that during the session, her clothes hang loose over her shoulder and she didn’t seem to mind it at all. So even if it wasn’t originally indicated in my goals, I decided to include education on awareness of appearance, of which I received positive response from my client. She became more aware of her clothes hanging loose over her shoulder after reminding her of it twice that even after our treatment session was done, she fixes her clothes whenever it hangs loose over her shoulders.
Client was able to remain sitting and patient while waiting for the pudding to cook. There were very minimal signs of impulsivity (i.e. asking to include all the breadcrumbs to the mixture). She was also able to demonstrate good social interaction with other patients when she decided to share the pudding with them. She even took the initiative to prepare the plates and spoons to put the cooked pudding into after cooking, and asked me to divide it among them. Client was able to wait until the pudding cooled, and listened for my instructions before eating. I also provided additional instructions regarding safety awareness, which had been easily grasped by my client.
Client was able to recall all the steps and the information I told her after the activity, what I just noticed was that, she seemed to dislike the idea of having to process for questions that require her to ponder over. She answers impulsively without taking time to think it over. When I asked her, “do you think we’re going to need this (cheese spread) in making a pudding?” she answered with, “hindi ko alam, ikaw bahala..” She doesn’t seem to like the idea of having to problem-solve; she was too receptive to information. To her it was like, tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it. Hence in her succeeding OT sessions, I would recommend providing her more activities that would target improvement of problem-solving and decision-making skills. Cooking activities may also be done, given she has to cook a variety of dishes graded from simple to complex. Also, SST of buying in the market, education on proper grooming, pre-vocational skills training targeting saving money or marketing and, Discharge Planning and Transition Planning.
At the end of the treatment session, I was really grateful that my client finally remembered my name, and she was able to call me by my name every now and then. I felt glad when after the activity she was constantly thanking me for giving her the chance to cook pudding, which they later on enjoyed eating in the ward. It was fulfilling for her because it gave her the feeling that she made it herself, it came out well and she said that it really tasted good.
When I first got into NCMH, I always thought I wouldn’t make it. I didn’t have any idea how to handle psychiatric patients. I was too scared to face clients with chronic mental illnesses but then, I was glad that I was able to accomplish my three days of fieldwork fulfilled that I thought I had just done what I ought to do. My clinical supervisor told me after the treatment session that I was more at ease and spontaneous during the treatment than how I did during the history taking and evaluation. I guess, indeed I was. Because on the treatment session I already have an idea of what my client is and what I’m planning to do to her. Unlike during the evaluation session when it was almost like I was facing the unknown and I hadn’t the slightest idea of how severe or functional my client will be.
The major difficulty I encountered throughout my fieldwork would be on deciding for my intervention plan. When I decided that cooking would be the most appropriate and suitable activity for my patient, the question that was going on in my mind was to whether they would allow me to cook within the ward. Whether it would be safe to let my client cook, handle cooking utensils and manage a stove. Supposing they’d allow me to cook with my client, what if the other clients crowd around us during the activity? I was also wondering then as to how my client is going to respond to the idea that we’ll be cooking pudding on that day. So on the actual treatment session, I prepared all the materials I will need in making a pudding. At the same time, I planned an alternative activity, which is tuna sandwich making of which I also brought the materials that I’m going to need, in case they won’t allow me to cook with a stove. When the supervisor in the facility told me that I can cook using the electrical stove in the ward, and when my clinical supervisor asked me on which of the two activities I proposed I am going to pursue, I proceeded with pudding-making. For reasons that, cooking is a very motivating activity, I personally love to cook. Second, tuna sandwich making is a relatively very easy step to provide my client, it is not as complex as cooking and it doesn’t provide enough challenge to target a number of skills.
Generally, I could say that I performed well during the evaluation and treatment process. I have targeted most client factors and skills including work behaviors, insights and over all performance in the occupation of cooking and meal preparation. While we perform cooking pudding, client was able to relate previous experiences in cooking in the ward. She also told me that pudding was her favorite food and that she usually asks one of their supervisors in the ward to buy her pudding with her money. I told my client that now that she knows how to cook pudding, she has the option to cook every now and then in the ward or share the knowledge with her friends in the pavilion. But the problem is the opportunity to cook and the availability of the resources. Since client only gets to cook during OT sessions and of which she is supervised. The generalization of skills cannot be promoted and learning cannot be monitored unless a follow-up treatment and re-evaluations will be conducted.
More or less, the fieldwork provided me the experience and the learning I needed in dealing with mentally ill patients. My motivation has always been like, “kung hindi ko ito magagawa hindi ako OT.” But then, the patient I handled was more or less functional already, and not all mentally ill patients would be as easy to handle as such. It really requires a lot of knowledge, experience and competence in this field to not just pull it through but to be empathic enough in understanding the needs and the situation of psychiatric patients. People whom I just usually see roaming around the streets in their rugged clothes and keep me wondering what went wrong.
Haley, L. & McKay, E. A. (2004). Baking gives you confidence: User’s views of engaging in the occupation of baking. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67(3), 125-128.
*Here are pics during our last day of fieldwork at NCMH in Mandaluyong:
When I was assigned to conduct fieldwork at the National Center for Mental Health, it was truly a mixture of feelings. I was very excited because that was the first time that I’ll be sent to a psychiatric setting. My previous fieldworks were mostly of adult patients with physical dysfunction and adolescents with mild psychosocial problems, and it was my first time ever to really work with mentally ill patients. On the other hand, I was nervous also. Not just me, but as well as most of us assigned at NCMH because it was our first time to be there. It was also my first time to be in a mental hospital with patients whom I could call really insane. I mean, the typical schizophrenics you would see on the streets – most of which are really chronic in condition.
The first question that I had in mind then was “how am I suppose to deal with these people?” Really, what kind of help do mentally ill patients need? It is really complicated and difficult to imagine how to deal with severely cognitively impaired individuals. Will the goal for treatment would be to get them back to the original level of functioning, or at least near normal?
The patient I observed was having difficulty in organizing thoughts and in social participation. The therapist in charge was using the cognitive disability FOR to teach skills that focus on improving the client’s concentration, frustration tolerance and attention span which were problematic. To achieve client’s goals, the therapist used a stitching activity, which she incorporated in a group session. The intervention technique generally used was restoration in an attempt to target specific client deficits in performance areas, and gradations and adaptations were provided like simpler instructions, designs and materials used. Since the patients in the group were high functional already and are to be discharged in a few weeks time, the approach used was generally top-down so that the skills learned by the clients could be readily applied outside after discharge. Some clients seem to respond very well while some clients seem to challenge the therapist. I guess, you really have to be strong and you must establish authority at the very start of the therapy session especially when you’re working in a psychiatric setting to gain client’s cooperation for a more effective treatment.
Raindrops. Waterfall. Snow.
Welkin. Robins. Rainbow.
Tulips and daisies. Bees and butterflies.
You remind me of everything so sweet and so nice.
Storms. Thunders. Darkness.
You are the brave knight who shields and protects.
Soft. Cold. Momentary aloneness.
You are my comfort and strength to become fearless.
Embraces as though it would break my bones
and yet, everything I needed and more
Kisses I'd miss every bit of tomorrows
Baby, will you always be there in my time of sorrows?
Each time I see you I miss you more and more
I love you so much...
You're all I waited for.- moonlight butterfly
Work somewhat delineates an adult from a youngster. It somehow provides a huge demarcation line between being physically and emotionally mature than being dependent and single-focused students before. Work settings are really a different world from that of the school grounds. Upon entering the grounds of one of the huge export processing zones of the country, I had to admit that I kind of felt strange. It was rather a mixture of nervousness, reluctance, and ironically, sheer excitement. It’s truly a different environment. Anyhow, I’m nervous because I had no idea what to do, what kind of work they’re going to allow me to venture and I never really felt a single streak of confidence or competence at least, for I lack adequate knowledge regarding such work setting. However, this work experience that I had at KAC gave me a wide array of knowledge and new experiences, most especially on the whereabouts in blue-collar jobs such as in a factory setting.
As a part of my work experience, I was initially placed under Warehouse where I get to stack and monitor materials and help in the inventory. I was also placed at the Assembly section where I get to assemble insulators and file F connectors. Work is mostly manual and a bit mechanical in Assembly. I have worked from 7:30 in the morning up to 4:30 in the afternoon with three breaks in between from November 9-11. The first break is at 9:30, in a span of ten minutes; the second one is the lunch break itself at 11:30 until 12:30 and; the last break time is at 2:30 in the afternoon, in a span of ten minutes as well.
In my assigned task at the Assembly, the position maintained throughout the time is sitting, in a folded chair, with the table edge in a height that approximates that of an armrest. While in the Warehouse, more often you are standing and walking around to accommodate the welders and workers’ item requests and material issuance, or your sitting when writing the inventory and reports. Moreover, the use of protective devices was strictly reinforced. In assembling materials, I was required to wear finger cots or cotton gloves, or even an apron, because the materials are greasy and it would be slippery to handle precisely. I was also required to wear an extra clothing aside from the clothes that I already wear because the work is messy and I might stain on my clothes with the cutting oil so I had to change in a white shirt which is similar to the other workers’. In the Assembly, the physical demands of the job include having a good muscle strength of the upper extremities, good coordination, dexterity and hand manipulation. It also calls for an effective bilateral hand use, fine motor skills precise grip and endurance. The task of assembling also requires a good visual figure-ground and visual memory. Psychosocial demands include good orientation to time, person, place and event, and good concentration. Sustained attention and effort, and good problem-solving skills should as well be better established. The task is mostly individualized and there is minimal contact and interaction among other workers and with the manager unless if you have inquiries or complaints.
During my entire 20-hour work experience at KAC, I was convinced that working in a manufacturing firm or any factory for that matter is twice as complex as we would perceive it to be. I have worked in a variety of job settings but most of which involves clerical task assignments unlike when you were integrated in a work area where you can really literally sweat it all out. Although being assigned at the Warehouse, or at the Assembly section, or at the Production office didn’t give me as much utilization of manpower as to that of the machine operators, I could still call it a physically challenging experience. Like for example, when I assembled the insulators for the F connectors. At first I thought it’s as easy as this-then-that and voila, there you have the insulator. Then again, the task of course requires good hand dexterity, a fully functioning vision and good eye-hand coordination, and most importantly, effective bilateral use of the hands. The task is also repetitive so as I was getting on with the task, I’m beginning to feel some muscle strain on my elbow and shoulders. In addition to this is the static posture of the body in sitting that contributes to strain and eventual pain at the back. So it is really worth noting to take a rest once in a while so as to not force yourself to the limits.
Next was when I was allowed to file the assembled F-connectors. The task requires a well developed fine motor skills and precise pinch grip. It would put a strain in the elbow flexors, occasional strain at the back and paresis of the fingers and hands if short breaks to rest were set aside and ignored. Amidst all this, it is not only the physical demands of the job or the physical capacities and skills of the workers that affects the job performance. Psychosocial factors such as the worker’s relationship with the employer and with the other workers could as well impact on the engagement of occupations in a job setting. It might as well pose as an occupational hazard in the work environment. With regards to my experience at KAC, I had not a single problem when it comes to getting along and interacting with the other workers or with the managers. I was thankful enough that all the people there are very friendly and accommodating. They indeed facilitated in my course of learning. Of course it is not unusual that in any work setting there may be issues among the workers but this condition is only triggered if the members of the company – workers, leaders, managers, employer, has no clear and open communication among each other. Another factor is the work environment itself. I must admit, sometimes it really disturbs me to hear all the noises coming from the machines. Anyway, it would be impossible to be working in a manufacturing firm plus all of the machines being operated without a single noise being produced.
All in all, being integrated in an actual work setting gave me at least the knowledge on the workers’ welfare in such field. I was able to observe and experience first hand the existing physical demands and occupational hazards in a manufacturing industry; and even the process on how the automotive and precision parts are manufactured step by step. Even though I had a difficult time in pursuing this work experience, I must say, it’s all worth it and I’m thankful that I did. Now I know how hard it really is nowadays to actually seek for a job.
**This is just an overview of my entire Job Site Analysis.. I just wanted to provide a glimpse of what I had gone through and the experience I had this past semestral break. ^_^
Captain Jose Joven of the army of the Republic, and Aguinaldo’s English interpreter noted on April 30, 1901:
“in truth he (Aguinaldo) recognized the gifts of the deceased General, but he preferred to kill him because he says there was no other remedy in view of the civil war which the said General was preparing.”
It really annoys me when some people could be so unfair because of political agendas. Last March 22 was Don Emilio Aguinaldo day, but after having read about the tragic death of Gen. Antonio Luna and the connection therein of the former, it is now questionable to consider Aguinaldo’s part in the Philippine history. Well, he had his part, though; dreary and ghastly I should say. Gen. Antonio Luna was the real hero. His occasional and uncanny display of bad temper may had always been his weakness of character, but he remained the icon of bravery, of a selfless patriot and revolutionary democrat at a time when the Revolution has no known limits. He was indeed a figure who could had made a change if only given the chance to, but defeated by a merciless conspiracy leaving that part of the Philippine history still, nothing but a dismal.
Antonio Luna – more than just a fierytempered man
It has been mentioned that it is distinctive among the Luna clan the characteristic “brutal temper” and the “lack of pakikisama”. Moreover, if he had only learned how to control the aforementioned qualities, he may had been a stronger and a better man. There were moments that he was able to contain the extreme of his emotions, there were just some incidents of unbelievable twist of circumstances and lack of fair judgments that sometimes drives him out of the nutshell. In cases such this he was given the nicknames of “Cafre” or “General Article One”.
As I read his biography, I can’t help but feel pretty much amazed and surprised to have learned that the general and hero of the revolution is more than just a mere general after all. He possessed a variety of talents, quite impressive I would say. Though he may not seem as great as Rizal at that time, his achievements were exemplary. He graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Ateneo at the age of 15, and at 19 studied pharmacy at the University of Santo Tomas but finished it in Barcelona, Spain. He got his Doctor of Medicine at Central University of Madrid before he later on studied in France and Belgium. He was also a good guitarist, having known of the Lunas as inclined to arts and music. Aside from the knowledge of Spanish and Tagalog, he was also studying English at that time. He was also an exceptional writer, writing in La Solidaridad under the pen name of “Taga-Ilog” and managing the paper, La Independencia as well. He was the editor of La Independencia of which the first issue was released on September 3, 1898. General Antonio Luna was also a chemist in the Municipal Laboratory of Manila. He won an award for a scientific paper on malaria and had training on pasteurization of water and carabao milk from Pasteur Institute in Paris. It had been stated that if Antonio Luna didn’t join the revolution and continued his practice in chemistry, he could have saved Apolinario Mabini from dying of cholera after drinking an infected “gatas damulag” or carabao’s milk. Of which by the way is the real cause of Mabini’s death and not by affliction of some sort of paralysis as we know today. Filipinos at that time had by no means any knowledge of pasteurization, or even boiling water before drinking it.
He was deported to Spain with his brother Juan (the painter) and was imprisoned in Carcel Modelo de Madrid in 1897, and then he pursued to study military tactics after his release. He became a master mason in Spain and was among those who revived the Lodge Solidaridad 53. He also worked in the Propaganda Movement along with contemporaries such as Rizal, del Pilar, Lopez Jaena and Mariano Ponce. And while he’s in Ghent, Belgium, he was under the tutorship of General Leman, the hero of Belgium, improving his knowledge of guerilla warfare. Of which he later on proposed under the government of Aguinaldo to be used against the enemies.
The mystery behind the moustache
I don’t know why Ambeth Ocampo is making such fuzz on Antonio Luna’s moustache. You could fairly see this on his articles. Well, maybe there really is something extraordinary about Luna’s moustache, is there? Except for the exquisite curl of the hairs over his upper lip, which he also shares with his brother Juan Luna, it is indeed quite peculiar to find someone who conveys such “elegance” in such a period in history when everything is almost in despair. Or it may have as well served as his form of distinction all these years. Jose Rizal has the characteristic one-sided hairdo, Andres Bonifacio with the kamisatsino (well, it may have been his only choice for clothes to wear considering his status quo), and Apolinario Mabini on his hammock (he’s a paralytic that’s why). I remember how I always chuckle mischievously asking some people I know with, “do you know who Antonio Luna is?” and they would give out either of two replies. First was with, “oh, the painter?” and I’ll just correct them saying he’s not the one but it’s his brother who paints. The second with, “hmm, Antonio Luna…the guy with the moustache?” and followed by a demonstration of their hands, fingers arching over their lip to describe, indeed, Antonio Luna’s curly moustache. As much as Ambeth Ocampo’s curiosity on how Luna was able to keep his moustache that way so as my inquisitive mind can’t help but wonder what there really is in his unique moustache. Or is there really something to make fuzz about? I have yet to find out.
A revolutionary democrat – exactly what our country needs
What separates Antonio Luna from the others is – his single obsession for independence and liberty from any invaders, Americans per se. This had been his sole “mission” all along. For what more could an Antonio Luna aspire? He came from a mestizo family of Badoc, Ilocos Norte though he was a Manileño by heart, having been born on October 29, 1868 in Binondo, Manila. He was the youngest of the seven children of Joaquin Luna de San Pedro and Laurena Novicio.
“Some” have been questioning Antonio Luna’s being a hero. They say, he hadn’t done anything quite remarkable except that he had been affiliated with Rizal. As a matter of fact, he was the one Rizal had chosen to mediate between the rich and educated class and the masses. Rizal wanted Luna to join the Katipunan but Luna refused perceiving as what Rizal had first thought of as a revolution would be untimely at the moment. However, this had been the major error he had committed. If he didn’t denounce the Katipunan, its members wouldn’t disagree on him. If he had not squealed, some members of the Katipunan and Rizal even wouldn’t have been killed. On the other hand, his comrade Alejandrino explained that:
“…with the physical and moral tortures he suffered during his imprisonment and on the assurance given him by the Spaniards that he had been squealed on by his friends, who had denounced him as an accomplice in the rebellion, his violent character had made his lose better judgment. And having fallen for the scheme woven by the Spaniards, he had declared that those who denounced him were, more guilty than he.”
The irony of revolution…a strong voice unheard
What so devastating with reading historical documents is that, you see both sides of the story (that is, if the sources are unbiased). Devastating in a way that, you get to picture out the exact scene in your mind, realize what went wrong and just sigh in disappointment uttering a bunch of “if only”. Sometimes it really gets in the nerves that you just can’t help but get frustrated even how our history had been soaked up with a number of “interventions”. You get to recognize the “tricks” and misinformation fed in opposing parties and you’ll find out that it was nobody’s fault that both sides clashed into war against each other instead of dealing with the real enemies of the state. But then only realizing that “gone is gone”. Oh, how much of our historical past have been concealing still behind the closets of our heritage waiting to be revived and be known.
If Aguinaldo’s side didn’t listen to these “sugar-coating” and propaganda tactics of the Americans, and if they only chose to understand more of the side of Luna, we could had long won the war against the Americans without resulting to so much casualties with the ingenious abilities of the latter. The problem is that, there had been so many conspiracies brought about by individual thirst for power. Nobody fully believed in the capabilities of Antonio Luna. Or they could have known and feared his potentials. It was the lack of trust and the cultivation of individual self-interests at that time that proved even more detrimental.
Another thing is that, everyone favored the revolution, but not the science of revolution Luna had been trying to impose. To them, it’s just like, “tara! Sugurin ang kalaban!” they never realized that to really win a battle, they should be well armed and prepared. This what had been the philosophy of Luna that nobody ever paid real attention to. As seen in the following selection, when Luna proposed to Aguinaldo a plan in preparation for the outbreak of war:
“But Luna and Alejandro were not heeded; no trenches were built; the Americans fired, the Republic was caught by surprise. Then Luna was hastily made chief of operations and set to building those trenches of his. But it was too late, too late even to improvise. Caloocan fell in a week.”
Alejandrino also said:
“If instead of 40 or 50 of such volunteers there had been 2, 000 or 3,000, as Luna wanted, the course of events would have changed.”
If he hadn’t been constantly and intentionally being ignored by the Kawit clan in their preservation of their so-called “cavitism” that they tend not to recognize any rule or order other than that of Aguinaldo, the Philippines could had long attained its independence.
On Luna’s Death
I must note Nick Joaquin’s account on Antonio Luna’s death on June 5, 1899 in Cabanatuan was rather “touchy” as he left with so many questions that even I ended up asking them myself. Was Aguinaldo really to blame of Luna’s death or was he just a victim of the circumstances as well?
I felt sorry for Antonio Luna for they had all been unfair to him. If I had been in his place, I would have been ill tempered, bitter and indifferent too – being unheard and deprived of authority. What could prove more heartbreaking than the lack of support and trust from the people who say is fighting for just the same cause? Sometimes, I just want to get mad at Aguinaldo for all these – for losing such a great man. But no one really knows in accurate account what really took place so many decades ago. The conspiracy against Luna was harsh that it seemed as if, in his assassination at Cabanatuan, he died without even knowing it. If he wanted to overthrow Aguinaldo from his position through a coup de etat, he could have just simply taken up arms against Aguinaldo instead of resigning and later on sending him a telegram of a proposal of a new Republic. And if since the start he was aware about this unscrupulous plan Aguinaldo is planning against him, he could have avoided being killed if he just hadn’t appeared in Cabanatuan where the president summoned him. But he wasn’t distrustful nor suspicious that he even left his accompaniment outside the premises leaving him unarmed and vulnerable as he entered Aguinaldo’s camp.
“I touched reality and in touching it, I felt the same pain produced by a cancerous wound on the finger.” – Antonio Luna
I guess what Antonio Luna is trying to say on this is that, it would have been more acceptable if it was the enemies’ bullets that shot and killed him but no, it was rather the hands of his very own fellow Filipinos who inflicted him with 40 wounds. It would even be more worth it if he died of fighting for the country but no, he was a victim of those green-eyed monsters lurking behind the masks of “defenders of the country”.
Antonio Luna was one of the great men of history. The Filipinos could have benefited from his potentials if everyone at that time had been altruistic enough to mind the real freedom of the Philippines instead of leaning behind the murky walls of the cruel invaders for their own welfare.
I would have to agree with Vivencio Jose in declaring Antonio Luna as “an enduring hero who lives from one generation to another, one of the truly great leaders of the Filipino people.”
We need an Antonio Luna today. A different Antonio Luna, maybe. Not someone who would not be listened to but, someone with the same act of bravery. Someone who’s intelligent enough to recognize the true horrors of what is going on in our present state of government and as well as the society, and do something about it.
Alba, R. (1994). Talambuhay ng mga Bayani at mga Dakilang Pilipino. Caloocan City : Mizrack
Ocampo, A. (1990). Looking Back. Pasig: Anvil Publishing Inc.
Ocampo, A. (1990). Luna’s Moustache. Pasig: Anvil Publishing Inc.
Joaquin, N. (1977). A Question of Heroes: Essays in Criticism on Ten Key Figures of Philippine
History. Makati: Ayala Museum, Filipinas Foundation.
Jose, V. (1972). The Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna. UP Diliman: Philippine Social Sciences and
“Antonio Luna,” (2006). Retrieved on March 18,
2006 at http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2004/06/05/OPED2004060511128.
“Famous Filipino Masons,” (2006). Retrieved on March 18, 2006 at
“General Antonio Luna,” (2006). Retrieved on March 18, 2006 at
Author:Ma. Joanna B. Torres is a 3rd year student of University of the Philippines Manila taking up BS Occupational Therapy
Memoirs of Suffocating Silence
"Do you really think something is wrong, Maggie?"
"I don't know, it's just this gut feeling...It just happens...I could feel.."
Suddenly, a loud cry resounded from the kitchen at the first floor. It was Sally calling her for dinner.
"Coming mom!" she shouted back."I'll get back to you later," she whispered to her conversant and then she hurried her steps downstairs.
Maggie met her at the foot of the stairs and throwing her a suspicious look, she asked.
"Who is that you are talking with?"
She stared past her and seated herself beside the dining table.
"Nothing mom...," she whispered as she reached the bowl of steaming cream of mushroom soup a couple of inches away.
"How many times have I told you to do your homework early so you won't have to stay up late?" a firm but, soft still, voice spoke.
"And how many times, still, do I have to tell you just how much I hate mushrooms..." Maggie grimaced as she spoons the button mushrooms one by one from her bowl. "...and I thought you're my mom," she continued and Sally just gave her a sigh.
Maggie is a petite,an eighteen-year old, long-haired lass; white and freckled. Sally, on the other hand, is about to near her thirties but still manage to maintain her slim figure and exquisite beauty despite of days hardwork.
It has been almost three years since they moved to St. Louis Ville and so much has happened. So much that up to this point in time, Sally wasn't able to adjust still to the complexities of the situation. St. Louis Ville, to her, has almost everything. And she thought she could finally breathe out the horrors of the past to start off with a new life, and yet, everything around her only seems to remind her of what had gone through.
As she watched the girl in front of her taking her spoonfuls of rice and chicken, she could only imagine the days that had elapsed that she lost track of time. Everything had simply gotten out of control and it's more intricating than she had ever imagined. Everything's just so complicated now...
"Why aren't you touching your food, mom?" the girl spoke and Sally was revived out of her reverie. She smiled back at her and started eating her supper then.
"Darren was here a couple of minutes ago. He thought he should check on you...I said you were upstairs and.."
"Oh, that guy...," Maggie interrupted."Who is he again? Oh, our neighbor...I see...Don't be so close with that guy, Sally," she stared at Sally with that usual blank expression on her face which has always made it difficult for her to guess what has been going on in her mind.
"...you don't need him...Sally. You don't need men..." she added.
As much as Sally was surprised with what Maggie remarked, she was even more worried about the little damsel in distress. She could only frown with what she heard from her and she can't help but feel pangs of loneliness inside her. It was only yesterday that she was able to witness how good they are as a couple, Maggie and Darren, and how ironic it is now that he has been reduced to almost nothing, a total stranger to her. It seemed like they never loved each other or even knew each other. To her, it seemed as if Darren is just a name she never before heard.
A couple of minutes later, Maggie stood and walked back to ascend the stairs as Sally watched her. She was about to take the fifth step when she turned to sally's direction, and Sally was caught with a hint of surprise and at the same time, bewilderment. Perplexities that only grew more when she heard her spoke.
"Bianca's coming over with me to school tomorrow...Well, I figured it's about time that she get out of this rathole," she grinned, then she continued her steps.
Sally gazed at the girl's silhouette as it disappear before her to the top of the house, wide-eyed and bemused. The glass of lemonade she was holding all of a sudden escaped her grip and fell right out of her hands down to the floor.
"God...just what am I suppose to do.."
The crack of glass with the pouring of water had created a sound like that of an exotic wind chime that stands before a solitary hill. A piece of music played slow mo and everything else came into a stop. It never before sounded so sweet and ethereal...
>>>TO BE CONTINUED...
We always search for that ideal partner to be with. Someone who would match our standards of “Mr. Right.” But is there really such a thing as Mr. Right? And how do we know who is the “one”? More often than not, when we plot the search for Mr. Right, we stumble on a journey to find Mr. Perfect instead. And Mr. Perfect does not necessarily mean Mr. Right. He may seem to have it all – good looks, great personality, etc. but without that single factor we all crave for – love - it’s useless. The problem is that, before we actually get into a relationship, we already have in mind the “ideal scenario” we anticipate. We already have a pre-made “love fairytale” in our minds that once everything didn’t take place as what we had expected, we feel devastated. What we don’t realize is that, we make someone the right one for us by learning to appreciate and accept him holistically. Because we don’t actually set our standards for the ideal person whom we’re going to spend life with, but our standards adjust to what qualities our significant other posses. One incident that I find this thing about “Mr. Right” fallacious is when we get our heart broken. Our friends will say then, “stop crying, he’s not worth it. He’s not the “one” for you. Why don’t you just wait for the right one?” But then again, how can they say such things? Why do we say he’s not the right one…just because we got hurt? Or because he didn’t love us back the way we want to? Does love always have to be reciprocal? I guess…or it wouldn’t be called “love” after all. That’s why in relationships, it’s impossible to find someone who will never hurt us…we just have to go for the one who makes the pain all worth it.
The reason why people often find dissatisfaction with life is because they never are contented with themselves and how their life is going about. Where do we derive this discontentment? It’s because we are constantly struggling for perfection and at the same time, comparing ourselves with other people that’s why we only get frustrated because there would always be that someone who is prettier, smarter and much better than us. That is, if we believe so. But just like what the quote says, it is on how we regard ourselves that we derive the true definition of our personality. If we think we are inferior and unable to do anything nice, then the tendency is for us to live on with the belief that we are ordinary and that we are just a nobody. A thing called, “self-fulfilling prophecy.” But once we begin to have a high regard to ourselves, we discover our assets and as well as our limitations. We realize then that we are still different from other people. God made us all, though similar in general appearance as human beings, still unique in our own individual ways. There are things that we are only able to do and of which other people might find it difficult to do. It is because each and one of us has a unique shape that God has given us which means that no one else can play our role in this so-called “theater” of life for everything fits into one thing and another. Everyone has his own place. We just have to remember always that, though we may look simple, but to God, we are more than wonderful.
I hope it is just as easy as saying
“I want you”
And you’ll return a smile for me
I wish it is just as easy as saying
“I need you”
Then you’ll never have to leave
And how I wish it is just as easy to say
“I love you”
So you’ll love me too…
But I am wrong.
What do you want me to do?
Do I just have to get over you?
Then quit messing around!
Release my hands and let me go
Can’t you understand?
There’s no more tears left in me to flow…
I want to be numb
And I want to be happy…
I hope it is just as easy as thinking of that!
But never had things gone my way
Am I just the one making things so complicated?
I wish I never had to meet you
So I wouldn’t long to keep you
And beg you to stay…
Now that everything’s not just as easy to say.
- moonlight butterfly
Just when I thought I was through it all
One move from you and again I’ll fall
To think that I was over you
Darn, how I was wrong
One look and I freeze
One whisper and I grow weak
How can I not close my world from you completely?
And yet how can I make you see?
One knock and I let you through
One plea and I begin to tremble
One smile and I start to cry
One touch and I wonder why
Funny how hard you promised forever
And how easily you broke my heart
One hug and I’ll break my bones
One kiss and I could forget everything else…
For there is only one soul
…who can break and mend my heart like new.
- moonlight butterfly
I just did what I think is best
And this is what he wanted
How come I’m not happy?
I packed his things and he left
Yet, he never looked back
I wonder where the tears come from
Why am I not happy?
I let him go
I set him free
And this is what he wanted
How can I be happy?
Walking back home
There’s only one pair of footsteps
Shall I turn to where he is going?
And then would I be happy?
I think I did what’s best
Stab of pain crushed me into pieces
Knowing he will never come back
And I’ll no longer be happy…
Why didn’t he ask?
Why didn’t he care?
And he never tried to get things back
How I hope to be happy…
Now I know I won’t
For having him is what happiness means to me
If I asked him not to leave, will he stay?
‘Coz how I wanted to be happy.
- moonlight butterfly
Whenever I watch this little cat climb down the stairs, there’s always a feeling of joy that comes over me. Its fur is colored white and gray, and it has this very gentle look on its face. But as delicate as it may appear, it’s so hostile that whenever I’ll approach it, it immediately run away. So there…it just comes in our house whenever it wants to. My mom and I decided to tame it by offering it food so every lunch and dinner it comes inside our house but all our attempts failed. We still don’t get to own the cute little pussycin, it always flee.
And I wonder…how in real life it had always seemed that way. Sometimes we long to keep those things that we cannot and can never have…and that’s why we always get hurt. Like in taming our hostile visitor, sometimes, you cannot push someone to stay for good when he or she is not meant to be a permanent part of your life. People come and go into our lives but we never know who stays for real.
Is it our fault?…for not knowing how to take care of them when they’re still there? Or is it not just meant to be? But then again, we don’t even have the slightest idea that they will ever leave. We are so comfortable that they will remain and will stay just right there when we need them. Another problem is, we don’t know how to let go…once they’ve already become a special part of our lives. But the question is, do we really have to let go?
Sometimes I ask myself why I still have to meet people who will just leave me at the end…now that I’ve learned to cling on them for I have found the comfort and the security in them. Then I realized that one should not worry about what he or she is going to do once people step out of his/her world, but it is a matter of knowing how to keep them while they’re still there…while chances are still there for you to hold them tight so they would never have to leave.
Love is like a butterfly; the more you chase it the more it flees. Just spread your palms and it will land when it needs to rest…
Exactly like what the quote says, we don’t really have to be pressured with keeping people in our lives. One must realize that if you want someone to stay, give him/her room to breathe.
They say, destiny chooses who comes into our lives but it is the heart that decides who stays inside. But what if the one our heart chose and wished to stay is not really meant for the keeping? It’s quite devastating, yes, but like what has been said before…wait.
Patience is indeed a virtue. Once you learn to wait, you’ll figure out soon what he/she really meant in your life.
What if I wait and nothing happens still?
Waiting and anticipating are two exact opposite things. While waiting, you can get on with your life, do what you usually do, study etc…when you anticipate, it’s like a part of you is dwelling with false hopes.
Don’t anticipate for the clouds to pour snow…
Wait if there will be a snowfall.
Don’t anticipate for the water to run dry…
Wait until it runs dry.
…don’t anticipate for his/her return, just wait if he/she will return…and that’s when you will know that he/she have realized that there was something he/she left on his/her way that was a great part of himself/herself…you!
But what if such ideal scenario doesn’t happen?
Then it really is not meant to be. When something is not meant to be…no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try…it never will. It is the time then to finally let go.
Why do we always long for the things we can never have and are not even meant for us that we get frustrated even? It is because… why would you wish to get hold of something you already possess?
Yes, that is life…a series of roads full of complexities and questions, and we never stop living until we figure out all the answers.
Being a handicapped person or someone who has a disability is very difficult, even more when you have to live with it. You get ridiculed and ignored as if you have been trying to spread a plague whatsoever. People may be kind to those who are or who have been disabled physically but it is the ones who have mental illness who were often rejected and misunderstood. This is what I had to go through during the OT100 Disability Day last July 11, 2005 from 8 in the morning to 12 noon as I tried to simulate a person with mental and/or behavioral illness. Four hours of enduring an intricate task which had enlightened me and made me realize that though some individual may be different, still, we all are the same – we are human beings created by God.
My assigned disability was Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This disorder occurs mostly during childhood and if not treated at early age might continue until adulthood. Among the common manifestations of this disorder are: inattentiveness, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. A child with ADHD has poor memory, poor communication skills, hyperactive and acts without thinking. He is restless and finds answering homework far more difficult than other children. He cannot focus on one task for long for he easily gets bored and impatient. He also has the tendency to develop other disorders such as bipolar disorder and conduct disorder.
Since I was simulating an adolescent with ADHD, I had first conducted a mini research on how this kind of disorder manifests among teenagers of my age. Definitely it would be a lot different in adolescents than that of children. And I learned that the degree of hyperactivity sort of decreases but evidences of poor attention and slow mental capacity is still present. So I planned early on how I am going to simulate the disability and listed down some activities or acts I could perform on the disability day per se, like always fidgeting on my seat during our ride on the jeepney and never seeming to stay in one place, inability to stare and focus on anything for a long time, not paying attention when someone will talk to me and avoiding eye contacts, pointing at objects that will catch my attention, blurting out random things, doing this mannerism of twitching my face I devised myself etc.
The place where I had to simulate my assigned disability was at Isetann Recto. The general status of people there was that of “middle class”. There are a lot of vendors, workers and some students. They wouldn’t actually throw violent reactions at me since I was wearing the typical shirt and jeans of a teenager and I am cleaner as compared to my other block mates who were simulating people with bipolar disorder until I would show some signs of “weirdness” that they’d look at me in annoyance or they’d laugh at me. Because they had no idea what I am going about and I doubt it if they even know what ADHD is, they’d just simply turn away not seeming to care or they would stare at me as if I had the strangest look in the world!
Mostly, the students or the people of my age were the ones who are less understanding. There is this one guy I asked for direction and when he’d started talking I tried not to pay any attention pretending I saw something strange in the sky, then he uttered, “may diperensya ata ‘to eh”. And his entire friend laughed. While we were on the jeepney, I began my “theatrical act” of restlessness, trying to appear impatient and irritated, and all the people inside the jeep looked at me with question marks on their faces, while some are already getting irritated with me. However, there is this one woman I encountered whom I could never forget. I was about to cross the streets, and she too. When there were no other vehicles that seem to pass by and the road was free for the pedestrians, she must had noticed me somewhat unaware of reality that she decided to pull me by the arm to cross the streets with her. It was really nice for her to do that.
It was really a different feeling to pretend as someone whom other people think of as less capable for a person. Though majority of the people were indifferent to people with disabilities most especially with those suffering from mental illness, there are still few who were kind enough to even ask what’s wrong with me and it made me feel that somehow there are still some who are willing to care.
One of the difficulties I encountered during our Disability Day was how to make other people notice me and to convince them I have ADHD. Almost everybody thinks of insanity as a generic for all mental illnesses regardless of whether it is schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression or mania. Another thing is that, people with ADHD have the tendency to develop conduct disorder and manic-depressiveness, so it was certainly a challenge for me to think of acts where in I could show manifestations of ADHD in me and at the same time, staying out of trouble. So I just tried to do acts that are a little bit more discreet like trying to enter at the exit gate of Isetann, getting hold of some items in the store for a long time but not to the point of putting it to my pocket and though I blurt out random words, I tried not to scream foul words.
The accessibility of the place in relation to people with ADHD, I believe, is fair since people with ADHD are not as dirty-looking as those who are severely affected by disorganized schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They even get to study and work as normal people do. More often than not, ADHD in teenagers is not that obvious than that in children. I easily got inside the mall, and even my other block mates who almost seemed like taong grasa as they simulate people with bipolar disorder. But the amount of support people with mental illness get is relatively few as compared to that of the people with physical disabilities because they are often misconceived as dangerous. They are the ones often marginalized by the society, and even if there are institutions that are willing to help them, there is not a single person willing to put them in.
People with disabilities deserve proper care and respect. Yes, they may not be able to do what others can but this does not permit us to laugh at them, call them names or to stay away from them but instead do something to help them. I, as a student, may not have that much of help and support to provide them but I could start off by educating other people around me to avoid further misconceptions and discriminations to PWDs. I believe education is a vital tool for understanding. And by learning how these people go through life’s indifferences, we could then help them cope with life better.
It is funny how I used to tell my friend whenever we see the woman with a mental disorder in front of the Department of Justice how I wonder what people like her think and feel, how they became like that and what they are like before they lost their sense of reality. Now, I had at least some idea about their situation by experiencing to be one during our last Disability Day.
The OT100 Disability Day is indeed a very worthwhile activity. It may be a pre-requisite for a major subject in college I am taking up right now but it also provided me the knowledge about people with disabilities and thus made me appreciate Occupational Therapy more. It helped me realize that I am on the right track all along. This activity helped me understood more about PWDs most especially those with mental illness. I understand now that they need care and support from the environment and from the society to at least live as normal people do, for to be able to understand other people around you means being on the other person’s shoe. And this made me decide to pursue OT to be able to help these people.
This activity had been very meaningful for me in studying other people with disability. It can be improved more if a student was put in a variety of setting during the simulation to elicit different reactions of people from different statuses. I had a lot of fun and I learned so much from the activity. It was in fact the strangest yet most fruitful four hours of my life.
Ma. Joanna B. Torres
A very special friend once asked me… “What’s the sense of being in a relationship when the two of you can be the best of friends?”
I just sighed in affirmation though we may have contradicting views on love and relationships.
As I see it… lovers first start off by being friends. And I think that good relationships begin that way. Because they had a longer time getting to know one another so it is easier for them to get along very well.
I remember a gal friend told me before, when she was narrating her breakup with her boyfriend. “How I wish we had started off as friends first…” and so the guy spoke to her and they agreed that they’d be friends first and see if everything could work out well the second time. And later she came back to me crying…it no longer worked.
Lovers can later be best friends. But it’s different when your friends , even more when you’ve learned to consider one another as the best friends you can always count on to…the friendship disappears when love comes in between. Because you don’t know now where to put yourself into position! I know most of you wouldn’t actually agree on this but…going back to the question again… the answer lies to the kiss. A kiss is an involuntary act that connects two people often associated with a mixture of different feelings… (that is if it is true). It is a sort of magic that brought two people together out of the real world for a moment…and some says… the time seems to come into a stop.
Tell me, if the feelings of a man for a woman who happens to be his friend evolved into something more that one day he woke up feeling that he never would want to leave her side anymore… can a man still kiss a woman with the same old feeling…? Would it still be the same kiss? Can friends kiss each other on the lips?? No. because if one of them gave in, the feelings break loose…no matter how they deny to themselves, they cannot erase the fact that indeed things have changed and that everything is no longer the same… so that’s the phase when you experience “weighing situations”….do I love him/her already? But what if this feeling only breaks us apart? I can’t afford to lose him/her… Like in my personal experience - we used to be very dear friends, but when emotions grew between us…I didn’t just lose the man I loved, I also lost my friend.
When you are committed to one another, that then sets the boundary between friendship and romantic love. There are certain things that you can do as a lover that you cannot do as a friend, and vice versa.
And so I believe…
A man and a woman could never ever be just friends… there would always be something that comes in between. Something that is more powerful, more perplex and yet even more. Something that is God-made.
Hmm… the other thing I am talking about… well, I’ll just keep it to myself in the mean time...until I finally figure it out…for sure, that is.
oh well, someday i hope to stand corrected...let's see...
I just woke up feeling so light from a very good sleep. Not just because for once I had a complete ten hours of sleep, haha! But it was also raining hard last night and the bed sheets felt cold and soft… and I had this strange dream. And throughout the day I just can’t control this stupid mouth of mine from smiling.
I can’t quite recall the whole of it but all I could remember is that during my entire dream I was running with this man, our hands holding one another as he lead the way while I just follow behind. I can’t remember why we were running or where we were running from. All I know is that we are in that white and multi-storey building. As we walk and run together from one floor to another, holding each other’s hands (handcuffed sometimes, finger laced), we would see on the way all the people that I know – my classmate back in elementary, Dialyn, who didn’t pay attention when she saw me; some of my classmates during college (though I can’t tell if they were the ones I’m closest to) and…the OT freshmen? Haha! I didn’t even know why I saw them. I also saw the guys from ‘the’ fraternity that…oh well.=)
But the guy in my dream, I never even saw his face or…did I? I dunno. As far as I can remember, he stands a couple of inches taller than me and I guess, wears black..? and all the while we were just holding hands…and I sort of feel comfortable being with him. It’s not that I have special feeling or affection with this guy…I even wonder why I hold hands with someone I don’t even know! Well, that’s just in my dream. =)
Waking up into reality, I guess I just needed somebody…like the guy in my dream – someone who would tightly hold my hands, who would run the course with me…someone who wouldn’t abandon me no matter how many times I trip and fall and even if I am so slow…he would always look back to my direction and in the long run, he would still wait for me…our hands intertwined. I guess I need exactly someone like the guy in my dream…someone I’m comfortable with, someone who would always make me happy and make me forget everything else… somebody who would especially run the mile with me when troubles arise.
I wanted to know the man in my dream. I want to meet him…to be with him.
Perhaps I was just being too ‘idealistic’…when in fact, in the real world, that kind of “knight-in-shining-armor” persona no longer exists.
*waaahhHHH,, why am I like this????? Now that I have finally agreed to myself that I would remain happy and single until the time is right for me to meet the right one!!! Oh heck…-_-;*
by moonlight butterfly
[You know what... sometimes I wish I could just write and write and write… until my brain drained off of all the ideas…and my heart finally becomes numb. I don’t wanna feel no more. I’m tired already… my head is always aching… I can’t seem to focus on one thing… I am so lost…]
I wonder how it all began
We were strangers back then, and still
I never thought I would feel like this
Such a feeling I never thought I’m still capable of
After the many years of crying
When some lunatic broke my heart
And just a simple hello from you, stranger
You brought the broken pieces back
And it seemed like; you’re not a stranger to me after all
I tell you things I never thought I would tell anyone
My heart beams with joy every time you are around
Just by knowing you, I came back to life
From the tempest I never thought I would have surpassed
Every moment I spend with you is a lifetime of bliss
The flowers are all in bloom
I never saw the sky so clear
Or the stars so bright
Since you walked into my life
I am all the more surprised that the little day-to-day talk we share
Brought about a tremendous change in me
That I would ever get to know how to smile again…
I never felt my heart beats so fast every time you call my name
Or my soul quivers each time you show perfect care
And after a long time, finally, and again
I can’t believe myself but I think I have fallen for you
I think I’m in love with you
I love you…
But stranger, now, where are you?
Now that I need you
Now that I long to share the laughter with you
The happy moments of my life only with you…
And right when one is the loneliness number
During my saddest moments that I long for your warm embrace to comfort me
Have you gone out of my life completely?
Did you leave me too just as what he did to me before?
And so, shall I ask God the same question again…
Why do I always fall for the wrong person?
Why do I love someone…who is not meant for me after all…?
Just as when I longed for someone to stay…
You left me like the soft breeze one evening
It was only yesterday that we exchanged hellos and now
…not even a goodbye.
[Now that I’ve sighed all up…. I feel much relieved…=)…]