February 2, 2023

Dear Manang,
Why is it that children become unpredictable? Why are we parents too busy to notice behavioral changes in kids? It seems this pandemic has not given us the opportunity to be in touch with each other even if we are in the same house. I can only blame myself for losing my 14-year-old daughter who used the curtain to end her misery when she failed in her modules. I want to get angry at the teachers who seem to be merciless. My grief is untold.
Celing of Justice Village, Baguio City

Dear Celing,
You are right in letting out all the thoughts in one way or another. We must speak when we are deep in grief or anger. This is the first step. Your child kept all the pain inside her and loneliness eats up every dim glint of hope. Talking to each other is the best remedy to any mental anguish or pain. I wish we just made a habit of asking people around us, “How are you?” Followed up by, “Have you eaten?” Just to encourage engagement. By letting out the thoughts, we begin to hear ourselves and begin processing our feelings on our own. It is urgent that there is someone who listens. The silence drowns, let them hear themselves. This should be a warning to teachers to be extra caring in these times. We all need to listen, especially to ourselves.
Lend an ear,
Manang


Dear Manang,
I seem to have lost control of my patience, when I used to have it overflowing to the point of being catatonic. I know I have received my senior rank but I need to understand why I am now impatient. I lose it when I encounter the guard at my bank who seems to have stepped on his common sense. I lose my cool with the cab driver or a sales person. Can I buy patience anywhere?
Tatiana of Chapis Village, Baguio City

Dear Tatiana,
Some say it’s hormonal imbalance. I say it comes with age and the turf. Yes, it is a chemical that we lose when we get older that makes us crabby. A website on aging care says that sometimes it’s a pain or discomfort that makes elders angry or easy to anger. The way to handle it is to stand back and leave the person be for a moment. The other reason is it might be the onset of dementia (heaven forbid). That in a way is resentment towards someone, often at anyone else except the person himself or the son. It is good to make them understand but if we pass this stage, it is the young ones to give the space.
More patience dearie,
Manang