All of us have to go to some tough times and rough challenges in life. We face trials and overcome obstacles to be a person of value and worth. Read and listen to the story of this girl as she recalls the horror of her teenage life and retell how the man she loved died as well as how bitter memories changed her life forever.

One look and I knew she was a typical student in the university with a quiet bookish aura and composed atmosphere.  She looks like a normal girl with a normal life around. But as usual, what you see is not always what you get. When she started to share her terrible past with some tears, I knew her life back then was a rough as a roller coaster ride, as dark as midnight.

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Danica, not her real name whose dramatic story had been featured in a TV show, is a 20-year-old Legal Management student in the University of the East. She is currently residing in Women’s shelter owned by Christian Missionaries in Mandaluyong City. Because of family problem, at the age of 10, she was forced to stay at her grandma’s home in Caloocan city. She thought that was the only agony she had to go through. Unknowingly, major blows had just started to come one after the other.

At the age of 13 her grand mom died, her grandfather didn’t  treat her good so she had to go back in her parent’s home which she consider as hell. Her relationship with her family deteriorated, she became an ephemeral prostitute and had several live- in partners. The worst part was, her boyfriend, the only hope she had and the only man that cared for her died in just a snap.

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The person she can’t say goodbye

The only good thing about Danica’s life in her teenage years was Marlon her boyfriend. He was gorgeous, kind and gentleman. Danica love him so much.

“ Marlon was my first boyfriend siya ang pinaka minahal ko. I though siya na talaga ang magiging asawa ko. He was the only one who gives me hope and strength kahit na magulo din ang pamilya nya”.-she said.

But after six months of relationship, their fate took a sudden blow. The 22-year-old Marlon was killed via four stabs by Danica’s ex-boyfriend who is a gang member. Obviously she was the cause of the commotion.

“December yun ng 2005 nang binalita saken yung nangyari na shock ako, hindi ako makalabas, ni hindi ako nakapunta sa burol at libing. Nahihiya aki sa parents niya at sa mga tao. Sobrang sakit until now I just can’t say goodbye to him. Siya lang talaga yung taong minahal ko. The terrible part was parang ako pa yung dahilan diba.” She said

Danica also admitted that the killer her ex-boyfirend was a casual illegal drug user, while Marlon was also part of a gang.

“Now I lost communication with them, hanggang nayon di ko alam kung nakulong ba yung ex ko or kung maayos ba yung lagay ng family ni Marlon ang alam ko lang sirang sira ang buhay ko nun.” Danica added.

The memories she can’t say goodbye

Danica was a victim of irresponsible parenthood. Her father was a consistent drunker, her mother was jobless and she is the eldest in the brood of eight. She admitted that her “lolo” was once molested her while her father abused her verbally.

“Yung teenage years ko yun talaga ang painful part ng buhay ko. I don’t like my dad, I hate him very much, I hate life, my family, and everything from there”.  Danica said.

In the middle of Danica’s messy life, she entered the world of prostitution with the help of her friend, at first she work in a bar in Makati but a when woman called mamasang gave them opportunity to work as prostitute in Tarlac she grabbed it and was in Tarlac in a year.

“ Grabe ang naging buhay ko dun, kung kani kaninong sugar daddy ako napupunta and dami kong naka live-in , no love, no commitment only lust, money and sex, I saw my whole world as if it was falling apart lagi akong umiinom, naglalasing my life was nowhere to be found wala akong direksyon nun.” She claimed.

Saying goodbye with these memories is very hard for Danica, even if she wants to forget and move on, it would really take time to regain what was lost and to forget and finally bid goodbye to those abysmal times of her life.

A road to healing

It was in august 2007, when she received a call from a group of philanthropist or Christian missionaries. It was her mother who seeks help to bring her daughter back.

“Nung una ayoko, nagmatigas ako I wanted to stay pero pinilit nila ako at tinawagan ng paulit-ulit na confine ako dahilsa sakit. When I felt helpless dun bumigay na ako at bumalik ng mandaluyong”. She confessed,

Danica undertook a lot of counseling with the Christian group, she was part of the Victory for Christ,  harvest for Chrsit church. At 16 she began to change her life. Until now she is living with the Christian shelter in Mandaluyong. While she’s still away from her family, their communication and relationship started to grow and develop

“sobrang hirap mag adjust, it was pure pain pero ngayon okay na ako. I’m in the period of healing and forgiving.”

Danica is now studying courtesy of the Christian Missionaries. They provide all her needs together with other abused women,she lived in a safe and god-centerd community. They give her allowance and continues counseling. In return, Danica promised to have a god-centered life. She teaches Sunday school for children and lead the dance group of their church.

“Before I felt like a dust in the wind, worthless, I felt nothing but pain. But now I feel like a gold being treasured by god.”

“Mahirap mag goodbye sa lahat ng memoroies lalo na dun sa taong minahal ko, pero it will take time, Hindi ako nagsisisi sa nangyari sa past ako dahil dun kaya ako naging ganito. Im stronger now. Dahil sa past ko mas naging totong tao ako,I found my purpose, mas realize ko na important ako kay god at importante siya sa buhay ko.”

Sooner or later I’ll have  bid goodbye to those people and memories of my dark past because now I am headed with a purposeful future.-she ended

Truly, we all have our stories to tell, past that can’t be forgotten. People whom we can’t say goodbye to, but the most important thing is we learned,  life is indeed like a roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs, twist and turns, its rough but fun. It is also like a book, full of chapters; You should finish one chapter before you begin another.