I would probably get flak for being where I am at the moment. Nosy know-it-alls would probably say what an irresponsible person I am being because I have left my charge alone for the moment. Typical kind of mentality in this part of the world... The eldest always gives way. I am not complaining, nor am I resentful. I'm just... trying to breathe. Because no matter how strong we panganays are (or look like we are), we are human, too, and we have limits. Most people seem to forget that, though.
I don't care about the possible names I will be called, or the insults that will be thrown my way, because I do not answer to any of those hearsayers who know nothing. I don't owe them any explanations. The only One I am accountable to has given me clearance to rest, and His word is the only one that matters to me. I am not forsaking my responsibility, I just need a few days, or maybe a few weeks, to step back and regain perspective, because right now, I really really want to smash stuff in anger.
I don't know why I even have to ask permission to be not okay. It's like it's been my default setting to be "okay" for so long that people sometimes forget that I have a breaking point, too. I am a very tolerant person, and surprisingly, I have been finding out that I am patient, too, but this does not mean that I am a doormat, nor is it a license for people to take advantage of me. And so even when I am no longer, I have to put on my masks and look like I am okay, because it's expected of me.
I actually had to ask for time to be not okay. It's tiring to be so darned strong and together all the time. I told God, "Can I take a leave of absence? I'm not going to quit (although I am sorely tempted to). I just need time to be not okay for a while. I am tired, and I need to rest."
It's so easy to do that when everything is going well. Try it when your heart is breaking, when the tears won't stop flowing, and you are at your wit's end already and you are this close to throwing in the towel. Try it when you have tried everything possible, when you followed all His instructions, but still, nothing seems to work. You pray consistently and constantly, but the answer you're waiting for is still somewhere beyond the horizon. It seems to work best, I've found, when you are down on your knees already because you are just about ready to give up and you are crying for a way out.
So yes. I am not okay, nor do I want to pretend to be okay. For those who can't deal with that, and who insist on me being "where I should be, doing what I should do" and to do anything otherwise is just plain selfishness, I will plug my ears and sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" because you really have no idea what you're talking about. If it is selfish to think about yourself once in a while, if it is selfish to give time for yourself and attend to your own needs, then so be it. When you have walked in my shoes and know what it is to be here, then tell me that. You may be trying to encourage me, but it is not going to work that way. You'd do better to just stand with me, give me a hug and let me cry (eating ice cream with me would be a good idea, too). If God Himself told His servants to rest, then who are you to argue with that?
So for now, no matter what others may think, I am taking a temporary leave of absence. And despite the hurt piercing my heart right now, this is what I sing: