Hi to all generous people of the World! My name is Rowena, I'm 36 years old and have been battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) due to domestic violence since 2010.I was a rape victim in that year and ever since then I have been taking my long term psychotherapy and medication. I am an orphan since I was 23 years old. My father died of cancer when I was just 12 and my mother died when I was 23. Growing up with parents was not easy specially when you were just a kid and you do not understand what is going on around, well I was force to understand it in a very traumatic way. I grew up in an environment where my father would spoil me with everything he could afford to give back from his missing days with me due to his chemotherapy and my mother sheltered me because I'm the youngest one. I have an older brother but he moved away from us since he turned college. When my mother died, I had so many hardship primarily, I had poor decision making.
It was December 2010, I was 27 years old when I face a tragedy that change me for the rest of my life. I lost my job and while I'm unaware that I am already loaded with debts, I met a man who offered a help to provide my needs but things did not go in the right direction after realizing he's just abusing my innocence from the relationship we built. It was a frame up. One day you think you're normal then suddenly you became different, That happened to me when I attempted to commit a suicide. From the day I woke up in the hospital, I started feeling strange. My brother and my relatives did not take the resident doctor's advice seriously to bring me to a psychiatrist instead they consulted a faith healer. I did not like the way how they treat me and few more days after running away from my brother's house, I became partially disconnected to reality but still able to work. It became difficult for me to speak sentences and socialize to people, In order for me to feel that I am still alive, I would have to hurt myself. Honestly I do not know what I was doing. One time my employers ask me to submit all the requirements because they want to absorb me as fulltime but then I ended up consulting a psych to support my medical requirements and ever since then I was loaded with debts
My psychologist fee cost P1,700.00 a month and my Psychiatry cost P1,000.00 a month. Added to this are my expensive medicines which cost P90.00 per piece for a total of P2,400.00 for 30 days giving me a total expense of P5,400.00. This amount of money have cause me so much pain in my pocket that affects my other basic expense like groceries so I ended up renting a small room to save more money and focus on my treatment. My salary from fulltime job is not enough to accommodate all so I also need to render part time job even on weekends which cause me to weaken my health . For how many years, I not only live with fears,anxieties and nightmares but I spend most of the time trying to run after a good life again. I was so frustrated. My doctors as well paid attention on me until I eventually learn to speak few sentences and while on my treatment, my doctor found out that my memory have been damage after being partially disconnected to reality. I have difficulty remembering important events, the people from my past such as friends and the places I have been through so I will always have to bring a notebook what ever I m doing. When I am making a progress with my treatment, I decided to work in a lighter job to balance it well with my PTSD. I worked as a college instructor and along my treatment schedule, I found happiness with my passion in teaching. I learned about the Philippine education system where most students and teachers are suffering from ineffective learning resources. So I started helping everyone by giving advice to trainers for effective teaching and the students how to do application from what they learned from the topics that was discussed. I then introduce new learning materials for them to use. Unfortunately, the school did not last and so I decided to go back in corporate thinking maybe it's time for me to go back to corporate world since I made a little progress. While working in corporate, I became interested in getting involve in charity at the same time so I did a research to find a good charity where I can serve as a volunteer teacher. When I started joining the volunteering, I learned to open my eyes with the reality of poverty crisis, I was inspired by the story of some co-volunteers who also have a remarkable story like mine. Some of them are adopted from Department of Social Welfare Development, others are from broken family and there are also born as literally poor. I was also inspired with the kids we're helping that at the young age of 12, they are already selling sweet corns in the streets and wake up early in the morning to attend schooling, something that my parents did not teach me about so I keep joining the volunteering to learn more.
Unfortunately, my PTSD attacked me affecting my work and eventually lost my job. I was 34 that time and because I was so frustrated of getting better that at that age, I could have probably save income to get my own house and a nice car. I started to backpack and while travelling to the islands in Binangonan Rizal, I accidentally passed by a squatters that caught my attention. When I take a look at their distress appearance I ended up offering a little help to the parents but then things became bigger as the people I am helping became larger from grand parents to parents to kids, I started doing an advocacy providing free quality education to the poor. My advocacy helps me a lot to get better. When I had the chance to visit my doctors and they put me to a lab test, they said I am already in the recovery stage. I never had any attack of anxieties, fears and never had nightmares. As I move forward and started to envision a charity, suddenly my PTSD attacked me again through flashback memory of how I was being abused. My health started to drop, I suffered vomiting, headaches and my hair defuse. When I consulted a doctor, she told me that my body experiences a system shock after remembering the tragedy, my body was not prepared. I lost weight and it affected my advocacy as well but still I was trying to hold on that I can at least find ways to help my community away from doing drugs or any crimes
My advocacy interrupted for quite some time because of costly medication. Since I have chosen the volunteer teacher career which doesn't paid me at all, I switched on continuously working with my immune system shock in public hospitals. My psychotherapy and medication is still in Medical Towers Makati primarily its because my two doctors, Dr Ruben Encarnacion who is my psychologist and my psychiatrist Dr Alice Encarnacion are my doctors ever since, If I switch to another psychologist/psychiatrist doctors in public hospital, they will ask me about my history which could reflect more trauma and that would not be safe for me. I left my family after disobeying them to go back in corporate again and I cannot even remember who were my closest friends who could help me leading me no choice but to keep moving forward to build my own charity. My former charity Tulong sa Kapwa Kapatid where I served as a volunteer teacher advice me quit my advocacy first and agree to enter the shelter for abuse women because they were so concern that they think some people needs to take care of me.
Lucky for me my immune system gradually gets better so now I am working out with my psychotherapy and medication. At this moment, I am asking to your generous heart to help me support my medical treatment. I'm gonna be needing to attend my psychotherapy session to help me recover well. This way you are also helping me to achieve my dreams in building a charity for the poor. Squatters is where you could find dangerous people and in most cases it is where drug war arise and that's the primary reason why I did not surrender my advocacy despite of my health situation and many people are not convinced. Too many innocent kids and parents will have to suffer if we are not going to highlight that lack of quality education is the root cause of poverty resulting to drug addiction and crime rates.. A lot of rape victims will also have to suffer, there are others who will not be diagnosed with PTSD and there are also others who would have to undergo costly treatment. If not treated properly, my co-victims will end up being bitter and anger all through out their entire life.
In the first paragraph, I told everyone that I was a rape victim and I know that this will make you feel devastated. For others who I have shared my story look up to me for being confident to speak and this is because I believe GOD gave me this tragedy to be a model to everyone to never give up on your dreams. i dream that one day, I could have the chance to speak to President Duterte to highlight the immediate aid for women of domestic violence that we need a strong government support to mental illness.
Sincere gratitude to All