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The Girl Who Forgave Her Mother

December 20, 2017 ·  By Francisco B. Bermido, Jr.


The Girl Who Forgave Her Mother
Francisco B. Bermido, Jr.

A loving mother is the best protector a child can have. She does all she can to feed, clothe and provide, educate and give a good upbringing for her child. That’s the nature of the vast majority of Filipino mothers. They sacrifice much, work hard and do their best for their children even when they are beaten themselves and abandoned by the father of their children.

But there are a few who would choose to reject their own daughter in favor of the man who provides the household with money. A mother who allows her daughter to be sexually abused is the worst mother in the world.

Antoinette was abused by the live-in partner of her mother when she was only seven years old. Abandoned by the biological father the mother took in a live-in partner. He began to sexually abuse the child inside the comfort room when the mother was away working as a domestic helper in Makati. He would threaten her and her ten-year-old half-brother when she said she would tell on him. He beat her too and she lived in fear and was intimidated. Her half-brother had witnessed the sexual abuse.

One day when she was older, Antoinette felt stronger to fight back against him when he grabbed her to rape her again and she took a knife to stab him but he was not seriously wounded. She ran and told relatives but they did not believe her. When her mother came home and heard what she had done she flew into a rage, shouted that her daughter was lying and slapped her on the face and got a pair of scissors and cut her hair off as punishment.

Antoinette ran away from home after that. She could not endure the abuse and the rejection and not being believed by her own mother. That was August 1, 2016 and she was living out on the streets and was being approached by adult women offering her food and a place to stay, which she accepted. They were human traffickers grooming her to be sold into the sex trade. But a friend of human traffickers by the name of Bong learned of her story and had pity on Antoinette and he brought her to the local district office of the barangay official in Malabon and she told her story. Nothing stays secret for long in the Philippines and soon the horrific story spread and before the suspect could be arrested, he and the mother of Antoinette and the 10-year old boy went to hiding.

Antoinette was a very damaged traumatized child after years of abuse and rejection by her own mother. She was brought to the halfway house for street children in Malabon but it was not a good environment for a traumatized sexually abused child as there are small children and boys of different ages and all mixed together. Malabon does not have a home for abused children. The social workers referred Antoinette to the Preda home for girls in November 2016.

She is known in the Preda Home as one of the Karate Kids. she loves to take part in the karate training for the girls to help them feel stronger, healthy, and empowered. This she says helps her to fight back against her abuser and she feels she can resist him. But it is the Emotional Expression Therapy where she lets out her emotional karate. Yelling and punching and kicking the cushions in the therapy room is where she rails and cries, shouts and releases her rage at her abuser and mother. After a dozen sessions, she still wants to go back and shout at her mother some more for beating her and not believing in her. She cries for all the years she felt unwanted and unloved. After the session she says she has pity on her mother and wants to forgive her. She too perhaps was an abused child and was unloved, she says. That’s why Antoinette does not yet feel she will file a complaint with the prosecutor against her abuser because her mother would be charged as an accomplice too.

More likely it is because she needs more Primal Therapy as she feels much more anger still and can’t yet face her rapist in a court of law. She is resilient and growing in her personality and lives happily in the community, is helpful and peaceful. The aggression is off loaded and left in the therapy room and her energy is directed towards her self-improvement and studies. One day, she will overcome all the pain and hurt of her childhood and learn to deal with it and have a successful fulfilled life.



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