People Don’t See the Dark

My Philosophy teacher once said, you could never choose your fate. It is your givenness, your facticity, your thrownness. But you can use it, play with it, or manipulate it to fulfill your own destiny. You could never choose where you come from but you can choose where to direct your life, it is up to you where you want to go.

Certainly true.

I am not really comfortable in spilling the rotten aspects of my family. Unlike my closest friends who are open about everything about their families, I try to avoid talking about certain things about mine in the public. As much as possible I don’t divulge information that might affect the reputation of my family. It may sound unfair to my bestfriend who shares everything to me. There are just some things that I choose to keep to myself,  stories that are better kept private. However tonight , as much as I wish not to reveal it I would shout and tell my story to the whole world. I couldn’t carry the burden anymore.

What you see is not what it always is.

Behind closed doors there are a lot of things that you don’t know.


I’m from a pretty well known family. We are not rich nor wealthy, we just have enough. Yet, due to the way my great grandparents (and the other older pals in our family tree) conducted themselves, helped others, and lived decent lives, people from this little town of mine regard my family with high respect.

People often see us as “the-perfect-family”. My parents are both professionals; my aunts and uncles also earned their degrees in reputable schools in the city. All of them have proven themselves and we, the younger generation are trying to establish our name in our own ways. My brother, my cousins and I are all trying to make a name in different areas; not just academically and we are getting the spotlight because of that.

With all the accomplishments, the titles, the recognition, the glamor, and the respect, people might think that we live a perfect life. We live a pretty-looking life but not a perfect one.


I have an uncle, Glenn, from the paternal side who is a real pain in the ass. My friends had never met him or know about him because he lives in the land my paternal family owns which is located far from our place. He was sent there for good, basically to avoid the fuss. My uncle Glenn is the black sheep of the family, he did drugs and weren’t able to finish college for that reason.

He is the least favorite uncle of everybody and the one my cousins and I really hate. [I try to avoid using the term ‘hate’ but in this circumstance it is the only adjective that I can think of]. We try hard to distance ourselves from him because he never brings any good to the family. All he has for us  are problems that need fixing.

Also, Glenn has an unhealthy relationship with his siblings (especially with my father and uncle John). Back when I was younger I would see him come drunk to my Grandma’s place. My favorite aunt Majean (the youngest among my dad’s siblings) and Glenn would often end up in a brawl, my aunt would punch him and next thing I knew I was already in our own house crying. He was also the cause of my Grandma’s heart attacks and hospitalizations which led to her death.

I try to bury it in my memory, yet there are events in our lives that we can’t ran away from. Last Christmas, on the eve of 25th of December 2012, a scene happened. Our whole family along with my relatives spent christmas in my greatgrandma’s ancestral place. We had a grathering that day and Glenn got as drunk as hell. Having witnessed such display of attitude, our supposed to be happy Christmas turned sour.

Christmas is eventful, it’s supposed to be filled with love and joy. Hence when I told my friends how my Christmas was, I modified it in a way that is acceptable to my emotions, my feelings. Yes, I manipulated it in a manner I wanted.

I am just a human being. I try to narrate and portray the past in a way that is deemed ‘better’ and lighter— and so I transform reality in my own truth, the tryth I can muster.


A beautiful façade is not enough to describe the whole of a house.

I  grew up with a pampered life with my brother and my parents. We live in one roof and I can say that we are really tight. I am open to both my mom and my dad, I can tell almost everything to them except for the things I want leave just for myself.

We attend mass together regularly, yes the four of us. Unlike my friends’ fathers my father has no vices, he doesn’t drink or smoke either. My mother is pretty and has a pretty good relationship with people. We seem to be the epitome of an award winning family.

Unfortunately, behind curtains we are slowly being torn apart.

You see my mom, I couldn’t understad my mom. I try as hard as I can to understand her, the problem is she doesn’t want to try to understand us.

She always wants to impose on us her beliefs, her truths and her reality. She always wants us to do things her way. She doesn’t want to listen to our opinions, to what we have to say. Whenever we try to make her see our point, whenever we try to reason out she would condemn us and say that we are becoming disrespectful.

My mother although viewed by many as a really good person is really a “bigoted-control-freak-woman”. I would admit that I am slowly losing my respect for her due to the way she carry herself as well as her values.

Tonight (April 7, 2013) we had a quarrel big time. My borther and I were against my mom trying to make her understand that we know what we were doing, we know what needs to be and that she doesn’t need to scold us to tell us what is right. At first I wasn’t really bothered by her nagging, but it got so annoying that I decided to reply. The argument got heated, she raised her voice to the point where the whole neighborhood can hear her shouting.

We continued arguing, I was trying to establish my point. Until suddenly she ran towards me and slapped me in the face. It didn’t end there, she pinched me hard and slapped me even harder in different parts of my body.

My brother tried to stop her, but he failed. I shouted for my dad (he was outside at the patio) and he came running fast to our direction to prevent my mom from further hurting me. My dad cut between us, but the word fight did not stop there. I did not stop because she did not. I was hoping that she would realize that she is wrong. But she never did. Worse was she slapped my dad on the face when he tried to stop her from hitting me again.

Aside from a bleeding lower lip and a bruise on my right cheek I got these scratches from my tiger mom.

My brother and I went out of the house as ordered by my dad. I chose not to go to my maternal grandmother’s place although my brother insisted. I just didn’t want to walk there in that state, crying, all bruised with scratches.

After a few minutes my dad went out of the house to talk to us. He is the ‘comforter’ in the family, our spoiler. He embraced me while I cried really hard. The word exchanges was nothing but the pain inflicted by it and the action made by my mom— I really couldn’t take it.

We, as a Hidalgo family, is still intact because of my dad. He is the patient and the loving one, if he didn’t have the guts to stay with mom we are already one of those broken families. He filled what my mom can’t give to make sure that we always feel complete.

It’s funny how with one click of my father’s phone we can call Fiscal Jesse and charge my mom with harassment and stuff like that. [My father is connected to the fiscal and my father’s cousin is a judge as well as my greatgrandmother’s sister]. However, we opted not to because we know it can destroy our family’s reputation— the ‘us’.

The sweet smiles, the angelic faces, the witty speeches, the tight pack, the good professionals, the happy group—it’s what you see, the epitome a perfect family. It’s just all about good acting, good performance. Backstage, behind curtains, people fail to realize how so many flaws made the production a really nice one.


I cannot choose my family. I wasn’t even consulted whether I wanted to belong in here or not. Whatever the case though, I can never change it. All I can do is direct my life to where I want to go and I hope I make good choices.

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4 thoughts on “People Don’t See the Dark

  1. J. says:

    Hang in there Max. I can empathize with your situation, and while there’s not always an obvious or easy answer, you just have to keep going. And keep writing! You’ve got a gift for it.

  2. […] People Don’t See the Dark ( […]

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