If Only I Knew Then What I Know Now
At some point in our lives, most of us regret something we have done. These things usually are the most memorable ones and the hardest to forget. For me, there is something I know now which I am allowed to do that I did not know before—to defend myself.
I was just a plain little girl who wanted nothing but to play with kids my age. However, since I was 5 years old, I have been used to being bullied by older kids in our neighborhood. My parents were always at work, so no one was really there to monitor me and my little brother but our housemaid and babysitter for 3 years, Liz. I cannot remember her defending us from the bullies, so I had this constant thinking that I was worth bullying. She herself had shouted at us if we had not finished our meal on time; pinched us really hard if we disturbed her sleep; and kicked us while sleeping as her means of waking us up. Those were the vivid memories that I have of her bullying stunts. We never defended ourselves or even told our parents about it. Perhaps, it was partly because I was afraid of her. However, I think it is more because I had grown up into believing that I was a bad girl and I deserved it.
The nightmare ended when my mother quitted from work and fired her upon finding out from our neighbors that she was hurting us. She wouldn’t have believed had she not seen some bruises herself. It was then when our parents explained to us how important it was to tell them everything and to not be afraid. It was only then that I realized not all adults do were right. Sometimes, it takes a child to correct them. From then on, my mother stayed at home to take care of us full time.
It makes me feel sad. The fact that I cannot recognize that girl anymore proves that I know better now. If only I knew then that I am capable of defending myself, I would not have grown into an unconfident woman.
It was one of the distinct memories that a woman my age has to remember every time the topic of childhood would be brought up. It was not a pleasant recollection, but I must admit that it did help me out in humbling myself and understanding my peers. Moreover, it made me promise one thing to my future children—that I would never entrust childcare to strangers.