Tuesday, October 7, 2008

(Women In Love and in Trouble) HOW YVETTE TOOK OUT AN INSURANCE AGAINST PAIN - part 1

(as told to annamanila)

Jorge was Yvette’s first love. They were classmates in Pre-med at a Catholic university. He was tall, good looking, intelligent – with a little-boy-lost quality about him that drew women like a magnet. Yvette was captivated by all these. But most of all, she fell in love with what she thought was the “inner man.”

Jorge was religious … or so Yvette thought. Jorge looked beyond the material and superficial … or at least that was how he impressed her. He seemed to understand about Yvette’s own yearning to unravel the mysteries of life, God, and the universe.

Yvette’s fascination for life’s hidden meaning started as far back as she could remember. She would look at the stars and wondered how big was the universe and whether the God that she knew was also the God of all the universe and all that she could imagine as well as those that she could not. She marveled at how high her imagination flew, even as her feet remained on the ground. She asked questions her elders could not answer, such as if God created the world, who created God?

high school, while most other teenagers read Emily Loring and Mills and Boons, Yvette buried her nose into the Science of the Mind, The Autobiography of a Yoga, and self-help books.

She dabbled in astrology and numerology. She was curious to know the psychic meaning of colors, interpret dreams, play the tarot and the rune. Before long, she was trying automatic writing with some degree of success. She became a vegetarian in college. She still is.

Outwardly, however, she was a typical youngster who loved dressing up, partying, hamming it up, and having a good time with friends. No, she did not go around wearing high priestess robes or making esoteric pronouncements. “Kikay din ako. Chichay din ako,” she now says, suppressing a giggle. But even then, she had to fight bouts of insecurity. She thought she was plain looking, and doubted if any man would truly want her or bother to have a second look.

Thus, when Jorge, the provinciano from Bacolod, singled her out and wooed her, she couldn’t believe he truly loved her, “… except that he probably discerned the beautiful me inside.”

Before she met Jorge, Yvette had this grand dream of being a missionary-doctor. She fancied herself in some far-flung rural area, serving the poor with the devotion of a Mother Teresa. She would not mind being a spinster, she thought, or even a nun. Nonetheless, she was also open to a relationship, but only “… if I could find somebody who shared my dreams and convictions.”

Jorge went on to medical school as Yvette shifted gears and took up B.S. psychology. She later picked up a Master’s degree while waiting for Jorge to graduate.

When Yvette graduated in 1974, she married Jorge in civil ceremonies. It was a secret wedding. A year later, they were wed in church if only to quiet Yvette’s creeping sense of “living in sin.” It was another secret wedding. They had to keep their marriage under wraps because Jorge’s family would have been devastated over a premature marriage for their student-doctor son.

In 1978, Jorge graduated from medical school. It was only then that he and Yvette came out in the open as a couple. They renewed their marriage vows in church in the presence of their families.

As Jorge struggled through his medical residency, Yvette found a good-paying job in a government corporation. In those early years, she made herself indispensable to her husband. She made sure he was eating well, resting well, and unperturbed by family problems – so he could study well. By this time, the children had started coming. Yvette worked doubly hard. She wanted Jorge to be a good doctor, especially since a successful cosmetic surgeon had taken him under his wing.

The cheating started not long after their first baby came. A letter left unwittingly in Jorge’s car gave him away. It was from Gina, a young medical technologist. The letter relived in lurid detail a romantic interlude during a medical mission out of town.

Other liaisons followed. By then, he had set up his own private practice. He hired nurses to assist him in his clinic. Two of them became his lovers.

Every time Yvette confronted Jorge, he pressed his innocence. He chided her for being jealous, insecure, imaginative.

Yvette in turn blamed herself. “It must be me,” she told herself. She was not loving enough, not understanding enough, not pretty enough. “All the time, I wanted to believe that Jorge was the wonderful person I thought he was, and I failed him.” She was wracked by fear. She couldn’t imagine life without Jorge. He was the sun. Her life revolved around him.

To improve herself, she took up once again the inward journey she had begun. If she could not transform herself into the wife Jorge wanted, then she could at least fortify herself against the pain of betrayal. Slowly, carefully, she gathered the tools that she thought would make herself invincible.

Her search took her to the Science of the Mind and Man (SOMM) program. It was the very “in” thing in the 1980s. But unlike thousands of others who took the course and then moved on, Yvette stayed on and on. For 15 years, she belonged to the SOMM inner circle of disciples.

“The SOMM played on my fears. It taught me to esteem myself, love myself, be happy with myself. I was told that when I am happy with myself, all the rest will follow. I figured if I stayed with SOMM, I will always know how to keep my marriage happy.”

One of the SOMM’s promises to its followers was material prosperity. It was part of what was supposed to follow when one achieved self-awareness. To Yvette, SOMM delivered as promised. Money started flowing in for Yvette and Jorge.

She had by then quit her job, sold their home, and invested in a series of small businesses. She tried shoemaking, running a bakeshop, weaving – all with reasonable success. In 1990, she hit it big with a cosmetic formulation handed down to her by her grandmom who was a chemist. She commercialized and improved it and added product lines. Today, the business has captured a niche in the cosmetic market. And she has learned to manage by exception.

Where before Jorge dismissed SOMM as “another prosperity mumbo-jumbo,” where before he was jealous of the time Yvette spent with the “inner circle,” Jorge now joined in, at first cautiously. “I guess he couldn’t argue with success, so he jumped in.” In time, he too became part of the “inner circle.”

What followed were what Yvette called “my Camelot years.” Five glorious years of peace, love and plenty for Yvette, Jorge and their three children. Five years Jorge played the ideal husband and father bit to the hilt.

As Yvette’s business prospered, Jorge grew in his practice. He was slowly carving a name for himself as a competent surgeon. Their family and finances thrived. Her business and his clinic complemented each other. Jorge carried her skin-care products in his clinic. In turn, they tithed generously. It was the key to prosperity SOMM taught them.

Yvette and Jorge went to Hong Kong, Thailand, and Indonesia for a second honeymoon. Heaven on earth, Yvette calls the interlude. “We slept wrapped in each other’s arms. And when we woke up, we said, ‘I love you.’”

To further fortify their relationship, Yvette and Jorge took the Marriage Encounter program, where they eventually became a “shepherd couple.” They were the seniors who coached other couples on how to heal their marital troubles.”

Together, they grew in spirituality. They discovered transcendental meditation. It helped him relax from the pressures of work. It helped her manage her fears which still lurked from time to time.

As her mind relaxed, so did her body. A hyperthyroid condition uncannily disappeared. “I was scheduled to be operated on. But when the doctor looked again, it was gone.”

Yvette laid her fears to rest. She was convinced she had taken out enough insurance against unhappiness.

“I was presumptuous,” she now admits. After 18 years in marriage and three years out of it, she declares: “In marriage as in all of life, there are no guarantees.”

What breached Camelot was another affair. Unlike the others before it, this one was serious. It broke their marriage.

It was in another Hong Kong trip where Yvette sensed that something was afoul. Taking the trip with them was Jorge’s brother-in-law who planed in from California a week before. In Hong Kong, the brothers would disappear at 6:00 p.m. and would not reappear until the early hours of morning. In Manila, she discovered that all the while, the new woman in Jorge’s life was booked in the same hotel their family stayed in. A neighbor heard Jorge boasting his audacious feat to a tennis buddy.

Later, Yvette would herself put it this way: "We were meditating side by side. Suddenly, he snapped out of his trance, turned to me, and said: "I don't want this. I want romance in my life."

- To be concluded next week -


ysrael said...

Wow what a story! abangan ang susunod na kabanata..

Nyl said...

aww!i can't seem to wait for its ending.

nice story.

Lazarus said...

eagerly waiting for the next episode.... :)

remo said...

i hope this has a happy ending

Sexy Mom said...

and i thought it was already a good ending. you write very well, such that it leaves the reader wanting for more--NOW!

Leah said...

Aww! suspenseful..Pero ang sakit naman. I would have been devastated.
Looking forward to the conclusion.

pining said...

can't wait for the next installment...

exskindiver said...

Hi MC,
What a journey for Yvette.
That you are able to tell her story must mean that she was able to vent and hopefully find comfort.
Perhaps the use of this story is as a reminder that truly--the only person we can be sure of is ourselves--so we should make sure that give ourselves the best care.
I await the conclusion.

myepinoy said...

This story as well as the other similar stories you have posted here simply tells us that human beings are always human beings no matter how they try to be more than human beings.

Everything changes and nothing is certain (except of course death which we all know...lol.

"Living our lives" is one of the greatest challenges given to us, perhaps a trade-off for making us alive. What more if we have to live and cope with someone or be entwined(tama ba ang term na ito? ha ha) with other people's lives (wife, hubby, children, et..)

what then must we do? I guess, dapat di natin kalimutang mag breathe in at mag breathe out kasi kahit hindi tayo up sa challenges, sisikat at lulubog din ang araw at anytime matatapos din ang lahat... (ay ang gulo... ha ha ha)

katcarneo said...

wonder what happens next....

lady cess said...

wala akong masabi except oh my gosh. can't wait for part 2!

Gina said...

waiting for part the conclusion...

julie said...

What a story...you kept us on the edge of our seats, AM and we will await the next chapter with anticipation :)

vernaloo said...

hay naku...baka mamaya sad ending na naman to Anna...but yeah, cant wait for the 2nd installment!!!


Heart of Rachel said...

I feel sad for Yvette and hope that she found a way to overcome this low moment in her life. Happiness is sweet but like what you said, there are no guarantees that it will last.

Looking forward to Part 2.

Major Tom said...

This story is just sad and make me realize how cheating could be so prevalent and so everywhere. I wonder even if God had designed human to be so symphatetic that often they go astray of relationships. It's so easy to admire and to be admired, like eating cake in a park, and at times it get so easy that I even question myself if I'd be the one or type to enter into such illicit affairs. I just wonder now but had not yet tried. Maybe one day. I hope not.

Belle said...

i was hoping that he realized he made a mistake and that his affairs were over, but evidently not. i am rooting for Yvette to do what is best for her, her business, and her family.

evelina said...

Hello Anna
I am eagerly waiting for Part 2.
I like to read your stories privately in my bedroom and slowly enjoy reading it and don't want it to end.
I miss my daughter - www.dorothygo.com

Sidney said...

A sad story but beautifully written...

Anonymous said...

Pinay women are known to be martyrs. Western women will leave the moment they sense infidelity and take all your money with them if they can. Why the difference ?

raqgold said...

women tend to be martyrs because they believe they could still save their marriage -- and keep the family whole. but sometimes, these martyrs could also decide, in a second, that they want out because they also wanted to keep the family whole and not broken

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