MANILA – Venus Raj admitted she grew up feeling like there was a void in her life for she never really knew who her biological father was.
Raj was born in Doha, Qatar from an Indian father and a Filipino mother but her parents separated when she was just months old.
Following their split, her mom decided to bring her back to the Philippines that’s why she never got the opportunity to know her father.
“Nakita ko 'yung picture kaso naka-shades. 'Yun lang talaga 'yung picture so in my mind, nandiyan pa rin 'yung picture na naka-shades siya ng malaking malaki tapos naka-lean siya sa isang TV tapos may staircase paakyat,” Raj told Toni Gonzaga for her vlog Toni Talks.
While she had a stepfather growing up, that never removed from Raj the feeling that something was missing.
“I had a stepfather pero alam mo 'yung alam mo kasi na hindi mo siya tatay, feeling ko iba. Iba pa rin talaga kung alam mo na same dugo. At saka iba 'yung treatment pa rin. Although my stepfather is a good man, pero alam ko iba. May kulang,” she said.
When asked how she coped with that void, Raj said she turned to having relationships usually with an older man.
“The very first one, I was 16 and the guy was like 28. Wala pa akong kalam-alam sa buhay noon, sunod lang kung anong sasabihin. Masabi lang na you are in a relationship. I don’t know kung anong ibig sabihin ng toxic relationship. Hindi mo alam kung paano ba dapat 'yung dynamics, am I going to submit, no idea at all,” she said.
The relationships she had introduced her to things she believes she should not have been introduced at a young age.
“First sexual experience. And I thought siguro ganito talaga. Ito siguro 'yung love. Kasi usually ganun naman, binibigay mo 'yung sarili mo ng buong buo doon sa tao. It ended after two years or a year and a half kasi he got another lady pregnant.”
Still, she remained clueless that it was her way of filling up that void in her life.
“Now I can name that as a void when I was younger pero noong nandoon ako, hindi ko naman alam na it was a void, na may kulang. Parang pakiramdam ko lang gusto kong may kasama sa buhay.”
Thankfully, she later developed a deep relationship with God making her feel that He’s always been the Father she’s looking for her entire life.
“Parang nag-flashback sa akin lahat ng ginawa ko sa buhay ko. Nakita ko na maling mali pala 'yung lifestyle ko, bulag pala ako. Pero mula nung moment na iyon, alam mo 'yung pakiramdam na, ‘Oo anak bulag ka pero tinatanggal ko 'yung scale na nasa mata mo,’” she narrated.
“I was once lost, but now I am found. Ang tagal ko nang hinahanap tatay ko hindi ko mahanap. Pero 'yung ako ang nahanap Niya, ang sarap noon sa pakiramdam.”