There were times in my life that I felt depressed and thought I’ve hidden it well, but I probably just thought I was. Let me share one of such experience.
When I was an undergraduate student, I met a book which traced my life up to that point. It probably was the first time I’ve realised that I have a dysfunctional family and abnormal relationship with my father. I was actually relived that I did not end up in a psychiatric hospital like the main characters did. That was the only difference between me and the main character.
This book influenced me by question my current situation. I started to hate my blood, family, and more of than that myself. I have found that my family had a family history of this problem. As far as I can trace back, my grand grand father had same issue, so did my grand father, and so did my father and uncle. I was very disgusted, dishonored, and disappointed to be born in this family with such problem. This problem was hidden under the carpet for a long time. It was a taboo to discuss about it, even to raise it, bring it to the light. I was very upset when I have found out that no one stand up before me. No one protected me. Absolutely no one was on my side. I couldn’t see a single positive side of this experience because it was too hard to admit this as a truth.
Now thinking back, I found the light when I reached out to people I met online. This was the first time, what mean ‘normal’ or ‘functional’ family relationship determined by general public. I felt I was incomplete, different, and not knowing what’s right and wrong in my life. All I’ve realised is I was faulty, not a normal perfect woman. That was the label that I have put on myself. I felt as if my sky was falling. I was smashed to the ground. I denied every part of me. I refused my existence. Having said that, I have started to use this incidence as testing for people whether they are trustworthy. Only those who didn’t react will be welcomed to my life. They will be seen as a true friend.
At the beginning, I was fearful towards the darkness of the tunnel. It was so dark that I didn’t know where to head. I couldn’t move. As my eyes start to get use to the dark, I started to see things around me. There were little things on the ground or along the side that I can acknowledge its existence. I started to enjoy finding these little things on the way. There were treasures that I find in my life that I cannot ignore. Whether I like it or not, it was engraved in my life. It was part of my existence.
One day, I started to hear this knocking sound. When I approached the place where I can here the knocking sound, I found a door. Everything was still in the dark. When I am very close to the door, I start to hear someone mumbling at the other side of the door saying this is the way to the light. I didn’t believe that for awhile, too scared to touch the door knob. I think it was a male voice. He patiently waited at the door. Kept knocking the door and kept talking to me as if I am listening. He started to share his life with me and I was interested in what he is about to offer. He allowed me to say what I think of myself, how much I feel ashamed of myself, and how I hated my blood. He never questioned or challenged me in my perspectives. He kept saying how much he treasure his encounter with me. He acknowledged my existence. He allowed me to behave naturally without a judgement.
One day, he convinced me enough to open the door. It was more of my curiosity than conviction that I can open the door. I guess, he had gained my trust and I was very curious of what the world looks like from his eyes. Yes. I had to find enough courage to open the door to the new world but I trusted that I certainly have different perspectives of the world. He didn’t said the world is as perfect as I think it should be but there’s enough beauty to keep living in.
When I opened the door, it was a new perception to the world. Nothing was changed dramatically. I still see bad side of human behaviour but as he said, there’s enough beauty in the world worthwhile to keep living in. This was the time I met my ex-boyfriend. He patiently waited at the door for me to come out. He didn’t bleach my personal boundary. He just waited at the crisp of it. He was the light. He showed the way out. He waited until I grabbed his hand. Then, he escorted me out of the dark tunnel.
I came out the door with a sense of lost in myself. I didn’t know who I am. Along the way to the light, he assisted me to built me from scratch. He asked me to reveal and evaluate those little jewels that I have collected in the tunnel. He said “those are the jewels in your life and never let it slip out of your hands. They will help you determine who you are and who you want to be.” Then, I started to see the significance of those little things that I have found in this journey. Until this day, I still hold on to them as my jewels.
What do you have in your hands that no one can take that away from you?
Do you treasure those jewels that are in your hands?