‘Courage to stand up’ probably was one of the motto I had for awhile. It was about stand against my immediate and extended family. It was to stand against common trait and tradition. It was to ‘stand up’ knowing I will provoke many hidden secrets in the family.
In my early 20s, I become aware of family secret within my family. From outside, our family might seems to have strong family bond. From inside, our family was full of mess. It probably affected my parents’ generation. To me, it was enough to portray big family and strong family bond are double-edged sword. It really depend on how you embrace it, it can protect you whilst it can hurt you.
In my early 20s, I was in the middle of trying to figure out what was the meaning behind my abusive experience. It was from two members of the big family, at different time of my life. Not until my early 20s, I realised it was an experience that can be classified as abuse situation.
I was devastated to uncover such experience in my life. I asked for help and support from an auntie I trusted at the time. She said that she understand my feeling and she had similar experience herself from the same person. She begged me to do nothing to harm her family or give more stress to her parents who are my grandparents. At the time, I listened to her and acted according to her wish. I did nothing.
Few years passed by and I become extremely upset that I had to go through this. I blamed my auntie who had no courage to stand up against her family. If she did so then I probably didn’t have to go through all these experience. Things happened in between such as my sister had near miss of having similar experience. Then, I told myself “I can’t live like this”.
Though unity is important, in the end it all comes down to the courage to stand up as an individual.
Instead of focusing on what others are doing or not doing, we ourselves need to stand up, brimming with courage and hope.Daisaku Ikeda
Now when I think back, my action following that was courageous. I probably will never be so courageous again.
What I have done?
I confronted those people who were abusive in my life, face-to-face, in different occasions. I simply illustrated to them what they have done to me and I told them “I am watching you.”
What were the consequences?
I was standing against all the family members. No one was at my side, except for my sister, no one I could trust in the family. I was sued by one of the abusers.
Another abuser said “I can’t understand you anymore”. Well, I though ‘you never did anyway’.
What kept me going and stand strong?
I didn’t want anyone else to go through similar experiences. I allowed them to ruined my life enough, I didn’t want them to keep going with others.
What happened then?
As what my family used to do, everything went under the carpet. Everyone refused to talk about it and no one is willing to know. Even they did, they acted as they didn’t know.
True courage and adventure is found in exploring the meaning of life and discovering the reason for your existence.
Even greater joy and fulfillment is found in the persistent struggle to contribute to others’ happiness.Daisaku Ikeda
For many years, I thought my meaning of life is to protect other from experiencing such abuse. I have to ‘stand alone’ to prove that I am correct. Now, I feel my meaning of life is a bit different. My meaning of life is to show others that I can still live happily and joyful regardless of what might happened in the journey.
What is your meaning of life?
What is the meaning you give to “courage to stand alone”?
How can you contribute to other’s happiness?