An article from a magazine online, translated…
When I was in the fifth grade, my mother had left home with some of her friends. Before that, she’d always brought home her friends who don’t look male or female, to smoke, to drink with. I’d told my mother, “The friends you brought home were awful!”, she’d hit me on the head, and locked me up, inside that room, in the attic.
On an evening, when the rain was pouring down, my mother didn’t come home, so, my father went, to look for her. At the time when I was worrying about whether or not my father was going to get run over by a car, he’d come home, with my mother, drunk. My mother who had passed out, couldn’t stop herself from throwing up, the three of us kids, cried, and kneeled before her, only I, stayed in the bedroom, as my third-youngest brother came knocking, “We’re all out here, begging mom, to stop what she was doing, won’t you come with us, and do the same too, eldest brother?” I’d only had one reply, “I’m asleep”, but, I was, actually very much awake, I’d told the walls, “I do not have such a mother!”
And from then on, I’d not viewed my mother as my mother again. But my father, he just won’t give up, it took him, twelve years, to finally, divorce her. Even if I’d called out to my mother’s friends, and her friends managed to find someone they knew, who just got out of prison, to come and kill me; and even if, the only time my mother came home was, when she needed money, to scam my father out of his earnings, he’d still, wanted her. I was very furious, I’d asked him to get a divorce, but he’d told me, “a home is when we all get together, no matter what she did, she is still, your mother, I will, pull her back home to us again.” My father grew up in the warring times, he had another wife in China, and his eldest brother in China is already in his seventies, and his persistence toward my mother made me feel less about him.
A Father Who’s an Educator, With Trouble-Making Children
My father was an educator, when I was a teenager, he had to face the doubts of his school principal, “You’re a discipline instructor, and yet, you couldn’t even manage to, control your own children, how, did you educate them?” My father could only, transfer me out of that first school, I too, wanted to be good, it’s not that I can’t, I just, didn’t know how. I felt so borderline, often got upset, depressed, but at the same time, I was, filled with energy, and I’m often on edge, in my psychological state of mind.
The four kids from my family, before we were twenty-five, none of us behaved. I was the eldest, played the role of the “savior” of my family, I’d disciplined my own younger brothers and sister. I wasn’t at all studious, but at the same time, I was forcing my younger sister, to recite the poems; I’d run off to hang out with friends, but, banned my younger brothers from so doing; I would physically hit my second youngest brother, and, when I couldn’t win in fights, I’d simply, ignored him.
I didn’t get into college until I was twenty-three, before that, I’d worked as a construction worker, a mover. As my third youngest brother went to technical college, he’d received, two major reprimands, two minor ones, along with endless number of warnings. My father had often commented, “My heart was hacked in two.” I too, was in great pain, and I’d often thought, that had my mother not behaved as she’d done, maybe, our household wouldn’t be a huge mess. As I thought about my mother, anger started, raging inside of me.
And I didn’t get along well with my father either, I’d never celebrated a birthday from when I was growing up. My father always told me, poor people don’t have birthdays. But, on the day that I’d turned twenty, my father, he bought me, a birthday cake. Did you know that, for a child who’d never been kempt, in accepting love, when my father showed me his cares and concerns, I felt, awkward, “I don’t want it, why are you giving me a cake?” this awkward feeling that came out of nowhere, without taking even a bite from the cake, I’d slammed the doors, and left the house.
I got trapped between, needing and wanting my family to love me, and yet, at the same time, I’d despised this feeling of needing their love. Love is so warm, why can’t I just, embrace it? Because I’d lived, for too long, in this icy environment, that this sudden warmth imposed upon me, I wouldn’t know, how to cope with.
My mother’s leaving home had caused me to feel so very lonely, I’d once imagined, that when I was feeling lonely, my mother would come to me, and hug me. But when I saw other people’s moms, hugging them, I’d started crying, so hard, that, was the shared grief, for people who’d lost their mothers.
At age thirty-two, the school I taught at sent us to take the Satir Counseling method, back then, I was, so totally, against counseling, always believed, that those in the field of psychology is prying into the personal matters of others. But, on that very first day of class, I was, shocked, at the lecturer’s open attitude, his forgiving nature, and his not blaming me. I was, shaken up, from the inside out, and learned, that there was, this way, of relating to others.
I’d decided, to go into counseling then, back then, I had only $200,000N.T. in savings, I took out $60,000N.T., for the sessions right away. For the next two years, I’d gone, every month, to Chenggong University, to talk to, the psychiatrists, and the social workers, in the process of talking and listening, I’d gained a better understanding of my own mother. My heart was opened, I understood, that I was feeling sad, my own losses, and regrets as well, and I had, the ability now, to examine, the origins of all of those negative feelings of mine.
Finding the Last Piece of the Puzzle Called “Family”
In the counseling sessions, there was an assignment, it was, for the pupils, to draw a diagram of their families, that, was the very first time, so I’d called her up, she was very surprised, to hear my voice, for the first time in twenty years since she’d left home, that was, the very first time I’d gotten in touch with her by my choice, I no longer, grilled her about why she’d abandoned us, or took that tone of blame when I spoke to her, and, because I wasn’t angry, she didn’t react as rashly either. She’d mentioned how she was, volunteering, helping the deceased from the less fortunate families clean up their bodies, because she wanted to, atone for her own sins. I felt awful, told her, that although I didn’t condone what she’d done back then, but I don’t think she’s with that much guilt, that she needed not be, too hard on herself. “I respect, that we could, travel on this long journey together.” She’d started crying on the other end of the line, and started apologizing to me continuously.
I’d even told her, that I’d admired her, because seeing and knowing where she had come, in the midst, of all the difficulties in her life, whether or not she liked it, she’d still, lived on, using her own methods.
I’d come to understand my own mother, through the “needs of a man”, when she married my father, she was only nineteen, they were, more than twenty years apart in age, could there be, that there was, a huge part of her life, that never quite was satisfied? I’d also come to realize, that even though my father is a Mr. Nice-Guy, he did have, a ton of the traditional values, such a young life, married to my father, without any forms of fun or entertainment, it must’ve been, so unfair to my mother.
With a change of a thought, I’d gotten myself out of the grief I’d felt for so very long, made peace with my own mother. This year on Chinese New Year, by tradition, the children would head over to our birth mother’s place to give her the red envelopes, then, head home, to my father and my stepmother, to have our New Year’s Eve supper together. I can, finally, enjoy, this hard-to-come-by family get-together on New Year’s Eve this year.
And so, this, is the process of how a man finally found the closure that he needed to have, in order, to move on, with the rest of his life, it wasn’t at all easy, for him, to forgive himself, and his own mother, for her leaving him and his siblings behind, but, he was able to, consider his own mother’s perspectives, and, understood why she did what she had done, and this still took, a lot of hard work to achieve, and this man, had done it, finally!!!