Guest Writer: bigâne
Let’s begin with a question:
“I had such a loving family and all the members of my family were so happy, then why did I set my mind on leaving since I became able to understand things?” Why did I focus on the idea that I could leave only if I get a good place in university, and endeavored to achieve it even before anybody insisted or motivated me to do so? These thoughts occasionally crossed my mind. Yet I didn’t contemplate for hours or anything; didn’t think so hard, relating ideas or basing them on causality. However, now that I’ve recently graduated from university and anyhow accepted the fact that I am an independent individual, I sometimes find myself thinking about these.
I am silently judging my family members in my mind with the confidence of having completed and achieved things in my life. One-sided, no talking. Coming to conclusions by myself. I don’t know how right I can be with these conclusions by this one-sided judgement, but this might be about me feeling I’ve finally become an ‘individual existence’ in their eyes to be able to ask these questions. I think I have the confidence now: “Would I have left if I’d been happy?”
Yes, one could leave their home to study surely. But in my case, this was my exit door. When I was in fourth grade – I suppose I was ten years old then – I took an exam which was county-wide and got the second place. This exam gave me a very unusual feeling for the first time in my life: Success. After that day, I began searching for things to succeed. I think the only place to prove myself in a small county with a population of 20 thousand people – also consider that this was 15 years ago – was school. School was the subsidiary, supporting and even justifying part of my life story, but it had never been my only objective. I suppose what I had always wished to be was “myself”. But how well can a kid that age be aware of herself? I am 23 now and I still introduce myself as ‘a person searching their way’. Most probably I will be saying the same thing in my 50s too. Being on the way, searching, trying to find yourself is the journey of life itself, right?
Back to my story; “Why did I leave?”
I left because they would not let me find myself. Although the members of my family were such sweet and lovely and funny people, I left because I knew they would turn ugly if I made a mistake or proved to be wrong in front of them. I left because whenever my mother broke my heart and I waited for her to come and talk to me for hours, I knew she would never come because she was a mother. As understanding and kind as my father was, I knew he had never told my mother “Don’t be like this” and he never would. I had to convince them that things would not go terribly wrong the moment they loosen their control on me. I had my right and wrong and I had things I wanted to do and not do. And I wanted to show them all these, but I had to leave to be able to do it. It would be unfair to accuse them for being too strict and oppressive parents. But my mother was an apprehensive, suspicious, always skeptical woman and she would not tolerate mistakes and listen; even if she listened, she would refuse the slightest possibility of me being right and she wrong. Well, let me put it better; she was not that kind of woman, she was a ‘mother’. As I grew older and came to observe her from afar, I realized that she wasn’t really that kind of a person, but she got into her role of a mother.
She assumed that the first place I would run to was the “dumps” if she ever let me go for a bit or loosened my leash – I apologize for using this word, but I figure that it’s the best word to describe it. I don’t understand why she assumed this. But I am sure she did. Yet a mother should think better for her child like “I taught her what is right (her right), I trained her to follow her conscience, I raised her to behave well, and God gave her a brain; so why would I expect her to run to dumps first?” She should have thought better but she didn’t. My mother was always like this and I had to find my own solution.
So, I got closer to my father. I worked on him slowly. I gave him messages like “You are my parent too. Why don’t you ask mom to go easy on me?”. I convinced him. They loosened my leash a little in parks and gardens. I knew they were watching me. So, I kept away from the dumps all the time. I didn’t even pass near them. I never made my parents uneasy. This went on for years. Almost 7 years. I lived all my life within the reach of their eyes. They had the liberty of knowing everything about me. This was a strategy, a plan, an investment for me. When I felt frustrated that I had to share everything with them, I told myself “Be patient, just hold on a little bit more.”
I don’t have my leash for the last two years. I know they can’t watch me so closely and cautiously now. I sometimes walk near the dumps. I sit besides them. I have friends who live in the dumps, I talk to them sometimes. I wouldn’t call there dump because I don’t think it’s so horrible like my parents believe. It’s one aspect of life, a real one.
This story goes on and on. What I want to say is this: If I wanted I would become the person they feared I would. But I stood against them so much because I was afraid to become that person myself. We were eventually going to agree at this point, so why did we take the hard and painful way, my beloved parents?
I’ve learned many things, I’ve seen many things. It has been so hard and heartbreaking, and I’ve felt homesick and missing for long; but I would never trade my experience, my memories and my endeavor for anything else. Surprisingly, I would not trade my parents for anyone else either. Because, a child can keep going for the sake of love only, and I love them very much.