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Differing the Different

It’s Monday and I’m already wondering if I need psychiatric assistance. Incidents over the years and my reaction to them have got me asking if there no such thing as ‘forgetting’. Do our sub-conscious memories affect the way we behave? Do the atrocities we have suffered or witnessed others suffer change the course of our life? I’ve been told (too many times, me thinks) that I’m ‘independent’, ‘hard-hearted’ and ‘stubborn’ – my friend of 16 years told me recently these attributes are maybe the result of a not so great childhood or adolescence. She even thought that I don’t use enough smiley faces. Does that mean that if I had a “happy” childhood, I would be a milder person? If my parents had been exemplary individuals I would have been less temperamental? If I had been treated nicer by my “family”, I will be less independent and more vulnerable, as females are perceived / ought to be? If I had more extended family, I’d understand why so many people post statuses on Facebook of love towards their cousins and siblings and not treat it like an annual ‘must-do’ chore. I cannot imagine how strange it would be to think that I would / could have been a different person based on what has been going on for 26+ years. My biggest fear when it comes to having children of my own is that history would repeat and I will not have the control I want to have over these situations. I’d love my children to avoid the humiliation, hardships, financial ruts, and suffering I have gone through and have a happy childhood. I’m not sure what I mean by “happy” – but in my mind, it’s when I walk in to someone’s home and see pictures of them with parents or family and most importantly they’re smiling. Guess how many I have of them? Zero. I stare at pictures and hate them for the same reason; it frames happiness – the kind of happiness I never was a part of. At the same time, I’m grateful that my mother raised me the way she did. No emotions were permitted because it made you weaker – independence was mandated. Women could do anything, if not more than men, is and was her constant mantra. I’d like my progeny to have a few of these traits; I’d hate them to grow up fretting over trivial affairs and not being able to cope with breaking a freshly-manicured fingernail. I choose to forget a lot, but is anything ever forgotten? I remember incidents that happened before I gained any linguistic skills. To this day when I meet those people who have caused these hardships by heart hardens. When I feel that I’m about to go through something similar, I want to fight back, beat the odds. Now, being ‘independent’, ‘hard-hearted’ or ‘strong’ only makes me think that maybe I’m more damaged. I was told once that fire not only burns, but is also used as a method of purification. The people who choose to be a part of our lives need to put up with so much – it’s not easy being us. I think it’s like loving a tornado-volcano hybrid. That’s enough thinking for today. If going through what I did meant that I’d have the experiences I did, acquire the friends I have today (not too many of these rare treasures), I won’t trade for anything less.

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