Written by Ho Nam
She was the mother of my father.
My father was really good at getting married and divorced. For that reason during my summer breaks I was often sent to my granny’s house. She lived in a really small, countryside town, and I hated trying to pass the time during an otherwise boring experience.
My granny generally didn’t like my adventures. I don’t know why. It was probably due to really stupid shit that I don’t even remember. The only thing that I remember was that she would send me on adventures of her own making. I would have to go into the forest and chop pieces of wood so that she could whip or hit me. So she would explain.
She would say real men have to know what he deserves, has to be ready and needs to independently prepare himself. You messed up and that means you have to clean up your shit. I am gonna punish you for being stupid and you are gonna pick yourself up and show me how sorry you are.
Nice try granny.
It sounds kinda like a hero movie in which my granny plays the role of the tough master, but it was just my granny’s fucking twisted reality that I was living. So I had to go to forest and pick out some nice sticks so she could hit me.
Here I have a question. What would you do if a murderer stands in front of you and asks you which weapon they should use to kill you? Would you pick up something that doesn’t, at first, inflict too much pain or something that would cause a quick death? Thoughts were running through head. Perhaps I should pick something my granny could not hold onto well. In the end, I took something that would break easily. After I was hit a few times it of course broke. And what did granny then demand? I had to go back into the forest and pick up more sticks, but this time these had to be a bit stronger.
From that moment I learnt from my granny about the confusion between reality and expectations. I asked myself why people don’t just say what they really want? If she told me that I should pick a stick she could properly whip with a good grip I would probably be scared but, as a young kid, I would have done what she was asked. However, the real problem that I had with her was that she was a pathetic liar and a hypocrite.
The true reason why comes from the night my father tried to kill me.
I don’t remember the reasoning, but I will never forget that night. Usually towards my father she was such a caring, warm and thoughtful person- even if I got to see the other side of her when we were alone. However, when my father tried to kill me, it was her that told him to stop. It was my granny that was explaining in that moment that I had nothing to do with the reason behind my father’s rage. So she kinda saved my life.
When situation was over, my father just left and I was alone with my granny. As she started again to explain to me what was going on, like the flip of a switch, she turned on me and began to blame me. She said that I wasn’t nice enough, not smart enough… the list goes on.
Granny said, in the end, you know your father. You just have to except how he is. Just suck it up, tell him that everything was your fault and you will behave better in order to make him proud. I was scared and I didn’t know what to do. Without understanding I began to ask for forgiveness, although I had no idea for what.
I was 7 years old at the time. I learnt at that point that everything was my fault, even though I had only lived for 7 years.
Thanks for reading…Bc WHY NOT?
As you grow, as you learn more about the world, about yourself and as you gain a greater perspective hang onto these lessons but thrive within self-worth.
Face negativity head on but at the end of the day embrace yourself and all that makes you…you.
Have a happy and safe New Year!