Childhood Wounds

When I was a kid, my mother would search for treatments for my myopia.  One of the treatments was in the form of an eye drop, a liquid that stung the eyes.  I didn’t believe in any of those treatments, however, because I had no say in the matter, that she was the boss over my body and my life, hence I quietly accepted whatever she administered, though with annoyance and frustration and a sense of helplessness.

Maybe because I didn’t believe in the treatments, or that I went through the treatments with negativity, or that I intuitively knew that the root cause of my myopia was something that none of these treatments could address, as a result, my eyesight didn’t improve, and after a period of time, my mother gave up.  And I was relieved that I could move on with my life without her nonsense.

How her nonsense started was that I was unable to see the blackboard very well in school.  Without knowing why, and without voicing my concern (I didn’t have the habit of voicing my needs nor advocating my position, because I had this belief or feeling that I was a nobody in my household, that the boss of this household made me a nobody, an object that she could do whatever she wanted to, that I was like a mouse that just happened to occupy a space under this roof due to her grace and compassion), my problem began to bother me more and more, until one day, the eye doctor came to my school and gave us an eye exam, and hence that event communicated my concern to my parents as the result of my eye exam was directly sent to my parents through the school.

I am not sure if I had manifested the eye doctor and everything else relating to it, as my school never had an eye doctor before and never had one since, but I know I operated at another level when I was a kid because I could not connect with the humans around me to have my basic needs met.

After my parents knew about my eye condition, my mother refused to get me prescription glasses.  Hence all the nonsense she started and I endured.

What I endured was not limited to the domestic realm, but also in school, as being unable to see the blackboard clearly, I couldn’t take notes, hence couldn’t compete academically, which then meant I was relegated to a psychological position of inferiority, despite exerting a greater effort than my peers.  And I would fear showing my report cards to my parents, as that could lead to rebuke and punishment, a whole new other layer of nonsense on top of all the previous one that was slapped down onto me.

My psychological activities during that trial-and-error period were:  annoyance at her nonsense of cooking up the drama while the root cause went unnoticed and unaddressed, helpless and powerless that I couldn’t object to any of it, pissed that she forced her way to take control of my body, grief that I had to be made a victim, despair that when I had a problem I couldn’t get help from the person who was supposed to help me but instead worsen my suffering almost as if the message was that I shouldn’t go to her if I needed help, suffocating and oppressed as I had no outlet nor was there anyone who could understand my pain and that I had to suffer alone, exhausted because the invisible pressure that she applied onto me was very heavy, etc. 

The tolerance level of a child is much lower than that of an adult.  To have an adult channel her lunacy onto a child, even when done subtly, is absolute cruelty.

I had many health problems when I was a kid.  But as my mother was phasing out of my life, my health problems also phased out of my life.  Around that time, I asked my father to get me a pair of glasses, and he did.  I felt a newfound freedom. 

Freedom from what?  From illness?  No, from her.

It wasn’t her person that I was struggling with, it was the symbol of her.  What she represented to me was a prison guard, and I the prisoner.  All the needs of a prisoner were provided for through the prison guard.  The latter was the bridge between the former and the outer world.  Even in the best of times, this setup was inherently unhealthy.

. . .

One of the more visible health problems I had as a child was asthma.  There would be nights when I couldn’t sleep because I was struggling to get enough air in.  My mother would lay beside me and watch me grasp air.  She didn’t do anything except looked on with pity or pain or grief, and wished that I could fight harder.  I remember telling myself, ‚I have to live!

Now that I look back on her inaction, I am angry.  I resent the fact that she chose to witness me suffer and battle alone.  I resent the seed of helplessness and isolation in the midst of people that she had sown into me.  I think she was trying to pass down her own feelings of helplessness and isolation to me.  I wouldn’t call it genetics.  I would call it psychological heritage.

Later when I came to Canada, I realized there was actually such a thing as an asthma inhaler.  My first thought was, ‘Why didn’t my parents or my aunt get me one?  Why did they choose look on as I struggle and suffer, especially when I was only a child?’  My aunt was a nurse at the royal palace with pretty good reputation; I‘m pretty sure if she had tried, she could easily have gotten me the medication that I needed, but no. My needs were denied on so many levels!

. . .

As I look at my human relationships now, I see that there is something causing my experience of helplessness and isolation even when surrounded by people. I think, part of the cause is anger and resentment, and maybe also distrust and disappointment.

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