My first set of Chinese vocabularies I know were quite interesting and made quite a big scene. Divorce, adultery, cheating, and many other curse words that were so dirty and low so I would not list here. I was in kindergarten and probably my vocabularies were so advanced that I got into trouble because of that.
One time, I said a curse word to the kid was sitting next to me. He was teasing me and took my toy away from my hand. I cursed him without knowing what it means. I saw my dad used that word when there were conflicts. I did not acknowledge it was awful, nor I did nothing wrong. I got so scared when he told the teacher what happened. Then all suddenly I knew I was in big trouble. The teacher was so shocked and gave me a weird disgusted look toward me. Ended up she called my grandmother and wanted to see her. My hands were shaking.
I did nothing wrong. Dad used those words all the time when he argued with my grandmother. There was always yelling and conflict between them. I did not know better, and I was a 4-year-old.
I wish I knew better. I wish I knew those words meant so that my grandmother would not know I was a bad girl. I cursed and other thought I am the evilest kid in the whole class. Students started not talking to me, they isolated me, and I felt so strange without knowing why. I only know I was trying to confront the boy who stole the toy first. I was freaking out and didn’t understand why everyone was treating me like I was the demon. I hold everything within, and I was so shy when I talked my face would turn bright red.
I only knew my grandmother kept apologized to the teacher like I made a giant trouble. I felt very guilty and upset because I saw how much I upset my grandmother because of that.
I was shy, and I wish I knew better so I could remain to be a good girl.
Grandmother taught my brother and me to be polite to others and must put our smiles on all the time because being alive supposed to be incredible. Nobody liked a troubled kid, and I tried very hard on not being one. Disappointment happened, and the way I deal with it was the thought of planning an escape. I want to leave home so badly.
I made an independent manifesto when I was four. I pulled out the tiny red chair and stood on top of it and yell ‘I want to be independent!’ million times in an afternoon. This fond memory became family story every year on my birthday afterward. You might ask why I manifest myself to be independent. The reason behind it was the successful brainwash from my dad. His glaze black eyes often stare at me and said over and over to me ‘poor girl who had nobody supported her, and she should be tough enough to live independently.’ I did not know what that means at that time but catch the word independent when I was super young. My dad told me once when I was 21-year-old, he believed I am not his biological daughter because of the timing I was born. This mystery still haunted me, but I told him in a long letter stated no matter what, I am your daughter because of the nurturing, didn’t matter the truth. I never have a day worried about this because I believe I’m his and perhaps this was another symptom of the paranoid schizophrenia. I am grateful that even he has his doubt in all his life but not taking it seriously to send me to orphan homes. Instead, he nurtured me and had his heart on telling me to be tough.
I often feel so lonely when I grow up, and even I have family living with me. Perhaps it was because my dad usually would say “this poor girl nobody wants” too much. I didn’t know how to handle that with a sense of self-protection, so I took all the information as facts within. I feel like I am this unfortunate one who nobody wants to associate with me. I fell into this false idea, and often I know that need to be more independent, tougher as stone, and assumed the world would be okay without me. I would also try my best to study very hard to get into better school. I remembered my dad’s sad face when I couldn’t get into the ideal grade school when I was in kindergarten. At the same time, he did not provide necessary tutoring to get into that school. It took me very long time to realize that I’m loveable and form a new identity after I fully grow up.
I wasn’t comfortable in being myself and often hated the fact I am existing. I assumed the reason why my parents divorced was that of my birth. I often blamed myself for my existence when I was little. Luckily, I have my grandmother and brother’s love, if not I did not know how to forgive my dad.
My dad and I’s relationship was decent in my childhood. I remembered he often bring me out to afternoon snacks. He taught me to be patient when he is the grumpy and impatience. He also showed me to be kind to people, don’t say unnecessary things and self-aware about mental disorder exist. I have more empathy for my dad than anyone else. I love my dad with unconditional love, and tried many ways as possible to accept who he was— the impatience, hard-hearted, self-center and not kid friendly person. He had communication issues and was a private person, a loner, he would never tell me any of his feelings but showing anger and frustration only. He often yells or hit people silently. When he calmed down, his ring of smokes filled up the whole apartment. The walls become this light creamy yellow color with cigarette odor.
The cigarette odor became the memory that bound between my dad and me.