Being scared is one thing. Refusing to even imagine the situation simply because I was afraid to hear what he’d say is another.
Today, after coming home from work, I was exhausted. Hungry and the smell from my mother’s rare cooking made me smile as I looked at the exotic shrimp tempura cracking from the oven. In the hurry to eat, I tried to quickly get change and wash myself… Only to stop dead in my tracks as I heard the door open.
He came home and as I heard his voice echo in the house, my stomach turned, my head ached, my heart turned sour, and my face frowned. I lost my appetite for any food, despite my body aching for some form of nutrition. Turning my back from my closed room door, I sat down on the floor thinking about nothing.
Wasting my time until I started another voice beside my room. I venture out to see who else was home; my brother and his friend were chatting in his room. Somehow their conversation lead to him throwing away trash downstairs. He asked me if I could do it for him, and as always I comply. But as soon as the garbage is handed over to me, my face turns blue. I asked “Is he downstairs?”
“Yeah, what’s up?” my brother replies. I return the garbage to him saying that I can’t go downstairs.Inside my head I didn’t know if it was the matter of refusing to go or physically couldn’t move my body to go. He sighs as he takes the bag downstairs. Standing there beside his friend, I realize I still haven’t ate. I wondered how nice it would be to eat something.
As my brother comes back up, I ask another question, “Is he in the kitchen?”
“Yeah, he is” I somehow say out loud that I won’t eat because he’s in that area. My brother pays me no mind.
Once again I end up wondering about nothing in my room until I hear a certain door close. Then click. It’s the sound where the door gets locked for the rest of the night. It was the same sound where I could venture out my door without the worry of his presence.
Finally down in the kitchen, I look at the half empty dish of the fried shrimp and start to munch on it, only to stop half-way through my bite to contemplate why this was so hard to do an hour ago..
‘Why was it so hard to simply face him?’ It vexed me of how irrational my actions are and how embarrassing my attitude is towards a member of my family.
Was it because I was conditioned to fear and obey him since I was young?
Was it because I was hammered down each time I tried to stand up for myself?
Was it because no matter what I said, he would always find something else to say against it?
To escape a uncomfortable situation, a person can always walk away from it. That’s what we’ve been taught since childhood. The simple instinctive mindset of ‘fight or flight’ is applied to a majority of our lives. But when you start losing all the fights, and your caught everything you take flight, what do you do?
To those who’ve been pushed down this far, they simply cease to care. We’ve reached a low in our lives where the situation that once broke us down no longer breaks us down; not because we’ve braved it out and learned to overcome it.
It no longer breaks us because we ignore it altogether, forget about its existence, and learn to cope with living with something you’ll ignore while in its presence.
And that’s why I’m scared. Because he is a presence that will shine its’ existence in my face again and again. It is due to this fact that I’ve taken every opportunity to avoid any sort of confrontation from happening.
But this is degenerating. Like a parasite, this fear and ignorance of trying to ignore these presence is not only unhealthy, but a downward spiral wrong. You start to ignore your own well-being. You often have negative thoughts, you slowly being satirical of yourself and those around you. And worse of all, you start to lie.
Lying. I hate it. There is a saying I say to everyone I know regarding lying.
“It’s fine to lie to others but never lie to yourself.”
Because once you start to lie to yourself, you lose your truth. Unable to face the truth. Lose the value of truth. And finally, unable to handle the truth.
. . .
My stomach was filled at this point. But it now hurt. I felt this emotion before.
I feel it every time I know what I’m doing to myself. It’s there every time I try to think twice about feigning in-existence.
The most painless thing I’ll admit about myself before anything is that I am a hypocrite. Personally, I find it that once you cease to break down from the things that once broke you down are the things that make you feel better now.
My apologies, that didn’t make any sense in context. Allow me to break my own thoughts down for proper reference.
The harm, the outside negativity, and the pain; they’re no longer painful to me because I no longer care about the things that are being harmed or are pained. But rather, the things that try to heal these scars are the things that hurt the most because you’ll be forced to face all the things you’ve ever ran away from.
You regret. Start thinking back at what you could’ve been. And unless you’re in a situation where you are forced to ignore these thoughts because of duty or other priorities, your heart will cry because you’re not used to coping with these emotions.
I am a coward.
I am a coward because I now no longer choose to fight.
I am a coward because I will run away before the situation will even have a chance to introduce itself.
I am a coward because I continue to lie, not only to those around me but to my own self.
I am a coward because I refuse to move forward.
I am a coward because despite knowing all this, I am still repeating this series of action.
I am a coward because I am a hypocrite.
Tomorrow, is his birthday. But I lied saying I have work in order to excuse myself from a family birthday dinner. For that, I am ashamed.
Dear heavenly Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be down, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this daily bread and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
July 29, 2016
future me, i hope you’re not a coward.