10.12.2008

A Story or Two

“Jo, hurry up! It’s time to go.” Dad called from down the hallway.

“Now? But we don’t have to leave for another twenty minutes!” I called back.

“I’m hungry, I want to go eat during your gymnastics class & get a head start - hurry up!”

Oh, well. I started getting ready, packing up my bag – getting my water bottle. I wished he had told me earlier.

“Come on – time to go!” He was getting more impatient by the second.

“Okay, just a minute.” His frustration was rubbing off onto me. I heard footsteps coming to my door, and a hard knock.

“You know what? If you don’t hurry up, I don’t care whether you want to go to gymnastics or not! I’ll just go eat and leave without you.”

“Ok, go.” Maybe it was better than getting upset – maybe I wanted time to cry.

“I might just do that.” He couldn’t stop. “What are you doing anyway?? Trimming your toe nails or something?” He stormed away from the outside of my door. I gave up. I didn’t want to be in a car with him. I’d rather cry. I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself, I hate doing that. But the mind can’t always control the tears.

Two minutes later, “Honey, come on.” It was Mom. The one who watched. The one who saw. A mirror without a reflection.

“I don’t want to.” I brushed away those stupid weak tears. How could I be hurt again? I should be numb to it. It was stupid to cry over something so small. But the something was wrong.

“Sometimes, when you’re hungry, you say things for emphasis.” Mom was right. Because when you’re hungry, it’s okay to lose your patience. When you’re blind it’s okay to hurt. When people are being mean to you, it’s okay to pass along the mood. When you’re deaf, it’s okay to say anything. It’s okay - all of it.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

“I’ll have lemonade and a brownie please.” I smiled at the cashier.

“That’s all?”

“That seems to be all that Hannah’s been eating lately.” Mom wanted to explain.

“I know what you mean – these teenagers don’t like to eat what’s good for them.” The cashier threw a look at me. Cashiers were only supposed to do that in the movies. I wanted to say I wasn’t hungry. I just wanted the lemonade, but Dad had said to get a brownie. Mom didn’t remember.

I took a sip of the lemonade, and hid the useless brownie in my purse.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

“Hey, Joannie, I was thinking-”

“What??” Dad interrupted. He was driving the car.

“I wasn’t talking to you, I was talk-”

“Then don’t talk at all, Karen! I’m paying attention to traffic.”

“Dad, please don’t talk to me like that.” Say what you feel, right?

“HERE! Take the map – you tell me how to get there.” He threw it back at me.

“But I don’t know where we are or where we’re going.” I felt helpless.

“Too bad.”

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

These stories have their own voice – don’t assume they’re me. But also don’t assume the stories are fake – that something like them never happens – because they do. They have. They happen to kids all the time, and it’s so sad. I hate it – I hate how some parents forget to treat their kids as people. I hate how many kids are abused, especially with emotional abuse, because children can’t run away from it. I mean, first of all, kids think that they’re the ones doing something wrong. Secondly, even if they realize their parents are wrong, they can’t escape. They’re stuck – they can’t prove with physical bruises that something is wrong.

So please don’t say that Jo, Hannah, and Karen are overly sensitive. Don’t tell me they’re being silly – crying about stupid things. Because that – it does hurt. And when the people, or parents, that children love & look up to the most, put them down - it’s devastating.

Do you know what it does? It makes children want to do anything for anyone to make them feel accepted like they never were by their parents. It makes it so hard for a person to believe when someone tells him or her how great he or she is, because the children are used to the parents saying “I love you,” while their actions say something different.

Children or teenagers, they – we - deserve better than living all the time like that. We all deserve more than scars ingraved inside - than bruises flowing through in our blood. We deserve more than keeping journals - journals that make our hearts crumble.

(let me know what you think)

10 comments:

Kyle Hendricks said...

It makes you feel helpless. And you're right, they can't escape. When I become a parent, I'll keep this blog and address in a special book somewhere so that I can remember all the good advice you hand out - for free!

Beaut!fully Br()ken said...

omg !!
that was so sad, let so wonderful ! every parent should read this...i mean it...it's awesome. i know some of my dfriends whose conditions are like what you mentioned. m gonna get them to read this !! it's just awesome! thanks for posting this up!

jEeRo said...

yUp any negative words/talks/comments parents throw to their children without thinkin how their words would affect their childrens' feelings..n how their words would affect the way their children see themselves when they r growin up..im not proud to say asian parents tenda throw more negative words/feelings to their children..hopefully im wrong..i duno..

--Emilyyy-- said...

Yeah I agree. They can't escape. Where could they go?

I love how you write.

Happy Blogging
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Pam said...

hey, i just wanted to tell you thanks for visiting my blogsite, and for your comment. i'm curious how you found it :) ....i appreciate your thoughtfulness and insight in your blog entries - keep writing!

C.A. Warner said...

Hey, i just wanted to say thanks for the comment on my post... i'm rather curious as to how you found it, actually! I have to say that like this, it really says something that most people really don't think about. Yes, physical abuse leaves visible scars, but that doesn't mean that emotional abuse doesn't hurt, as well.

♥ Hello Beautiful ♥ said...

oh its ok i new thing wouldn't wotk out anyway but its always okay to dream lol :)

Red Eyes said...

The most painful thing is that such scars are for life. Regardless of what a child has done, I have a philosophy that a child shouldnt be hurt. I think its weakness on the part of those who act shamelessly but then again, perhaps they also are not to blame. They may be suffering from a past of abuse as well but that is no excuse!

Do you have dreams? I do have them but its funny how we never get to see our faces?

Red Eyes said...

Let me add, this is another inspirational entry.

Okie said...

Cool stories and good insights.

As a parent myself, let me say that I have (sadly) made mistakes in things I've said and how I've said them. I try not to and most of the time, I succeed in being fairly judicious in my language and attitudes towards my kids, but there have definitely been moments when I've said or done things that I regret and want to take back.

Fortunately, my kids have been very forgiving when I try to console them and explain the situation and explain what I really meant and what was really going on and that I truly never want to hurt them.

As a parent, it is difficult sometimes to NOT let your emotions get the better of you. My wife and I were talking about this last night actually. She was a nanny for three different families over the course of 8-10 years. As a nanny, it always made her sad to see the parents "loose their cool" and berate the kids. The parents often complimented her on her ability to quietly and gently reprove the kids or comment on their behavior and work towards solutions without anger, without offense, and without hurting the child's feelings. As a parent, however, she finds herself getting angry far more often, rashly saying or doing things that have unintended effects.

As a parent, you're very emotionally invested in the success of the child. Sadly, those emotions can run so strongly sometimes that they can overpower the logic that says "If I say this as bluntly as I'm going to, it's going to hurt this kid's feeling and likely push them away". A parent's motivation is to protect a child from pain and suffering, to allow for the best possible solution.

What we often forget is that the child is still a child and doesn't have the life experiences that make up our judgment calls. Furthermore, the child is growing up in a different world with different stimulii than we grew up with and as such, the "right" decision from our experience may not be the "right" course of action for a child in today's world.

Anyway, I've gotten way off course. Your stories are great examples of a problem in the world...the lack of judicious communication and actions towards one another...especially between family members. It's sad, but often it seems that we treat total strangers or minor acquaintances with more respect and thoughtfulness than we do our own family.

Thanks for reminding us all that we need to be more thoughtful in our words and deeds towards one another.