The New M.E. Generation











The next memories of my childhood are when I began school. My parents started coaching me early for the transition. I was fascinated by this new chapter, but my brother wasn’t that thrilled about school per se.

The most difficult part for me was actually waking up. I always wanted ‘5 more minutes’ of sleep, which I still long for in the present, even as my alarm clock is ringing. I admit it, being a morning person has never been my forte.

My mom used to walk my brother and I in the earlier years. But, surprisingly, around the third grade on, we walked to and from school with other kids from the neighborhood by ourselves.

Those were fun moments away from my parents. One time we were chatting so much, we lost track of time. Someone said, “what time is it?”. “It’s 8am”, another replied. “We have to hurry”, another said. “What for? We’re already late”, said another. We all looked at each other not knowing what to do, and then kept walking. (If my memory serves me well, I think we made it to school at a descent time.)

Getting to do my homework was a bigger challenge. My brother would get to it right away after lunch, and without needing help. He was the one who got straight A’s and excused from all final exams. He also had an artistic side which he expressed through cartoons and humor. He was a natural at all these.

Me, I just wanted to play a little before studying. You see, having discipline is a skill that needs to be developed. It wasn’t that I had a learning disability or anything; I was one that needed more time and patience, as well as organizing the assignments and else.

This didn’t go well with my mom. She having to sit and do homework with me took away time from her to do other things. And that bothered her, a lot. How much? Enough for her not to treat me well.

Seeing her anger and frustration towards me affected my self-esteem extremely (I had none) and created a self-fulfilling prophecy; the more I tried to be what she wanted me to be, the more I failed. So why try?

Instead of looking for a way that worked for me, or treated in a favorable way, I concentrated on avoiding mistakes or anything that would turn my mom against me.

Yep, my brother was her favorite and all I could was watch from the sidelines. I couldn’t understand why a guy was smarter than a girl. Without knowing it then, this was the beginning of my love-hate relationships with men.

With him I was hoping that some of his intelligence would miraculously come to me like osmosis and make me be like him. That way, all my problems will be solved.

It would take years later for me to understand my mom. For starters, she had a difficult relationship with her own mother, then add to the mix that her marriage was falling apart. Even more, she admitted to me when I reached adulthood that motherhood wasn’t something she enjoyed. Overall she wasn’t happy, and if I saw it, everyone else did.

As for my dad, he was more patient with my studies, but still wasn’t that happy when my grades were average. I don’t know if he understood my situation or thought I wasn’t giving it my all.

Whatever it was, homework became something I did because I had to, that’s it, much like making your bed or picking your toys. You didn’t thought about it, you just did it.

Although life at home was an unhappy one, my dad found relief in hunting and fishing since an early age. Incredibly, I found interest in doing the second (considering both are things guys do), and accompanied him in many trips around the island.

More than liking it, it gave me the chance to be away from it all and be myself for a few days. It also allowed me to see my dad in a much better light. We had in common enjoying being disconnected from the demands of our lives, which helped us bond greatly.

I also saw the beauty of nature through his eyes, and how planning ‘an expedition’ (as he used to call it) would teach me skills that always come in handy.

I didn’t know what my mission in life was back then, but if doing what guys do is the way to survive, then that’s the way to go.

But, wait, I’m a girl. How am I going to be ‘one of the guys’?

 

 

 

 

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“I was a mistake to my parents,” said he.

“What? No! How can you say that?”

“Because they had a troubled relationship and somehow I happened. I was even sent away to boarding school most of my life.

I myself had a difficult relationship with them. That’s why I’m so focused on providing my daughter the stable environment I never had.”

I was literally crying over the phone. “Please never say that again. My parents also had a difficult relationship since as long as I remember. But I’ve never felt negatively about my existence.

The problems that they all had are theirs, but unfortunately we get tangled up on the outcomes of what they do. In a way we pay for their decisions.

All we can do is try to make sense of all their mess and try not to repeat it, like you’re doing.

But you and I are not what you think. I love you very much as a person and hurts me deeply how you feel about yourself. You’re worse than me at times.

If it helps you heal in any way, just remember how much I feel about you, and if I was you, I would make it all go away.

So for now just remember that there’s at least one person who cares about you and thinks highly of you.

Can you try to do that for me?”



et cetera