A growing butterfly | Teen Ink

A growing butterfly

August 6, 2020
By Anonymous

My whole life I have been asking why the way I am or what the purpose of my life is. I’m not saying my life is a mess or I’m not normal but truthfully I have not been myself. Do I even know myself yet? Do I know the purpose I bring to this world? Do I know what happiness is? The answer is I’m still figuring everything out. Yes, my life is pretty normal and I have a loving family, friends, people who care for me and want me to do better. However, sometimes I have no motivation to do anything. Growing up people used to ask me about my parents, “You have such a loving family” “Your family looks so perfect, You guys are always happy” blah blah blah. Truth is our family is far from perfect. Perfect isn't in my family’s vocabulary neither is happiness. My mom forever hid her sadness from the world and I never knew why. She was so good at pretending to be okay, hiding her pain every single day. Never once did she complain to any of her family, relatives about what she was going through. Looking at my mom suffering, struggling, throbbing to get out of there from a very young age really bothered me in a different way. I will evidently never understand her pain and the agony she has from what she went through but I know from her experience I will never let myself be in that position because even though she is a strong woman who's always sacrificing everything for everyone, I will not put myself last and get hurt in the process. 

For as long as I can remember I have heard screams, smashing things around the house, sleepless nights waiting for my dad to come home only for him to be drunk, reckless and abusive. I slept with my parents in their bed when I was little, I don't know, it's an asian thing. I recall him coming home around 3 or 4 in the morning, all aggressive towards my mom, demanding her to warm up food for him, forcing her to stay up with him until he’s done, throwing things at her if she didn’t listen to him. She was scared, helpless and so was I. He didn't care even a little bit if his little daughter was there. He could put his hands on her in front of me. I used to feel helpless, sitting in that bed crying all night, watching my mom get hurt. Slowly as I grew up, I knew my father wasn’t a good man. How can you look in my eyes and mistreat my mom, your wife, the woman you promised to keep happy, just how? Do you not care about her or what I think of you? I have seen every single little tear and pain in her eyes. I would never want any female to go through a miserable life as hers. 

The way my dad was towards this family has really drastically shaped me as a young woman. The way I perceive things, what I believe about men, of course I don’t think all men are the same, however I know what to expect. I know not to let myself be stuck like my mom. Worse comes worse, somebody like my dad comes into my life. As soon as I see any type of signs, I have the knowledge to leave them, no matter how much I love this man, I’m not putting my children into a mess that their father made. Even though my dad has been here my whole life, it was almost as if he wasn’t. His presence was there physically but he wasn't there mentally and emotionally. I cannot remember the last time we ever had a conversation or even a little talk about something, just us two. All I ever wanted to do was help my mom leave him but i honestly don't know when that’s ever going to happen. Even though life goes on with or without him, experiencing such traumatic things in my childhood has gotten me strong to think about myself and always put myself first. It has given me the strength to never take anything from a man, never depend on nobody. People come and go and that’s just how life goes. Your father is your first male role model and that relationship often shapes how we view men. I have a fear of abandonment, inability to trust people even when they give me no reason to. I definitely have low expectations of men and I know not all men are the same but growing up when they see the same thing constantly happen, you view every man the same because of someone I saw as a role model who had no meaning of love. It changed my behaviour even towards myself. I started being self-conscious and having no confidence in myself. This started when I began middle school. I always wondered why I had such low self esteem, never taking compliments, never comfortable taking pictures, always thinking I wasn’t good enough or I wasn’t worth at all. It was little things that made me not feel like myself. After a long time of trying to have self love, I can now finally say that I am starting to love myself more and more everyday. I still have so much to work on myself and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

The importance of fathers as emotional, intellectual and spiritual nurturers has largely been neglected for too long. Absent fathers have impacted a lot of young women going into their adult relationships. Whether we’re happily married or miserably attached is often a reflection of the type of bond that our parents had nurtured. When we get married, we tend to fall into the behaviour that we observed and learnt from our parents. Our fathers are the first man that we as women know intimately. What he does or does not do around the house becomes imprinted in us as a sample of a man or husband. Positive or negative, our father is the man setting the standard against which all other men will be measured. 

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.