Losing and Receiving - writing

When people lose something that they really value, they may start feeling that the meaning of life is lost. Well, that is how I felt when I lost my parents. I did not lose them because of an accident or a terrible disease, but I became a victim of a divorce in the family. The moment they signed the dotted lines in the divorce paper, they were gone from my life. I still see them, but at the same time, it feels as if they are total strangers to me. When I say I lost them, I mean I lost the connection. Nonetheless, something happened to me in the last few years that changed my mind. When losing something that is of great importance, one should be ready to be strong and not let everything go away, manage to open one’s heart – to be able to receive something new that will surely come into life.

My negative experience of losing came at an early age. However, the intense feeling of possession and connection that were the product of my relationship with my parents were dominating in my life. At this point, it is weird to think about my relationship with my parents, especially how I became so attached to them even if there were very few happy and fond moments that could have explained my attachment to them.

I mostly remember the strict standards and demands that they forced into my life, and how I was always followed by loneliness. These two came to me like a bunch of punches. I felt so weak and useless when the standards were not met, when my parents were unhappy with the level of my accomplishments or inability to reach the goal that was set before me. After that bad feeling, the second one that came in quickly without warning was the feeling of loneliness.

At first, I found it difficult to understand why the feeling of loneliness came in immediately after my parents were disappointed by me, but as I was growing up, especially after I reached the third grade, I realized the reason for that depressing feeling. I understand now that I was the only child. When I was very young, this fact was not a big deal for me. It was not a topic that I eagerly desired to discuss with others, nor did I ever want to investigate how other children lived. There is a reason why I was not interested in knowing more about these things. My neighbors and playmates came from families with only one son or daughter, and it was something I took as usual. But when I was in third grade, I started to understand the effect of being the only child.

As I look back, I understand the almost abnormal connection between parent and child, especially if two parents – a mother and a father – focuses their energy and attention on one kid. It is not hard to see why they want their only child to succeed. If one looks at the interaction from a distance, those observing the situation often find themselves focused on the not so common parenting that exists within a Chinese home, especially in families that are forced by circumstances or by law to raise up only one child. Therefore, the parents become intense in their desire to raise a child according to their vision of a perfect person. The intensity oftentimes causes children to break down and cry. They cannot take it anymore. In my case, there was this love and hate relationship with my parents. I love them because they are my parents, but also there are moments when I just want to explode deep inside just like the other children I know who are eager to do something crazy whenever they get a chance to leave the house and get away from their parents for a while.

As said before, the interaction becomes intense and the conflict between a parent and a child is real, especially when the frustration reaches that breaking point, when a child feels that she cannot freely breathe at home. On the other hand, it is also difficult to explain the connection between a single child and his or her parents. There exists that close connection and a desire to be part of the family even if things are complicated. It is this regard, this desire became the main reason why my heart was in a broken. I lost my world when my parents signed the divorce papers.

When they got a divorce, it was harder for them to live their own lives. It was even harder when they were together. They had to live in separate houses, and they had to spend more, and of course, they had to earn more than before. Due to the new arrangements in their lives, they had to work harder, and that means I seldom saw them. There were many days in a year when I did not see them or talk to them at all.

In most days, I spent my time with my grandmother. I did not have to spend several days to find out if she likes me or not because obviously she did not. It is also not difficult for me to know the reason for her not to like me very much. My grandmother is part of the old-fashioned group of people with many old-fashioned ideas and outlooks. I realized later on that she did not approve my being there because I am a girl. In her point of view, I have very little value except if I behave myself so that men would like to marry me. It seems that I can find success and value for my life if I get married soon and have a family and take care of the house and my husband.

It was not only the life in my grandmother's house that traumatized me and left a very negative impression in my childhood. I can remember with a lot of pain, the time when my mother asked one of my teachers to look after me for some time. I cannot remember exactly the circumstances that happened before that, but all I knew what that I was in my teacher's house. She also had one child only. However, it was different in her family. After spending some time with my teacher, I felt very jealous of her daughter. I looked at her and I just cannot stop but think and dream that I was in her place. I imagined living in that house. I also thought that she was so fortunate and had a great life I wanted for myself. It is not because of her house or the thing that one can find inside the house, but it is the family, which is the biggest value in life, especially for a child. She has a father and she also has a mother who can take care of her. It was the simple things that gets through me. It was the simple actions, like when she goes home there is dinner waiting for her, and there is someone who asks her about the things in school. At that time in my young life, the feeling of loneliness was like a knife that cuts through me. T that time, I would also be happy to get back what I said about the standards and about the strict parenting of my father and mother. When one loses something that she really treasured, it is the only time that she understands that she had something very special.

There was a time when I considered suicide. I thought it was better to end the pain and the loneliness. Such intense feelings are difficult emotions to contain in the heart of a teenager. It was very hard time, and when I was 18 years old, there were many changes going on inside me and my life. However, the emotional impact of my parents' divorce was still felt even at that time in my life. It was supposed to be the year that I should have learned to be independent, but it was also the period that I strangely wanted to be closer to my parents.

I hated the fact that for divorced people, the signing of their names over the dotted line of a piece of document was seen as the beginning of their lives. But for the children of divorced parents, it not beginning, but the end of everything that was of value for them. It was the destruction of the stability that was once enjoyed by the little ones, and that same stability and assurance of a family is no longer there.

My destructive ideas, and my feeling of worthlessness reached a point when it was about to normalize or reach a lower level, and this occurred around the time when I learned that I could have an opportunity to study abroad. I thought that there was no new beginnings for children like myself, but on that day, when I learned about the new opportunity, I realized that the chance to leave the land of my birth can also offer me the chance to start a new life abroad.

I experienced a major change in the way I view things when I was abroad. It came to me one time when I realized that more than half of my classmates or the friends that I am with comes from single-parent homes. They too felt bad when their parents went through a divorce. The major difference with my reaction was that they were happy with the lives they were having. They did not hate their parents because they decided to separate and destroy the family that they built in the first place. I understand that they were not excited about the idea of divorce, and many of them still experience sadness when they discussed that painful stage in their lives, but the wonderful thing was that they were able to go through that painful memories and that they are now living a life that they want to have even if they experienced painful setbacks.

When I talk to foreigners and students with different nationalities, I was impressed by the Westerner's point of view when it comes to the opinion of other people. They have no concern about what other people say about them. It is a new idea, because Asians are always particular about what the other people say. The opinion of the community is very important in my old family's way of life. The lifestyle of my grandparents and to some extent those of my parents encourages me to preserve the old way of things. On the other hand I can also see the kind of freedom experienced by young people living on the other side of the planet. If they do not care about what other people say, then, they can focus on the things that they believe must be accomplished.

I also realized that it is only through observing these new things and it is only through an open mind that one can begin to see a different way of doing things. I were born in a culture and in a society that teaches people that there is always a better way to do things, and then they proceed and say that in their own community they know how to do the right things. There is an idea that only this community have. It is having a closed mind that prevents the ability to see new solutions and approaches that can change the way people live to better.

Only now I understand that I was lucky enough to meet people that acted like a family to me. I was hurt by the feeling of losing my family, but I received other important things from other people. This people are my teacher and friendship with young men and women that did not share my culture. It is good for me that I entered in their culture and therefore I was aware of the major differences and saw new ideas on life . It is also good for me that I was there because it means that I can try their customs and their culture and discover for myself and why only certain people must be free. I realize that having an open mind is like having an open hand. It is only through openness of mind and heart that one can expect to receive.

There was a time when I thought that I was stuck in that place where I cannot get free from the impact of sadness. My negative feelings that oftentimes spring forth if I have nothing to do was the product of a broken family. I thought that it was the end of me, because something that I treasured so much had been taken from me. As a result I grew up with a lot of anger and frustration against my parents. I said to myself that it was true their selfish actions that lead them to divorce, and it was a higher level of selfishness also that drove them to forget their only daughter. However, when I had an opportunity to study abroad, I met a group of wonderful people and through them I learned the value of an open hand and open heart. I realized that if people have an open mind, it is like having an open hand. This note was prepared by a Jaime Bradley  who is a talented custom essays writer.

StudyUp Author: Jaime Bradley

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