A bright, warm afternoon in Munich; crowded but content. After watching the famous “Glockenspiel,” we have the two hours to ourselves, my mother and I. So we set for souvenir shopping, purchasing Dallmayr coffee for relatives and church friends at home. This day was the last day of the tour in Europe, and we were satisfied of how the 12 day trip turned out.
Our search for souvenirs ends, and with one hour to spare and still 60 euros to get rid of, we decide to do some window shopping, or try on some clothes at “Mango.” Mango’s vast variety of clothing keeps us swift in movement as we sift through the clothes.
“I would like to try on four items please,” I say, when the employee glances up from folding clothes. Without a word, she points at a dressing room, a curtain for a door. Mother stands outside and judges the clothes I try on, one by one.
The third item is a simple dress, almost too simple for my taste that became appealing to me. Almost a slip, I wonder why it is different from Mango’s style. Not thinking much of it, I put it on and realize there is no tag, no price…just its paper thin self.
I open the curtain and say the usual “What do you think?” We both kind of shrug, as it is not horrible, but not the best either.
“It doesn’t have a tag,” I say, indifferent.
“Excuse me, there is no tag on this dress,” says my mother to the same employee walking by. She gives a confused look.
“No. Tag.” I emphasize, making an X with both my arms, and pointing to a tag on another item.
She finally gets it and says “I check.”
One dress later, my mom says to me “Its supposed to be a slip under another dress. It was just misplaced.”
Nonchalantly, I say “oops.” I draw the curtain and thoughts are whirling by. The thing I was thinking of telling my mother just then felt like a bad idea, but I decided to tell her anyway. I draw open the curtain and can feel a sparkle in my eye as I motion my mother to come close. I whisper in her ear “Since there’s no tag, we COULD just put it in our bags and walk out.”
Stunned. That was her reaction. She shakes her head, and says “Change.”
We’re outside, walking back to the group’s meeting place; it is the silence that makes me realize that she is suddenly distant.
“I’m going to bring this up once. I am shocked in what you said in the store.”
I didn’t know what she was talking about. “What do you mean? When?” We stopped walking.
“Do you say that kind of thing around your friends? Your sister?”
“The thing about walking out of the store without paying for that dress.”
Of course, like any mother, she begins to grill me with questions as to why I said it? Whey did I say it so casually? Why I would even think about stealing? Where did this come from? Have you said this sort of thing, even as a joke, in front of other people? Did she not support me enough growing up? Do I even feel BAD? Shame?
“No. I don’t. For some reason, I don’t feel bad at all,” I say. And it was true. To her questions, I answered them without a bad attitude, like I sometimes do when I’m offended. I just felt… nonchalance, almost separate from my emotions, shame, and soul. I felt like a robot, with no care, no conscience. I just. felt. nothing.
She took it the wrong way. Mother thought this was another defense mechanism that I was using to suppress her anger, disappointment, and shame. For me, the comment of stealing was so casual, so minute, that I felt like it was not worth wasting our happy time. But once I replied to her, I realized that in my mind what was considered not a crime, really was when spoken out loud.
By this time, we are at the meeting place, my friends and other chaperones hungry, yet giddy from their free time; but I can’t look at them. As my mom is grilling me with questions, of where this behavior is coming from, I begin to realize that there’s something wrong with me. Of course that was stealing. Of course I should feel bad. Where WAS this coming from? The lack of money, even though my mom still bought me whatever I wanted? The lack in confidence? My scarred childhood of moments when I was truly disrespected by my father? Self esteem issues? Too spoiled?
It was a big mess. A big weight. A darkness that clouded my thoughts. Was I overreacting? How come it felt so casual of me to think, even say, such a low thing?
I look around the blurry scene around me, as tears have already been streaming down my cheeks. The same bright setting still surrounds me, but at the core of me, is a dark, never-ending hole, where I am falling, and don’t know who to look to for help. That was the moment where I felt everything crumble.
Our group starts to walk to a restaurant, and my mother and I are silently walking last. I’m not hungry…I don’t want to see anyone. By then, everyone has realized I’m not my usual, perky self. I instead go to a place, alone with my mom, and am sobbing. Not just about my action, but the confusion around me. The only thing I could do is spit out what is swirling in my mind, and let her pick up the pieces and fix me.
I begin to confess all kinds of things: my bulimic eating disorder, my unintentional lack of enthusiasm for the bright things that lay ahead of me and the outstanding things I have conquered…I had no appetite for them..no personal ambition. My drive was only to make my parents proud of getting into a University, full scholarship. Be the best I can be. But once all that was done, and I looked ahead in my future, I felt no drive. No will, because..well to be frank, no one was planning my future.
To clarify, my mother had her mind set of getting me into college since I was in first grade. Don’t believe me? She told me “Go to the book club that is happening every Tuesday at Lunch, it will help you get into a good college.” Obedient as I am, I do. And as I sit there discussing elementary books with my classmates, I can see my best friend playing basketball outside. I could still feel the shallow sadness when I think about it now…how I was cheated of even the small thing of a fun-filled lunch. Sacrificing for college.
That is the first memory of the word “college” I have. But of course, that was the beginning. Since, I have done art classes, cooking classes, clubs at school, violin lessons, tutoring, all as extracurricular things to put on that Common Application.
In high school, I was recruited to a private school specifically because of my violin playing. Seeing it was my chosen path from God and with my parents’ consent, I decided to attend the school. Yes, thinking back to my decision, I did believe that this was a great gift from God, but I also feel there was a subconscious thought that it would get me closer to a better college. The uncertainty is horrifying to me now…I used to know.
I confess to my mom I have done what I was supposed to do. Now what. I have no ambition. I just feel like I checked everything you asked, off the list. Now what. Everything I have tried, just felt like ways to get into college. Not ways to find my passion.
Sitting with my mother, a dark pit sits. And the words are spit all over the table. The sticky words lay on top of each other confused. Waited to be unstuck, picked up, and categorized on the table. But no. They solidify as the silence lengthens.
“You need help.” she says.
And THAT is why I created this blog.
To be frank, the situation is still a dark mess, and I must get a therapist.
But let me tell you why I don’t want one..I even looked up reasons online, and mine isn’t there:
I Don’t Want to Spend the Time to Explain Myself to Someone I am Forced to Know. I Don’t Like Talking About Myself. I Don’t Like Wasting Both Our Times to Talk About Myself. How I Feel etc. It is not a trust issue. I just hate explaining myself…
Let us see how this goes…
My first blog post is a response to The Daily Post’s theme: Darkness.