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The Sad Story of my Early Life
I am the eldest in a family of two children. I can say that I always have had an unconventional life since my very first days on earth. Being born in a traditional society, women tend to have very few roles when it comes to food provision, career choice, marriage, and generally when making their personal decisions. In our society, it was not right for a woman to complain of any hardship she were going through since it was her duty to wash the small children, feed them, clean the compounds, and ensure that all the clothes for the husband were clean. Taking into consideration that I am the first girl in the family, I had very big dreams in my head that one day I would be able to control my life and become the best I can be… but I was quite wrong. My assumptions proved me wrong since my parents were totally against my inception, and for several occasions I could eavesdrop from the boys saying that we ladies were the so called ‘low conceived weaker gender.’ In our own society, the preference for the male offspring over the female has been deeply embedded within its culture and there is very little that can be done about it. The permeated perception in our society was that, once the male child grew up, he would be the one to take care of all the other members of that family; he would as well have control of all the assets and belongings of that given family. On the other hand, the females, upon getting to the right age, they would be married instantly to a man who has been chosen by the members of the family. As well, the members from the female’s family clan would be required to come and pay dowry so as to please the family which begot the man. Basically, the society in which I grew up was a burden for the girl child, from the day of birth to the final day on earth. For one or two occasions in my life I have despised the idea that I had to be born a girl.
My ‘real’ struggles began when I was two years old. During this time, my mummy was pregnant so that my younger brother would be born some few months later. Having been incapacitated by her pregnancy, it did not mean that she would stop carrying out her household chores, and hence she had to carry out all the household duties as if there was nothing happening on her. The funniest thing here is that there were other capable members in the family who would have helped her with the duties, but that was never going to happen. Having been forced to this life, my mother had no other option but to take me to some other place where I would be taken care of by somebody who was not my mother. I recall this very morning when my mother packed up all my belongings without any single idea what would be my next destination. Some few hours later I found myself with my grandmother whom I never liked during those first years of my life. She left me with my grandmother, and the old woman would be my ‘mother’ for the next few years of life. At first, I had very hateful feelings towards my mother for having had left me in the hands of a stranger at that delicate age. Later, I came to realize with great shock that I should never have had felt such a feeling since the lady had done what any other person would have done.
Some few years later, I developed great trust on the old woman and used to see her as my immediate mother. At the age of six, my mother came to visit us with my sister. For the first time in my life, a great anxiety hung on my head after seeing my younger sister in possession of my trolleys. I held strongly in my mind that the small brat had better impression on my mother than I. From that time of my life, I realised that I developed some sort of apathy on everyone who came my way, and the reason I seemed to trust no one. At the same time I felt strongly in me that only my grandmother cared for me, and the reason I loved her only. For the first few years of my life I grew up without seeing my father whom I had never been aware of. Since then, I always had trouble getting any close to any person. I felt insecure and saw the entire world to be knave and shuffling its paths so that I were never to understand what I would turn out to. Today I remember this one day when I hit my brother for having tried to smile at me.
Later, at the age of ten, I was taken back to live with my mom after the painful passage of my grandmother, the only person I adored the whole world over. At that time, for sure I was not quite conscious of what was happening, but the only thing I could say was that I had been divorced with my grandmother whom I could not explain where she had gone at that delicate age. I can remember the painful feeling in me when I realised that I were never going to live with her again. After a few years of living with my mother and my sibling, I realised that I never loved them even in the least. Six years later we moved to Malaysia from Korea where my father was working. Having moved to Malaysia, I thought my life would be much better only to realise that mine were just fancy fantasies which would disappear very soon like a spiteful mirage. For the first time in my life I very was glad since we had moved to a culture where no traditions associated with torturing the woman through household chores and taking care of everything in the house.
There in Malaysia I was taken to college without an idea what I would study there. In the second year of my schooling in the college, I went home one day to learn of the sad news that some young man from our home country had been interested in me for a wife and the necessary arrangements had been done. This included dowry and wedding ceremony. I felt a very terrible feeling that I would never forget for the rest of my days on earth. Having learned of this and the courage with which my father had decided to address the issue ‘following the dictates of his great tradition,’ I decided to make a terrible decision which I would not guess what it would result in. Nevertheless, it was the only path that sounded promising for me at that particular age of my life. Without any further consultations and lamentations, I decided to take my own life into my hands and detached myself from the family, plus all the care, benefactions and concerns they had held for me. I had made a vow never to be married to a man that I could not love. Since I had made this vital decision, I waited at nightfall when I packed and started my own journey to a land I could not tell.
Having had developed some attachments to a number of friends in the college, I sought refuge at one of my friends’ and explained to her what my life had been planned for. For around three days I were encaged in here without moving outside since I knew my father would never get tired until she found his daughter. Because of the fact that I had no money that could pay for my bus-fare to another region in the country, I was incapacitated and therefore I had to stay with my friend for two weeks or so. As I were entering into the third week of my stay in this family, the man became so much concerned that I should be kicked out of the house since he could not get a better explanation why I had sought refuge there. With no choice, I packed all my belonging and took off for Kuala Lumpur. It is in Kuala Lumpur where I acquired a job as a shop attendant for about a month. I want to put it clear that I had more passion for the job than I had for my parents. I saw them as a very big threat to my life for the fact that they would never let me make my own decision.
It would not take me long to keep working as a shop attendant. After about three weeks, my mother finally managed to know of my where-about. It was one Sunday morning when my boss, the lady who had employed me, announced that there was a woman who had come looking for me. Having confirmed that the already mentioned woman was my mother, I realised that I still had the same love that every single child will have towards his or her mother. I gave her a good hug, an indication that I seemed to understand that she had not wronged me in any way. Because of the tradition in which she had been brought up, she seemed to have had learned of the pains and hardships she had been forced to live by. Having understood that I was facing ruin, I listened to my mother but made it very clear that I would never be forced to any kind of marriage by anyone, whether her, my father, or even a godly creature somewhere. Looking deep into my mother’s eyes, I realised that she ‘understood’ what I had been going through, and because of that she never asked for an explanation. From that day, my father became a different man, my mother changed, and the entire traditions which had chained our family broke loose. This day I find myself glad that I can plan for my future life without anybody’s interruptions. Life for me here has changed for the better and I can proudly say that I have changed and am serious with my school work than ever before.