Growing up, Papa and Mummy was physically present in my life, for the most part of it. I mean, I see them every day.
But being physically present doesn’t amount to much when one is emotionally absent. I know that in some cases, being physically present is actually a huge thing. But when one is physically present for almost a decade and still be emotionally absent, that becomes a problem. Well, at least for me, it has.
I don’t dare say that I have a relationship with my Papa and Mummy because for most part, they were never emotionally present for me as child or a teenager. No, I do not blame them because their parents probably were never there for them emotionally as well.
When I was first bullied in primary school, nobody at home knew about it. I remember I was queuing up to buy food during recess. Suddenly, a big chap cuts my queue. I think I was infused with courage since the day I was born. I poked his lower back because I was that short back then. He turned to look down at me and I said “Hey, you’re cutting the queue.”. He lowered down to me, whispered in my ear and pinched my chest while saying “so what?” and proceeds to turn back to the queue. What was I supposed to do then? I felt so useless and scared.
I didn’t tell anyone. Back then, nobody taught me to be vulnerable at home. There wasn’t any “you can be honest with me and tell me how you feel.”. I kept that secret with me and only told my friends when we recounted about primary school.
You see, with my parents not being emotionally present caused a big deal of my life spent on dealing with issues on my own. I didn’t have any adult figures to turn to. It was only a few years later in church, I found some mentors that taught me certain important values and help me to troubleshoot some problems in my life. It was a very draining and tiring process because I keep going back to my problems but I am glad some of them did not give up on me and was able to see the gem in me.
What am I saying? Be emotionally present for you family members and in the future, your children. They are going to need it some day. When they get bullied, when they flunged an exam paper, when they go through a break up, when they get betrayed by their friends, when they are a mess and do not know if they can carry on doing life anymore.
Family is supposed to be one of the most important thing in our life.
Nothing is better than going home to family and eating good food and relaxing
One day, I will sit at the dining table with my wife and children, enjoying the dishes I cook. And I will ask about their day and what are their struggles. I want to be physically and emotionally there for them.