Apart from teaching and cooking, I find psychology rather fascinating as well. I like finding the reasons for why people act the way they do, and every time I feel sad or depressed, I can’t help but analyze myself. It is exciting to know more about why I act this way, but at the same time, it is quite heartbreaking knowing that no one will benefit from my study–even myself. So, for today’s post, I will try to consolidate my 20-year old case study, so that you, my dear readers, will better understand me, and maybe even understand yourselves.
Lack of Self-esteem
This stems from the fact that I have two younger brothers who are constantly doing better than me. Every time I try out a new activity, they follow and do so much better. I do not get praises from my own attempts, rather people praise them all the time. Of course, my self-esteem, rather what is left of it, is also deeply rooted with what my parents told me when I was young until now. “You are so fat!” “You are so ugly!” “You are useless!” Thus, these words are what fills my mind and soul.
Whenever I say these words, my friends would always say that I’m not fat. I simply say “Thank you”, but do not take their words to heart.
Need for positive appraisal
Luckily, I found what I am good at, and none of my brothers can do it better than me. But then, what is the use of being good at something, when the people who I seek appraisal from don’t even look my way? When I tell my parents stories of school and the good things happening to me, they simply shrug it off, and talk about business, and how useless I am.
Solution? Stop trying to impress them! I try to impress my classmates and friends instead. I always do my best in my extra-curricular activities, always trying to please them because they are very honest. They give credit where credit is due.
Just last week, I was so happy that my professor praised my essay. I was the only one who got a perfect score compared to the other creative writing majors. In my Japanese class, I beat my classmate in a race to translate the statement. It was my first time getting the correct answer ever. All my classmates clapped their hands. Did I share it with my parents? Of course not, because when I got home, all they told me was how useless I was.
Demand for Equality
Lastly, I demand to always treat people fairly in school, especially when enforcing rules in our organiztaion. Simply because my parents value my younger brothers so much more due to the fact that they are boys. I am growing up in a society where everyone, despite gender or sex, needs to learn how to cook, sew or even just bring the dishes to the sink. But apparently, the place I go home to every night, is still unaware of such changes.
I have gotten so used to it that I simply didn’t care anymore. But then, the school also shaped me to act this way. Every year, I saw the injustices happening because of biased teachers, which is why I aim to fight against it by becoming a fair and just teacher.
Even though I have analyzed myself so much, and found the root of the way I think, I don’t do anything about it. Thus, the reason I said I don’t benefit from such analysis. I still desperately try to please my parents, even if I know nothing will come out of it. I push myself to climb different social ladders, run for student council, become the president of this and that, for what? For them to tell me to stop and focus on more important things (even though they tell me to “put myself out there”). I push myself to excel in my academics hoping to bring them that medal. But I know, it doesn’t matter because after a couple of years I’m sure my brothers will be bring home something much bigger.
Still, I do it. All to hear the words “we’re so proud of you”, which I won’t believe because of you.
P.S. This song really sums up the emotions I have been feeling the past couple of weeks until now.
Paralyzed by Against the Current
P.P.S. I will be writing a part two to this, I’m just not yet sure on how to attack the topic.