Many of the things we thought would break us are actually those that helped make the better version of ourselves. A child blossoming into this world with only one parent and the absence of a father at that is just another of the life challenges that are truly sad but honestly have streaks of rainbow in it too.
Those nights you see your mother restless in bed and with a distant stare, you saw pain..you saw hardship so you learned to toughen not only your skin but also your heart.
There was not a lot of alone time with your mother as she’s engaged with so many tasks plus your younger brother and so you learned to do things on your own. My most vivid memory of me relying on no one else but myself especially on academics was when I’ve been doing my exam reviews and home works solo almost all of the time on second grade. I had my study table, my books and my time. You’re also used to doing things your own, your way, your style. And you’re not gonna have it any other way.
Even the not so eight-year-oldish tasks are delegated to you and you gotta do them. You know the completion of such will not only boost your ego as a responsible child but more so afford so great a relief to your laden mother. As an adult, juggling schedules, settling bills and meeting deadlines were never a challenge. You’re used to it. The being responsible part of being in adulthood isn’t new ground to you.
Last photos, last memories with him will always be very dear to you. Touching moments of families and individuals, who sometimes you don’t even personally know, move you. You shed a tear for a couple who just exchanged their vows. You sob your heart out while watching a video of a tribute to parents in the army seeing their children again. You can’t help but choke when a friend tells you in passing that her dad just said the three magic words to her.
You’re used to people asking where your dad is and how insensitively (or sometimes unknowingly hurt you) ask you if your dad has another family. You have gotten through grade school, high school and college with these heart-piercing questions. And as you’ve had these at the time worst possible questions to be asked, you have become braced for even more.
6. Sensitive for others’ feelings
You’re used to all the insensitive remarks about you not having a father growing up and already have too much of the ill feeling those comments caused that you’re certain you don’t ever want to put anyone in the same horrible situation as long as you can. You never want to embarrass people and if in case you do unintentionally, you pretty feel bad about it as you of all people know how bad that just feels.
7. Protective (Overly protective)
Over the years growing up without an alpha male figure, you’ve developed this trait that you certainly carry until now, of being overly protective of your mother and sibling. You may be genuinely soft inside but all the softness automatically turn to switch on the heroine button in you when needed. You will safeguard your family from anything and/or anyone – foe, friend or foe acting like a friend.
You feel that it is your responsibility to provide your family a comfortable life – the good life that they so deserve and have had so much difficulty having without the supposed main provider of the home. You take it upon yourself to go out into the world and bring home the bacon.
As you only have your one parent and sibling/s to count as your immediate family, you really put in an effort to maintain cohesiveness in your little family. Especially now that you can, you ensure that you do stuff together to keep the pact tight and the bond forever. This family is everything you have.
As early as your primary school, you’ve been making decisions as to what to submit for your Arts project. It was you and you alone who decided that you’re going to make a flower out of the candle wax – not your mother, not your teacher. It was you. It was you who decided to join the Writers’ Guild, that you want it and you’ll go for it. It was you. It was you who decided that you’ll take up a degree in Nursing so you could possibly (hopefully) land a job abroad. It was you. Your mother was there as a guide but it wasn’t like other kids who can have their choice of which parent, mom or dad, to help them through decisions. Most decisions you made yourself and your mother simply gave you the go 95% of the time as she has also developed to trust your judgment over the years.
Having plans (and contingency plans) is normal for you. You actually write down your goals for the future and you have a clear picture of how you want your future to become and how you’re gonna do it. You have seen and learned a good deal of the past that makes you envision the future better.
You are your own cheerleader. You’ve had one less cheerleader growing up so you have learned to compensate for that supposed loss. You boost your morale, you get yourself back up and you push yourself to challenges.
You dream big dreams. You are not afraid to get yourself out there and even if you are, you don’t let it stop you from going after your life goals. There can never be a dead end. There always has to be another way. If you’ve done it and made it in your younger years, all the more impossible that you’re not going to come out victorious now. #