Saturday, October 25, 2008

Disadvantaged upbring, hence eccentric behaviour now

My boss and I were talking about my family ties, and how close am I with my parents.

I told him I am hardly close with them. I grew up with food to eat, yes, a house to stay in, yes, but that's about all. I wasnt taught ABCs at home, and only learnt them when I was in kindergarten. I remembered that when I was in Primary One, and cried everyday when I could not spell simple words like 'table', 'orange' etc.

I used to have a friend sitting next to me. I can still remember his name. Benamin. Yes. Without the 'j'. Unless I spelled his namely wrongly for the entire year when we do homework in pairs.

Once I turned to him and asked him: How to spell "rabbit".

He started screaming at me, asking me why cant I learn my own spelling and have to ask him everytime.

I was 8 years old then. I am 25 years old now. For 17 years, his voice still rings in my head.

My english standard was atrocious. I dont fail my exams, but I believe I had a mild case of dyslexia. Not for my chinese though. I had been very strong in the language since young, thanks to the 知识画报, and the later 知识报.

(And dyslexia does and can happen to one learning language and not the other. I am not pulling your leg.)

I never learnt music instruments, never learnt abacus counting. I never learnt ballet, never learnt swimming.

At age 12, I first started to drink.
At age 13, I first started to smoke.
In the same year, I shoplifted. And was once caught.

I bleach streaks in my hair, got very close with friends from various gangs. I was on the discipline master's contact list (nice sounding, but it means a list of students to interrogate when there are gangs fights occurring near school campus).

I'd never been to countries further than malaysia penang. In fact. I only went overseas to penang, genting, and JB when I was younger.

I'd never been to pulau ubin, or even china town when I was younger. I started learning how to take connecting buses to different parts of Singapore when I was 17, and in Poly.

And boy I was so embarrassed in Poly whenever the lecturers ask us to meet somewhere outside school. That was the period of time when I learned how to read street directories, for I am too conscious to ask my coursemates how to get from one place to the other.

I bought my pager when I was in Sec 2. A Sunpage yellow flex. That costed me $159. I bought my first handphone when I was in Sec 4. A nokia.

I bought my own discman, bought my own cds. I only have 3 toys as a child. One clothe rabbit. One ghostbuster figurine (because my elder brother wanted one, and the shop keeper cajoled my parents into buying one for me), and one polly pocket from my cousin, when she gave me tuition in english and I got an A.

Maybe I am ungrateful. But I can safely tell you that money was never spent on grooming me, or making my childhood more enjoyable (read: more travel chances, more toys).

Not that having those material things will make me any better than I am now. As a matter of fact, I am so tough and independent now not for no reasons. I am forced to stand up for myself, forced to put on a brave front and no matter how difficult things go, I'll scream and I'll cry, but I do it inside me.

People keep telling me I'm selfish.

From young, there are very little things I call my own. I pinched every cent, saving up to buy things I want. I know desires do not come cheap so I treasure everything I have. I do not appreciate sharing my things with others because my things are solely mine.

People keep telling me I'm unfeeling.

Especially when the topic steers to my parents, and I am always nonchalant, lots and lots of people like to give my a piece of their mind, telling me I shouldnt be so ungrateful. Without them, who fed me, clothed me, and gave me a roof over my head. All I want to say is, raising a child isnt about food, clothes and shelter only. If you cannot give them a good education, if you cannot teach them correct beliefs, if you cannot spare your attention on them, you are better of rearing a dog or a cat. Pets only need food, and shelter. Better still.

People keep telling me I'm defiant.

As above. I have to fight for myself. There's no one I can depend on, while growing up. Except my friends in various gangs, I guess. If I was weak and meek, I would be stepped all over and what's left of me now is blood and mess.

People keep telling me I'm vulgar.

I keep my 'Fuck's and 'Nabei's very close to my mouth, and I use them on a regular basis. I spew vulgarities since I am 7. It's a difficult habit to kick.

Growing up feeling deprived always made me very self-conscious. My family isnt rich, but we can afford cars, so I guess we are not exactly feeding on sand and mud either. My parents could make my childhood more enjoyable, but I guess they didnt want to spend that much money and time on me.

Am I angry?
Seriously, I am not.

I just find it very amusing how someone would raise a child without wanting the best of him/her.

So when my boss tells me, no matter what they do, they are still parents, and I should treat them nicer. I told him straight to face, that it's not possible I 以德报怨. They should be happy that I never 以怨报怨.

He told me, why dont I try, buy a present for them, and tag with a note "I love you". That will make them very ashamed that they hadnt been treating me nicer.

What? Revenge tactic? I like. Hahaha.

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