April 23, 2017

Conversations With Mom #5

Unlike other several conversations we have had, this particular conversation is actually the one that I really want to change. If only I could rewind time to the day when we had that conversation. It was actually very short, and indeed the shortest one, but I personally feel like it holds deeper meaning than any other conversations I had with her. Maybe because of that reason, it takes time for me to publish the conversation here. Most probably because they are more personal than any of our conversations that I have written here, and I wasn't sure if I could properly convey them into words and not feel insecure afterwards. But now after some time, I have never felt this sure to publish it here.


The first thing she did when she arrived at my apartment was unpacking her luggage to take out all the things she brought all the way from Indonesia for me. Then she gave me was this beautiful purple box that was wrapped with glossy white ribbons.

"Ozuuuuu.... this is a birthday present for you", she gave it to me with a wide smile and cheerful tone.

I actually didn't expect any present, not even from her. So I was a bit surprised at that time.  

"Awww.. thank you, Mom", I reflectively hugged her.  It's weird that even though my mom has always given me birthday presents almost every year, only this time I felt awkwardly shy. 
"Come on, open it", she said with excitement

I untied the ribbon and opened the box. Inside was a plaid black-and-white dress. Then there was a grey knitted culotte which lied under it. Two things that are well suited with my type.

"These are so pretty! Thank you Mom", I kissed her on the cheek.

She smiled, but the kind of smile that wasn't entirely happy. Indeed, there was a hint of uneasiness.

"You are welcome... don't be sad anymore, okay? Because whenever you sad, I get sad too"

I smiled and nodded, trying to not feel nor appear overly sentimental, and I also had a feeling that she was attempting to do the same. Otherwise, we would cry together. 

"How do you feel now?" she asked me while I was examining the clothes, whether it fits to my body that had gained more weight.
"I'm fine, Mom...."
"Are you sure? Because you don't seem like it"

 I fold the clothes and put them on a drawer. 

"I think I have told you already a few times before that I would never be like how I used to be.... everything that has been broken won't be the same anymore, Mom.. It also applies to my happiness..."

I knew I shouldn't have told her this statement. Partially because I wasn't sure about the answers, but mainly because at that time my mom had just arrived. And she went all the way to come here just to support me. And I should have had at least made an extra effort to cover my true feelings in front of her. I should have tried to seem happier than I was.  

"That's why I also told you that the reason it all happened is not because I have been in the down period of my PhD... not because I haven't settled yet in here... and not also because I don't have someone to  make me feel complete... it's all about me. There were times when I spent too much time with myself and that's how I started thinking so many things about me and about life itself. I started to blame and underestimate myself. I started to assume that there were some changes within me that will not make me revert to who I used to be... no matter how hard I try"

I didn't know exactly how she responded to all my awful words that came up, but all I remembered was she just kept quiet.

"But at least, I think I'm used to this condition... so now, every time I start to feel anxious and overwhelmed, I always try to use more of my logic and control my mind... because only then I would not exaggerate my feelings"


That was the answer of the me who was still confused about my feelings, who was still unsure about my problems, and who was still recovering from my depression. But two months had passed, and everything has changed, including my life and my perspective towards everything that happened during those seven darker months. I wish my mother would ask me again this time. Even though I'm sure the reason she never asked about my feelings again since the past two months is most probably because she knew already that her daughter is already back to the one she has always known for twenty six years. But only, only if I could turn back the time, I would definitely answer it in a complete different way.

So, by the time she asked me, "How do you feel now?"

I would say,"I've never been better, Mom. I think this time is one of the happiest times in my life... because I finally got all the answers that I kept questioning myself in the past few months"

And maybe she would ask, "What answers?"

"Answers of many things I wasn't certain of, like the reasons why I experienced the worst nightmare in my life... but what is the most relieving answers are to know that there is nothing wrong with me and to disprove my thought that I could never fully recover and be back to the same person I used to be"

And I can imagine she would say, "Of course... I'm the one who told you  so many times that it all happened because you had so many problems that you kept only to yourself... and the effects became so much worse than it should, because at the same time, you kept blaming yourself as one of the main reason of those problems..."

"Yes, you are right, Mom... I'm sorry for being so stubborn"

I can imagine how she would agree with this statement, as I have always been a stubborn person. "Yes, you are very stubborn... I even gave you an article about self-rumination from a well-known psychological journal, but you kept denying it and telling me that I was wrong"

I remembered the first time I finally opened up to my parents about what I had been through and how they analysed me like psychologists (which they are). No long after that day, she told me that I was experiencing what psychologists referred to as 'self-rumination'. Basically, it was the 'wrong way' to cope with problems. People who experience rumination would be too much focused on the negative assumptions of their problems that came from their emotions. They tend to blame themselves too much about those problems, which is actually the opposite act of what they are supposed to do. This could lead to more negative effects, including depression, rather than direct them to solutions. To me, who has passed through those problems, it all makes sense. Indeed, it was exactly what I experienced at the time. But it wasn't so easy for me to be so logical when I was in that position.

"I know... I made everything worse by doing so much self-talk to an extent that I assumed so many possibilities other than those problems, including of how I see myself. But now, when each of those problems has been solved one by one, I can see my condition at that time in a much clearer way... I can safely say that I was just unlucky, and yet it's just an inevitable part of our life when many unfortunate things happened unexpectedly at the same time... But I'm grateful, very grateful, that they didn't kill me, and so it all only made me stronger"

Maybe had I told her directly back then, I can imagine we would both be crying. With big relief in our hearts. 

3 comments:

  1. Penggemar blog selalu dtng lebih awal. Hahahaha and that is me! :D
    Penasaran sbnrnya ama apa yg dialamin kk ( i dunno what should I call u. If by name it's seems rude hehe even though I think we are same age) but I can see that you are mature enough to dealing with ur problems. Solusinya mungkin bukan cara yg terbaik menurut orang lain, tapi kitanya tau cara yg terbaik karena kita yg alamin.

    Sukses selalu ya ka~ Big fan is here. Hahhaa. Boleh minta doanya ya ka biar aku bisa sukses apply beasiswa master tahun depan aaamiiiinn Karena kk salah satu inspirasiku buat lanjut kuliah :)

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    1. Hi Hafsah, salam kenal yaaa! Panggil nama juga enggak apa2 bangeet loh hehe. I've been thinking whether I should share the problems in here or not... but let's see ;)

      Anyway, makasih udah baca dan kasih komen disini yaa. Seneng banget bacanya, terutama di kalimat terakhir. I'm happy knowing that I can positively influence my readers, especially in encouraging them to pursue their dreams. Sukses buat aplikasi beasiswa master dan kuliahnyaa. Aku doain supaya bs lolos! aamiin :)

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  2. Kak Ozu, why your mom so sweet? I Never got birthday gift from my mom till now :')

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