I know it was only for my own good. There will be countless reasons to defend my parents’ actions even after nearly a decade after the incident, but it still sticks on my mind to this day. I cannot talk for my parents but perhaps they knew they did something wrong. Perhaps they did something right. I really don’t know. I was largely brought up with the infamous “tiger-mom” style parenting but if I missed something of my childhood, it was my privacy. Tears were worth very little when I grew and I was told that “tears solve nothing.” I was bottling up my emotions that begged to be dispersed at such a turbulent adolescent age. Time and time again, I was denied the right to express anger, love, resentment, jealousy, weakness, and other emotions that plague the heart so easily during those teen years. After tears, my second attempt was writing. And this attempt was perhaps the most disastrous.
Writing is a very interesting mode of expressing emotions. It betrays your most inner thoughts even those that you may not think will appear on paper. Amongst the arts, there are many ways of expressing emotion, writing, music performance, acting, dancing, and many more. The curious thing about writing is how distinct each piece of work can be. Simply by reading a piece of work, it is possibly to identify the author. It is also possible to discern some of the history and background of the author. With the other modes of the arts, perhaps there is this transparency to some extent, but definitely not as much as writing. Take for example music performance. When performing a piece, the music itself was some story which you attempt to emote to the audience. The story may or may not be yours, but you draw upon your life experiences to bring the emotion that the author wishes to emote. The overall outcome is one of ambiguity: the final presentation is a mix of the song writer’s emotions and the performer’s emotive lens. Acting has even less transparency since the character you perform is of someone else’s imagination. Again, you draw upon your own experiences to emote as the character would, but the best actors betray very little of their personal personality to the public audience.
However, writing is ridiculously transparent. It is possible to write as though you are someone else, but I fear that the true opinions that you wish to emote only appear in your natural writing. And what more transparent writing can there be than a personal journal. I used to keep one. It was my second attempt at emotion. There were a whole lot of emotions in that journal; I remember because I started writing it one day when the emotions were running the highest, the most powerful and worst kinds to befall on any human. Ones that I needed to let go of somewhere, somehow. And it was all written in that journal. I am sure you know where this story goes: it was read. The worst part of it was not that it was read, but by the subtle hints I received about needing to curb those emotions. Randomly, I was told that certain emotions were bad, or not appropriate for my age. And that was when I knew. I took every single one of those pages to the shredder and never wrote again for the longest time aside from school assignments and the like. I learned all sorts of tricks in the meantime: to write mirror image in cursive, to write with my left hand, to write so skinny that the individual letters were barely distinguishable. Only now do I have an idea at perhaps what was going on. I was unconsciously trying to find a secure outlet of emotion and hoping that one day I might be able to write again.
It took me a long time to gather strength to write again. But I write publicly now and with a pen name. It protects my emotions which are still regarded as weaknesses but I have learned other methods to relive them. Although I appear to be bitter, I am not. I know that parents are not perfect. The episode has served its purpose and if nothing else, I know that I will never read another’s journal. Perhaps I am also stronger because of it and have been able to creatively learn things I never would have done otherwise. It has taught me much about myself and my limits. And best of all, I have learned how to come out stronger and let my voice be heard.