A Story of Non-Optimal Family Life

Like many other children of my generation, I was raised in an age where using video games and consoles as entertainment was commonplace. I have many fond memories of hours spent playing Super Smash Brothers with a good family friend of mine, classmates, and alone by myself. My story of numbness and shutdown/freeze begins with my translucent blue Gameboy Advance. I played with that device often. In hindsight, I think on why I played it so often, and honestly, it was because that was all I knew; my parents never introduced me to the things I take so much joy in now as an adult… hiking, snowboarding, archery, hockey, rollerblading, calligraphy, and etc. It was not my parents’ fault; they were busy building material stability for me and my sister, because they had escaped to Canada as refugees who brought and had nothing.

Yet, one day, as I was playing with my Gameboy Advance on the couch, my father came home-I do not remember if he was already home-, and aggressively took my Gameboy Advance amidst my objections. He then proceeded into the kitchen and placed it on a cutting board. He took out a butcher’s knife, and dealt my Gameboy Advance a number of hefty blows. I recall asking him angrily, “What are you doing,” but there was nothing else. He finished his business and he left. Where he went, I do not remember, nor did I care. I did not cry, but what I do remember is that I presumed that my dad was under the influence of alcohol. In that moment, I somehow mustered the miracle to hold nothing against him. I picked up the pieces of my Gameboy Advance and checked to see if it was still working; it was still functional. It was as if I tried to pick up the bits of my emotional life, fragmented and indefinitely left in pieces.

Up to this day, I can honestly say that I have no emotional dependence on my family. From my past experiences, my physiological experiences have stated that I can get no respite from my family. As I am older now, I do have a few friends with whom I share my emotional concerns, which I can only say genuinely started roughly three years ago. I was blessed however to encounter my spiritual director almost a decade ago now. He is someone with whom I share and describe my socio-emotional and spiritual life in as much detail and analysis as possible. After my description, he assists me in reframing or contextualizing my view. In many ways he stepped into my life as a constant and secure adult with whom I could confide in. Furthermore, we are similar in that we process our lives primarily through reason as opposed to emotions. I can speak for myself, that my process of making sense of my life could only be done through reason, because it failed in emotional respects.

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