flaws, I

I still remember what if feels like to be on the other end of his conversations, and his words still reverberate in my bones, so much so that they’ve become almost a familiar chorus; only not the type of chorus that we happily sing—but notorious. It is of another type that is repeatedly played over and over again, and whose notes engrave themselves each time deeper into my bones that my bones themselves become the very sheet music of my father’s cadenza. 

When we’re kids, we grow up with a couple of role models in mind—whether they be those celebrities or sport players that you admire, famous people who have caused great change, or more simply, our parents, for the most of us. We get so mesmerised by their characteristics that enchant, inspire, and even seduce us, that sometimes, we fail to get across the fact they too are as flawed as just as anyone of us.

I believe that what’s different among us is how we tolerate these flaws. Some hide them in fear or in embarrassment, while others prefer the contrary and flaunt them, aimlessly. Some use flaws as a force and symbol to promote change, while others force their flaws to remain unchanged.

I have grown up under the guidance of my parents whose flaws I have not started to uncover until now, and I have been reflecting the ways in which their flaws have innocuously affected me in the day-to-day sense, but also, perhaps, how the ways it has shaped me in the long-term contributed to the struggles that, I insist, have evolved into flaws of my very own.

My father, a brought-up-and-raised, blatantly conservative man who also holds the world unofficial world record for the longest-held stoic face, also happens to be the most jaded, cynical, and hopeless person that I know. He does not express any emotions that aren’t already otherwise tethered to his frustration, occasional aggression and explosive voice, disinterest, apathy, dissatisfaction, his one valid, true (and therefore, only valid and true) way of life and thinking, sour attitude, terrible case of stubbornness, and selective vision and hearing fine-tuned to specifically cater to his one true opinion—because everything else that he disagrees with is therefore invalid and the case is no longer even an argument for him.

He made me cry countless times when I child, and I’ll even admit that he still wields that power because nothing in him has changed and he is ruthless when it comes to insults. His voice is like venom as he attacks verbally with insults, and I have always felt the sting in my ears, each time no better than the prior. I have blocked out many of the things he has said that have brought me to tears in the past from my memory, but I can never erase the feelings that came as baggage—those still continue to demand to be felt.

About two years ago, I resolved my issue by communicating as little as possible with him from that point forward, and it has worked so far. The less I communicated, the less frequently he found something to yell about, the less often he had the chance to give me an insult about something, and the less frequently I had to tolerate both his awkwardness and unpleasantness to be around.

Personality-wise, I am identical to my mother, who is nearly polar opposite in my father’s character, and I am quite grateful for that. But rests still in her the same inherent stubbornness and pessimism, which, in particular, seems innate in our family lineage, and I absolutely despise this.

I find it ironic, however, that my father berates me for my personality and actions even though I clearly resemble my mother in that aspect, the woman he married. But he doesn’t realise this because he only sees his reflection each time that I come into his view.

The last thing I want is for myself to to become any more like him than I already am ||

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