Should I re-build my walls?
Back during highschool and up until my early professional life, I had a fortress. An impenetrable one. It was there to keep my affairs, and to some effect my personalities, from getting intertwined. My fortress had four walls, all of which had tiny doors. Only one door is open at any given time and only I can open them. Of course similar to how Rome wasn’t built in a day, my fortress too wasn’t. It was a series of events that led to its creation, and like most, if not all fortresses, it was meant to keep the person inside, my fragile self, safe from the big bad unknown.
The first wall I built, and the sturdiest one, was the parent wall.
I had extremely loving parents. And I am forever greatful for that. They showered me with love and affection, and like any kid would, I gloriously bathed in it. At that time, I thought of it as debt I needed to pay when able(出世払い). I don’t remember why I came to that conclusion, but I did. And I thought being the perfect only son was a good way to repay them. So I toiled and worked hard to be the child they so obviously deserved.
The thing with trying to be perfect is that the more you strive to be, the less you seem to be.
And at an early age, probably around the third grade, I was beginning to realize and struggle with my imperfectionS. One thing I struggled a lot during my stint as a juvenile was that it seemed I had a predisposition towards forgetfulness. I kept on misplacing, effectively losing, things. One time I was asked by my mom to run an errand to the supermarket. Sometime during the 5 minute walk from our house to the supermarket, I lost the 500 Php bill she gave me, and I have no idea, up to this day, what in the vast world happened to that bill.
I also forgot to return a book to the library for a whole school year, which led me to ask my dad to transfer me to a different school.
Aside from that, I also felt that I wasn’t the smartest one in class(mom trait), nor was I one of the more athletic students(dad trait).
Surely, I couldn’t let my parents know how much of a failure I was, lest I want the love and affection showers to stop. So I created a plan to keep them an arms length away. I’d tell them the end result I envisioned myself to be in. For example, I’d tell them I’d be ending the school year as one of the top students, even though there’s no basis to my claim. By doing this, I successfully stave off any suspicions from my parents. Of course, to keep my charades ongoing, I’d have to really end the school year as one of the top students, and that is how I’ve lived my life up to this date. I set expectations, and I do my very best to meet or even surpass them. And when I meet the goal I set, the feeling is unlike anything else. It’s a mixture of a sense of accomplishment, pride, relief, and knowing the fact that I can keep on bathing in my parent’s affection. The feeling was so exhilirating and addicting. I had to keep on doing the exact same thing. Basically, tell a lie, then work hard to turn that lie into a version of the truth.
This is the parent wall. They will only know the surface, the goal I am striving to achieve. Everything else, the hoops I had to jump through, the hurdles I had to surpass, the hardships I had to endure, will be mine alone.
The parent wall will serve as the precedent wherein all the others will be based on.