An ordinary incident pulled up this memory. It was a painful memory for me. Childhood memories usually are.
THE ORDINARY EVENT
I was going for a meeting pre-set earlier. No reminders was e-mailed out and I started out confident that it was on. I mean it was an important meeting. So the person would be informing me should it be cancelled or rescheduled, right?
But half-way driving, I couldn’t help but e-mail the person(a quick one at a traffic light) to ask if it is on. I was a last minute addition and I was worried that he may have missed me out in any updates on the event. The answer, “Of course, it is on”. On my side, I was relieved, on the other, it sounded sarcastic to me, which pulls another memory of a preset meeting where the other party didn’t send any reminders and which I totally forgot. The comment I got then was – “It was already agreed upon. No need to send reminders. Once it is set, no changes”. Totally unrelated to the story but that’s how memory works right? It comes up when triggered, no rhyme or reason.
Moving on with the story. I got a suspicion why that insecurity happened, why the fear that people FORGOT me is there. I related the incident to my mentor, Elango Thiyagu ( http://elangothiyagu.com/) and it confirmed my suspicion. You guessed it. It was due to a childhood incident.
I was in secondary school and it was after my Bahasa Malaysia tuition class. It was late at night and after the class, I waited outside by the roadside for my mom to pick me up. I waited and waited and waited. I was not sure how long I waited. I would say that I was kinda dumb last time. I could have walked back to my tuition teacher’s house and called my parents but I just stood there until someone passed by and ask me why I am there. I think I told them I was waiting for my parents to pick me up. My memory is pretty hazy about what happen next. I remembered being berated for not calling them. I didn’t answer them but the memory of being ‘forgotten’ stayed deep inside me.
From being forgotten came the other thoughts – I am not important. Nobody cares about me. Insecurity sets in.
I never volunteer to lead. I never give my opinion about anything. I go with other people’s decision. In a way, I made myself forgettable – in school, in college and in work place. I never stand out. I am never in the limelight.
THE RECOVERY – FACING THE MEMORY
In the many conversations I had with my mentor Elango, one day I managed to bring up this memory of mine. He was understanding and he told me to do something that totally freaked me out! He asked me to talk to my mom. It took a while, a push now and then, and finally the opportunity came when she was down in KL from Kuantan and I somehow manage to convince her to go to the park with me one morning. I set her down after the walk-a-about and casual chats that I had something to tell her.
It is no surprise she couldn’t remember the incident. It was one of many things that happen in her life. I think I made her sad that I felt that way and carried it with me for so long. It was an emotional moment for me and for her (a.k.a crying sessions). It felt good letting it all out. Yes, my mom was sad and said she was sorry about that. I choose to believe I have forgiven her already even before this because we had an amazing relationship during my university and working days up until I decided to be self-employed. When things didn’t work out, I was the one who shy away from her. She was always there to lend a hand, lend a ear but I was the one who was shutting her out.
Bringing the memory to light helps tremendously. Because I gain more confidence after that…Now I am playing important role in big organizations, advising on their business. It helps a lot clearing out these small insecurities in the mind. Allows me to grow and move confidently towards my goals.
I asked my mentor, would the effect of the memory ie the fear of being left out, ever go away.
He said..yes…with time…