… your heart
One of my relatives is so strict with his children and wife that as soon as he enters the house all children used to move to their rooms and sit quietly. His wife also couldn’t speak to him much except obeying his rules. There was no option of saying something to dad. All daughters got married without their interest. On the other hand, we at home had ample freedom to speak and ask anything.
While typing this I remember a funny incident that happened when I was 8 years old.
As you know by now, we are a large family of siblings and relatives who used to have lunches and dinner together. My mom used to serve everyone and eat last. I was the first one to eat. She had fried various coloured fryums – red, green, yellow and white and many more. She had served all of us enough and there were few left in the tray and she asked my sister and brothers who were close to her if they wanted extra. I was seated extreme left to her and she didn’t ask me like she usually does. I was waiting for her to ask me so I can take and eat but she didn’t ask me! She forgot.
I didn’t ask her either and completed my lunch and got up and was thinking about it the whole day. I was moody and upset that she didn’t ask me. Things a child would only understand and do but it seemed to be a big deal for me that day. Mom wasn’t even aware of it and was normal. I used to stand on her feet to massage them. She used to get tired after all the household chores and we had this habit of standing on her feet and back and relieve her pain. She used to sleep next to a window for us to hold the window for balance. I was awfully silent and didn’t voice anything about this.
I had tears in my eyes, voice stuck due to a lump in my throat and a heavy heart, I asked her a question.
“Why didn’t you ask me for extra fryums? Am I adopted or am I really your real child?”
Mom was shocked and startled. She said, “Are you mad? What is this stupid question?”
I explained what happened that day during lunch. I reminded her that she asked everyone for extra fryums but not me.
She burst out laughing and said, “I didn’t even observe and you had fryums on your plate. Why didn’t you ask me for them? Tell me how many you want and I will make and give you now?”
I was relieved and it seemed to be silly but I was suffering all day because I couldn’t voice my question and suffered in silence.
When in doubt always openup, ask your question and it will help you understand what the other person wants or clear your assumptions and doubts. As a parent, partner, friend, supervisor create an environment around where people can openup and express their feelings and concerns freely.