I remember one of “Oprah Winfrey” episodes about troubled teens. A group of obese teenagers were gathered with their parents. They volunteered to participate in two sessions conducted by a therapist.

The first session was when the group sat in a circle, exchanging stories about themselves – starting with “If you only knew me, you would know that…” They were encouraged to be as open and honest as possible. The goal was not only to share, but also to load off some burden on their shoulders.

The second was more intense. Each of the teenager was standing face-to-face with their present parent. No, it was not a showdown or anything like that. The teenagers were encouraged to be as open as possible with their own parents, starting with “I’m angry because…”

Why was it intense? Because raw emotions were spilled out. Those kids were allowed to vent all the things they felt inside, things that they’d been keeping for too damn long – in the name of the so-called ‘social courtesy’ or else.

In the end, those kids were crying in their parents’ arms, some of the parents crying too. Problems solved overnight? Not really. There was a long road ahead for all of them.

I remember Dad watching it too with me…and he was crying silently after that. Sitting on his wheelchair, he was crying and looking at me. I looked back at him, letting his shaky hand reach out to mine.

“What is it?” I asked him, which was already futile at that time. He couldn’t speak anymore. I wished I’d been a mind-reader at that time, anything to hear what he’d badly wanted to tell me.

Unfortunately, I’m not Matt Parkman from “Heroes”.

Funny how you’ve kept quiet for so long that when people urge you to speak out, that chance has been long gone. What a scary thought. But then, even when you’ve badly wanted to say what you think needs to be said, it’s either the lousy timing, the wrong people, or all of the above.

Sometimes you’d rather say nothing at all. A friend once said that society often demanded that you smile and be amicable…which is really true. But how do they do that all the time without hurting their jaw? Really, I want to know. The whole world loves you more – and better – when you’re nothing but all sunshine, even when too much of it can still blind you…



(Jakarta, 6/5/2016 – 11:45 am)

Leave a Comment: