One thing I really appreciate about Taiji–oh, let me say this. I had a class today. It really anchors my week, and I need to add another class. Probably the Tuesday night one. My teacher is great in that she’s very casual about people making mistakes. She’ll point them out, but in a way that isn’t shaming or blaming. It really is a talent. She’s a very positive person, but not in a forced way.
We were talking about how long we’d been taking classes from my teacher. I said I was her first official student (she had been teaching a friend before that) and it had been something like fourteen years. I still remember like it was yesterday how she was so affirming as to focusing on one thing. I can’t stress enough how much of a perfectionist I was before I started taking Taiji classes. I had the typical Type A Asian mother who insisted that I do a million activities and that I had to be great at them. One of the memories I had that stayed burned in my mind was when I graduated from college, magna cum laude. After the graduation, my mother commented that I would have graduated summa cum laude if I hadn’t gotten the B in Intro Psych. I was very proud of myself for achieving magna cum laude until she said that.
Years later, I mentioned that moment to her. She denied that she had ever said that. That’s her style, by the way, to forget anything that put her in a negative light. That was the moment I realized that she was an inreliable narrator and not to trust anything she said. Like a fool, I pressed her on it. She finally said that if she had said that, she only meant it te be comforting in case I was upset about it.
I dismissed that as bullshit at first. But later, I realized that she truly forgot those situations. My brother did as well, but in his case, it wasn’t just times when he was saying or doing something negative. He helped me set up my new modem and a week later, he completely forgot he had done that. In my mother’s case, it’s anything she didn’t want to remember–especially when it’s something that was negative about her.
I put so much pressure on ymself to be perfect. Then, my junior or senior year in high school, I had enough. My mother was giving my brother money for his good grades. He had undiagnosed learning disabilities including dyslexia (and probably autism) so school was very difficult for him. I was upset that she did not give me money for my grades. Now, as an adult, I understand why she did it the way she did, but back then it just seemed unfair that I was punished for being better at school.
I know that’s now what it was, really. And it was much harder for my brother because he had such a difficult time with school. I had a hard time with the social asspect because I was so weird. I hadn’t quite honed my ability to talk to people so I mostly just looked around feeling like a weirdo.
I can’t emphasize enough how fish-out-of-water I felt as a kid. I honestly felt as if I were in a different country and did not speak the languagee. Plus, I was severely depressed and anxious, and I did not want to live. This started when I was seven, and my teen years were the worst. I was so miserable in school. That year, I gave up on trying to get good grades. I got criticized for getting an A- while my brother got praised to high heavens for getting a C.