My friends and family congratulated me about two years ago when I turned twenty-one. Congratulated me? What for? I didn’t feel any different. Honestly, what I felt was more pressure, more expectations, and more responsibilities. Stress. I am twenty-two years old, almost twenty-three. My heart is still of a child. I was reminded today when my parents had one of their many mood swings that led to a huge dispute. My parents argued, fought, and had their many grudges since I was a kid. You would think that parental disputes would grow on someone by now—well, it doesn’t.
As my mom ignored my dad, gave him the silent treatment with pouting lips and rolling eyes, I was brought back to my childhood. I hate when my parents fight. Seriously, if we were not Hmong, Mom and Dad would have divorced a long time ago. They fought and sometimes still fight over the smallest, silliest things. The atmosphere gets thick and heavy with vibes that suffocates, causing me to shrink and wither into an inactive, lifeless ball. It pierces my heart as if a dagger had shot through my chest, coming out from the other side with my heart and lungs pinned to the wall. My world darkens to outlines of blacks and grays. I feel like crying but nothing is coming. The chemicals in my brain that so desperately want release explodes inside me, streaming down to my heart, gassing my insides for hostage, causing ache instead of tears. I hear the words, “Breathe. It’ll be fine. It’ll be over.” But I’ve heard those empty promising phrases too much to give in to them. I end up just cringing as I lye sleepless in my bed because no matter what I say to them, their anger and stubborn hearts will not listen.
I was a child and am an adult now, and I speak for other billions of children. Parents, when you fight, just know that it hurts your children. Broken and disruptive homes are the last things a child needs. Demonstrate love so that your children can learn mimic.