Pre-deployment

I’ve been all right since the beginning of the break. My classes must begin again next week, despite my intolerable, demoralizing living conditions, and work on Animated Chatroom will have to slow down once more.

Knowing that the rebound will be intense the next day, a song led me into a state of near euphoria yesterday. It was more of an anticipation of the future: a future where I get a nice place to live, I work diligently for a humble company (my diligency and energy nicknames me “the intern”), and I dress however I want. But it seemed to be centered around solitude and apparently enjoying life without others.

My friend brought up the topic of Asperger’s for some reason. He believes it is fairly obvious that my reluctance to be social; an intense, unceasing focus on computers; and an inability to capture a relationship indicates that it would be easy to diagnose me with Asperger’s. (He also suspected I was an “egg,” a term I had to look up. I was not really offended, to be honest.) I do not disagree with his beliefs. If these are indeed the symptoms of high-functioning autism, then so be it. But so long as my parents disagree and continue to elude themselves that everything is fine with me, that I am living life “correctly,” then no psychological evaluation will pass by them while they have custody over me.

As I looked to the sunset yesterday after arriving home, I contemplated the types of conversations I would often have, and realized that they are over petty matters: buying this, selling that, managing money, how stocks work. They are all predominantly consumerist affairs – and it dawned on me right then and there that my father is not really working, in the sense that he tends to escape from labor. This is in stark contrast to my mother, who wakes up punctually at six in the morning and does not arrive until seven in the evening, and can only really survive hard work with all the faith she can muster. She no longer really cares about my dad: she protests no more about how my dad wakes up late, plays games until 11 am, leaves for work at noon, returns home at 6 or 7 (usually earlier than her), and plays games until 12 or 1 am.

The others were right when they said that no communication is a bad sign, for indeed, my parents drive separate cars, eat with space between each other, and seldom greet each other or say goodbye or encourage each other to do anything in particular. Almost every discussion between them ends with an argument, with either my mother fleeing to her room or my dad continually saying, “Okay, okay. You’re right. You’re totally right,” or, “Jeeeeeeesus.”

My grandparents left on Monday with few words, back to that collapsing world of despair, no electricity, and little running water. It is a crime to wash dishes while my grandmother is home, as doing chores is merely taking away things for her to do during the day.

I am stuck between the gap of my family life and the new life I am forming for myself. It is particularly clear that my parents do not care about my life.
Struggle? It is normal.
A terrible roommate with terrible conditions? Yep, everyone goes through that.
Can’t find friends? Well, you have some already. And don’t talk to that kid who we think does drugs.
You need money for textbooks? Well, use your own, you’ll get it back when you get a job next summer.
Need to pay a large fee? (sigh) … I’ll see how the budget works out.
Food sucks? Well, there are plenty of places to eat in Austin!

Most favors I ask have always met with inaction by my parents. My life could be so much better if they regularly expanded their intellectual understanding of things and purged that which is not physically needed anymore. The cluttered library in my house seems to reflect well the inability of my parents to react to gradual events and transitions. A temporary workaround becomes a permanent one: instead of fixing the doorknob of their bedroom door, they simply close the door with a bungee cord, with only minor regard to the damage that it is causing to the door. In response to my father not tending to the house which he paid for with his own money, my mother pretends she has no power over these matters, and the passive-aggressive attitude of my father is simply met. There is absolutely no reason things must be done this way.

What can I do? Nothing. Why would I even attempt to wrest my custody out of them in a court of law, if my father cooks incredible food and my mother is the reason we are the contributive, practicing Catholics we are today? Yet how can I even begin to remove my own self from the illogical, invisible barriers imposed by my parents, and enter a larger world of transforming identity?

It raises those same unanswered questions that I started with at the beginning of the break: on Asperger’s, depression, and asexuality. How could I have known last year that these would be the questions I would rest on today, and how can I know how I will look back on these questions next year? Is this a minor lapse in self-identity, or are these defining topics that will become cornerstones that will strengthen how I view myself?

I knew this day would come since June 28, 2017. Actually, no, way before that. I did not know in what mental state I would be, but I can recall what mental state I was in at that time. I can hear the lids of the trash cans methodically clanging with the wind in the courtyard of my high school sometime in May, with my friend in front of me biting on a sandwich, and me taking out whatever it was that I had in my lunch box. Such was the basis of lunchtime since sixth grade: a bite of food followed by some banter and laughing.

I can feel my weak bones, teeth and eyes as I unmade the bed at 2 pm on June 28, looked out at the cumulus clouds, and tried to stop the memories from spilling of the unfamiliar world that I had just come back from. I can remember the arrival to the Narita terminal on June 22, shortly after telling my friend of the “wise words of Filthy Frank: ‘Welcome to the rice fields!'” There, on the left wall of the somewhat amber-colored hallway to the security checkpoint, was a Japanese policeman looking forward and to no other direction. It was a hint of what I would witness throughout my trip: of the labor that the Japanese person dedicated himself to. (Now you can inference why this specific memory was recalled, in relation to the relatively slacking nature of my father.)

Since those days, my mind has predictably rearranged itself in a new state. I must tackle new problems with new solutions. My brain expands with learning Elixir for fault-tolerant applications, and the time is almost coming to purge what I have kept for far too long.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *