Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Living Up to Expectations (1)

(This is an entry for actualization purposes.^-^ A recount of the events I’ve been through ; pieces that create the mosaic of my life)

I’ve always been a sucker for praise. I grew up trying to please everyone: my parents, my teachers, my family, my friends… I was used to the general good girl image that was smart, friendly, and obedient. My pride came from successfully making other people proud, and that pride was acknowledged by praise. So I came to the conclusion that my satisfaction could only be derived from the acknowledgement in the form of praise.

My first two years of primary school were spent in Indonesia. I was a typical obedient student, always gaining the top three in my class. I never got any red marks. I spent year 3 until year 6 in Australia, because my dad had to get his degree there. I continued my masquerade. I became a straight A’s student. I became the top of my class and got the special award of the year for good students. I proved myself in both academic and art competitions. I joined the school choir. I even volunteered to help out with the school compost project. “Goody-goody-two-shoes” some of the kids called me. But I didn’t care. I was in an unconscious state of depression and trauma from bullying because of things like race, appearance, and my “good student” image. I got my share of physical and nonphysical abuse: cursed, called names, hit, and even thrown rocks at. But I never wavered from my path. I got pleasure in beating those kids non-physically in something they couldn’t retaliate upon. I knew it would also give me support and protection from the teachers. Anyway, I wasn’t the only kid at school who suffered bullying. A lot of kids were victims. I hung out with all these kids. We became a gang and stuck together. Because of our quantity together, the bullies couldn’t touch us.


High school was the same. I spent about three months of my first year in Australia, and the rest of it in Indonesia. There was a big difference in the atmosphere. During my first three months in high school in Australia, I was desperately trying to find a new gang. My friends went to different schools, or were still in the 6th grade. A gang was essential to provide safety. It was also something that determined your position in the high school food chain. I knew I would never get into the cool and popular strata at the top of the pyramid. Maybe I could get into the braniacs and nerds, but I was tired of the label. Or was I really the invisible section in between? I was still deciding what I wanted.

Like all teenagers, I faced an identity crisis. I tried the quiet and cool type so I could still maintain my grades without falling into the nerdy area (yeah… it’s shallow, but it was a survival mode). I tried slang and swear language. I learnt about dark makeup (haha… emo). I involved myself in the arts: drama, abstract art, and music. I even got into detention a few times by deliberately not doing my homework and assignments. I wanted to be able to mingle with the other kids but still retain respect from the teachers by keeping good grades. It was quite an experience. But no, I wasn’t interested in guys yet. My main goal was to go through high school safely and happily with no more bullying.

High school in Indonesia was so different.

- To be continued - 


  1. wow that was interesting, like in the movie,eh?
    i never thought that you've been through that kinda teenage life in Aussie.

    well, I've been there before. being the victim of bullying and identity crisis? you tell me!

  2. yeah... but it was a good experience^^
    you have mbak? let's share;)