When I finally confronted my parents!
The first day you hear about asserting yourself, it feels like you would just walk home that day, clear your throat to grab your parent’s attention and then you start to speak. That’s when you realize that what was in your head flees through some unseen portal.
I remember the day we learned about brave communication at Bethel Atlanta Cameroon School of Supernatural Ministry, my friend Yvonne told me she was going to confront her landlord. I quickly offered her my house whenever she was done with the conversation.
Here’s how it happened..
I had prepared and rehearsed for almost a month, it was worse than an exam because if I failed, the outcome was uncertain. The only thing I was convinced about was that my parents loved me but speaking up was a whole different affair. Don’t laugh but I told myself, if they killed me, at least they are my parents and they would be hurt too.
I remember days where I would summon the courage and when I started to walk towards my father, the words would flee leaving me standing in front of him speechless and i would say something else.
I had just turned eighteen and I imagined what they would say.
If you’re Cameroonian, and you’ve dared to confront your elders especially your parents, you must have heard on of these
“you’ve grown wings because you’re now eighteen!”
“you can now talk because we’re age mates?” or
“you don big, now you fit talk eh?”
or worse..they completely ignore you and give you that look which means they think you are just going through a phase.
Note again, that our parents are not monsters and have never been.
Honour and respect are an integral part of our culture in Africa and Cameroon in particular and so you have to be very technical when confronting so as not to hint disrespect or sound puffed up.
Our parents love us but most of them don’t show the affection the way we expect, I love you, hugs, kisses cuddling, saying things like well done!..nah, that wan na ajeboh!.
I remember the first time my father told me “I love you” on the phone many years later, he quickly hung up.
I love you or well done for our parents may be buying you something nice or telling you, you can do better! Or always providing.
Back to my story..
I convinced myself that I could not take whatever was going anymore and I had to speak up. I met my parents in the living room and told them I had to speak to them. I remember I started with something like “I can’t stand it anymore” in the humblest voice I had ever had. Perhaps that got to them or my guardian angels were pouring bowls of favour on me. They granted me permission to speak and as I did, I was praying every second that my courage would not fail me or that there would be no outburst.
Short story, they listened! Explained to me the reason for certain events going on at home.
There was no fire and brimstone!
I’m writing this post so I’m still alive!
What I learned from this?
No matter how high the shoulder is, it can never go past the head!
Yes, at one point or the other in our lives, we would have to speak up but, be respectful! They are our parents and they know just which button to push to set you off like an explosive.
Again, I say be respectful!
You may be more educated, knowledgeable etc. than them but put yourself in their shoes and try to see why they made certain decisions. Life was hard for most of them and they had to make tough choices to survive and most often that included upbringing.
When bravely communicating, love and understanding should be your motive. You are not going to start a fight but seeking to be on the same page or at least airing your mind.
Remember that it may not always end in a win-win but at least you tried!
Be honest, we’ve all lived through this, i’ll like to hear your story..