Remember the Money that Make Us All Feel Small?


Today a bunch of relatives came. Talk, laugh, friendly argument, and they headed home after a few hours, but not before they thrusted few hundred thousands rupiah onto my father’s refusing arm. And the old man break into tears.

Honestly – though I know it may sounds cruel coming from a daughter’s mouth – him crying is hardly a rare sight. He cried every now and then, from self-pity more often then not, blaming everyone but himself and take all the misery credit for himself.

I can’t really see us, our condition, as pitiful. Sure we don’t have car nor house here in Jakarta, but it could have been worse, right? At least I have a job that paid well, at least my brother finished his study early and landed a job that can at least pay for himself, at least my sister is smart enough to get into free public school and even came 3rd in her class, at least the family is all together under one roof, no?

Apparently not. Just a few weeks ago in one of his anger outburst -and crying, see- he said that he is damned to be near us when he is this poor. Damned? DAMNED? It’s not like we ask for it too, you know!

Sure he doesn’t mean it. What’s that matter?The words is out and it hurts.

We never complain once, he should be thankful. All these was due to his poor judgement and ambition towards power. It’s because of him and him only that he and my mom was driven out from their own hometown and can’t even go back. It’s all him that we have to live like nomaden here in Jakarta these past 3 years. It’s all him that my mother has to work her ass off in her old days as a caterer while he’s laying around all day, daydreaming about power and faking about being a spiritual person.

Trust me I know what I’m saying when I told you his new found spiritualism is bullshit. He always hates spiritual people.

Were he thinking about us, about our well-being, when he made that judgement, that decision? I bet he didn’t.

He never once credited my contribution to this family either. Do I want to be credited? I don’t know. But the fact that he never did make me feel like it is casual that I suddenly become the backbone of this family’s economic needs. It angered me that he put this burden on my back and never even say anything about it. Of course saying something is like admiting he received help and god knows that will kill him.

His words to me after receiving those money though, was “I hope it was you that giving me these money” and I can’t bit back a retort “It’s not like I never give you any, I give money every month” to help pay rent, electricity, even groceries. His words just feels like he dismiss all that. As if I never help at all. I know he’s not meant it to be mean or what, he’s just lack of tact towards other people’s feeling. Or maybe that little girl -the one who longing for her father’s approval, the one who although always better, will always be less loved than his brother, probably because she’s a girl. That one girl that came first on Karate tournament only to find her father’s disappointed face because her brother didn’t make it, even though she did*- maybe that little girl is still in me, somewhere. Or maybe I am just being too sensitive.

Because to be honest, that money hurts me as much as it hurts him.

For the first time I see what they must have seen. My father the almighty, now is just poor old man living in regrets. It is sadden me and angered me at the same time. It makes me sad because how could I let that happen to my father? To our family? And it angered me because, how dare he become weak and pitiful?

And for the first time in 3 years, I’m crying over our poverty.

*Funny story about me, my brother and father.

My father constant disappointment towards my brother make him hate father. Because whatever he acchieved will just never be enough to him.

My father constant disappointment towards my brother make me hate father. Because whatever I acchieved will just never be matters to him.

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2 thoughts on “Remember the Money that Make Us All Feel Small?

  1. i was trying to google “money that makes us feel small” and this article was on the top. im sorry if it should be a private writings.

    you are such a strong woman.

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