Dear Parents … See What You Made Me Do

One man told me that he has no reasons to stay alive. For him, life is a matter of living one day at a time, waiting to die. Whenever he hops on the plane, he wishes that the plane will crash and he can die. He does not have the bravery to take his own life, because he knows that it will be painful. So he wishes for something to happen and end his life.

Another man is living what it seems to be a normal life. He is working 9 to 5 diligently. He gets married and have two children. His wife is working and independent. However, something ate him from the inside. The wounds came out when he sees his children disobey him. He would scream, beat, almost choking them and ended up crying for all the guilty feelings that he carries.

A young woman came to me. She mentioned that she has been touched by her older brother, family driver and stranger. She does not know what to do and how to seek help. She told her mother and mom just ask her to shrugged it away. She also experience some bangs to her head as she refused to play with her older brother. She is now living a life full of cloud. She hides herself wherever she can. With big clothes, many bags to carry, no make up, online all the time.


 

Those are all the true story of adults who experienced abuses as children.

They may seem to live a normal life, but in many ways, they are not functioning well. Even though physically they grow up and look like adults, deep inside they crave for the love and attention from those they love, mostly parents and family members. The same persons who might do abuses to those innocent souls.

Some abused children may end up keeping the hate and anger to their perpetrators. Some go through a hard way of seeking help and overcome the abuse effects. Some others live a lie where they normalise what the perpetrators did, especially when the abuse was done by parents.

As far as they try to normalise the abusive events, it will not helpful at all. It may give them a fake feeling for being at peace – “at least it does not happen anymore”. Or the thought that “all parents slip through their parenting journey once in a while”.

Dear parents, see what you made your children do to themselves and those around them!

I have been working with a lot of abused children, and every time I see one, my heart breaks. I have been dealing with adults who were being abused as children, they still stuck emotionally as they can’t grow. They refuse to get help, because getting help will make things worse. Getting help means open up to others that their beloved mothers or fathers or siblings did that to them. Too much to handle.

I will write long on the therapeutic journey here. But I just want abusive parents to know that the wounds will never get healed and your action disable your children in many ways. So that you know!

Tribute to Glenn Fredly

Last week, on Wednesday, 8/4/2020 – one of my favourite Indonesian musicians passed away after battling with meningitis. I did not know the news, until about midnight when my husband told me: “Have you heard that Glenn Fredly passed away?” I was nursing my baby girl, stopped for a few seconds, tried to digest what I just heard. And then I said: No, dryly. I was in a total disbelief.

The next morning, I sat down quietly at 5am, had my cereal in a dim-lit room and read the news. I was lost.

I love his music, as I grew up with his music throughout the final year of high school and university years. I bought his CD, memorize his lyrics and sang his songs out loud. But what I did not realize was the emotion that sticks so deep in me. It is not merely about Glenn Fredly as a person, it is not about his songs per se, but about how his music connected to me, to my soul.

I did not bother or care about his personal life. He has his right to steer his life, because for me Glenn was a musician after all. And his music was the universal language among a lot of Indonesian youngsters.

I remembered one time when I had to visit Medan, North Sumatra for a short working visit. As I arrived at the airport, I was picked up by a good looking man – the husband of my good friend. My friend was still in Jakarta as she had to look after her sick child. But she told me to get along with her husband, whom I only met on their wedding day, a few years earlier. Awkward, as you could tell.

But we went along. We had dinner at one huge open space in the centre of the city and he started to told me stories. Love stories about my friend and their relationship. He mentioned that there was no girl like my friend who would support him everywhere he went into (for work, as he is a civil servant). For him, my friend was his whole world. He admitted that he could not express it because he was not the romantic type of person, but he loved her. And he admitted that in front of me, a stranger.

At the end of the story, he told me that his most glorious moment was when he surprised her with Glenn Fredly’s concert in Bali, a few years earlier. It was his most glorious way of saying how much he loved his wife, my friend.

When I got back to the hotel, I called her immediately. And she asked me straightaway, “What did he talk about?” I told her, “Nothing else, but you” She thought I was lying. Until I mentioned about Glenn Fredly’s concert as a surprise. She was crying on the phone, because she never told anyone. But I knew it from her husband.

You know, Glenn has been a symbol of love and relationships for million of Indonesian people. Like my friend and her husband, and me. My favourite song was “My Everything” circa 2005 as the soundtrack of “Cinta Silver” movie. I fell in love with the character of Cecilia Ariyani (yup, same name!) played by Luna Maya (I love that beautiful lady since I watched her in this movie). Cecilia was portrayed as a girl who loves to write, fell in love and the classic love story went on. That movie and the song caught up in me.

Rest in Peace, Bung Glenn. May God bless your soul, pour His love for your wife and your little girl. And may you will be remembered as one soul embedded in a million love stories!

 

Retrieving My Blog!

It’s been more than a year since the last time I wrote in here.

Back to 2018, I had a lot of happenings. I was pregnant and gave birth to my second child, a cute and super-easy baby girl. I was accepted into Doctoral degree program at QUT and finally, received a full scholarship from the same institution. I resigned from my previous role as the Engagement Manager for QUT International and made the bold move to Brisbane with my family. At last, we have the opportunity to touch base every night and to dwell with everything we have on daily basis.

Before I moved to Brisbane, I had one plan to close and terminated all of my blogs – all three of them. The first one is related to Psychological association in East Java (IPK Indonesia wilayah Jawa Timur), second is about my passion on children and education, and lastly, this platform. I managed to hand over the first one, I closed the premium service for the second one and I lost my connectivity to this platform! I could not retrieve the email that was associated with this blog, nor request a new password. Turned out, I associated this blog to the wrong email and WordPress Happiness Engineer helped me sorted out this issue a few days ago. So now I am back online and terminate the plan to close this blog.

As a graduate student, I have found myself in a different kind of community, both offline and online. I left Facebook for some reasons, I rarely check my Instagram account and somehow, activate my half-dead Twitter and blog again. Aging issue? Maybe. But I could find a lot more support and likeness in those two platforms. Well, you know that the same birds flock together.

I will merge the content from my second blog here and hopefully I can get myself do a nice job to polish this ol’ blog of mine.

Have a good day to you all!

It is good to be back!

Cheers, Cicilia

I was Fearful and I Enjoyed It

I would say that I am blessed (or lucky) to be in my position. I am where I am with my hard work and support from special people in my inner circle.

However, none of my friends nor family know that I have been holding onto fear for so long. I was always fearful and I believed that it should be the way. Until yesterday, I had had enough. I decided to let it go.

So, what is my fear?

People will see me as someone who’s never struggling with academic achievement. They think and perceive that I am so smart and have no struggle along the way. I remember one time when a very smart nun asked me on my final GPA. I told her that my bachelor GPA was only 3.2 / 4.0. She was surprised because I did not get at least 3.5! I also still remember when I told my ex supervisor that I failed on one subject on my current study – back then. She was surprised and asked the inevitable question: “How could you fail?”

I was a failure. I failed a lot in my life, including my academic achievement.

And I unconsciously decided to hold on to that fear for more than 10 years. I kept all of the records of my failing subjects and negative comments on my shelf. I always hesitate when people read my CV aloud. I always feel inferior and believe that I am unable to achieve high – despite all of my current work.

When I finally decluttered my shelf… I felt relieved big time! I could see the empty space in my shelf and I am happy – more than I can imagine, because I know that the empty shelf is meant for my future achievement to be kept.

Here’s to the future!

Drowning into Books 

Happy weekend, everyone! 

These past few weeks, I’ve noticed on my Facebook wall numerous people shared the status on Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary. I can’t believe how fast time flies! 

I was not a good reader when I was young. My mom used to tell bedtime stories for me and my twin brothers, but never with any books in her hands. She always came up with her spontaneous ideas and some of them stick with me – up until today. The only one who read when I was young was my youngest aunty – who signed up for weekly Donald Duck magazines. I finally decided to read her collection when I was at year 5/6. 

My habit of reading gradually grew when I was at high school years. I started with easy and light readings, such as Chicken Soup. Then I upgraded my level of persistence into novel and fiction stories. That was when I started to read Harry Potter. Little I knew that this series will be the most memorable one! I love the characters as if they are real people who live next to me. I was in agony for months when Sirius Black was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange! I was hoping that he would came out from that darkness and waiting for Harry at his place – sit next to the fireplace. But he never did!  

I was crying out loud when Sirius Snape killed Albus Dumbledore. That plea of “Please” from Dumbledore was the trigger of my never-ending tears that one night. I ended up with swollen eyes at 3am! I was deeply lost. 

I do believe so much in the power of books and reading. I’m so blessed and grateful that I am able to buy books and read the good books. Most importantly, I can also introduce this good habit to my son since he was very young. Nowadays, books are something that close to his heart. He always asks for story time and he has to choose the book. He would ask,  “Book again?” whenever we finished with one book. Even if he promised that the next one would be the last one, he would ask for another one. 

I’m hoping that I can introduce him to Harry Potter once he is able to read independently. But before that, I am thinking to re-read the whole 7 books during my free time. Hopefully I will do so accordingly. 

Happiness at A$45

What is happiness? 

It takes a lot of time and effort to define happiness. Some people say that in order to be happy, we need to seek for it. Some will seek for happiness among their pile of money, some will seek among their contacts and some others will seek among their freedom. 

As for me,  I’m blessed for I am able to meet a lot of other people who told me that happiness is indeed inside of us. We just need to believe that we are worthy of creating our own happiness. We are worthy to be happy with ourselves. 

I have a chronic condition of being unhappy with myself. I’m fat (never in my life I wear size below L). I can’t draw my eyebrows properly (my Aunt will stop in the middle of any conversation to remind me that I need to draw my eyebrows properly!). I’m not confident and sometimes I deliberatly look out for some positive comments from my closest ones. 

I’m afraid to walk outside the norm. I don’t dare to do something different. 

That’s my pity eyes looking at me. 

But then, I decided that I need to do something that I’ve never did in a long time. Starting small, by cutting my long hair. I had the same hairstyle for almost 14 years! And somehow I was so afraid to change it, because normally women will choose long hair – as well as the men. But honestly, who cares! 

So off I go to cut my hair. Thanks to my dear friend @veina – who was there with me when I decided to cut my hair. She was so surprised and yet, very supportive with my decision. 

I posted my photo below with my new hair. I’m happy with my decision and will not regret my spending of A$45. 

I believe that happiness is indeed inside of us. I can create my own happiness. I am worthy! 

At The End of The Day, We All Need Company 

I met one young little girl just a while ago. She looked fierce and I could see it from the way she rolled her eyes in front of me. Fortunately, she did not refuse when I escorted her to my counseling room and within a few minutes, the wall was down completely. She told me implicitly that she chose the way to look (and to be seen) as a mean girl because she felt lonely. A lot of her friends would call her a liar and keep her out of the circle, just because she has no branded school bags and shoes. I was speechless. 

She was only 9 years old and somehow she had to deal with such issues – the importance of being rich, in order to load oneself with branded stuff. She lost her so-called friends, because she is different. 

I love to be alone and have the time to myself. But I also enjoy good company by good friends. In my line of work and personal life, I path crosses with numerous people and some of them are sticking around with me, as my friends. We see no brands nor level of richness, we only see the importance of being together as a friend to each other.  

Like these two friends of mine from Jawa Pos media – @ashfaisal and @arthurrusli. I started to meet these guys and work together as a part of my role with QUT, Brisbane. However, in one of those good days – I realized that we are now not only colleagues, but we are friends. 

It was all started when QUT was sponsoring two journalists to Brisbane for a week. One of them was @ashfaisal. He posted a picture of Toby’s coffee in Brisbane. 

I was in the mood of missing Brisbane and its coffee. So, out of the blue, I posted on my Instagram one photo of my favorite cuppa from Starbuck and told @ashfaisal that he needed to mend my jealousy. 

At this point, @arthurrusli was joining in. He posted a picture of his cuppa!  This guy is definitely into Indonesian coffee. 

I was so happy and delighted with the fact that we were having fun out of something silly. I had to admit that I am no fan for silly things – movie, songs, drama or books. I don’t like to spend my energy and time enjoying something silly. But then, it was not true at all. Sometimes, being silly with good friends is a good thing to do.  

At the end of the day, I am more than honored to call them both as my friends. And I am sincerely wishing that the little girl at my counseling room will be able to mend her broken heart and meet with good friends of her own. 

It Will Be Given To You Accordingly 

We all know the saying of “The grass is greener on the other side” – and that’s ny current struggle. Whenever I look at my friends’ social media, I would wonder to myself – I wish it was me. For me, the most wonderful dream is to travel around the world, to speak different language, to enjoy different kind of dishes and to be a citizen of the world. It has been within me since I was very young.  

I did not travel much when I was young. The first time I went to Jakarta was at Year 11. For me, a small town girl, Jakarta is huge! Jakarta is the centre of life in Indonesia. But I never knew it until I was quite a grown up. The thought of “I wish I was born into a rich family” was sneaking here and there. Whenever I saw my classmates came back to school, I was having post-holiday syndrome. They wore the latest G-shock (I am from that generation), wear the newest shoes or some branded bags. While me, I was just the same old me. My parents only bought me one new bag every new school year, sometimes they skipped it whenever my Aunt gave us new school bag for our birthdays. I was inferior. I was believing that my grass is grey, almost died – while the others were green and even greener each day. 

As for now, I am blessed enough with my current job, in which it allows me to travel a lot. It allows me to meet new people, enjoying new dishes and still have the time to be with my family. But still, the thought of comparison is sneaking in. It steals my joy,  feed my jealousy and makes me ask a lot of questions – what if, why me and so many more. I realize that I need to stop, so I decided to write this post. 

I learned that by doing our work passionately, the rest will be taken care of by our God. We will see result according to our portion of work. We will be given, according to our quality of “giving our best”. 

I will enjoy my Sunday with a new belief, that I am blessed, that I have more than enough to be a blessing and that I will be given accordingly. God will always listen to your prayer, including mine, and be still for He is now working upon you. 

Have a blessed Sunday

@cecille_ivy

Rubber Duck and My Son 

Around 15 years ago, at Child Psychopathology class, my favorite lecturer shared her own experience of handling separation anxiety symptoms showed by her son. Back then she had to leave her two-year old son to pursue her study at the Netherlands. When she returned, her son started to show specific behavior, in which he would touch my lecturer and whisper to himself: Mommy is here. Then he would walk toward the door, just to return and do it all again for several times. 

That story sticks with me throughout these years as I met numerous children at my professional life. And turns out, I have to face it now with my son. 

I just returned from a week long business trip. I was feeling abnormal to leave him at home for so long. I had no doubt that my parents and family will look after him very well, but at the same time, my guilty feeling strikes. The thought of ‘I should’ve stayed longer at home with him’ was never out of my head. 

Two days ago, I was spending time with him in re-arrange his toys and cleaning up the shelves. He reached out to his rubber ducks – with one mother duck and four ducklings. He was choosing the mother duck and said to himself: Mama. I was watching him closely. When he finally touch the mother duck to me and said: Mama again… I knew something was not right. I asked him, did you miss Mama so much when I was away? He nodded. Then he stood up and hug me. 

He is only twenty months old, but he certainly knows how to express his feeling. It is killing me as I know what is the message that he conveys to me. 

Last night, he insisted to bring his mother duck to bed. I was next to him and whispered to him that he doesn’t need the rubber duck, as I am there with him. 

I believe this is the challenge that every working mom can relate to. Therefore, it is very important to always remember what is our priority. I heard a lot of super moms who finally put down their careers for their children. Brave decision can only be taken by brave people. I hope I do remember my priority and act accordingly. 

How Much Time?

Time is an issue for everyone. Some would feel that they need 27 hours a-day (I used to think so too!). Some would feel that they have all the time in the world, therefore, they drag it as much as they can. I always envy those people who can discipline themselves with time, and somehow, they always have time for everything.

I like to follow writers or bookworms in their social account, especially Instagram. I am amazed with their discipline to read every morning for 1-hour. Or how they manage to write in the midst of their hectic life. While for me, I am so bad at time management.

After my son was born, I soon back to work. He was not yet 3-month-old when I took my first business trip out of town. And it is still ongoing at the moment. Somehow my guilty feeling strikes in, especially when I am away too much from him. Thankfully, I still have the pleasure of breastfeeding, and I am doing as much as I can to embrace those moments. His little hands holding onto me, his eyes would gaze upon me and how he rests his body to me. I feel trusted, I feel so close and so loved.

These past few weeks have been uneasy for me. Work is loading up so quickly and I need to make a decision. I spoke to my closest circle and discuss with them – and finally enable myself to make a decision in reducing my work load. I am working two part-time jobs at the moment. Both are professional job and I need to give my best effort for both jobs. As hard as it could be, I have to let go one of it. A very big decision to make.

I spoke to the director today and he mentioned that parenthood is a big thing – and he would not keep me in the loop if I decided to let go. Again, my self-guilt is striking in. I perceived his comment as a confirmation that I did it all wrong, I made a lot mistakes and he is ready to let me go.

So, during my 3-hour driving back to my hometown, I put on my iPod and chose one Podcast that was there for years – Time Management by Randy Pausch. I stumbled into this amazing lecturer during his last battle with pancreatic cancer and fell in love with his Last Lecture instantly. I played that particular podcast for so many times and I made that as my official reminder of achieving my childhood dreams. The same thing happened with Time Management podcast. One important advice that I took seriously is to always have planner or agenda, either digital or pen-and-paper kind of thing. I took the latter. He mentioned that we do not need to spend more of our brains on what-to-do lists and all the appointments that we set. We need to have agenda that can tell us what will we do next week at certain time.

time

The closing on his lecture was a reminder to do the right things and not just pushing ourselves to do things right. Sometimes we spend so much time to do things that might not be the right things. We need to manage our time, because that’s all we’ve got! I do not want to regret all those moments that I can create with my son, with my family. I want to be feel at peace one day, knowing that I have done my best to be with them.

God bless me and my decision then.