Twenty years out of the countryside: how painful is love
Wen / Chong Ma
I was born and raised in a poor mountain village where boys are more important than girls. Carrying a heavy psychological burden from the countryside to the city, from China to the world. It was not until I was in my 30s that I became the single mother of my two children, experienced countless ups and downs in life, and settled in San Francisco, that I realized some truth and truly recognized myself from the bottom of my heart. Behind the ups and downs of life is the rise of self-awareness and the awakening of love.
1. Gloomy childhood
I was born in 1980. Before going to high school in the city at the age of 16, I spent most of my time in a small mountain village at the foot of the mountain. These red brick houses were built in a swarm after the coastal economic reform blew through the small mountain villages in the early 1990s. Earlier, before I was a teenager, it was all gray and black mud tile houses.
Many memories of childhood are dark gray and black.
In the countryside at that time, every household planted rice and had to do so. Because it was an agricultural household, it had to pay agricultural tax to the state free of charge: the total output of 1 mu of farmland was about 1000 Jin, and it had to pay a tax of 100 Jin of rice. In the era of non free circulation of goods, every year, taking our family as an example, after paying taxes, there was no rice for oneortwo months a year. What shall I do? Borrow from neighbors and use sweet potato, corn and other miscellaneous grains to replace staple food. In an era of material scarcity, people cherish food more. When I was a child, if I threw rice on the table after eating, my father would scold and even start with chopsticks. Every household raises chickens and ducks. If anyone loses a chicken, the chicken owner scolds from the head of the village to the end of the village: “ Rotten belly, beheaded ghost, which short coffin stole my chicken &hellip& hellip;& rdquo;?
Our village is located in a hilly area. Rice fields are distributed in valleys with gradients. During the whole growth period of rice, water is needed for irrigation. Beside all the rice fields, there must be a channel for running water. When there is enough rain, there is water in the channel. In case of drought, the nearby reservoir will be regularly opened for water supply. With the gradient of terrain, there must be uneven distribution of water resources. When I was a child, I saw and heard villagers beat their heads with hoes and sticks in order to compete for limited water resources. When fighting, the man goes on stage and the woman stands back. Planting rice is a huge project linked with each other: cultivating fields and sowing seeds, transplanting seedlings, weeding, fertilizing, harvesting, drying and sorting. To have a good harvest, there must be no mistakes. Every link is a great physical labor. In all this, men are the vanguard of the charge.
Men, in the agricultural society, are indeed the biggest capital that a family is proud of. Unfortunately, women are pushed behind the scenes, and there is widespread contempt and disregard for women in the countryside.
There are only dozens of families in our village. When I was a child, I played with them at a similar age. There are almost a dozen boys and three other girls in the village. The last word of the three girls’ names is Ping. Each Ping has a brother. It is said (I hope it is only said) that many girls are sent away at birth, or they are directly buried under the tree by pouring the toilet. All the women in the village who have given birth to sons have very loud voices. My grandmother is also very loud. She has three sons. My uncle has three daughters, and my second uncle has a son after having a daughter. After my parents gave birth to my daughter, family planning began to be implemented, but they were hiding to have a second child, which was a younger sister. I knew from a very young age that my brother was favored by his grandmother because he had chickens. I also want to be spoiled and have a chick, so I just like a boy standing to pee, thinking that one day I can grow out, but I just wet my pants.
During the busy farming season, the family lacks men to work in the fields, and women have to follow. Since I was 8 years old, I have helped my family work in the fields. The rice fields in the valley are not imaginary landscapes. In rice fields, as long as there is water, there is a small soft creature called leech or leech. This is a kind of slippery abnormal vampire. It can quietly climb to people’s calves. Without people’s awareness, it sucks blood until its flat body becomes a round ball. After being sucked full of blood by leeches, the wound will continue to bleed, and even become swollen and swollen into rotten scars. It will be bad for several weeks. Once I bent over and cut rice with a sickle. I looked down and saw that the trouser leg of my right leg turned red. I pulled up my trouser leg and a plump leech fell down after I was full of blood. In an instant, I had goose bumps all over my body, collapsed and screamed like crazy. I jumped to the shore step by step, looked at my bloody legs, and cried and begged my parents not to let me go to the field again. For a long time, I had a kind of inexplicable fear and disgust for this kind of small line animals with twisting bodies.
Every time I came to the field, my mother would say, you don’t have to go to the field. But my father will give me a task and ask me to complete the work in a certain area. My father is the authority in the family. I was afraid of him when I was a child. My mother, I don’t know if it’s the reason why she didn’t have a son. Since childhood, I haven’t heard her speak loudly. Many times, she cooks, washes dishes, sweeps the floor and does farm work. She keeps busy at home and abroad, bowing her head and not talking. It’s also possible that she didn’t have a chance to speak, because everything in the family is basically up to my father to decide.
At the end of the rice harvest, my father was a cane chair bamboo Craftsman: he cut bamboo, baked the bamboo strips on the flame, bent them into various parts of the chair, and then woven some geometric patterns in the gaps with plastic vines after the shelves were set up. My mother learned to weave plastic rattan after she married my father. She was often scolded by my father for her stupid brain, inflexible hands and ugly patterns. Sometimes my father gets angry, kicks the chair my mother has made up to the ground, takes a knife to remove it, and repairs it by himself. Even so, my mother kept silent and turned to do other housework.
Such an atmosphere was extremely depressing to me as a child. And this depression, no place to say. Once when I was about ten years old, just after the new year, my father was scolding my mother again. Outside the window, the neighbors were giggling. I picked up a piece of charcoal and wrote a few words on the white wall:
Don’t be happy at home, my family is worried.
Then my mother and my father, for the first time in their lives, raised their voices, stared at me viciously, and asked in turn: you can think of such words, can you? What are you worried about? Are you short of food and clothes? Is our family guilty of worrying you to death& hellip;& hellip;
Since then, all the dissatisfaction and pain in my heart are buried in my heart. I can’t tell my parents, because if I do, I may suffer more humiliation and abuse. I know this from a very young age. Observing words and expressions is to ensure the instinct of survival.
My sister was once bullied by a little boy in the village and went home crying. As a result, my father beat her up and shouted: “ I call you stupid? If others bully you, you won’t fight back, huh? Cry, still cry? Cry again and I’ll kill you& rdquo; I hid behind the door and watched my sister look like she wanted to cry, but I was young and full of anger against my younger sister: who called you so stupid! Our parents, unlike other parents, will take their children to seek justice when they see their children being bullied.
Parents will not protect themselves. They can only rely on themselves outside. In rural areas, boys’ attitude towards girls, like their parents’ generation, is more likely to be a naked threat of force, let alone respect. When I was in primary school, there was a distance of two kilometers between my school and my family. I walked to and from school every day and had to pass a large green tea field far away from the crowd. One day, five or six older boys stopped him on the road. Several boys were laughing at each other and encouraging each other to discuss who would go first: “ Chick, come on, play with your buddies& quot; At the age of twelve or thirteen, I looked at them coldly. Seeing a boy, he threw himself over with open arms in the background of a roar. When approaching, I suddenly raised my right foot and kicked it under his crotch& ldquo; Ah &mdash& mdash; His mother rotten follicles &hellip& hellip;& rdquo; The boy covered his lower body, grinned and cursed. The boy behind held him and looked at me in horror: we were kidding you. Are you serious? When I came home that day, I ate calmly and went to bed by myself. Good, is the cold despair in the heart.
The only thing I was proud of when I was a child was that I was often praised as smart by the old people in the village. Although my grandmother dotes on my brother, she also likes me. Because I am smart and have a good memory. Every time I play mahjong, I sit next to her and give her advice, because I can remember what cards she played, what cards her family played and what cards her family played. Almost every time, she can win money. If you win money, you can buy a piece of cake at the only shop in the village as a reward. It was one of the happiest moments of childhood. When my father is in a bad mood and I may suffer, grandma’s house is a safe haven. When I was ten years old, my grandmother died and was buried on a high hill. From then on, I often went to grandma’s grave and sat there staring at the dotted villages at the foot of the mountain. It took me a long time to sit there. It was supposed to be the vigorous age of a lively young girl, but she likes to climb mountains and sit on graves all day. How heavy and desolate it is. All this is deeply buried in the bottom of my heart.
And smart, the only highlight to be proud of, was mercilessly crushed by an accident. There is an uncle in the neighborhood who has three sons. Every time he comes to my house, he has a very loud voice. He often publishes some articles such as “ Women don’t have to read any books. It’s the king to have a son ” Such stupid remarks. I hate him, but because he is an elder, I have to make tea for him every time I come. When he was about fourteen years old, he asked me to help him return a magazine to a young man named Guoping. Guoping lives at the head of the village. My family lives at the end of the village. I went to pay it back. A few weeks later, the uncle came to the door angrily: where is the book I asked you to return? Have you already paid it back? Where else? Guoping! what? You pig brain, I told you to return it to the state guest! He took me to the village to find Guoping and found the magazine. On the way back to the end of the village from the head of the village, uncle loud voiced, clutching my clothes and collar, angrily announced to everyone: Xiao nuanpu has a pig’s brain. He still has problems with his ears. He can’t handle a book. I have to pay an extra 1.80 yuan. There are such wrongs in the world, Niang xipi! (Note: xiaonuanputou is a local dialect that disparages little girls; Niang xipi, isn’t that how Chiang Kai Shek curses people in TV dramas?). In the past, no one stood up to speak for the little girl, but looked up and down with the same contemptuous eyes. The feeling of being humiliated in public is as unforgettable as the feeling of being stripped of clothes and paraded in the street. It has deeply pierced a thorn in my young and sensitive heart: even after more than 20 years, I still have tears in my eyes when I think about it.
Poverty is a magic wand of that era, pointing people to a tight corner. Trivial quarrels can sometimes lead to human lives. After being criticized that day, I was so depressed that I came to the pond near the village and wondered whether I should jump directly or go deep step by step. It’s all death anyway. If you want to die, you should die faster. Just thinking, two leeches came from the water. Ah! I screamed subconsciously. Thinking that after the body is in the water, countless leeches will swim to suck blood, which is even worse than death. Forget it, don’t jump. In a way, these small animals that once sucked my blood saved my life when I was young! That day, I knelt in front of my grandmother’s grave and cried loudly. After crying, I wiped away my tears. Looking at the villages and the blue mountains far below the mountain, I swore in my heart that one day, I would leave this place.
2. Get out of the jungle
In rural areas where resources are limited, people are scrambling to compete for resources in order to survive. Being arrogant is a symbol of power. Villagers will only dare to be angry but not speak. No one dares to challenge the jungle rules of the law of the jungle. If I stay in that village for a long time, I think I will be the fate of a tough peasant woman: when I am less than 20, I will marry a nearby town, do farm work, do housework, have children and take care of my family. I am tired and have no right to speak. But this is not the life I want! God didn’t arrange it for me.
The initial change of fate was to meet primary and junior high school teachers. In rural areas, the corporal punishment and scolding of teachers to students is a phenomenon that Sikong takes offense at. No one will question whether it is right to do so. I am very lucky that I have not been subjected to violence throughout my student career. In the fourth grade of primary school, there was a new Chinese teacher &mdash& mdash; Miss Qian. Mr. Qian is gentle, quoted classics and humorous, and often makes us laugh backwards and forwards. He also organized us to have a picnic every spring. One spring, he took a long-distance bus to Shaoxing to visit Lanting, East Lake and Dayu mausoleum. This was a great shock to the hearts of the children in poor mountain villages who met the city for the first time. For me, he trained me extra and often encouraged me to read more extra-curricular books. Every week I would be called to the office to practice my brush writing and write compositions. I was also very successful. I won the first prize every time I went to the town competition. My Chinese characters are beautifully written, which is the foundation laid at that time; I like reading, and I was encouraged at that time. In junior high school, my English and math teachers attached great importance to me. Up to now, I still remember the soft figure of the English teacher in her long skirt. The math teacher encouraged us to learn by ourselves and often said that we should “ Be responsible for your life;.
The initial achievements and self-confidence in my life come from the training of those teachers and the excellence of my studies. This is a cornerstone that has changed my destiny.
Despite his outstanding academic achievements, he is still good for nothing in my father’s eyes. When he won the first place with 99 points, he said: “ There are still 100 points left. What are you proud of& rdquo; If it is not the first place, it is even worse: “ Useless things, read a fart, go home and farm& rdquo; Believe it or not, I won the first place all the way in the junior middle school class. At the age of 16, he was admitted to the local provincial key high school with the first place in the town. From then on, I went to university all the way, studied for a master’s degree in the Netherlands, studied for a doctor in the UK, and worked as a postdoctoral in the United States. I reached the acme of my studies. No one knows that the motivation behind the constant tossing and turning is just to prove yourself, just to make up for the affirmation and praise lost in childhood. However, no matter how hard you try, there is always an empty black hole in your heart, which seems to be filled with dissatisfaction forever.
3. Ups and downs in love
The coldness and bitterness I encountered when I was young resulted in my extreme inferiority complex, rebellion and insecurity. On the other hand, my academic achievements have made me very lofty, and I don’t pay attention to anyone.
When I was in my twenties, I was a seemingly proud but actually weak contradiction. The lack of basic understanding of men makes me frustrated on the emotional road. When I was in college, I had two short love histories. At the beginning of each time, it was just that the other boy looked at me with a smile in the crowd. A little sunshine thought that I had got the splendid world, and fell in love like a spring breeze. Every time, I worked hard, but somehow it was over. I didn’t know where I was wrong. Emotional failure paralyzed me with academic achievements. I still went my own way and hid in my comfort zone.
From childhood, I was used to the jungle society of the law of the jungle, and grew up involuntarily competitive. Chat with friends, no matter what topic, you should have the upper hand. It took me a long time to realize that it was difficult for such difficult people to establish close partnerships. The first time I realized that my EQ was low was when I studied in the Netherlands. Not only did I know Jean Paul, a Dutch tutor with high EQ who wrote articles before, and Andres, a kind and wise man, but also many Dutch roommates and Chinese classmates who will continue to write articles in detail in the future.
When a person interacts with another person, sometimes it is like this person standing in front of a mirror, he can see himself more clearly. It is a difficult long march to realize that it is only the starting point, from 0 to 1 to the establishment of ability.
After Holland, I went to England to study for a doctor. There were some rotten peach blossoms. Still like that, with a few ambiguous eyes and a few sweet words, I easily fell into it. This time, I was no longer complacent. I began to carefully read books and analyze my personality. I began to find friends and psychological counselors to discuss the construction of self-awareness and psychological boundaries. In those years when I studied in the Netherlands and Britain, I saw that the men in the society were polite and the women were neither humble nor arrogant, and respected and loved each other. I began to learn how to dress up and make-up. I felt like a woman at last.
Most Chinese parents are wonderful: when they were young, they prohibited their children from falling in love to learn how to get along with the opposite sex. When they reached adulthood, they suddenly became worried and encouraged their seven aunts to urge them to marry. In the twinkling of an eye, at the age of 30, I was still a person and became a highly educated leftover woman in people’s eyes. I met my ex husband when my relatives and friends were urging me to get married. Her ex husband is from a rural area in the central province. It is said that women there don’t eat at all. Maybe it was because of the resonance from the rural areas of the bottom society. We soon got married and thought we were a good match. After marriage, I found that it was not the same thing: our three outlooks were very different. I said I wanted to be a free spirited, thoughtful and wise man. He said I wanted to be a millionaire and travel around the world; I said that the business society relies on cooperation with people and emphasizes teamwork. He said that if I can handle things by myself, why should I hire employees &hellip& hellip; It’s just that I’m the angry man and he’s the silent master. We’re all copies of my parents when I was a child, and the roles have changed. With the arrival of the children, the contradiction between us retreated behind the scenes. Soon, I came to the United States to work alone with my children. From then on, my husband and wife lived apart for more than three years until the family’s U.S. green card was approved to prepare for family reunion. At this time, my husband and wife were strangers, so they said good-bye to each other, and their world was far away.
4. Awakening of love
Many people say that maternal love is great, but no one has described the deep love and attachment of babies to their mothers. Originally, babies who can’t speak can only express themselves by crying and body language. When I first came to the United States, the insect was less than a year old and could not speak. Every morning when he went out to work, he would wave goodbye. When I came home from work, I could see his small head looking at the glass window from a distance. When I saw him, I began to dance cheerfully. As soon as I got home, I rushed up with laughter and gave me a bear hug. This feeling of being needed gives me an unparalleled sense of achievement every day. Now the insect is four and a half years old. He still has this habit. He has a brother around him.
Living alone in a foreign country with a baby while working, and feeling incompatible with her husband, it is inevitable that sometimes sadness comes from it. When weeping alone, the insect came over and asked: Mom, what’s wrong? Are you OK? Do you want a hug? Put your little hand around my neck and pat me on the back: Mom, it’s gonna be ok I am with you. When I was most strict with insects, I spanked them. Every time he was spanked and cried, he opened his small hands and asked for a hug, lying on his shoulder and hugging my neck. After a while, he had forgotten about being spanked and had fun again. From my children, I learned an attitude towards life: live in the present, not accumulate the garbage of the past in my heart. It is also the warm love of the two children, melting the cold thorns planted in my heart when I was a child, repairing the psychological trauma left by the lack of love when I was a child, and the seeds of love began to sprout and grow in my heart.
With the ability to love in my heart and to respect my own ability and ability, I will reconcile with my past self and all the hardships in the past, including the villagers in the small mountain village where I was born and my parents. After leaving home at the age of 16, I kept a distance from my parents for a long time. After coming to the United States, my parents took turns to take care of my children in the United States because of the pressure of working alone to raise children. My mother, a rural woman who can’t even speak Mandarin well, dares to follow me to live in the United States and help me take care of my baby. She said that when I was a baby, she had no milk, so my grandmother held me and begged for milk everywhere. It was the mothers of that village who raised me together. My father is such a proud man. When I needed help, he also came to America. I remember when I was a child, he worked day and night at home to make bamboo chairs, so that I would have to pay my tuition again. When I was 16 years old, it was less than two weeks since I left home for the first time. He came to school to see me with half a cooked duck. When I was short of money to study in Holland, he borrowed money to help me with my tuition. How can I forget how much they love me.
The small village at the foot of the mountain was also a beautiful place when I was a child. Every March, pear blossoms and apricots rain, swallows fly low, and fish grow fat in flowing water. I thought of playing with three Ping, catching fish in the channel, picking mulberries on the slope, and swinging in the bamboo forest. I thought of about a dozen crazy boys in the village, who followed them to climb trees, watch birds’ eggs, dig loaches in the river, and go up the mountain to collect wild fruits. And grandpa next door, every time he cooked the meat, he called Bingbing, come and eat the meat. (Note: meat was a luxury of that era, and Bingbing was my nickname.) How can I forget that these are all love.
Thank God, it is so beautiful to walk from the shadow to the sun;
Thanks for my own past, because all the past has made me who I am today;
Thank all the people who have appeared in my life, I love you!
Source: insect and Yisheng (chys_usa)
Huang Deng, a teacher of the rural student university who was admitted to Peking University, and her rural relatives came from the countryside. We all know the meaning of struggle better than anyone. Why do we say that rural children are becoming more and more difficult to excel?