067 anxiety

I always feel that the amount of the anxiety about exam I have suffered is
much larger than others, because I have never seen someone around me who will be
awake all night before exam, or someone who will be so obsessed with the exam
that he or she cannot focus on anything else. Great expectation from parents can
account for the great anxiety about exam, and great expectation mostly means
that if you are not good enough, you don’t deserve any love. Sometimes love is a
matter of life or death, and now exams become a matter of life or death now
because if you don’t do well in the exams, love of your parents may withdraw
from you.

My situation can be explained in this way, too. My mother did scold me a lot
if I failed to achieve academic excellence, which has been so influential to my
life that even if she don’t scold me for that anymore, I still feel guilty if I
have got high marks. Anxiety had become so strong that it could have ruined my
academic performance in senior three. At that moment, for the first time my
mother have guaranteed that she will love me unconditionally, not
performance-dependent and she claimed that what she had done to me was to make
me more excellent. It did not help much, though.

Yesterday when I was about to complain the hard life in HKUST to my brother
(actually my cousin), my brother said that I have got too much. What he meant
was that I have been the centre of the whole big family, including my paternal
grandparents and my paternal uncles and aunts, ever since I was born, which is
the truth.

Through all these years, I hated myself when I did bad in exams and I hate
myself because I had done bad in exams. The most important things is, I could
attribute all these anxiety and pain I have got to my mother’s conditional love.
But now it seems that it is my misinterpretation that led to my anxiety and
pain. Do you know what I mean? If you are suffering because of something, then
it’s fine and you can damn it. But what if you suffer because of something that
doesn’t exist or that you make up yourself? Then even your suffering is

My fault. The suffering through all these years is just my fiction.

These days my mother always tells me not to care too much about academic
performance as long as I am happy. But my beloved mother, do you know, these
days the least thing I can do is to be happy and what I am capable of is to
punish myself.


One comment

  1. I think being anxious may be a common phenomenon for those who struggle through one exam after exam, yet your reason for anxiety sounds strange to me, maybe because I seldom hear anybody talk about their own anxiety–we always want to show others our best sides. My mother also always scolded me for my academic performance, but it just happened when I was in primary school and nowadays what she often says is that she hopes nothing but I can lead a happy life. On this point, I guess most mothers are the same. I am quite surprised that you said the least thing I can do is to be happy because it seems almost impossible from the time I spent with you. I think maybe you are too strict with yourself.


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