Category: The family matters and everything that comes up with

Pindah “Rumah”

“Congratulations ya! Seneng ya pasti”

“Selamat ya atas rumah barunya!”

Hampir semua orang yang tahu bahwa saya akan pindah rumah mengekspresikan hal yang serupa. Mereka mengemukakan turut senang atas rumah saya yang baru. Herannya, perasaan saya nggak sesenang itu.

Setelah lima belas tahun tinggal di Komplek Perumahan Bank Mandiri di daerah Pondok Pinang, akhir tahun ini saya dan adik-adik akan pindah ke daerah Serpong, tepatnya Kelurahan Cisauk. Iya, saya tahu sebagian besar dari kalian pasti nggak tahu itu di mana. Tenang, ada di peta kok. Meskipun kalau berangkat ke kantor saya harus menempuh jarak 30 KM setiap harinya (kalau pulang pergi jadinya 60 KM), saya nggak perlu pergi naik roket dan berangkat 3 hari lebih awal untuk sampai ke tujuan.

Pindah rumah sebetulnya merupakan rencana yang sudah lama dibicarakan. Bahkan pindah rumah menjadi salah satu resolusi saya di tahun 2014 ini, selain bisa menyetir dan jalan-jalan ke luar Indonesia. Kepindahan kami sebenarnya juga lebih kepada sebuah “kewajiban” dibandingkan keinginan. Rumah Pondok Pinang, yang kami tempati sejak kami masih duduk di Sekolah Dasar, adalah rumah dinas yang dipinjamkan kepada alm. Bapak selama masa baktinya di Bank Mandiri. Artinya, setelah Bapak pensiun, kami memang tidak lagi berhak untuk tinggal di situ.

Meskipun sudah memiliki rumah di daerah Serpong, dan wacana pindah rumah sudah sering dibicarakan sejak dua tahun yang lalu, setidaknya sampai bulan Agustus tahun ini kami masih belum tahu pasti kapan kami benar-benar akan pindah. Sampai pertengahan tahun kemarin, sepertinya benar-benar tidak terbayang kalau kami harus tinggal di tempat selain rumah Pondok Pinang.

Kami akan pindah dalam minggu ini, dan sampai hari ini perasaan saya campur aduk sekali.

Saya tahu pasti bahwa langkah yang saya ambil adalah langkah yang paling tepat, karena toh cepat atau lambat harus dilakukan. Meskipun lokasinya jauh dan ukuran rumahnya jauh lebih kecil, rumah ini adalah milik kami sendiri, bukan mengontrak dan bukan kos (meskipun masih menyicil dengan KPR). Apabila mau dianggap sebagai investasi pun sebenarnya prediksi terhadap return-nya cukup baik, karena sejak saya beli di akhir tahun 2012, harga rumahnya sudah naik 100%. Renovasi rumahnya secara umum sudah selesai, “tinggal” diisi furniture saja.

Sebenarnya kalau dilihat-lihat saya bergerak ke arah yang lebih positif kan?

Mungkin memang ini ‘penyakit’nya manusia ya, sulit sekali untuk berubah dan takut terhadap hal baru yang belum pasti. Rasanya beberapa hari terakhir ini saya jadi melankolis memikirkan kenangan dengan Bapak dan Ibu yang sudah terukir di rumah itu. Belum lagi kami harus melepaskan banyak barang-barang yang memiliki nilai sejarah tinggi (dalam kehidupan keluarga kami). Memikirkan akan meninggalkan lokasi rumah yang strategis dan dekat dari kantor maupun tempat nongkrong ibukota pun berat sekali. Duh, rasanya kok perih-perih gimana gitu.

Demikian juga kalau memikirkan bahwa nanti di tempat baru kami harus banyak adaptasi lagi. Mau belanja keperluan masak sehari-hari, mesti cari tahu tempat barunya di mana. Mau ke salon mesti tahu di mana. Rute berangkat ke kantor juga jadi berlipat kali lebih jauh. Mesti belajar cari-cari rute jalan yang paling nyaman kalau mau kemana-mana. Kayaknya semakin dipikirin semakin menakutkan.

Oh well.

People say letting go and moving on is never easy to do. Because we have this great human reluctance over change. Even change for the better is still change. It’s uncomfortable because then we need to face the new and uncertain, while we are creatures of habit and of inertia. Letting go often forces us up against our three strongest emotional drivers : love, fear, and rage. 

Meskipun sulit sekali, saya rasa kalau mau bertumbuh ya harus bisa belajar untuk melepaskan. Melepaskan hal-hal yang paling dekat dengan diri kita sekalipun. Bahkan kenangan yang kita genggam paling erat sekalipun. Entah bagaimana caranya, saya pun harus belajar memaknai kenangan atas pengalaman-pengalaman saya dengan cara yang berbeda. Saya harus belajar memandang keterikatan-keterikatan yang pernah ada dalam bentuk yang berbeda.

Saat  itu lah saya baru bisa benar-benar menemukan “rumah” yang lain, tempat saya untuk pulang. Untuk melanjutkan hidup saya, dan mungkin mendapatkan kehidupan yang lebih baik pula.

Mohon doanya.

(foto rumahnya menyusul ya)

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January 2014

Hi.

I did not write anything in 2013.

It was a tough year for me. One hell of a year I might say.

I lost my dad from a stroke which followed by a heart attack in 2013.

He was my best friend, my guidance, the one I always look up to and everything to me. I love him dearly, and I lost a big part of myself the day he left. I had never known before that grieve could feel this way. I cried every single day for the next 3 months. I didn’t know what I should be feeling. There was a stream of wide ranging intense emotions flowing inside me, in a way that I could not understand. Guilt, anger, sadness, void, relieved and everything else. Everything was so confusing as if the ground had been falling apart under my feet.

It was like falling into an endless hole without any grip where all I could see was darkness. Dark and cold; and lonely. There were bad days (trust me, they were really bad) when I didn’t feel like going out of my house or doing anything anymore. I started to hate everything and (almost) everyone. Everything seemed to be failed and broken, including me.

That time, I know exactly that life must go on—I just don’t know why.

It was depression that caught me in my worst condition last year and it was surprising—even to myself—that depression did not exactly feel the same way as what it’s been described in textbooks. Nor it was like what people complained on their social media. It was something different.

The whole experience was excruciatingly painful and immensely frightening.

It still is.

I constantly miss my dad and I miss my mom.

My bereavement is an on-going process and I might write about it more someday later. However, I’d like to share how it changed myself as a person and the way I see life, probably through some posts. As life has surprised and enlightened me in one of the most mentally exhausting way.

Since my dad died, I have become even more curious towards life. It’s captivating how life and death is interdependent towards one another where the death of one living being may give life to another. Even to some extent, we literally need to take the life of other living being to prolong ours.  It’s also weird to see our life as something that represented merely by strings of attachment between us and everybody/everything else that we have built and nurtured during our course of life. We always constantly need to be attached with something or someone, as if that something defines on who we are. And then our fragile reality could have easily gone awry soon after something unexpected happened to the attachments we have developed.

It reminds me of how vulnerable and bleak our life is.

I feel like I’m being awakened by all of these intense emotion I have been dealing with regarding death. Probably Jim Morrison was right, pain is meant to wake us up; while most of the time we choose to avoid pain and the experience of it. We choose to be numb.

It gives me sense of clarity in a frustrating way (I don’t even know such thing could happen). We are so small and everything is momentary. We all will grow old and one day everyone and everything on this earth will eventually grow old and gone. It’s also frightening to realize that I will only live here briefly. It then brought me to another question of who I am and what I should be doing to my brief life since now I lost both my parents.

Well here I am, in the beginning of a new year with a lot of things to do and a lot of things to think of. Trying to be able to identify the “what is” instead of succumbing myself to ponder on the “what if”, before I could finally figure out the “how to”. Struggling with myself to find out what people really mean when they told me to embrace the unknown and living life to the fullest.

So, happy New Year, I guess :)

Sebagai Dua Orang Manusia Dewasa (?)

Sekarang hubungan aku dan Mama sudah seperti partner bagi satu sama lain. Kami banyak berdiskusi dan bertukar pikiran mengenai apapun. Mama nggak pernah berpandangan bahwa anak itu harus mengabdi pada orangtua. Bagi beliau, anak nantinya akan memiliki hidupnya sendiri dan berdiri sebagai manusia yang mandiri.

Demikian penuturan salah seorang teman sekelas saya saat saya mewawancarainya mengenai hubungannya dengan orangtua. Pernyataan dari teman saya tersebut membuat saya tersentak dan bertanya-tanya ke dalam diri saya sendiri. Seperti apa hubungan yang berlandaskan partnership antara orangtua dan anak? Mungkinkan hubungan semacam itu terbentuk? Mungkinkah ada suatu titik di mana orangtua dan anak akan saling berinteraksi antara satu dengan lainnya selayaknya dua orang manusia dewasa?

Sebagai mahasiswi psikologi klinis, saya sudah terlalu akrab dengan kasus-kasus individu dengan masalah yang berakar kepada pola asuh orangtua, hingga lama-kelamaan hal itu menjadi sesuatu yang klise sekaligus menakutkan bagi saya yang nantinya suatu hari ingin juga menjadi orangtua.  Di dalam otak saya seperti sudah terbentuk skema bahwa orangtua patut memberikan pengasuhan yang terbaik bagi anaknya, tidak terlalu mengekang sehingga anak merasa tidak bebas  dan tidak mendapatkan kehangatan afeksi dari orangtua, namun sekaligus juga tidak terlalu permisif sehingga anak tumbuh menjadi seorang individu yang kehilangan model dan bingung bagaimana harus menempatkan diri dalam lingkungan sosial. Sedangkan anak, adalah seorang manusia ‘bentukan’ dengan potensinya masing-masing (yang juga terpengaruh oleh faktor genetis yang lagi-lagi ditentukan oleh orangtuanya), yang sewaktu kecil tidak mengerti sebagaimana ia harus bertingkah laku serta harus mencontoh dan menginternalisasi nilai-nilai maupun tingkah laku yang diajarkan orangtua kepada mereka.

Umumnya, orangtua lah yang menginginkan kehadiran anak, sehingga sudah sewajarnya mereka akan menyayangi dan menjaga anak-anak mereka. Sementara anak, sudah sewajarnya berbakti dan mengabdi kepada orangtua atas apa-apa yang telah diberikan oleh orangtua mereka. Orangtua akan selalu menjadi pihak yang memberi kehidupan, yang memberi makan, sang pelindung, dan sebagainya. Sedangkan anak adalah penerus keturunan, sang buah hati, sosok yang diharap-harapkan. Lucu ya, padahal kalau kita perhatikan toh peran ini nantinya akan saling terbalik satu sama lain. Orangtua dulunya kan juga anak, demikian pula anak (biasanya) akan menjadi orangtua suatu hari nanti.

Lalu saya bertanya-tanya, sudahkah saya mengenal orangtua saya sebagai manusia, di luar peran beliau sebagai orangtua, atau pengayom, atau pemberi kehidupan bagi saya?

Sudahkah saya mengenalkan diri ke ayah saya sebagai seorang manusia, di luar peran saya sebagai seorang anak, seorang yang senantiasa minta untuk dilindungi, atau dinafkahi, atau seorang penerus keturuan?

Sulit rasanya saya bayangkan akan ada masanya di mana saya akan duduk dan bicara dengan ayah saya secara terbuka, membicarakan semua urusan rumah tangga, serta semua urusan yang ada di antara kami. Seperti seorang manusia dengan manusia lainnya. Di usia saya yang ke-22 tahun dengan beliau beranjak 56 tahun pun, beliau tampaknya masih menganggap saya sebagai seorang anak kecil yang tidak tahu apa-apa. Benar adanya, bahwa kami sering mendiskusikan berbagai topik yang sedang ramai dibicarakan. Atau saling menceritakan mengenai bidang ilmu yang kami  geluti masing-masing. Namun sampai sekarang, masih banyak sekali hal-hal yang beliau tidak bicarakan dengan saya. Misalnya saja, soal rencana beliau setelah pensiun, soal keadaan finansial keluarga, soal perasaan-perasaan beliau, ataupun hal-hal yang mengganggu pikirannya.

Seringkali saya merasa iba mengingat beliau yang harus menanggung semua beban pikiran, dan mungkin perasaan, sendirian sejak ibu meninggal. Namun saat saya pikirkan kembali, saya sendiri tidak yakin apakah saya cukup mampu menjadi seorang teman berbagi bagi beliau di saat pergolakan emosi yang sepele saja belum bisa saya kuasai dengan baik.

Ada kalanya saya ingin mengenal sisi lain ayah saya. Tidak sekadar ayah yang selama ini senang melontarkan lelucon aneh yang seringkali tidak lucu. Atau ayah yang menjadi sumber pencari nafkah utama keluarga. Atau ayah yang senang mengganggu anak-anaknya ketika kami sedang tidur.

Ada kalanya saya ingin mengenal ayah yang senang membaca, dan juga senang menulis. Saya ingin mengenal ayah yang dahulu sering melanggar peraturan dan bandel. Atau sisi ayah yang gemar menyaksikan film action, dan menonton grup sepakbola kesayangannya. Atau mungkin sisi ayah yang dulu gemar minum berkerat-kerat kaleng bir sewaktu muda. Atau sisi ayah yang senang menganalisis situasi di pekerjaannya. Mungkin juga sisi ayah sebagai seorang teman dan sahabat.

Saya sadar, rasanya sulit sekali menanggalkan peran-peran kami sebagai orangtua dan anak untuk kemudian dapat berdiri secara sejajar dan bicara dengan terus terang. Mungkin juga tidak mudah bagi ayah saya menyaksikan transisi saya menjadi seorang perempuan muda yang sedang berjuang membangun kehidupannya sendiri. Sama sulitnya dengan saya yang harus mau melepaskan lengan ayah yang selama ini menjadi tempat saya bergantung, untuk kemudian berani berdiri di atas kaki sendiri dan berjalan menyusuri jalan yang saya pilih untuk lalui. Mungkin juga di tengah-tengah transisi tersebut akan ada konflik-konflik yang muncul, dan itu tidak apa-apa. Karena konflik berarti ada usaha untuk munculnya perubahan. Dan perubahan bisa jadi indikasi perkembangan.

Pelan-pelan.

Semoga kesempatan untuk bertransisi menjadi sesama manusia itu tetap ada. Dan semoga saya (dan beliau) cukup berani untuk memanfaatkannya. Dengan demikian saya bisa mengenal beliau seutuhnya, bukan sekadar beliau sebagai ayah saya. Demikian pula sebaliknya.

– D! –


Funny

It’s funny realising how from all of these things I’ve been sharing with my friends and others, whether it was through conversations or through writings, I have never talked even the slightest single thing about my feelings toward cancer, or specifically toward breast-cancer, a malignant disease that took my mother’s life around 4 years ago.

Of course I’ve wrote about breast-cancer in my undergraduate-thesis and how some women’s lives affected by the disease. Yet again, I’ve never really shared my feelings to anyone about how sad I was when my mother passed away, not even to my dad, since I know it would make him sad too. I’ve also never talked about my fear concerning how the disease will passed through genes, and I’m in risk of it, and it’s likely that someday I might suffered from it as well (though I hope this will never happen to me nor my sisters). Or how the experience influenced my decision to take clinical psychology major to study now.

I have never shared about how grateful I am of having a dad like mine. Who loves my mother and supported her with everything that he got despite of the adversities they had been through because of my mother’s disease. A dad who takes care of me and my sisters tenderly and who’s always trying to understand us restlessly since my mother passed away, until today. Or about how, because of this, I wish that someday I will find a good man who will take care of me no matter what.

It’s funny realising the fact that albeit I’ve been telling everyone so many things about myself (if not too many of them), I still got plenty left untold.

-D!-

*this post was written because I got this auto-ethnography assignment which made me write about the experience

On My Undergraduate Thesis (a.k.a Prudence)

Hello all!  Finally, the thesis submission day has already passed and I managed to submit it on time, yay to me! Now all I have to do is to sum up those 150 pages of writings into 10 power point slides of which I will present on the 29th of June (my thesis-defending day). Another step to go before I get my bachelor degree, wish me luck!

Anyway, I am going to share ‘a bit’ about my thesis, which titled “Health-Related Quality of Life of Cancer Victims Post-Mastectomy”. Oh my God, I hope this isn’t going to be a long post.

Prudence

First,  why breast-cancer?

Well, though cardio failures happens to be the world most cautious terminal illness since now and then,  cancer itself is one of the three major causes of death in the whole world. Cancer starts when there are abnormal cells in our body which grow out of control, and to be noted, aggressively. The DNA in these abnormal cells couldn’t repair themselves and couldn’t die like any other damaged cells in our body, moreover they keep creating new damaged cells and could spread themselves to the entire body through our blood stream affecting other parts of the body. These cells will produce pressures to other tissues of the body and consume food supply which could leads to massive pain experienced by the human carrying it and  eventually death.

Besides its physical effects to the body, breast cancer is one of the most avoided chronic illness by women because it involves one of the most important parts of the body, the breast. For some cultures, breast is one of the most important thing to symbolize women’s beauty, therefore, breast-cancer is frightened by some women because its medication involves the removing of the important organ (usually called by mastectomy). In some women who consider breast as a part of their identity as a female, the mastectomy procedure can resulted in a prolonged depression and sadness which can interfere their medication process and moreover, their overall quality of life. It is the unique characteristic of the illness that brings my curiosity in exploring it.

Next, what is quality of life?

Well, quality of life happens to have so many definitions since there are lots of researchers who’re getting their focuses on the subject within the last 20 years. Some of them say quality of life is all about being healthy, yet World Health Organization itself declares that  quality of life is more than being healthy or the absence of disease. Quality of life is a rather complex construct to define, because it includes physical and psychological well being, as well as their personal faith, social relationships with other people, and maybe also about their environmental well-being and things like financial or occupational well-being depends on how important each of these aspects for them. It is more about ones’ perception or appraisal of how their lives aspects suit their beliefs, expectations, hopes, standards, etc.
Simply put, it’s about how ones’ lives is satisfying enough for them.

Because my research was conducted to the breast-cancer victims, then the quality of life I’ve measured is narrowed down to the one in clinical and health setting.  In clinical and health settings, quality of life represents :

“the functional effects of an illness and its consequent therapy upon a patient, as perceived by the patient” (Sigstad, Stray-Pedersen, Froland)

So, in my research, I conducted interviews and observations to 3 different subjects to explore about their experience in dealing with breast-cancer, starting from its diagnosis process, its medication which include their decisions to have a mastectomy (the one that removes your cancer-infected breast), their chemotherapy and radiation therapy and its side effects, and how they perceive their quality of life nowadays (this includes their physical, functional, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being).

How Was The Research?

Very tiring indeed. It gave me hard times and tears (a lot of it) in some points.

The 3 subjects I interviewed were very cooperative in sharing their experience with breast-cancer and mastectomy, also what keeps them strong despite all of  the adversities they have from it. They share how was all of the process begun, how were they feeling about it, what are their fears and worries now considering that cancer might come back, what have been bugging them in their daily lives nowadays,and how they’ve managed through all of it.

They told me that although they’re having some decreases in most of their quality of life aspects, this cancer experience has gave them new ways of perceiving their world. It makes them see that health, and some of your closest ones are maybe the only things that matters in this world, despite their carrier and maybe the luxuries they have. They also told me sometimes, faith and resignation is the best ‘cure’ of all, spiritually speaking. The only thing they keep in their mind that helps them the most is that, if God put them into it, then God must have the plan(s) to get them through it. I might sound hyperbolic putting the sentence in bold, but hey, trust me, if you heard this from people who have experienced a somewhat closer to death experience, this makes sense. It gave me this strong impression that I really wish I were a more religious person.

I guess, those things I got, worth every interviews, observations, paper-workings, reading through literature, falsely used weekends, panicked states from having lack of time management, technical problems, money and time spent, not to mention the tears. Well, to sum it all, I think the most worthy thing gained from getting your thesis done is not the degree you’ll achieve, nor the grade you’ll get. The lessons you’ve gained while doing  it, will stay in your mind, even in your heart that you’ll never forget them for the rest of your life. Lessons of  how to decide what you want, how to manage your time, how to be patient with technical problems, how to put yourself in others’ shoes, how to make the most of your perseverance, how to be persistent, and how not to lose to yourself.

See, am I good at dramatizing things or what?

This is for you Mom, rest in peace :*

– D! –