- Tania Zayets
Looking at his reflection in the mirror of skinny siloutte with dark brown hair and fierce dark almost black eyes, Alex, who just turned 7, was already abusive in his ways of relating to the world. A truly rebellious and inclined to go into spontaneous tantrums and angry outbursts boy, made it hard for anyone, especially his mother, to be in his presence.
He was against the world and world very much was against him.
Alex was a third kid in a line of four kids of the simple villagers family, who lived in early 60th in the picturesque Hungarian village. Sadly, he found his place in the family undefined and somewhat very obscure.
His eldest brother was well placed in a naturally granted to him a favourable position of the firstborn child. And his mother flowing affection towards elder brother was hard not to be noticed.
The second born child was his elder sister Amelia. Just the name alone sounded like a beautiful rose garden blossom in the fresh frosty morning air of the late spring. She was a just beautiful kid. Well behaved, kind and unaware of her attractiveness she was a pleasure to have around, to parents, siblings and villagers.
Amelia wasn’t much fun... She felt that silly giggles will undermine her demour of older sister and all Alex's attempts to get attention from her were quickly ridiculed and dismissed by sisters' dignified and almost royal like presence… "Would you spare your jokes for more appropriate time, Please" or "Don’t be silly Alex, better get on with your homework”.
Amelia, was a real help when it came to parenting. “Perfect daughter!”, his father would exclaim now and then…
At Amelia’s presence, Alex felt confused, feeling invariably undermined and depreciated. Yet, Amelia’s beauty and calmness would write off any little resentfulness that ever arose in his little heart. He could forgive her anything. And she knew it.
Then there was Nicolas, the youngest of four kids a real treasure to parents from the moment he was born. He was adorable. At least that is what mum and Amelia kept repeating over and over again. What was so adorable about that silly kid remained a big puzzle to Alex. Nicolas couldn’t do much, wasn’t that much fun, his little brother chose to spend most of his time with cuddles and kisses that was so readily available from mum and Amelia.
Alex just couldn’t get it. His hot temper would make it hard to engage in any games with his brothers. While playing, he always badly needed to win, so the least he could show that he is valuable too in some other ways. As well he wasn’t necessarily good enough to achieve his goal. Loosing made him even more frustrated and angry.
The alienation was ever growing in his little body… What was wrong with him?
Mostly he felt invisible and unseen. The only times he would get a Real attention was when he “again, did something wrong, has been silly” or when it was a call for a meal time. Sometimes, he thought he was sitting at the dinner table to simply fill up that empty chair. He slowly grown in his assuredness, that the only reason he was fed and looked after in this family, was to keep up the appearance of the good family.
Other than that, he was mainly left wondering “what it is wrong with me?”… His little soul really was pulled to wander and to see what is happening behind that big gate, farther beyond the outskirts of the village. But fear of inadequacy was holding him back...
*** Alex’s mother was a beautiful and sweet natured woman, a good Christian, obedient wife and she liked to think of herself as a good mother too. Being a very busy, running family and little farm, looking after children however, wasn’t a real job for her, but more of a keeping an eye for her kids to keep out of trouble.
The only thing that was really making her anxious and worrisome was Alex. This boy was into trouble. His always dirty cheeks and fierce eager and hungry for adventure eyes made her least to say uncomfortable. This feeling has brought the sense of guilt, shame and inadequacy. She wasn’t able to mother him as she knew it. There was something in him that was alien to her simple life overview. Alex was an unconventional kid. The least to say.
Whenever she looked at him she felt, as he knew far more than she did. And this frightened her. The fierceness of his skinny child body expression was strange to observe. At times she caught herself forgetting that he was only a kid…
Somehow, she sensed that he knew her on much deeper level and all her flows and deficiency. The keeping a good face and pretense that she show up to villagers, her disappointment in her marriage, her secret longing to have another lover... With Alex it felt as if he almost knew all her deeply hidden secrets.
A simple woman, a good Christian, her pure mind would exaggerate and make her sins much bigger to feel and much heavier weighted, than any God would ever want her to feel.
The least to say Amanda was very much blessed in her marriage. Her husband, kind man, much older than her was quiet and supportive to her very much sensual and insecure nature.
Whenever she looked at her older son David, she felt pride and honour to be his mother. Smart, steady and supportive, he was her cornerstone.
Amelia was her sweetheart, her beauty and her ally, Little Nicolas was so sweet in his evasive innocence, in him she saw hope for her sinful soul.
But Alex… God, this boy would bring shivers and shakes to her. She simply didn’t understand, couldn’t connect as a mother to that burning fire of his soul. It felt almost if she did make that connection, it would ruin her, burn her to ashes. Her poor soul was dying with guilt of not being able to express love to her own son.
So in the order to diminish her own pain she chose as much as she could just not see him. She would avoid looking straight into his eyes; she would send him to do some works that will keep him in distant proximity. Was she thinking much about it? No. It was done mostly unconsciously as a way of self preservation.
Alex was growing more and more alienated. He needed for someone to see him. So he could understand himself better. Anyone who would resonate to this fire in his soul.
Yes, there were rebels, just like him. Unseen, misunderstood, with bad projections from family and cultures, with bad starters to their lives.
They looked everywhere for the main answer. “Who am I?” “What the heck is wrong with me?” “Why I am not seen?” “Why can’t I be as handsome as X, as beautiful as Y, as smart as Z?”… “Why I am THIS?!!”
In truth they were all seen years later.
In many places and in many expressions.
The self seeking took some of them to become greatest leaders and revolutionaries, others to become tyrants and oppressive orthodoxies. Some have become mind-blowing genius artists, and many more drug and alcohol addicts. There are cutting edge doctors and scientists and innovators and yet there are homeless and burdened. But mainly all they have become storytellers to us as a society of seekers and finders, beauties and beasts.
All it takes is to choose to SEE EACH OTHER. Just the way that we are.
Let’s see all those Alex boys and girls around us. Let’s just see them. Looking into their eyes with compassion and encouragement. It takes one person sometimes to see you, to revamp your whole life. Alex's story to be continued..
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