Running Away

May 6, 2011

in therapy in session

Did you ever consider running away when you were a child?

I thought I was the only one until I read this post by Matt Posky, talking about his failed attempts at running away (often thwarted by his mother’s playing along).

Running away.

When I was in kindergarten, I often wished I were adopted. (Let’s just say I have never had a warm, fuzzy relationship with my mother to begin with. Blogging made me dig deeper into my childhood memories and helped me come to realize this unfortunate fact of my life. More about that one day…)  Later in elementary school, when the emotional bullying started, in addition to wondering about suicide, I thought about running away. A lot. Just so I did not have to go to school and face my tormentors.  Fortunately for me, I was both lazy and weak therefore I never really did carry out the plan. I kept on putting my departure day off, for one excuse or another. Of course there were the usual rationalizations: Where would I go? How would I pay for anything? Where would I take a bath?

The thought of running away (and the failure to carry it out) continued into junior high. I could not remember why now, but I did remember vividly how I convinced myself to stay put week after week:

It was this television series. At that time, a TV station in Taiwan was finally allowed to show a television program from Hong Kong.  It was an epic Wu Xia series; nothing like that has ever been show before. It was on every Sunday night. And it became a sensation overnight (with a reported rating of 70%+). When it was on, people rushed home to be in front of the TV and the streets were deserted. If you were unfortunate enough to be caught outside and needing a cab at that time? You were out of luck.

I too was swept up by the fever. I kept on putting off running away because I really wanted to see the ending of the story. Every Sunday the show ended with a dramatic cliff hanger. Will the hero choose this girl over that other girl? Frankly, that’s all I wanted to know: whom he ended up with.

There were 65 episodes…


I know I was projecting when I became alarmed at my youngest, Mr. Monk’s obsession with the Harry Potter books. When he was devouring the books in rapid succession, I thought I recognized the longing in his voice when he recounted some of the more memorable scenes. All of a sudden, I felt a pang in my heart, and I felt sorry for Mr. Monk for having me as a mother. For having to witness some of the ugliness that a long marriage is sure to produce from time to time, to time. For having to deal with my bouts of emotional-ness followed by nonchalance. I do not want that for my children yet sometimes I would recognize that what I am witnessing could be part of a cycle, passed down from generation to generation. When I do, I panic and I spew out what pops up into my head.

Me: Honey, I just want to let you know… I am sorry. But I really did give birth to you. You are not adopted. Your real family is here. They are not coming to get you. I just want to let you know so you are not disappointed. You have to work with what you’ve got.

Mr. Monk: Mom, I don’t hate you.



A note for my dear friends and visitors: I am sorry for MIA lately. Long story short: My company has been acquired and we have been going through the whole merger, learning the new everything while having to meet the deadlines of old everything. Plus, as some of you may have heard my S.O.S. on Twitter and Facebook: I was given a Macbook Air by the very generous new employer and I realized I am actually, much to my chagrin, a Luddite. I do not know why but the whole Mac thing completely threw me off the loop. I have been stressed to the point that I have become extremely distracted: so far I have got myself into a minor accident, forgot to pick up my child, forgot about another child’s school open house. Yes, I kind of just want to run away right now from everything, including my very cool-looking, gorgeous, fancy Macbook Air.


meleah rebeccah May 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I ran away once. I was 17. And I didn’t come back til I was 27. Those were NOT good times! I know you feel overwhelmed right now. So just try to breathe, and enjoy that new MacBook Air!

writerwoman61 May 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Oh Lin…I’m so sorry about your childhood…it must have been so painful for you…

Good luck with the new employers and the new computer!

writerwoman61´s last blog post…Nom- Nom…Thank You- Mom!

Mary Lee May 9, 2011 at 8:14 am

Subwow withdrawal has been painful. It’s about time you showed up again!

Go spend an hour at the Genius Bar in the Apple Store. You’ll be MacHooked in no time.

Five grandsons and not one of them as shown any interest in the Harry Potter books. I’m a bit chagrined; I was so sure they’d be Harry fiends that I bought a book of HP knitting patterns a couple of years ago.

Nice Mother’s Day bouquet. Happy post-Mother’s Day to you, too.
Mary Lee´s last blog post…Just Desserts

MacDougal Street Baby May 9, 2011 at 4:16 am

I spent most of my childhood fantasizing about running away. I just wasn’t brave enough to actually try.

I started learning on a Mac and although I’ve since moved, I’ll always be a Mac girl. It may be difficult in the beginning but you may find it opens up a whole new world of creative possibility.

Renee Fisher May 8, 2011 at 9:17 am

First off, I was giddy with joy when I saw a notice of a new post from you. Next, I never thought of running away because I have NO sense of direction (frontal lobe thing going on) and so I wouldn’t have been able to get home again, ever. But I did fantasize about disappearing and reappearing in a life that made sense to me. But it never happened.

Absence Alternatives May 8, 2011 at 11:58 am

Thank you. (And sorry…)

“disappearing and reappearing in a life that made sense to me”. Oh yes. So very well put!

kathy May 8, 2011 at 5:36 am

I’m sure you’re a fine mother, Lin! (But, I understand how you might feel about your mother. My relationship with mine has always been painful.) Happy Mothers’ Day, my dear!
kathy´s last blog post…Blogs Go Ghandi

Absence Alternatives May 8, 2011 at 11:58 am

Thank you. Maybe it’s time I wrote about it… tis hard. Would feel like an act of betrayal esp. since I would be writing in a language that she does not understand…

Andrea @ Shameless Agitator May 7, 2011 at 10:31 pm

A new MacBook Air? Jealous!! But not jealous of all the stress you’ve been dealing with lately. I hope it eases and you can enjoy life more. Happy Mother’s Day!
Andrea @ Shameless Agitator´s last blog post…Downpour

Absence Alternatives May 8, 2011 at 11:57 am

I know I shouldn’t be whining about getting something so cool… Thank you guys for not throwing your shoes at me!

Ameena May 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Okay…I am baffled. My Google Reader claims you haven’t posted since Feb. 16 and you have written new posts! So what on earth? What am I doing wrong??

Aside from that, I hope that your work merger thing gets taken care of and I hope that your Mac issues sort themselves out. I am PC person through and through – I simply don’t get the whole Mac thing. But then again, I don’t get a lot so maybe I’m not the right person to comment on this….

Wow – I just wrote a whole lot of nothing, didn’t I?

Happy Mother’s Day my friend!
Ameena´s last blog post…and those are just her flats

Absence Alternatives May 8, 2011 at 11:56 am

I love it when people just say whatever the heck that comes to their mind. That’s how I write my posts too anyway. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to you too my friend!

BigLittleWolf May 7, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Ah, the desire to run away. Something many of us can relate to (and probably relieved we never tried it). And don’t you love Matt Posky?

Hoping your MacBook mania will soon quiesce. (I think I would be equally disoriented – as if the other things you have going on aren’t enough!)

And have a great Mom’s Day!
BigLittleWolf´s last blog post…Small House Record Seventeen!

Absence Alternatives May 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

You do too! Happy Mother’s Day! (and the way you are pulling ALL you get to celebrate Father’s Day too! ^_^ )

TheKitchenWitch May 7, 2011 at 8:29 am

Like you, I thought about running away but was too lazy and cowardly to do so. All hail the lazy cowards!!

I also love your discussion with Mr. Monk–ah, we mothers do overthink things, eh?

Absence Alternatives May 8, 2011 at 11:54 am

Yes we do. The problem with me though is that too often I also work on impulse. Sigh. Worse of both worlds. Happy Mother’s Day!

Nicole Welkener May 7, 2011 at 8:27 am

I can empathize with you in the department of not feeling like a good mother. There have been so many times when I’ve wanted to sit down in the middle of everything and just cry for fear of failing my only child. I can only wish you the best of luck and solace in knowing that you are not alone in this scary parenting world. And you are not a bad mother.
Nicole Welkener´s last blog post…Upon His Throne

Absence Alternatives May 8, 2011 at 11:54 am

Thank you. I tell myself that every day. I often wonder whether men feel this kind of irrational guilt the way women do…

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Andrea May 7, 2011 at 5:49 am

I do believe I ran away exactly once when I was young, maybe 5. I packed my Cabbage Patch Kids suit case and headed right out to the porch. I didn’t get any farther than the porch. I have no idea what stopped me.

Missed you!
Andrea´s last blog post…Just Breathe

Absence Alternatives May 8, 2011 at 11:53 am

I would not have known where to go if I ever crossed that threshold. Miss you too! Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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