ABOUT MY MOTHER: My mother is a schizophrenic. She is the oldest one in three siblings. Like my grandma, she has high cheek bones, luscious dark hair, deep brown eyes, clear skin tone and slim. She used to be a model for a magazine. Despite her learning disabilities and low grades in school, she managed to be a dentist. My mother is the only MD in the big family. She is rather quiet. Very tenacious.

ABOUT MY FATHER: My father is a professor, a researcher. He earned scholarships to complete his doctoral studies in Germany. Unlike my mother, he is extroverted, jovial, musical, artsy. He learned German quickly, adaptive and as a result, he achieved perfect GPA for his PhD. They both are scientists. He had admirers, but the beauty and intelligence of my mother captured his heart. They got married after about a year of dating. He is stubborn, but compassionate. I inherit these traits from him

Shortly after getting married in Indonesia, they lived in Germany while my father complete his PhD. I was in my mother’s belly, sharing the space with my twin sister. We lived in one egg. I am older by three minutes and I shamelessly brag about it.

With the tight schedule of her husband, cultural adaptations and post-partum stress, my mother had no resources and/or sufficient time to take care of us and take care of herself. She gets tired, I do not blame her. There were things she did to us that I cant comprehend. She bathed us in Evian water. I would like to think it is because of her protective nature.

How their Marriage Fell Apart

One night, in a cold winter, my father went home late. He was startled, speechless, disappointed, enraged with what he saw. My mother was on her bed, covered in sheets while he found her twin daughters shaking in cold, lay on the floor, opposite corners of the room. My grandmother, grandfather and aunts came to visit few times to Germany. Me and my twin were 8 months at the time. My aunt did not like smelling our hair. Unlike babies who smell like a combination of powder and baby oil, we smelled like vomit and feces. They thought that it must have been God’s blessing that we lived.

My father sacrificed his opportunity in Post Doctoral research in Germany to bring all of us back to Indonesia. I was two and a half years when I moved to the capital city of Indonesia. This is where majority of my childhood was spent. Me and my twin sister were not able to talk. Not at all. Few months later, we both only say few German words.

My father had to sleep outside the bedroom. My mother occupied the bedroom all for herself. Their belongings were marked by their names. Jugs of water in the fridge, everything in the fridge was labelled. My father slept in the couch outside the bedroom. My mother’s mental health deteriorates. At this point, my sister was in the hands of my grandma while I was living with one of my aunts. We were in different roofs but same city. For months, my father remained hopeful that everything would be better. My mother stopped taking showers, spent days in her bedroom and only go to the kitchen to take foods. At this point, none of my parents were involved in my development.

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