I came to know this book probably over a decade back while I was undergoing a communication course. I went through a six-year communication program in Shah Alam every Saturdays and I loved it so much! Students are assigned a novel/book to analyse, among a few other things, as part of our assessments. Exams were all verbal. No writing. The examiners were from London College of Music and it’s a one-on-one assessment. So fun!
But I also noticed that reading can be troublesome especially when I have to carry the books around and that I’m just too lazy to walk out of the room to get proper lights for my reading, after putting my kids to sleep. But the apps has made my life so much easier! With just a few clicks, I can do my reading anywhere because it’s all in my phone. So much about the apps, it’s not that I’m their affiliate. Anyway let’s get into the diary.
What Anne Frank wrote in the early part of her diary, is their experience of being spurned by the anti-Jewish decrees. The Jews aren’t allowed to ride street cars and even their own cars, Jews were allowed for shopping between 3 and 5 pm only, they weren’t allowed to be on the streets between 8 pm and 6 pm, forbidden to attend theaters, to use swimming pools, tennis courts, to sit in their gardens after 8 pm, to visit their Christians in their homes, and they needed to wear a badge that clearly separates them from the rest. And all this, my friend, made me feel uneasy already. How can one stand the oppression?
She went further by describing their mid-night runaway into hiding and I trembled by just reading her description. I couldn’t bare the fear of walking in the dark with my kids to avoid the Nazis. And since I usually do my reading next to my girls right after they dozed off, I laid my eyes on them feeling grateful that we don’t have to go through such horrendous experience. No one is chasing after us. No one is calling us to a detention camp that we had to find a place to hide. No one actually bothers about us anyway -__-“
I also picked up some valuable lessons from her writing. One is about her pretty bad relationship with her mother. Anne is someone, based on her writing style of course, who I’d say have a strong idea about herself and what she wants to be. She’s assertive, determinant, vocal and brave. She felt as if her mother did not clique with her and what touched me the most is this;
This was when she still had hopes on the relationship. I learned that we adults need to stop talking but listen to the children better. I know I’m still far, far, far from being one and I take this as a strong reminder to myself. I need to shut up for once and lend my ears to my kids just so they can learn to be decisive and stand up for themselves.
I need to always remember that the kids miss me so much after a full day at school and they want to spend some time with me before bedtime. But what actually happens is that I’m already too tired by the time I offered my Isya’ prayer and couldn’t be bothered to reciprocate them. Poor girls. Before you become like Anne, who has given up with her mother, I should play my duties very well. Before it’s too late, I must remind myself to keep trying.
Also, I learned that Anne too went through a period of darkness from the hiding. Be real guys, can one even stand hiding in their room the whole day? No. Let alone for 2 years. So here is one of her descriptions about the devil that she was fighting against;
I absolutely know what it feels to be trapped in gloom and not able to find a way out. But this girl was literally trapped! If she ever goes out, suffer will welcome her in no time because she will be caught and sent to a detention camp (which she eventually was).
But guys, allow me to describe depression. It’s like not having a single motivation to continue living. I know that I live for Allah, I live to gain Allah’s acceptance of me that we call it Redha Allah (Mardhatillah). But when you face depression, all the knowledge, preaches and versus of Qur’an cease to matter. But I guess I still have a tiny pinch of iman (faith) to guide me to seek for help, that prevented me from taking my life into my own hands. And I believe, it was by Allah’s will.
I still function with the outside world. I went to class, go to work, do my assignments and meet my friends. But I too, wept while driving every single day, shed tears in the shower, fought with my husband, hit my kids because they seem to bother me sooo much that I can’t handle it. When motherhood seems okay for some, it isn’t for me and I just don’t know why. I wish I could be the normal moms like everyone else who love their kids at the first sight and ever since.
I wish I could embrace motherhood with all my heart and soul just like the Insta-Moms out there. I wish to be a true, honest mother who doesn’t look at their children as burden but love. Man, I’m just a bad mother ha. But life goes on and since I can’t pass my motherhood baton to anyone else, I guess I just have to live with it. It sometimes got into me so bad guys. So freaking bad. And “Jangan stress-stress” or “Don’t stress out. Relax” wont do either. Because this is not stress, this is depression. That you don’t find a reason to live.
Anyway, I’m getting better if not the same, insha Allah. I don’t cry anymore but I sing out loud while driving. I enjoy my life but of course, there are hiccups and downs occasionally. I allow myself to have hopes since early this year and Alhamdulillah that’s a big achievement! I don’t wake up feeling regret for not just die in my sleep. I look forward for another day. I set little goals daily, and try not to let it over take me. In short, I’m feeling better Alhamdulillah.
Okay back to the book, I loved it when Anne talks about nature and the way she tries to fight the devil back. She looks into the sky! She sees the better things that she should be grateful for. She perceives the good in her, instead of the opposite, to keep her chin up. Oh she has such a strong heart for a 14-year-old teenage girl
We call this, tadabbur alam which means, you look into the mother nature and try to think of God. It takes practice but it makes you ponder on God’s great hands to build such magnificent pieces of arts.
Okay guys, I shall call it a wrap. One can learn so much from this girl who, from a pre-teen turned into a teenage in the Annex. She reminded me of my bloom of adolescence just a few years ago and I too felt the same way as her. That nobody listened to me, nobody understood me, that I “thought” I was big enough to decide for my life, as well as the confusions about when is the best time to achieve my certain targets. Now that I’m a young adult, I wish life is as easy as before!
And she also discussed about puberty and the like, because she wondered about them and that’s totally normal for a teenager. From this, I learned that I really need to sit down and talk to my girls about sexual and reproductive knowledge. It’s better for them to learn from their parents.
It’s rather a long book review and I actually wrote this in two different times because I needed to restructure my points and simply get the inspiration. Anyway, the book is usually available in the store or if you’d like a copy of the ebook version, hop on to Rakuten Kobo or Kinde (by Amazon). The prices are pretty much the same.