LONG SHAN: When I was a child I was very naughty, so my mother always blamed me when my sister and I were quarrelling. When my mother was in a bad mood, she would always vent her anger on me. And she was quite often in a bad mood because we had nothing to eat in the village where we lived. So when she had trouble she vented her anger on me. When I was naughty she would curse at me, sometimes she even beat me. At that time I usually didn’t care about that, but when she died I felt really, really scared.
After her death I started dreaming about her. I was almost afraid of going to sleep because those dreams were really haunting me. In my dream my mother was looking for me. I tried to hide from her but she would always find me, no matter where I hid. I always woke up very scared and didn’t want to close my eyes again because the moment I closed my eyes she was there again, like a scene from a TV series. She would come back to get me and I couldn’t escape her.
My grandmother used to say that if a dead person is following you in your dreams, you should keep a knife or a pair of scissors near your bed at night, near the pillow. But this didn’t work for me, my mother still kept coming back every night. So during that time I was very scared by those dreams. I didn’t dream every night, but when I had a dream it was almost always about her.
That was about 10 years ago. Now I no longer dream about her very often, and even when I dream about her it doesn’t scare me anymore.
My father also died a few years ago, but he didn’t beat me so much when I was a child, so I’m not so scared of him.
I’m from a small village near Shogun in northern Guangdong. I came to Guangzhou to look for a job, now I’m working at a jewellery factory. My salary is about average, not too high but not too low, either. About 1000 or 1200 per month. Just about enough to support an average, normal life.