Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Time to turn the page. This was who I was in 2014

I have reconnected back with this blog. I have decided that I will blog my journey of hope, love, happiness, pain and life. This is not for anyone else except to document my own journey. I want to remain anonymous because this is real. I invite you to be a part of it, if you'd like. If you learn something from my journey, I'm thankful. If you don't agree with any of it, I asked that you to respect my journey as I respect you as human being.

The post below was the last one I ever wrote before I stepped away in 2014. I am posting it now because it is truly a part of me and I wouldn't want it to be buried by my other thoughts. I wrote it when I wanted to understand my path, how I got to be this person, and what lead me to be who I am today.


Why am I like this? Who am I? How did this happen? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with me? What Is Wrong With ME?

I've spent more and more time thinking and answering these questions, and why is that?

The day you brought me to the ER, when I finally accepted that things has to change drastically. When it finally dawned on me that this is now a matter of life for us or death. When I finally accepted that I can no longer toughen it out. When I finally realize that my physical body was giving up on my emotional and mental being - the last question I had on my mind was - what is wrong with me then? And the only answer I could say is - my dear father, my dear dad - why do I hate you?

We've had these conversations before with Claire, how "hate" is a very strong word. And that we shouldn't use it unless we understand what it meant. However that day, that time, that minute, that second-as I shiver from my pain, as I shake tremendously from my anxiety, nothing could make sense except the anger I have for my father then on to my own mother. How the hell did I ended up hating them? They aren't that bad compared to these other parents I've seen. They aren't sexually abusive. They sent me to a private schools. They worked hard to make sure I have food  and shelter and discipline and education, and every physical need a child would need. Why do I hate them now? How did I become this ungrateful.

Then my feelings moved on to, how I hate myself for hating them. How could I feel this way for these people who brought me into this world? Who is responsible for my very being? Have I really lost my mind? Is this really the person I want to become?

Guilt, fear, anxiety, ingrate, blame, lost. selfish, disloyal, unthankful, careless, hypocrite, hypercritical, cynical -this is me. And isn't it that these are exactly what I hate about them? Isn't this the very reason I fought so hard because I strongly disagree with them. This is what I never wanted to follow. This is who I didn't want to become. This is them and now it is me. 

-I am a southeast asian woman born in the late 70s
-I moved to the United States when I was 20
-I lived in a home where screaming was a way of life
-I lived in a culture where spanking is the well known way of disciplining their children
-I lived in a family where if my parents couldn’t make me stop my crying, they would spank me more
-I was raised to worry constantly what other people thought of me and to be concerned about it
-We always had to dress up nicely to guarantee respect from others
-My father used to say to my sister that she couldn’t wear her hair down or else she would look like a prostitute, and my sister was 12 then
-I was raised in the middle class community
-My parents had 4 children. They had help from maids to raise us when we were young plus the help of family. Although, my father was not big in family(relatives)  visiting us
-We all went to private all-boys or all-girls school until my older sister started having problems that we moved to a private coed school
-We were raised Catholic
-My father once said that he wanted to be  a doctor but he became an naval architect himself because that’s what his father wanted him to be
-I was the third child in the family. I have one sister and 2 brothers
-My sister wanted to become a TV news reporter but my father (with the help of his mother) forced her to become a nurse because they believed that it will be helpful in getting her out of the country and may guarantee her more money in the future
-I remember quite vividly as a baby(if you could believe it) I remember my mother carrying me and waiting for my father to come home (we were seated at the stairs) and it was dark outside and very late as my siblings were all asleep. My father came home very late and I remember her arguing with my father and accusing him of something and I remember my father hitting my mother as she held me
-I remember my father punishing my brother for skipping his tutor classes and so he asked him to stand by the wall for a period of time with his arms up high like Jesus in the cross. That was his punishment
-I remember my parents arguing about some woman
-I remember being so sad because my father would physically hurt my family (my mother and siblings)
-I was raised to believe that we could never complain or disagree with my father as he was the bread winner or that he might get a heart attack and to be always grateful that he is working hard for us
-I remember waking up in the middle of the night when I slept in their bedroom once. I heard my parents talking in the middle of the night of how to fix their problems. I didn't realize that they even talked to each other until to that point
-I was raised to be concern of my appearance all the time. I always hear my family talk about my sister’s weight and I always didn't want to be a part of it
-I was raised to be aware of what the currents events are
-I was raised to believe that a woman’s job is to take care of the family, raise the children and be faithful to her husband. If her husband was to cheat, it would be the wife’s fault. My father once said that my cousin cheated because his wife wasn’t doing her JOB as a wife. She wasn't disloyal so what else did that entail?
-At an early age, we were taught to work and help at home. I would have chores to help the family. At 13 my father decided to let go of any help as we were old enough to help our parents
-I was raised to always be considerate of others and to always make sure to give respect to everybody especially the elders
-If my parents were coming home and we were watching tv, we were suppose to turn off the tv and greet my parents in the driveway as they enter and to ask if they needed help with anything. If we didn’t turn  off the tv, we definitely would hear my father screaming at us
-If any of my parents were on the phone and we were watching tv or listening to the radio, we were suppose to turn down the volume no matter what was happening. No matter if we were watching tv first. If we didn’t we would hear about it for sure, or maybe even get spanked
-the word “initiative” was a constant word used by my father
-my father has a big Spanish background
-my mother has Chinese and Spanish background
-I remember my cousins not wanting to visit me at home and stay with us as my father was very strict
-I remember my mother constantly washing the dishes even before she uses them when they were already clean. She was always concern of being sanitary and clean
-I remember my mother making sure that she uses separate slippers for outside and one for inside. And one day, she was in a hurry and had to go back in and out of the house yet she managed to constantly switch her slippers correctly
-my father did our laundry during my teenage years. He would always complain how much laundry we had. I remember using my jeans for a month to avoid hearing anything from him
-I remember sitting at the dining table for dinner and I may be at the age of 7 or 8 and I remember my father screaming and lecturing my sister and I that if we were ever to get pregnant, that we would be out of the house immediately
-I remember trying to constantly please my father and wanting to make him say that he is proud of me
-I don’t know why but my father never attended anything that had anything to do with my activities in school, not my graduation from elementary or high school, not when I got awards or was commended in school. Only once, when I was a lead in a play and I remember my mother forcing him
-I remember my father being surprised at the responsibilities I had in school. Some of them were awe, and some of them were frustration that I spend a lot of time in school and never at home or never at focusing on my grades
-I remember my father pushing this black tablets in my mouth. He said it was going to make me feel better. I remember hating any form of medicine
-My parents believed on medication very well that medication was the very cure for all ailments especially antibiotics
-My mother woke up every single day and made us breakfast and boiled water so we can have warm water to give ourselves a wash every single morning. I don’t think I ever woke up during the week no matter how early it was that she wasn’t already up. She must have slept 5 hours each day during the week. My father would let her sleep up to 9 am during weekends
-My mother’s responsibility was to cook, go to the market and budget the groceries, take care of the kids, take care of the dogs, take care of my sickly brother, help my father with laundry, clean the outside kitchen and house every single day
-I remember her working outside and cleaning up until 11 pm every single night and her going to sleep very late as she would fall asleep in front of the tv, maybe around 1 am
-I remember hearing a thud and running outside and seeing my mother cry and realizing that my father just punched her
-I remember always being scared when my father came home and the house was messy
-I remember being scared and making sure that I did not make any noise while my father was asleep, as he was resting and we have to respect him as he has been working for us
-My father never wanted us to have birthday parties. I found out that in the beginning my parents would throw parties for my 2 older siblings but got tired of it as I got a little bit older. So were given money to celebrate it with my friends outside our home instead and treat our friends to eat out
- I remember my father handing me the newspaper at the age of 7 and telling me that it was necessary that I learn the current events and what was happening around the world and not only to be aware but to have my own opinion
-I love my grandmother in my mother’s side. She was always the one who explained things to me, why things are the way they are. I remember our walks together in the morning and in the afternoon
-I remember my father constantly scaring us with his belt, whether if my sibling were fighting or whatever our faults were, it was always “if you don’t stop that, I will get my belt” or “if you do that again, you will feel the belt on your bum”. I remember the fear and the panic everytime he walked to his bedroom and to the back of the door to grab his belt. The sound of it still makes me cringe and the anticipation of being hit was scary
-I remember my father not being nice to my grandmother (my mom’s mother). He would constantly insult her and her family. He would inspect her luggage before she came in our house whenever she stayed with us, accusing her that she was bringing rats or mice into our house
-I remember my father letting his mother and his sister constantly compare my sister and I. I was the dark one, the girl with the flat nose who looked more like my mother, while my sister was the first child, who had the fairer skin and the nice hair, tall nose, and great voice
-I was always measured against my sister. I remember wondering if I had talents just like my sister or if I was beautiful just like my sister
-I remember not wanting any pictures taken of me, as it seems to be a proof that I am ugly because I am not photogenic while my sister was the opposite. She loved having her photos taken. She had a beautiful smile and she was photogenic
-I hated being called Zoraida by my uncle, my mom’s cousin. Zoraida was this comedian in our country who was always portrayed to be very ugly. Every time I told my mom about it, she would always just say that they were just teasing me and that they don’t mean anything bad, so she never stopped them
-My parents always called me dramatic whenever I complained about how things were
-I remember coming home very late as I was finishing the prom details that I was organizing and that I knew my parents knew of it but even though, I was met with an angry father, who grabbed my head and slammed my head against a concrete wall. I remember being dizzy but all I could do is to shake myself up and and accept that I was late and came home later than the time that I told them so it was my fault. I felt a tinged of anger at the way he handled things but I also accepted it that he was just angry because he was worried about me
-When I was in high school, things got worse with my father and my mother would always show compassion in me but also telling me that my father was just either worried, or is having problems and that he just has too much in his mind.
-I remember feeling like I had to walk on needles every time my father lost a project in his business
-I remember my father blaming my grandmother for the reason why my mother had to stop working
-I saw photos hidden in the back of our shelf. They were photos of this one woman who had her bra and panties on and lying in bed. I remember seeing them and hiding them from my mother because I knew that it was my father’s and that I didn’t want to hurt my mother. When I was older and was having more issues and disagreement with my father, my mother kept taking my father’s side and so I decided to show her the photos because I was angry at my father for “brainwashing” my mother and I wanted her to be on my side but instead she got angry with me for hiding it from her
-My mother once told me as I was explaining to them that they were completely wrong and how could they still defend themselves and then she says to me that no matter if they were right or wrong, that they will always be right because they were my parents. I remember feeling so angry and calling them hypocrites. I remember feeling hopeless and wondering who am I in this family and why am I a part of them, I was the only one seeing what was wrong in our family. Even my siblings defended my father
-I remember coming home late and realizing that they had dinner already. My parents would leave food for us so we can have something to eat when we were late for dinner. I didn’t realize that my sister wasn’t home yet so I ate it all. There were a couple of very large shrimp, there wasn’t many, so I ate them all. My father saw it and accused me of stealing from my sister and because I disagreed with him because I really wasn't stealing, we had an argument that lead him to beat me with his safety boots that had metal protection on the toes. He was hitting me all over as I was against the wall, on top of the couch protecting my face. I remember feeling dizzy and my head pounding as he hits me several times on my head. I remember the pain on my back. After that, I went inside my bedroom and cried for hours. I remember my mother coming inside my bedroom and wondering why I was crying. She said that she never heard our screaming. She felt terrible for me that she wasn’t there to stop my father but instructed me to understand that my father is just having a rough time because he lost one of his projects again and that I should just avoid him. I cried until I could no longer cry and just cried myself to sleep. I remember waking up and feeling pain in every part of my body but knowing that I had to go to school or else I would be faced with another rage with my father. I remember going to school and seeing my friend’s face wonder in question what had happened to me. I remember staying in my seat the entire day and not wanting to leave the classroom until the day was over. I skipped recess and lunch. I remember my boyfriend in that time in high school approaching me after school was out and touching my back to comfort me and I squirming at the pain, and realizing that my back was so bruised. I remember crying to him for hours. I remember him just listening and not knowing what to do. By the end of the day, I remember resolving to the courage that, it would be the very last time my father would ever hurt me physically. And that I will never experience physical pain from my father. I remember being so angry and wondering why I was part of this family. Why my father hated me so much and answering that maybe because I spoke up and disrespected him, or maybe because I told him the truth, or maybe because he hated me, or maybe because I was the black sheep in the family that gave them grief, or maybe because he didn’t love me.
-There were of course many more arguments after that but because the next time he was about to hit me and I grabbed and knife and screamed at him that he will never ever touch me again, maybe he realized too that I would rather kill him or kill myself before anything happens to me ever again. I remember right at that moment when I ran and pulled the kitchen knife and pointed it at my father. I remember my mom screaming at me and my other 2 brothers at the other side of the French windowed door, yelling at me that I was crazy and dramatic and made every one’s life hell. I remember them saying that it was me that wrong in the picture, that it was me who was the problem in the family-not my father. I remember looking at them and wondering if I was part of this nightmare yet also knowing that it wasn’t, that it was my reality. I remember going to bed that night and asking God, why was I part of this family, what is His reason for giving me these trials. I remember wanting to hurt myself and kill myself then maybe my pain would end and that maybe they would cry for me and maybe tell me that they loved me
-When I was growing up, and every time something broke in the house like the radio or the table-they would first asked me if I did it. Not just my parents but by my entire family.  I remember  breaking a glass table and I was spanked for that. I remember turning the tuning dial of the radio and wondering what would happen if I turned it more and more, if there was an end to the turn. And that was my doing, but then anything that was broken from then on, it always became my fault
-I remember having arguments with my siblings and them saying that I was the cause of this family’s pain – my parent’s pain because I always disagreed with the way my parents disciplined us
-I remember one night my sister coming home late from work. She must have been 24 or 23. My father has been worried for her since she was suppose to be home hours ago. So when she actually got home 5 hours later because her office sent her to another location and the first location didn’t know about it and so told my father that she already did go home, my father accused her of running away with some boy. I remember her walking in the living room only to be met by my father’s anger. And to be met by a water bottle hitting her face. She spoke up a little but my father was already angry so she stopped defending herself. I felt rage at my father so I stood up to him and helped my older sister only to be met by my father’s anger. After that ordeal, my mother and my own sister that I defended told me that I made matters worse. That I was always the cause for the grief of my parents, the grief of my father
-I remember not wanting to go home and being around my family by then so I spent my entire high school doing extra-curricular activities to avoid being home. I remember several years later, my mother telling me how it hurt her that I never wanted to spend my time with them and that I always gave it to my friends, and I remember telling her why but then she accused me of lying
-After my third year in high school, I attended the Youth for Christ  camp for the summer. A classmate of mine invited me and my friends including my high school boyfriend. I really had no idea what it was. To me at that time, it just looked like fun to be away from home. Yet in the first day of camp, I completely turned into this hopeless person. I remember crying about my pain. I remember pouring my heart and mind to God. I remember being so involved in praying and having the strong faith to believe that all my struggles had a purpose. I remember being advised by one of the parents who manages the chapter that I should write my parents a letter of why I was arguing with them, why I was angry, why I was hurt, and what I thought was wrong in our family. I remember coming home from that camp. I remember pouring my heart out to that letter with big hopes that my father and mother would finally see where the problem lies. So the next morning, before I left for the day, I placed my letter at their nightstand having such high hopes. I remember feeling scared and worried. I remember also feeling relieved so when I came home that night, I remember first seeing my mother as I enter the house and her telling me how disappointed she was of me and that I really now have caused them so much pain and also have caused them embarrassment because I spoke about my parents and how tough it was being part of this family to other people and that I was ruining their reputation. I felt bad. I actually felt bad. I remember wanting to fix the problem immediately and to explain to them that I just wanted to fix our relationship and that because I wanted and needed help in understanding my situation that I approached another parent. I remember telling her that it was a private conversation  and that I know that parent would never tell anybody about what I shared with him. However when I found my father in his bedroom he said that I shouldn’t call him “dad” anymore because he isn’t my father after all that I have done to him. I apologized for sharing my problems with another adult but I explained to him that I was just desperate for some explanation and really just wanted to fix our problems, but he said nothing after that. He was completely silent. We didn’t speak to each other for more than 6 months after that. He didn’t show any concern if I wasn’t home in time, he just didn’t see me I guess. I was nonexistent to him. I remember sitting at the table for dinner and him completely avoiding me and showing me that I was no longer existing to him as his daughter. I felt pain but somehow I also needed him to not speak to me so I guess I was also relieved for the silence, yet I felt pain for my mother because I knew that she was in the middle of my father and I.
-I remember being very angry after that. I remember feeling lost-more lost than ever before. I remember asking God again why was He giving me all these struggles, all these trials. I remember going to church every day and hiding from family and friends in the room of the Holy Sacrament which was open 24 hours a day. I remember feeling safe there. I remember not feeling alone when I was there but at the same, I stopped praying the way I was praying when I was part of the Youth for Christ. I actually took myself out of that group because I was embarrassed, I was ashamed of what I did to my parents and at the same time I was angry at my parents and angry with God. I felt like, I devoted and finally gave up my life to Him only for Him to cause me more pain. I still prayed because He was the one “person” I could speak to anytime of day, wherever I am, but I was scared to fully commit myself to being religious because somehow I felt like the more I am religious, the more trials He was going to give me. I remember still praying and feeling bad that I was even questioning God when I know for a fact that He didn’t do this to me, so most of the time I prayed thanking him for everything that was good in my life-I was thankful for my parents even if they didn’t want me, my siblings even if they misunderstood me, my friends, a house to live and food to eat and clothing to wear. I was thankful for school, I was thankful for everything that kept me fighting. I was thankful for everything despite of because I know that even in the worse of time, I was still better off than other people out there struggling.
-I remember as a child being scared that something could happen to my parents and fearful of what would happen to me if I don’t have them. Life was not perfect-it was rough but it also wasn’t always rough. My dad was strict and does things beyond a normal minded person would do but I know that he loved us. In the back of my mind I knew that he loved us, he just didn’t know any better. This is what he has known and this is how he will somehow accept to be. He has a big heart. Every time he had big projects, he always made sure to donate a portion of his earning to charity. He loved dogs and worried about them so he allowed strayed dogs to come in and be adopted by our family. Whenever he has money, he would try to give us what we want. Yes he is strict and disciplinarian and I don’t object that but when his anger hijacks him-that’s when I start disagreeing. I know I was a tough kid to raised. I questioned everything, not just their parenting skills but their morals too. I questioned their principles and I questioned their values.
- My mother was the glue in keeping me and my father part of the family. I understand that she gave up everything for her family but somehow I wish she also took care of herself. I always wished that she would have the opinion of her own and hoped that she could fight for it and maintained it. I wish that she never stood up from bed every single time my father wanted hot coffee in the morning which is by the way instant coffee. I wish that every single time she wanted to explore cooking and my father put her down, I always wished she would stand up to him and at the same time I wished my father would be more grateful instead of complicated.
-I wonder if they had the energy to watch themselves and evaluate their parenting skills when we were younger and somehow got tired as we got older and just let things happen and let things get out of control.
-I remember my father having no patience at all. I remember my mother always in a hurry so as not to make my father wait. I remember grocery trips being so rushed because my father was waiting in the car and will be so angry if we were slow.
-I remember my father being cut off by a truck driver and him having a road rage. And as he drove fast trying to catch the truck, I also remember my mother screaming and pleading for him to slow down. I remember being afraid because my mom was afraid.
-I remember my father challenging my brother to a fight because one day my brother had had enough and was angry at my father. But of course, my brother never did anything because he was scared of my father and that his anger was subsided by his fear
-I remember waking up in the middle of the night and seeing my brother’s light still on. I remember going in to his room and seeing him  so upset at my father. My father’s expectations for my brother was so high he could barely reach it. And when he failed my father would belittle him more by saying that he knew he was right and that he knew that my brother would fail. He would also add how he spent all this money on him and only for my brother to disappoint him
-I remember when my younger brother came to our home for the first time. I remember being so happy seeing a baby and knowing that this baby is going to be part of our family. I remember getting jealous of the attention now given to him instead of me, and I remember my father telling me how lucky we were to have a brother and that we should all take care of him and not tell him that he was adopted because that will hurt him tremendously, so I never did and I protected that secret even today because that is not for me to tell
-I remember my mother always worried about my brother. I remember my dad always angry like as if my brother could really change the way it is with his health
-I remember my father preferring my brothers over us girls. He would used to say that his daughters were always trouble and never gave them anything to be proud of
-I was raised constantly concern of how clean our house it.
-I was raised to know that I have a part in this family by helping with chores
-I remember hating my grandmother (my father’s mother). I remember her being so miserable all the time. She would always compare me and my sister. Once she said that my hair was plastic and my sister’s hair was silk. I always hear her telling my father how beautiful my sister is because she looked like the side of their family while I look like my mother.
-I remember my father’s mother calling us at home and when my mother answered it was a quick conversation as she hanged up on my mother and didn’t politely say goodbye to her. She was never nice to my mother and I don’t know why my mother never spoke up about it to my father. I remember always being angry at her. Whenever we visited her, I would say hello to her as we arrive at her house to be respectful but after, I would immediately leave and go to my aunt’s house (the wife of my uncle-my dad’s brother)
-I lived in the culture where the first child of the family is always the favorite
-I lived in a culture where they bleach their skin to get a whiter skin because that somehow is preferred more because it gives you a higher status in life-what a joke! I remember asking my mom to buy me that soap to get my skin whiter, only to be under the sun for an hour and to be darker than when I started. I loved the sun and always loved being in the sun so I was always dark, and of course it follows that I was of course always the ugly one
-I remember stressing about family reunions, because I know that I would hear those words again-how ugly and dark I was, with a flat nose, whether it was from my dad’s side or my mom’s side. Yet somehow when I reached college, I felt more confident because I was able to get in a really nice college with a high status in the country. I always wondered if it was because that school was famous for graduating high political women who are outspoken or was it because lots of rich and famous kids go to that school
-I remember going on rallies to fight for abused women. I remember loving social work class in college because I got to explore my love for fighting for what values I have. I really enjoyed debating even when I was 9 years old. I remember debating in class about the values that were important to me
-I guess I always fought for what I believed in especially the oppressed, whether they were poor people, battered women, the lower class people, women’s rights in general in that society. I remember fighting  about social acceptance and ignorance. I remember being so angry about hypocritical people especially the ones who I always see in church only to start gossiping the minute the mass has ended-I avoided them whether they were my peers or my parent’s friends
-My father never liked going to church. We were forced to go to church early in life by both of my parents yet my dad would stay in the car and wait for us. As we got older, my father stopped asking us and left it all to my mother.
-I think we were good neighbors but my father didn’t like people coming to our house to constantly ask for help. At the same time, he didn’t like asking for help either because that would mean, he would owe somebody something
-I remember my mother always having to lie for him. Whenever someone was at the door or someone calling us over the phone, I remember my dad always telling my mom to lie for him because he didn’t want to speak to them or see them. Sometimes because people asks him for stuff, sometimes people came over because they know my father owed them something (not money but like they helped my father in some ways). So I guess in parts of the culture, if you were to ask help, it is immediately known that you will be owing this person something. I guess helping always meant-it is an investment to something. I don’t get it at all. Yet in some ways maybe that’s why I never liked asking for help too
-I lived in the culture where if you were invited to a party, they consciously get there to the party very late, because if you get there on time or especially if you were to be the first person to get there, that would mean that you are so eager for food. I was so irritated when I came home and my friends were more than an hour late and my husband had to wait for them too as we were paying for the food bill and we were all hungry and waiting for people. It was so rude to me. I guess never realized what I was doing myself when I lived there because I remember doing it. I guess because also parties lasts so long unlike here where events in restaurants or venues are always so limited with  time. Parties in my culture where sometimes 5 or more hours long even kids birthday parties
-I lived in a culture where drinking is a big thing for people even on kids birthday parties. Men get so hammered up. Now I feel like it seems so unclassy for people to get so hammered in kids birthday parties. I will accept it during adult parties but it just seems so rude to children who are celebrating to be so drunk in front of all those kids. It is one of those things that are so bizarre to me now but somehow accepted it when I lived there and never questioned it either

No comments:

Post a Comment