What the title says.
What happened was something so petty yet so familiar I couldn’t help but feel pretty upset/anxious/annoyed/done with it.
My mom apparently said something along the lines of “Oh, when are you gonna have a child!” to our neighbours who’re married but haven’t had a child in years. This is what my dad claimed that my mom had said. My dad was like “Don’t say it anymore, she looked upset and didn’t answer and just walked out of the lift.” My mom immediately said, “But I don’t remember saying it! I never said that!” And my dad just kept pushing that she did and my mom kept pushing that she didn’t, on and on and on and you get the drift. Of course, it escalated. What doesn’t escalate in this house? … I literally have something to tell my therapist every two weeks. Great.
Anyway, it ended with my dad waving his hands in the air and saying “Nevermind, forget what I’d said, it was all just a clash in communication. We can never communicate. Ever.” Then he walked off. Or was it stomped off?
I’m so sick of all these things that I just sighed. Yes, the familiar anxious feeling was stirring in my stomach again and I still am feeling anxious. I have honestly grown to loathe this feeling. However, I know this is inevitable and it is my battle to fight. Breathe in, and breathe out.
Skipping through all my breakdowns and sad guitar songs, I decided to talk to my dad privately. I tugged on his arm and pulled him into the bedroom gently for a chat. What unfolded was something very impetuous…? (Is this how you use this word…) Basically, my main point was to tell him that he shouldn’t be responsible for other people’s feelings. If not, why would he be so worried about what the neighbours would think? Like hello, codependent much!
Okay anyway he brought in a lot of oh your mom this your mom that and even cultural aspects such as Asian societies having a lot of unwritten rules and that some things cannot be said. Such as asking when someone is gonna have baby because that would be insensitive and hurting other people’s feelings. …
I’m just done, because ultimately I know very well that he is struggling with this. He literally pleases other people. I know this. Because I am his product. Fuck yes! (Sorry for the sarcasm but I’m still a little affected.) I think he didn’t understand what I meant by “not being responsible for other people’s feelings” because all he brought in was how he has seen other people talking bad about other people and how my mom has hurt other people and other people told my dad about my mom. I shoved that aside because it’s just beating around the bush talk.
This whole conversation left me feeling oddly one-sided. Why? Because I’ve never talked to my dad as an equal before. Equal as in, me having the chance to give my opinions and advice. I’m always the yes girl sitting there prettily and nodding my head to whatever he is churning out. You need to do this, you need to do that.
This time, I put my foot down. I want to be myself. I will say what is on my mind. I will talk to you like an equal, even though I am daftly afraid of you.
And I actually gave him some wisdom I’ve bagged along the arduous journey of self-awareness. All the therapy sessions and the counselling sessions.
I told him that communication is possible. It’s just that he has given up. He said, “So you tell me how to communicate when we’re like this?” And I said, express your needs directly. State your intention clearly. Don’t beat around the push. Go straight to the point. That is how it is possible. Say, “Next time, don’t say those things to the neighbour”. Instead of pushing the point that I am right and that “she did say those things to the neighbour.” He was kind of speechless and had nothing to say against my advice.
I am still feeling a little jittery because I’m fighting the brain conditioning I’ve had since childhood. I still get anxious easily. But all I know is that if I keep quiet anymore in this house I will lose my sanity. I repeat. I will lose my sanity.
But I know that I’ll be okay. I will survive and stand up tall again and again.