Growth, Perspectives

Guilt.

I’m so frustrated right now that I could gauge my eyes out. I’m burning with anger, and it might also be a touch of hunger. I’m sad. I’m annoyed. I want to cry from how many negative emotions I’m feeling but most of all I feel guilt. The worst feeling of all. The kind that makes my stomach churn acid into something sickly. Makes my lungs feel heavy. I hate it.

I try to laugh it off, I try not to care so much because otherwise I’d be sad all the fucking time. It’s so fucking annoying. I’m not a bad person. I have to keep telling myself that. But I keep feeling like I am. I’ve hurt my mom. Not intentionally hurt her. I haven’t hit her, I don’t abuse her, we don’t fight, I don’t swear at her, I don’t even raise my voice at her. So what did I do?

She found out something an Indian mother never wants to know. That their unwed daughter isn’t a virgin, and smokes pot.

GOOOOOODDDDDDDD HELP US ALL! IT’S THE END OF THE FUCKING WORLD. HER VIRGINITY IS UP IN THE AIR SOMEWHERE. IT’S LOST! IT’S GONE! IT’S FUCKING NEVER COMING BACK! SHE’S NOW THE HOUSEHOLD SLUT! SHE’S A DISGRACE TO THE COMMUNITY! SHE’S NOT THE WOMAN I RAISED HER TO BE! SHE’S A GREAT FUCKING DISAPPOINTMENT! WHO WILL MARRY HER NOW? WILL SHE MARRY THE ONE WHO FUCKED HER? WAS IT A BLACK GUY? IT’S PROBABLY A BLACK GUY. WHO FUCKED HER NO ONE KNOWS. WHERE DOES SHE GO LATE AT NIGHT? WHO KNOWS! PROBABLY SLUTS AROUND WITH HER LEGS WIDE OPEN AS SHE SMOKES GANJA ALL NIGHT LONG. FUCKING BITCH.

^ what my mom thinks of me in a nutshell. No exaggerations. And what can I do? How can I prove to her that despite those things, I’m still capable of doing many other things, the world hasn’t crashed down, I’m still in one piece, and! Believe it or not, I’m not a slut!

And what rattles my brain to no end is the fact that the only way I can get her to stop feeling this way is to succumb to her very old fashioned Indian traditions. And I’m sorry. I’m just not that person. I’m not insulting anyone that follows these traditions. In a way, I envy them. I wish I could just follow the path that my mom wanted me to lead. I wish I could just take every word she said as the only thing on Earth that is as true as the Laws of Physics.  But I can’t, and as offensive as it sounds, I find a lot of the traditions sexist, unfair, out dated, and not relevant to the country I’m living in right now.

There’s a fine line to this of course. Losing my mother’s culture. And that probably hurts her a lot. I’ve become what you could say as westernized. But I wouldn’t consider myself completely westernized at all. In fact, there’s a lot of culture I do embrace, there’s a lot I appreciate, and there’s a lot I’m willing to learn about it. But for a culture to tie me down as a housewife who tends to her husband the rest of her waking life is just not in my cards.

I don’t completely agree with everything in Western culture, there’s a lot I don’t agree with, and so I don’t follow that either. I honestly just do whatever feels right to me. I mix and match things I’ve learned along the way. If a Muslim person taught me something from the Qur’an that made sense to me, became something I agreed with, valued, and therefore started to follow. Have I lost my culture? My Indian roots? No. If a Christian person shared a passage from The Bible to me, and I also agreed with the lessons, and I liked what it had to say. Does that make me a Christian? No. If I read a book on Buddhism and valued the philosophies taught in that book and decided that I wanted to try to live my life according to those ideals, have I stopped being a Sikh? No.

At the end of the day there is a lot of overlap with religions and cultures all over the world, and why should I limit myself to any one thing? It doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t even know at the state of my relationship with my mom if I can even say I love her. And I feel guilty about that because I know I should love her. A child should love their mother. Especially with everything she’s done for my sister and I. She raised us on her own, and she never makes us forget it. Constantly guilting us if we don’t do things her way because she’s all alone and works day and night seven days a week. I have her whole sob story memorized, the same old story. She’s like a broken record. Just plays back the same old things over and over again. Never progressing, never moving on. Just focussing on the same old things and confines herself into a toxic environment that she tries to pull my sister and I in.

I got out of that whirlpool years ago. 10 years ago to be exact. I was 14 years old when I decided that the path my mom was taking was not one I was going to be happy with. I’m not saying everything she has ever taught me was wrong. She is the reason I am who I am today. She helped mold me, in her own way. Not necessarily a positive supportive motherly type of way, but in a way where she became someone I never wanted to be and tried to be someone else instead.

But even saying that is not entirely true. Because I also simultaneously wanted to be just as well-liked as her. Everywhere she goes she touches peoples lives. She makes them smile, she makes them happy. She brings them joy. She helps people. I do the same thing. Or I at least strive to. I think I’ve mastered it now, I’m just as charismatic as my mom if not more. Everyone that meets her instantly loves her, they treat her like an old friend. But her and I get used very easily because of how nice we are. We take people in like family, we trust them. And sometimes people take advantage of that. I also picked that up from her, and the only difference is, I can still change. I can still recover and try not to make those same mistakes.

I’ve learned from her mistakes. From the way she chose to raise my sister and I, to the financial mistakes she’s made, to even the way she gets used by some people. I’ve learned to stand up for myself and know my worth in the workforce. I grew some balls somehow and did it. I can’t completely credit my dad for that, but he’s been my rock in the background always supporting me and actually taking the time to get to know me and talk to me during my adolescence. He may not have been physically around, but without him I’d go crazy. I can say for sure I love my dad.

And that too makes me feel guilty. How can I love someone who abandoned our family? How can I love someone that made my mom suffer? How can I love someone that broke my mom’s heart? How can I love someone who wasn’t around when I needed them the most? How can I love him when I had a mother who fed me, paid the bills, put a roof over our heads, tried to do everything she could every single day for us. How could I love him and not her?

I’m tearing up now because this is tearing me apart. I feel so sad that I feel this way about my mom. It’s confusing cause I am fully aware of what she does for me and my sister. I know the sacrifices she’s made for us, and yet I feel no need whatsoever to mend things with her or even try to do things for her. I’m selfish. I’m a selfish bitch and I’m not a good person at all. How can people like me when I’m so mean to my own blood? How can I have friends when I treat my family like shit? Why does anyone like me at all? It’s all a facade. How can I be this way with my mom and another way with others? I’m stone cold to her.

I can’t talk to her. I clam up. We barely communicate. I don’t want to speak to her, I don’t like spending time with her – it always ends up in a fight eventually. I just don’t want to do it anymore I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the up’s and down’s. The only times we’re good is if I’m “compliant” to her rules.

Rules:

  1. Go to work. Come home. Never leave the house till it’s time to go to work again.
  2. Don’t go out late at night. Come home by 10pm. Any later than that and you’re a slut
  3. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke
  4. Do housework.
  5. Don’t talk on the phone unless you want to be eavesdropped on
  6. Never have sex before marriage
  7. Don’t date
  8. Don’t have a boyfriend who’s not Punjabi
  9. Marry a nice Punjabi guy
  10. Take care of your mother

When I write them down, they’re pretty straight forward. Not complicated. Not asking for much.

There are many things about those rules I agree with. I’m not a heavy drinker, never have been. I don’t smoke cigarettes they’re disgusting. I do smoke weed yes, but the minute I buy myself a vape, that will change. Yes I should pitch in and do housework. We all live there, we’re all a team. We gotta maintain the house together. I completely agree. Taking care of my mother: that’s a hard one. Mostly because of the time’s we’re in and how incapable she is of having any sort of self motivation.

The problem of “taking care of my mother” is that she expects us to do everything for her! Create a schedule for her to exercise, but not only that, we have to be there and exercise with her! It doesn’t sound so bad cause you gotta spend time with your mom right? But everyone’s schedules in the house is different. We work on different schedules it’s hard to coordinate. Somedays I’m tired, other days she is.

And now as I’m writing this, I can see myself being a whiny little bitch. How much effort does it take to spend a little time with someone that does so much for you? Even just watching one of her stupid Indian saga shows, or helping her exercise? I just have a complete lack of effort with her. I don’t spend even a single day of the week with her, my time gets consumed with everything else.

I go to work, I want to read, I want to be on my phone, I want to go out explore and enjoy my youth, I want to be with my favourite person, I want to exercise on my own time, I want to try new things, I want to watch different shows, I want to live in another country.

I have so many things that I want to do for myself that I get caught up in it and forget that I have a place to come home to everyday because of my mom. She irritates the hell out of me. She makes no sense sometimes when it comes to her cultural ideals. But she’s trying. And I don’t try at all.

I think my guilty conscious has been feeling this way because of it. Writing it down has really helped me see how stupid all of this is. All this anger and frustration over something so frivolous. Would all of this even matter anymore when she’s gone? No. I need to be with her while she’s alive. I don’t know how. I don’t know what I’m going to do. But I have to try somehow. I just don’t know when. Maybe I’ll come home an evening or two a week and spend some time with her. Just to let her know I’m still her daughter. I gotta fit it in my calendar. I only have one mom. And I can’t waste it.

Here’s to trying to lift that weight off my chest.

The last thing in my life that I need to make right before I’m truly on set to becoming a better person.

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Growth, Perspectives

Politeness is Fakeness.

I went alone today to the clinic, in my favourite green dress. I let bus drivers go ahead of me before I cross the street, I hold doors for random strangers, I simultaneously make myself known but invisible all the same. I try to be polite to anyone I encounter, and as a very agreeable person, I have a hard time displeasing people, or disappointing them, I prefer to spare their feelings you could say.

Continue reading

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Growth, Perspectives

An Important Lesson

A couple of days ago I met a wonderful person. She’s twice my age. Has a daughter about my age. We connected almost immediately. Musically, and even just core values in general.

I have this feeling often – I connect with women sometimes who teach me lessons that I never learn on my own, or from my own mother. And I like it this way.

I like expanding my horizons. Learning different lessons from different mothers along the way. Different perspectives, different parenting approaches. It’s not so much to compare and contrast to see which is better, it’s just to see a variety and hopefully learn something new from it.

And that’s what happened yesterday. When I had her met her initially Tuesday night, we talked about music, and colors, and culture, and just a brief history of her life. My sister and I left in a daze, we never thought we would have so much fun having a great conversation in such a random place. Couldn’t stop thinking about her, we were looking forward to see her again. She owns an Indian apparel store in my town, and we were looking for outfits for an upcoming engagement and wedding we’d be going to throughout this year. Wednesday we strictly browsed, we didn’t want to make any final decisions. These types of clothing can be compared to picking a prom dress – where there may be tons of selection, as well as variation in extremely high prices, (for something you may only wear once).

We didn’t think we would go again yesterday – we figured Sunday at the earliest, but these stores stay open until about 8pm, and I finished work at 4pm, so we figured we could slip some time in since we had already narrowed down the stores we liked, as well as the pieces we liked from each. By Wednesday evening, we were on a name basis, “Hi ______!” I’d say as I walked in, and she’d say our names in return. It was a great feeling! She was really happy to see us again. She told us how she couldn’t stop talking about us on her way home, and how she told her kids about us, etc.

It’s at this moment when you realize you never really know who you could have an impact on.

I know my ex has told me this before, but actively being observant about it makes it even more apparent.

Anyway, ______ and I got to talking again, this time I asked her how she met her husband, who owns the store with her. Even though she was born in India, she came to Canada when she was about 3 years old. There wasn’t a cultural barrier between us, so it was really easy to vibe with her. Before I even asked how she met her husband, I was hoping for a particular answer. I was almost hoping for her to prove my point. I was hoping that her being the eldest in her family, and also a First Generation Canadian in her family (with all her extended family still in India mind you, just like my family in Malaysia and Sri Lanka), that she would ‘rebel‘ in a sense (not that rebelling is necessarily a bad thing, but that’s a whole other conversation).

To my dismay, she gave me an answer I almost feared. She had an arranged marriage. A completely traditional Indian custom. She didn’t resist either. I asked her how she felt at the time when it all happened, and she just went with the flow, she was happy to do it. And from the way she told me the story, she didn’t seem to do it for the happiness of her parents (though of course that may just be a factor that was obvious and needn’t be mentioned). She said she was travelling with her mom to India in her youth, and her mother came to her one day saying “oh my goodness! ______! I found the perfect guy for you!”. And how she held the cards she was dealt with was what astounded me. I didn’t need to say anything, she saw the expression of shock on my face when she was telling us how it all happened. And she said something so absolutely simple and true:

You can never really know anyone.” She went on to explain that you can meet a perfect stranger, and it’s easy to love a perfect stranger; but no one is perfect.

And her parents finding someone for her, would be just as good as finding someone on her own. She is also a big believer in fate – she felt that if this is what was in store for her then this is what it is. And just when you thought the lesson learning was over, she said something even more provoking;

I don’t want to be loved,  I want to be liked. The only people that truly tolerate your absolute worst, ugly, and undesirable, is your family. When times get rough for you, they’re the only ones that don’t leave you, they still love you unconditionally. And they are the only people who will love you. Everyone else only needs to like you, they will never match the love a family gives you. And that’s why I want to be liked. Being liked is more consistent, being loved has so many ups and downs and uncertainties and I’d rather just be liked because it’s simpler.”

And then, as if a light bulb sparked above my head I immediately applied that lesson to my own life. I love simplicity, but I’ve been chasing something so complicated; Love. So turbulent, so confusing, so messy. Love really does involve a lot of ups and downs. My mom has been through the ringer with me. I am nothing like the woman I met at the store. Despite being the eldest first generation Canadian in my family, I have been everything but compliant. And even with my ex. Since he broke up with me, we came to an agreement to remain friends. It’s not what he wanted, but we’re both getting something out of it, and none of it being ideal whatsoever, but believe it or not, I’m happier than I was being out of an official relationship.

I put so much pressure on myself, to be the girl he wanted – which I couldn’t achieve, I put pressure on myself to fall in love and just have the life I wanted with him. I put pressure on my expectations to be fulfilled so badly. Expectations that only existed in my daydreams. And of course I put pressure on him to be a guy that he just didn’t want to or couldn’t be for me. With that being said, why are we happier now? Actually no. Why am I happier now? He was happy then, and he’s still happy now. What changed? A mere title? Yes. Why did that have such a huge impact on me?

I feel a huge load off my back knowing that I don’t have to be in love with him to be with him anymore. That we can just fuck and I can just really like him and that can be enough. I like his personality, I like the way he looks, I like the way he makes me feel, and I like the way he fucks me. I don’t know if I love him, and that’s where it gets confusing and scary, I don’t know if he’s “the one” if that even exists. And if I learned anything from my lesson with the wonderful woman at the store, it’s that it obviously doesn’t.

She had an arranged marriage with a random man and they’re going strong on almost 35 years. They have a beautiful family, they have monsterous fights once in a while, and more often than not, they have times where they get along just fine.

“Life isn’t anything like a bollywood/hollywood movie – and you don’t want it to be – trust me” is what she said to me.

And she’s completely right. Again, those movies tackle love – the ever so turbulent, dramatic, and confusing – feelings we all hang on to. Finding that “perfect person” or that person that fits all the ideals you have in your head. It’s just not going to happen. My ex learned that lesson waaaaayyyy earlier than I have. Mind you, he spent months trying to teach me and here I am learning it over and over again – it’s a sign; I’m not going to stop meeting people who teach me this lesson until I’ve learned it. I’ve been holding on to Love like people hold on to religion. I really really believe in it. I really want it to be real, amongst everything I believed in my childhood growing up; Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, God, and whatever other fantasy I’d believe in, Love was one of them. It just felt with the way people talk about it, and the way it seems to make you feel – felt so real.

And I wanted to be in love so badly. Oh so badly. I wanted that stupid fairytale. I wanted that happily ever after. I wanted to escape everything I had in my life and just run away with someone and start all over. And it’s weird because the only person I can imagine doing that with is my ex. I’d love to just start a new life with him and leave everything else behind. But that’s not realistic because I don’t want to be completely estragnged from my family, or his. I wanted them to be a huge part of it if we were actually together.

We also want different things, at different times. Which really sucks. I feel like I’m just keeping a spot warm for the woman that will sweep him away from me. And there’s nothing I’m doing about it. Cause at the same time, I can’t be the woman he wants me to be. Or maybe I can, I don’t know it’s conflicting right now.

I have a part of me that really wants to travel, and just take the time to be me before I settle down and have kids. And yes I’ve been doing that long enough, and I’ve been lagging behind my ideal schedule, but I don’t think I can move forward until I actually experience the world the way I wanted to, I’m sure I can do it with a family by my side, but that’s a different experience entirely.

Ever since I started working with kids at the clinic, I’ve learned things about myself. I definitely love kids, they may get on my nerves at times much like anyone else I may bump into, but ultimately I love them. I probably would be a great mom. I’m just this big ball of energy waiting to expend it on someone. A child would probably help me be a little less hyper, if anything – I probably get along with children so well because I’m just a big giant kid myself. Which is a little embarrassing, but it’s who I am.

I’m just this big kid until I come to terms with the fact that being an adult means leaving the fantasies and dreams behind me. Leaving behind all my ideals that I had for my career, and love life, and family, and life in general.

And I want to move on from it. I don’t want to be stuck in the past, I don’t want to be stuck trying to achieve something that doesn’t exist. I do want to travel, but maybe it’s just not meant to happen for me. It would be great, but given my financial circumstances, and the other goals I still have to achieve before comfortably travelling, are more important. Maybe I can do it when I retire? Or when my kids grow up?

Goals as of Today:

  1. Finish School -_- (this is a whole other fucking conversation let me tell you. Blog post pending)
  2. Pay of my debts (I feel like with the jobs I have right now, The major debts I have will be paid off by the end of summer [if I’m lucky!])
  3. Get a full-time job. Sigh. Commitments.
  4. Save. Save. Save. SPEND LESS ____! SPEND LESS! I’M SERIOUS!
  5. Move out – just be independent and self sufficient for a while – just to see if I’d survive
  6. Help out my mom and sister
  7. Maybe buy my own car if I can afford it.

And anything else that happens along the way I guess is secondary. Unlike my ex, having a wife and kids is just not in my goals right now. I can’t even commit to a job let alone a husband. I don’t even know if I’d be a good wife with the way I am right now. I mean, yes if I lived with a guy, I’d probably be awesome to live with, but right now? Probably not. Sigh, I know I’m probably contradicting myself one way or another, but fuck it. It’s how I’m feeling right now, and I don’t make sense, but I’m learning! And I’m going to change! I swear.

 

 

…Who am I swearing to, you ask? Myself. Bitch.

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Growth, Personal

New Beginnings 

So I had my placement evaluation today for the clinic I’ve been training at. And the Senior Therapist really liked me. She thinks I’m ready to start doing therapy on my own patient. I’m really excited about it. Probably the best news I’ve had all week. I’m going to grasp as much as I can, learn as much as I can, move up as much as I can, and just keep going. I don’t know what’s in store for me 

Don’t know if I’m meant to do this by any means but it feels right for now. I figured I’d put some good vibes in here since I’ve reminded myself before that I only write immensely when I’m sad or upset or whatever the case. 

When I look back I want to remember the good times too. 

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Growth, Personal, Perspectives

Something Weird Happened.

I have this friend that I’ve had trouble trusting from the get go (big surprise). I didn’t like them initially. My vibe was always that the person was fake. That their persona was just whatever pleased people (plot twist – that’s me). Maybe looking at the person almost became a reflection of myself and I immediately hated them. Watching them do quite possibly what I think I’m doing was cringe worthy and I didn’t like them for it. Maybe I was jealous and maybe I felt like they were a threat to me? Either way for a long time I got along with this person and handled them in small doses for the purpose of getting by. Continue reading

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