WRITING 129: FOR MYSELF

 

THIS POST IS FOR MYSELF.

THE CHAT WITH DAD WENT TERRIBLY WRONG. THE VERY MOMENT HE PICKED UP THE ISSUE—THE SAME, UNRESOLVED ISSUE EVERY WEEK—I KNEW IT WAS OVER.  IN HIS EYES, I AM A WORTHLESS, TOTAL FAILURE, BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE ALONE.

FOR HIM ALL THAT MATTERS IS THE OUTCOME: HE DOES NOT CARE HOW YOU GET THERE. THIS HAS BEEN HIS TEACHING SINCE MY CHILDHOOD. EVERYTHING IS OK AS LONG AS YOU DELIVER THE OUTCOMES HE EXPECTS.

OUR IMPLICIT CONTRACT HAS WORKED FINE IN THE PAST: I DID WELL SCHOOL AND CAREER WISE, AT LEAST BY USUAL STANDARDS. THEY ARE NOT EASY, BUT AS LONG AS I PUT ENOUGH EFFORTS, THE OUTCOMES FOLLOW.

STRANGE ENOUGH, I WAS A BIT DISAPPOINTED WHEN I FIRST GOT MY PROMOTION NEWS LAST SUMMER. I MET HIS EXPECTATION, AGAIN. THE GRUELING HELL I HAVE GONE THROUGH IN THE PAST EIGHT YEARS? HE DOES NOT CARE.

HOW COULD HE UNDERSTAND? HOW COULD HE UNDERSTAND WITHOUT LIVING THROUGH IT, DAY IN AND DAY OUT? HOW COULD HE UNDERSTAND ALL THE LONELINESS, THE FEAR, THE FRUSTRATION, THE DEPRESSION, THE DESPERATION, THAT I MUST ENDURE, FOR THAT SINGLE OUTCOME?

BUT THE ISSUE TODAY IS DIFFERENT: FOR TEN YEARS I CANNOT DELIVER. AFTER HIS BOMBARDMENT, I FELT SAD. HE HAD A POINT: WHY EVERYONE ELSE CAN DO IT, WHY CANNOT YOU?

BUT, TO BE FAIR, WHY CANNOT YOU SEE THAT FREAKING PROMOTION CONSUMED ALMOST ALL MY TIME? WHY CANNOT YOU UNDERSTAND THERE IS NO SUCH THING OF LIFE/WORK BALANCE IN ACADEMIA, WHEN THE TENURE CLOCK IS TICKING EVERY SINGLE SECOND, FOR EIGHT YEARS? THE TIME OTHERS PUT INTO FAMILY I HAVE TO PUT INTO WORK. IS THAT SO DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND?

AS ALWAYS, AFTER EVERY BOMBARDMENT, HE INSISTED ON A DEFINITE TIME LINE, AND WOULDN’T STOP UNTIL YOU OFFER ONE. I FEEL TERRIBLE. WHY DOES MY FEELING NEVER MATTER TO HIM?

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I WILL GET IT DONE, BUT ON MY TERM.

 

2011-10-06 182 - Copy - Copy

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5 thoughts on “WRITING 129: FOR MYSELF

  1. I can only speak from my experience of a poor excuse for a Dad, who essentially did the opposite, and gave me no ambition or advice. But realising your dad/mother are no longer your masters is crucial, and helped me develop as a person with my own pursuits and voice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. But the tricky part is, regardless of your actual condition, your parents always have authority. And because you are indebted to them, it is hard to do things they disapprove. Anyway, it is a very tricky balance.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In my opinion, I don’t think anyone is indebted to their parents. You didn’t chose to be born to them; you don’t owe them more than your heart decides. Even a relationship between parent and child should be dictated by mutual respect, not obligation. And I say that as the daughter of an emotionally abusive father, and the mother of my own child.

    Liked by 1 person

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