Saturday, May 14, 2005
rootless and hollowed out
Awake early two days in a row. It's a miracle of self-medication.
This is going to be a long, boring, entry of rambling.
At my house, there's this pine tree in the corner of our yard that's been there since I remember the time my family moved into the house (circa Gar, age 5). Being the allergy-suffering person I am, I despised just about every plant in our yard while I was growing up, except for this particular tree.
I kind of like it, actually.
So the inevitable has happened since about the beginning of last week... my personal fortune amassed abroad in Japan (ha) has finally been reduced to a mere pittance of money. The latest bills for grad school (tuition deposit) and car insurance have metaphorically humped my bank account into the oblivion of weeping, molested, nothingness. Not to mention the soaring gas prices added an additional kick in the ribs.
Granted, I knew this day was coming.
When I returned from Japan late November, I returned to find that my Mom had sold my car. My cousin hooked me up with a nice deal on his wife's old Acura, but it was still a significant chunk of change outta my pocket. In retrospect, maybe I should have not bought the car at all, even though one of my uncles generously loaned me some of the money to do so. I guess I thought I'd go back to work right away and being what transportation is here in Seattle, a car is pretty necessary to get around... especially since I live in the trailerpark and plaid hell of Kent. Yipee, southside.
I did my best to frugally save what money I had. I'm amazed it's lasted to this long considering my income has been zero.
I suppose the normal thing for people my age would be to ask for help from their parents, especially since my attendance to grad school will be a 20k+ expense, not including the costs for books and living in a place close to campus. One might even assume that given the amount of hell Asian American parents give their children over being educated that such an expense would be nothing to worry about. After all, if a their kid actually had the aptitude and motivation to attend graduate school, wouldn't they be more than willing to help?
My situation is quite different.
I can imagine a lot of things I'd rather do than ask for money from my mother... dancing on broken glass, slashing my wrists, sticking a shotgun under my chin, listening to the entire catalog of the Backstreet Boys. Pride is a small part of the issue, but the issue is more how my mom makes me feel whenever I ask for a monetary loan or help. My skin crawls just thinking about the contempt in her voice , the veiled insults and spite that spits out of her mouth. Her response would make you think that I told her I was going to make a snuff film of starving prison inmates devouring orphaned children.
It's like Geez, if I wanted to be insulted and belittled and feel worthless as Asian American man, I'd go watch "Miss Saigon".
Just remembering the things that my mother has said in the past before makes me want to claw my eyes out and rip my ears from my head... it's really that aggravating. I don't claim to be Jesus Christ, son of God, but am I really that horrible of a person that my own mother talks to me like I was the worst son in the world? I guess no child forgets the things their parent says to them in that sorta regard. Living at home with my mother, 24-7, seems to compound the strain. If anything, I'm looking forward to moving out again.
Do all parent-child relationships by default have to contain dysfunctionalism?
When I was in Japan, I would occasionally go in and out of certain periods of emotional and spiritual isolation. Except for a few friends, my sister, and some of my relatives in Cali, I really didn't feel like most of the people in my life supported me going. But even in the hardest periods of time, there were still the something nice from working FT and supporting myself... my daily bento lunch at the small shop from the nice old ladies; taking friends and co-workers out to dinner; traveling around Japan by train. The little joys.
Quite expectedly, a lot of people, my mother included, would gush about how happy they'd be when I returned. Being ever the skeptic, I knew that wouldn't last so long. But while I was in Japan, it was nice having that feeling of being independent; even if it wasn't a 100% real. Anything was better than the year preceding that time.
I guess starting from now, I'll have to start looking for a way to sell my car, and other random possessions. Along with going to the bank to ask for a 5-digit student loan... debt. Grrr.
So the tree in my yard... my family has never watered the tree or done anything special for it, yet it's flourished for the past 20 years. Rain, sunshine, winter, summer... the thing kept growing and putting down roots. When I was a kid, the tree was only about 5 feet tall. Now, it's taller than our house. And all without any help or care. I guess that's why I really respect that tree.
Sitting all by itself in the corner of our yard... I'm sure it'll keep growing taller and its roots will keep getting deeper. Can't say the same about myself...
I can totally relate on you on the daily little joys of living in Japan. Sorry to hear about your Mom. I can somewhat relate since my parents taught my brother and I to be pretty independent growing up. But I'm discovering that while my parents have actually "mellowed" in recent years (ie. job changes, less parental resposibilities?)... it doesn't erase the memories or emotional scars left behind in my childhood and growing up.
"listening to the entire catalog of the Backstreet Boys"
parents can be so evil sometimes :o/
I can relate to you. My parents make me feel bad sometimes. However, I know that they don't intentionally try to make me feel bad, even though they do from time to time.Post a Comment
Anyway, coming to hear a little about how my parents grew up I'm thankful that they don't treat me the same way, even though some of it carries over.
Anyway, I know that words don't mean too much, because you're the one experiencing all this. But, I'll try to pray for you. I've been bad at that for awhile...but this might be something to remind me.
Anyway, I hope that things get better for you. Who knows what the future will bring?