- Family and Parenting
Was I Wrong All This Time?
Caught A Glimpse Of Light Through The Crack
Well, I frankly do not know where to start. But I guess it all started when I got married. I seriously doubt the fire would have been ignited had I not gotten married. When a man gets married he becomes like this person who has attained a new found strength and support.
Such is true especially in my case. Being born with a golden spoon and living in the same house with my parents, who are the dictionary definition of AUTHORITARIAN. I never questioned them, I was obedient. As much as I disagreed or disliked their behavior I kept my mouth shut. They fed and supported me. I kept my mouth shut. Kind of like the citizens of North Korea and their Supreme Leader...except that I got support and was well fed.
Unlike the citizens of North Korea, however, I knew something smelled fishy. I want to rebel, but I had no one to support me. What if they kicked me out? What if they cut off my life support. So many horrific what ifs came to mind. If only I had someone who will support me and love me for who I am, wealthy parents or no. If only someone will come and hold my hands as we attack and demonstrate against the Supreme Leader(s).
I tried being positive. Whenever they do something I disliked I kept my mouth shut and made myself believe, it is for my own good. Think positive. I realize now that I was in denial. I had fear, not knowing how else parents was supposed to be. It was when I got married and mingled with my wife and her parents and siblings that I saw and caught a glimpse of how it is supposed to be.
The Obedient Son
As far as my parents were concerned, they were mighty proud of me. How can they not. Amazing grades, never questioned their decisions. Kept my mouth shut and minded my own business. Ahh..who wouldn't want a son like me!
A son like me is born out of oppression, If you want a son/daughter which is obedient, it is pretty easy, make sure he/she keeps quiet and never allow him/her to speak his mind. NEVER.
You know something interesting about North Korea? When we see them praising their Supreme Leader we think they are mad, but they are not mad. They were conditioned. Conditioned to never rebel or question, any sign of it and you will suffer dire consequences. Led to believe that whatever decision their leader took was right, and you need to respect him, nay, you need to take him as your god and worship.
Such was my case, I worshipped my parents. But then I got married. When you are an Indian man who has reached your mid 20s, people especially your parents, will start asking you "so when are you going to get married" they will pester you with it.
Deep inside me, I thought, which girl will want to enter this house? Which person wants to register as a North Korean citizenship?? Such a thing is unheard of. But, somehow, I fell in love, at that moment it really did not matter. I figure my wife is so sweet and caring that even my parents with a heart of stone could melt. But nope.
Sometimes I used to feel sorry for her for being trapped in this oppressive regime with me. I used to feel guilty and I used to feel I fooled her. But I know I did not fool her because I love her. And neither did she feel that I betrayed her.
The Lesser Known Phenomena of Spoiled Parents
We have all heard of spoiled kids. Unruly, rebelling against their parents and authority figures. But on the other end of that spectrum lies spoiled parents. According to me at least. These are just my thoughts, I am no family psychologist, just a man who grew up with authority figures and did not like it very much.
I guess the reason spoiled parents is a rather unheard of phenomena is because no one wants to hear what a kid has to say! Everyone has heard of spoiled children because everyone listens to adults. No one has ever heard of spoiled parents because no one ever listens to children! Simple.
So lets talk about this rather unexplored topic. Spoiled Parents. Parents who cannot get enough of being an authority. Parents who will not admit they are wrong. They have a problem with being wrong. If by mistake they call you with your sibling's name and you correct them, they will tell you "no your name has been Samantha all along!" and then you go "but mom, I am a boy" and she will try and explain to you that Samantha is a unisex name, after which you will slowly start developing a gender identity crisis. Of course this is a rather exaggerated example but you get my point.
It hurts their ego, to be proven wrong. Somehow they have painted this image of themselves over how they want their son/daughter to picture them. And mostly its a painting of them as an all divine being with you kneeling in front of them worshipping them. And when you prove them wrong it is equivalent of heresy. You threaten to destroy their beautiful painting.
And if you are like me, you will notice that they don't have many friends. At least not in front of you. Because socializing with friends is a very candid, spontaneous experience. With full of camaraderie and joking. I guess their biggest fear is having their friends poke a good spirited fun at them in front of their kids. Not only that, they can go as far as hesitating to let you mingle with other people your age, because God forbid you should open your eyes and wisen up and compare their lovable parents to yours.
God forbid your son/daughter gets to see you are a human as well and like them, you are not so perfect, am I right? God forbid they grow up to be someone who is secure and fine at being someone far from perfect. God forbid they grow up to accept that they are humans with flaws. Oh, how we all just wish our sons/daughters grow up to be as perfect as Donald Trump, am I right, folks?
I will extend an olive branch, They fed me, gave me food clothes and shelter. I cannot thank them enough for it. However, I get seriously frustrated when they think they deserve a Nobel for it. You don't deserve Nobels for doing your duty. You get Nobels for doing something exceptional, something beyond the norm and make an impact on a global scale. Food Clothes Shelter? We give them to our pet dogs too nowadays, many times ever more than that.
Every time they felt I did not respect them enough they will not hesitate to remind me that they feed me. I don't mean to sound selfish but being great parents goes beyond that. If you think being great parents means you only have to feed and give shelter then may be you should consider getting a pet instead of planning to raise a child.
This Crazy Act Called Thinking
I don't want to put the blame on my wife. In fact, I have to give her her due credits. If you have been mistreated since you were born, you do not realize it. Because you grew up thinking that is how it is supposed to be.
My wife came from a totally different family than mine. Her family is like a democratic nation run by love and peace. Her parents are deeply spiritual, very understanding and loving, every time I meet them I suck all that love and understanding like dry sponge.
When she settled and moved in with my parents and I, it didn't take very long for her to figure that I, and eventually her, just kept getting the short end of the stick, all the darned time. She kept telling me things to the tune of "you just keep quiet and don't say anything??" I tell you, women, they know how to push your buttons. But she was right, I know she was right.
Because even before I married her I felt the same way but always denied it. I kept moving on, for the sake of a peaceful home I looked the other way. I did not want to make a scene. I tell you, to this day I hate confrontation. Especially if it had to be my parents.
Even before I met her. Whenever I was alone I would reenact a scene in my mind about raising my voice and disagreeing with them. But when the time comes I get tongue tied, I can't say anything. It is when I leave with my tail between my legs that I go "Hey wait! Why did I not say that! d'oh!" and by that time it would have already been too late and frankly quiet awkward to go back and bring up the topic. Right?
So my wife helped me with the love and support. She told me you need to speak up and I told her I get tongue tied, every time they disagree or is displeased with something I kind of freak out and get tongue tied. I just don't know what to say. Every time after a confrontation with them my wife would say "so why did you not say so and so." and I would be like "forget it, lets just get on with our lives." but deep down I am like "why didn't I?" I find this trait of mind particularly disturbing. Why can the right things just come out of our mouths like in the movies?
The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.— Charles Kuralt
Slowly but surely, it started to dawn on me that I should not be tolerating their behavior which I have grown so accustomed to. You have no idea how hard it is to figure out what to do when all your life you have been treated a certain way and thought all along that it was ok. If all that was not ok then....what?
When I see how my wife's family function and how much love and understanding and open communication exists, it started to dawn on me, "this...this is how a family should function." I felt like an oppressed North Korean citizen being plopped right in the middle of the 1960s Summer Of Love. You have no idea how many times I have told my wife and my in laws "man, if only my family was like this..." and my father in law would tell me one thing "you guys have no love."
So it was by seeing how her family functions and seeing how many other families function that I started to realize and decide that I will not tolerate this longer. The peak came before new years when some misunderstanding occurred and I decided there and then to move out. I had enough, it was time to move out of this oppressive regime.
I just could not take it anymore. With all the lies and deception. You know a country is deceiving your and corrupted when there is no transparency. It was similar in my house. Everything was under wraps. I asked them the same question two different times and got two different answers. Kind of Like Donald Trump. So I figured I had enough and left.
How Is It Now?
Well, I moved out of my home but I am still working and helping my father. Our relationship is strictly professional. I put on a thick skin. No point trying to clear things up, when the person you want to clear things up with is blowing up a fog machine all the time. My mother blames my dad, my dad blames my mom, yada yada yada. No one wants to take the blame, everyone is perfect. Just Perfect.
So if any of you wondered why I have not been active on Hubpages until recently, well now you know. Life was giving me great ideas and inspiration to write articles on Hubpages. I'd like to end this on a bright note. I have never been happier or felt more liberated since I left. Granted I am faced with different challenges than the one I faced before, but when you are happy and light those challenges are small.