so this is about to be kind of a downer and I’m scared it may get crazy long. almost regretting mentioning anything/saying I’d write you since that means you get yet another bitch-fest from Lex. which I have been trying to tone down with you especially. because I think you’re amazing and smart and would love to have convos about the world and such versus me/you/idk. Not that that’s not also valuable. I wish I coud just say “basically the problem is..” and give you some short version but that’s not really possible either because there’s just so much and so many factors etc. also I don’t know how much you know. It’d def be way easier if I could just tell you but leading in into Problems With Being Back With My Parents #1 is that it’s a studio apartment which means that there’s no privacy/escape where I can really tell you. Like my ‘space’ here is a mat on the corner of the room at the foot of my parents’ bed, which is also the front door, kitchen, living roomish area… And at the smoothie store, obviously not, and before I use to wait til they went to sleep and went to the apartment complex basement or our bathroom to make phone calls but that’s now forbidden as well. who knows why. Apparently it makes them feel bad since I do such a bad job calling them during the year? Really no clue. /it’s worse now anyways because that means I’m timing out for chunks of the day to be on the phone in their company right? Which kind of leads into #2 which could be broken down into tons of subcategorizes but essentially two i suppose: a) generation gap is something I guess most families deal with but Koreans are enormously sexist, conservative, homophobic, Confucian, etc. and add devout Christianity to that, as well as b) my parents esp my dad are clearly doing pretty fucking terrible for themselves and it’s hugely disappointing especially someone like my dad who always thought of himself as smart and special and on the brink of success etc and have this superman complex from being a Korean male and his life playing out as essentially a failure where he tries to live vicariously by following my brother and me around but causing huge financial strain on the actual family and just making things worse for everyone makes him a little insane and always on edge and even more prone to explosions than his personality already made him so that #3 he and my parents beliefs make it near impossible to talk to them about anything ever (ie we differ on what a good person is, what is a worthy life, what is art—>my mom still doesn’t understand why I ‘need to waste so much time watching so many movies’ and hates that i watch things that have themes like sex and violence in them…like. i can’t even). They refer to the Bible in any discussion/argument, threatens to disown at mention of homosexuality, and with the whole Confucian thing, especially with my dad, have an unchangeable fundamental belief that anything i say, as a young girl, discounts its chances for being at all viable for any level of truth or accuracy, means that I’m just always being disrespectful and am getting screamed at for avg 1.5 hours at a time avg 4x/wk for things like daring to think i can explain anything to my dad (my plans for the day/future, how to order new contacts, leaving at 6:30 to meet a friend 30 min away versus at 7:00). Like these things go on and on with crazy reasoning like I want him dead and I’m such and ungrateful brat for thinking I’m so much better than him after all these years that he’s kept the family afloat and how I shouldn’t worry because it’s only a matter of time before I get what I want and he disappears from my life.
Before it hurt my feelings, but now, it’s true, I can’t fucking wait. He says he has a stomachache and i get a sick sense of hope and a flash of memory about stomach acid leaks killing people in hours.But until then, I have to deal with him being incredibly patronizing and terribly abusive to my mom and his near-bipolar reversals into be super sweet since he’s too weak to apologize for being a fucking crazy person. This is all old news I guess, just this is the longes I’ve had to deal with him in several years and the fact that we’re all always in the same room doesn’t help. And I’ve explained how I’m not crazy about my high school friends anymore, who I hang out with now basically to just escape and I’m developing a right eye twitch whenever it’s time to go home. I literally feel nauseous at the sound of my dad’s voice now. And I know I’m supposed to be the Dramatic One but like. If I couldn’t leave next week, I’m not sure if i would make it back to school. just listening to my parents try to convince themselves that they did ok by discrediting the daughter of an acquaintance would did better than me on the ACTs after my mom is bewildered why me and a friend, two girls, could possibly what to go rock climbing makes me want to empty my bank account and fall off their grid. I’ve been recollecting my files etc. for years and never let my savings account dip below $900 in case I need to bail. Although now that’s kind of turned into my senior thesis money. Idk really but like the way that every neutral question I ask is twisted into some attack that’ll set off another 2-hour screaming tirade (which being in public does not temper) and facts are distorted to make for their argument (they bend over backwards to let me have hang-out dates with my friends until it’s time for another yelling sesh during which they’ll say it pisses them off enormously and how they never let my brother out of the house when he visited home during college which i remember would be 1 wk at a time max and he mostly stayed in because he didn’t have plans [asked him to check], and then go right back to bending over backwards to let my plans work. I have no idea how to respond). And my dad being in Hartford: I was feeling bold and dared to say I didn’t want him following me around like he did my brother (moving to NJ since he can’t afford NY. like that’s why he wants my mom to leave the smoothie store she invested $70,000, to follow us east, when she got into the store to try to have some source of income since he was just sucking. And she’s ACTUALLY sooo apologetic to him now for hindering his plans.) and he was like “who do you think you are I’m not I’m going to school too and have tons of things going on and can’t fucking dote on you anyways” and now he’s like “I came to CT for you and you can’t even be bothered to see me, always “sooo busy” when I fucking ran out of meals because I’d always be buying him weshop bags full of food and swiping him meals because as a 50 yr old, he’s living a grad student life. still. And all I can do when he says shit like that is “yes, I’m sorry.” or else it sets him off more. Like even in the face of ridiculous rhetorical questions, where saying “yes I’m sorry” hands rage-trembling, would normally be seen as annoying for being so obviously insincere, turns out to be the preferred response in Korean father-child relations. All these codes that he’s so infuriated i don’t know when I grew up here and mostly not with him. And my grandma was like my dad when I lived with her parts of frosh and sopho year of HS, which makes it super confusing when she insits she likes me a lot and is so so hurt that I don’t call enough. Which my parents use as ammo regardless of what the tirade started with. Which is how all their arguments go. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. And always, my brother is the shining example that I am held against when he will always be, to me, the guy who’d scream at me for being ugly and stupid and useless because of things like getting annoyed at him for doing a bad job at his chores/neglecting them so I’d have to do it or like once my mom had left out hamburger meat to defrost and when he was looking to make himself a burger, I pointed out that stuff. He found it to be much too chewy, went into the kind of tirade I now know he learned from my dad for giving him the ‘wrong’ stuff, threw the burger at me and screamed until I thought it was over and had me hiding from him in my closet. Which ended with him breaking my room’s doorknob off to tell me to stop crying because it annoyed him I was bitching so hard when all he did was take care of me and drive me places (this is him as a sr and me as frosh in HS, and yeah he did drive me to and from school every day but we went to the same school and he’d manage to make me cry on the 10 min drive to school every morning most days. I’d say I had crazy allergies and my 1st period geometry teacher gave me a bottle of benadryl at the end of the year as a joke.) THis is already too long and could go on for ages with stories and probably mostly a mess since I can’t really explain fully all the layers of misunderstanding and cultural/principle gaps and differences in temperament and such just basically it’s hard to be with my dad let alone for an extended period of time and in the same room. And his career/financial/family man endeavors and such have all failed and that’s hard enough but now he’s going crazier. And makes me scared of throwing myself into film which has a super high failure rate. And all the crazy is seeping into my thinking now. The one person that’s supposed to be ‘on my side’ is my mom and I’m an atheist and my mom’s a conservative Christian. Just too much we disagree on for any real conversation. Zero exaggeration, whats me and Tristan to do no more than hand-holding lol. None of my high school friends really know about any of this and I’m not in any mood to play after a getting-yelled-at sesh but that means I’m home/around that much more so I do anyways and that’s tiring. But if I take to long to get cheery again ie within the next hour (which is confusing since a lot of time, an hour later, my dad’ll pick up again. clearly mostly because he feels like it but he’s sick and doesn’t get it), it’s a new problem to yell and scream about. So I should start smiling soon. Or spend more time working for free as a brown service person/Asian girl in Indiana which is actually better than being home. /at the place where my parents are currently both sleeping and keeping their stuff. But at least I’m almost done. gone in a week, free for at least until summer. dunno if I should send this. if I do thanks for reading. but probably won’t because I don’t want that time I sent you a 75876-page email about how much i hate my family to be in our history. or for you to treat me differently. although i guess i’ve done that much in boy-complaining haha. proof of lack of self-control? idk i love you. thanks for being such a great listener. feel like Rachel is the kind of person who would rather not talk about this stuff and wish i were like that/wonder why i’m not. and I know you tend to feel guilty with all your good fortunes blah blah but I’m so glad that real families like yours exist. easy to get cynical and think/hope everyone else is miserable but having people you care about/like in good situations help. so dont
|—||[William Chace, former President of Wesleyan University] (via rienfleche)|