Rosy Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

You may have read my earlier posts about my struggles in my relationship (or non-relationship) with my mother. Nothing has changed.

Social Distancing has ironically made it easier to cope in some ways: I was not able to visit and, as bad as that might make me out to be, I found that this was a relief. If I didn’t have to meet her, there would be no friction.

I had called on my father’s birthday, and I sent bread hampers over the weeks; bakeries in their neighbourhood are shut.

I called again today to check in. Not even my father (he goes along with my mother to get along) had contacted me to say anything about receiving the hamper – I don’t need thanks, just acknowledgement that the food had arrived so I could follow up with the delivery folks, if necessary.

My aunt informed me that my mother had ranted and raged upon the receiving the first hamper. She snarked about my sending food for only my aunt and father and refused to touch any because it was not for her. My aunt even had to stop her from giving everything to the neighbours.

The amount of food should have made it clear it was for everyone but I had forgotten about the narcissist’s martyr complex. I had allowed myself to overlook her cruel tongue. And I had deluded myself, once again, into thinking I should care.

My aunt also informed me that my mother has prepared 3 letters to be sent to my father’s relatives, each one detailing my multitude of sins. And she has had her lawyer draw up a new will in which I would get nothing.

Like it matters. I don’t want things. What I want is some measure of civility so that my own family doesn’t have to witness this acrimony. What I want is a regular mom. What I want is a dad who can support me. What I want is a situation where just sending bread doesn’t have to unleash another cycle of cruel words.

So, tonight, I finally broke down.

Tonight, I accepted that I am going to have to stand on my own, and stand up for myself. I am an unwanted child who has had her reputation smeared to anyone with hearing abilities; even my father has not denied that when my mother visits relatives, she speaks ill of me.

If even sending food because I cannot visit (not that I would have wanted to visit) is a problem, then either I am truly abhorrent to my mother or I am the stupidest person alive to continue to delude myself that being filial matters, and to believe that I have parents.


RDP ~ Rosy Hues

Clap! ~ Act Of Kindness #38

At 8pm this evening, people came to their balconies, windows, driveways and front doors to cheer, clap, whistle, sing and bang on pots and pans to salute the medical personnel, cleaning crews, grocery store stockers, clear-headed decision makers and everyone fighting this unseen enemy. It was amazing.

Many of us are in lockdown and coping with our new normal. Many of us want to do something, anything, to make things better for our countrymen who are working while we’re safe at home.

My heart is heavy with sorrow for the victims, their families and the tireless fighters. My throat is thick each time the news reports an increased figure in the statistics.

So I am thankful for this moment of solidarity this evening.

It was just a small gesture that carried a huge message of support. It was something we could do.

So perhaps what happened fhis evening wasn’t exactly kindness. It is certainly not unique, having taken place all over the world. It is a small wave of gratitude and thanks, a mere drop in the sea of sacrifice, vigilance and commitment for the fierce frontliners in the Covid-19 fight.

To everyone on the frontlines – thank you.


Broken Boughs

My family tree is large and its roots stretch across the globe. I don’t even know how many second cousins I might actually have, much less their parents’ names.

But I’ve often wondered if having relatives even matters.

You see, I have struggled for a long time with family expectations and standards. As the eldest grandchild, I was expected to set an example and my mother pushed me to excel in school and in other activities.

When I did well, I was praised and my mother was pleased. When I didn’t, which was more usual, it was explained as, “Well, she never studied/practised enough and she’s not naturally bright/talented so why should I expect anything from her? She’s useless!” or words to that effect. So I buried my feelings, avoided the stares and resolved to try harder next time.

But school got harder, extracurricular activities got more demanding, the days seemed to grow shorter and my grades got no better.

I stopped trying. I hated school. Hated the other kids (heck, they hated me but that’s another story). Hated always being the one never chosen for the good groups or interschool competitions. Hated always having to play the piano at family events. Hated being my mother’s chance to outshine the kid of Aunt This or Uncle That.

Because my mother also skillfully kept all relatives’ attempts to chat with me at bay, nobody ever knew how I felt. One of my aunts once encouraged me to write to her (she lived in another state) and my mother found out. “Why are you so stupid? Can’t you see she just wants to assess how you write then teach her children? Do you think she cares what you have to say? You’re so stupid.”

Back then, I knew nothing of narcissism or Tiger Mums. I only knew what lay ahead if my mother didn’t look good, or if I didn’t do things her way. I remember telling her off once, that she treated me as a performing monkey more than as a daughter. That conversation didn’t end well.

Most conversations with my mother never ended well. She and I are different personalities. And my father was never strong enough to support his child against her.

I stopped speaking to my mother 15 years ago. She tells everybody that, followed by a litany of all she has done for me and how much money she has wasted on me. And how I am unfilial, worthless, undependable, untrustworthy or whatever.

Family occasions are weird because we’re both present but we stay apart. It works for me because I have nothing to say to her, and she can’t call me any names.

I have started seeing a therapist to help me deal with the unreleased fury and grief I have within me. I want to learn how to cope with how I feel now and how I felt then.

What has this post got to do with branches? Well, there are countless branches on my family tree. Yet not one provided shelter or shade. I don’t want to blame anyone because narcissists are that good at camouflaging the truth, and they probably saw what she wanted them to see.

I have so much to say about my mother. I might share more stories. We’ll see.


No More Pinky Promises

Hold my hand, don’t drag me by my sleeve.

Hold my hand, don’t take it to pull me where I don’t want to go.

Hold my hand, don’t fling it away because you have more important things to do.

Hold my hand and say, “We’ll do this together,” not “You’re so stupid! Why can’t you do anything right?”

Hold my hand and guide me to walk strong and tall, not pull yours away and say, “Stand on your two feet, you dirty yellow chicken!”

Hold my hand, tell me I am a good daughter despite my flaws, not tell all the relatives that I am unfilial, unreliable, untrustworthy, worthless, and lacking in grace, manners and civility.

Hold my hand, teach me arts and crafts and life skills, not use your own to slap me, and write lists and essays of how much money I cost you to raise me.

Hold my hand because you are my mother, and I should be by your side for your golden years.

But you know what?

Don’t hold my hand.

I have walked a long road on my own two feet. It has taken a long while but I have found my path. I found my way. And I am letting you go.


RDP ~ HOLD MY HAND

Matcha Plus ~ Act Of Kindness #37

I went to Starbucks in Monday, hell bent on getting a Grande Pure Matcha Latte With Oat Milk And No Sugar.

Why? Because it had been one of those days. Oh, you meant why that drink? Because I had a medical scare last June and have gone cold turkey on coffee since then. I’d been choosing Matchas because they were supposed to be the wonder drink and since oat milk was available, why not? For some reason, almond milk is not offered (scratches head).

But this post is not about my green tea fixation. It’s about this:

When I took out my card to pay, the barista said the customer before me had paid for my drink, so I was to enjoy my beverage and to have a great day.”

Wow. I’d heard of people doing this and kudos to everyone who has. But I’ve never been a recipient and, sadly, it hit me that I’ve never done it for anyone before either.

So I went back to barista and told her I’d do the same for her next customer. Whoever you are, enjoy!

And whoever you are who paid for my drink, a huge thank you. I had a great drink, but your generosity reset the balance for the lousy day that drove me to Starbucks in the first place.