“Praise the bridge that carried you over.” – George Colman
Before anyone asks, yes, my first reaction was to ask, “Over what?” (Part 2/3 of the very late posts…)
There are many bridges, then, for currently I do not have the power to carry and can only be carried.
Warning: the following text may cause some to be uncomfortable as I discuss the relationship my parents and I have, which to this day I’m not sure how to define it. But this was written during a very unstable period between my parents and I, so please excuse my ungratefulness. Also, I’m pretty sure I put this in a post some time back, but here it is again:
[This is a FaceBook message I sent to my cousin, when she was worried about me.]
Hi ——! Thanks for the message! I’m doing a lot better now thanks to letting it all out. I’ve been using my blog as a form of therapy and it’s been a lot better. This might be a long reply, but I believe that any less will not do this topic justice.
I’ve just come to the conclusion that there’s a broken bridge of communication between my parents and I that should’ve been mended years ago, but our focus on our differences made that impossible. I’ve come to understand that our generation gap cannot be easily rectified and our cultural clashes just makes it a lot more difficult. But I’m resigned to that fact and it’s a lot easier for me now, seeing them as for who they’ll always be instead of the people I wished they would be.
Blogging and talking to my auntie helped a lot. The prospect of being able to find my own place in the world is motivating me a lot. I’m really excited for college (letters come in two weeks!) and I can’t wait to experience a new lifestyle.
If uncle hasn’t told you yet, I will. My parents and I had a terrible argument during New Year’s dinner and it was interesting to see pretenses drop dead to the ground. I’ve discovered the root of my problems and I now understand that this is all they’ll ever be able to see. In many ways, I can still continue to love them.
I know for a fact that I’ve made mistakes (because I still so very young) and I’ll continue to do so because I’ll never be perfect. It was just a very frustrating time for me because they seemed to enjoy picking on my faults and teasing me about the the myriad of weaknesses I hold. Dad wasn’t helping either with his opposite talk, saying “I don’t think you can make it” but apparently meaning “You should be able to do it.”
We’ve come to an agreement; they will stop interfering with my choices and I will stop my “tantrums”, as they choose to call it.
They think that I’m distancing myself from them when in reality, they raised me to love independence from my parents. I enjoy sitting in the library reading or typing up a blog post in peace, without the presence of them in their condominium. I do understand that this is not their fault though; they’ve been busy all their lives trying to make money, but I just didn’t think that I’d be judged by what I’ve been acclimatised to by the people who created such an environment for me.
I’m really grateful to them. They gave me life and did so much to bring me here to the United States, where I can live freely and have a say in my choices. But by devoting so much time to their work, the bridge between my parents and I collapsed during the early stages of my childhood. They’ve provided me with so much financial aid, materials, basic necessities and social connections. While I felt that the mental aspect was a lot more important than giving me cash on my birthday, I understand that Chinese culture has never taught people to provide mental assistance, of all things.
I don’t think that rather than having a lot of pressure to go to medical school, my parents will be just be disappointed if I don’t have a high-paying job. The fact that they couldn’t tell that I’ve been under pain due to my scoliosis and over consumption of pain killers (the irony!) speak a lot, since we live under the same roof.
But it’s alright now, because the charades are over and I can see them for who they really are.
Thanks for your concern and I’m really sorry about this long message. Everyone seems to think that I hold some kind of grudge against my parents and I really want you to understand that I don’t. I don’t hate, but I don’t forget either.
Bridges collapse if their foundations aren’t strong enough. I hope you learned a lesson from my mistakes and repair bridges before the bricks become loose and fall into the endless river…
I’m grateful to all the bridges that have allowed me to be here today, but not all will be standing when this chapter of my life ends. In the end, it’s the solid and strong bridges that live on, but those are the ones that really matter. Is the bridge between my parents and I gone? Yes, absolutely. I love them, I will provide them with all I can in the future, but everything has changed, and we can’t go back into the past. It’s fine if they decide that they don’t want to walk me down the aisle.
There isn’t a brick, solid bridge, but there is a rope bridge and while on some days it sways too hard for anyone to cross, I can cross it every now and then, but that doesn’t mean I really do cross it.
If you decide that I’m an ungrateful bastard who deserves death for saying all the above, I’m sorry to have disappointed and may you live a long and happy life.
Quote taken from here.