Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Second Chance

I always get a strange stare when I say, “No, I don’t want to date, and I don’t want a man in my life.” One woman looked at me and wondered out loud, “Do we have a man-hater here?”

No, I’m not a hater. I’m just tired and disappointed by the constant let down. Seems like the men I have met in the past have more emotional problems than I do. God knows I don’t need more problems in my life. Plus, I’m not a psychotherapist. I can’t fix their problems originated from their childhood. Whoever did them wrong did it long time ago. If they can’t let it go by now, they probably never will. And never is too long to wait. I don’t want to sound cold, but the pleasure to pain ratio is too low to be bothered by men. Trust me. I tried.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t grow up in a happy home, and I have to deal with my own demon. My father was so disappointed that I wasn’t a boy when I was born, he told my mom she wouldn’t get chicken (considered a must for new moms in those days) to eat everyday, and it would be different had she had a boy. Can you believe it? She cried, but that was the only thing she could do. I didn’t know better, and was always trying, unsuccessfully, to be smarter so my father would love me. He wasn’t shy in reminding me constantly that that’s what I was – stupid, and why I couldn’t be smarter like my sister. It took a lot of work – reading, self reflecting, wondering, crying, hating, and healing. I finally came to understand it wasn’t my fault that he didn’t love me, but it was too late. He had died and I would never have the chance to tell him what he did was unforgivable. Oh well.

On the other hand, life isn’t that bad. We all have primal hurt – what I call the hurt incurred by our parents or caregivers while we were kids. They leave profound effects in our lives, but everybody has it. It’s a big deal when you are growing up, but by trying to overcome the hurt we could be a better person, and this is the lesson of our lives. I think God designed it that way so we can have real emotional growth. It’s not a big deal after we realized our parents are humans too--some are worse than others. Is it a long process? Yes. Is it avoidable? No.

So if those men wanted to dwell in the past and refuse to grow up, I can’t do a thing. Second chance with your parents does not exist unless you can go back in time.

Or does it? My mom is getting old and I find myself thinking about living with her so I can take care of her last years. I couldn’t bring myself to think so a couple of years ago. She drives me crazy. I always thought if I had to live with her – since senior housing is not that easy to come by and she’s not communicating with her two other children, this could be our only choice – I would either go nuts or we would kill each other. She didn’t have a formal education, nor did she ever work. However, these never stop her from critiquing every single thing I do, commenting on every single thing going on in my life, the way I keep the house, raise my kids, my career, my friends... everything! She is also a compulsive talker, meaning she has to talk all the time. In the rare occasions that she runs out of things to criticize, she would talk about her friends, their families and relatives who I don’t know and never met and don’t really care. The first hour of her visit is generally tolerable, then it starts to wear me down. A few times I wanted to pull my hair and shout, “Stop! Stop talking! You will not die if you don’t talk!” But, of course, being a Chinese kid means you NEVER talk back, that your parents are ALWAYS right. And to add to that, I’m ALWAYS wrong in everything I do in her eyes.

Last time she visited with me though, I sensed something was different. She still talked non stop, but in lower volume. She still ridicules, but not as harsh. She climbed the stairs with slower speed and more caution, and her leg bothers her everyday. I suddenly realized: she’s getting old and losing her “fervor,” if you will. I cried when I realized that. No matter how incapable of showing her love to me, she did what she could to help me when I needed. That’s a definition of being supportive, I guess. So I can and should be supportive to her. After all, she’s my mother. I wonder what kind of lesson there is for me to learn should we decide to live together.

In the meanwhile, I’m praying very hard to God that she would live to 100.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah you are right there is a lesson to be learned.

    * What kind of person would you be today if you did not go through all the trials of childhood you had with your dad and later with your mom. I believe what we live through in our lives determines what kind of person we are. I mean who we "truly" are.

    *Love your mother regardless of her "faults". Yes, she probably does get on your nerves but, like you noticed she is getting older. One day she will not be here and, you need to cherish her while you can. That means even putting up with "talking" all the time and the ridicule she gives you. I know it may not seem fair but she is your mother. Some people do not even get to know their mothers in life.

    It is nice you are thinking about taking care of her. You would be one of the few. Most children do not want to take care of their parents. They just stick them in a nursing home and forget about them.

    Everything will work out in the end. If you just love your mother no matter what then, when it is her time to go to God, you will know that she left knowing you loved her.



Related Posts with Thumbnails