Like a box of sweets you anticipate the sweetness as you enter into a relationship. You are attracted by it’s colors and can’t wait to taste it as you embrace the prospects of being of a deeper understanding with another individual.
It’s complicated and can be confusing at the same time. Things are not always rosy and sometimes when you reach a crossroad you know that there are decisions that have to be made.
You know that you have to do it THIS way and not THAT way as it will certainly not be to your benefit to do so otherwise. You feel torn as you wish for an amicable solution to the problem but it is just not going to happen.
Is this how you are currently feeling?
Each of us come into relationships with our own “baggage”. The experiences that we have from our childhood years shape our perception on how and what a relationship should be like and what we can expect out of it.
Let me start of by giving you a brief inside on my family background and how my thoughts about relationships were formed.
I was born into a traditional Chinese family where one there is a lot of emphasis on the traditional hierarchy and respect for the elderly. We meet up with the extended family and relatives rather infrequently and only doing major occasions like Christmas, Chinese New Year and on my grandparents birthdays.
You can say that I come from quite a conservative family where everyone is “suppose” to follow and obey the matriarch’s wishes. Males were also more “favored” then females and I have seen my fair share of extended family dramas while growing up. Inequalities and unfairness are tolerated just for the sake of “peace” in the family.
My immediate family consists of four members- My mum, dad, elder sister and me. My mum and dad divorced when I was a teenager and I stayed with my mum till I got married. They are back together now as a couple but the dynamics are now different.
I’ve always have had a close relationship with my mum even though I don’t see eye to eye with her on several issues. You can say that we have a rather cordial relationship and that I’m extremely grateful that she has always been there for me whenever I needed her to be.
My Dad and I used to be really close when I was little however since the divorce the distance between the two of us had increased. You can say that he is no longer the first one that I turn to if I need some advise of assurance. I turn to R instead.
My elder sister is three years older then me. . You can say that having a elder sister must have been fun as one gets to share clothes and confide in each other however I did not experience any of these. I find it hard to communicate with each other as our thinking is not on the same level.
She suffered from Febrile Fits and had Ankyloglossia when she was young. The medications and speech therapy that she had to go through affected her comprehension and ability to behave like a person her age. You can say she is stuck with a mental age of a 8-10 year old and certain things are really beyond her. I’m grateful that she does have a job and is able to live a simple and peaceful life.
I used to be the ” Yes” person and followed blindly what the elders had decided for me. I believed that they had my best interest in heart and I should be obedient and listen to what they have planned.
However since I went overseas to study during my University years I started questioning myself on what is the value of having such a subservient attitude in my relationships that I have. What do I benefit out of it? Why do I feel indignant having to do so?
I guess that you can say the rebel within me was surfacing and I was reflecting on my current state in life.
I no longer wanted to do things because of explanations like ” It is good for you and I know best” and ” I helped/did so many things for you in the past so you must do this for me.”
Being older doesn’t equate that the person is wiser.
Even though he/she may think he has your best interest at that point in time but only you, YOURSELF, know what is the best for you. Everyone is entitled his opinion but at the end of the day only the person at the crux of the matter should be the one deciding what he/she wants.
I refused to give in to emotional blackmail and what I consider to be illogical reasoning. I believe that a relationship is a two way street and both parties have to put in effort to maintain it.
You don’t give because you expect something in return but because of your goodness of your heart. I don’t want my kids or love ones to harbor any resentment towards me because I’ve been high-handed in the way I have handled matters. This shouldn’t be the way and it is something which I certainly do not wish to cultivate.
What is your outlook towards relationships?
Post in this series.