The year 2013 has been a mix of blessings and obstacles. It’s been a whirlwind of travels and family drama and of course, my personal demons. It started out with a hesitant but willing step towards reconciliation towards a relative but by the time fall came around, the disputes and grudges were are nasty as a suppressed bullet being shot into your heart. I was kind of hoping that this year would end with a better note, in terms of being civil and having a little more understanding of the situation, but it all fell apart when the confrontations happened. I wanted to justify my parents’ side; to explain how it must have felt having to wait for years for somebody to do their end of the arrangement. I’ve tried a few times to set up a private time to talk about my family’s point of view, but it was always “work” in the way. My sister moved around her work schedule for this, but if they couldn’t make the effort to do the same, then that just shows me how they truly “care” about our relationship. While that ended on a sour note, I’ve been surprisingly doing well, with my other goal in life: to travel.
You’ve already seen my post on New York. My introverted self was actually okay with travelling with 6 other friends and keeping in close company with them for a week! I can’t even stand a single night of rowdy partying. That was around June 2013. Then later this year, mid-October to mid-November, the whole family went on an Asia Tour, as I like to call it (I also have a post about this, take a look here). My best friend came along, as I promised her. This time, we were on vacation for almost a month!! It was really fun! Busy, but fun. It felt like we were gone for 2 months, I almost started dreading work when we were getting closer to going back to Canada. We spent a few days in Hong Kong, where we met up with a family relative. Then another few days were spent in Singapore, making my best friend sick on the last day when we were headed to the Philippines. Then it was pretty much beach time and lots of time with my dad’s relatives. We did a little sight-seeing closer to our hometown because my best friend has never been.
The kicker of this year didn’t come as a shock, it was more of a devastation. As a child, I always thought of my family as perfect, both my immediate family and close relatives. Then slowly, as I grew up, the people around me seemed to want to share all the bad stuff about the family that was never told when I was younger. As I matured, it became more of a burden, which really brings to mind that saying: Ignorance is bliss. At the same time, it was a good learning experience for me because through the bad choices of all those people that I’ve heard about, I became more aware of consequences and that everything you do or don’t do, have inescapable consequences. I think this made me extra cautious in what I did in the past and it still guides me when I have big decisions to make. All those bad secrets of the family became examples of what not to do. However, with that said, those issues never disappeared, not really. Some years, the family would seem okay; the aunts and uncles talk to each other in a very warm and loving way, but behind their backs, something entirely different was being said. I hated that about my family. I often reprimand my mom when I notice her doing it; every single adult in the family seemed to thrive off of putting each other down and making themselves look high and mighty. That’s how I grew up; my sense of the perfect family slowly disintegrating with every year that passed. Now it seems this year, I’ve lost all faith in the meaning of that word: family.
As this year ends, mine is about to start.
My parents fight and they majorly fight only about 3 things. I can’t tell you what they are but the last one of that list is of course: Money. Which bugs me to no end because they can’t seem to see eye to eye on the subject, but they always refuse or ignore when I offer to help clarify about their finances. The other two reasons are what finally broke the meaning of family in our household. Long story short, my mom now wants a divorce and my dad wants her out of the house. Our newly acquired house (2009) is huge and is worth a lot. Through the years, after witnessing how those 2 things continued to cause havoc between my parents, the news of a divorce came to me as a relief. In my heart, I was finally hoping for a future without any yelling and name-calling, etc. My brother didn’t want them to get a divorce but me and my sister were all for it. There were no more tears to cry for this so-called ‘family’ because it never was a family for such a long time; that family facade was finally crumbling away and all I could see was a better future, for each and everyone of us. I’ve seen enough disrespect go on for years and years in our home. So since my dad wanted my mom out of the house, that meant me and my sister will be going with her. I asked my brother if he would stay with our dad in the house, and he shook his head and said no. That leaves one person to pay the mortgage and bills and utilities of a household for 5 people. My mom felt sorry, but I said she should feel sorry for herself, for letting things go on for years and years, and not have gone through with a divorce a long time ago.
Now, with that decision in mind, I knew we would need our own car and move into an apartment. I mentioned this to my sister and brother that they should be ready to move out by next spring; save money for rent, etc. That seemed to put things into perspective for them. They were quiet for a while and I could tell my brother didn’t really like the idea of having to move out and pay rent and not be living in our awesome dream home. But for me, I can sacrifice the dream home if it would make everyone involved more happy, and less stressed. So after a hiatus in my car research, I started it again, and finally made up my mind to get a vehicle so we could go to work and move around the city without having to rely on public transit, especially during winter time. I knew it was a stretch, because my credit for the previous years were not so holy, but having a stable job helped. I got a car for my birthday. It was a bittersweet acquisition, but it had to be done for practicality’s sake.
This seemed to be the right move because the very next day, we had a family meeting. My parents wanted another chance. They wanted to see if they can still work things out, but I was already shaking my head. I knew things would be good between them for the first 3 days and then it would go right back to how it was before. It was a good thing that I said everything I was holding in. I was tired of hoping that the family would ever be as cohesive as a single unit again. It seemed like everyone was heading to their own directions. I said a lot of stuff, from my issues with how the equality of labour at home was royally skewed to what was really hurtful about my mom and dad’s relationship. The majority wanted to try again and so I was overruled. My parents apologized but I let them know that for me, this retry thing was conditional. I asked quite a bit from my dad, then my mom, and then my siblings. So here we are, in the “trying” phase where we really need to be able to trust and lean on each other. I pray that this will be the beginning of a new chapter in our family’s life. I don’t want my parents to end up in a divorce; it’s just there’s a very legitimate reason why they should.
As this year ends, mine is about to start. I’m looking forward to a lot of positive things! I’m hoping that stress will not be as proliferated as this past year. And I’m striving to a healthier me so I can achieve my goals and go even further in my life. Here’s to a brighter and happier future for us all!