Indian Hypocrisies

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There comes a time in your life, where you meet someone so special that everyday feels like a dream. You wonder is this the honeymoon period, or can life really be so beautiful, and can I really be so happy? I’d love to say that after finding this type of happiness, I am in bliss and ecstatic about the future. I am. But I also feel an overwhelming source of grief and pain.

Somehow after all these years, I convinced myself that when my parents said they wanted me to be with a nice guy who treated me well, that they meant it.

Somehow I convinced myself that when they said that all they wanted was a South Asian guy who was well educated that they meant it.

Somehow I convinced myself that when they said that I could find my own partner and decide who I want to marry, that again, they would mean it.

Now that I have found a man that is South Asian, educated, and treats me better than anyone else, but somehow he isn’t good enough. And my parents think its ok to tell me that they don’t approve – for superficial reasons.

I feel betrayed again. I feel shocked again. I wonder why I trusted them – but then again aren’t you suppose to be able to trust your parents? I am so utterly hurt. I feel so much pain and grief. My parents think they are looking out for me, and want to convince themselves of that. But not once, have they asked me any questions about him that reflect any substance. He’s not good enough because he’s short. Really? Oh I get it, he’s not a tall doctor. If he was a doctor then White, Chinese or West Indian – would not matter. As long as he wasn’t Black or Muslim.

I am disgusted. I am ashamed to be the product of this type of superficiality and discrimination. But again, I am left wondering, why would my parents tell me that all that matters is my happiness and then, ironically, become the one obstacle that causes all of my pain and sorrow. I hate saying this, but most South Asian parents, only want their kids to be happy as long as it does not interfere with their happiness. You can have freedom, as long as you do what I say. You can find your own man, as long as I get the final verdict. You can take your time, but in the mean time I’ll make your daily life a living hell if you don’t get married on my timeline. And it goes without saying – how fair he is, tall he is and overall good looking he is, is WAY more important to me than anything else, because I as an Indian parent, care more about my social status than your happiness. After all, as my mother would say, don’t we all have to make sacrifices? But what that really means is if I couldn’t truly be free and happy, than neither can you.

Well guess what, I am proud to be white washed. At least that means I can think for myself and break out of this submissive culture that does not value love, and values women even less. I will get married in my thirties, to a man who is by your standards, too short, too unconventional and not indian enough. And I will travel instead of having children. I will practice social work instead of pursuing money. And I will be blissfully happy.

Happiness

Happiness

Today, watching the sunshine creep in through my translucent red drapes, listening to music, staring at a pile of my laundry, I realized, this is what happiness feels like. I can say that I have reconnected with the pure joy that I have always longed for and for a while it disappears at times. Today, I have realized it has reappeared, and that I am satisfied and happy with my choices in life and everything that I have to be grateful for.

This being said, no one would know, that less than 48 hours ago, I had received unwanted contact from my past abuser. How he obtained my contact info is still a mystery, but what is clear, is that I am no longer a helpless child. My heart was beating out of my chest when his message and face appeared on my cell phone what’s app box, and I hoped to god it was someone else. The fear that has been stored in my body returned will full force, I can say, sitting here in another country miles away from my abuser, I still felt scared.

But, thanks with the help of counselling, I was able to recognize my fear for what it was — a survival skill from the past coming back with the memories. I reminded myself that I am no longer helpless, I am no longer in danger and this sad sad sad person has absolutely no hold over my life. In fact, the only thing he deserves is pity (and maybe some hatred). So I did what my brave but feisty nine year old self wanted to do a long time ago – stand up for myself. I not only told him where to go but also how little he was worth. I think for this one, a little immaturity and anger will suffice.

Then I remembered what I’ve learned from Ekhart Tolle, the power of now. That is right. I then quickly reminded myself that this person does not deserve to take away another moment of my happiness away from me and moved along with my life – accomplishing lots at work, spending quality time with myself and my loved ones. So today, watching the sunshine in my apartment, I remember, how lucky I am and how special I really am.