Asian parents…

Internet apparently takes a couple of weeks to set up in London, and I’m still waiting.

Apart from that, the boyfriend is finally here, and I’m so happy. We have so little time for each other, but we make every second count especially over the weekends.

My mom has decided to tag along on my adventure here in this city, and she’s staying till the end… of… November. Look, I love her. I really do. She loves me, clearly. She has met the boyfriend just once, because for the past five months of our relationship she has refused to acknowledge that him or I were in for anything “serious”. She calls him my “friend” now. To be serious, in an Asian parent’s perspective, is to think about marriage, to think about buying property, etc etc. Life is very serious. Oh yes. You have to keep planning. And to her, a person can have many “boyfriends”. As in, male friends. So when I tell her I have a “boyfriend”, she’s like, “What’s new?”

Right. So my mom is a really conservative Asian, and also the reason why the boyfriend and I aren’t living together right now. It’s tough for me. It’s tough when I’m financially independent, I pay my own rent, my bills, my meals etc and I have to come home to Mom and be a teenager all over again. I don’t have a curfew, but she tut-tuts when I am home late (I was home 11pm yesterday) and she threatens me with things like “if you do this, I’m packing my bags now and leaving tomorrow”. On hindsight, that was a good threat and I should have said, “Go ahead”. I feel like I’m being in primary school all over again.

Okay, life isn’t miserable, but I know it can be better. I like her company when she’s “normal”. When she trusts and believes in my decisions, which has so far made me get a degree and a decent job. I know I have made some wrong character decisions in the past and read some people wrongly, but we all learn from mistakes. Yes, I’m not afraid to fall or admit that I have done something wrong. I’m not afraid of getting hurt again. As a parent, your objective is to bring up your child well and just trust that he/she will make good decisions. That’s it.

I hate to admit this, but I’m a bit embarrassed. My boyfriend’s mom has been lovely. She enquires about how well I’m settling in, etc. He and his mom have such a wonderful relationship and she doesn’t care if he stays over at my place, vice-versa. My mom hasn’t asked a single question so far as to how my boyfriend is. She would freak out if I spend the night at my boyfriend’s. I’m not “respecting myself” if I do it. Right. I’m 22. Why should I have to ask for her permission? But no, she threatens. She threatens, because she has high blood pressure and “can die at any moment”. She threatens, because she can. I’ve gone to therapy a few months ago just because of my problems with my mom. I thought things would change when I moved to another city, but no, she has to come. She wants to influence my life. Can I say no?

What I’ve done so far to get away from all of this is to lie. Lie, lie, lie. If she wants to live in her own world that nothing is happening between my boyfriend and I, that we aren’t serious about each other, then she can live in her own world. I’m living two lives. The real life and the life that I love – the one I share with my boyfriend, and the miserable one I have with my mom, who refuses to accept anything except that I have a job and I should “focus on it” and I should date only when I want to get married. You know what, if I had enough money in the bank, I’d get married by the end of the year. It’s just a matter of time.

I know I’m coming off as being really bitter about someone who has loved me for all my life. But when you have to deal with emotional blackmail on a regular basis regarding your relationship and how you live your life, you’d know how I feel. And I feel miserable.

The only light I have in my life, apart from my job and friends here, is my wonderful boyfriend. He has been understanding and patient all this while, but I don’t want to push his patience or tolerance any further before I cross some invisible threshold.


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