Thursday, August 31, 2006

a constant struggle

i hate the fact that i feel powerless when it comes to my relationship with my dad. of course, he's always going to be right because he doesn't give me the chance to speak. if i bother, he just yells and makes me feel stupid. worse, he goes psycho and brings down the entire family. i can't risk that. and so i stay quiet. the entire time. he lectures with his harsh pounding voice that drags on and on. i can barely take it but i love and respect him so i do because i've been taught to be the obedient daughter who goes to school, completes her homework, and studies for tests. i get good grades they don't complain about that because of course, it's expected, not praised. i'm happy that they have high expectations but that doesn't allow me to do what i want to do. it makes me feel selfish so i keep my passions to myself. they don't understand life in terms of happiness and doing what you love. life, to my dad, is what benefits you, what pays your rent. i can't blame him because he learned the hard way. after emigrating from vietnam as a teenage war refugee, he dropped out of high school in the states to build a business with his brother. he met my mom, began a family and flourished from the success of his company. throughout the nineteen years of my life my parents have given me everything i could ever ask for--and i am so very thankful beyond words. and that's why i want to do as they say to make them happy, to give them the bragging rights i know they so crave and deserve. to prove to the world that i have terrific parents. in doing so i would fall into the path of my dad's ambitions--graduate from med school, make big bucks, buy a house so he can retire. i want to give my dad what he wants because it kills me to know the stress he endures working fourteen-hour days. i see it in the the coarseness of his hard-labored hands, the grays of his withering hairs, and the wrinkles in his sullen face; it speaks--this is all for my family. and here i am crying, tired and tied between being loved by my father and loving myself for taking the risk to do what i love.


Mermade said...

Oh wow do I know how you feel... my father does the same thing to me - the yelling, the arrogance, the way it feels weird to hug because of it. I am so sorry you're going through that. Dads mean well, but sometimes it's hard to see through the anger and the arrogance and their "I'm right, you're wrong" approach. Stay strong - you're a wonderful and beautiful person who shines at our school.

-Sarah from Women in American Society, Spring 2006

Connie Chung said...

Hey Sarah! It's good to hear from you and thank you so much for your kind words. I'd love to catch up with you--email me at!