The coronavirus has everyone in my family without a job — me being the only exception. With the lockdown in place, naturally, everyone is getting extra special attention with one another. While this in principle sounds nice, my family is a fragmented mess and would make for an entertaining episode of Jerry Springer.
My parents never had the best relationship as far back as I can remember. While arguments did occur when I was a kid, overtime, the once rare occurrence has spiraled into a daily episode. Each parent wants to be right — even if it is for petty reasons. My mom is the worst offender when it comes to wanting to be the winner.
From what little I know about her, she never had much of a formal education growing up in China. In fact, both parents were farmers born into the coastal countryside. You would think they would be more receptive to facts and information, but they’re willfully ignorant — teetering on arrogant. Feeling right outweigh being factually correct.
I can’t say with complete confidence the words ‘love’ and ‘parents’ can ever be uttered in a sentence. I could ignore the daily battles and long awkward silences they too often loath under, however, my upringing was less than stellar. My mom forgot to pick me up from school — twice and was extremely neglectful and distant. My dad did not do any better. He calls it keeping me under control and teaching lessions. I grew up and call it abuse.
I’ve often been asked by friends and some women I’ve dated or been with, “Do I wish I could of had better parents?” The mythical atomic family comes to mind. When I was a pre-teen, absolutely. Now that I’m inching towards thirty, not a chance. Although imperfect and the lowest of the lows have been inflicted at their hands, my experiences — no matter how traumatic, shaped me to this very moment of my life.
I want to love because of never feeling it from them. I yearn and care for those who keep me in their thoughts. I absolutely will go to the ends of the Earth for someone I care about knowing I couldn’t say with confidence they are capable of doing the same. People around me care and that’s frankly all I need life. Not money nor anything material. Knowing others care for my well-being brings a lot of comfort and solace.
I’ve long since stopped trying to mend my relationship with them. Since I was a child, they told me I was responsible for their unhappiness and turmoil — believing it for far too long. But I grew up and saw through all the dust and chaos. I’m their scapegoat for much more personal relationship issues. For that, I wouldn’t count on anything changing. My happiness is my own and I’ll continue to look at them as two people who I label with quotes “mom and dad”.