Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Story - First Decade

Here's goes my grand summary of the first ten years:
I was raised in a middle-lower class military family by traditional, non-educated, religious and unhappy parents. Afraid of my Dad's iron fist and unappreciative of my Mom's abdication of self for the sake of mother hood, I was always pushed to excel -- in school, figure skating, the piano, swimming. I don't remember ever stepping out of line other than back talking to my poor mother who did all of the child rearing and household duties while my Dad lost himself in TV and the church. My parents yelled a lot over religion -- my Dad pushing us more and more towards right-wing fundamentalism and my Mom trying desperately to maintain some degree of moderation, although her faith in prayer remains strong today. Both of my parents pinched pennies to invest in our future -- university was not optional and figure skating and piano were meant to provide back-up teaching careers. As such, my clothes were often cheap and out-of-style hand-me-downs. That combined with my awkward nerdiness did not set me at the top of the social ladder. My friends were few, but close. I loved barbies, I loved boys. I daydreamed a lot. My mother still talks about how I needed to be 'pushed' and motivated by dessert ... hence the chubbiness, which did not drop off until puberty. I was also raised to be self conscious of my mixed nationality -- kept indoors in the summer for fear of getting too dark, and suspicious of those who were curious about my nationality, I was instructed to just tell people I was 'Canadian'. I also didn't know that I had two half brothers until I was older because my Mom felt she had shamed her Goan family by marrying a divorcee (which 'til this day, I still don't get). I had an imaginary friend and I was happy in my own world with my own rules, where I was pretty and blond.
Whoa! Lots of childhood neurosis here. But who really looks back with fondness on their childhood? There are a lot of happy memories too -- camping, Christmas, playing in my neighbourhood, even watching TV. My parents did the best they could. My Mom sacrificed her life for us and I feel like an ingrate by cutting up my family life with this post. It was typically dysfunctional in the most non-intrusive and non-damaging way possible. :-)

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