I am sitting on my bed thinking if I should write this blog, if I should put my personal life out there.
After having a very difficult night in a long time, I figured I need to get the words out of my mind and I don’t think many people read this blog anyway also this is my personal blog, my diary. If I don’t write it here, where would I.
I believe this is not one thing that is affecting my mood but many small and big things. Past few weeks have been extremely hard for me to stay focused. I have skipped one of my morning classes constantly four times while I laid on my bed awake, staring at the top of my bunk bed. I had a test in that class and I did horrible. I had marked an A in that class and now I don’t know anymore. I have another class which I am struggling with but I am oddly satisfied with the learning, it’s just on test my mind goes all crazy and I overthink but since I am understanding the material, I am not too sad about it. My economics class, giving me a very hard time as well. I do not like the grading system in that class and it’s very hard to stay focused. I studied for a whole week with all I had and yet failed the test. She curved the test, assuming a lot of people did badly as well.
This probably will be the first time in Texas State I will have C, first time I will not be in Dean’s list. While this may come off as arrogant or you could just roll your eyes at this, but this is my measure of happiness. There’s really not that many things in my life give me the sense of accomplishment.
I grew up with extremely low self esteem. Being arrogant or showing off your achievements has always been frowned upon. You have to be humble, but you know how little kids become extremely confident? They show off their new toy or how well they did in class? My parents tried very hard to not make me become that kid by always telling me I wasn’t good enough and in reality I wasn’t. I got into first grade in a school after going through an interview exam. My dad told me to pack my clothes. He said, “if you don’t get in, pack your clothes and leave the house.” I cried and packed my bag because the test was extremely hard for me and my dad told me immediately after the test that he was sure I failed. My parents were obviously joking and today it’s a fun joke they tell sometimes. It was also the time when my brother was born. He wasn’t a very healthy child so my parents spent a lot of times taking care of him. I was 6 years old when he was born and I felt all the attention was going to him and now if I don’t get into the navy school I have to leave home? My parents probably would have laughed and still do when they are told about how their behavior could affect their kid’s psychology.
They posted the grades on a particular date (happened to be my birthday) outside of the school on 3 different boards with names. A being the best scored kids, B is average scored kids and C being the barely passed kids. My cousin who was staying over at our house to go to college took me to see the result.
She looked at Board C first and my name wasn’t there, then she looked at Board A and my name wasn’t there. It was extremely crowded, so she figured I didn’t get in and we were heading back. I was crying. On our way, we met her friend who forcefully took us back to the results and found my name on B board. I was happy that I didn’t have to leave anymore.
I started reading from a very early age. I would go to my neighbor’s house on Fridays to pick up the newspaper because on Friday the newspaper used to publish a kids section. I read any and every book I got my hands on. When I was 7 started reading a very popular Bengali author named “Humayun Ahmed” who was very popular among young generation. My cousin who was attending college from our home would always have a new copy of his book that she bought or borrowed from a friend. I would read whenever she wasn’t home. I would wake up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom to read the book. Reading any book outside of textbooks weren’t encouraged and given that author talked about love, relationship, human mind, philosophy.. it was very inappropriate.
I was cute until I was 10. After that the cute chubby little person became disgusting teenage body and I was awkward and embarrassed of my existence and so were my parents. My mom would not take me to the store ever because I would embarrass her and I couldn’t count the number of time we bumped into my dad’s coworkers who would say, “that’s your daughter? looks nothing like the mother!” My mom would smile at that compliment towards her and we would walk.
All of a sudden I was being judged on what was I wearing, how odd my body looked, how awkward I was. It didn’t bug me as much because I was going through a romantic period. You know the period where you haven’t fallen in love yet, but you listen to romantic songs on radio and read the books and imagine how you are going to meet that person? In Bangladesh it’s very hard for a guy to talk to a girl. It doesn’t happen often in public since everybody knew each other where I lived most of the time it was just staring and smile situation and after months after months they approach you with a note or something sweet. Phones weren’t so common back then and only guys in college had them at that time. I know it sounds very silly now, but keep in mind girls were getting married by 18 and they are expected to act like an adult as soon they turn 12, so if you are not being a romantic by 15 when are you going to be?
Fast forward, we moved to US. I was living with my uncles and to me the excitement was as if there were Christmas everyday. We lived in a different city in Bangladesh and would visit my uncles once a year during Eid-ul-Fitr (equivalent to Christmas celebration) and for those 3 to 5 days we stayed over there, we weren’t expected to study or take timely naps, and were allowed to have some money to go buy something from the shop. So imagine my excitement when I got to live with them for months. But it didn’t go exactly how I planned. My cousins who I thought was my friend was pretty mature and she felt I was a competition of some sort, thus began the humiliation in front of other people. Acting as my guardian and making rules for me. My parents were too busy making a livelihood and didn’t care enough about this “kid-fighting” Slowly the relationship between them and my uncles got sour as well. We moved.
My mom would tell me how my cousin never leaves the home and does everything for the home, while I just wanted to go and hang out with friends.
I fell in love with someone I am not supposed to. Love is a forbidden word before marriage and given he did not fall under the criteria of a possible daughter in law, my life became hell.
I became the biggest disappointment in my parents life. I am not pretty, I am not home-bound, I am not well behaved and willing to meet and talk to people whose first comment is always about my body or how I am not being Bengali enough.These only pushed me away from being with people who knows I am expected to live and behave in a certain way.
My mother is depressed. She doesn’t talk to anybody now because I brought shame to my family. I got called from her clinic the other day because she refused to take medication, and she stated that her reason for sickness was me. She called me yesterday saying, she believes she is going to die soon and somehow she makes me feel guilty that I am the cause. She cries when I tell her about any of my accomplishments, saying, I didn’t let my parents be part of my achievement. It’s not up to me to make them feel proud, I can only tell you what I did, but I can’t tell you to cheer for me. It’s your job. Don’t blame me that I somehow stopped you from cheering. Then their statement somehow becomes how disappointed I made them. I can rarely keep my cool anymore, I get very emotional and then I burst out crying saying “It wasn’t my job first to become a good daughter, it was your job to become good parent first” And then they tell me, “we’ve given you everything you wanted” and I become speechless.
My mother creeped into my room at 2 in the morning and said prayer over my head for an hour and blamed everything on God. I woke up horrified and screamed at her. I spent the whole night hearing her cry from the other room.
I don’t know how to fix this. They not even once consider what that does to my mind. They have never supported me with anything and make my journey as hard as they can. What am I expected to do as a human?
I know anybody here will say that I am not a failure or it’s not my fault. But this is hard. I know I haven’t done anything wrong, but I need the assurance from them. They won’t leave me alone. We fight. I stop talking and few days later she calls me crying and my heart breaks. I feel guilty. What do I do? How do I get away?
How do I become numb?
My car stops in the middle of the road sometimes, I am in an urgent need of getting it checked or buying a new one. My phone screen went black yesterday. I have no motivation to go to classes. I started an internship that I really like and I really want to do a good job, but I feel as if I am failing. It all comes together and I feel as if I am drowning…