Last week I told papa mummy to be better allies to me. Documenting my soliloquy here.
Papa, I am not okay. Home feels toxic.
I know we do things the way we do because it helped us survive unlivable times. But some of those have to change. And I know change is difficult, especially when our sanity was founded on routines. So I’ll try to be unreasonable. I don’t expect a Hum Saath Saath Hai, I don’t expect you to read my mind or become the father of the year. But I’d like for you to listen.
You’ve been treating your mother and siblings like your only in-group. In small but repetitive ways it makes us feel like the out-group. We cannot be your out-group if you expect yourself to be our in. By this, I don’t mean that you start fighting our relatives every time I feel hurt. I know you hate confrontations. And I hate having others fight my battles for me. So let’s figure a way for you to show support without having to fight. I would accept a hug, a pat on my back, a cheesy “I am here for you” as support. It would be easier for me to ignore the snide comments and judgments if I know I am not alone.
I also need you to make us a part of home decisions- who visits, where they stay- because they don’t affect you as they do us. No one claims your room/bed/time.
I hope I didn’t make you feel cornered. I know this is very uncharacteristic, and it’s difficult to change 55-year-old ways. But Intention is a powerful thing. Have you noticed that Dadi is more Facebook-savvy than you or me? I am just fulfilling my intention of having a conversation about a problem instead of sitting on it. So if it continues to be an issue, it won’t be one of communication.
I know you don’t meet your family often. I see how whelmed you get at the thought of making aachar or snacks for them. I know the food is your connection to them. They are almost holy, untouchable, the food and the people, because of that.
But you and I are not a unit. We’ve had different experiences with them. You cannot deny mine because you wish it didn’t happen or struggle to imagine it. So Don’t negate mine.
I hope my anger, or this conversation, does not affect your relationship with them. Please don’t pick a fight with someone because they treated me badly in the past. But allow me my own reactions and trust me to not do something hurtful. Give me the option to stay out of a family gathering, group calls that have triggering people. Let me to be there for me.