Posts Tagged ‘family’

Thankful For You

Blogging to this song on repeat…

This Thanksgiving, my mom, my grandmother and my aunt, the three matriarchs of the family have again left before the holidays to go to Hong Kong like they did last year. I understand the tickets are cheaper, but I just wish they would at least prepare me instead of letting me know an hour before they are leaving for the airport through a random voicemail. The holidays have always been difficult for me because I haven’t yet been able to let go of the past. Feeling disappointed by both parents has brought me to the conclusion that holidays, family time, and love are for suckers. I really miss the big parties my parents used to throw when they were together. I think I took it for granted. I used to complain about the loud karaoke all the adults were singing in a language I didn’t quite comprehend at a reasonable level. I’m more conversational Cantonese. Every year around the holidays, I yearn for those days when we were together as a family. In my fantasy world, my father never cheated on my mother, he never left our family, and my mother never took the guy’s side when I was violated. Of course fantasies only belong in movies and books. In real life, my fantasies turn themselves inside out and claim their stake in my heart in the form of a hard truth. And so every year around the holidays, I try to find some kind of distraction that will keep me smiling.

This year, I got the chance to see my favorite guy in the whole wide world, Will Friedle. Fortunately, the chance came before the holidays began so I was happy to have him as my distraction. I really needed him and he has no idea how much our interaction truly means to me. Whenever my mind begins to wander into the past, I can feel the tears start to fall and I have to remind myself all the wonderful experiences I’ve had this year. I am very thankful for many things that have happened this year and of course, the most recent, seeing Will was the cherry on top. Now I can have a pleasant experience to think back on to make me smile. I would have to say out of the three experiences I have had with Will, this one was the best. I mean, well, of course the first one was superb since it was a moment I had waited so long for. And the second one was amazing because I didn’t think he would recognize me but he did. But this time, I actually got to talk to him without someone else rushing me out of a line. I wasn’t on a time limit and that was my favorite part, talking to him like a regular human being. I was a bit nervous at first but I eventually got over it and began to be myself and enjoy being there with him. My friend captured the whole thing on video. I love being able to look back on it and relive the experience. If you see this Will, I just wanted to say thank you. You are one of my favorite people too and I am extremely thankful for you. No words can express how much I absolutely adore you.

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Got to take the eyebrow pic with him, something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile!
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Breathe

I love PMSTA. I really do. The show has been going great and I am honored to be working with each & every one of them. We just got past the 1st weekend and have already done 5 shows. I can’t believe it! Usually, the 1st weekend only has 3 shows. I guess we’re just that much more ambitious. I’m getting some good feedback about my monologue, “Strength.” I ended up having to do the mom voiceover when initially, it was supposed to be a recording from my friend’s mother. Each time I do it, I have to find the prebeat and revisit those dark days. It’s hard because I find myself remembering all the emotions I went through. I had to stop watching the comedic monologue that precedes Strength in order to get my prebeat, which sucks because I really like watching that monologue.

My brothers were able to make it to the show on Sunday. Unfortunately, I found out on Saturday that the actress who normally performs Strength was unable to perform it on Sunday, the only day that my brothers were able to go. So, on a whim, I made the difficult decision to do a stage reading of Strength. I hadn’t revisited my monologue since I gave it to the director so I decided to just read it raw, without any prebeat, preparation, or anything. Just me & a mic. I had my friend record it so that I could preserve it. I’ll probably post it after the show is done.

The reading went well, I think. I was barely able to see through my tears. I squished all 5 pages into 2 and it was difficult to see the small font I had used. I didn’t tell my brother that I had written about the incident but he told me it was well written. I don’t think I really truly felt like it was until my friends Judith & Christina told me that some people stood up after my monologue. I rushed offstage right after because I just couldn’t bare to sit there any longer. I ran into the green room and cried. I just need to re-release all the dormant emotions I had sealed away in a box, tucked inside my heart, never to be opened again. That Sunday, I opened it and the memories of it all came rushing back. I became numb & lifeless, tears just streaming endlessly down my face. I tilted my head back & just wanted to die until I felt two arms wrap around me. It was my friend, Tonilyn. She said that she was proud of me for my courage and that I did good. I grabbed hold of her and she let me cry into her soul. At that moment, I realized it was what I needed; it was something I hadn’t done to heal. I never let anyone comfort me about it. I always cried alone, in my room, listening to Adele’s “Someone Like You” and wondering if my mother was ok. Then another friend, Andrea, came in and told me I did really well and hugged me too. I really appreciated this gesture and it helped me tremendously.

The human hug is so insignificant and yet so powerful. Toni let me do the “ugly cry” into her. I think I did it for just a minute or two but it felt like an hour. Thank God for my friends. If not for them, I would be in a very different place, mentally, physically & emotionally. Now that I have finally found a voice & a place to tell my story, I can truly begin the healing process that I stopped so abruptly due to circumstances beyond my control. I feel so blessed to have these healing souls surrounding me, bathing me in their love, nurturing me with their laughter, and soothing me with their touch. I am finally able to breathe.

Last Words to Grandpa

Dear Gung Gung,

Thank you so much for raising me all these years. I’ll never forget all those elementary school years where I would come home to watch Scooby Doo and you always had a glazed donut waiting for me. Maybe that’s also why I got so fat? And when I moved back in with you when I returned for college, you always had a beef with rice & egg waiting for me whenever I came home from school. This is how you showed your love for me and I appreciated every single donut and every single box of rice. And I appreciate you, grandpa, for teaching me that love is more than just saying “I love you.” It’s the actions that matter and your laughter, hugs and warmth will always be with me in my heart.

Do you know how many times I worried that you would leave us? When you slept, sometimes I would watch you, to make sure you were still breathing and I would always be relieved that you were, especially when your health began to deteriorate. First you lost most of your sight, then you had to use a cane. Then you were in a wheelchair, and then you became bedridden. It has been really hard to see you this way but my love for you has never changed. The last time I saw you, you had already taken your last breath, one I will never see but wish I had. While you are not here with me in person, I know you are here with me in spirit because you always asked puo puo where I was and whether I had eaten yet. I could never forget hanging out with you and your mahjong friends as a kid while you were “babysitting” me. I’m glad you decided to stop smoking so that you could stay with me just a little bit longer, gung. It meant a lot to me. I’m sorry for cutting your cigarettes in half and scattering those brown things all over your desk. Like you said, it’s your actions that show the most love. If you were here, I know you would tell me I don’t have to cry, that there’s no reason to cry, but I miss you. I’ve missed you for a long time now.

You don’t have to worry about grandma, ok? We will take very good care of her for you. She loves you so very much even though at times, she said it wasn’t easy being married to you during some of those 72 years. When you left last Thursday, I came over as fast as I could. Grandma took me to your room and she said, “Gung. Gung! Ava is here to see you.” She shook you to wake you up but you didn’t open your eyes. I told her it was okay, that I didn’t mind. She said that I was always your favorite grandchild, but I think you loved us all equally. You always had plenty of love to give us all. I know you lived a very happy life with all of us. I still feel your presence with me and I’m sure that will never change. You’ll always stay in my heart and I cannot wait to see you again someday. Gung gung, I can’t show it anymore but I wanted to tell you I love you very much and always always will.

Always,
A-wah

Grandparents & Me
Grandma, Ava & Grandpa

Grandpa cutting his cake
grandpa cutting his cake

Grandparents with Brother
Grandparents with Brother

Grandparents with Aunt & Cousin
Grandparents with aunt & cousin

Grandparents with Cousin

Grandpa with his Kids
Grandparents & his Kids

Fighting Back

*As I type this, the words in my head are in a British accent as I watched Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging last night. I guess it stuck just a little.

My aunt called me last night and invited me to dinner. I was excited to be able to have a nice meal with some family. It’s a bit of of a return to normalcy as some might say. I haven’t had that since Chinese New Year where my favorite cousin came into town to have lunch with all of us. It was quite an awkward experience considering I wasn’t speaking to my mum nor my grandmum.

We decided to go to ABC Cafe out in San Mateo. I ordered Curry Beef Brisket Chow Fun, something I had never heard of. I just love trying new foods. It was allright, but it wasn’t something I would try again, that’s for sure. Didn’t impress me much really. I would much have preferred a simple ham & egg sandwich over this dish actually.

Anyway, as we waited for our food, my aunt ambushed me. It felt like a trap! She wanted me to get together with my brothers and have a bit of an intervention with my mum over the shower incident. She said that her business partner and her are in an unhealthy relationship where he is constantly abusing my mother both emotionally & verbally. He tells everyone that he is the one earning the money when it’s my mum’s money that he is using; her social security, mind you. And when he runs out of cash, he yells at her for spending all of his money when he doesn’t have any in the first place! He’s basically treating her like an ATM! I can’t stand to hear news like this. As angry as I am with her, it doesn’t supercede the love I still have for her. She’s my mother, and I have to be there to help her even if she did choose that wretched, conniving sorry excuse for a man over me.

I want her leave him. I’ve always wanted her to leave his arse. He doesn’t deserve to have someone like my mother in his life. Unfortunately, my mother is such a weak soul. I am much stronger than she’ll ever be. I think the only way to get through to her is to empower her. My aunt thinks the only way to get through to her is to gang up on her and force her to leave him. What kind of strategy is that? This isn’t a sport, my dear auntie. This is real life. I just think we have to approach things a bit more delicately, a bit more tactful.

Just talking about it last night made my blood boil. All these violent thoughts roamed my mind and I wanted to commit a heinous crime against him, not that I really will. I’m angry but I’m not insane. I just don’t like anyone taking advantage of my family like that and I certainly won’t be allowing it to continue any longer. Something has to be done and it begins with me.

By the way, I had asked my aunt about the eviction and her reply was that I needn’t worry about it because that’s just procedure, and that my uncle is taking care of it…I don’t know what to believe anymore.

Healing

My brother told me last night that my mom’s business partner finally moved out–just some clothes he needs to grab. I’m relieved. I still haven’t spoken to my mother yet since our argument two Fridays ago and I really do not know what to say to her. When I look back to reflect, I think the event was a blessing in disguise. I wanted my mother to see him for who he really is and it’s up to her to make a decision what kind of people she wants to keep in her life.

On Friday, my friend invited me out to dinner and it was the 1st time in awhile that I had been able to truly laugh. Mostly, I had been emotional eating, moping around, and declining invitations to go to events. Over the weekend, I spent some time with some high school friends, reminiscing about good times, how we met, and what we think our futures might look like. It felt really good to be able to laugh freely again and I appreciated that. Yesterday, one of my high school friends got me a ticket to the Supernatural Convention but I’ll write a separate post about that later. It’s so important to nurture the relationships with those around you. Without my friends, I don’t think I could have gotten through this ordeal. Whether it be a phone call, a text message, a meeting, facebook support, whatever, it all helped to soothe my aching soul.

All in all, I’m glad I finally get to go home without fear. This experience has shaped my trust in others. Good or bad, I’m not sure but I definitely know to be more cautious of the people that surround me. It isn’t easy trying to live a balanced life.

Numb

Haven’t been home for over a week now, just floating around to different homes of friends. My brother is acting as a liaison between my mother and I. How did our relationship get reduced to this? Now all of a sudden, he said she told him she has cancer. The sad part is that I don’t believe her. I know how my mother operates and when she wants her way, she uses sympathy. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m a skeptic. Or maybe I’m just a cold-hearted daughter. Whatever I am, I know I’m right in reporting it to the police. Are there other points of views I’m not seeing? Should I just let this go & get on with my life? They never even served the restraining order because they couldn’t get into the building. Great.

Perhaps today I will give my mother a call. She left me a message & apologized…but for what? For choosing him over me? For letting him get away with something like this? For not acting like a mother who will protect her children at all costs? I never asked her to choose, I just asked her to help me get justice. Apparently, that’s too much to ask for.

Support

Finally told my mother, my aunt & my grandmother about the incident. Turns out, my mother was informed about it on Wednesday, but she never called me to talk to me about it. She did not do anything to help me, as if it never happened as long as she never spoke to me. Before I went to talk to her, I talked to the police officer & he asked me what did I think my mom would say. I said that I didn’t think she would support me & would just ask me to let it go.

I was right.

He told her that he was just testing out the camera because someone had told him it works in humid conditions. He told her he forgot to remove it from the bathroom. I can’t believe my mother bought that story. Or rather, I can’t believe she chose to believe him over me. She seems to think it was no big deal, no harm done, nothing to get upset over because he already apologized in a text message.

I’ve never yelled at my mother before. I’ve never had a reason to. My grandmother & my mother both begged & pleaded with me to let it go because he had helped out family in the past–but I don’t live in the past, I live in the present. It’s cliche but like they say, trust takes years to build and seconds to shatter. I wanted to trust that my mother would stand behind me and make sure I get the justice I deserved. I wanted to trust that things were going to be ok. I wanted to know that I can always count on her for anything. I see now that I cannot look up to her for strength. I cannot turn to her for help. I cannot rely on her to choose me over a stranger.

So while he is sleeping soundly in his own bed, I am forced to float around on the generosity of others. As grateful as I am that my circle of support is vast & unchallenged, I would still like to go home and sleep on my own pillow, watch my own television, type on my own computer. They continually ask me to forgive him. Maybe someday, I will be able to forgive him, but it seems the lines between forgiveness & consequences are blurred for my mother & my grandmother. Just because I forgive him won’t mean that I don’t expect him to pay for his actions.

I’ve never done so much emotional eating as I have the past 5 days. All that seems to feed my soul is food & Will Friedle videos. Got my Boy Meets World DVDs today and it’s the only thing putting a smile on my face. Sigh…

I’ve never fully realized how weak my mother’s soul is. I shall pray for her and hope that one day, she will forgive me for being stronger than her.