Desi Sons,Victims of Their Mothers II: Modus Operandi

14 May

This post is in continuation from previous post. Original comment is here. The bold, CAPs and italicized is addition from DG.

Thank you DG.

My post was not against parents, I loved them and still do but I cannot see them because of the actions they took and think they were right in doing them. It is true that I have not come across a woman as toxic as my mother.

I posted my story partly because I wanted to inform people that there are guys in this mess too. Most desi men are very lost, between two poles 1) wife 2) mother.

Desi parents alternate between two poles :

a) Downright ignorant, nasty, abusive.

b) Controlling, manipulating and over protective.

Narcissism reigns supreme in both forms. Mine were in the second category, emotionally engulfing and very manipulating, in particular my mother. My father’s toxicity was of a different sort but it was my mother that really had everyone wrapped around her little finger.

I am not sorry about estrangement, in my ideal world it would never come down to this because my parents did a lot for us. I had this ideal picture in my mind where I would have done anything for them but then things changed ….

My mother underwent a changing I did not fathom at first and did not understand. It was around the time where I had confessed to her that I want to be self sufficient independent adult. At some point she realized that her only investment is her sons (she openly admitted this many times and made it very clear to me that she will let go, “I will NOT let you go.” … yes she said this many many times). Everytime she said this my stomach would turn but I kept quiet, patient that she might ease up on this.

When an abused declares or decides they will nolonger be controlled and will walk away from the controlling intimate the abuser feels loosing control. The idea of loosing control makes them intensify abuse or induce more manipulative ways to keep the abused trapped in their design. Abusers usually begin with sweet talk, how they cannot live without you if that doesn’t work they employ limiting your access to survival means, finances, social isolation etc. When that fail they resort to violent out bursts. This is a very dangerous time. If you are contemplating leaving your abuser do not declare it to them. Move away and then inform them that IT IS OVER. And thereafter there is no going back or working out until your safety (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual all included) is guaranteed, sorry there are no guarantees in the books of abusers.

However it became worse with time, the mistake I made was that I kept thinking that if I did this one more thing for her she would ease up. But as soon she was pleased she started pressing for something else, her aim was to steal me for me… kill all sense of independence so she can control my life as she desires. The guilt an manipulation I faced for a year before my arranged marriage was probably my most miserable year of my life, I was torn between leaving and staying.

Abusers suck the abused into perpetual cycle of people pleasing. The harder you try to please them the harder it becomes to please them because they have made a choice not to ever be pleased. You’ll finish on task they’ll be ready with another. It is a choice they have made and you can’t do anything about it so stay out of this game of making them happy.

Her strategy was multi-faceted, understanding is golden ….

Facet 1: RECRUITING ALLIES

A general nasty level manipulation tactic was to keep me engaged, keep my mind busy so she can have my time. She would start talking to me in subtle, looking at my face to see my reaction to it and thus adjust her. This was the most irritating form of manipulation because it assumed that I stupid and child like. I used to laugh at this behind my back, I pretended in front of her that her manipulation worked to ward this form of incessant manipulation off.

She would get my brothers to do the same, both my elder and younger brother to engage me, keep me busy with tasks, giving my false praise in an effort to smother me and make me give in. She used to pump my brothers for info regarding me and my brothers fully participated, my mother was very good at manipulation. My elder brother though she was right and younger brother mocked and berated me behind my back many many times.

I took me a long time to figure out this facet as my mother was and is a master of guilt inducing toxic lump. When I realized it I understood that anything I say will be used against me so I better watch what I say, how I say and who i say it too.

Abusers will watch your every move and expression keep a ready log of it and use it against you when ever you try to challenge them. Abusers, especially emotional blackmailers recruit allies. Allies are usually people in your immediate circle who have stake in your life; relatives, cousins, friends etc. If you still don’t give in they’ll summon their allies to convert you and make you submit to their designs. You are exposed and shamed in front of these allies thus to escape such future humiliation you start towing the line. Parents often use siblings against each other to maintain control over all of them; siblings relate to parents differently. Some abusers create immediate allies in strangers by shaming you in public or posing a martyrs in public.

Facet 2 : ABUSIVE EXPECTATIONS = YOUR OBLIGATION

Using circumstances to gain sympathy and induce massive guilt. This was very difficult to figure out because there was extreme guilt involved. Basically my mother would complain about someone (my sister in law, my elder brother or father) about something seemingly horrible they did to her and how she is miserable. After telling me the garb she used to observe my reaction to it and keeping coming back with the same manipulation in one form or the other until I reacted to it in a emotional outburst – at this point she knew she got me. Few days of peace followed then the bullshi* again.

The purpose of facet 2 was to keep me close to her, so I never do anything that I wanted for myself. The higher purpose of this facet was to keep me engaged, she knew my weak spots and attacked them whenever she pleased and when she pleased.

A common tactic was to request a task of me which I had to do, during the task she would give me false adulation and pump me for information about circumstances that were later used against me at convenient times. A fight between my brother and father would be used to press her own agenda on me, she was clever and knew when to press & how much to press.

Abuse is cyclic in nature, in order not to alienate the abused and loose the game all together abusers strategically employ praise and admonishing. Abusers go around portraying themselves as martyrs; making an impression that they can be rescued and made well if you will step up. “I am sad or sulking because you would not do X. I’ll be happy if you do X.” “Look how miserable you have made me.” “So and so wronged me you are the only one who can make it better for me, if you listen to my sob story or do as I want.” Thus it is your job to keep the abuser in good humor. An abused starts believing it is their job to keep the abuser happy this induces guilt every time they try to do something for themselves.

It is important for abusers to keep the abused engaged at all times because time to themselves will make them analyze their situation and ask for a better deal or rebel.

Facet 3 ELIMINATING COMPETITION

Hate for other women. Toxic or no toxic, this was just plain crazy.

She often used to tell me : “You are naive and don’t understand women”. (Underneath my breath I used to tell myself : ‘but I do understand you …..’). Any women who even looked at were vilified openly. I missed out on women a lot a lot of time girls that I found downright gorgeous.

My sister in law used to face the brunt of this nonsense, she realized the game early on, I requested her to be calm and concentrate on her life. Of all the people she would know why I left my family. I used to feel for her but her life is hers to deal with. She will eventually divorce my brother who unfortunately is one of the dumbest men I know when it comes to deciphering my parents actions.

As abusers recruit allies they also tactfully check any competition. Their competitors are all those people who have the potential to lure the abused away from the abuser like, friends, sympathetic relatives who call out on the abuser or an attractive suitor. Abusers are insecure and will do anything to paint their competitors black. To stay on top of their game they have to systematically eliminate all competition.They prefer to dwell with those they can control thus their allies are their mini-mes.

Facet 4 DRAMA MONGERING & CREATING FEAR

“I will die …… something will happen to me”.

Geez do I really need to say more? Pathetic shi*

Abusers create so much chaos through drama that abused in an attempt to buy peace and cease chaos gives in. Thus a mission accomplished for the abusers. Desi mothers are known for making suicide threats or they suffer an unknown aliment when attention is one someone else. At T’s wedding her MIL had a fainting spell; everyone rushed to her and they forgot to do the wedding pictures; mission accomplished.

Something will happen to me… is the favorite and nothing ever happens. It is a fear induction mechanism to keep the abused and allies in tow. The fear of blame induces guilt

Facet 5 MINIMIZING & DENYING

Plausible Deni-ability.

She would deny everything and shake off her responsibility when it was convenient for her. My marriage was part of this, oh “you said yes to the marriage …. no I did not, you confirmed the marriage while I was asleep and then manipulated me into it”. She chose my wife carefully, seemingly meek and controllable, someone she could keep under her thumb at all times.

Abusers never take responsibility for their actions. They always have a reason to everything they ever did. If they broke stuff in a anger fit, it was because you made them angry. If you call them on their misbehavior or unreasonableness they out rightly feign ignorance about what you are talking about.

I learnt this the hard way, I would suffer in silence, then read about it & THEN realize this is the shi* my mother is pulling. She know what she was doing all along taking satisfaction in putting me through a emotional roller coaster and then taking satisfaction that her goals have been met.

Estrangement was depressing but necessary, wish it was not like this but thats life and it is not all roses and tulips. Peace of mind is good, I love peace and quiet so I invest my time in working towards goals and pushing myself to limits I didn’t know existed. Most people would classify me as a freak given I am away from my family but I can make choices that they can’t, this does not make me better than them but the thrill of having a choice is the essence of being human, remember even God gave humans a choice to accept or reject Him.

Do I hate my parents? No.

Did I forgive my parents? There is nothing to forgive, I forgave my-self and that gave me the comfort of being true to myself. If one does not confront reality it will force itself upon you and you will kick yourself for it, make your choice before you have to make one.

Before we can forgive someone it is important to forgive ourselves because we beat ourselves for being duped.

CONGRATULATIONS FOR RECLAIMING YOUR LIFE.

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26 Responses to “Desi Sons,Victims of Their Mothers II: Modus Operandi”

  1. Pats April 1, 2012 at p04 #

    Thanks DG, you made my day! I have a very similar experience from my ex gf. I agree with most of the article here. I was still carrying the guilt till I read this blog. I do realize that I have saved myself from an abusive relationship. I can finally let go and move on.

    @Pats,

    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    Glad DG could help.

    Just assuming you wrote to DG a personal email. If you are the same person then how have you been. Hope things are good with you.

    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

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  2. Gaurav December 5, 2011 at p12 #

    This post hit such a soft spot for me. It was about a year or so ago that I realized this for the first time in my own life. It was so hard for me to accept that what was being preached as “love” was not really love. I felt like I was such a horrible person for even thinking that my mother is a emotionally manipulative, controlling person, who is just doing everything she can to maintain her control over me.

    Only recently when I finally accepted that this is not love but purely emotional manipulation, have I started standing up for my own self. The result is that every small thing results in a huge fight because I am no longer willing to give in. Just as an example, in a month or so from now, I am supposed to go to a wedding. I am experimenting with some light facial hair these days. My mom wants me clean shaven, because it makes me look like such a “cute little boy”. I hate that. Multiple people, including a fashion consultant advised me to keep some facial hair. We had a half an hour fight over the phone over just this. No matter what happens now though, I have decided its okay to fight this shit but I am not going to give in. I will do what I want not let myself get emotionally manipulated.

    I have also missed out on so making friends, because whenever I would start making a close friends, she would never like it. The only people she did like were those who were similarly meek, so that broadly she felt like there was no threat of my personality changing towards a more independent person. If I made a different kind of friend, she would keep making subtle comments as to how those guys are not being nice to me, they are not nice people, you should stay away from such guys etc. Of course, all friends fight at some points, and whenever we would, she would hammer it into me that since they fought or teased you etc. they are not good people, and thus you should stay away from them. She tries to do that even today.

    Regarding my relationship with women, that is completely fucked up. She is supposedly “very liberal”, but as soon things got even remotely serious with any girl, and by that I mean just long hours on the phone, she would freak out. This was in high school. Today that problem is that she does not want me to be close friends with any girl who is not a Marwari. Anyone else, and she starts freaking out. My solution is now that I have stopped telling her anything.

    Over the last year, since I have been able to understand all this, and how this has shaped by behavior, I have slowly been able to implement some changes. Its still a battle because I get guilt tripped into doing shit very frequently, but I am doing a slightly better job of holding out than some time ago.

    When I look at other people with similar moms, its such a depressing sight watching those people who have still not looked into their own behavior. There are a couple of examples of guys at work who are not in their mid thirties and every aspect of their behavior is still designed towards pleasing their parents. It is just sad, and is some ways disgusting because it hurts people around them, especially their wives and kids.

    @Gaurav,

    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.

    Congratulations!

    For realizing the truth and working towards beggeting your freedom from emotional blackmail and manipulation.
    How bad does it have to be that your mom wants to decide if you can grow whiskers or not. If she had her say she would have asked God almighty to make men without testestrone. Such parents assume children to be their extension not persons in themselves.
    It serves the abusers to keep the victims isolated (friendless) and feed into their psyche that they (abuser) are the only benefactor the victim has and rest of the world is hostile and unsafe. Not only that they also make sure the abused believes these lies and thinks s/he cannot survive without the abuser.

    Yes, these young men are brought up with the idea that they owe their birth to their parents they are not their own person. Hence when they get married they think their wives are their extension and not independent persons with personal boundaries and desires. They assume like them their wives should be serving his parents.

    Please browse around GGTS there are many resources to help readers reclaim their lives.

    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/assertiveness-learn-to-say-no/
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/feeling-and-expressing-your-emotions/
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/is-my-family-dysfunctional/
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/your-rights-in-a-relationship/

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    • nolongeraslave December 8, 2011 at p12 #

      Gaurav, you described my life story. A mom who wants to keep her adult child to herself and micromanage every aspect of their life. A mom who is seen as “very liberal” by the rest of the Indian community, but severely controlling in ways that others can’t see. I’m also happy that you were able to realize how this was affecting you. You aren’t a bad person, but standing up for yourself and recognizing the treatment you deserve. My mom is also

      I totally relate to fighting about your facial hair. My mom fought to control how I wore my hair, what clothes I wore (she encouraged me to dress provocatively and didn’t want me to be modest like other Indian parents), my jewelry…everything.

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    • Glacier December 8, 2011 at p12 #

      @Gaurav

      Keep strong, don’t give up. That’s the problem when you stand up for yourself – you will face crap constantly. This is one of the reasons why I chose estrangment, I got tired of fighting for something that is mine in the first place – it’s my life. Ultimately one can do as much therapy and counter measures to fight this but don’t you see the problem with this : you should not need to, it wastes your precious time and energy.

      Don’t waste your life on this crap, go away and make your own identity, you will never regret it.

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  3. nolongeraslave July 25, 2011 at p07 #

    A few people mentioned narcissism being rampant in Desi culture. Not sure if this post belongs here, but what is your opinion on Desi parents and aunties that harp on the younger generation’s weight? It’s ridiculous when every single Desi I know is healthy, yet someone (either their mom, an auntie, etc) is telling them to lose weight. Why don’t these elders understand how rude and hurtful it is? Don’t they understand that they may causing eating disorders, low self-esteem, and the feeling of being only valued for how your body looks? It’s understandable if someone is obese and has a health risk, but none of these Desis with such parents have a weight problem.

    It’s bullsh*t if someone tells me that weight concerns are out of love and concern. It’s also BS to say that “You’re psychologically weak if you can’t take someone’s weight comments.”

    My mom was rambling on about how it’s just part of the culture to talk about a younger woman’s weight. Is this true? I don’t think it’s a healthy thing to do at all.

    Sorry, it is taking DG more than usual time to get back to you. Hope you are doing good.
    All aspects of desi women’s lives are a concern of near dear ones and the township and the stray dogs. How she looks, what she wears, who she talks to, what time she comes and go on and on…

    DG’s first encounter with comments on her weight and diet came from father’s Rajasthani colleague who saw her eating a bowl of cream with sugar and coco. He told DG’s mother she should pay attention to what her daughter eats coz’ if she gained weight marrying her off will be difficult. He also insisted in a Rajasthani home a young woman would not be allowed to splurge on milk and cream.
    She has been always healthy with a body and spirit of steel. As a teenager she was the only one in her batch who qualified for blood donation rest all women were under weight. Yet she was branded “fat.” Who cared, a body of steel was all she cared for.

    Now she is 22lbs overweight people are still concerened why she is in the gym three to five times a weeks a time. DG wants to scream, “so that she doesn’t become fat, unhealthy and unhappy as you.”

    Most desis DG encounter are unhealthy. Women in her circle are conscious eaters and women are smart and well proportioned, where as desi men she see on the riverfront are pregnant looking slobs.

    So chill, try a body of a steel there is nothing like it.

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    • nolongeraslave July 25, 2011 at p07 #

      Speaking of culture, I forgot to add that my male cousin in India also think it’s fine for a mom to put down her daughter’s weight. In his head, it’s out of love.

      Desi parental love is strange putting down loved ones in the name of love and for their own good is a standard for some. DG’s frackels were the topic of every extended family gathering, none of her accomplishments ever mattered. Her mom out of love wanted to do DG’s hair in a style DG disliked, this tug of war continued at every trip home. It ended only when DG declared frackels and hair are off the table we can talk about anything related to her work.

      Pick and choose your battles and decide your boundaries early on. If a person keeps poking you without loosing your cool change the topic, end the discussion or just leave. If it is hurting it is not love.

      If it is bothering you a lot then it is definitely about you because their comments proves the secret you hold that “I am no good.”

      PS: pronoun “you” is not directed at the comment writer. DG has been through this cycle so she writes with conviction.

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    • desibahu September 6, 2011 at p09 #

      haha reminds me of when my baby girl was just months old…and chubby as babies are, and my sister in law (devrani) would tell me not to feed her too much or watch what she eats so that she doesn’t grow up fat! i fed my baby whenever she was hungry, thankyou.

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  4. Milky Chai June 2, 2011 at p06 #

    I haven’t been reading much lately since we just had the baby but DG, your blog is the first one I’ve traveled to since you are one of my favorite bloggers. I felt like when I was reading these two related posts, that Glacier’s comments were very, very similar to my husbands. I’ve invited my husband (DH) to log on and read your latest blog posts. I think he’s even inspired to blog about his experiences, especially with his mother. I hope he does, I don’t think many desi men are talking about this craziness openly. I imagine most of them don’t even realize the manipulation and abuse is even happening to them since it is the norm in desi society.

    @Glacier, wishing you the best with your future. And thank you for being honest and sharing your experiences. I really think other desi men in similar situations can really benefit from your insight.

    Ever time I read this blog I have a better understanding of what is going on in my husband’s desi family.

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    • nolongeraslave June 2, 2011 at p06 #

      “I imagine most of them don’t even realize the manipulation and abuse is even happening to them since it is the norm in desi society.”

      The man who inspired me to write my blog actually posted on yours. It was an Indian man that got defensive and offended when I talked about Indian moms being controlling and not teaching their kids how to stand up for themselves. I wonder what Mr.Manny would say if he reads this statement..

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  5. intercultured May 28, 2011 at p05 #

    @sexandtheindiancities
    and
    @Glacier

    Thanks for your explanations. The behaviour of Indian parents is surely bizarre, but it’s not really that complicated, considering what you have said.

    Interesting that many parents are oblivious to that.

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  6. intercultured May 27, 2011 at p05 #

    I know it’s naive to ask this question, but if it is so obvious that many parent-child relationships in India are abusive and based on the control game, why are they often so protected, cultivated and nourished by the victims themselves?

    I saw a lot behaviour of the type “I had it bad, so you will have it bad for me”. Is there any logic? It should be normal for parents to protect their kids from what was wrong in the previous generation. Instead of that,there is this wheel of misfortune that is passed on for ages. What for? In the name of what?

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    • sexandtheindiancities May 27, 2011 at p05 #

      @ intercultured : Desi culture is designed in such a way that oppressed become opperant after certain period. An DIL bears everything to be MIL at some stage ..its a cycle ..

      Its like few days ago a collegue of mine said , he will take dowry because they gave dowry to her sister. He said he won’t accept it for his kids .That was just an excuse , its a cycle .I took care of you , you take of rest of family ..a burden many kids are born with .

      and its not that obvious , try telling parents to stay away from your life and be blamed of being selfish , ofcourse all indian parents do wish good for their kids( so they say) .They know what will keep you happy ( always ). In some extreme cases kids realise and even then they feel guilty if they speak about these manipulations .

      By emotional blackmail they are just trying to ensure kids happy future and they always have experience card to play :)
      In the name of tradition , family values , the great indian this and that . They will always have some excuse .

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    • Glacier May 28, 2011 at p05 #

      It’s done by desi parents to justify the poor life descisions they made for their own lives. If they cannot control their children they would have no meaning to their own lives. Codependency in the desi world is considered normal and revered.

      Desi parents would do anything to destroy their children’s independence and free will, the sooner the younger folks realize this the better they will be.

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  7. White Bhabi May 25, 2011 at p05 #

    Your post really opened my eyes about a lot of things. I moved to India to get married 4 months ago and so far I don’t think my husband has these issues but I do see things here that make me wonder. Your postings answered a lot of questions for me.

    (The following is entirely IMO and based only on my own experience with a limited set of families in Punjab.) In brief, my thoughts are that there is not a lot of affection here among family members. Women hug and young children are coddled but then it all ends. So I can only imagine that having a son is the first overly affectionate relationship that women really have and they cling to that. Some women can’t seem to get enough and never let go. The male child does everything for her from running errands to going to the store to massaging her legs, etc. He’s truly the only one that pays her attention the way any western woman would crave (and I’m not referring to sexually). I can imagine it would be hard to let that go.

    The way these boys are treated is landslided from the beginning and by the time they realize what is going on it’s too late. I had to say it but I think this all leads back to the way India treats it’s sons and disregards it’s daughters. It’s all very sad.

    @White Bhabi,
    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    Congratulations! for your new wedding.
    Desi familial relationships are inherently codependent. :) Most desis neither live in peace nor let others live in peace. We have our nose in everybody’s business in the name of love, family values and family honor. :)
    Yes, son are the prized possessions in the desi world for reasons best known as survival needs. You are right sons are one of the major source of safe attention adult desi women receive from opposite sex as most have emotionally unavailable spouses. It is a generational cycle the emotionally unavailavble spouses are devoted sons and devoted sons make emotionally absent spouses. :)

    The only way to deal with this dysfunction is to set strong personal and relationship boundaries and clearly state the non negotiables.
    Please share this message of hopw with anyone who may benefit.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Here are few posts that will help you understand our desi psyche and male preferences.

    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/desi-son-obligated-to-take-care-of-mother/
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/desi-mothers-in-law/
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/dealing-with-in-laws/
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/desi-parenting-raising-devoted-sons/

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  8. isfahan May 23, 2011 at p05 #

    These past two posts really hit a soft spot for me. One of my best friends is dealing with a similar situation and I, too, have dealt with this, though to a MUCH smaller degree–but I think I acted early enough and my parents, even through disappointment, try their best to be supportive. Which I am forever grateful for when I know that my brothers and sisters have issues like these. I’m definitely sharing these posts with my friend, in hopes that she can find the strength to fight her battles wisely and know that she’s not alone with her gut-wrenching, emotionally/mentally-draining domestic issues.

    Thanks for bringing this issue into the spotlight! A necessary read.

    @isfahan,
    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    Keeping the victim isolated serves the oppresor; shame, guilt and drama are all means to keep people isolated. BREAK ISOLATION FEEL EMPOWERED.
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/is-my-family-dysfunctional/
    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like this

  9. seashell May 18, 2011 at p05 #

    I loved reading this post and the comments attached to it.It is encouraging to know that there are some desis like me out there who have figured out that desi parents are toxic.Kudos to Glacier for taking charge of his life.Not many people can do that for sure.I wish him good luck.

    I have been raised by manipulative parents and I have a younger sister who is also manipulative.It is exhausting dealing with them.With great difficulty I have learned to set my own expectations to what they can deliver(which is not much really).I have also learned to understand when I am being manipulated and then stop them from doing so.This is all work in progress but I am getting there slowly.

    I live abroad and have a bunch of desi friends who are smart, independant and higly successful in their careers.But they are all manipulative towards their own children (and towards their friends which is a different story for some other time).The fact is they don’t realize that they are manipulating their children.According to them they are raising their children the “Indian” way.I am sure all of them were raised by toxic parents, haven’t figured out the manipulation yet (may never figure it out) and continue to do what their parents did to them with their children.It is frustrating to watch this bad parenting being passed down to future generations.Any desi who refuses to follow the great desi parenting methods is “westernized” which according to them means some one who lacks respect for the Indian culture…

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    • thisistrue! May 21, 2011 at p05 #

      “But they are all manipulative towards their own children (and towards their friends which is a different story for some other time).”

      The manipulations desis do to one another is crazy. I know we do it to our kids, but to see grown people trying to manipulate their friends is hilarious/sad. It’s like we never grew up – we’re still trying to hide and sneak our way around our parents, but as adults, doing it to our friends and siblings. At college, I would see this all the time as the more “desi” of the Indian students would act just like their parents. It was revolting and exhausting.

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  10. broken_no_more May 18, 2011 at p05 #

    Hi DG,

    Nice to see a the other perspective and the tremendous amount of courage it must have taken this man.

    A breath of fresh air. Thanks again for doing what you do.

    God Bless :)

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  11. Indian Homemaker May 17, 2011 at p05 #

    I am sending this to someone who emailed me…

    Like this

  12. intercultured May 17, 2011 at p05 #

    “Desi parents alternate between two poles :

    a) Downright ignorant, nasty, abusive.

    b) Controlling, manipulating and over protective.”

    By some western standards you would describe this kind of parenting as oppressive. I don’t want to say that non-Indian parents are always doing a great job, but you must admit, this post in putting Indian moms and dads in a very bad light. Kinda scary.

    @intercultured,
    Sorry if it is putting Indian parents in a very bad light but the fact remains some parents are toxic. We desis suffer from saving the face and keeping up with Jones syndromes and that has kept many evil practices going.
    Should we stop talking about domestic violence (DV) and female feticide because it makes us look bad in the international circles? You are making an argument that early desi immigrants in the US made about DV, to keep up the facade of ideal minority we have to deny anything bad happening in our community.
    We desis have our moral stick to beat out anything western to prove our superiority so that is not even a question here. Sorry, this is our reality even if it is not very pleasant.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Peace,
    DG

    Like this

    • intercultured May 17, 2011 at p05 #

      I’m not trying to say that it’s something bad to put pathology and abuse into the light. I fully support what you’re doing and I wish there were more people expressing similar views like yours. If people preferred to deal with problems instead of hiding them, India would be a much happier place.

      It’s just scary that throughout Indian society there are two layers of existence – one for the show off (everything is fine, we are all happy) and the other swept under the carpet (with toxic relationships).

      In general, Indian parents consider themselves as very caring and supportive. You have the courage to show the opposite.

      @intercultured,
      There is a difference between caring and smothering. Most desi parents (not just Indian parents) infantalize their adult children and want to live their lives instead of finding meaning in their own existence, that is where the problem lies. Codependence is called love in desi world.

      DG is one bad cookie spoiling the desi broth :) . She is trying to be the change she desires.
      Peace,
      Desi Girl

      Like this

      • nolongeraslave May 17, 2011 at p05 #

        Inter-cultured-Abusive and toxic parents are notorious for considering themselves very caring and supportive. Actions speak louder than words though. Obviously, no toxic parent will admit that what they’re doing is wrong. It’s too painful to admit.

        Like this

      • Glacier May 17, 2011 at p05 #

        What DG said.

        Smothering, manipulation, control is disguised as love. Just about the worst thing a parent can do is live their lives through children, it is complete lack of faith in yourself, you religion and yourself as a person. It is just as bad as sexual abuse, the damage is the same : debilitating and demeaning, low self esteem and no courage to face life.

        Parents have lived their life, they made their choices then what is all this, some sort of validation of their own miserable life? In my case my mother was in severe competition with her sisters, my parents used to conive and plan behind my back (I overheard them many times) how to keep me close to them for the rest of my life. Scary? Very.

        I stayed for a long time trying to negotiate but every single time I was painted pinned into a corner where the external scenario was this : “She is just a caring old mother, just wants the best for you”. I must comply otherwise I am in the wrong. I used to give in, I had to, there was no way around it, if I refused the manipulation continued in a different form until I gave into their hidden agendas. This continued for many years until I was so deep into the rabbit hole I was figuratively dying from mediocrity and misery.

        The rabbit hole kept a tight lid on me, keeping me from living my life. I always thought : “If I go I am selfish and pathetic, they just want good for me”. This is the biggest mistake, you must cut the bud before becomes a giant tree. Every time I wanted to go I found it depressing and difficult to do so I ended up doing nothing. Guess what happened? a couple of months later I am deeper in the rabbit hole with more toxicity. This cumulative effect prevents people from doing anything about this disease, the manipulator wins again.

        One has to understand something about desi parents : they will always always always think about themselves first and then smother and justify their thinking upon you. They don’t hate you but they don’t love you unconditionally, there will always be conditions, requirements and expectations. All parents are like that but desi parents take this and produce a lifetime of misery, rules and general patheticness.

        The worst result of this system is that kills creativity and independence. Desis for this reason do not achieve great things unless, out of the box thinking will never germinate in these societies.

        @nolongerslave

        I read your blog, you write very clearly. I can’t tell you to cut ties, when this happens there is always a void, a loss at the end of the day is a loss. That void needs to be fulfilled with goals and purpose that brings you out of that mode of thinking, this is something I had to work on for years during and for sometime after my estrangement, without this I would not have been able to cut ties. I started to find satisfaction from work, my goals & achievements rather than pleasing people.

        Like this

  13. nolongeraslave May 16, 2011 at p05 #

    Wow..your story sounds like a male version of me. Thanks a lot for sharing and it’s great to hear a Desi man that understands how toxic some Desi parents. Everything you written was so accurate to a T. I don’t think you’re a freak at all, but doing what you had to do for your own well-being.

    I sometimes wish I could cut ties and have tried, but at this point can’t. Wish you well.

    Like this

  14. fakeindianbbahu May 16, 2011 at p05 #

    You are strong , people do not even come to know that they in such a mess…Well I too came out of such a mess , It needed lot of thinking on how my life is going…

    BEST OF LUCK !!!

    Like this

  15. The Wild Child May 14, 2011 at p05 #

    Okay, are you my stbx? :)

    He could have almost written this, except he worships his mom and will probably never get there….

    Congratulations for taking charge of your life and happiness! Many you inspire many, many more desi men :)

    Like this

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The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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