Tag Archives: adult children of desi parents

Living a Curse: Adult Children of Desi Abusers

15 Aug

Living a Curse: Adult Children of Desi Abusers

08/14/2015

DG ran in to him on the way back home he was rushing to the bank. He told her he was glad to see her as he was leaving for India in two days. She asked when he was coming back. He said, he was leaving for good. She had a puzzled look on her face, “it is mid semester you are already half way through your master’s program.” I have to, it is important, urgent and needed he retorted. Tell me, what could be so important that you’ll forsake your education. It is family problem that needs my presence, he said while looking at his shoes. What kind of family problem that can’t wait another six months? Tell me in detail, we can figure out something, I can help you find resources back in your home town said DG. No, it is my mom who wants me back she is sick. What happened to her? She is just sick she needs me. Is it life threatening? “No, I just fear something will happen to her.” DG lectured him on his enmeshed sense of self and failure to see things for what they were and how he’ll be a nuisance to his future partner. He retorted, “you don’t know, it is not like that.” Then you tell me what it is?

He kept insisting he can’t tell and DG won’t give up. He insisted he would visit her before he left the country but DG wouldn’t trust him. Together they went to the bank and then he accompanied her home. She made some tea and they started talking. This six feet tall lanky 28 year old man lowered his eyes, the cup in his hands shook as words failed him. After lots of assurance of privacy, confidentiality and nature of DG’s work he began talking. For the purposes of the length of the post DG will omit her probes. He said:

I fear my mother will have a heart attack, she is living under too much stress, she is all by herself. I am here and my newly married brother is working in Canada. Though I speak to her every day but I live in constant fear that she’ll die of this persistent stress (ma ko kuchh ho jayega. Something will happen to her). She has no support till we were in India we made sure one of us was around now she is all by herself I don’t know how long can this continue. After a long silence, he wiped tears from his eyes and spoke in a trembling voice. I have never spoken to anyone about this. We had a very hard life, she raised us all by herself. You cannot even imagine the days I have seen as a child often we slept hungry, had no fee for school. We would go to my aunt (mother’s sister) or grandmother’s (mother’s mother) home to eat. My mother has not seen a day of peace, she struggled to keep a roof over our heads, she didn’t even have a decent saree. To attend family functions her sister would gave her clothes, she would be the plainest woman there. I remember my mom was young and beautiful very caring and kind always trying hard to make it better for us. I decided as a child when I grow up I’ll pamper her, I’ll buy her the best clothes and jewelry. When I got my first job in Australia I bought her latest suits, sarees and gold jewelry, I wanted her to look the best dressed woman in any gathering. For the first time we saw her smiling and beaming in pride all her hard work and struggles had paid off.

In all this talk not once DG heard him mention his father. She asked him about his father. He evaded the question and then gradually started talking by addressing the man as, “woh” (he), not once he said, dad or father as if he was trying to maintain an emotional distance between them. He is the reason I am going back, he was always abusive to our mother, physically, verbally, emotionally, mentally and economically. He was a leading contractor in the city rolled in money ten years older to my mother, she was a school teacher but he made her quit the job. He is a habitual drinker as far as I can remember he was always away when he came home he was drunk, he would throw fits beat us up to save us mother would come in between and take the blows. He didn’t come home for days, didn’t care if we had food and school fee. Our house looked little better than a shanty, I had no friends, how could I? We never went to anyone’s home because we could never invite them over. Even today I hesitate to mix with people.

Yelling, screaming and hitting is all I have to tell about my childhood. He robbed us of our childhood. I just wanted him to go away and leave us alone. Go away anywhere just don’t return. I dreamt taking my mother away three of us living in happily ever after sort of way. He would not let mother go back to work as teacher I think she also lost confidence in all this, she would sew to raise us. One time he did not pay the bills our power was cut off she would sew in the candle light. One time he saw her sewing he destroyed the blouse in anger saying how dare you do this in “my house.” She had to feed us so she would sew in hiding. While I was in high school mother somehow managed to start a boutique with the help of her family. Our living standard improved a bit, he started coming home, his business he said was suffering. I think it was a lie. I won’t be surprised if he has another family. Mother fell sick for a month and trusted him with orders, he was indeed acting differently. When she recovered the tailors and workers had left as they were not paid everything was destroyed we were back to where we started. I know he did it on purpose, he just couldn’t fathom our peace. What kind of father would do that? We both were good students both of us got admission in engineering college mother’s family made sure we went to college we have paid them back after we got jobs.

Both of us brothers made sure one of us was in the city living at home while the other took a job or project abroad. We built our dream house, used best tiles and fixtures, bought everything new, the furniture, pots and pans, curtains, everything. A fully stocked pantry for the first time she could cook anything. We didn’t take a thing from “that house” and we moved. We left him there in “his” house. He went around bad mouthing us, telling people that we have abandoned him now that we have started earning. Community members and relatives from his side started admonishing us. Where were these same people when he abandoned us and we slept hungry or had no school fee. It became a big spectacle, people at the community events, temple everywhere started sneering at us and telling us he is now an old man and has changed. We should care for him after all he is our father. Unwillingly we had to let him into our home. Our dream to be free of him was quashed by his evil designs and this society. All our lives we thought we’ll be free of him once we were grown up but here we were. He is seventy two and going strong hasn’t changed a bit.

One night my brother was in his room with door bolted. “He” in his drunken fit was knocking it and wanted him to open the door. Brother asked him to leave him alone but “he” just kept getting louder and louder. “He,” picked up the wooden pestle and started hitting the door it broke he also damaged the walls and windows. At this my brother lost it, I had never seen him so mad. Brother just wanted to kill “him.” Mother and I somehow pacified him. There is no way we can get rid of this plague. It is a curse on our lives. You might be wondering who talks like that about their parent. Tears rolled from his eyes, we made another cup of tea and started preparing for dinner while he continued talking.

I worked five years saved some money to go abroad and do a masters thus I came here. Instead of congratulating me “he” kept saying how I was wasting money. Every day he calls and asks me to come back and take care of him, “mera kamaoo beta, wapas aa meri pension lagaa de” (my earning son, come back and give me regular monthly stipend as a pension). Brother got married and got transferred to Canada. Mother wanted him to leave because she did not want his new wife to see how messed up our lives are. I live in constant fear that he is going to kill my mother or her heart will fail some day, how much can one person take. These days I can’t focus on studies, it is so hard I get flash backs and night sweats hence I decided to go back, I know he’ll make my life miserable even though it was my money. I am 28 and still not able to stand up to him or protect my mother or myself. We are so trapped I don’t see a way out.

He had seen the school doctor who diagnosed him with anxiety and depression. But DG suspected it was a full blown case of PTSD that manifested once he was away from constant dysfunction, it needed proper diagnosis and treatment. After dinner they did some soul healing work through meditations and deep breathing. She gave him few tools and referrals in his home town to follow up with. It was past 2am DG suggested he sleep on the futon in the living room. Next morning he attended his chores while DG went to work he came back in the evening to continue with meditations and healing work, he also read few posts on GGTS to understand what was going on in his life. Once back home he contacted DG to inform her of his progress he saw a clinical psychologist and practices what he learned from DG. He did not even complete five sessions he said it was too expensive (Rs 5000 per session). He has taken up a job after six months of hiatus. The situation at home did not improve but he is now better equipped to handle it. DG had asked him to write this post but it was too anxiety provoking for him thus he gave her permission to write this.

A person may divorce an abusive spouse but children cannot. Ours is a system that will not let you leave an abuser more so if you are his/her child you are doomed for ever…

 

 

 

Desi Parenting: Cycle of Generational Dysfunction

12 Jun

Yes, lazy DG is still alive and counting her blessings. Previous post elicited a very interesting comment. Glacier and sexantheindiancities answered it appropriately

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 behavior 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?

It is a good question why desis continue with dysfunctional parenting practices for generations irrespective of the fact that each generation incessantly complains about it and yet follows the suit. If this were the case then it would mean no social change took place in centuries. But that is not the case because even though things seem unchanged yet they have changed. Each generation adapted its parenting practices according the trends of its times yet maintained some aspects of the previous generation as sacrosanct, the essence of great and proud desi culture and tradition. This is a two part post in response to the questions posed by intercultured.

There was a time desi fathers could not be affectionate to their children in the presence of their parents, it was considered disrespectful towards the elders. DG can recall an incident her high school substitute teacher narrated (he was retired English teacher substituting for a teacher on maternity leave). He said, he was the only college educated man in his village with a job in the city. One time on his trip home he lifted his toddler in the presence of his father and there was a scene in the family. His father felt affronted and declared his son (teacher) has insulted his authority by insisting his own parenthood. The only way to understand this idiocy is to examine the survival needs of the aging and their dependence on next generation for elder care. In order to ensure old age care it was important for the senior generation to prevent any deflection of attention from them and development of bonding between next generation and their children. This does not mean that he (teacher) buckled to old man’s irrationality but he pushed centuries old boundaries and drew new lines where he retained his right as a parent and assured his role as a son towards his father thus creating a dent in the system. But like many desi men he could not establish an open and out partnership with his lawfully wedded wife, even though it was an arranged marriage.

Desi Parenting From Yore

Karta, the doer; father, the provider and the head of the family model of masculinity has existed from yore across the globe. In desi context this model is collated with primogeniture and thus obliterating all other fathers in the family; the eldest male becomes the “super father” and all other men in the family become lesser fathers (his brothers, sons and nephews). This arrangement could work only if all challenges to the authority of super father were to be eliminated and dealt with a strict hand; reprimand, shaming and sometimes even excommunication.

What could be more effective than evoking the great heritage and the golden age of absolute reverence of age through folklore (a son goes into exile to honor his father’s word and yet another remains a celibate to let his horny father have another wife). Attaching honor thus value to any action cements it in the moral fabric of a social psyche; people assume it is their sacred duty to preserve these values even at the cost of their peace and lives. While reverend Karta ruled the affairs of the outer world his wife became the demagogue within the household, her job was to socialize the young men and women including incoming women (DILs) into the great family tradition and keep the authority struggles in the inner world under check. While Karta made sure the lesser fathers in the family did not bond with their children on the other hand his wife was committed to check any bonding between lesser men and their wives in the family. Remember, this super couple was lesser adults in their youth and in their grey years it is their turn to rule; it is much deserved and awaited for all those years of oppression. Bollywood does its best to revoke this model of desi parenting every now and then to rake moola as desis love to live in a glorious past that never was.

What old man was doing was exactly like in-laws checking development of any meaningful bonding between the newly married couple, discussed here. When in-laws resort to such measures they come to our notice but when parents do the same to their children it goes unnoticed because it is cloaked in generational reverence and parental affection and well-wishing. Desi parenting agendas have to be understood at both gender and generational levels.

Desi fathering was synonymous with providing and emotional restrain towards wife and children; parental and sibling commitment always preceded filial duty. Desi fathers have shown physical affection towards their prepubescent children irrespective of their gender (usually youngest child is an exception post puberty) there after they are usually authority figures to be obeyed and feared not as source of emotional sustenance and communication. Desi mothers filled in for the paternal emotional lacunae in the lives of their children, especially sons. We have to remember desi mothers are wives of emotionally absent spouses hence their emotional needs are met through their children; hence continues the cycle.

Even though the families are no longer live under one roof yet the super father syndrome has persisted. To change this parental equation demands changes in the spousal equation meaning changing the centuries’ old definitions of masculinity and family. Parental relationships cannot change for good without affecting the conjugal relationship of the parents; expecting a simultaneous change without positive role models is a hard sell. It is easier to follow the pre-established tried and tested relationship patterns without much effort and lots of complaining than to stand up and challenge the system. Change also means learning new behaviors (treating adult children as adults not juveniles), unlearn old behaviors (to stop living their children’s lives), taking responsibility for one’s actions (be prepared to be shut out of your children’s lives on crossing the line) and giving up some privileges; giving up control over adult children in a hard one to denounce. Now readers may judge for themselves why generational wheel of misfortune is passed on for ages…

TO BE CONTINUED… Continue reading

From the wet market

Mostly vegetarian meals from Asia

****आयुर्वेद : आयुष**** ई०टी०जी० आयुर्वेदास्कैन ****AYURVEDA : E.T.G. AyurvedaScan **** ****आयुष आविष्कार**** ई० एच० जी० ****होम्योपैथीस्कैन **** E.H.G. Homoeopathy Scan

AYUSH means A.Y.U.S.H. य़ानी Ayurveda + Yoga & Nature Cure + Unani +Sidhdha + Homoeopathy ; आयुष पान्च चिकित्सा विधियो को मिलाकर एक टर्म बना दिया गया है , जिसका मतलब [१] A word से आयुर्वेद [२] Y word से योग और प्राकृतिक चिकित्सा [३] U word से यूनानी चिकित्सा [४] S word से सिध्ध चिकित्सा [५] H word से होम्योपैथी चिकित्सा ; आयुर्वेद के अलावा भारत में आविष्कार की गयी और भारत सरकार द्वारा परीक्षित की जा चुकी मान्यता प्राप्त विश्व की पहली और अकेली आयुर्वेद की शत-प्रतिशत पूर्णतया स्वदेशी तकनीक "इलेक्ट्रो त्रिदोष ग्राफी : ई०टी०जी० आयुर्वेदास्कैन " , जिसका आविष्कार जून, १९८६ में कानपुर शहर, उत्तर प्रदेश, भारत के आयुष चिकित्सा वैग्यानिक डा० देश बन्धु बाजपेयी - मोबाइल: 09336238994 - e.mail : drdbbajpai@gmail.com द्वारा किया गया और जिसका लगातार विकास कार्य जारी है / E.T.G.A.S. तकनीक द्वारा (1) आयुर्वेद के मौलिक सिध्धान्तों का स्टेटस क्वान्टीफाई करने और इसी तकनीक द्वारा (2) शरीर के सभी अन्गों और प्रत्यन्गॊ में व्याप्त समस्त रोगों के निदान ग्यान की वैग्यानिक aproach की जानकारी कराने और सबसे नवीन दूसरी आविष्कार की गयी निदान और रोग ग्यान तक्नीक आयुर्वेदा थर्मों ग्राफी ; आयुर्वेदा ऊष्मा-स्कैन ; आयुर्वेदा थेर्मल मैपिन्ग एवम स्कैनिन्ग के अलावा आयुर्वेद की अन्य की गयी खोजों में तीसरी खोज ”आयुर्वेद हीमो-मीटर मशीन” द्वारा रोगी के रक्त का परीक्षण करके आयुर्वेद के सिध्ध्न्तों का मूल्यान्कन तथा चौथी खोज रोगी के पेशाब / मूत्र का ”आयुर्वेद यूरीनो-मीटर” द्वारा परीक्षण करके आयुर्वेद के सिध्धान्तो की उपस्तिथि के अलावा मूत्र के अन्दर पाये जाने वाले पदार्थों का विष्लेषण करके रोग निदान की विधियों की खोज रिसर्च सेन्टर द्वारा कर ली गयी है और रोगियों के लिये उपलब्ध करा दी गयी है ...आयुष AYUSH चिकित्सा विधियों के बारे में विश्वसनीय और सटीक और अचूक और सही जानकारी और शोध पूर्ण और शोध युक्त ग्यान बोध कराने वाला द्विभाषीय चिठ्ठा ...................................Ayurveda and AYUSH Therapies including Chines Accupunctur, Magnet Therapy,Physiotherapy etc and with this in June, 1986, invented by KANPUR, Uttar Pradesh State, INDIA based AYUSH Medical Scientist Dr. Desh Bandhu Bajpai - Mobile : 09336238994 - e.mail: drdbbajpai@gmail.com , completely indeginous AYURVEDA SCANNING Technology - "Electro Tridosha Graphy ; E.T.G.AyurvedaScan " system, EXAMINED & APPROVED BY GOVERNMENT OF INDIA , by which (a) status of Ayurvedic Fundamentals are quantified and (b) examinaton of whole body for diagnosis of presence of anomalies and ailments , Second scanning system of Ayurveda Discovered and Invented by Dr. D.B.Bajpai ; Ayurveda Thermal Mapping and Scanning , Other research in Ayurveda is Third one which analysis Blood by AYURVEDA HEAMO-METER devise and Fourth one is AYURVEDA URINO-METER for analysing the contents of urine and status quantification of Ayurveda Principles and is avalable for patient in our research center...... provides information about Research and Developments technology provider , authenticated subject material publisher, Bilingual Hindi and English informer Blog

LOKSANGHARSHA

जनसंघर्ष को समर्पित

Talking to the Wall

Posting about this and that :)

Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury

TBI - Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

My life and everything that touches it....

"कुरुक्षेत्र"

मेरे विचारो का

समाजवादी जनपरिषद

वैश्वीकरण विरोध हेतु

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

W.S.S.A @ UWindsor

Women's Studies Student Association @ University of Windsor, Ontario

Shafiq Ur Rahman Khan

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Beyond The Second Sex (स्त्रीविमर्श)

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

नारी , NAARI

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Sparsh

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Zerqa Abid

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.