Saturday, October 13, 2007

My family.

When I read about other people's families, I envy them.

My family is rather a weird family. We don't talk much to each other. I only talk to my mother...And my sister...And we are not that intimate.

Looking at the surface, we would have potrayed a perfect family. Everything else is going great. Father never has scandals, siblings and I always do well in school, we are proper and well-behaved, we are financially stable too.

We just don't communicate.

I don't know why. There are may be several factors contibuting to this:

- The big age gap between the the older two siblings with the younger two siblings.

- Brother was sent to a boarding school since he was 13 and studied abroad as well. He has always been so distant.

- Brother and I had a fight when I was 13 or 14. Prior to that, we were close and I liked him because he was brotherly. But I was rude to my mother, ran to my room, he chased after me a few moments later to teach me a lesson. He said awful and mean things to me and I stopped talking to him after that.

- Sister has always been so shy and so quiet. Her voice is so soft, almost mute. She only talks when she needs to or cries. She doesn't have many friends but she is pretty. Even though she is quiet and shy, there are always guys approaching her. I think, that balances things for her. Imagine if she was flirty! Err...Too many broken hearts...

- Father is a fierce person. When I was small, I heard stories about how he treated the older two siblings when they misbehaved or did not do well in school. Mother said my younger sibling and I are lucky because by the time we were born, father was no longer as temperemental as before. No, we were never abused physically nor mentally. Father just would be furious and scolded us if the grades were not As. The worst would be the rotan. But, if we did well, we would be treated a nice holiday together!

I don't know what went wrong. Everything was fine when I was young. I don't know what make us stop talking. Probably I was a rebellious teenager but never recover from it. But what about my other family members?

Mother is like the medium in the family. The way we communicate to each other is through her. I couldn't imagine our lives would be like without her. Too awkward.

Although most of the time we are under the same roof, we could go days without talking. The house would be too quiet. Sometimes, it would be a little bit livelier with the presence of my brother's only child. But she is becoming a teenager soon and there seems like an infertility problem running in the family.

To conclude, the only persons who talk to everybody are mother and my brother's child.

I thought, after we welcomed in-laws into our families, things would improve. I was wrong.

Sometimes, I wonder how things would be like in 10, 20 years time. What will we talk about? By then, everybody certainly would have led our own lives. We can't be in silence like this if we want to keep the the family ties strong!

That's why, it is my dream to marry a person who is friendly and talkative and well-liked by my family. He must come from a joyous family too, because I want to be a part of that. It is tough since my parents are having a difficult to accept my boyfriend.

In my family, we don't talk about personal stuff. Everything is very basic. The most talked about topics are our careers and educations. When I was young, the only things father would ask me were, "Bila exam?" "Results macam mana?" "Pergi study" End of conversation.

Father tries to bind us together though. We sometimes have family dinners but we usually end up 'buat hal masing-masing' and eat quietly. It's pathetic. We do most things together, actually. We just don't talk! For example, if one of us is going overseas, everybody would be at the airport to bid our farewells. Since father is punctual, we leave the house early and wait at the airport for hours before boarding. Within that time, we don't talk. We don't talk in the car. We don't talk during hari raya, we don't talk. Father and mother talk to each other all the time, but we, the offsprings, seldom get involved in their conversations. We listen. We talk when we are asked, when are expected to talk.

If I were to call home, I always ask for mother, even if father answered the phone. I just don't know how to talk to father.

That's why, when father is against my relationship, I am upset because I feel like he doesn't know me, he never talks to me about anything else, how come out of a sudden he has something to say about my boyfriend!

One time, I was so mad, I sent an SMS to mother expressing my unsatisfaction after a domestic quarrel with them, I said, "Father never talks to me before. And just now he had something to say to me, he yelled at me."

According to them, I am the most difficult child to dealt with because I couldn't tolerate is when somebody is rough with me. I would either break down or fight back, thus it is hard for them to get the message across. I guess, father has gotten too used with his military style approach. So, as I am now older, our mode of communications are via the SMSes, written letters and e-mails. And we live under the same roof.

Although I am quiet at home, I am very talkative among my friends. This annoys my parents sometimes. I couldn't help it.


We shake and kiss hands. Then eat separately and watch TV separately. Apparently, we have enough TVs, telephones, computers, you name it, to cater for our separate needs.

Not that I don't love them, and I am sure they love us too (my parents only recently started to tell me they love me in SMSes, letters or e-mails, technologies do miracles!) but we are not trained to be affectionate.

I vow to change this in my future family.

I am ashamed to admit about my family situation to my friends, but I think they could feel the vibe.

Up until now, I only know one other person whose family is similar to mine.

We are not normal, aren't we?


Ms J said...

i feel for you. i too feel that my family is not normal, though we talk a lot, there has jsutb een too many issues of the past. anyways, my only word of consolation to you is that we both have the resolute to ensure OUR own family is different and hopefully better!

mz ayam said...

every family is dysfunctional, trust me.

Hansac said...

I am the fierce father in your story (metaphorically speaking, of course).

I have discovered this 1-2 years back, and have vowed to stop the rot.

My kids are 10, 9, 8 and 4. All of them do not talk to me much (me being the garang parent).

I vowed never to be garang to them again (susah to ubah but ubah I must).

the ectopy said...

i wanna be a cool mother