Category Archives: Family Dynamics

The Wowrkings of a Family

Seeing You Off

The final passage, remembering the woman whom you’d come to know, as your, mother-in-law, from your father-in-law’s second marriage, translated…

Sitting silent, in the back of the church, on the wooden bench, stared at the white coffin, paved with flowers in the shrine, hearing the pastor slowly, told of your, eighty-two years of colorful life; as the pastor described you as being straightforward, generous, it’d, made me cry, and I’d, lifted up my head and smiled, started recalling the thirteen years of friendships we’d, come to share in life.

It was a snowy day in April in Norway, my husband who’d, planned to be single for the res of his life, drove me in his car, and, came to your door, my father-in-law, and his second wife, you, immediately led us in, and, in a panic, started, preparing the snacks, the coffees to serve to me, an unwelcomed guest.  Back then I wasn’t, fluent in Norwegian, I’d spoken in fluent German with my father-in-law, and, it’d, made you, who lived in the U.S. for over a decade object, that you had difficulties understanding us, and, we’d, realized that we had, excluded you, and immediately, we’d, both started switching to talking in English then.

On Christmas Eve that first year of our marriage, you’d, burst the hopes of your three daughters, sons-in-law, and nine grandchildren’s dreams of family union, you’d come to our home, and, baked for us, the traditional Norwegian pork ribs, meat balls, and sausages, and prepared seven types of pastries.  And, as lucky as I in the first time, I’d, scooped up, the only almond, hidden inside the rice pudding, and received, that special award for piggy almond candy.  Underneath the Christmas tree with the Norwegian flag, were the gifts, stacked up, you, my father-in-law, my husband and I, the four of us, sat around the tree, and started, tearing open the presents, the excitement, the joys, it’d, filled up the house.

The summer that my mother, second aunt, and nephew visited Norway, you’d not just, invited them, you’d also, found your youngest who’s my age, along with your young granddaughter, who’s around the same age as my nephew as company, you’d, set up a wooden board in your yard, with the balloons, and started, shooting the darts.  And even though, it’d rained that day, we’d, still, had a ton of fun; to this very day, my mother still talked of the cherries, the raspberries, and currants you grew in your own yard.

On your seventy-fifth, because your body was, ailing, you’d, delayed your birthday celebration in May, but you’d, not told us flat out, only asked, if we’re available to show up in June.  And, as my husband and I arrived, I’d found, that it was, a family birthday celebration your daughter, son-in-law, and grandson had set up for you; we’d, not brought anything, and we were, embarrassed, but you’d laughed and told, that it was because you didn’t want any presents, that was why, you’d, not told us it was to celebrate your birthday.

illustration from UDN.com圖/錢錢

2017 was, especially cruel to you.  First, your best friend who lived in the U.S. died in the spring at the age of over ninety, several months later, it was, my father-in-law, the second love of your life, passed away, in the autumn.  On the evening my father-in-law passed, you, me, and my husband, the three of us, stayed close by his side, until he’d, swallowed his, last breath.  You’d, dragged your, deteriorated health, your, slow steps home; the following day, we took you to the funeral home, to set up my father-in-law’s final affairs, you’d spoken of how you’d, not slept through the night, that you’d, paced around in the living room; even as your kids and grandkids were there, to accompany you, it still, didn’t, take away from your losing your husband.

Within two years after my father-in-law’s funeral, I sat here, in this, same church, heard the same pastor, hosting your funeral.  This pastor was the one who’d, conducted the wedding ceremony of you and my father-in-law thirty years back, he’d retired since, but, two years ago, he’d, made an exception for my father-in-law, spoken on his funeral, and this time, for you too.  You marrying my father-in-law, had once cast a huge shadow for my husband’s not introducing me to his own mother, but, for the eighteen years, the three of you had, died, and all the displeases of the past are now, gone, with the wind.  I’d heard of the news of your death as I’d returned from Egypt, I’d, come, to see you off, I’m so grateful for your kindness toward me, even more grateful, that you were, a “stand-in mother-in-law” to me, giving my families and I, such, wonderful, memories.

And so, this, is on how strong the connections of strangers who became, families are, and this still just showed, how if you’re kind to your daughters or sons-in-law, they will, reciprocate, and love you like you were, their own, parents too.  This is quite rare, to see a stepmother-in-law and a daughter-in-law get along so very well together.

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Filed under Connections, Expectations, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Friendships, Lessons, Letting Go, Marriages, Memories Shared, Observations, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Story-Telling, the Finality of Life, Values

Please Let Go, and Trust in Me, Having an Overbearing Mother

The problem here, is still NOT with the daughter, but with the mother, but, does she realize it???  Of course N-O-T, translated…

From awhile ago, on the news, a certain organization had been losing money by the year, the second-generation owner decided to sell of the office building, for cash, the founder, as he was, interviewed, stated, “My heart ached as my son did it, but now, I’d, trusted in his decisions entirely!”

This pair of father and son made me so envious, and at the same time, I’d, felt heartache for them both, because how I’d, wished that my own mother, can trust me like this father had his own son too.

From the views of the world, I guess, I’m, the pride of my parents: made high grades, gone to an all-star institution, and, managed to pass the exams for a public office on my very first try, I’d never needed my parents to worry over my school performances or my work.

Although my mother stated verbally, that I’d, done well for myself, but she’d, never had faith, that I can, handle things on my own, whether it be how I’d spent my money, how to treat others I meet, whether to have children after I married, who should care for my child if s/he was born…………my mother’s criticisms came at me, never-ending, “it’s for your sake”, was her most widely used phrase, and her weapon.

She’d never understood, that what she’d believed to be a show of care and concern, her nagging, was interpreted as how she didn’t trust me enough, I’d tried to tell her, but her response was always, “Those with your last names, can’t take any criticisms from others!”

When I was interning, I’d, lived at home, I’d had a crash on a rainy day, and, as I’d, bent my knees, my injuries started bleeding, but I’d not let my mother know, I’d, bent down, holding the pains in, as I’d helped clean up the house, until my mother rode out to get the groceries, and found the head of the motorcycle dented, that, was when she’d, found out.  I’d gotten into another, serious crash after I was married, and, it’d been years to this very day, I’d still, not told my parents what had happened to me.

Of the two wrecks I got in, I was, very scared, but I knew, that other than feeling anxious over me, and nagging me, my parents couldn’t do anything for me, and they’d, surely, blamed me, for being, too careless too.  And so, no matter how painful, I’d much rather, hide the truth from them.

I’d never doubted the love my mother had for me, but every time, as I’d, wanted to show affection towards her, she’d started, lecturing me, and in the end, she’d added, “Nobody else is going to tell you this, I’m your mother, that was why, for your sake, I’m, telling, you the truth!”  in my mother’s mind, I’ll never be, enough, there are, always things, I can, improve, and, all of my good performances are, matter-of-fact, and yet, the imperfections, are what pricked at her, and she’d needed to, get rid of them.

But, my dearest mother, you know what?  Your daughter may not be perfect, but, she’d always tried very hard, worked hard, can you just, let go, and trust in me?

And, hopefully, this woman’s mother can see this article, and change the way she interacts with her daughter, but, I’m still, NOT holding MY breath, because parents like these, they think what they’re doing, IS for the good of their young, and they just keep on, doing whatever the F*** (maxed out???) they’re doing, using their same old ways, probably because they were, treated as such by their own parents (‘cuz these sorts of SHITS still gets passed down, from one generation to the next, like D.N.A.???) and this daughter is going to, have a very difficult time, getting closer to her mother that’s for sure…

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Using the Soaps with the Idols to Teach the Children, on Parent-Child Relations

The parents need to think hard, on WHY it is, that the kids wouldn’t DARE tell them something that’s important that’s happened with them, what this mother learned, from the soap operas, translated…

A short while ago, my daughter and I got into a soap with the idols, with a scene where the female main character accidentally lost the bracelet that was given to her by her fiancée’s grandmother, although she’d found one that looked like it online, but it’d cost $200,000. And, she was pressed for the time to get it, and she saw an ad posted by loan sharks, and called in for the amount to buy the bracelet. In order to pay up the debts, she’d started part-timing like crazy after her regular job, and, other than stressing herself out, she’d started playing that game of spies with her families too.

As I’d watched, I’d frowned, asked my daughter, “Do you think she’d handled it well?” “She needed to take responsibilities for her own losing that bracelet!” “Or perhaps, she could go to her families to discuss the matter.” “She’s not a mama’s girl, she’s already working, and, if she’d told her families, her families will probably, grill her for being careless and stupid!” “Family will always be your pillar of support, and even if her family members scolded her, it’s from the perspectives of care and concerns! Being truthful with the family, that, is showing trust to one another, and, after you’d lied once, you’d needed to, make up even more lies to cover them all up, how tiring would that be, can you imagine?”

On that day, I saw a note on the entrance at our house by my daughter, she’d come clean, that she’d lost the cell phone I gave to her two days ago at cram school. She was flustered and scared, and didn’t dare to tell me, but after she’d seen the conversations of the woman in the soap, she’d, decided to, admit to her own mistakes, and reported her cell phone missing to the police already, and stopped the services.

As my daughter came home, and mentioned what happened to me, she’d started crying, and, she must’ve been feeling so bad these past couple of days. I think, perhaps, there’s, that fragile heart that’s, underneath the seemingly tough exteriors, that are, in need of the families’ love and support.

And, from this, it’d, reminded me, that it is truly difficult, balancing between the disciplining and loving our own young. The kind of education I’d received from my own parents are, “the more harshly we’d treated you, it’d showed how much we cared for you”, and, I’d been, quite strict with my children, and, had I know about this as it’d just happened, naturally, I would’ve, blown up, and not only that, I’d, probably, nagged my daughter about it incessantly too, it’s a wonder, that she’d not dared tell me what had happened, right after it’d, happened. Thankfully, my daughter listened to what I’d, told her, and, that soap opera, became, the role model for us both accidentally.

And so, this still showed, how there’s a lesson to learn everywhere, so long as, you’re willing to, keep your minds open, and take the lessons that the world is, teaching to you.

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Filed under Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Lessons, Life, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

Changing a Thought, Your World Opens Right Up

Found something that kept her calm, through her husband’s temporary “fix”, translated…

As I accompanied my child to off the island to school, other than helping him settle in, I’d also taken the opportunity, to visit locally, and enjoy this little peaceful time I have. In the embrace of Mother Nature, having been stressed out too long in the nitty-gritties of the day-to-day, I’d, broken free, like a bird from a cage, I’d felt, so very free.

After a few days, although I’m now, recharged spiritually, but my body was having the fatigues from the travels. There’s a saying, “There’s NO place like home”, it’s, so very, true, as I’d reached out, and touched the doorknob of my own house, I’d finally felt, that I can, finally rest easy. But, as I’d, pushed open the doors, my steps, as well as my smiles, froze solid, and, the luggage I had in my other hand fell.

The lanai in front was a huge mess, and, the table and chair where I usually sat leisurely to read, was pushed to the side, the cardboard boxes, the plastic baskets, everywhere, the originally cleaned tile flooring, covered in muddy footprints. There’s, that awful feeling from the pit of my stomach, I’d trembled, as I’d, turned on the lights, I’d, stood there, with my jaws, dropped, in shock, couldn’t make a single sound.

Looking around me, there was, a huge pile of dirt the size of a small mount, and the bamboo had, grown taller than I am, blocking the screen doors; the other bamboos, grown too large out of proportions; and, the gardenia with the branches like the antlers of deer, lying to the side. The piles of fertilized soils, the granite pieces, all, scattered, across the ground…………it’d, looked like, a BOMB had been, dropped here.

About a week ago, my husband looked around on the lanai, and, he’d, measured the space, with his calculating gazes, I’d caught a glance, at his usual act, I’d called out, “oh no!” to myself, I’d, rushed up to him, to ask him what was up. Just as I’d suspected, he’d started, getting so enthusiastic, describing what his plans were, of having a small garden on our lanai, and, I’d, rained down on his parade, “Please, stop your delusions, you just wanted to be the frontiersman, and I’d needed to, clean up after you, like from before when we kept the birds, and the dogs too…………”

He knew he wasn’t going to win the arguments, he’d, fallen silent, and not mentioned it again, I mistakenly thought, that he’d, stopped pondering about it, without knowing, that this, was, only the calm before the storms.

That very night, one of us carried the sour face, the other, scrubbed up the mats, and there’s, this awful tropical depression visiting our home, followed by the days of silent treatments, the air, froze up.

like this???  Not my photograph…查看來源圖片

Every day I’d waken up, pulled back the drapes, and, I was, face-to-face, with this withered garden, it was, truly, depressing. And, I just couldn’t deal with it anymore, rolled up my sleeves, tidied it up out there.

I’d first, trimmed the branches off the bamboos, remove the stems of the dying bamboo, the yellowed leaves as well, them, made the space, for the gardenias. After half a day of sweating it all way, I’d, gotten rid of my displease. And, I’d, taken a look at the scene, and, it was, breathable, and finally, I’d, rid myself, of the dark clouds that loomed over me these past couple of days.

More importantly, I’d put the fruit trees I’d especially loved which I’d planted inside a pot from before into the ground. And, in this garden which I’d once fought not to have, I’d, placed in some of my most cherished plants. Because, knowing my husband, my husband, who only has very short attention span, will soon forget the existence of this garden, and, I will be, the faithful gardener, who will always be looking after this small patch of my own dreams.

So, this, is how this woman changed her mind, to pull herself out of that tropical depression that she’d been in because of her husband’s temporary fix of having a small garden on their lanai, and this still showed, just how powerful the thought is, change a thought, your world lights up!

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Filed under Expectations, Family Dynamics, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Lessons, Life, Marriages, Properties of Life, Story-Telling, Translated Work

Brought Up that Way

“You can’t blame him”, she’d told, all her friends, as they all showed their condolences toward how she got that shiner on her eye, along with those bruised cheeks, again!

Brought up that way, that, was the sorry excuse that she’d used, to rationalize why he would take the downs of his life out on her!  Brought up that way, excusing his bad behaviors, how long, can you keep on, lying to yourself?  I know how much you wanted to believe in his FALSE promises of how he’ll change, how he will NEVER lay a hand on you, but, by NOT taking actions against HIS abuse, you’re only, getting yourself deeper…

Brought up that way, you’d been, using that, to EXCUSE his bad behaviors, and how many times had he hit you?  Gosh, I dunno, let me C-O-U-N-T………Brought up that way, yeah, so, let’s, examine the situations, shall we?  So, based off of that way of logic, shouldn’t ALL men who were raised under abuse, BE abusive?  But, NOT all MEN raised by abuse are abusive to their spouses (although the occurrences of abuse is higher, than the occurrences of not!).

Brought up that way?  So, I can BEAT the SHIT out of someone, when I feel awful about me, if I saw my father, beating on my mother every single night of my childhood?  Or, can I say those “accidental” hurtful words to you, because I heard daddy, yelling those mean things to mommy, and, they actually thought, that I was, already, asleep, as their arguments occurred, LATE in the nights?

Stop making excuses already, brought up that way?  Yeah, I too, WAS raised up by VERBAL, EMOTIONAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL abuses, as well as SEXUAL molestations, and for that, I’d taken it all out, on my D-O-L-L-S, ‘cuz they can’t fight BACK, so, don’t tell me I don’t know SHIT ‘bout scapegoating here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Abuse, Awareness, Being Exposed, Cost of Living, Early Exposures, Excuses, Family Dynamics, Lives Lost, Loss, Properties of Life, Vicious Cycle, Wake Up Calls

My Turn to Take Care of You This Time

From the mind of a son, translated…

The year that I’d interned at the emergency room, I’d always feared that my father would become one of the patients, every time I’d heard on the announcement system, that there was an unknown male patient, I’d always gone to check.  My father had been ill a long time, one morning, he had a stroke, was found by a neighbor, to be lying at the park, having a seizure, but after being treated, he’d gotten stabilized, and can now, live on his own.

I can’t believe, that my father who’d always been so strong, how he’d missed the signs of him growing weaker, back then, I’d spent all of my waking hours on my post, learned to ask the patients what was the matter, and how to treat their difficulties, and, in this busyness, I’d gotten a call, as I’d dialed back, it was, a stranger, telling me about my father’s conditions, how ironic!  My heart became twitched and tangled, I’d immediately rushed to the other hospital, saw my father, panting hard, at a corner of the emergency room; what’s worse was, I’d worked through the days and the nights, and neglected to ask him how he was, and was completely clueless about his mental and physical health.

I should’ve known, that my father had concealed his condition from me, because he didn’t want me to worry, I should’ve gotten that something wasn’t right from how fatigued he looked, all those knowledge I’d learned from medical school allowed me to look at every patient’s situations subjectively, but, I couldn’t see clearly what was going on with those I loved………I’d started doubting my love toward my father now, compared to those who’d kept me up all night long, thinking over their conditions, I don’t even know when was the last time my dad went to his doctor’s appointment, must there be a give and take between a greater kind of love and the love you have for those who are close to you?

There was a time, when I’d gotten trapped in the emotions of self-blame, before my father’s bed, I’d looked over his charts hard, trying to find a way, to make this love I have for him complete; but, what surfaced into my mind was not the medical knowledge, but the days my father and I spent together.  The tears of regrets stained my white robe, and, it was, as if my father heard my helpless cries, he’d worked hard, opened up his eyes, and told me, to not worry so much, word by word.

My father couldn’t control his drool, and, it’d slowly overflowed from the corner of his lips, I’d wiped it up lightly, I didn’t want someone else to look after him again, even as my father ushered me to head back to work, I’d still told him no.  This time, I want to, keep watch over my father, as his son.

And this, is how someone had become too focused on his job, that he’d forgotten about how important family is, but gladly, he’d gotten that wake up call just in time.

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Filed under Despair, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, On Death & Dying, Parent-Child Interactions, Professional Opinions, Properties of Life, Socialization

The Teddy Bear at My House

Translated…

My daughter had always wanted a cat for a pet, but, because neither one of us wanted to, she’d let that thought go.  Back in high school, one day, she saw a Rilakkuma, she’d bought it, with glee, it was, about eighty centimeters in height, with light brown coat, a square head, short and fat limbs, very cute, my daughter called it “Bear”, the three of us all loved it so.  The bear would usually stay in my daughter’s room, and accompanied my daughter to dreams at night; during the cold winter nights, my daughter would make sure, that her bear is warm, but when she wakes in the morn, the bear would usually have made its escape out, and would be on its side or with its head into the bed, making my daughter laugh.

At meal time, my daughter would carry the bear to the tables and sat with us, it’d stood, on the long chair, with its two, short arms on the table, like a kid, standing up, to eat at the table.  After meal, my daughter would carry her Teddy bear back into her bedroom, and would from time to time, nag it, out of fun, “Everybody’s finished already, only you, still here, you glutton.”

The rest time before bedtime, we’d all lain on the bed, sharing conversations, naturally, the bear would also, be there too.

The bear is naturally, my daughter’s number one fan when she plays the piano, whenever my daughter would practice, she’d placed the bear close by; and from time to time, she would have me, hold on to the bear, and listen to her play, after she’s done performing, I would pull the bear’s hands together, to give her the applause, and hollered, “Encore!  Encore!”, and my daughter would be filled with glee.  Whenever my daughter felt off, she’d told her sorrows to her bear too, she felt, that the bear had great healing powers.

Whenever it’s sunny, my daughter would put the bear onto the couch in the living room, to give it a sunbath, and, after the bear was warmed, she’d then, carry it back into her bedroom, and stated, “the bear had already gotten the essence of the sun and the moon now, it’d become, an energy bear!”

Sometimes, when my daughter heads off abroad to travel or to perform, she’d lain her bear on her bed, pull the covers over her, told it, “You must behave yourself, and wait, for my return.”

What’s more classic was, when she’d started grad school, and was going to her orientation, she’d brought the bear with her to her dorm; and when she’d called home regularly, she’d told me of how the bear was doing; and, waited until the summer or winter vacations, she’d bring the bear home with her.

Being an only daughter is really lonely, but, with her bear accompanying her, as parents, we feel, better about her not having a sibling.

And so, this, is how FAR someone’s attachment objects can go, this young woman didn’t have ANY siblings, as she’s an only child, and so, she’d found herself an attachment object, in this case, a Teddy bear, to accompany her, now, I’m not saying, that having an attachment object is a bad thing, but, this, is just, going WAY too far here, in MY opinion, that is.

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