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April 23, 2012

March 3rd, 2012 10:46pm

Today, I fully realized how much I have turned into my mother – really, I am my mother! 

I realized this when my roommate M and I were waiting for seats at our regular breakfast place. I was telling her about my brother and how temperamental he is. I’m not going to go into details here, but basically I was trying to convey how worried I am for his future. She told me that she is sure that even though he acts the way he does, that he still loves me very much. But she warned me against continually criticizing him because doing so, would just push him further away from me. He won’t want to open up to me and really show me how much he loves me because that would only make him feel vulnerable.

This was when I realized that I am my mother.

My mother constantly worries for me. She is controlling, and it’s always her way or the highway kind of thing. This is probably why, though she is the one person that I love most in this world, I can never find myself telling her any of my feelings. She is the person from whom I push myself furthest away. My mom and I… we have this push-pull relationship; she pulls, I push.

This is no place to go into details for it is much too long. Maybe one day I’ll write a book on it. For the time being, all I can say is, the more opinionated my mother gets, the more I push her away. Now don’t get me wrong – this is no teenage rebellion! I think most of the things she tells me is correct and I am, for the most part, content with obliging. But the problem is, she doesn’t understand me. Then again, I don’t even understand myself.

I don’t want to be driving my brother away. I told M today that I cannot wait for my brother to older. Right now, he’s only in middle school; I told her that I was excited for the time when he reaches young adulthood, because I feel like it’ll be then when we would really be able to connect. But M told me that I shouldn’t be putting too much hope into that thought because it might never get better.

And that was when it really hit me – there is a possibility that it might not get better. Thinking about it now makes me sad. If I continue hounding on him like I do now, things won’t get better. I will continue pulling, and he will just continue pushing – pushing me away like I push my mother away.

For the past couple of school breaks when I came back to visit my family, I became aware of all the times I would tell my brother, “stop making noise in the car”, “you need to grow up”, “please, how old are you?”, “when I was your age, I was not like this”, “can you please act more mature?”, and… well, you get the picture. But just two weeks ago, when I was home for reading week, I suddenly realize that I was wrong to tell him all those things. I thought to myself, just because I was quiet at his age does not mean that he should too, be quiet. In fact, I was quiet because I kept everything to myself – I internalized everything (and still do). It was a problem that I was too quiet; he being open is a good thing, it’s healthy for his age. In that moment of introspection, I also realized that as a child, I always felt that I had to force myself to grow up. Even now, I still feel like I have to grow up and be more realistic; after all, that’s the most rational thing to do, be realistic. But just because I felt like I was grown up at his age, does not mean that I have to force my brother to grow up too. In fact, I should be doing the opposite. I should be wanting to preserve his innocence because I know how miserable I was, carrying the burden of “feeling grown up”. I hated it and still hate that I feel the burden of old age when I’m not even two decades old yet. It sucks, it really does.

How strange it is to feel this way. Every once and a while, I realize some things about how it must feel to be a parent. Today was really something. I think I finally understand the background story to all of that pushing and pulling between a parent and a child. In fact, I think I’m about halfway to parenthood. All I need now is a baby.

God, my brother is going to hate me forever isn’t he?

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