Who I am Hates Who I’ve Been

The title was taken from the song by Relient K, a song played over and over again during my coming-of-age.

There was an incident that happened the other day that reminded me how much I hated who I used to be, and how I’m unable to consolidate who I was, with who I am today. I know the world always says, ” Who we were makes us who we are today”, and consequently we had to be thankful for it, but no one ever said anything that we were to like it, and I am definitely filled with self-disgust when I think about my past self.

My mother was talking to an old friend and they were both commenting on how much of a “softie” and a “princess” I used to be. I didn’t mean it, but my face accidentally betrayed my emotions, and it made the people around the table awkward. Under “normal” social situations, my response should have been one of lighthearted humor or a “ya loh ya loh” type agreement. But I despised that they were embarrassing me in front of everyone under the guise of a “conversation”, so I didn’t care too much for niceties or social obligations. I questioned mum, “Really? What did I do?” and she scrunched up her face to mimic how I used to cry. Shortly after that I left the table, politely of course, after they were done making fun of myself as a child. Then, I took to ranting about this to a dear friend till my heart’s content.

I should have been more gracious, except, the one thing I hate is being seen as a “princess”. I am no princess, a Jedi maybe, but not a princess. This had me go on a whole tirade on how “my family doesn’t understand …etc… etc…” . I had my ego bruised, and was struck with the feeling like no matter how much I had accomplished and done, they still see me from this ” Jowee is their darling-baby-girl” lens.

I push and struggle so hard to convince family that I am not that child! and perhaps I used to cry, but they should also know that I’ve changed, so much, and I don’t understand why I’m being held accountable for the actions and things I did as a child. I was a kid. What did I know about girly-ness or princess-ness? If I wanted to cry, I cried.

There are days I feel strangely bipolar, that in different environments and with different people I myself am a different person. With peers I am strong, opinionated, independent (this is what I’ve been told), with family I am a weakling, and I hate being treated like one. It’s even more infuriating, because when one is being treated a certain way, one responds in that way. Given a place and an environment where nobody knows me and I’m being given free reign to be whoever, I really like myself there. But family brings out the worse in me, and it escapes me how I feel so completely stifled in an environment where I’m supposed to be able to be myself in it’s totality.

I was told that many feel the way I am feeling now, so if you are, you have a friend in me.

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