Monday, January 8 2017
Tl;dr: Mother forces this bogus “slimming tea” on me to lose weight, blows up when I refuse. She’s now hinting at not enrolling me this semester for going against her again.
The prelude: I’m 20 years old, and in premed. College is nearby so I live with my parents still. Now, as far as I can remember, I’ve been overweight. Only recently have I been trying to lose weight for my health. Being the only girl with four brothers, mother has always wanted to dress me up. Given that I’m overweight, she is frustrated at me. Sometimes she will go as far as pointing out that she’s ashamed of me and that my dad, whom she’s separated from, is at fault for my weight since since she thinks he wants to spite her.
She also doesn’t give me my allowance until just before I need it, and she only gives me enough for fare. This, I later learned, is another one of her control tactics so I don’t have the opportunity to save up any extra for things like going out with friends, or buying things for myself. She also likes to scold me for not being able to save, which is so bs since there isn’t any extra to save. I’m from the Philippines, so many of the go independent advice are difficult to pursue.
Last night: Mother had already been mad at the sibs and I cause it was a Sunday and we were blocking off God’s blessings by not going to church again. We didn’t budge, as usual, and she was serving her usual sermons of how other families’ kids go to church and she’s ashamed other people say she’s a bad mother for letting us go astray.
When her religious sermon died down, we all had dinner separately and I head back to my room. She stands in my door frame and starts telling me about this “slimming tea” her friend started selling and how her other friends swear by it. She points out that she only wants the best for me, I can finally wear nice clothes, and that I don’t have to look so disgusting anymore.
I happen to have already heard about this particular product already and I know it’s filled with sugar, it’s sold as a miracle product and isn’t approved by the FDA. I tell her this and I, initially, say no politely. She goes on while still standing in my door frame about how I don’t know anything, and I probably only think I’m better than her friends if it’s worked on them and not on me.
I tell her it may be a placebo effect for her friends, and that I’ve read negative testimonials about it already and say no again. She starts shouting at me, telling me I think too highly of myself since I’m in premed, I don’t respect her and I should just be ashamed of how fat my father has made me. Getting annoyed, I tell her that “You’ve offered to buy me a product, and I’ve said no. If you don’t accept that I have a choice to say no, then you’re the one disrespecting me.”
Silence while she glares at me, thinking of a reply. She goes on a spiel about events from years ago or recent past, citing that I go out of my way to be a problem child. Getting hospitalized for dengue, my expensive education, taking contraceptive pills. Her gas lighting begins as she retells these three stories in a different way—which I might talk about in future posts—and being tired I tell her to stop talking since the conversation has become unnecessary.
She motions to leave and I immediately get up to close the door, she sees this and she turns and stops the door from closing. Her nostrils flare as she starts shouting about how we’re not done talking. Jesus I ask her how we’re not done seeing as she’s already walking away. She tells me she can walk around however she likes since it’s her house. “Alright,” I say, “you’ve come here to offer me this tea, and I’ve already said no. None of what followed after was necessary, so why are we still talking? Can I just be alone in my room already?”
She tells me again that it’s her house and if she wants to stand in my door frame, she can. I say okay, “I’ll go somewhere else then.” She follows me as I walk to the kitchen and sits herself on one of the chairs, all the while glaring at me. I ask her why she’s followed me, she again tells me she can do what she wants. I tell her I’ll go back into my room if she wants to stay in the kitchen too and as I’m closing the door to my room she shouts from across the house that I’m forbidden to close the door because it’s her door, her doorknob, her house, and her rules.
This whole event having already lasted the larger part of two hours, I close and lock the door anyway. She shouts about my being an ingrate and I can hear her going into her purse to find the keys to my room. I push the bed against the door so she couldn’t open it, I put my headphones on and start listening to punk rock—which I didn’t use to like until I realized it could drown her out—and then attempted to go to sleep. I can hear her in between songs; she’s going on and on about how she only wants the best for me and that I don’t know how to be grateful. I turn up the volume, chat some friends about this, and then eventually fall asleep.
This Monday morning when I woke up, I prepared to go to the campus to get my paperwork for enrollment ready. She tells me that since I don’t want what’s good for me she isn’t going to give me any allowance. She tells me to figure out how to get enrolled by myself unless I realize that I “should give her the respect due her” given she’s my mother. Being financially dependent and somewhat helpless—I’m sure she loves this—I’ve been stuck at the house all day.
In conclusion: I started writing this draft in anger, but I’ve calmed down already. I’ve been rewriting this over and over for a few hours now. It’s still sloppy and poorly written, but I think it captures how I feel at the moment and I’m grateful for the release. Thanks for reading.