parental consent

My parents left this morning to go back to the ‘homeland.’ It was really great to have been able to take a quick trip to New York City with the entire family and also have a little extra time with them in the town where my sister and I live.

But to be really honest, I do feel some relief now that they have left…and they’ve also left me with the feeling that I’m an inadequate person. It is no surprise to me that they commented about my weight during their stay, as they usually do. Mom even threw in the “You’re not going to get a boyfriend at your weight” this time around.  They also had an issue with the cleanliness of my living place, and lectured me on how it’s bad to have a television set in the bedroom. Aside from other stuff, they were especially adamant that I go to a school that would provide me with some sort of a ‘license’ (e.g. lawyer, pharmacist, etc.) once I’m done getting my masters in sociology, which is I’m working on now.

As they tell me about what I’m not doing correctly, they point out about how I should know better since I’m thirty years old. But I feel nothing like a 30-year-old woman. I don’t even feel like a young adult. All I feel like is a little kid that’s getting scolded by her parents for spilling milk. A little child whose world revolves around the words of her parents.

I know they mean well. It would definitely be better for my health to be at a lower weight, and that will contribute to lowering the risk of having other health issues and helping with my moods. I’ve gained a considerable amount of weight (for my size) over the last year, but there’s kind of a limit as to how much I can be told by others, especially from family members, that I need to look different. Obviously, with the economic situation now, having a license in something will help in trying to get a job, albeit a specific type of occupation. But at what point do some “advice” become almost detrimental to one’s psyche? Sometimes, I forget that I’m doing something, anything,  for myself, because so much just feels like I’m doing it for someone else’s sake.

As I write this, I still so desperately want their approval and cling to their words for some sort of a sign that I’m doing okay. It should be noted that they support me financially—and I am very grateful for that support. But I’m starting to recognize that the terms of this relationship need to evolve into something else, because I am thirty years old. I should be at a point where I recognize for myself if I think I’m getting a bit chunky, and not be shamed by someone else to lose a few pounds, clean up my place, or choose an occupation path. I’m not quite sure how to make such a change in our relationship, but what I do know is that I cannot wait for them to change or think that they will change somehow. All I can control is myself.

And so I remind myself, I’m more than just a chubby kid who really sucks at cleaning house. I’m so much more. But I will admit that this is not an easy process. It’s hard to not have those comments stare back at me as I face myself or my thoughts.

But again, I remind myself of that quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”


3 Comments to “parental consent”

  1. Ya konw dear. I can understand what you are saying but as someone that knows you I think you are one of the most spectacular people I’ve ever had in my life and I think you need to hear that over and over again. You are SPECTACULAR!

  2. Like I always say, “If its not one thing, it’s a mother.” I swear my mother’s disapproval (and we are talking a MINOR note of disapproval in her voice) can send me spiraling into a tailspin of guilt and anger like you wouldn’t believe! I always wonder whether I will one day do that to my children. For some reason, coming from Dad its much easier to blow off.

  3. I know we live in a very beauty obsessed culture, and if you want to lose a few pounds to be healthy – that’s one thing, but I’m pretty sure you would have an extremely difficult time getting that sentiment from your average judge. By ‘that sentiment’, I mean the kind of comments your mother made. Hearing someone say things like that to someone your size (small – regardless of what you think) is actually a pretty nasty slap in the face to those of us who actually are significantly overweight.

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