These Relationships 

28-02-2017

So my mum showed up at home yesterday. She came bearing gifts – bags – for my daughter. My Husband opened the door first, unfortunately the kids were with him.  I heard my him yell out my name “PROBLEM!” before I heard her voice “please,  please just listen to me” “No leave my house” he was saying while closing the door and I was running over to get the kids. I rushed them off with my husband inside the house.  It was a little bit chaotic and my son fell and started crying.  My husband carried him off and I saw my daughter was already at the end of the hallway. She didn’t look back. I heard my husband asking me not to yell just as I opened the door.

There she was. The same clothes she was wearing last time she came to see me “God doesnt she have anything else? Probably trying to play on the fact that she is heart broken. Look I’m so heart broken I haven’t even paid attention to my clothes” “Please leave or I’ll call the police” “Just take these” she says while trying to shove them through the small gap in the door. “Leave or I will call the police” Her hands began to shake and her face fell. For a second, just a second, I felt bad. I felt like the worst human being in the world. But then I saw it… her whole arm was shaking. You know like when you want to make sure people know you’re upset, you give your hands that extra little bit of a shake. I looked up to see her face and I saw the anger behind those eyes that are trying terribly hard to look sad. And my brain said “close the door” as my hands were pushing the door shut. I ran to my daughter to see if she was okay even though every part of my being just wanted to crawl into a corner. My son was playing already in the lounge room, he had no idea. My daughter looked like she had just seen a ghost. “I don’t want to leave this house mama” My husband assures her that we won’t be leaving as this is our house. “There are monsters” “No honey, Monsters can’t come inside this house, come on lets go have a bath” my husband tried to reassure her and distract her. She protested at first but when I agreed to come in with her she agreed reluctantly. That was the quietest and the quickest bath my kids have ever had. I took her to her room and started working on some writing exercises hoping to distract her, but I knew I had to acknowledge it. 

“How do you feel baby?” 

– silence – 

“happy, scared, angry or sad?” 

“Scared” 

“you dont need to be. Nothing bad can come into this house because mama wont let them in…why are you scared?”

“The fights”

“I know! Thats why we had to leave because grandma was not being nice to mama and dada and you and your brother too. Don’t you think we are happier now since we left?”

– silence-

“How do you feel now?”

“Sad”

“Why baby?”

-silence-

“I miss grandma too you know”

“Me too mama”

“But Grandma wasn’t nice to mama. Do you understand? ”

“Yes mama”

“Do you have any questions?”

“No”

“Ill always be here for you no matter what”

—-

Maybe I could have given my mum a chance. Maybe she came to apologise but I know deep down that these thoughts are coming from the child in me, still waiting for that fantasy to come true. The reality was the fake arm shake, the anger in those eyes, that all too familiar you moron look she gave me, the fact that my dad was not with her, the fact that she started saying please please quite loudly to my husband before he said anything. The fact is – she did not show up like this for my sons bday or my husbands. The fact is, my parents still think that gifts would bring me back to them. That charity money is what I need. Reality is, she went overseas, had the time of her life, bought all these gifts because she thought I’d come back to her without her having to do anything, maybe even got gifts from people that have no idea and just wanted me to have it. So it won’t go to waste. There was no love there. Just money and not wanting to waste it. And as bad as I feel now for closing the door on my mothers face for the second time, I know I made the right choice for my kids. They deserve a better role model.

————-

06-04-2017

I saw the whatsapp message first. 


The email was next and then the letter this morning.

I will leave this here and let you judge what type of person my dad is. 

———

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The Cultural Difference

I am a Not quite Australian Born confused Desi.

Which basically means I was born in India but grew up in Australia so I fall into the “neither here nor there” category. There are a few of us, trust me. We don’t fit in anywhere in India because we were babies when we were there and we don’t fit in anywhere in Australia because well…. you’re “black”…OMG how do you speak english so well? 😒

I watch Bollywood movies and Hollywood Movies. I enjoy both…no not enjoy… i APPRECIATE both. I also APPRECIATE both cultures. It is however true that, in some instances, one culture in me stands out the most. For example, I don’t quite understand the Aussie dream. Not sure what it is either… go to the beach and eat a pie? Not sure? Have a beach house maybe?

 Anyway… the Indian in me screams “OH no… that’s  just lazy! How about education and a good job????” 

But it also goes the other way around… when I got married I wasn’t quite sure why I couldn’t speak to some respected family members the way I usually do. My husband’s grandfather is a very respected man in South India. He is a bad ass real estate agent (you only need to delve into the politics in India to know what this means). Everytime he walked in and out of a room people stood up and said hi to him the respectful way (put your hands together in the praying position or fall at his feet..no…really). Male… female.. babies who couldn’t walk…seriously it was insane. And then along came little ole’ me. I walk into the house to meet him for the first time and he is standing there in his traditional clothes (always wears it)

And I said “Hi”… everyone giggles like the way you giggle at a baby for doing something wrong but it’s cute. I look around at my mother in law and she asks me to fall at his feet. I said out loud “Seriously?” and she nods… so I do this awkward fall feet thing and everyone is in a silent laughter fit (even the kids!)

I was more confused than embarrassed because I had no idea why I had to do that. When I got up, he smiles at me and says “We won’t do that again. How about we just let you be you?” 

It took a few more months of me living with my mother in law for me to realise why people in India did the things they did and it made sense… most of it has a scientific reasoning behind it… some of it just a matter of respect. None the less I came out of that experience thinking I knew who I was and where I fit. 

9 years later….

I was rewatching Kal Ho Na Ho. For those of you who don’t know what this is… please do Google it. There are some really fantastic videos out there that I cannot access due to copyright issues.

It is a story about a boy who is about to die meets a girl and they fall in love but her best friend is also in love with her. When she comes to tell the boy that they should go out…he says no and instead sets her up with the best friend and they live happily ever after. Except for the boy….he dies.

I asked an aussie mate of mine what she would do if she was the one that was dying and had to make a choice. Would she set her love up with someone else or be selfish? And she said to me “I would make the person I like make the choice” 

This blew my mind. 

In all my years of watching and rewatching this movie I never EVER thought about this choice. What about the girl and what she wants? The Indian in me came out and just said well he did whats best for her. He gave up his love so she would be happy isn’t that sweet? But how could I think this when I have been in kind of the same situation?? I have been forced into a marriage because people thought that was what was best for me. They never made me make a choice and here I am thinking it is okay for another (fictional) girl!!!!! I am quite shocked at myself. 

I won’t deny that there is a difference in the way women are treated in India. You walk behind a girl not hand in hand, because you can keep an eye and make sure no one touches her inappropriately while you’re walking down the street. It’s just something you do. Not taught, it’s just natural now. This is not necessarily a dominance thing for the male population as some would make you believe. It’s just as hard for them because they have this duty to forever be the “manly” one. Until recently men were not allowed in the labour ward. Can you imagine that? Not being able to watch your baby being born? 
Maybe it’s just a matter of which characters percpective you watch the movie from and not really a cultural thing. (We can argue that one’s percpective is influenced by their culture).

Whatever it is percpective or cultural difference… the fact that I never thought about the girl just threw me off. 

I am 30 years old but I am still learning so much about myself. Growing up I thought I’d know it all by 30. Now I know the people who taught me when I was younger had no idea what they were doing either. 

Whatever

Mentally it has been a good few months, my anger levels have been good and I haven’t been in a deep dark hole like I usually am. But the last week has been particularly hard. 
Like I am being forced to jump into a well but I am clamoring on the side of the wall so I don’t go in. 

I have been watching Iron fist as well so it’s not helping an “orphan” like me. 

 C: ….afterwards my dad sent me to live with my grandfather in Japan but I always felt like…

D: Abandoned? No matter how much anyone else cares for you. It’s not the same.

Anyway, If I wallow I will fall in so I am going to list the good that has happened so far:
1. Since I have been okay mentally, my relationship with my husband has been good. (Not yesterday, yesterday i hit him on the side of the head with a popcorn box because he asked me if I was pmsing….ok back to the good stuff. ..)

2. My daughter got into a school for next year

3. Work has been..mundane. I have a boss who is always on my side no matter how many bitches…i mean… no matter how hard it gets, so that’s good.

4. My best mate had a baby girl! Yay!

5. My husband got a better job. Higher position and pay! Starts in 2 weeks

6. Our landscaping is coming together… very slowly but it’s happening.

Honestly everything else is good. Its just the stress of money. That’s it. I haven’t been eating well as well so that doesn’t help. I just need to keep my head in the game. Work towards my goal of being a stay at home or part time worker mum and I’ll be happy. (Lol usually people have career goals and I have a get out of work goal! Ha! How times have changed indeed. Is this what a 30 year old mum of two does???)

I’ll be okay. Just need to get through today.

Don’t fret that you can’t get yourself speak to your 2 year old son because all that comes out is cry and sighs. Get something else done and come back to him. This is just one day out of how many ever long you have with him. He won’t hate you. Just keep going.  Kisses are technically talking as well. 

Thanks

They are going to shut our water if we dont pay 300 in 24 hours.

My husband has not had his epilepsy medication in 3 months

My sons asthma is getting worse as the weather changes and the medication has run out

We owe the council 1500 dollars, if not paid we officially go into debt with the government 

We owe childcare 2100 dollars or my kids cant go to school anymore

All of this is due in the next day or week. 

We have exactly 50 dollars in our account

Wont get paid till the 10th.

Despite all this. I would rather this than the life i had with my parents in it.

I have never been more grateful 

Below Average

When you are poor:

You are stressed so you want to surround yourself with your mates who will make you feel better but you cant go out (no money) and you cant bring them over either because you dont have food in your house.

You dont have food in your house and you find methods to not feel that hunger in your gut or that smell in your mouth. Free biscuits and tea at work. Refill. But its not enough and your body is still starved to a certain degree so you are constantly tired and yawning. You manage to skip breakfast and blame it on lack of time, you manage to put off lunch till 2pm and you use the excuse that its busy at work… and you eat the boiled potato that you have now had for 2 weeks… by the time you go home at 6 you are starved. When you feed your kids, it take every ounce of you to stop yourself from just “tasting” their food and you hope they dont eat all of it. You dont fight them when they dont finish their plate and hastily eat over the sink, licking every morsel clean.

Repeat

You can have a house, a husbad, kids and a job and still be poor.

Welcome to Australia. It costs half our salaries to feed our families and 4 weeks worth of pay for babysitters. Its either babies or a house.

You choose.

This Mama is happy today

My daughter’s 4th birthday is coming up and we had a party for her today. My husbands cooking was probably the star of the show but By GOD I am damn proud of the cake I made. My daughter asked me 2 weeks ago to make a heart shaped pink cake with rainbows on it. I couldn’t quite get the rainbow topper, but I thought I’d put a surprise in there for her.

My daughters face when she cut the cake and the M&Ms fell out was just priceless. I know I made a memory for her that she will forever cherish and I can sleep well tonight knowing that those 6 hours I spent trying to bake and decorate this cake was completely worth it. Its not going to win baking competitions but it won my daughters heart and that is what I wanted. I even got 2 hugs and multiple kisses and Thank yous for it!

I am so damn proud of my kids. I know every parents says this and it sounds cliche but I really am. They have turned out to be better than what I wished for…and I have pretty high standards. I am so proud of my daughter especially because she is so strong. She’s a drama queen when it comes to kid things, I’ll give her that. She was a relentless picky eater until a few months ago and she always wants things NOW. “I Want it NOW Mama!” “Its taking for a long time Mama!” but shes got this side to her that I have only seen in grown woman, like the way she carries herself when she knows I am upset or if her dad is upset. Her hugs come straight from the heart and she puts her whole being into it, I cant even explain. Like a hug from your grandma, thats the only thing I can compare it to.  The way she deals with other kids in the playground when they are being mean to her or her brother. Its amazing. I am so proud.

My son wears his heart on his sleeve  I worry a lot about him because he gives his heart and when he doesn’t get it back he absolutely crushes and turns into more of an introvert than he already is . But he never lets go, He’ll try again with them, no matter how badly they hurt him. It takes some kind of strength to do that. I know he didn’t get that from me! He will do anything to make people laugh and He is just Gorgeous! My little 2 year old that came to me just to make me laugh everyday. I am so very proud!

I absolutely Love my Babies!

I normally dont like putting personal pictures up on this website. But I want to share this moment, because this was the best moment of the day for us.

 

bday2

I am not my mother.

Money Money Mooooney

There is this memory that came to me this morning from when I was about 2 or 3 years old – summer 1988 or 89?, Chennai, India. My dad woke me up from my sleep early one morning and asked me to get ready quickly so we can go downstairs to see his surprise for us. I vaguely remember my (much older) sister (maybe my mum) saying “Oh! It’s a car!” I remember running upto the window of our small apartment bedroom and looking outside and seeing a blue Fiat.

I remember my eyes widening and me asking my dad “Is that ours?” “Yes” “That one in the blue pa? Next to the wall?” “Yes, that one” 

Up until that moment I never realised how poor we were or how hard my parents worked or how easy life could be with money. That moment was when I realised how most of the family and friends around us had cars but we only just got one. 

But it also took me a few years, before I realised how this want for an easier life with money would change my parents and our family dynamics. So much so that my mum and dad are basically just roomates and my sister has done everything in her power to distance herself from all of us and I speak to exactly 0 people in my family.

Right now you could say, given that expenses far outweigh the income in Sydney, My husband and I are just as middle class as my parents were back then. We earn more than what my parents did, yes, but we are still just Middle class.

Lack of money puts a strain in relationships that even the little things get really irritating. 

My mate bought me a beautiful passport wallet for my birthday that would have easily cost her a hundred bucks. Two weeks later I had exactly 50 dollars to spend for her birthday which I had to use at the restaurant that her party was at. I had no money to buy her a gift. Now She is not the type of mate to point it out but you still don’t do that do you? You dont go to someone’s party with nothing. 

My daughter’s birthday is in 2 weeks. I have only 100 dollars to spend for the party and her gift. Anymore spent will mean we will need to delay one of our bills. 

It’s constant strain. But while that extra bit of ease IS tempting. Is it really worth spending extra time at work for that extra money when I could take my kids to the park? But to take my kids to the park means spending 10 bucks that they would want for ice cream that I can’t give them… then I do need that extra time at work…

It’s like a vicious cycle.

My Teenage Werewolf

I have been binge watching Teen wolf for the past few weeks. The acting is not so great (sans Stiles) but the plot, I love. 
I like the pace of it and the way they tell the story. It’s not as teenage angsty as I expected it to be. Yes, I am justifying why I watch this show. I don’t know why. Ok fine… I watch it for Dylan. There I said it!

Now what I actually came on here to say is that….There is this recurring theme that I have noticed throughout the series. They are always unable to control their inner werewolf and the only way they succeed is by calming their emotions. It is a change in attitude that they surround their inner self with in order to control the beast. 

I am also in the middle of reading Fish!. It is a great little book about keeping up the morale in order to create a better environment for people around you and in turn yourself. It talks about being present, in the moment and not allowing negativity affect the way you operate. 

I think the book and the TV show have a similar concept. While the book has taught me that attitude is everything, the TV show has shown me how to do this. The sun, the moon and the truth…alpha, beta, omega. Chants. Repeatedly reminding your brain that the moment is temporary only if you allow it. 

I am using this attitude to perhaps try and curb my anger issues. Practice makes perfect right? Now I just have to learn to pick myself up when I slip up.

I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes that resonates with me:

Stiles: [to Malia] I’m not going to run, because I don’t think you’re going to hurt me. And, I think maybe you’re so afraid of hurting me because of what you did to your family. I know what that’s like. I remember everything that I did. And, the worst part is I remember liking it. Because I felt powerful. I felt fearless. And, most of all, in control. But, when I came through it, I learned something else– Control is overrated.

Issues

I’m jealous, I’m overzealous

When I’m down, I get real down

When I’m high, I don’t come down
I get angry, baby, believe me
I could love you just like that
And I could leave you just as fast

But you don’t judge me
‘Cause if you did, baby, I would judge you too

‘Cause I got issues
But you got ’em too
So give ’em all to me
And I’ll give mine to you
Bask in the glory
Of all our problems
‘Cause we got…

Maybe not

Hate

Do you ever think that you can’t trust your brain?

Your brain gathers random facts from the outside world and then comes to a conclusion about things… but other factors come into play as well like personality and influence. Assuming everyone’s personality is good (whatever your definition of good is)… with all this social media and such intensity of news these days – Influence is a great….well influence into your thinking. 

Your facebook news feed is altered according to the searches you make. For example, if I search for something pro-muslim (yea I’m going there) all my feed and news online is going to be about all the bad things that happened to every muslim in the world and how unfair the world is. If I’m (for lack of a better word) anti-muslim, I’m going to see everything ISIS ever did to “us”. 

The decisions you make are highly influenced by what you google and what the media says. So how do you trust your brain to make the right decision? 

While I am all for stereotyping people (I’m Indian, and I most definitely do Indian things. There are stereotypes for a reason)… do we really need to stereotype when it comes to war? 

I hate reading the news these days because it’s so cliché. If you’re crazy and muslim it’s terrorism, if you’re crazy and white – you had a bad childhood, gun spree – you know it’s a white guy with bullying issues, if its rape – its Indian, Children raped, Children killed, Mothers killing children. Just shit. I’ve just had enough. When did we get this bad? Or am I just noticing it now cuz I’m an adult?