I don’t think I can write/think anymore.

Rambling, racing self-realizations:

I wish I could believe that my parents could love me no matter what.
I’m afraid they’ll reject me the moment I stop giving them reason to love me.
I think that’s part of why I’m so afraid of failure – I mean, I’ve hit close to rock bottom – it’s not how it might affect me – what kind of deep, dark place it might lead me to this time – but how it might affect my parents’ opinion of me and attitude towards me.

I wish I could study without minding what my parents might say about it.
I’m constantly conflicted about whether I should inform them that I’m studying something when I need to communicate that, either because I’m picking up something new and wish to share the exciting news, or because I don’t want to be disturbed. I often want to, and sometimes do, hide to study or try to hide the fact that I’m studying because I don’t want to even think about what’s going through their minds, let alone hear it out loud.
I’ve never studied purely for my own sake before, and I wish I could have absolute inward (mental, sometimes subconscious) and outward (perceptible) control over whether I study and how I study (what I study, when I study, what method I use to study, how hard I study, and how much I study).
I want to be able to study without minding anyone else. I just want to be left alone. To study. Or not to study. Whatever I decide.

I wish I had the freedom to decide my own future.
I wish I were able to think freely about the my possible career paths and their consequent lifestyles.
I wish I could liberate my thoughts from the boundaries set directly and indirectly by my parents.
I can’t decide what I want to do with my life, and I feel like my thoughts are trapped.

My parents reject the idea that they’ve pressured me about my future at all, and it’s true that at some point in my adolescence, they stopped trying to tell me what I’m going to study, where I’m going to study that, and what I’m going to accomplish by going there to study that. But I did not decide for myself that I needed to go to a prestigious school, study something that could make me “successful”, and study hard enough to stand out and achieve that version of “success”.
These are thoughts that have been instilled in me since grade school that are constantly kept in check by my parents’ vocal disapproval and forceful hints. It’s true that they’ve stopped telling me what to do, but they’ve never stopped laying out what I shouldn’t do, and when there are so many things you can’t do, there are only so many things you can do.
Drawing a white line on a black sheet of paper is not very different from colouring a white sheet of paper entirely black but for a stripe. The experienced result is the same.

I wish I had the emotional support and resoluteness to pull away and liberate myself, and risk being hated, being resented, being disowned, and feeling abandoned by my parents, the only people in the world whose approval I earnestly care for.


No one is visibly pressuring me, yet I feel so pressured nowadays that I stop myself from thinking at all. And then I feel like I’m growing dumber, number.


3 thoughts on “I don’t think I can write/think anymore.

  1. I feel you there. I felt that way more often long ago, and I still feel very frustrated, just not as often as I used to. Filial bonds are very hard to disregard, and some people never really leave the emotional ribbing of the nest.

    Some people seem to disregard “smart” Asian students because they can attribute success to being “forced” by their parents, and that the child’s success isn’t really their own. Well, I say fuck that, because what if a child had caved into adult pressures– does that make them weaker, or their achievements any less remarkable? And if we know that these filial bonds are so strong as to pressure children into entire career paths, to motivate rags-to-riches stories all because sons are tired of seeing their mothers work at an underpaying job or something, then doesn’t it also go to stand that there are less desirable results of that pressure, too? That there are kids who are falling off the “beaten path” with little to no support whatsoever?

    Your concerns, worries, stresses– all are perfectly valid. There’s been some recent studies done indicating a very high depression rate in Korean students and the need for more psychiatrists, and a more nuanced understanding of the heterogeneous psyche in a homogenous culture. So if anything I hope that you don’t feel completely alone in this.

    It sounds that you are frustrated in having little to no control over anything. That’s a bad place to be in, to be in a position where it seems like there is nothing in your control, because then people resort to things that they can control, ex. how they feel in sometimes less-than-legal ways. Is there anything you could control? It sounds like maybe you could start with studying. I think part of why writing appeals to me is that it was something of mine, in the beginning, and I didn’t have to tell any of my relatives about it until I got something published. It was something I had to prove to myself, that I could do it. Of course I had some help from friends that I’ve trusted, but it was well worth it to go ahead and do something that my parents and other naysayers thought that wouldn’t work out and carve out a space for my own.

    It’s okay to be scared, to admit that you’re scared. We have our moments. I know that you’re capable of being brave, but taking risks is also very hard. No matter what happens I want you to know that I am proud of you and still glad to call you my friend, that you have my unconditional regard.

  2. This makes me wish that I had a well-paying part-time job and could pay for a ticket for you to come here and we could hang around and chat and vent and also create some worthwhile memories together. And I apologize for getting around to commenting really late; I have a really important test coming up in less than 10 days and it’s one of those things I have to prove to myself.

    • You have nothing to apologize for. I should apologize for not commenting on your posts nearly as much as you do for mine, and constantly taking forever to reply. (I had read your comments before, but it’s always hard to come up with a fitting response to the amount of care and effort you put into writing your comments.) Thank you for your continued concern for my well-being. Often, I just wish someone would come along and tell me, “HERE ARE THE ANSWERS. Have a great life.”

      I totally wish I could ditch everything and go hang with you.

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