The 1 AM Epiphany of Parents and Children

EVERYONE a victim of my circumstance. (hear me out)

Back in 1982, a beautiful baby girl was born, let’s call her Oldest Daughter. In 1985, another beautiful baby girl was born, let’s call her Middle Daughter. Rounding it off, in 1986 (why couldn’t the parents wait?!), another beautiful baby girl was born, let’s call her Youngest Daughter. Yes, the parents were trying for a son but after the third daughter, they couldn’t have any more kids so… they were stuck with three girls. (i’m not done yet)

The Oldest Daughter is the smarty and always proved it by getting the best grades and having the perfect group of friends. She is a heavy duty thinker and introvert, raised Christian and traditional. (my thoughts exactly!) The Middle Daughter was very sensitive, very outgoing, and was riddled with health issues. She enjoyed making friends with everyone EXCEPT those of her own ethnic group. (yup, a real toughie!) The Youngest Daughter was the prettiest and most social and sensitive but a good thinker of them all. Boys lined up to give her gifts and every girl wanted to be her friend. (aww, right?)

I know what you’re all thinking and, I’ll go ahead and say it. Yes, they fought A LOT!!

But, all three were victims of their circumstance. I simply feel the strongest for the Middle Daughter because of my own personal experiences being a middle child.

I know you’re wondering, why do I keep using “victim”?

And I’ll tell you why!

None of these girls chose what order they were born in, to parents with preconceived notions about their personalities based on their zodiac animal and birth order, and the world simply had other misconceptions already put in place. It happened and they had to live with it.

The First Daughter

Growing up, the Oldest Daughter was forced to be more responsible than the other two because in the Chinese traditional culture, that’s how it was. She was blamed and punished for wrongs that she didn’t commit. Not to mention, she was the first to experience each different phase of life, which had the parents celebrating as she entered them, blazing the way for the others. AND, she was expected to become a medical professional in the future. They pressured her and bred her with toughness.

But, she bucked up and took it all, turning her into a stiff and disciplined introvert who sought to try to survive while being responsible for everything and blaming herself somehow. The Oldest Daughter is a VICTIM of the expectations and responsibilities put on her, and the fear of failure due to family hopes. She was expected to succeed, so her parents raised her in such a way, so she did. She, eventually, became a very successful and good teacher.

The Third Daughter

Jumping down to the Youngest Daughter, she has a good brain and, since she was the last to experience every stage of life, there was a sense of nostalgia the parents took with her. She was the last to go through the schools, and pushed to go into a more engineering field. She was still very beloved by everyone, raised with spoiled care and nurtured with pillows and marshmallows. (Not really, but you get the point) The Youngest was open, friendly and understanding. She seemed to emanate unconditional love and devotion to her friends and family. Exuding confidence because she had everyone’s attention, she was nicknamed, “little precious treasure” since birth.

They didn’t dare to pressure her but she still exceeded her expectations and married a brilliant man and bore a beautiful daughter. But she is a VICTIM of the fluffiness that was pushed at her. Her parents hoped she would become the best cared for advertisement to their family and she did, but through pushing past their expectations of her and building more of a life for herself. Although she majored in mechanical engineering, she is now in human resources.

The Second Daughter

Now… Let’s talk about the Middle Daughter. In my opinion, she had every chance of NOT being a typical middle child and having that terrifying syndrome that included emotional mood swings, terrible tantrums, mischievous mannerisms, and the like. But, her parents anticipated her personality before giving her a chance to develop it. She was constantly compared to the other girls, told she was dumb and ugly compared to her sisters. The parents thought the comparison would motivate her to work harder, but she was only a kid! She interpreted it as in her parents didn’t love her enough and so, she acted out, trying to figure out why they treated her so differently. Because she was neither the first nor last to experience life, nothing in her life was special.

Eventually, she found that her efforts were in vain and that she had no choice but to be the way she was expected to be so as to survive her family’s expectations. She did everything her mother wanted her to do, gave up her sense of self, and became super depressed and suicidal after repressing herself from being herself. In the end, she moved out of the house first and considered that house she grew up in as “the house of horrors”. What’s worse was, seeing their parents treat her that way, her sisters started doing it, too. She only ever dreamed of being a filmmaker and librarian. … Next year, she will have made both dreams come true. 

Do I need to explain why she is a VICTIM?

Perhaps it’s unfair of me to give you specified information, but this is the best way I could put it. Each of the daughters tried to break free from how their parents forced them to live, only to give up and change the futures they could have had. The Oldest and Youngest were set up so well but, also, not really. The Middle had a chance at a happy childhood until her parents made sure it wasn’t possible. All three are VICTIMS of their circumstance.

Am I blaming the parents and cultures? … YES. I’m blaming misconceptions and misplaced hopes and dreams parents have for their kids. It forces them to not become who God wanted or  meant for them to be, but someone self-made by a flawed human.

If the parents chose to raise their children with equal attention and affection towards life events and pushed gently for success, things could have been different.

I’ve been really getting into Ted Talks lately because of how inspiring and educational they are. I tried to format this post as if I were giving a Ted Talk presentation.

How did I do?

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