i was a Pleaser Kid, going out of my way to please everyone. i think there was a deep-rooted fear of being left behind or abandoned if i misbehaved. this stems from being initially raised by grandparents and a village of aunts & uncles. bio-mom did not abandon me, as i later found out, but this was a story that was fed to me for as long as i could remember. my aunts & uncles were not unkind to me, but i did see the significant difference between how they treated my cousins to how they treated me. they claim that by not leaving me behind, that act of kindness is what should garner them my eternal gratitude. this is the
asian vietnamese way of thinking. it surprises me that it surprises them that i do not call on them often, and only when prompted to. actually, it shouldn’t surprise me, their way of thinking is not one i’ve ever agreed with, so why start now.
i’m not a fan of being criticized, who is? there is, however, packaging and when presented with constructive criticism i’m fine. blunt honesty is the only language my family knew and they were vocal about it. for the slightest infraction i’d receive an over the top reprimand and cue the effing water works. i was such a sensitive child. no matter how hard i tried i could never keep those tears at bay. i did grow thicker skin as i got older, and either i outgrew the easy tears phase or i grew hardened by the constant berating.
i spent years not crying. emotional, heartfelt movies did not move me, i understood the sadness but i did not feel it. movies like The Perfect Storm garnered great reviews from me, for it’s action or plot. but i saw it recently and i was inconsolable with grief. same with Titanic! books? sappy ass Nicholas Sparks made me cry during A Walk To Remember and jesus, The Time Traveler’s Wife so moved me, i walked around thinking people were going to disappear and reappear from another time. my 2nd date with $5wordGuy* was to see the Spanish movie Biutiful and it made me weep so hard, i was embarrassed. tv shows like Biggest Loser or Extreme Home Makeover — forget it. i don’t bother watching them anymore. i am usually alone when i watch or read sappy stuff, and if i’m not, i make sarcastic comments or leave the room. i have a reputation! there’s a reason why coworkers come to me for the solid, UNEMOTIONAL practical advice. until i BAWL and my credibility is shot.
i shake my head at how full circle i seem to have come. i can’t say that i’m pleased about it, but then again, i’m not un-pleased.