Anger continues

My parents left yesterday, but I still woke up this morning feeling extremely angry. I was angry at my dad for not standing up to my mom, angry at my mother for being so mentally  unstable to not only ask Chris and me to kill her with the knives she was throwing, but also to accuse Chris of wanting to kill her. Sometimes, I think about all these stupid incidents that happen, and I wonder if all of this is just some endless terrible nightmare that just keeps on going for me. She actually said that she was scared Chris was going to kill her. 

I’m at a loss. My dad will never get help for her. She will never get help for herself. And in blue states, you can’t really commit someone unless she has consented (yeah, there really is a negative side of living in a blue state).

I just feel really angry. I’m at a point where I feel like I may just need to cut ties with her.


My parents left this morning. The last two times they came, I felt a little empty when they left, even though the last time, my mother picked three different explosive fights with me, with one resulting in my leaving my own apartment overnight. This time, I felt no emptiness at all, no sinking sensation, not one sense of longing; all I felt was relief, as though this massive weight that could kill me was being lifted off me. Now, I can finally stand being in my own apartment again.

And then as though their time here could not have gotten worse, my eyes were irritating me all morning, with my computer usage at work not helping that at all. And it resulted in my leaving work early because of this lingering burning sensation that was especially strong in my left eye. What, is that supposed to be like the grand finale to the end of their trip, that they somehow burned my eyes out and resulted in my needing to lie down the rest of the afternoon to recover?

Week’s finale

The week my parents have been here is coming to an end. It’s quite a painful and awful end, especially considering it’s ended with my mom storming out of the apartment this morning, then realizing she was locked out, then staying locked out for eight hours and not telling us she had no food, water, or money because she stupidly left her wallet OUT of her purse when she stormed out, then deciding once we got back, that she would start throwing knives all over our counter and ask us to kill her. Oh, she shut her phone off for most of the day, so we had no way of contacting her.

As the Aussies say, it was quite “brilliant.”


Dear Ed,

Today, you would have turned 38. Happy birthday. Or, perhaps I should be wishing you a happy un-birthday since you aren’t alive anymore to celebrate. Or, perhaps I should not even talk about celebrating since our parents never really celebrated your birthday much because they never appreciated you in the way good parents should.

Sorry, my tone isn’t very positive or happy or even wistful in the least. It’s mainly because our parents ignored my request for them to not be here in New York on your birthday, when Chris and I usually do something fun and delicious to honor your birthday, and it’s one of the last days I ever want to be with the two of them. It’s been just as miserable of a visit as you can imagine. I’ll be honest and say it’s not as bad as the visit when you came in July 2011 for our cousin’s wedding, but it’s a close second. Everything is complaining and bickering and moaning, and everything is my fault or some stupid, catty, passive-aggressive remark. Dad says he wants to do all these things before the trip starts, and when the trip starts, he happens to “forget” or says he didn’t write an address down or didn’t do any research beforehand… all which could easily be remedied by using the computer and looking something up — so laziness in general. He complains that imaginary places are out of business that he doesn’t even know of, and then complains he doesn’t have enough time (he obviously had plenty of time; he would be here for a week by the time he leaves).

Our mom is snooping in all the drawers and trying to rearrange things. She’s insisting that she bought certain things while I bought certain things, and it’s so senseless that it’s not even funny. And when I’m preparing food, like chopping onions or slicing peaches, she stands so close to me with her 4’8″ body that if I moved just a bit, I could easily cut her or elbow her in her face, and she doesn’t understand why I keep getting frustrated and tell her to move all the time. She told me that I’m being mean to her. She also keeps putting the toilet seat up because she insists that’s the way a proper house works. Two days ago, she accused me of making all her avocados brown by putting them in the fridge and picked a fight about it (that’s the type of thing my mom loves to argue about, but she insists she never argues ever and that someone else always starts the fight). She already bought them for cheap at three for $1 in Chinatown because they were already mushy and far past their prime. Now, it’s my fault for putting them in the fridge and getting them brown. Because there’s no way they could have been brown when they were mushy before the fridge, right?

These are just a part of the reasons that I’m actually happy you’re no longer with us. You never have to have another senseless, stupid argument about something that doesn’t matter even a tad ever, ever again. You never have to get blamed for something stupid that they did that you obviously never did. You never have to get verbally abused again. You never have to be told you’re selfish or ungrateful or stupid or a moron or useless ever again. You never have to be criticized ever again. You never have to be cold in your own bedroom. You never have to have people constantly barging into your bedroom and turning on the overhead light while you are trying to sleep. You never have to have pointless orders barked at you when you are trying to relax. You never have to be told to do something right away, or else get screamed at. You never have to be relegated to the basement bathroom. You never have to get blamed when there is pee on the rim of the toilet. You never have to drink milk or juice and then leave your mug in the sink, then have her come home and get angry and slam your mug down and break the handle because she’s mad you didn’t put water in the mug to clean it out first. Remember that strawberry fields mug and how cute it was? It was so tragic when the handle completely broke off in her fit of rage.

There were too many terrible things you endured with them. Is it bad that I’m happy you don’t have to deal with them any longer? I miss you and love you. I just wish you had better circumstances. I wish you had better people in your life who truly loved you and encouraged you to be what you wanted to be. Is that really so much to ask?


Every day this week has felt extremely long, painful, and stressful. It has little to do with work (though it has been quite busy there), and all to do with the fact my parents are in town, and nothing is ever easy or stress-free with them. Each night I’ve gone to sleep on the sofa bed and felt like passing out. The emotional exhaustion is at its max this week.

Let’s navigate this scenario. My cousin and his wife, who have a nearly five-year-old, just moved and now live only five subway stops away. My aunt, my cousin’s mom, is staying with them, and asked for us to come visit them this Saturday. My mom is angered by the invitation, and said that she refuses to go unless she hears the invitation directly from my cousin and his wife. “Did (your cousin) ask me? No. He never called me even once even though he knew we were in town to invite me. Why should I go over there when his mother invites us? It’s not her house.” That’s not even the end of it. She just kept going on and on, saying the same thing in different words as though I didn’t hear her the first time.

I’m not even sure what to say. How am I supposed to respond to that rationale?

Then, this happened.

“Your cousin has no manners at all. His auntie and uncle who rarely come to New York come, and he doesn’t even bother calling us or offer to take us out to eat. He doesn’t know anything,” she complains.

“But he’s always been like that,” I said nonchalantly. “That’s just the way he is.”

“No, you’re wrong,” she retorts. “Don’t blame him. He isn’t to blame for that behavior. It’s his parents, his mother is who we should be blaming for never teaching her children properly. He’s the way he is because of his parents.”

Well, that’s interesting logic. If that can be applied, then what can be applied to my mother…..?!

Parentals in town

My parents haven’t been to New York since 2011, and they’ve arrived for a week stay here starting today. I waited for them to arrive at the apartment before I could leave for work, but because their arrival time here was so close to my first morning call, I had to do my video call at home. I sat on the couch, with my video turned on, but occasionally had to shut it off when I was giving my mother the side-eye for literally going through every kitchen cupboard and cabinet within her reach, and then peering closely at every single photo she could see displayed anywhere.

There really are no limits with my parents. Because I’m their child, they think they should and need to have access to literally everything that is mine. What fun for me.

Secrets, secrets

I called my mom this evening on her mobile phone. I actually noticed that the last two times I’d called her in the last week at times when she’s usually home, she wasn’t. But I figured it was just because she was out and about. Today, I found out that she and my dad have been in Las Vegas for the last week, and she never even told me she went. “Oh, I just wanted you to know that your dad and I were in Las Vegas for the last week, and we’re coming home today,” she said nonchalantly. “This is confidential, so you know not to tell anyone.”

I always respond this way: no one cares where you go. No one will be jealous the way you think. But this time, I just said “okay,” in my usual annoyed tone, and she told me not to give her attitude.

So my parents love to keep secrets, to warn all the time not to tell anyone anything, not to share information. She even told me not to tell anyone I was looking for a new job when I was (yes, because looking for a new job or going to Las Vegas is likened to… you know, murdering someone or robbing a bank). Now, they’re even keeping more secrets from me. Before, the only things they never told me was information about what was happening with Ed when he was around.

We all know how that turned out. No good can come of this. They will never learn. Ever.

Breakfast plans

My mom was really excited to see me almost every other day for the two-week period I was back in San Francisco for work. She’s so excited that she’s already counting down the days until she comes to visit us in New York in August. I am not quite counting down the days the way she is.

Mom: You always cook all this good food in New York. Are you going to cook all that food for me when I come?

Me: Umm, I can make you breakfast foods, but we’ll probably be eating out for dinner in the evenings after work. I won’t see you during the day because I’ll be at the office.

Mom: Eating out all the time is so unhealthy. You should mix it up when I come and cook for me! What will you make me?

Me: Well, I can make you granola or oatmeal or eggs. I guess we can eat lunch at home on the weekends, and I can cook.

Mom: Don’t worry about it! You work so hard! I don’t really want you to cook for us. I was just testing you!

Why is everything always a test for her with everyone? Does she constantly have to “test” everyone in her life? Isn’t this a sign that she’s miserable and looking for reasons to be angry at me?



Chris came into town yesterday, so we spent all day yesterday with my parents, and tonight, the four of us had dinner together. My parents met me at my hotel, and then I told them to drive to the Mission since I wanted us to eat burritos together. We reached the general area of 24th Street and Valencia, and after driving through two streets, my mom starts getting nervous and negative, insisting we won’t be able to find a parking spot because it’s so crowded. At this point, we’ve only been looking for literally less than three minutes.

“Yvonne, can I tell you something?” my mom says (that’s never a good beginning of anything she says). “If your dad can’t find a parking spot, then we’ll drop you and Chris off so you can eat, and we’ll drive home.”

I was immediately annoyed. “Why are you already saying that?” I retorted back. “We haven’t even looked for five minutes yet, and you’re already being negative! You have to be patient.”

She continued fidgeting in her seat and was clearly uncomfortable. She always thinks the worst.

Less than five minutes later, we found a parking spot. My dad parked. Then, we walked two blocks toward the restaurant and saw two more parking spots that are wide open. So much for the negativity.

Tornado about to hit

I woke up from a nightmare this morning. I had a dream I was still living at home (that in itself is nightmare enough, and I could end the story there, but that’s not all there is), and I was frantically cleaning the house in anticipation of my mother coming home from work. I had this feeling in my stomach that she was going to be really angry and take all of her work-related stress out on us. I guess that stems from what used to happen when we were young, and she’d be upset from whatever dramas were occurring at her office. Ed used to always say that she would take all her work aggression out on us. Ed was sitting on the couch, pretending to dust some side tables, and I asked him why he wasn’t helping me clean. “What’s the point? She’s going to come home and turn the house upside down anyway because nothing is ever clean or tidy enough for her,” he retorted. Great. Now that meant I had to clean that much faster. The tornado was about to come.

I was sweeping up some dirt on the kitchen floor when she came through the door. My dad oddly was creating even more work for me, as he used his hand to sweep off some dust from the counter onto the floor I was sweeping. I was not happy. I heard my mother’s voice bellowing from the front of the house, asking why there is all this junk on the coffee table.

Family anxiety is never too far away, even when that family is thousands of miles away.