Today, the second night into a vacation trip I took with my family to the Pocono Mountains, I had been slowly but surely putting together a blog draft of all the cool things I have experienced thus far. Now in light of something that happened this evening, I feel too somber to publish it. Maybe it is simply not the right time at this moment.
My brother and I spoke and had a real, long conversation for the first time this year, I think. I thought I was pretty open about my struggles on this blog. And I was, yet I was also being selective about what I chose to share. That is a normal thing to do in the blogging world. I just didn’t realize until the conversation I had with my brother that I have been so neglectful of myself by letting other family members take advantage of me.
He spoke to me about lots of things, but for now, I’ll only be covering one of those topics. Oh, I definitely felt the tension in the air today since early this morning between him and my dad. I just never thought whatever my brother was upset about was related to me. Basically, what it is my dad can be a real food pusher. He is like this with everyone, including himself, where he encourages people to eat, eat, and eat even if they say, “No thanks, I’m full” or “No, I don’t want it”, to the point of asking repeatedly and shoveling food onto another person’s plate even after said person clearly already declined. For as long as I can recall, my dad has been this way and I was so used to his pushing methods that for the longest time I didn’t realize his behavior was not normal. The times I did start to feel he crossed my personal boundaries, I fought back by insisting I meant no when I said no. Other times I made excuses for him if my desire to lash out towards him for pushing and pushing had reached a boiling point. I felt ashamed of my own guilt, even. How ridiculous is that?
My brother told me he was worried about me because of my weight gain. I admit, at first, I felt he was shaming my body, but when he started talking about my dad’s inappropriate behavior with me in relation to food, I could see what he meant. I feel I let myself get to this point because my mental health has been on a hard up and down zigzag. From my recent posts about my anxiety coping, I did have some spare good days. However, I know now I haven’t been giving it my all in fighting this anxiety. Bad mental health equaled I stayed home a lot and really did not put an emphasis on my own health; both mentally and physically.
And my dad… Oh goodness, I don’t want to make him out to be a complete monster. He has his own life-long issues and I believe that’s why he has done things with good intentions but really is stuck in such a traditional or cultural mentality that he doesn’t know how to change. He’s at fault but so am I for accepting his behavior everytime he asked me if I want to eat this or eat that and at first I would say no no no, but half the time I would give in all because I was tired of fighting him and having to put up a defense against his repeated insistence. That barrier was even weaker because I could have been in one of my crappy moods and just wanted comfort food to sustain me during those moments. Those days were the worst for me.
It does feel like a wake-up call about my own health. I saw the concern and worry on my brother’s face and it shocked me that I’ve fallen so far in caring for myself. Last summer, I became a yoga freak and it felt good to be so active. This year I fell off that wagon and never got back on it. There was maybe one day this year some months back where I did unroll my mat at home and put on a YouTube yoga introductory lesson so I could ease myself back into it bit by bit. Guess what, I never took out my mat again after that day. It has taken for my brother to point out my lack of priority with my own physical health that I see how much I’ve let myself down.
I unburdened myself to him about my dad’s behavior and he offered to talk to him about it. And he did (without mentioning that we spoke about the issue in private). I don’t know if my dad will actually get it, though. Like how detrimental his food pushing has been and will continue to be for me and everyone else he pressures.
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