Moving Out, Moving On

prod_12797Moving Out, Moving On
(How can I even be living without a man?!)
Written by Grandpa Dinosaur

I was talking to Davita Cuttita about making a list of things I will be able to do with my time once I am moved out once I no longer live in my house. I think people on this blog are unsure about how traditional/insane my family is.

There are a lot of hypocritical aspects I will be glad to be free of:

Things I NO LONGER or NOW CAN DO when I move out and no longer live with parents and under their conditions:
I can hang posters on my wall* (after I became 18, my parents “believed” that a “lady” should not have posters on her wall)
I can wear clothes that are not “old lady clothes”* (my parents freak out when I wear clothes that are not “proper,” my closet is FULL of business attire)
I can cut my hair into any style I want any time I want*
I can receive mail without them being intercepted and opened
I can subscribe to magazines like Curve or Bust without being interrogated about my delinquency*
I can walk to the corner store (or two blocks) without being told I cannot go*
I can go anywhere after 3:00PM (or dark)*
I can do things without my judgement being called into question*
I can drink alcohol and still be a lady
I no longer have to play scapegoat for my brother’s glaring flaws
I can be a lesbian and have it acknowledged and respected* (my parents DO know I’m a lesbian but it’s like a taboo subject)
I can clean the house (as I’m not allowed to be seen when I am cleaning, WTH?!)
I can make noise at 8:00PM and people are not asleep

Things I NO LONGER or NOW CAN DO when I move out and no longer have to deal with Cambodian Societal Expectations of my community
I can be single and no be harassed*
I can live alone and no longer have to go to go to community events where I will be asked why I live alone or am single*
I no longer have to be pressured to marry through arranged marriage because I exist outside my father’s dominion*
As I no longer live in my father’s house, I can bitch slap anyone who pisses me off and not worry about embarrassing the family (like wear comfortable shoes)

Thing I NO LONGER or NOW CAN DO when I move out and no longer live with my brother (because he is insanely chauvinistic)
I can make more than minimum wage (he constantly forces me to lose jobs by preventing me from going to work or bullies/abuses me into quitting)
I can wear short skirts (He doesn’t want to see my legs “because you’re my sister and that’s disgusting”)
I can keep things in my room without the fear that they may be pawned for money
I can aspire to be better without being told I’m worthless
I no longer have to be told bad advice from someone who is not qualified to give advice and makes bad/selfish decisions
I no longer have to answer my door immediately and be asked stupid questions or roped into stupid schemes
I no longer have to dodge being abused or punished(?!) because I do not agree with a certain someone’s opinion
I no longer have to worry about owning things that are expensive without my brother running out and buying “something better” and have to shoulder the debt he incurs cause by his insecurity issues
My family will finally realize that I am not the one constantly leaving garbage around

Things I NO LONGER or NOW CAN DO when I move out and for all three listed in the above
I can stay a home and no be asked why I am not cleaning/cooking/working/employed
I can make friends of any race without fear that anyone will make their lives hell and eventually force them not to be friends with me
I can feel confident about my weight without people accusing my actions of contributing to my “weight issues” that do not exist”
I can work at a job without be told that I’m worthless or denied better opportunities
I no longer have to be held back and can pursue jobs, opportunities and interests that I once had to give up
I can do things without being told that “I am bringing shame to the family”
I can laugh and not be told to not laugh excessively
I can come home whenever I want and be welcomed back

*Because I am a single lady which makes me impaired? HOW CAN I EXIST WITHOUT A MAN?!

There are a lot of things I am going to do once I no longer live in my house, like get a job of my choice, do internship, do volunteer work, cut my hair(?!), change my name. I felt guilty because being a traditional single, Cambodian woman living away from my home is very shameful, but the more and more I list the positive reasons I realize it will empower me where my life currently does not.

I’m very active artist/comic artist/writer/blogger (the last one, maybe) who is self-confident with a positive attitude about my own body image, but staying at home does to old world views and being told I’m immature and incapable of living alone is holding me back. I was recently accepted into graduate school and with my extra diploma I will be able to make between 25/30 dollars and hour and up at a 9 to 5 job, I don’t have to be constantly afraid of being denied opportunities if I live alone. Even though it is dangerous, one could say living in my house is dangerous in itself.

By the way did I mention that my sister-in-law’s sister is FROM HELL! She spent months ridiculing my single status, eating habits, appearance, job status, education, did I mention she makes fun of me for being single? and now feels back because she’s ruined any relationship we could have had and I no longer eat in front of her and spend time in her presence.

When I move out I have to option of not seeing her STUPID FACE. It’s a motivating factor of moving out, but yeah. Still looking for a place, but we narrowed one place down.


~ by l on July 22, 2009.

6 Responses to “Moving Out, Moving On”

  1. Shit!

    The utter neurosis of normalcy, it’s intriguing to wonder who your folks would be, if they felt able.

    Best of luck in your adventures.

  2. Yeah, my family is quite…. Strange.

    The apartment got sold, but we’re still looking…. >_>;;

    It’s quite an adventure.

  3. I’m so happy for you! I saw some of your other posts and I knew that moving out would solve most of your problems, but I know that not everyone has that option.

    This is the best thing you can do for your mental health. It’s so worth it. It’s so draining to have to be on the defensive all the time from your own family.

    What was the barrier before, if I may ask?

  4. Oh, my brother sabotaged my job interviews at Graphic Design firms and he even went so far to crash his car so that I would not be able to attend the best job I could have ever had. (Because if I had gone to my interview, I would have been considered heartless but in the end I ended being blamed for not going. Hypocritical, I know.)

    Also I was unable to make a portfolio because he talked my mother into tag-team bullying me into giving him the $1,200-1,000 I raised for college and my portfolio, which made me unable to attend most of my classes for a while and I was unable to apply for internship without a portfolio. I was finally able to buy a portfolio 6 months ago and it’s how I got into one of my graduate school choices.

    Without my before dark (which is literally before dark) curfew, I will be able to attend school, work, do internship and volunteer.

  5. Not all Asian families are like this, but I do wonder why some are like this (although yours is somewhat in the extreme end). Is it undiagnosed mental illnesses?

  6. I’m noticing a trend within traditional Cambodian families that the boys grow up to be pig-headed, spoiled men that get everything they want and the women either become smug (young) mothers or are so broken by being ignored/told that they’re worthless that they just end up dating men and mostly being unmarried (with/without kids).

    I noticed my neighbour down the street is in the same position as me (living at home, get’s shit for and beat downs for nothing), she get’s hassled less because she has a boyfriend. Her brother got full funding and support from their parents to pursue school and now is in BC in a high paying job.

    It tends to be a variation of treat women like crap and the continued belief that “Cambodian women are like white cloth that cannot come clean” that gets carried on. I notice that Vietnamese-Cambodian or Chinese-Cambodian, it’s not so much of that.

    It also has a lot to do with the Cambodian genocide and the resolution of that situation, not only that it’s affected a whole generation. Not to mention old world values masquerading as culturally blended modern thinking in today Canada. We still have the large families wanting to push dominance over the communities, my own family has a name in Cambodian but it wasn’t until my brother married into aristocracy. Now people are pretty intimidated by us. o_O;; That’s just an example of how weird it is, but that’s like REALLY old world thinking.

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