Smothered or Protected?

I feel suffocated sometimes. I feel like I am being smothered. I can’t breathe and I can’t move. I am still and unmoving, stuck in this perpetual gloom. I feel throttled by no other but by my own parents.

I understand that they think they are just doing their job, that they are only protecting me. But where does one draw the line? It’s already a thin, fine, blurry line between being protected and being stifled.

I am the eldest in my family of 6 siblings. Naturally, I am the go-to person for them. That is alright. I like doing things for them, running errands, solving their problems and even just lending a listening ear. However, there are times when it gets too overwhelming. The worst part is, I can’t just shut it down, the chaos that’s all around me. What makes it even worse, is the expectations my parents have.

I do not go out. No literally, I don’t. I go to school and back. At times, I catch up with old friends, but these outings are far and few between. I am just always chauffeuring my siblings here and there, to and fro. What makes me so angry is the fact that I find my parents constantly breathing down my neck, even though it is DEFINITELY not warranted. Their excuse: I am entitled to. I am your mother/father.

My dad invariably looks out for me to carry out his tasks. His reasons are that I am meticulous, responsible and efficient and he only has the confidence in me to do what needs to be done. This is very flattering, I know. But when I can’t seem to do my own things, doing things for others just overwhelms me. I am a little OCD (and therein lies the reason for my being responsible and efficient) and when given a task, I put myself in 150% and that drains me a lot. With all the other things I have to juggle (sending & picking, school work, entertaining my siblings by taking time apart and watching a show together), I can’t seem to find any free time for myself. As such, I get stressed. A highly-strung, OCD, stressed person almost always translates into a nuclear bomb. Yes, that’s right. It means I explode. I get highly irritable, I lose my temper in a blink of an eye and I am restless. I cannot sit still or enjoy a meal slowly because I know there are things that need to be done. If they aren’t done, they will be on my mind, growing & morphing into these huge ugly soul-sucking shapes that make me a zombie.

So, yes I understand when my parents want me to do their things for them. I do. I mean, it is give & take. They have done so much, sacrificed even more to rear us, so why should I even be complaining when I should be helping them? It is just the little things. For instance, my two brothers were watching the TV in the front living room and they left without switching off the fans. My dad shouted for me across the hallway and I hurried over only to hear him ask: Why are the fans on?

Seriously? Is that what you need me for? Was that even necessary? What am I supposed to do? Call my brothers up in person and walk them, while holding their hands, to the front and oversee them as they switch off the fans? Come on! In that same breath you used to call my name, you could have called theirs and make sure they do what they are SUPPOSED to anyway. It really is infuriating.

Other instance I find their breath down my neck highly intolerable is when I am on the roads chauffeuring someone or the other to some tuition class (or the other) and they call my mobile asking me where I am. That’s alright, but it doesn’t end there. My dad has an annoying need to know exactly where I am, meaning which street, if the traffic light is red or green, if I could be home in 5 seconds, etc. Excuse me, why the need to check up on me so thoroughly? I am not a criminal, neither am I a bad kid. I don’t do drugs, NEVER had a boyfriend, never kissed or touched anyone. What else do you want me to do? What else CAN I do to prove to you that I am on track here?!

I realise I lose my temper a lot recently. I feel so stressed out and I feel like there isn’t anytime for me, no space to breathe. As a result, I have gotten irregular, early periods for the last two months. If this continues any longer, with my parents smothering me, I might just get asphyxiated for real.

Since when has being responsible mean I cannot live my life?
Since when does doing something because I want to (like sending the kids, helping my mum run errands around the house) translate into a HAVE TO?



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