From a youngest child's perspective, coming from a family of 5 with brothers that have about 15 years of age older than me and parents that are really just the first generation of boomers, I think I've got a lot to say when it comes to the hurt caused by family members.
I finally wrote some of these things that kept me up at night and cry me to sleep just cause I realized I don't have anyone to talk to and felt like I might not be the only one experiencing the same feelings and thoughts.
Parents comparing you to your siblings
Yeah. I really think this is something common but reality check... it really hurts down to your flesh and bones. The worst part in this case would be when all your friends, schoolmates, cousins, etc would clearly appreciate your small winnings and achievements but when it comes to your parents it might not be enough. My brothers are straight A's students. Both of them graduated in prestigious universities and also graduated with high honors. I know some of you can pretty much relate to this. I wasn't interested in the school I went for middle school and it pretty much affected my study habits cause I no longer want to study. This just aggravated the comparison scenario and it pretty much went downhill until I went to law school just to save myself from this thought of always not being good enough for my parents.
Feeling shy to ask for money
Asking money from my dad is like going to a court and have to be interrogated with a couple of questions before he decides whether to give me the money or not. I learned during my first year in law school that it's a basic right for a child or a person above the age of majority to be supported by parents or siblings yet I do not have the courage to even ask my dad for a new gadget that I really really need so what I do is save from my Php 1250 allowance every week. Now that it's online class however, my dad decided to not give me any allowance at all so yeah it sucks.
Never giving your big break to prove yourself
So many times my whole family assumed I'm still the little girl they had to protect and have no idea how to deal with because hey I'm the only daughter. They treated me like Beast's magical rose that needs to be protected in a ceramic case...away from humans and other social events. I couldn't even attend slumber parties even at the age of 22. I never had a normal hangout with friends till I got my own car during college and realized I am allergic to alcoholic beverages and can probably never drink too much outside my house. There were so many times I wanted to live alone during college and prove my parents wrong.... away from my hometown but I never got the chance cause my dad's convinced I might not be able to go home when I go buy some food 3 blocks away from my place.
Bringing past mistakes back to the present
We all make stupid and really really bad decisions that makes us cringe at night even 5 years after. However, you know what's worse? Your family bringing it up during dinner or during reunions. This hinders growth and actually leads to blaming ourselves more than we should. It doesn't invite stagnation in self-development just from the outside but also on the inside. We all think that we'll always be the same person we were 5 years ago. Well in fact, personalities, hobbies, habits, and maturity level changes over a day. Seriously... it's killing us inside.
One home, two places
For those who had to leave their hometowns and travel miles for better education like me, I know you feel this. When your new place offers a different vibe from people, you'll surely miss your comfort zone back home. There are times you'll want to call your parents to pick you up after getting your grades after midterms or telling them you want to quit school cause you're not fit for university life. Then, all of a sudden you wake up one day and realize it isn't too bad and before you know it, you're about to graduate and you know it's going to hurt when you leave this place that taught you a lot and made you brought back good memories to the next place you live.
So who knew I'd be bisexual. Realizing this in middle school and growing up straight with first generation traditional boomer parents was not the best. That moment when you trusted your brother not to tell a single soul that you're bisexual then actually tells your dad and you get a phone call at night from him and he's telling you that you lack faith and that made you gay. Then I realized that my coming out story didn't go the way I planned cause it was revealed by another person I trusted. Now, they know you're bisexual and so does your judgmental aunts who committed adultery and did actions against the 10 commandments who are now convincing you to go back to Jesus and pray.
Weight = self-worth
One thing I'll never understand is how my parents would base self-worth and attractiveness from one's looks and weight. The skinnier the better. The skinnier, the more people will respect you. The skinnier you are, you have a lot of discipline. I lost more than 40 pounds just to prove my parents I was worth their recognition. It led me to having weak immune system and almost anorexic. I realized that if I didn't stop, one day I'll collapse and lose it all just because I wanted to be accepted. I realized that I never needed acceptance from anyone else except my own. I love myself right now and will continue loving myself no matter the change in my size.
More is better, less is unacceptable
Friends with more cash, more educational attainment, more connections, more income, more knowledge will always be better. I guess this also meant friends that meant more mental anguish would also be good for me in their eyes. It's hard to be an introverted Asian teen when your parents literally tells you to go be friends with cousins you don't know, new neighbors that moved in, and the kids of those people your mom goes to church with. I eventually learned how to adapt to different kinds of people so pretty much right now I can talk to anyone and pretend to relate to everyone but do I enjoy it? No. It's not me. I hardly ever want to talk to people unless necessary. I keep a constant, tight and small circle of friends I really care for and would literally die for but won't share my food to. I learned how to treasure my circle of friends all over the years. Sure, some of them come and go but they'll never know how much I loved them and and arguments that sparked only cause of tough love. Nevertheless, I am thankful for what I have now. I know a lot of people but none of them really knows me; my thoughts, my dreams, my fears, my nightmares, my insecurities. Knowing names of people is much different from knowing stories. I don't want friends I can benefit from. I want friends whom I can share my crazy world with and I think my parents never experienced this.
I know this might not be accurate but it's from my perspective as an Asian kid. It's tough to grow in a family who express their love in ways you don't always agree to. Nevertheless, I learned to appreciate what I have now and look forward to tomorrow with a greater hope to have a family that I always wanted and to never settle for less than what I deserve and I hope you also find what you always wanted someday. It might not come now or tomorrow but it will come.