top of page
Search
  • Angela Tam

my relationship with my Immigrant parents and how it changed everything

As adult children of Asian refugees, I was praised for being so quiet. So compliant. So well mannered.

I did whatever my parents requested of me.

Whenever they felt powerless, they felt the need to remind me that they are my elders and I needed to comply with their wishes and requests. Anything from bringing them food to making sure I wore enough clothes on a wintry day.

These were well intentioned requests, but left me wondering… do I have any say in my body? My decisions? My life?

I grew up feeling so used to having my parents feeling entitled to controlling me, that I forgot that I have autonomy and control of my own body. That I can say “no” to anything that didn’t feel good in my body.

This realization of my right to claim my body, energy and time was a completely new insight for me. It still isn’t fully grasped yet but I’m working on it.

My new insights are:

My parents/authority figures can make requests and demand that I comply, but i don’t actually have to.

I can pause. Gather myself. Check in with my body.

And make decisions according to my body’s needs.

I grapple with this process of others owning me when I comes to parenting. I have parts of me that people please my kids and are very permissive with them. I feel immense guilt when I can’t give them what they request.

These guilty feelings are directly related to guilty feelings that I have towards my parents for disappointing them.

I know now that this is all interconnected and I can unpack this with my therapist. Do you struggle with this too? If so, how are you unpacking the guilt?


0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

My new years intention

Moving into this new year, I am going to pause before saying yes or no to any commitment big or small. I am committed to honoring my body and its time and energetic boundaries. If you grew up with imm

Violence and oppression

I’m angry. I’m grieving. I’m deeply saddened by what’s going on in Israel and Palestine. I don’t fully understand. But I know my anger and sadness is not enough. We collectively and individually benef

Prioritize your needs

Sometimes it’s going to hurt so badly to go to sleep earlier. To get more water. To say yes to that Pilates class and actually go. It hurts because millions of folx are suffering in Israel and Palesti

bottom of page