Underneath my yellow skin

Out on a limb

My brother is fearless. He has the mentality of ‘why not try?’ If something doesn’t work, he shrugs his shoulders and moves on. He rarely lets a failure bother him, and he takes what he has learn with him into his next venture. The downside to this is that sometimes, he wastes time, money, and effort in a project that he doesn’t take to completion, but it doesn’t bother him at all.

Now. Part of this is the  fact that he is a man and that means he has much more leeway in the two culture in which we live. Boys are heavily favored in Taiwanese culture, so much so that even he has noticed that my parents give his opinion more weight because he’s male (than mine, that of a lowly female (in their eyes). It’s one reason I have gender issues, which is not the point of this post). Ian commented that my mother would ask for my opinion, but then ask my brother without accepting mine. I actually think that’s more an anxiety thing as she’s done the opposite, too. She never accepts the first answer as correct on its own. But, yes, she does give more weight to what my brother says than to what I do.

I can’t tell you how much it means to me that my brother sees this happening, too. It’s one thing to realize it on my own, but it’s another thing to have back-up on my opinion. It’s easy for me to gaslight myself and say that they don’t mean it, it’s just their culture, etc., but when my brother says it out loud, it validates my feelings.

My mother is a Debbie Downer in general. Any idea you bring up to her, she immediately crushes down. K and I have talked about our respective upbringings. Her mom was of the mindset that everything would work out no matter what choice you made (which came with its own issues) whereas mine believed that you were fucked no matter what choice you make. Not that she would use the word fuck, but that’s her mentality. K’s mother always sees the bright side whereas my mother only sees darkness.

I take after my mother in that I can always see the flaws of something, but I’m getting better at realizing I don’t always have to bring it up. And I try to make it constructive and not just complaining. If I want to complain, I do it here!

When I told her I was bi, she asked me what’s next, animals? By the way, I have no idea how that became a thing. Going from same-gender relationships to fucking goats. When I told her I was getting a tattoo, well, let’s just say she voiced strong disapproval. The times when she doesn’t actively say she’s against whatever I’m doing, it’s clear in her tone of voice or her face. Oh, and when I told her I was practicing Taiji, she said it was a way to invite the devil to dance on my spine. And she was being earnestly sincere.

It took me a long time to realize how fucking batshit insane many of her ideas are. Now, she wants me to open up to her. She mourns that we’re ‘not as close’ as we once were. Newsflash, we were never close. The difference now is that I am 100% certain that she would throw me under the bus to coddle my father–which she did while they were last here. I know for a fact that I as a person do not mean anything to her. She doesn’t love me, the person, and what’s more, she certainly doesn’t like me.

If I sound blase about it, it’s because I’ve numbed that part of me. It’s too painful to let it get to me on a constant basis. I don’t need to constantly think about how my parents would prefer to have just about any other child than me.

When I was two days home from the hospital, my father shouted at me about how hard it was for him and my mother. That I had died twice. That pretty much encapsulates our relationship–I don’t  matter. It’s all about them. When I said in an incredulous tone, “How hard it was for YOU?”, he blustered and got mad at me for daring to point out that it had been FAR worse for me.

I do think my friends and brother had it worse than I do because they actually love me and suffered for me. My parents, however, suffered for themselves as the parents of me. It’s hard to explain the difference to anyone who has parents who actually love them and not just the idea of them.

That’s all to say that while I’m much more self-loving now, I’m still not confident in my abilities. My writing talent? Yes. I’m a kick-ass writer. I have a way with words, for sure. But I haven’t done video before, and I’m loath to do anything I haven’t done already. I don’t like making mistakes because I got punished for them when I was a kid. I was the good kid who got straight As. The first time I brought home a B, you would have though the sky had fallen.

That’s why, though, this is the perfect time to try something new. I don’t have anything to lose and it’s just for me at this point. I can make the videos and delete them if they don’t turn out the way I want. That’s the way I have to trick my brain, by the way. I tell myself that I’m doing it just for me and then it’s ok to fail. I don’t like that my brain is that way, but whatever it takes to get me over the hump.

The problem is that I have this voice in the back of my head saying that I’ll never succeed doing what i want to do. I’ve watched enough content creators to realize what is the standard way of doing things. The ones who seem to have a huge following are the ones I don’t like. They yell and scream and act way too fucking animated. They seem pretty fake and phony to me, or at least very high energy. Whereas I prefer people who are just…chill. One thing that drew me to RKG is that they were just three friends making videos. In fact, the first season was a bit too perform-y for my taste because they were at IGN and were, indeed, putting on a show. Now that they are their own company and doing their own thing, they’re much more relaxed. What you see is what you get. Yes, I know it’s still a performance, but I have no doubt that it’s close to how they’d be if I met them in person.

I know that if I do video, I have to dial it up a few notches because I’m very low-key. But I don’t want to shout and scream. I don’t want to be high-octane. I just want to be–me.

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