Sunday, December 20, 2009

A gilded cage

I’m back. In Malaysia.

But I won’t be around for long.

Instead of elation and perpetual joy of being home and around the people I love and care for- I feel nothing but misery and yearning. Okay….alright, “misery” and “yearning” is kind pushing it. I’m more “miserable” and forcing myself to look happy. Here’s the thing that I’ve learned after being away:

I don’t belong here anymore.

I know that this sound pretentious to those that have never lived away from home before but its true. I haven’t been away for long but the moment I got here I realized that no, I no longer belong here. I moved away and time, as I - being the spoilt and entitled bitch that I have always been, naturally assumed that time will stop moving for me. That I would come back to a life that was the same as it was the day I left. My room would be just as messy, my mom would just be as naggy, my dad would be as nauseatingly overprotective, my friends would just be a phone call away and life would be just as wonderful, if not more. Isn’t that what holidays are for?

I was wrong of course. As I has always been most of my life.

Time did not stop. It went on without me. People moved on and I came home to a life that I am no longer part of. My room was not messy the way I left it. It was clean, spotless; you can eat a fucking burger off the floor and not be constipated. It was never like this when I was living in it. My things were missing. The stuffed toys that have been there since I was still cycling around the neighbourhood at 9 to my first heartbreak in high school and the ones that I hugged and kissed over and over again while I profusely apologize to their glassy, lifeless eyes for not being able to take them with me were missing. I asked my mom where they were. She said that she have given them away. “You’re too old for toys now”.

My mom gave away my childhood friends. She didn’t ask me, she didn’t tell me over our Skype conversations. She gave them away. The lifeless toys that I have imbued with personalities and who have been my only friends, back in the day when I had none and bullied for being the only fat kid in the class. The lifeless toys that I thought of with a smile on the long flight home. She gave them away. And that was that.

True...I am too old for stuffed toys. But old friends, toys or not, alive or not, deserve more then a fate in the hands of an ungrateful child or at least a goodbye, from an old friend….who have been away for a while.

My things were not at were it was. My mother, decided that even after decades of living in the room, I still have not found a suitable place to keep my things. So she rearranged my room. Putting things at different places then I had originally done. I am sitting in my room now but yet I can’t find a thing. It is my room. And no, I can’t find a thing. The whole purpose of a room is to have your privacy and to showcase your personality. She moved my things around and now I felt like my privacy has been violated. She put away my artwork because it “gets dusty out there” and now my walls are bare. It’s like living in a hotel room. But worst. Hotel rooms have no memories of your previous life. This one does, but yet it shows off none of it. And that hurts.

Freedom is, for lack of a better word, a drug. One taste and you’re hooked. I had my taste of freedom when I was living alone. I had the freedom to wear whatever I want, cook whatever I want, come home whenever I want. And then suddenly I’m back here again and all that is taken away from me. Suddenly, I can’t even come after 11pm. I feel old. I feel older then I what I really am and yet these people, my parents are putting all these restriction on me. You don’t give somebody a taste of freedom and take it away. It’s not that easy.

Being an Asian kid, dealing with parents with the single-mindedness of the Asian parental supremacy no longer bodes well on me. I can no longer tolerate these restrictions of movement, this subjugation of identity and the oppression of free thinking. I can no longer do this. What was once a safe haven is no longer one. I have seen what my wonderful life was really before I left, it was nothing but a gilded cage. I was blinded by all the shit that my father’s money could buy and I didn’t question much. As long as I have that kick ass shoes from Nine West, that sweet dress from Dorothy Perkins and a pair of brand new diamond earrings from Tomei for my birthday, I am set.

I am no longer that spoilt, materialistic bitch. Some things have changed. People changed. I have. My parents didn’t. The longer I am here, the more I realized that I can no longer be here. I can no longer abide to be with them, to see them see me as the child that I was and not the woman I’ve become. My place is not here. My life is not here anymore.

Even friends, they moved on without me. Getting married, getting jobs. Forging lives that I am no longer part of. I am home in my home country but I don’t feel like I’m home at all. I am a pretender, living in a strange room that not long ago used to be mine, in a family that could not see me for who I’ve become.

And I’m miserable.


jaak said...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for confirming all my thoughts about the mental stranglehold that Malaysian Chinese parents seem to have on their children.

I'm a paleface born in the U.K. but thankful for my Cambridge educated father bringing us to Australia years ago.

I have known many Malaysian Chinese and they all seem to behave according to a certain pattern. Their topics of conversation are horrendously narrow and it's really demoralising.

I was sure that you would not want to turn back after you had experienced freedom in Australia.

You will find that Brisbane is slightly backward in relation to the rest of Australia so you have to experience the other states to realise whhat so-called intellectual freedom is.

Tinesh said...

Your best post yet

senorita.. said...

i can TOTALLY relate

Kuan said...

damn you're dramatic!

but then again, I can relate to all that you have said. In fact, even before I left the country, I knew deep down in my bones, that I don't belong and yearn to be in London for some very odd, unexplained reasons.....and I was right in every bits.

Every time I tell people I'm from Malaysia, they would asked, "don't you miss home now that you're so far away?". My simple response, "No, I have never felt more at home than here out of all the places I have been to thus far"

I hope you'll get your freedom indefinitely and I hope the same for myself too.

Kuan said...

i just noticed something CD....if you don't mind people leaving hate comments......then why don't just automatically approved a comment instead of going through it and approved it yourself one by one?

just a thought :)

Alia said...

YES! i can comment again. feeling's mutual love. parents will always be like that. there's nothing you can do to change their mentality. as kuan has put it so eloquently, i have also felt that i never belonged here. somewhere else, anywhere else! but here. and as selfish as that may seem, i feel im hurting less feelings than i would if i had stayed. ill miss my family but not home. and i havent even left yet omg!

(Wow im using my real name again haha..)

Peter Varvel said...

The more necessary change is, the harder it is to adjust to, it seems.
Hang in there! And if you ever have your own daughter(s) some day, remember how this feels. (marry a white Australian guy and have pretty babies like me! LOL)

Frank said...

I feel the same way, although I'm still in the same country, just in a different city. I like visiting my parents, but apart from that, there's nothing for me at home anymore. My friends have either all moved away or are settling down with wives, all the places I used to hang out are gone or changed. Home just isn't home anymore.

Liberal said...

Hey.. Any opinions on the recent happenings of the Malays protesting the word Allah. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Ania said...

My room didn't change when I came back home. My friends didn't either, unfortunately.

I understand your sentiment completely and I'm glad you're still posting.

Oh and off topic but I was trying to get to your blog after deleting my history (no, not because of porn but because I was searching for a present for my friend who wanted to borrow my laptop and hello paranoia) and typed in "" because for some reason I totally thought that was your url. It wasn't. I stumbled onto some emo kid's blog. Moral of the story? Yours is so much better.

the Constantly Dramatic One said...


Really? A heart for me? Reaaally?


I wouldn't know hun, I'm not Chinese.


Thank you, I strive to entertain.


I know you could babe.

the Constantly Dramatic One said...


Yeah, I gave the same answer too. Things are not so good at our homecountry. I approved them one by one cause sometimes, my friend write my name there. And my exact location. And no, I don't wanna be stalked.


I guess we all feel misplace.


Oh noes! No one can be prettier then you!


I guess when we leave home, we will no longer feel belong there anymore.

the Constantly Dramatic One said...


All religions are redundant. And those who fight for them are fools.


I just checked out her blog. WOW. Emo and boring! I need to rename this blog so I no longer would be associated with that fuckery.

M.Kate said...

Sorry you are sad about this. I am a parent to 3 kids..the 2 elder ones are just entering their teens..and I am very much the parent you mentioned. I will try (though unsuccessfully - I think) to change, doubting if I ever will :) Stay cool anyway.

Fieran said...

Hey CD, you are right. Things are never the same when you go back because you've kind of lived your life on your own terms - choose when to eat, when to sleep, where to go, etc... so it will not be easy to re-integrate back to living under your parents' roof. Actually that's the main reason why I left for Norway after studying in Australia - just could not live with my family again after 2 years of living on my own.