I was watching a movie about freedom earlier tonight and it affected me in a way that brought some sad memories of when I was a child. 

I remember when I was about to turn 12, my parents started comparing me to my friends. No matter how well I did in school and how good of a kid I turned out to be, they were never proud of me and always had negative things to say. When I was in summer school before I went to middle school, I wanted to take a drama class since it was part of the summer school option. Every role that I was in, I picked. When my parents came to see my play, my dad was so disappointed in me because he said that I was in an argumentative role because my teacher probably saw that I was argumentative, which was so far from the truth. I was the shyest kid in class and intentionally picked smaller roles because I was not used to being the center of attention but wanted to try acting. I just wanted to act for fun. He yelled at me when I got home and I was so upset, I cried for hours. He was not proud of me and I wish I had not invited them to see my play. He made me not want to be in a play again. 

Then in 7th grade at the end of the year, I won an award for one of my subjects for earning A's. I was a straight A student throughout all of middle school. After I won my award, my dad said to me that he's ashamed of me and yelled at me under his Vietnamese tongue. We're in America so parents around us couldn't understand. I couldn't believe it! I won an academic award and he was not only not proud of me but was the complete opposite. He said he didn't like what I was wearing and how my hair was in my face. I could not understand. I am surprised I didn't rebel just then and become a bad student. 

My parents never really parented me. I always feel like my ideas have always been my own. They never taught me how to dress myself or why it's so important to match my clothes. They never cared about what I really want to do with my life. One day before middle school, my mom criticized me for not having matching clothes and that one of my best friends always had her clothes matching. First of all, my mom never talked to me about matching nor nicely showed me how positive matching could be. From far right field, she just criticized me. She made me feel so bad. I'm sure my friend's mother has always been endearing and done proper parenting. That is something my parents don't understand or do. They just like to yell at me and assume I just become what they want me to be without good parenting. 

In high school, it was my mom's turn to criticize me heavily while she is at work. She likes to keep me around her while she's working at the salon because she has a dependent personality. She's like a leech that sucks other people's blood out because of her insecurities and only expresses negativity. She doesn't care if I have homework to do. She expects me to be a straight A student while being at her shop right after school until closing time. Her expectations were not achievable. She would take her anger out on me. She's called me a whore, stupid and selfish even though I would be with her after school and not have a social life. I would stay up all night to complete my homework with barely enough sleep for the next day. I was also a virgin all throughout my teenage years and was always on the honor roll. I didn't get it. Everyone could see that I was a great kid except for my mom. Other normal parents would praise me and would be proud. Where was the justice?

It's hard to be perfect. When I was a junior in high school, I did rebel a bit because of the imprisonment I felt.  I had to sneak out of my house just to see my boyfriend. They didn't allow me to go out or date guys. We didn't do anything special. We just hold hands and walk around a park like two lost puppies. It was very innocent. I got caught by my brother though and he ratted on me to my parents. My dad didn't speak to me for awhile and my mom was shocked. I feel that if you don't give your kids a sense of freedom, they will do something rebellious. Thank God I didn't turn to drugs or drinking or stopped studying. I would just sneak out of the house at night and then come back hours later. 

When I turned 19 and was a sophomore in college, I told my mom I wanted to move out. During this time, my dad and brother weren't home and she chased after me with a knife from the kitchen to my bedroom, threatening to kill me if I moved out. We never got along and I'm not sure why she wants me around. She just wants to control me and lash out on me. I couldn't move out then; for fear of losing my life!

Then I turned 22 and graduated from the university with my bachelor's degree. It was a major accomplishment for me. I got a job offer to work in a different state and wanted to go for it. My mom couldn't understand why I wanted to pursue a career in a different state. With careful convincing and lying that I would call every week, I found my first flight of freedom. I was glad she didn't chase me with a knife again. I moved to Dallas, Texas. She didn't understand why I wouldn't call? Why would I? Other kids called their mom because their moms were nurturing, caring and endearing throughout their childhood. My mom was a monster to me and I couldn't wait to get away. 

When I was 23, I returned and they started treating me better. Maybe when I was gone, they realized that they scared me away. I was in San Diego for another 6 years and would see them every weekend because that was my mom's mandate. I refused to live with them again. But if a couple of hours a week will get them off my back, I'll do it. I don't tell my parents much. Even though I would see them over lunch or dinner, I don't really start a conversation about anything. It's mainly my mom talking and complaining about my aunt, her work or some other random person. I rarely talk to my parents on the phone and only communicate with them on a meeting time for the weekend get together. I never had a close relationship with them as a kid so it's not something I can have as an adult. One thing they always complained about is that they always felt I could have a better paying job. They nagged me a lot about finding a better job. We're in a recession so it's not something I can drop. It's obvious to me that they have bad parenting skills and give terrible advice.  When I quit my job of 6 years due to moving after I got married, I was making $58,000 a year which I was content with. Hard work pays and I believe that if things came to me easily, I wouldn't be as humble or appreciative. 

I got married in Nov 2012 and the wedding was beautiful. For the first time, I felt like my parents were proud of my planning and how the day turned out. They didn't say it but they had more positive things to say and only a couple of negatives. Words like "proud" or "congratulations" were not something they say to me. 

I'm 29 now and happily married. I live in a different state and don't like calling my mom but she expects it and it's as though she has amnesia. Does she not realize the pain she's caused me when I was a child? I think all they think about was my wedding day and how perfect it seems. They forgot all the sad memories that happened for the first 22 years of my life. My childhood is gone now but I can't forget. I cried so many tears and had so much hurt. Overall, I didn't have a happy childhood. It was full of responsibilities, expectations and negativity. 

Somehow and probably thankfully due to my personality, I still turned out to be a good kid and got married to a smart and handsome man. I have a husband that many ladies would want to have. People always tell me I'll change the way I think about my parents when I have my own kids but I don't think so. Many other parents are nurturing, proud and positive to their kids. Mine weren't. My aunts and uncles were good parents but mine were not so much, so I don't think it's a cultural thing. I can never forget the pain I felt during my childhood and now that I have this freedom as an adult with positive thoughts, I'm trying to protect this by staying away from my parents. I don't like to hear my mom's negative complaints and have her negative energy. For a long time, I felt trapped like I was in a prison. I did chores, worked for my mom, got good grades, got awards,never went out and never got praises. 

Can you blame me for resenting them for the sadness they caused for many years of my life?