I was rescuer, a cultural broker, a decision maker, a problem solver … I thought I wear all the family responsibilities on my shoulder. As an immigrant child, my parents dragged me to everywhere; hence, developed my language ability. Whether I liked it or not, they still come to me for legal issues.
At one stage of my life, I thought it was normal to any first child, in particular Asian child. I was quite proud of myself that I was able to do that. Well, I can’t deny the fact that I sometime misused this authority. Yes, I was over responsible for everything happened in the family since I was young. I remember someone said that I was over responsible since when I was young. I was over responsible for that age.
When I have realised, I felt it was a heavy chain that chained me to my family. I expected equal responsibilities of my brother and sister, yet parents insisted me over them.
Because they knew I will only do the right things.
Because they knew they can save a lot of time explaining to my other siblings.
Because they knew they can manipulate me.
Because they knew I can communicate in higher level.
Because they knew I am able to make executive decisions when possible.
Recently I have noticed the difference in this role. My brother, who happened to be on the late shift, stepped in when my father was admitted to the emergency department due to his deteriorating health. I had a-day long meeting with my supervisors, and my sister was on the early shift.
I responded when I could. I quickly provided a list of specialists that my father was consulting that I know of. By the time I got to them, everything were settled. He was cared in emergency. Due to the lack of English proficiency of my parents, my brother stayed until my sister arrived after her work. By the time I got to my father, he was relocated to the ward and my sister was handling everything well. She interpreted to her best ability.
My brother dropped in again in the evening. He asked us to fill in for the situation since he has left.
What I have learned from this situation?
I was the one devalued abilities of my brother and sister. I thought I was always responsible about issues associated with parents but this situation proved I am no longer required to solely undertake this role.
It is okay to delegate to them.
It is okay to rely on them.
It is okay to step in when I can without risking and suppressing any area of my life.
Brothers and sisters can say things to one another that no one else can.Gregory E. Lang
What do I feel about it?
Relief that I am no longer solely responsible for everything happening to /with parents. We have come a long way. I don’t have to step in for everything happening. Well, even without me, parents will manage things without my presence. I don’t need to be flexible nor compensate by myself all the time. I can live myself as I want to live.
Siblings are the people we practice on the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring – quite often the hard way.Pamela Dugdale
This situation taught and confirmed the strength of our bond as siblings. It became a turning point to evaluate growth of my siblings. I was amazed by their abilities to act in such emergency situation. In addiction, this situation also illustrated that while I was busy for my personal developments, my siblings were also growing in their own pace. To be honest, I was very happy to recognise their growth. I am happy and proud of observing and recognising their growth.
When do you feel the connection with your siblings and/or families?
How do you choose to interact with them?
Do you remember any best moments you shared?