Response to: Crushed by Parental and Societal Pressure, Asian American Students Are Resorting to Suicide

I have been debating to post this piece since I first wrote it.  Thinking and over thinking of the aftermath of posting it.  Thinking of the cons in my head, but wanting to post this to potentially help someone.  So, I put my over thinking confused emotions aside and decided if this post really does help someone, me posting this wasn’t all for nothing.

If you haven’t already done so, please read Jun-Youb Lee’s article about today’s struggles of Asian Americans that they are facing.

It pains me to say just how accurate this article is.  Jun-Youb is so on point when it comes to the terms we are faced with.  Putting constant pressure on your child brings certain stressors on their life.  Parents, especially Asian parents, don’t realize just how much damage they are pushing onto their children..  What will make them wake up and finally see the reality to their actions of what they do and what they say?  The moment when they get a phone call stating their kid just committed suicide?

This is a battle within themselves.  They are struggling to break free from the social norm. . . that “stereotype” . . . while still being able to “earn” their parents love, respect, and approval.  It seems so wrong to say, but this is the truth.  I cannot speak for all, but this is my reality.

I feel like if they don’t approve of you, they don’t love you – that’s why receiving support from them is nonexistent.  I have seen it through my own eyes.  I know this experience all too well.  I shouldn’t feel the need to do what you want me to do or to earn your love and respect.  We can be the nicest, most loved by all, but when it comes down to it, we are not enough.

It is so true.  Our parents have a way of making us feel guilty or ungrateful for everything they did for us.  They put the blame on us, rather than looking at the big picture to why we are unhappy.

It’s not like they didn’t raise us right.  It’s not a matter of who’s to blame.  It’s not a matter of right vs. wrong.  It’s about understanding boundaries.  How far are you willing to push your child to be the very best?  It’s not because you were a bad parent.  You didn’t neglect me.  I had a roof over my head.  I had plenty of food to fill my belly.  I had nice clothes provided for me.  And on top of that I received an awesome allowance, a first new car and a college degree.  I am grateful for everything that was given to me.  I look at other kids and am so thankful that I didn’t have to worry about things like that while I was growing up.

It is no one’s fault.  You can’t pin the blame on the child or the parent.  They were raised under different circumstances.  It was harder back then.  But this is a different time and we are brought up in a different society.  The norms are different here.  It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put pressure or be hard on your kids.  It’s just a matter of how much pressure.  Everyone is different, it’s also a matter of how much each individual can endure the criticism from their parents.

I wish I didn’t always feel the need to please you.  I wish I received more support for my passion.  I wish I wasn’t pushed to become someone I am clearly not.  I wish I had a voice and to be heard.  Parents can control their child all they want at such a young age, but when they start growing, they begin to form their own opinions.  Whether it’s through their own experiences from school or what society has taught them.  I think this is where the struggle finally begins.  The battle starts within the individual.  The yearning to break free.  The hope to escape.  But the need to gain the parent’s approval.

That’s probably why the Asian American female rate of suicide is so high.  They resort to death because that is their only escape.  Nobody is listening to what they have to say.  They feel as though they are not being heard.  They feel as if their voice doesn’t matter.  I say this because it’s true for me.  Thinking of suicide is my escape from the reality that taunts me.  For me, I always thought going through with it will finally prove to them my unhappiness.  But at the same time, I am fighting with myself to live.  I want to live.  That is my difference.  It’s just a matter of me overcoming the battle of my own thoughts to live or to die. Death seems like such a viable option to escape, but knowing it’s wrong to think of it doesn’t stop the thought to pop up every now and then.  This is not a suicide note.  I never plan on killing myself.  This is my honest truth.  I just wanted to post this just in case you are an Asian American female struggling with this kind of battle.  Death is not an option, even though it feels like it is, it isn’t.  Don’t think of it as a way to prove to them that you are unhappy.  Make the choice and prove it to yourself that you can find something better and follow your passion and still be successful.

I hope those of you reading this found this helpful.  I hope parents who are reading this wake up and listen to your children.  I hope those of you who agree with this piece pass it along.  I really do hope if someone is struggling they find somewhat of a relief of what is going on in their head right now.  I just want to say think of the future and how much you want to see what happens to you at the end of your story.  What happens at the end?  You will never be able to find out unless you make that first step in the direction you want to take.  I know, believe me, I know the task is a difficult one.  But, I just know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel – I don’t care how corny that sounds, it’s true.

That’s it for now.


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