Grief

/Grief

HOW CANADIAN BORN CHINESE CAN CONNECT WITH THEIR CHINESE HERITAGE

“You don’t understand. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I need you to be compassionate.”   In that moment, she felt the all too familiar feeling of what it was like to be a Canadian born Chinese wanting to connect with her Chinese heritage.   When Ming* (name changed to protect privacy) first came to see me, her back was hunched forward as if she was carrying too heavy a burden on her shoulders. She nervously pushed her glasses up the tip of her nose before letting her long black hair drop forward to cover part of her face.   When I asked this young Chinese woman what she needed, Ming made the following comment:   Through my talking with Ming, I found out her Chinese grandmother had been the one primarily responsible for her caregiving while she was growing up. Her grandmother, who was living with

HOW TO HEAL FROM A PARENT UNAWARE OF THEIR ADDICTIONS

(PART ONE OF A TWO PARTS SERIES) “You’re just like your father/mother!” “Why can’t you ever do anything right?” “What is wrong with you?” are some examples of what an unaware parent might keep telling their child(ren) out of their addiction to emotional patterns. When we think of the word addiction, many of us tend to list alcohol, sex, drugs, and gambling as the most ‘obvious’ ones while at the same time probably defending our position saying things like, “Others have addictions! Not me!” How do I know that? Because I used to be the sort of parent who claimed ‘Not me!’ when the word addiction was mentioned; I had a very narrow perception of what an addiction actually is. ‘So what is an addiction?’ you might be wondering. I believe the answer is, An addiction is anything that is consistently detrimental to the human spirit. If that is true

HOW TO DEAL WITH AN EMOTIONALLY SICK PARENT

I didn’t ask myself ‘Is she emotionally sick?’ I was eight years old and like many other kids, I just wanted to go play outside and make sure I had a clean pair of pants to wear to go to school the next day. Plus, what does ‘emotionally’ even mean to a kid?   I didn’t even ask if she was sick. I mean, she looked fine on the surface.  She could walk and talk, though she said and did things that even I found strange by moments. Like that time she put my hands on her tummy and told me she had a baby inside. She said she was the Virgin Mary and she was going to give birth to the child of Jesus Christ. As strange as she sounded and behaved at times, my mother was not running a fever or having a drippy nose.   When I

HOW TO FEEL YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

I couldn’t believe he had done it again. I was so angry that I didn’t even take the time to ask myself what could be wrong with him. Instead, I marched right over where he was, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and threw him unmercifully on the cold concrete of the back patio. This was the nth time that day that the kids’ puppy, Snowy, had pooped in the living room. I had enough!   I watched him as he pawed the glass door, crying to be let back in. I yelled at him to go pee and poop as if a four month old puppy could have complete control over its bodily functions. He looked at me with pleading eyes. I pretended not to care and told him in a stern voice to go do his business or stay outside, his choice.   Snowy was a

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