Everybody Needs Me

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

It is so incredible the other 7 individuals in my mom’s clan think I can bought with money. “Here, take this $100.” One of them would toss an 100-dollar bill in my direction whenever they want something done for them.

What am I? I would often wonder. I’m certainly not a dancer at a strip club.

I am someone with two college degrees and a steady job, making more money than them. I don’t need the money. I don’t want the money. It would screw up the accounting of my money. Besides, I am a person, not an object. Why do they think I can be bought?

For the last two years, ever since my mom’s entire family immigrated to the U.S and re-entered my life again after 15 or 16 years, I feel like I have been under constant stress. There were some days, especially during the last few months, I’d find myself feeling down because not only my family doesn’t respect me and constantly trying to change me but they only come to me when they want something.

Then, there have been some days, it makes me so angry I want to punch something or someone while some days, I just want to curl up in a ball and cry. Unfortunately, after so many years of breaking down and getting back up again, I can no longer shed tears as easily as I could a few years ago.

Stop acting like a dictator!

After two years of formally getting re-acquainted with my mother, my aunts and uncles have all developed a kind of fear toward my mom that is associated with dictators. So they mostly come to me when they want something, instead of going to my mom because according to everybody, I don’t get angry. Oh, but I do, just not on the outside.

I bluntly said a few months ago, “Stop acting like you rule the world. You act like a dictator sometimes, you know that?”

“Oh, I’m a dictator now?” My mom replied, half-jokingly.

“That’s why they’re afraid of you. You’re so controlling.”

When I went on a solo hike the day after, she had her entire clan call me to check on me. My phone might had blown up if I could receive those calls but no service. That day was heaven.

Everybody needs me

There are days when I want to bang my head against the wall and it’s not because of work stress even though I do work 9, 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. Work is actually more relaxing than dealing with family matters.

The phone calls, blood work reports, doctors bills…sadly and annoyingly, none of those are mine.

Several things would happen during work days:

Mom would come up and ask, “What does this sentence mean? How would you translate it?” or she’d complain, “this makes no sense to me” or “what a horrible grammar this is?”

Then my aunt would trudge over from the next door, “Can you take a look at this text and reply for me?”

Shortly after that, my mom would stomp in and request I look at my other aunt’s lab results and tell her what it mean. “I’m not a doctor.” I’d tell her. “Consult Google.” Okay, maybe that’s worse but at least I won’t be blame or maybe I will still get blamed (for not taking a look at the report). My mom loves to blame me whenever anything goes wrong. Whatever.

A wise man named Google once said it takes a person 20 minutes to focus again after a disruption.

I can’t remember how many minutes I spend each day staring at my work inbox before I realize I was working on something that had nothing to do with writing emails.

I’m not made of steel

After a 2-mile hike last weekend, I arrived home, craving to sit down and enjoy a glass of water. My mom had other plans. “Your lettuces are dry as a bone. You need to go water them.”

“Give me a minute, let me take a breather.” It seemed like she wanted it done at that moment because there she was, filling a plastic bottle with water and marching to my mini-greenhouse to pour water on my growing lettuces. “Geez, I just hiked 2 miles, let me have a break” I also drove and listen to you criticize my driving again, I wanted to say. “I am human, not made of steel.”

“I never said you are.”

“Then stop demanding things, I will do them when I’m good and ready.”

I have been hearing people say this, “Oh you’re young, you can do anything.”


It doesn’t matter how young or old a person is, he or she is still human, and humans have limits. I don’t believe in such thing as “limitless.” Nobody can do everything and just like all machines, humans break down too. It’s just a matter of time.

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