soulsearch2010 (soulsearch2010) wrote in vaginapagina,

Aubse and culture

[Cut for triggers.] I guess I'm posting for reassurance or just to regain my mental equilibrium. I read a similar post regarding experiencing PTSD when you witness abuse that I found comforting. But I'm looking for answers about feeling shame for trying to help or thinking that you were helping and being told that you only made things worse. I grew up around a lot of domestic violence. Mothers and aunts screaming, fathers and uncles breaking things and physically abusing their wives. As I age I find myself getting stronger, or so I thought. Tonight I heard screams from a woman that transported me back to feeling like a scared little 5 year old girl. Feeling helpless and confused. The screams were so similar to my mother's screams when I was a child. Sufficed to say I can say with 100% certainty, this was not a run of the mill couple fight, however I did not witness with my eyes any physical abuse, which is why the police men that I called did not make any arrrestsThe woman (my friend) blamed herself and told the police men that she was crazy and that she hit herself. So they could do nothing to help her, although they did try to offer support, which was nice. By the way I live in Canada.

My problem: I'm Asian. and when white cops show up to our house, whether I was a kid or as they did this evening, I naturally feel a sense of shame. Logically I tell myself this is just a feeling and I did the right thing, but then after they left, her husband turned on me. He said "You shouldn't have called them, this is an Asian problem" This made me feel shame and as a result I lashed out and yelled at him. "How dare you make this about me, I will not apologize for calling the police. I am not the one with the problem!" But deep down, there's a voice inside of me laughing, calling me stupid for getting cops involved. and it's true. I feel like abuse is not only accepted, but considered normal in my specific culture and you are silly if you make a big deal about it. They looked at me like I called the cops on them for having dinner or something. Her screams were tortured and animal-like. and even though the police officer reassured me that I did the right thing, I still felt the shame. Also being born and raised in Canada, I learned from an early age that abuse is against the law and I could make my father go away for a while when I called the cops. Also I feel like western culture generally influences me to be more empowered and not scared of men. So I'm torn. I guess the whole situation also triggered remnants of the guilt I felt as a kid getting my father arrested.

My friend reminds me so much of my mother. Sitting on the floor, crying and telling the officers nothing is wrong, everything is okay and because my father never left any visible bruises on her body, they could do nothing. Although to their credit, just showing up always stopped the fight and puts my father on good behavior for a while until the next time. I remember begging my mother to leave him. and she told me, our people don't get divorced. A part of me wishes I wasn't born of this culture, again I know this is illogical feelings.

and so I find myself sitting here tonight finding comfort from my self-help book, reading the chapter about forgiveness, because I've learned letting anger go helps to restore my sense of sanity. I read an excerpt about a woman who learned to forgive her father by using self-hypnosis techniques to come to the awareness that her father was once a young child himself and received little affection from his own parents, thus resulting in him becoming a similar type of parent. When I read that, I instantly felt sympathy for my father. Imagining him as a young boy, going through the same thing I went through. Looking for love and approval and instead being met with anger, impatience and possibly violence. I want to hug that little boy. and then I thought, where did all this anger and brutality stem from? How did his father get that way? and his father's father? So now I think my anger has been misguided. If I cannot blame my father, or his ancestors for anything that I went through, then where should the blame lie? I believe in G-d, but now I wonder if there really is a devil.

Perhaps this isn't relevant to this wonderful community, but finding no physically safe space, this was the only safe place I could think to come, as this community has consistently provided me with comfort and hope.
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