Been reading a book about family legacy and how one's upbringing has everything to say about what kind of person you are today. I had decided when I left home that I would create my own personal history and leave the past truly in the past, but there are ghosts from my childhood that still haunt me. They manifest themselves especially within the relationship I have to my siblings and ofcourse rear their ugly head under stressful circumstances.

I grew up in a house full of girls. We literally brought ourselves up. We were of course dressed and fed and given the basic necessities. Unfortunately we were given no tools what so ever to deal with school, developing our own independent ideas, battling adolescence, conquering feelings of low self worth/doubt etc. It was a constant struggle to please and appease our parents and the elder siblings.

I have six sisters. I am the youngest.

The legacy which seems to have marred us is the incapablity to love each other despite belief, choice, etc. Our parents taught us the rudimentary rules, which were among others...
!. Always keep your izzat, in other words, remain chaste, decent, polite and show that the family has a wholesome and worthwhile countenance.
2. No boyfriends or male friends.
3. No skirts after the age of 10.
4.Shalwar kameez to be worn when at home.
5. Disobedient behavior would lead to a good thrashing.
6. Don't answer back to your elders. They always know best. (you can imagine the frustration of having to live with that rule, being the youngest of nine people!!!)
7. No loud music (played when father was not home)
8. Home straight after school.
9. Work in family business...
10. No overnighters with friends
11.No friends overnighters (mum couldn't wait till my visiting friends had left. 'When is She going?*!! she would hiss at me.
They were not written rules, just a bundle of rules which I remember existed but were never discussed. My father would blow up about my sisters wearing long skirts to their first day at school and that was enough to imprint on my memory a big no no to skirts!? Ridiculous as it sounds, I am glad I got away from that whole mad weird thing about skirts and legs and thinking one is less chaste if she wears short or long skirts! I know that some of my sisters still have a problem with it and to this day I have never ever seen them in a skirt! Thats what I mean about the whole family legacy thing.., If you don't watch out, it will scar you soo badly that you will find it soo difficult to make up your OWN mind about what is right and wrong. Instead we can easily fall into the trap of mimiking the way our parents did it, and hopelessly fail with our kids, that unspoiled generation, teaching them what we were taught, by parents who meant well but didn't have the know how to know better.

If I am angry, my brow furls up like my father's did. D reminds me not to do that cause I look scary. I always end up laughing!

My sisters are repeating the same mistakes with their kids. They too demand that they are chaste, not cut their hair, not leave home, not develop, cause if they develop it means they have changed and apparently any change is bad, listen to them, use their fury in different form, either with fists or with screaming voice, demand their educational successes, prowl into their diaries, throw their clothes in the rubbish bins (those skirts!!!), tear up their books (I am guilty of tearing up H's donald duck books...learnt it from my dad, but take full responsibility for the act, and regreted it at least 5 minutes afterwards.). What is funny is the hypocrisy.
The hypocrisy where as adults they have conveniently forgotten their own rebbelious teenage years, in fear that their children will find out and use it against them.

Thats ridiculous! I'm commited to being 100% honest to my kids, even about all those times I screwed up, fell on my head and nearly broke my crown. Commited to being truly human and not without failure ( I am allergic to self acclaimed superhumans).

My second eldest sister had asked me why I never wanted to live at home again. I replied it was because nothing I did was good enough and that they would never feel proud or excited about me being their sister or daughter. Frightningly enough my father had almost predetermined the outcome of my early twenties when he would say outloud to the whole family '
'this girl will be nothing but trouble'.
Still makes me laugh.


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