Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Who Needs a Tiger Mom?”

A Moment in My Life – Thursday, April 8, 2021

The other day, a friend asked me about tiger moms, which took me back to my younger days when nothing was good enough for my mother. She set unobtainable standards for my sisters and me to follow but tried as we might; we never lived up to her expectations. How do you compete with the Jones when the grass was always a better shade of green in their yard? I believe I became super disciplined and a perfectionist because of my mother’s tight reign. And yes, it had to do with my unique makeup, but I credit my mother’s conditioning more. All I know is that my mother should be proud of herself for successfully tattooing her high standards in me that continue to haunt me long after she did her job.

I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt lately with the little JYD sitting on my shoulder, wagging her disappointed finger while making tsking sounds at me for not achieving everything that I set out to do last month. So, I didn’t write two new fiction stories a week. I wrote two the first week, and I wrote one a week after that. Doesn’t that count? “Well yeah, that counts,” she said, smirking. “But you wrote two a week only once.” Ugh. She’s right, yet with fiction, I honestly can’t force it. It has to come naturally. I have to be in my writer’s zone to make it work. That’s where the problem lies. I’m not sure what happened, but early in the month, I developed dermatitis for the first time. I thought it was a bite on my heel initially, but instead of clearing up, it worsened. Then my fingers became inflamed. Long story short, the more I tried to fix the problem, the worse it got. The more stressed out I became, the worse my symptoms got creating the domino effect. The doctor instructed me to reduce hand washing, which was hilarious since we’re still in the pandemic. 

My case was so bad that the most potent prescription creams failed. Ultimately, I needed a 10-day oral Prednisone treatment that helped, but it came with side effects. They warned me that it causes insomnia, which was cool not needing caffeine to stay awake. However, the uncool part was feeling like a stranger under my skin. I’ve been off Prednisone almost a week now and began feeling more like myself a couple of days ago, but the residues prevent me from feeling whole. Having gone through this, I sympathize with people suffering from unexplained mental symptoms. It’s not something physical that you could lock down, but it’s there. It’s like an empty void that doesn’t feel right, but you can’t pinpoint what’s wrong. I don’t feel like myself. I feel like I’m in someone else’s home or like someone emptied my house, and I have no idea where they moved everything to. It makes me feel out of control and out of sorts with myself. 

The weirdest thing about this is that it impacted my ability to write. Having completed four short stories just weeks ago reassures me that I am capable of creating completed stories. I’ve got a fictional story brewing where I’ve been muddling around on the page for days feeling no urgency to finish, and that’s highly unlike me. I know it’s the Prednisone residue lingering, but I don’t know what to do about it except busy myself elsewhere until it passes. 

Since I’ve been conditioned to push myself always, there is no rest for the weary, but I am loosening up and allowing myself space to breathe while I regain my groove. Yet, you won’t see me sitting idle. Nothing justifies loafing in my world. I have to laugh because I’ve taken over my mom’s reign over me, so who needs a tiger mom? 

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