On being a good daughter…


It’s Monday. It’s not a slow day, but it seems like it.

I have been feeling unwell during the weekend, but I forced myself to go to work because I am going on a business trip to Medan on Wednesday and there’s just too much to do at the moment.

I just want to reflect on what happened to my life lately, there’s something that has bothered my mind in the past couple of weeks. My feelings were hurt so bad and I keep on saying to myself that I will be fine eventually.

Parents came to my house last month after I returned from a biztrip in Malang. I got home from the airport a little early that day, so parents came to check on me. I always had this weird feeling whenever they deliberately came to my house.

Mom started by telling me that her dentist sent her best regards to me. The dentist happened to be my senior in the high school. Years ago, I went to her office/home one time and met her mom as well. Her mom seemed to be impressed by me (don’t ask me why or how lol). At that exact moment she said that she has a younger son, implying that we could be a family if only the son was older and graduated from university already. I just smiled awkwardly.

Mom told me that the son is married already now, but the mother complained about her daughter-in-law. Pffttt. Later on, the mother contacted my parents saying that there’s an eligible bachelor (one of their relatives) to matchmake with me.

I was like “WTF?!”

We were off to get dinner. In the car, Mom and dad kept on rambling about this guy and then showed me his picture. I could see the phone screen that my dad sent some of my pictures (without my approval!) through whatsapp as well. I said “No, thanks”

Dad was asking why…

I couldn’t really tell them the reason why.

(Could I just say that men are jerks and currently I am not looking for one?!)

I finally said “Maybe marriage life isn’t for me. Maybe I am not destined to get married.”

Dad exploded right after he heard my words.

He lectured me about how important it is for a muslim to get married and make a family; that it is a sin for both the parents and I, if I don’t get married when I am financially and mentally able to get married (No, Dad, I am not mentally prepared for this!).

He kept on ranting about how disappointed he was when I took off my veil/hijab. He regret sending me to a public school, instead of a madrasah to study Islam. He said he should not be proud of sending me to pursue a higher degree because I turned out to be a daughter who does not respect Islam and does not follow the syariah.

He repeatedly said that he didn’t want anything from me except a marriage. He didn’t need me to send money or buy him gifts. I am his only daughter and he just wants to marry me off.

Dad said it was okay for me to get angry at him for what he said, but I should not get angry at mom. He was reminding me that heaven lies at the feet of a mother and that I should always respect my mom.

I owe them my life.

Dad threw some nasty comments and I chose to be the bigger person.

I remained silent for the rest of the conversation. Oddly, I sat calmly and even able to respond some urgent calls or messages on the phone.  I wish I could just walk away, but I was trapped there in the car (the traffic was awful!).

My heart sunk…

I was heartbroken…

I felt really awful. I put a brave face that evening, but I cried so much in W’s shoulder when I got home.

Last time, I had this kind of feeling was when my parents brought me some kind of flowery water from a religious shaman. They said the water would repel bad or negative energy off of me. Maybe by doing so, men will be attracted to me. I was really offended, but I didn’t really say anything. My face expressed how offended I was though. I didn’t even look at my mom’s eyes when she explained what I should do with the water.

My parents are religious people, never once they skipped daily prayers, dad always wake up in the middle of the night for Tahajud, walks to the mosque for Subuh prayers, mom recites Quran, they are the kind of people who will always help the others; good moslems. But I just don’t get how desperate they are to find me a spouse and marry me off that they asked some religious/islamic shaman to ‘magically’ level up my ‘attractiveness’ to men. I just can get my head around this mystic things. I don’t believe in such a thing, so it’s pointless, right?

I become more comfortable in my own skin after I returned from Japan. It was a lot of work tbh, and suddenly they crumble down my confidence and effort by doing so. I keep on telling myself that they were doing it out of love. They meant no harm, but what they did broke my heart in pieces. They don’t even realise it.

I kept on asking my close friends, “Is it okay for me to feel hurt and offended for what my parents did or said?

They said, “of course, you are allowed to feel.

I wish I could speak heart to heart about my situation to my parents. I wish I could let them see my perspective, my fear, my dream and my feelings, but I know they won’t understand.

If your parents really loved you, they would want you to be happy,” said a friend.

I don’t think my happiness matters more than their pride or the religion or the social pressure they feel for having an unmarried daughter :-(

Is leaving as far away as possible the only way out of this situation? I know I am a coward for unable to face the situation, but often time I just want to run away because I don’t want to hurt myself. I am way past that.

Deep down I never want to disappoint my parents. I always try my best to be the best daughter, to be the kind of people who will make them proud, but I guess sometimes I am not good enough. Am I not a good enough person or muslim if I am not married? As a women, am I just defined by my marital status?

I am not saying I don’t want to get married, but I just don’t want to be forced to do so. I want to meet someone and come to that decision together with the person when we feel it’s right.