I am still new to the world of Asian relationships. I guess one could say, I’m an outsider looking in, seeing as how I am not technically speaking, in a relationship. I am, however, still doing backflips from the cyclone of emotions known as an intercultural relationship between an American and an Asian. *sigh* Somehow, I thought that after the relationship reached its abrupt smack against a big thick racial brick wall, I’d feel some relief. NO! Nope, not at all. Although the lover in question has cut all communication, the Universe felt it necessary to facilitate a random encounter with former lovers sibling.
Let me preface this with, I love this sibling! Not in a romantic way, but in a, “I love you so much dearest sibling that I would happily celebrate having you as a sibling for my entire life and feel even closer after knowing you three hours than I feel with my biological siblings.” sort of way. I have not spoken with this sibling in several months at the request of former lover. Its been painful, especially when sibling texts to wish me well or ask how I’m doing and I’m simply ignore these words in an effort to show loyalty to ex-lover. And then I watched Sita Sings the Blues. Sita employs this tactic of undying loyalty and to what avail? Suicide? So, I decided that, I don’t support Sita’s choice and it was absolutely silly to live as Sita did. Afterall, did Rama ever appreciate her efforts? NO!
So, when the universe so apparently offered up the meeting between sibling and I, it seemed like a good opportunity to do what my heart suggested, and appreciate the synchronicity. Loving wonderful sibling that they are, also commented on the Universe’s role in this chance encounter.
This sibling requested a chance to catch up more later in return for a promise not to inform former-lover. I apprehensively agreed. My Asian and Desi friends advised me not to. They said that it will only complicate matters more, and it probably will. And yet, I am a firm believer in not letting coincidences go, because they occur for a reason.
The words of advice that struck me most is the fact that between sibling and former lover, there seems to be an awful lot of “don’t tell.” When with ex-lover, I often heard “don’t mention, don’t talk, don’t tell, keep secret” in so many realms. When I brought this up with my friends, one friend said that all Asian families have the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on communicating with each other.
I just don’t understand it. In the states if you say don’t tell someone its usually because it would otherwise be wrong to say what you are saying or because you don’t like the other person, or because you are spreading lies around. I also don’t understand how a family that supposedly cares about nothing more than family values can run so rampant with this “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. I’m not supposed to know, or if I do know, shouldn’t tell, but its okay to know and or tell as long as the person I am telling is adamant to follow the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as well.
It sounds like a game of telephone gone wrong. If you don’t want it to ever slip to the wrong person, why tell me at all. I mean, I’d get told all sorts of “don’t tell mom, don’t tell dad, don’t tell so and so connected with mom and dad” and that thing I sort of understood. But “don’t tell sibling, that I’ve already talked to about this same issue we are now discussing.” just doesn’t make sense. My friend says that, it has to do with not hurting someone’s feelings. Not hurting who’s feelings? Because my feelings have certainly not been recognized in this “don’t ask, don’t tell” format of discussion. It seems that only “former lover’s” feelings are the ones that need to be protected. Because even sibling’s feelings have been made clear by former lover, that they don’t matter. Although, I have serious doubts that sibling’s feelings have been accurately described to me. As the last I heard, former lover says sibling thinks I’m a stupid idiot and that ex’s choice to kick me out of their life is a good choice, then why would sibling give me such a loving hug and ask to talk later and say that they are worried about me?
I guess, I shouldn’t ask and definitely shouldn’t tell.