This last year, I’ve been diving in full-throttle in identity work and self betterment. This investigation has required a tremendous amount of deconstruction, reconstruction, and a deep sense of self awareness. Here are some findings.

So, I’m a Tiger Daughter. I was raised with a perfectionist Tiger Mom who expected a lot of her kids, who really wanted us to take on a lot and be tough asses. And we did. Well, at least my brothers were fantastic at the hard sciences. I wasn’t. I was good at…. err… drawing, and… watching people.

Anyway, my mom doesn’t reign over my life anymore (that’s a completely different story), but there’s this internal voice that is represented as mom’s voice within my head. For most of my decisions, it’s a matter of “Does she approve? Does she not? Will I make her proud? Will I be accepted? Will I be criticized for this?” Growing up in my parents’ house, this used to actually be her, and she was the cause of all the anxiety in every decision I made. I’m not anywhere near nor close emotionally to my mom right now by choice, but I still have those thoughts in my head in all my big decisions.

When I make mistakes, it’s brutal. Rather, I’m brutal. I’m relentless, unforgiving, viciously toxic to myself. To the point where I’ve lived most of my life feeling like I’m broken: I don’t fit in, I’m not good enough to be with that person, I can’t do what normal people do, I’m inadequate in every way. We’re all critical about ourselves, but I think there’s a different class of self-criticism and ingrained anxiety for those raised by Tiger Moms.

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