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November 17, 2016

 "How I Became a Monster" by Deb from Torrance, CA, attracted me with its title, and captivated me with a story I understood as if one of my own experiences. Deb describes how the sacrifices her immigrant parents made lead her to become a "monster." She summarizes her writing as ''a story of selfishness that came from selflessness, and hatred out of love."

The piece details how she feels her one purpose in life is to get a successful job and be wealthy, all in order to make her parents "happy." Deb feels it's the only way to make all of their hardships worth it, and as a result, their "happiness" comes at the expense of her own. She despises her parents because of it. As a child of immigrants, I too, find myself in the same situation, where I pressure myself to do all I can for my parents. I pressure myself to focus all my energy on school, make my mama and papa "happy,"  show them how much I value the risks they took for me, and set aside any shameful feelings of loathing I may feel for them due to these expectations. Deb perfectly puts into words the feelings I have suppressed for so long, and I felt an unwavering connection with each word she wrote.

Lines like , "I neglected the very people I wanted to make happy, under the cruel pretext of 'working to accomplish my goals'," were refreshingly poignant. They reminded me that my need to "justify" my parents sacrifices was placing more of a burden on them. Deb showed me that all my parents want from me is to be happy. Although it will be a journey to actually grasp this concept, Deb definitely jumpstarted this process.

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