A Real Life Romance (Part 3)

Image by yamabon from Pixabay

Serial Fiction Part 3. The first part of this story is here and the second part of this story is here.

I want to say something here before I proceed with the main story. I wrote about my grandpa Zili from my mother’s side who blamed my father for my mother’s death. The evidence Zili provided was ridiculous and superstitious, but it seemed that my relatives on my mother’s side all believed it to certain extents. After writing this, I suddenly recalled a video on narcissism that I watched a while ago, which talked about narcissists who can always find grieving scapegoats. At the time of watching it, it didn’t ring a bell, but now as I was writing about my grandpa, it suddenly dawned on me that Zili was grieving for the lost of his daughter and he needed a grieving scapegoat–my father fit the bill.

Actually my grandfather Zili was a mild tempered, layback, happy-go-lucky kind of guy. But unlucky for him, he grew up in a fishing village which was extremely conservative and superstitious; he married my grandmother who was a super sized narcissist. These two factors had made him a narcissist himself just by close association and lifelong habit. I heard many stories of this superstitious fishing village and if I had not heard it from my own flesh and blood, I would never have believed it.

I actually wrote a couple of posts about this fishing village and how ridiculous their ancient practices were. Here I just want to summarize it. People actually had good livelihood for centuries in this village, except the fact that their old fashioned fishing boats were routinely subjected to the wrath of the weather or the ocean. Men, young or old, could lose their life and not come back. Although my grandparents moved to a big city in their 30s and my grandfather worked as an accountant for the rest of his life, they always kept the custom of the fishing village. There were numerous superstitions to govern villagers’ life in order to ward off possible disasters at sea. I just couldn’t help laughing (secretly) how idiotic the whole thing is–having more superstition is the villagers’ solution to avoid being killed while out there fishing. Women were not allowed to get on the ship, or even touch the fishing net since that would bring the wrath of the sea god; a fisherman had to stay far away from women who were pregnant, women who drank rice wine, women who dressed in certain color; if he didn’t, the sea god will punish the people on the same fishing boat. When the fishing boats came back from their fishing trip, women were not allowed to be out because that would bring ill luck. These were just a small sample of things not allowed. There were numerous rules on what one could and could not do on a certain date.

In my grandparent’s place, it was not allowed to say the word death or any words that sounded similar to death. It was not allowed to use words like sink, or fall. And most importantly, the word “flip” or “overturn” is banned. Not only that, the gesture of flipping a fish on the table is completely forbidden. Since in our Asian cooking, we always cook the fish with bones and we usually don’t debone a fish before cooking. And on the table, after one side of the fish is finished, people usually flip the fish over to eat the other side. However this flipping is the biggest possible offense with my grandparents.

And a narcissist is forever searching for a scapegoat. Often in such a family, there’s an easy target who would take as many blames as possible. When this is not sufficient, a narcissist would need to find another. And grieving is a very sad process and a grieving narcissist is a very dangerous creature, who needs to shame, punish, hate, damage somebody for his or her grievances. For my mother’s death, nobody was to blame except the half drunk unskilled driver, but blaming somebody unknown couldn’t satisfy my narcissistic family. So my father was a suitable whipping boy on this occasion. It’s so easy to blame him–he’s an outsider to my mother’s family; he had Mongolian features that my mother’s family didn’t feel completely comfortable with; he traveled a lot as a coal mine engineer who engaged in training and education. My mother always thought my father traveled deliberately so that he could avoid staying at home, and my grandparents obviously shared my mother’s view.

My father was unaware of the fact that he became a scapegoat. Berber was showering him with attention, which he enjoyed. However he kept her at arms length to avoid getting more intimate with her. Berber, being a nice and traditional woman, was a little confounded with the situation–my father seemed to be warm and cold at the same time. Berber didn’t know that my father was having other attachment. In an effort to get closer to my father, she had a new idea.

(To Be Continued)

16 thoughts on “A Real Life Romance (Part 3)

  1. Wonderful story! I think superstitions are particularly often found with dangerous work. Like fishing and seafaring in general or the mining world. Women were also not allowed in underground mines because they were considered unlucky. And I’m sure there were many more as well as rituals to be performed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, me too. My grandmother was such a super narcissist who was devoid of normal human emotions. She was loud, rigid, superstitious, and very ambitious in her own way. Unfortunately my grandfather was under her control and influence, and had developed many narcissistic traits, which were not his own.

      Liked by 2 people

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