Telling my Korean dad I’m going through therapy.

As in the title above, I am in the process of telling my dad I go through therapy.

In Korea, it was deemed almost taboo for someone to go to a therapist for psychological reasons. They thought anything that was psychological was either considered a sign on weakness or insanity.

Well, these days people are taking it much more seriously- and I personally know many people who go to the therapist on a regular basis: yes, including me.

It was hard to open up to my mom and dad about this, because the first time I told them I was suffering from depression– which was way back in my teenage years, they didn’t take it very well.

My mom burst into tears. She asked me if I was out of my mind- and asked me in such a mean way “that I have it pretty good, and that I don’t understand what real suffering is.” To be honest, that is just one of the bad episodes I have with her.

These days, I’ve been dropping hints about my mental issues:

  • I take sleep medication, because I can’t sleep.
  • I can’t take the subway when it is crowded- I sometimes faint and often freak out.
  • I go to therapy to talk about these problems.

Of course- I didn’t “put a label” on it. And when I start talking about it, my dad starts to shut his mouth. He’s not ready for it, or possibly, he thinks its not an issue that I should be worried about- because ‘people have gone through that without medication or therapy for AGES’, and I can too.

I’ll never really know what he’s thinking, because he never really talks about these things with me. But one day, I hope he’ll realize that this is just a part of who I am.

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