The Illusions of Freedom and Disability in an Indian Family

Freedom is a strange concept to someone raised in an Indian household in America. Unlike my cousins overseas, I had the freedom to wear bikinis in the summer, to shop at the mall unchaperoned, and to drive my own car at age 16. Unlike my peers, I did not have the freedom to go to sleepovers, date or even attend school dances outside of my senior prom. Even now as a 30-something married adult, I still get grilled on my drinking habits or chided for staying out late on a weeknight.
To my husband and friends, my parents’ behavior seems borderline controlling and obsessive. But to me, it’s just a facet of being Indian-American.

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