My parents always provided me with whatever I needed and a lot more. They had firm rules and expectations that helped me grow up into the person I am today. In college, I always used to look forward to going home on weekends and even more to longer breaks. But now that I am on my own, things have changed and I am not exactly sure of all the reasons why.
I do not enjoy going home because I am forced to sleep in my brother’s bed. Even though the sheets are changed, it is still not my bed and the idea of it belonging to someone else really bothers me. Plus, my brother’s room is usually a disaster as well as disgusting. I feel like I cannot touch anything.
That is the same way with the rest of the house. I realized one time when I went home that the house remained remotely clean when I lived there only because I did the cleaning. Now, I do not feel like I should touch anything.
It does not help that my mom has a slight hoarding problem and the unclean house is all the worse when you are surrounded by toys and clothes and books that should be donated to people that can actually use them.
Then, once I around the idea of the mess, there is the fact that I feel so disconnected from everyone. I grew up as the only girl in a large family. It never stopped my brothers from playing with me but they have since grown up and have girlfriends and are into sports and hanging with their friends. And I became the stressed out teacher that felt like a failure at her job. I always feel like I am harboring a secret from my family because of my depression, trichotillomania, and cutting. It is none of their business though. But because of my teaching problems and mental illness, it feels like I have nothing to talk about and that is just as bad.
Whenever I go home, I cannot wait to come back to my clean apartment and just be me. But then there are also the weekly phone calls I make home. Some people are shocked that I only call home once a week but that is even too much for me. I often think about cutting before and after the phone call. Again, I have nothing to say. I mostly listen as my mom tells me the same things from week to week. I feel bad that I am a failure as a daughter.
My parents are not bad people despite the mess and me being unable to talk to them. They did shelter me a lot though because I am the oldest and sometimes wonder if maybe there is some resentment that I was their test dummy and had to fight for the right to stay up late (I never did win) or to hang out with friends or try something new. I know I need to let go of it. But at the same time, does it really matter when I do not enjoy going home?
My mom was talking about Christmas break the other night and the idea of going home for several days just filled me with dread. Maybe it would not be so bad if I did not have to stay at home. But I cannot afford a hotel for an extended period of time and that would hurt my mom’s feelings. There is also no one I can stay with. My mom did mention though that she knew I probably would not want to stay at home the entire break so at least maybe that can be my escape. But just how long do I need to stay to be polite?