What Makes Me Happy

At counseling the other day, my counselor had me make a list of 50 things that make me happy. It is hard to think of 50 things on the spot. Plus, it would have been easier to do this at home where I would be surrounded by plenty of things that make me happy. Surprisingly, I was able to finish the list and was praised by my counselor for being able to do it.

On my list, I put my cats and favorite books, movies, and TV shows. I also put the different types of writing I do. I listed my brothers and my aunt and uncle that I see often when I live in the city during the summer and work at the amusement park. However, I was unable to put my mom and dad on the list.

That night, I could not help but dwell on how I left my mom and dad off of the list. They were good parents. They were actually involved in my life. They gave me everything I ever needed. Things have changed in the last few years, however. Now, I dread going home to visit or even talking to them on the phone.

My mom is a hoarder. She is not as bad as the ones on TV but she still feels the need to keep all of my brothers’ old toys and books even though the youngest is sixteen. I hate going home and being surrounded by all the stuff. It also doesn’t help that the house is extremely dirty. I do not expect my mom to be a neat freak. She is a busy person. There are times when the dust is very thick and the floors haven’t been vacuumed. One time, I went home and there were no clean bed sheets. My mom kind of made it my problem. I was tired of dealing with the mess so I thankfully, I just happened to have my sleeping bag.

Then, there is the fact that my parents, particularly my mom, feel the need to offer unwanted (and not nice) advice. I still get lectured about traveling in any amount of snow. I got a really bad lecture last November when it snowed and then immediately melted away and I made a trip the day after that. I am not stupid. The roads were decent. But that is the sort of conversations I get with my parents.

My parents do not make me happy. I dread going home. I dread calling home once a week. Even though they are very kind, they do not make me happy. I feel extremely guilty by putting my cats and my aunt and uncle on my list but not my parents. But if I am not honest in counseling, how is that helping me?

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