Whereas I know that I’m lucky to be able to live at my parents’ home, rent free, while I find a job, I have to be honest: this is really killing me. Generally speaking, most people spend their college years growing out of the confined life that they previously lived, hopefully never to return again. Thus, the saying: you can never go home again.
Considering this is my anonymous blog, I know that I can be honest while still retaining a certain measure of privacy. But it’s really hard admitting how much I hate my parents and my family as a whole– it’s not the PC thing to do and it’s not really ok to say that you hate the people that raised you. All you’re supposed to say is that they did the best that they could and that you have to appreciate what they were able to do for you. Life could have been way worse and you should feel happy about what they were able to provide to you. And generally speaking, I guess I am.
But honestly: being at home, watching my parents engage in their totally illogical and frankly terrible life– it’s too much to bear. At this point, I haven’t really spoken to them in months. I go downstairs when I have to and just try to remain as far away from them as possible. Last night should provide a fair example of what is completely wrong with the family in which I was raised. My dad was on a rampage. For my entire life, my dad has had anger problems. He goes crazy at the drop of the hat and nothing and nobody can appease him when he’s in full wreck-it mode. At this point, I also wonder if he has a spot of bipolar disorder to be honest with you. He goes into these manic rages– cleaning the house obsessively and demanding people do things at the moment. Last night, he was insistent that my mom produce the last water bill. Now on my mom’s side of things: to be very honest with you, she is rather useless. She doesn’t know how to keep any of the finances or bills or paperwork properly managed. One room of the house is stacked with old papers. I don’t understand why she can’t figure out a better filing system or why he doesn’t just take it over (or her give it up) if it is such a point of contention. My old therapist told me that you can’t try to change them– that they are locked into system that while imperfect, works for them. But it is such a hot mess to watch.
Whereas this seems like the standard back of forth of old people, it gets worse. A few years ago, we all suspect my dad had an affair. I think it’s pretty obvious that he did. He was just coming off of chemotherapy for the second time and we all wonder whether the combination of medications and radiology impacted his already not very solid decision-making. He used to go out at night and my mom would tell us, “Oh he is going out to play mahjong with his friends and he gets so tired that he spends the night at the house.” Come on right? I mean, none of us thought it made any sense and we all thought he was having an affair. It wasn’t until my mom discovered that my dad had written a $20,000 check to what we assume is his mistress that things became clearer. My parents refused to go to a therapist and in true Chinese fashion, they went on with life and pretend that nothing ever happened. My mom, some time later, admitted that she wishes my dad had died instead of surviving cancer and I have to be honest: I kinda wish the same. It would make life easier and he’s just truly kind of a miserable person.
The thing that I hate about my mom, then, is her extreme weakness. She doesn’t know how to take care of herself. She doesn’t know how to set boundaries. She doesn’t know how to walk away from a bad situation (be it a marriage or just an argument) and instead does the exact opposite of what would be considered the logical choice. Since the affair and the death of her mom, I think my mom is just dead on the inside. She goes through the motions of life but she just isn’t totally “present.” When she gets yelled at, she yells back and then a day later, is back to normal. Never asks my dad to be accountable for his actions or his words. Everybody just pretends like it didn’t happen. One of my earlier memories is my parents arguing and my dad picking up a glass vase to throw at my mom. Thanks, parents. Thanks for the memories.
Shutting people out– it’s a really bad habit that I have and people in my circle of friends have noticed it (and probably been the recipient of it, sorry!) But at some point, as a human being watching people slowly kill each other, you have to find some kind of way to manage some semblance of sanity. I’ve seen a therapist repeatedly (when I could afford it) and I can’t wait to see one again b/c I feel like I need to clean out all the baggage I have gained just from the months of being around my parents. And frankly– it’s not normal and I don’t want anybody to think that it is. My mom has this thing where she “tests” situations out– just to see if you’re ok and everything is ok. She’s like a child in every sense and she wants everything to be back to normal. But to go back to normal and let others thing yeah, I’m ok with your crazy life– it’s not ok. I don’t want to be around them and I cannot wait to get out of this hellhole. I just wanna get out of this house and never look back.