I’ve been having this nagging feeling deep in my gut the past few days, and it’s taken me a long time to figure out what’s really going on. This is hard for me to talk about, but I strongly believe that the hardest topics to write about are the most worth it, so here goes:
I’m homesick. I was last home almost 7 months ago, making this the longest I’ve been away from home in my entire life. People don’t realize that even though I’m independent and crave freedom when I’m at home, I still miss it when I’m away for long periods of time. See, I’m living here to go to university, and coming all the way out here was 100% my own choice. I’m the one who dreamed up an escape and then packed my car and fled. I’m the youngest child of 4, but oddly enough I show character traits that appear to be absent in two of my older siblings. Maybe it’s the military training, or maybe I really am just more independent than they are. By age 20 I felt so stifled that I needed to escape. So it’s my own doing that I’m lying here in the dark now, alone in my bedroom, writing to you.
My roommates are awesome, but they simply don’t get it. This school is odd because most people live in the many towns within a few hours driving distance, but come here during the week for school. They call their parents regularly, and go home on the weekends. They bring back home cooked meals, and get to have someone take care of them when they don’t feel like taking care of themselves. If anything were to go wrong, they could easily just go home, and they would be welcomed back with open arms. I don’t have that support network. I haven’t had a home cooked meal since early May. I talk to my parents only every few weeks when they check in to make sure I’m still alive, and even then we have little to talk about. My parents aren’t there for me when I’m feeling low or struggling with a course. They know so little about my life that I didn’t have the heart to tell them when I failed a midterm, even though I was devastated. In fact on the rare occasions that I do talk to my parents, they always seem to bring up how they are trying to control my career choices. Even from hundreds of miles away, they are trying to run my life. And to be honest, it hurts that they can’t see how hard it is for me to be here, away from home, knowing they don’t really support me when I tell them I just want to do something that makes me happy. I’ve still never told them about the anxiety problems that have been making my life miserable for over a year now. And I don’t know if I could ever tell them that their disappointment hurts me more than anything because I feel like I’m never good enough. They are why I’m a perfectionist. I need to be perfect at everything, otherwise I just break. It’s no wonder I have so much anxiety all the time. I’m doing a lot better now, but the feelings of inadequacy are always there.
I wish I could go home and talk to my parents face to face. I wish I could tell them the truth about how my life in this new town is actually going, and how my interests don’t line up with their expectations. I wish I could tell them that I have an anxiety problem, and even though I’m trying my best to fight it, it’s still there. I want to tell them that I always feel like it’s not enough, that I’m never enough, no matter how well I do in school or how much I achieve. I will always want more, aim higher, stress more, until the stress ultimately breaks me. Just like it is right now as I’m spilling all this out to you. Sometimes I just need my parents to be there for me, not just as a voice and an image on a screen. And that neediness doesn’t mean I’m weak or incapable of living on my own. And it doesn’t mean I’m reverting back to being a child instead of living as an adult.
No, it just means I love my family. I just have never found the words to tell them that.