Two weeks and a few days until I go home….and I’m worried!

So, as those who’ve read my story will know I’m not from these parts – I’m an international student here in the UK. So, this time of year I spend a solid 3 weeks online looking to book a flight to go home. It’s an effort to find a decent flight at a decent price with the fewest connections. So I’m really excited about going home — the family and friends that I’ll see will make me very happy. Sleeping in my bed again will be amazing! Spending time in the hot tub will also be a definite plus. The only problem i have with going home is seeing my mother.

See, whenver I go home we seem to go back to our old pattern. My mother is incredibly controlling (she needs to have things done her way, no exceptions) and I have to observe her eating disorder (She’s anorexic – restrictive subtype). This is pretty stressful for me because I love her to bits, but those parts make being around her very hard for me.
The funny thing is, over the phone she and I have an amazing relationship – we’re still mother-son, but it seems more equal (if that makes sense). We tell each other about what’s going on in our lives and what is new. We don’t share everything (she can be very judgemental), but I’m closest to her of all her children. It’s just seeing her for two weeks can be hard because all of the good things about her seem to go out the window and the odd mother-son heirarchical relationship returns.

I should probably point out that I have a great relationship with my other siblings and my dad. No issues there.

This time it will be different. My parents will be gone for the first week that I’m back (they’re off to the sunny Mediterranean). So I have to admit that I’m happy that I’ll only be seeing my mother for a week as a result of that. Should I feel this way?

I am sad that I’ll only have a week of time with my dad (if even that…he’s generally quite busy running things with work). The thing is he’s just beat cancer (he’s been in remission for over 3 months now) and I’m really looking forward to seeing him. Part of me is worried that he might look different since his treatment (he had chemo) and I’m not sure if his hair has all grown back. I never saw him throughout his treatment because they asked me not to come home (this was because if I did come home other people might think his health would have been much more dire than it was).

Reading over this I’m realising how much we do in our family to ‘keep up appearances’. I have always found that to be bullsh*t to be honest. We were always told that no one else had to know our personal matters. In fact, when my mother had cancer (she had breast cancer a few years back…she’s gone into remission too), she went to great lengths to hide her state. In fact, when she was going through a bad period we – her own children – never got to see her. She didn’t want our expressions to reflect her health to anyone else that we met who might ask about her.

Anyways, I’m really looking forward to going home this month and seeing everyone, I just hope I can make it through a week of my mother! But more than that I’m looking forward to touching base with all my friends and family and sleeping in my own bed!!



Comments Posted

Comment by Lucy posted on Fri, 01/01/2010 15:19

there is nothing wrong with not being able to cope with someone in your family. we cant get on with everyone all the time…be it friends or family! I would hate to have to spend a week with my dad. I would get so stressed and would prob end up walking out after a few hours now. I do love him in his strange ways…but more because i know i have to…and the way he is when he is nice. However, most of the time he fills me with anger, despair and hatred at myself. so really i don’t like to see him too often. So i can understand why you may not want to see your mum! that is normal! and unfortunately it is life!

Comment by Iona posted on Thu, 03/12/2009 13:05

Hi Aaron,

Glad you eventually found your flights to go home!  I hope you have a great time!

I think a lot of people have similar thoughts when going home – feeling glad they’ll only see one/both parents for a limited time.  Sometimes it’s because there’s something difficult going on at home – like your mum’s eating disorder, and sometimes it’s because of the change in parent-child relationship.  I think the majority of people experience that change!  When you go back, your parents fall into the same habits treating you as before you left.  I remember the first couplf of years of uni a lot of my friends found it weird/difficult, including myself!  The feelings are only a natural reaction – don’t worry about them.  Enjoy going home!  I hope you have a nice time!


Comment by Rees posted on Wed, 02/12/2009 11:20

I think Christmas can be a hard contrast to student life – there’s a lot less academic pressure but also a lot less independence and a lot more fitting in with other people’s plans. Saying that, it sounds like you’ve got a pretty good balance of time to yourself and with friends and time with your family and are looking forward to the experience on the whole.

Hope things go well with your mother and that you both enjoy your time together.