I had another fight with my mom today. She was telling me how she tells everyone that I’m doing well and I’m happy, and this fight is like a flashback to when I was depressed and angry all the time.

What is the point of telling me that?

Seriously, what is the point?

I don’t bother to tell her that if she sits down and really examines the time that we spend together, it has significantly decreased over the past few years. Before I went to California, I felt like we fought every day, but I also saw her every day. With the hours that I work now, three days in a row can go by without me seeing a single person in my family, and you know what? That doesn’t bother me. I like it, even.

And I think that’s really sad. I want to be excited to see my family and to talk to them and spend time with them, but we just aren’t that family. We don’t do things together. We used to have dinner together every night, but that stopped when my sisters went away to college. It’s not the end of the world, plans change and schedules change and with everyone working full time now, we’re not home at the same time to eat dinner together every day. Fine.

But we also don’t see movies together. Our tastes are too different- it’s impossible to agree on something. We don’t have family game night. I don’t go to church with the rest of the family. I just don’t feel like we have any real sense of “family” beyond living in the same house.

Before I moved home I told my mom how badly I didn’t want to move back here, and she told me not to because if I didn’t want to be here then they didn’t want me here. Just this morning when I told her how uncomfortable I feel, she said she would help me find an apartment.

And that is just what my family does – that’s how we fix things. Are you angry? Go to your room. You want to move out? Move out. You want to get away? Get in your car and drive.

There is no sitting down and talking through it. There is no effort to understand why the fights are happening, what is the root of the discomfort, what can we actually do to make a positive change?

If you have a problem, stop running from it. Running will never make your problem go away. It might delay your having to deal with it, and if that’s your goal then have at it. But if you want to actually fix your problem, you need to face it head on. Have the difficult conversations. See a therapist. Tell your friend they hurt your feelings. Have a voice.

Nobody can read your mind – you can never assume they know how you’re thinking and feeling. Even when you TELL them what you’re thinking and feeling…they still may not understand. But sometimes you have to butt heads with people over and over again before the realization takes place – before the understanding – before the light bulb.

But once that happens, the healing can begin, and trust me, at that point, it all becomes worth it.


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