I’m somewhat impressed with myself… I thought I hadn’t written for this blog in about two or three weeks, but it’s only been one week! 😅
Let’s talk about that big post from last week. The one about finding my home. It’s not here with my parents. I knew I would not be happy here, but I came back due to a sense of obligation and now I find myself miserable and apart from a (so far) useless dietetic license, I’m exactly where I started when I moved back in: unemployed and stagnate.
Quick side note: I did finally land a small job until I am (hopefully) chosen for a dietetic position, but the place closed due to the coronavirus two days before I was supposed to start. So, although I have been told I am going to be hired I’m stuck in the hiring process until the place opens again. So…. yep. Still unemployed.
Feeling Stifled at Home and Searching for Freedom
Yes, having (almost) a job is progress and the week I came back from Mariah’s wedding I started going out more. For the first time since coming to live with my parents, I was finally putting myself first, but despite that I feel stuck. I feel restricted. I don’t feel free. Which, I understand, there’s only a certain amount of liberty I can obtain, but I assure you this isn’t it. Even though I’ve had my moments with both of my parents that have driven me to want to move far away from them, I love them.
It hurts because I care about them, but I don’t feel like I’m doing either them or myself any favors by living in the same household. I don’t clean the house, I don’t bring home money, heck, after each subsequent situation with each of my parents I haven’t even made much conversation with them. I want to be alone. I didn’t speak my mind before. I didn’t want for almost anything. I remember asking for two things in my life: a trampoline and a game for the Wii. Otherwise, it was always whatever my parents thought best. What an idiot I’d been.
Though I know they love me and want the best for me, no one knows what that “best” is. I’ve been fortunate enough to live on my own during university and my internship to where I was able to distinguish my own voice from theirs. When I was in high school I remember I couldn’t distinguish their thoughts and beliefs from my own. Even my inner voice would meld and shift to where I wasn’t sure who was speaking inside my mind.
It wasn’t until the end of my first year away that I even allowed my genuine self to speak. Everything I did and said was careful and calculated, because at home I was accustomed to doing things because it is what my parents wanted, not because I wanted to. It took me months to get a feel for what kind of music I liked, because I was so well trained to not have opinions on anything. Gosh! I wish somebody had told me that wasn’t normal. No, not even normal– I wish somebody had told me I was my own person, that there was another way to live.
Five years later and I found my voice only to be met with opposition and resistance from my parents whose only wish for me is to fit the mold again. That nasty family mold that states my parents have final say on everything, including opinions, and that discussions only go as far as agreement on the topic does. Any conflict and I’m automatically wrong or I simply don’t understand the issue. How was I supposed to learn how to be sociable when most conversations I had at home growing up ended in being told that I don’t understand things?
It’s not fun, but I’m not like that anymore. I will assert myself and say that I do understand, but that I see things from a different view point. It doesn’t help much, as the typical end of conversation remains the same: I’m wrong and! bonus points! Now, I’m also disrespectful. I understand I am their child. They raised me. They love me. They do all they can for me. But. It’s not what I need. I need an environment where the people in it want to get to know me and accept me and understand me for who I am now, not for the blind puppet I once was. Sadly, that place is somewhere beyond my parent’s home.
Lack of Communication in Household
Apart from disrespect (which can be as little as having a different viewpoint on something), the thing my family despises with a passion is open communication. We lived quietly and safely without opinions or conflict for so long that no one in this household knows how to have an open, honest conversation. We’d rather shut our mouths than admit to an uncomfortable truth. Even if that truth leads to a conversation and resolution. It’s hard to be the person to initiate only to be met with a wall every time.
At first I tried and I was able to shift a few things in the household and open up communication and teamwork (like with the meal planning we all took part in weekly), but the moment I stopped working at something, it all fell apart. Communication is not supposed to be one way. Even though I tried to help my family to communicate better, I can’t do all the work for them. I did my own personal work on that and I am a better communicator since I left home last, but they have to reciprocate or that’s all lost on them.
Unfortunately that’s the truth of my household. And I don’t want to be a part of it anymore. I feel like I wasted almost 9 months of my life since coming back here, but I’m glad for the time I’ve had with them. I’m glad for the disagreements and the realizations. I’m glad I was able to feel genuine care and love to and from them that I couldn’t feel when I was younger (I was emotionally numb). I don’t blame them or myself for my lackluster teenage years. I understand them.
Maybe Probably, my parent’s would disagree that I understand our household, but I know that I do much more than I did five years ago.
Deciding to Leave Now and Last Summer
Five years ago I was counting down the days until I was able to escape my childhood home. Now, it’s a much more meditated retreat. Like last time I know I have to leave. I know it’s the best thing for everyone (with the possible exception of my brother). But this time it feels like my choice– like going down a water slide instead of a waterfall. Both get you down, one’s just a more desperate choice than the other.
So yes… This is just another rambling post explaining why I am moving out this summer. The main thing keeping me here were my classes at the local community college that end in mid-May. Actually… now that this whole coronavirus thing is happening, my classes will be online. Looks like my move out date is a lot more flexible now.
I’m going to be completely honest with you guys, I don’t know where I’m moving to. Last summer after a huge disagreement with my father during my final days in Puerto Rico about boys since I was honest with him that I’d been sharing an apartment with a male friend of mine and later went over to hang out with a different male friend of mine at 7 or 8pm (so after dark) and my father does not think either of these behaviors proper for a lady. To which I retaliated by spending the night at my latter friend’s house. Haha… yeah, I could have handled that better.
But! My point is, the way my father reacted didn’t exactly make me thrilled to move back home. So, I made arrangements to move to West Texas with Sherry who graciously offered me her spare bedroom. After much heartache I turned her offer down. I wanted to reconnect and support my family. And now I am at that same crossroads.
After the situation with my mom two weeks ago (where her friend wished me Holy punishment for the shit daughter I am to my mother), I knew I had to move out. I’ve been here long enough and if my mother feels I’m that heinous and disrespectful for her to not disagree with those things being shouted at me and for her to shut down the conversation I tried to open up about it later… then I don’t feel like communication is going to get anywhere. Like I said, it’s not something I can carry alone. So, I won’t.
Where to Next?
I will go elsewhere, to a place I can be myself without feeling shame for who I am. With friends or by myself. Wherever life takes me. That’s the issue at the moment. After spending time with Sherry and Mariah and Richard, moving to West Texas where these three of my university buddies coincidentally live sounds great. The thing is, it’s a big move. It’s several hours away from where I currently live. Definitely too far to have an in-person relationship with my immediate family and it’s a much smaller city which means potentially less dietetic positions available.
However, it seemed like the best option after what happened with my mother…. until…. I spoke with another friend of mine about everything. Turns out one of my internship friends, Axyl, landed a dietitian position here in North Texas where my parent’s and I live. He offered to recommend me for a position and find a place with two bedrooms, so I can move in with him. (Yes, he is the friend I was living with in Puerto Rico that sparked that huge argument with my father last summer, so I know I can live with him.)
His offer is a big city that I’ve lived near for most of my life (I live in the suburbs outside of Dallas), a place away from my parents, but close enough to still be able to build a personal relationship with them, and a job in my profession. It’s ridiculous how far a recommendation from someone already in the field goes, but that’s the reality of it. Then there’s the third option… accept the job help from Axyl, but continue living at home. Just grin and bear it to save money on rent and such until I can afford to pay off school debts and move on with my life.
No. I don’t want that last option… If I get a dietetic job sooner that’s great, but otherwise, I still plan to move out by June. They aren’t bad parents. It’s just… I’m an adult now and I don’t need parents anymore. I need adults who see and treat me as a fellow adult and give me even an eighth of the respect they expect from me. Heck, I just wish they treated me as my own person instead of an extension, and in some ways, a sub-person of themselves…
I’ll Keep Y’all Updated
Woah, this got quite long. I mean no disrespect at all to anyone and least of all my parents. However, I need to leave. I need to fly on my own again. I’ll thank my parents for all they’ve done for me for the rest of my days. I just wanted to write through this big decision I made. I was starting to doubt it, but after this post I’m reminded of why I have to move out. I hope my parents understand…
Anyway, I’ll write again once I have news about jobs or where I’ve decided to move, but until then I’ll start applying in West Texas and wait for word from Axyl about a job here in Dallas. At the moment that’s the deciding factor for me: where I get employed in my profession because that will set me up financially and professionally for my future, but if I decided to take my chances elsewhere, I will let you guys know. I’m puzzling all of this out with y’all.
Until then, I’ll try to post more often. I’ll have plenty of time over the next two weeks while my almost job and college is closed. Plus, who knows how things will be after that?