In a few hours, I fly home. A childhood friend is getting married; and as much I had offered to sing the “Lord’s Prayer” for the mass, she prefers that I simply be a guest. I’m quite relieved actually, considering that all the weddings I’ve been to had me singing, reading scripture, or being the host for the reception. But I digress. I’ll be flying home in a couple of days, and there is a tinge of anxiety hovering in the air.
It’s the thought of being confronted by my mother and father that makes me gnash my teeth and my stomach ache. I expect feelings of insignificance and being a disappointment coming my way. Even across the miles, I feel un-welcomed. My paranoia predicts a brewing storm, possibly coldness from my mother, or another huge argument with her and dad. I foresee my spirit being torn into pieces with each confrontation, while I, silent and seemingly stoic, implode amid all their accusations. Perhaps another bout of boils is on its way?
Dramatic and paranoid, yes. But it’s undeniable that such events do actually happen. Perhaps it’s my trauma speaking. It’s interesting how no amount of pragmatism and dissociation from family drama, meticulously prepared prior to coming home, can compete against the magnitude of my parents’ presence. Each time I go home, it never fails at some point that I revert to my angst-ridden adolescence. It saddens me how they can perceive me in a certain way, filtering everything I say and do unfairly. And what vexes me all the more is that I can’t seem to explain myself clearly; always in some disappointingly desultory manner. And I often end up emotional, frustrated, and feeling bad about myself right after.
I’m aware that much of this madness is all in my head; that my parents and I are merely reacting to each other’s ways. A lot of what is said and done is lost in translation. I am aware that these are just “stories” and justifications I’ve concocted to relinquish myself of any responsibility. I realize that if I continue dwelling in these thoughts, they shall stain the way I will be with my parents. It would be ironic and exasperating that I end up filtering them as well, causing even more drama.
I’ve to let go of the idea that I am worthless, pathetic, and insignificant; that I have lost their love. I have to let go of the expectation that they should pity me or that they should be more understanding. I have to forgive them (as cruel as their love can be). I cannot blame them entirely, especially when you think about it, issues are of our own doing. I shall take responsibility of my own ways in dealing with mom and dad. What I can do is forgive myself and love myself a little more.
I’ve decided to stay for more than a week, craving for calm from the city’s chaos. To save myself from idle time and unnecessary negativity, I’ve thought of activities to keep me creative and preoccupied. There are books to read, more writing to do, friends to see, and the return to sketching and drawing (which I’m excited about). I figure the quietude of the province will do me some good.
The anxiety seems to ebb already. In a few hours, I fly home. Like a thirsty gazelle, I look forward to the satiating waters of my home. But I too shall approach with caution, keeping an unflinching eye on the dangers that may lurk in the murky depths.