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comment by kingmudsy
kingmudsy  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 7, 2019

I don't have any major life updates, but I want to share something that's been bothering me. I live with my parents right now. I've been there for a month, and I'm likely to be there for another.

I'm going insane with them.

I have a tough time convincing people that I'm truly an introvert who needs alone-time to feel normal, because I'm quite outgoing and really enjoy talking to people. After spending around people, though, I get a feeling in the pit of my stomach kind of like dread? I have a tough time explaining that feeling, but it's like a nauseous anxiety that compels me away from people.

I haven't been able to spend time alone since I moved in with them. My entire family is so extroverted that they will find me wherever I am in the house and corner me into a conversation about finances, current events, ancestry, whatever...I'm exhausted and it's starting to really frustrate me.

I know I have to tell them I need to be alone sometimes. At the same time, though, I can't help feeling a little guilty:

First of all, they're my family. They love me. They just want to spend time with me, because they miss me. I know I deserve to feel comfortable and that boundaries have to be drawn, but it's tough not to empathize with them. The fear of hurting their feelings is what's gotten me this far.

Second of all, I've been calling it "introversion", but I'm not convinced it's totally healthy? It feels like I shouldn't get so sick of people, like maybe I'm in the wrong for having such a thin-skin and wanting to isolate myself for a few hours after work? Maybe this is an issue that I need to resolve. Part of my reason for leaving this comment is so that people can call me out if I'm being a shit-head about this.

Whatever, sorry for leaving this much angst in a thread I usually use to post life updates. It's been on my mind, and feels good to have off of my chest




elizabeth  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Moving back to my parents after my semester abroad in Poland was TORTURE. I love them, but once you get a taste of freedom and independence, spending more that a couple days at a country house with them seems daunting.

Any place you can go to re-center yourself for a few hours before heading home? Like a library, park or coffee shop?

kingmudsy  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Huh...That's not a bad idea! There's a really nice coffee shop across the street from where I work. It's usually not too crowded, has a nice ambiance, and some reading chairs...

Might have to start bringing a book or laptop to work. I like that idea. I wonder if it'd be any easier being in public?

In the meantime, I've been taking the dog on a lot of walks. That's helped a lot - Murphy isn't much of a talker :)

kleinbl00  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"Letters from home are messages from a shore we are forsaking."

- Milan Kundera, Life is Elsewhere

I finished the car with five days to drive from northern New Mexico to Seattle. I pulled out of the driveway in a vehicle I'd made from the framerails up. It was about 5 o'clock; my mother waved. I was about to turn twenty. I spent another five days under their roof for the rest of my life, and have spent approximately two weeks within a hundred miles of their homes in the past 25 years. I mention this so you have some perspective on my ability to get along with my family; my advice is external to the situation and not one of experience.

That external observation, however, leads me to suggest that the life of a child that has never left home and the life of a child that has come home are two entirely different things, a situation that parents are less likely to be aware of because their experience has changed the least. Or, contrariliy, a situation that parents are more likely to be aware of because you've been gone and now you're back and they miss what once was and they want it so badly.

The fault-free way to express your experience is to say that your inner life has grown substantially since you last lived at home and while you want to make time for your outer life, which includes your family, you also need to make time for your inner life which does not. This is particularly hard when the physical space that used to contain everyone no longer does but it doesn't negate the fact that your persona has incorporated more independence than the last time you lived with them.

And maybe that's the best way to put it - let them know that you need to be able to feel independent or else you won't feel like you've actually grown any and that feeling independent means not having to hide from contact. Promise them that you'll seek them out whenever you can comfortably give them your attention and time and ask them politely to let you seek out your own headspace.

Teenagers for generations have resorted to headphones, by the way. They don't need to be playing music. You put them over your head and people leave you alone.

    It feels like I shouldn't get so sick of people, like maybe I'm in the wrong for having such a thin-skin and wanting to isolate myself for a few hours after work?

You have just discovered why taverns and coffee shops and pubs and malls exist. "Third places" have declined with the suburbanization of America and the expansion of homes but as we grow more and more unequal, and more and more people are forced to take on roommates, expect to see them expand. Historically, "home" hasn't been this grand place where you could do pilates in the foyer. "Home" is the bedroom where you and your wife and your three kids live. Pubs and taverns are the places you go and pay a rental of 2 beers in order to have a place to sit where you also have room for both elbows to be on the table.

Another option might be something as simple as a membership at 24-hour fitness. Get done with work, spend 20 minutes on a stairclimber, do 3 sets, then hang out in the sauna.

kingmudsy  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    That external observation, however, leads me to suggest that the life of a child that has never left home and the life of a child that has come home are two entirely different things, a situation that parents are less likely to be aware of because their experience has changed the least. Or, contrariliy, a situation that parents are more likely to be aware of because you've been gone and now you're back and they miss what once was and they want it so badly.

This is sagely fucking advice, thank you. Having my own emotions explained to me so plainly has cleared my head.

elizabeth recommended a "third place" approach as well - You're both smart as hell, I think I have to try it out. I'm going to grab some tea after work, and see how that clears my mind. Might start by reading the book about third places mentioned in the article.

Thanks klein, your insight was really helpful

kleinbl00  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·  

LOL read the Kundera instead. It's pretty much a tragedy about adolescence.

nil  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sorry to hear. Parents are boring as all hell. I usually go sit on the swing set like Mr. Watanabe when that happens.