I want to open up to you. I want to share all of the nitty gritty details of my life with you. I want to have a conversation that doesn’t end with me feeling like I can’t breathe. I want to feel loved and supported by you. I want to feel comfortable in the home that we share. want to feel happy with you.
But I’m scared, Mom and Dad.
I’m scared of you.
Is it supposed to be like this?
Most people I know can call their parents and have a conversation that lasts for hours. I hear my roommates fully immersed in a healthy, beautiful dialogue. You should see how happy they are when they talk to their parents. They’re filled with so much joy and laughter.
I don’t have that with you.
Most times I feel like there’s a mental script in my head whenever I call you guys. There are certain sentences and words I must say in order to keep a conversation. If I don’t stick to the script, then there’s nothing you will say back to me. You won’t care, or you’ll get angry with me.
But for once, I just want to improvise. I want to be able to go off on a tangent and tell you everything that’s going on in this funny little brain of mine. I’m sick of the same old conversation. I’m sick of the yes/no questions. I’m tired of you asking how my grades are. I’m tired of Dad complaining that graduate school is too expensive and that I shouldn’t go.
You already held me back from a dream I wanted to chase long ago. What else do I have to do to make you happy?
Do you know what I actually want to talk about?
I want to tell you that I feel so alone.
I want to tell you that I don’t think I’m good enough for anything.
I want to tell you that I find myself in tears so often because I think I’m such a disappointment.
I want to tell you that I don’t like the relationship I have with you.
I want to tell you that I’m in love with someone and it’s the most thrilling feeling.
I want to tell you that I have bigger dreams than just the provincial life.
I want to tell you that I have hated myself with every fiber of my body for so long.
I want to tell you that I have anxiety.
I want to tell you that I’ve been seeking help.
I want to tell you that I’m proud of myself for getting help.
But I’m scared to tell you.
Do you know why?
It’s because the first time I tried to be completely honest, you scolded me. I wrote a letter about how I was suicidal. I couldn’t tell you face to face, so I resorted to writing. I left that piece of lined paper that I ripped out of my 8th grade science notebook on your nightstand. But you didn’t want to talk about it when you read it. When I asked, you told me that my mental illness was something that can be fixed on my own. You told me that I was sick in the head, and that I shouldn’t be feeling this way. You shamed me for feeling this way.
Ever since then, I’ve held back every single negative feeling from you. Whenever I’ve started tearing up or crying, you told me to stop. Whenever I tried to be assertive with how I feel, you shut me down.
I want to tell you everything, Mom and Dad. You’re my parents. I love you, even when you treat me this way.
But I can’t tell you everything.
Because I know you’d hurt me for it.
Whenever I get my anxiety, I hear your voices in my head. You’re telling me I’m unable to reach my goals. You’re threatening me, saying that I’m a disappointment if I do poorly on an exam. You’re telling me I’m not good enough. You’re telling me my dreams are unattainable. You’re telling me that my dreams are too expensive. You’re telling me I’m wrong.
These are only a few things that run through my mind when I get an attack.
I’m not saying I hate you. I’m not saying that I don’t want to hold a conversation with you again. I’m not blaming you for my mentality.
But this is what’s been happening since I was 10 years old.
I have to hide most of my identity away from you. I can only talk about my career or school with you. I can only talk about the positives and not the negatives. I feel toxicity within our relationship that hasn’t been addressed for several years. It’s been building up to the point where I feel anxious at home.
I’ve lost the connection I have with suburbia. I don’t feel as much comfort when I walk through those doors.
Instead, I feel trapped in my own mind.
I’ve been there so long that I’ve ultimately made that my new home.
I’ve been making such a mess in there lately. All of these thoughts and feelings will not leave my mind. I can’t clean them up. I can’t move it anywhere. It’s just collecting dust.
It’s so lonely in here, Mom and Dad.
I wish you could just help me.
But I know you won’t.