going home

Before I start, I just want to preface this post by saying that I am experimenting with a higher dose of Ativan at the moment, and I am feeling quite stoned. So, just keep that in mind. πŸ™‚

***

I’m going home on Friday. Actually, I shouldn’t call it home. San Francisco is my home; Kansas City is where I grew up. Anyway, on Friday I’m going back to my hometown to see my family for the holidays. I’ll be there a total of ten days, which is probably seven days too long!

I have plans to see a few friends, but other than that, I’ll just be hanging around my family–which actually could be difficult because of the letter I sent them a few months back (part 1, part 2). I don’t know what to expect; or, what I want to talk about. I have no agenda, in other words. I guess that’s good. I’m not expecting to make deep connections with my family, but I would like to talk about the things in the letter a little more in-depth. I do want to have closer relationships with my mom, dad, and brother, but I also want to relax and have fun at home, as well. I don’t want it to be a constant therapy session. On the other hand, if nothing is talked about, I will be greatly disappointed in myself. I just need balance. Regardless of what is said–if anything is said–we are already closer because of that letter. I have already accomplished the things I wanted to accomplish (I just feel pressure to keep moving forward), and my trip is a victory in and of itself.

One thing I am starting to stress about is seeing my relatives (on my mom’s side) for Christmas. I haven’t seen them in years, and I know they all really want to see me. My cousins are all around my age, and they have husbands and wives, and each of them have two kids. I’m a little behind. My aunt and uncle are really religious, so I know they disprove of me and my lifestyle–and so I know they’ll be judging me negatively.

Actually, let me step back: They may not be judging me at all. Maybe they’re proud of the things I’m doing. They know how passionate I am about helping people and how much I want a career where I can make a difference in this world. But then again, they know I am somewhat of a nihilist, as well. I do believe there is meaning in the world, but it’s subjective. That is, beyond science and reason, everybody has their own beliefs. Those beliefs are not right or wrong. I think in my aunt and uncle’s situation, though, they are so attached to their beliefs, they have become truths.

Anyway, my point is is that I have no idea how they view me or what’s going through their head–I am not a mind reader.

So, in the past, I usually got flooded with anxiety around my aunt and uncle and my cousins and their families. I’ve never really interacted with their children (because I didn’t know how and was afraid of being judged by the adults); and so, I just ignored them. I feel pressure to make more of an effort to engage with them.

Plus, I know the attention is going to be on me most of the time, as they haven’t seen me in years, which I do not like. But, it will be okay. I will slow down and use some of the cognitive techniques I’m learning to ease my anxiety. I’ll also be able to fall back on my meds if things get a little too rough.

I’m trying to remind myself that the present is not the same as the past. In the past, I may have been flooded with anxiety around them, but that’s the past. I will probably handle it better. It will be all-right, regardless.

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8 responses to “going home

  1. Don’t worry, Mike. You’re older and you have skills and awareness now that you didn’t have before. Also, you seem better to me than you did even two months ago. That’s reassuring I would say. You’ve got things to talk about as well; your studies and your travels. That’s all interesting and impressive stuff. Have a good time and enjoy your family as well as you can.
    Safe travels πŸ™‚

  2. Mike, appreciate you sharing. Enjoy your time away. Thank you. Blessings.

  3. I was impressed when I read about the letter you had sent to your parents. I don’t even have the courage and energy to talk things thorugh with my parents, so you’re my role model. I would love to follow your footsteps and pursue my dream job, which is probably translation. I, too, want to make a difference in this world, and my English teacher keeps telling me to leave my mark before I leave this world.

    I’ve been to L.A., but never to San Francisco. I would love to visit San Francisco someday because I hear there is a large gay population there. Part of the reason I want to make translation my job is because I might be able to work abroad with that kind of job. The United States is probably a lot gay-friendlier than Japan. I certainly had the prime time of my life in America when I went to college. I wish I could live there again. Anyway, I hope you will relax and have fun. Looking forward to updates!

    • Thanks! Yes, there is a large gay population in San Francisco. As a whole, I would say the US isn’t very gay-friendly, but there are certain pockets, though–mostly big cities. But things are changing, slowly. Just remember: you got a friend in San Francisco. πŸ™‚

  4. San Francisco must be a big change from Kansas City. I’ve been to St. Louis, and I thought it was beautiful and interesting, but only stayed for part of a day so didn’t get the real flavor. As for San Francisco, I stayed there overnight on my way to Hawaii once, but I would love to visit and stay for a while.

    Returning home can be very difficult, but you have such a positive attitude, it’s great! I hope you have a good experience, and find what you are looking for, or if not, at least have a fun time. Merry Christmas to you!

    • San Francisco is quite a bit different. I actually moved to New York City right after graduating from college and experienced life there for about a year. I moved both times because I was running from my problems, but I’m still glad I did. I enjoy city life and love not having a car.

      Anyway, I am excited and nervous about going home, but it will be okay. Merry Christmas to you too! πŸ™‚

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