Sunday, 21 July 2013

Fear of loss, over years and years, has shaped me in so many ways.

Growing up, I had marked separation anxiety. When my parents dined out, or I was visiting family in other cities, I felt incredibly distressed. I'd cry, I'd imagine they'd never come back, I'd imagine my sister and me left adrift in a big bad world. I was unable to overcome my homesickness in boarding school when I went there at age 16, and had to come home after a year because I just could not handle it. There were many things about boarding school which were basically terrible, but I think my inability to be away from my parents contributed a lot to my misery.

Thereafter, I spent some really happy years going to school and college in my own city, living at home, making friends and learning new things. When it was time to decide whether I would go to University, I was ready, and could make a relatively easy transition from living at home to living in England.  At first we all thought it would  be  a just a year's sojourn. That turned into three more years (PhD), one more year (new job!), yet another year (Post-doc). So, here I am. Seemingly able to live my own life at a remove from that of my parent's.  But of course, part of that is an illusion.
I am home 3 times a year.
I am on the phone every day. Sometimes twice, three times. My Mum calls me, I call her.

Home was constantly on my mind when my Father was ill, because I beat myself up about my 'other' life. I tried to live it at a frantic pace, just in case it was snatched away. But I also said that I'd give it up and go home forever (which of course, hasn't happened yet).  I thought I could make a choice, but actually, came to realise that both parts of my life were important to me, and that it would do violence to some part of me to choose one. That kept me from making a stupid mistake, but it kept me split too.

I sense that now is the time to slowly move towards being whole again. It's going to be a long journey, but it's one that I sense I am about to take.

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