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    Hi Anita!

    So what repairing and getting closer to my mom actually looked like in person was lots of argument and confrontation. I found myself rehearsing in my head for hours in the months leading up to the trip, arguing at my mom at times that I felt riled up about something. My mom and I have a lot in common, including being emotional, hot-headed and opinionated at times. As my brother described it, “[We] both come in hot.” That being said, it’s not like we have a terrible relationship or anything, but when I was younger, I didn’t much stand up for myself or voice my opinions. I’ve been pretty conflict-averse much of my life, and it’s only in recent years that I’ve become somewhat more comfortable meeting it head on. I should also note that I didn’t feel very seen by my parents growing up and beyond. My mom can be very self-absorbed and distractible, so sustaining a conversation can be difficult.

    Still, when I’ve spent time around my family the last several years, my life has felt full and satisfying. When I leave, a significant emptiness descends. It hit me hard last year. It hit me even harder this time. I’ve left both times considering moving back down south to be closer to them. Maybe it’s also partially that my partner can’t fill that emptiness I experience. Of course. How could he? I’ve lived far away from the rest of my family for 15 years now. I miss them. My parent are older and I don’t know much longer I’ll have them around.

    Attachment theory talks a lot about how interactions with our parents as children shape attachment styles. I don’t understand why or how my parents’ relationship toward me created insecure attachment, but it did. My family life was mostly one where we were together but separate. I spent a lot of time alone. And haven’t been very close to many people in my life. Inevitably, for me, moving closer to some means moving further apart from others.

    And yes, I am scared. Of so much.

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