Here’s the thing: I love my family. They’re great! They really are. I don’t have any major beef with any of them, but there’s just enough stuff that I can’t wait to get out of here. (Backstory: I’m sixteen. Still a minor! As soon as I’m eighteen, I’m off to college, mayyyybe coming home for summer and holidays at least the first couple of years, and then I’m off to, probably, the other side of the country.)
The problem with my family is that all of them except for my little brother have very strong personalities. My dad’s a commercial sales rep, and he is very, very good at selling and pitching things so that they seem like the BEST IDEA EVER. He’s also a huge fan of playing devil’s advocate. My mom is 100% certain that she is right about everything all the time. It’s not even a little bit malicious, it’s just her personality, but it does make her arguments very forceful and confident. My sister takes after both of our parents in that she also always thinks she’s right, to the point where we have had arguments and then tearful apologies, and I walk away feeling good, and then fifteen minutes later I realize that I was the only one who actually apologized.
This would all be fine, if I was the same kind of person. But I’m not. I’m very open-minded, and only about 80% sure of anything at any time, max. I’m really susceptible to a good argument, and I hate conflict with a passion. It’s so hard! And upsetting! And it sets off ALL of my social anxiety buttons! I cry literally every time I have to fight with someone, which doesn’t make for a great debate. The idea of intentionally hurting someone else is upsetting to me, and the idea of thinking I’m better than anyone else seems dishonorable and wrong.
This means that one of my family members will make an argument, and I’ll go, “Oh, that’s a good argument, okay!” and then I’ll go away and think about it, and realize that no, it’s not okay, I completely disagree with everything they just said, they just packaged it up all nice. This leads to a lot of weird, screwy moments where I completely doubt my entire personality and sense of self, and end up being steamrollered by people who are confident in their personalities and selves.
The only things I can genuinely, 100% stand for are things where people are genuinely being hurt, and my family appears not to care, or to devalue it as people being “too sensitive.” Am I a Social Justice Warrior? Yes, absolutely. I am always down to fight for people’s ability to live in the way that makes them happy, so long as they’re not directly or intentionally hurting anyone else.
But anyway, what I really, really need, more than anything, is a space where I can think about things by myself, without being aggressively influenced by outside forces. Right now I don’t even have my own room. That’s the reason why I can’t ever, ever live with my family once I’m out. I imagine I’ll get along with them much better when I’m not frantically trying to isolate and protect my soul down in the deepest parts of me, where it can’t be twisted around or fooled.
I actually might send my dad this link, so he understands that no, I’m not going to live in my parent’s guesthouse and be part of One Big Family my whole life. (THAT WAS NEVER ON THE TABLE, DUDE! LET IT GO!)
Goodbye, denizens of the void. Nice talking to you.