Write something you’re excited about.
Of all the things to be excited about, I have to go with getting the chance to spend days with my boyfriend at his home. I know, I know, I mention him too much in these challenges, but I have my reasons. Not only do I want to spend time with him close to Christmas, I also want a chance to get to know his family and get away from my house.
With things as they are now, there’s too much stress, tension, and suffering going on. I just came home from college today to spend about a month here for break, and I already don’t want to be in my own home. My mother smokes, refuses to quit, and won’t take her horrible habit outside. This is one of my main anxiety triggers for many reasons. I start thinking of all the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke. They’re enough to give me nightmares alone, but I’ve also gone through many cycles of imagining her funeral and playing this event in my head as though it could happen any second.
I’m grieving for a mother I haven’t lost because I’m expecting to have to do so.
I’ve told her many times about my panic and anxiety, one particular day when I had three attacks. She proceeded to guilt me by saying she didn’t even feel safe to smoke in her own house and that she might as well turn our back room into a smoking room. Not only did that shut me down from even wanting to mention my panic, it also made it clear to me she still didn’t understand. She started the habit when she was 13, and now she’s 50. Do the math. She’s smoked a majority of her life and of mine and my siblings’ lives. We’ve been begging her to stop or at least try to stop since we were little. My mother knows the consequences, she’s seen all the anti-smoking commercials with scare tactics out there, and she’s made it clear on many occasions she not only isn’t afraid but wants to keep smoking.
She’s made it absolutely concrete to me she’s choosing smoking over anything else. She’s put it first, and I can’t last much longer like that. She doesn’t feel safe to smoke in her house, but I don’t feel safe in my home period.
Don’t get me wrong, there are more causes to my stress, anxiety, panic, and overall feeling of uneasiness. Also, don’t mistake this as a rant of hatred. I love my mother with all my heart. She’s just not the woman I remember as a child growing into my teens. Life has changed her, and smoking is a big part of the blame.
I love my mother, I do, but I don’t know how much longer I can be around the woman she’s become. She’s bitter, tired, drained, and has seemed like she’s given up on most things in life. The eyes I look into now are faded and full of pent up emotions.
There are good days, but they seem to be getting fewer and farther in between. She can still make me laugh like no other with her unique humor. She can still sing along to music with me when she lets me play it. There’s still some resemblance to the mother I remember most as I child, but as far as I can tell, that image is fading fast. I love her, and I want to help. I can’t force her, and I can’t help her if she doesn’t want to help herself.
Over the years, I’ve learned from her example to always put other people first, but this time, I have to take care of myself in more ways than one before it’s too late. I want to preserve my health, certainly, but I also want to hold onto the image and memories of the mother I want to remember her as.
I’m sorry for the long and personal explanation, but I don’t think I could’ve done this without explaining something.
Now, for my boyfriend and his family. I’d love to get to know them: his sisters and parents. They seem so sweet and inviting to me. His mother actually hugged me right away when we first met because she said she felt like she knew me already. His sisters are lovely. I’ve spend just a bit of time with his youngest sister, and she’s adorably curious and wants to be good at the things (games) her brother’s good at. His other sister seems more laid back but protective of her brother, making sure she knows I’d treat him well. When we met she asked to make sure I didn’t do drugs or have anything going on that would be a bad influence on him, that I’d treat him as I should. I promised her I would, the same promise I made to him as well. That I’d treat him as a partner should.
I’m faithful and always will be. I listen, and I try to be as open as possible. I make it a point to be honest with him in what’s going on in my life. I want him to feel as safe and well loved with me as he makes me feel. I’d adore spending more time with him, of course. I’ve been away at school and only get to see him once or twice a month if I’m lucky, so I feel as though there’s so much about him I’ve yet to learn. I want to exchange gifts close to Christmas so this seems like our first one together. To be wrapped in his arms, to wake up next to him, to laugh and cry with him, to just…be, to hold, touch, kiss each other. I need that intimacy. I need him.
So yes, I’m excited about the open time I have to get the opportunity to spend a lot more time with my boyfriend. I need him, and I need an escape, a way to be able to focus improving myself so I can work on improving my relationship with him. I love him, and it’d be unfair to expect him to wait around all the time, so I’m going to try and spend as much time with him as I can.
I know I made this a bit long and I jumped around between two interlocking subjects in my life, so if you have any questions, concerns, or confusion, please, let me know in the comments! Thank you for reading despite the roller coaster of my emotions.