As a graduating college student, moving home with my parents for the semester came with many changes and challenges. I had to create a new routine, learn to accept my lack of privacy and independence, and adjust to the constant presence of my parents, which I have not experienced in years. My dad and I get along extremely well, but my mom and I are a different story. We have always had a turbulent relationship, and this pandemic has not changed that.
I recognize that my mom has had an especially hard time over the past couple of months. She works as an independent contractor and has lost all of her business. She is now experiencing financial stress and does not have work as a distraction from the outside world. My mom’s brother and his family also got sick, and my mom hit a breaking point when my uncle was admitted to the hospital. He is home safe and everyone is healthy, but the resulting fear has not gone away.
I do not believe that a day has gone by since I came home, more than two months ago, that my mom has not cried. Although I try to help, mental health has never been openly discussed in my family. We do not know how to properly express our feelings or successfully support one another in times of need. My mom has been taking her feelings of stress and worry out on me in the form of both anger and tears. As much as I have been trying to help lighten the load, I do not feel that I am adequately equipped to give my mom the support she needs.