I have separation anxiety.
Not from you so much (ha!), but from my own parents.
The thing is: I'm okay with the way I was raised, with the Filipino influenced culture I come from, with my dependence (and interdependence) on my parents and other family members. I recognize it as a true and rare gift how close I am to my parents, emotionally and physically.
It is true: I live literally around the corner from Lola and Lolopop. And even when I lived fifteen minutes away, it's a rare thing to go more than two days without seeing one or the other of my parents.
It's also true: that I went to college on the other side of the country (and was the only of my siblings to do so). And during my first year of college I came home every other month, perhaps worsening the homesickness, but it's also the only way I made it through.
By Western standards (or so I hear from the aforementioned therapist) I never developmentally separated from my parents, I am too dependent on them, I never left the proverbial nest and, supposedly, this affects my ability to function.
I will own up to the fact that I am more anxious when I do things on my own, or take trips with only my "own" nuclear family. I will accept that I have experienced separation anxiety. And that I need to work on trusting myself more.
But, I wouldn't have it any other way. I wouldn't go back and do anything differently.
I don't believe that my emotional or physical proximity or my dependence interfere with the life that I am meant to live. Those things enrich my life and your lives too.
If I have the option of bringing Lola with me to help me explore Paris with a four month old and two year old, why would I not?
If I'm having a crappy day and can drag myself and two children around the corner to an already-made dinner and the sanctuary of Lola's TV-playroom, why would I not?
If you girls can spend even a minute of your day with your Lola and Lolopop, why would I deprive you (or them) of that time?
For sure, when my parents die, I'll have some serious shit to deal with. But, until then, I'll spend as much time with my parents as I can. I'll make them dinner. I'll get manicures with Lola and run errands with Lolopop. I'll allow them to provide as much support as they want in raising my Dearest Daughters.
Maybe I'm more sensitive than the average person, maybe I'm weaker?
Or maybe I'm just lucky?
[Setting an entire childhood aside--that's too obvious] I wouldn't have survived college, this past year or our recent trip to the snow without Lola and Lolopop. (And, pup pup Lapu!)
Dear Lord, help me when and if my Dearest Daughters leave my side! That's a whole 'nother separation anxiety ball game!
Love you no matter what,
With my commitment to taking care of myself and my mental health--in addition to (or in conjunction with!) taking care of my family--I'm not able to post here as regularly as I would like or as much as I did in the past.
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