Returning Home

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Returning Home

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When the pandemic hit the United States, I was sent home from college on March 18, 2020. I was frustrated and upset, to say the least, because I was finally learning to love my life as a college student. On the bright side, I got to escape the cold bite of a Chicago winter and trade it for sunny Southern California, my home. What I did not expect was the rising tensions between my mother and me that I would have to face. Growing up, my mother and I had a healthy, strong relationship. She was my hero. My mother is a single mom and has been since I was five years old. She is an incredibly kind, hard-working woman, and she means everything to me. Unfortunately, our relationship is not the same as it was when I was a child. I used to blindly agree with her about everything. Spending time on my own in college, I realized I wasn't being myself when I was around her. I had differing opinions and wanted to grow without the influence of my mother. So I did. I grew into my own person and allowed myself to make my own mind up about things. Coming home, my mother was surprised at how I had changed and disliked me in a way she never had before. As weeks passed in our house, tensions between us rose. We didn't do things the same way, had differing priorities, and most importantly, differing personalities. With the pandemic keeping us cooped up in the house most days, anger was bubbling to the surface. It's only natural when two people as stubborn as my mother and me can't confront one another about the shift between us. Luckily, we have not had a large, dramatic outburst. We have since peacefully accepted the fact that we are never going to interact the way we did when I was a kid. I think the pandemic has created a lot of familial tensions such as my own. My friends have called me with their own stories of arguments with the parents and siblings. It would be easy to dimiss this as common as it happens around family reunions for everyone. However, I think what makes familial tensions during the pandemic so unique is how much we rely on each other right now. One of us could catch the virus any day now. One misstep of being unsafe could put my whole family at risk. So despite the disagreements between us, I love my mother more than ever, and I fear for her life more than ever. So many have passed that I and many others have come to understand how important putting aside tensions to love one another truly is.

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This item was submitted on December 18, 2020 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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