In the success-driven world of today, it’s seen as a very strange or embarrassing thing to live with your parents.
I’ve often felt bad about it. I’m turning 30 this year, and I haven’t met someone to start my life with. People often ask why I don’t have a place of my own? Well, I just like living with my family. They’re funny, they’re helpful to me and I can help them too (Mum has a sore back from arthritis and my Dad is getting older too). My brother also lives here. It’s just damned nice living with a family you love to bits. Plus I hate being alone.
I’ve been told that I won’t grow as a person if I stay with my folks for too long. I think that’s a load of hooey, really. Sure, there are different things I’d be facing on my own, and I’m sure I’d develop a confidence from being self-reliant. But there are things I benefit from by staying at home that my brothers and sisters miss out on because they live somewhere else.
For example, my relationship with my mother has had room to develop and grow. You know Dorothy and Sophia on the Golden Girls? Well, imagine that with a Scottish/Maltese woman reminiscent of Mrs. Doubtfire and armed with a wicked sense of humour. We’re not quite as relentlessly antagonistic as Dorothy and Sophia, but we have our moments. We’re close, though. My big sister Helen remarks how funny our Mum and me are together, like we’re sisters rather than mother and daughter.
We both share the challenges of chronic pain. She’s got an arthritic back, and I’ve got endometriosis. We’re both absolutely plum-crazy about my cat Rogue. I send her LOLcats, and then if Rogue does something funny, Mum speaks in LOLcat. Sometimes she gets the LOLcat speak wrong, but it’s no less cute. It’s even more adorable.
We talk about gluten free food alternatives together. She’s helped me countless times through panic attacks, and when she’s faced the rigours of life - sick relatives, unfair crap in her political career, Dad being his usual cheery self – I give her hugs and talk to her.
Right now she’s in Peterhead with my Dad. They’re on a holiday in Europe, to see where they came from one last time. It’s been a month and a half now, and I miss her like crazy. I was horribly depressed for the first few weeks. It’s hard because I depended on my Mum and Dad even more after my sexual assault. I could be embarrassed or ashamed of that, but that would be foolish. Why should I feel bad for needing the people that mean the most to me? I don’t shun the outside world, I’m not insular. I go out, I’ve got a large network of friends.
I help out Mum and Dad, and they help me out in return.
I was watching some Golden Girls episodes the other day, and I thought, “Wow. Dorothy is in her fifties, and she lives with her Mum. There is absolutely nothing embarrassing or undesirable about this situation for her. She LIKES being with her mother, most unapologetically.”
So I’ll continue to relish being with my mother. I’ve got a really, really good Mum, and good Mums deserve all the love and appreciation in the world!