Moving back in with my parents after my break up was so hard.

The first day back was the worst. I spent it cleaning out my bedroom and emptying out the few boxes I’d brought home. I did a lot of sulking and hiding from my parents. I couldn’t face them. I didn’t want to have to answer any questions. I couldn’t. I felt broken, guilty, defeated, stupid, humiliated and just overall overwhelmed.

My parents, on the other hand, were ecstatic to have me back. While their shared abhorrence of each other had driven me out of our home, their mutual adoration of me had pulled me back in. I always knew I’d be welcomed back with open arms. It was really no surprised when I’d texted my mom a week prior and asked if I could move back that she’d replied with a simple, “okay.” And that was that. No further questions asked. I wanted to keep it that way.

My dad called me down for dinner around 7 o’clock. He’d prepared his patented Sunday night chicken and potatoes with a tomato salad. Despite it tasting extra good that night, I had little appetite. The three of us sat at the kitchen table watching an episode of Master Chef. I didn’t talk much, but I did realize I had missed these quiet nights at home. But I still wasn’t glad to be back.

After dinner, my mother followed me to my bedroom, which annoyed me greatly. I had a full evening of wallowing in self-pity planned which she was interrupting. I just wanted to be alone. Forever. Like I was destined to be in life.

“So I have some ideas,” my mom said as she motioned to the wall in front of my bed. I gazed in that direction numbly. The blue wall had large white patches from where some old shelves had been removed. I didn’t care about my stupid walls. “We could put up new shelves. Or paint over the white with the same blue. Or a different blue? Oh! Maybe like an accent wall?”

I rolled my eyes. The bubbly optimism bouncing from her voice made my skin crawl. “It doesn’t matter.”

“Well what do you want?” She pushed.

“What I want,” I hissed, venom dripping from my words, “is to not live here!”

As soon as the sentence had escaped my lips, I knew it shouldn’t have. She didn’t deserve that. She was being nice. She was being hospitable. She wasn’t forcing me to live there. She was doing me a great favour. I should have been grateful to have such accommodating parents. Even if I didn’t want to have be living with them again. Even if I felt like an utter failure. A total fuck up. At least I had a place to live.

A different mom might have taken my words to heart. They may have backed off, or been offended, or maybe even cried. But not my mother.

“I know,” she rolled her eyes dramatically right back at me, without even a flinch. Then she gave me a sympathetic smile and explained, “moving back in with your grandparents after my divorce was so hard. I couldn’t even stand the sound of Abuela’s voice.”

I giggled, a sad, confused, honest giggle, before she added quickly, “but that doesn’t mean she ever stopped talking.”

Well, my mom hasn’t either, and I couldn’t be luckier.

2015

22 thoughts on “The Prodigal Daughter

  1. An excellent story of a subject that always overflows with emotion. I remember being horrified at even the idea that I might have to move back home and was able to avoid it. Later I was happy to bring a kid or two back under my adult roof while they got some things together. The older I get I wonder if we place too much emphasis on “independence”, which puts pressure on the young and can lead to the weakening of family ties.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This made me teary eyed. A mother’s love and understanding of the pain her daughter is going through is not something everyone has. And to acknowledge while ignoring it at the same time is a talent not all have. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a cool mom!

    A person I sometimes fictionalize, known as “Donna,” had to move back in with her parents at three months pregnant, with her two-year-old in tow. Fun!

    Donna was not always grateful either. It was a stinging defeat, considering she had married only a few years earlier.

    Anyhoo, great blog! 💕

    Shawna

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It was decades ago, so now it seems like a quaint time in my life where I “chose” to live with my parents. One amazing thing that came out of it: I read “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. Life-changing. 💕
        Love your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You have a way with your words that made me feel love of your mom and grandmom. Our loved ones are alway ready to welcome us back. I am lucky though to keep an alternate place of my own for such temporary situations. Another one of those million things my parents taught me to stay independent in worst of situations.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had to move back in with my parents at age 50 (!) after a breakup with my live-in. I’d left home at age 19, had 2 divorces and 2 kids under my belt, and had never had to move home. I was very appreciative, especially as my parents didn’t charge me rent (I paid part of groceries and dog food among other things), but I ended up getting an apartment after 4 years at home. Living with them was the longest 4 years of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

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