I'd say I fight with my parents as much as the next teenage girl, if not more. Our arguments stem from little things like pent up aggression over things from our day to day life, to bigger things like resentment of the distant relationships I have with some of my other relatives. Throughout high school, it often seemed like everything was a fight, and if it wasn't between me and one of my parents, it was the two of them fighting and me feeling stuck in the middle.
There would be times when I'd be sitting in my room frantically scribbling in a diary about how it's so unfair that I am so close and yet so distant with my parents at the same time. I didn't want to let it bother me that our relationship existed in the way it did, but I felt so close to my parents and cared so much at the same time that it was tearing me apart.
On top of that, I was always jealous of some of my friends who didn't seem to be dealing with these issues at home like I was, but I've come to see over the years that even those who seem like they have ideal family dynamics probably have some underlying stuff going on under the surface, and no one's situation is perfect.
Part of the reason I work all week during break, aside from the money, of course, is to be out of the house. I know if I was home any more than I already am, it would be too easy for my parents and me to go back to the constant fighting. At work, I eat lunch with my friend Krysta every day, but the best days are when our favorite coworker is on her lunch break at the same time as us. Her chisme and hilarious way of storytelling always have us laughing hysterically, and although she is almost old enough to be our mom, she feels more like a best friend.
A few days ago, however, our lunch conversation had a change of pace, and the story she recounted had us shedding actual tears instead of our usual tears of laughter. A more serious topic had come up, and she sat us down to explain the importance of forgiveness, especially with our parents. Telling stories of her resentful relationship with her mother and growing up homeless at times, she changed my whole outlook on life and my feelings towards my parents. She reminded us that no matter how much resentment we're feeling in a moment of anger, we have to be grateful the support they provide and the roof over our head and learn to forgive over everything else.
Being away at college, the distance has definitely improved and restored my close relationship with my parents. Even this month I've spent at home for break still feels like the honeymoon stage, with very little conflict and a lot of spending quality time together. Our family is still very distant with many of our relatives, but if anything came out of my complicated, to say the least, relationship with my extended family, it would be that I've already learned this lesson to some extent from a young age. Seeing my parent's distant relationships with their own parents and siblings has definitely made me aware of how important it is to move past grudges and work to repair broken relationships, but sometimes you need a reminder. My coworker's moving stories not only brought me to tears in the break room at work that day but definitely served as that wake-up call as well.