I woke up from a nightmare this morning. I had a dream I was still living at home (that in itself is nightmare enough, and I could end the story there, but that’s not all there is), and I was frantically cleaning the house in anticipation of my mother coming home from work. I had this feeling in my stomach that she was going to be really angry and take all of her work-related stress out on us. I guess that stems from what used to happen when we were young, and she’d be upset from whatever dramas were occurring at her office. Ed used to always say that she would take all her work aggression out on us. Ed was sitting on the couch, pretending to dust some side tables, and I asked him why he wasn’t helping me clean. “What’s the point? She’s going to come home and turn the house upside down anyway because nothing is ever clean or tidy enough for her,” he retorted. Great. Now that meant I had to clean that much faster. The tornado was about to come.
I was sweeping up some dirt on the kitchen floor when she came through the door. My dad oddly was creating even more work for me, as he used his hand to sweep off some dust from the counter onto the floor I was sweeping. I was not happy. I heard my mother’s voice bellowing from the front of the house, asking why there is all this junk on the coffee table.
Family anxiety is never too far away, even when that family is thousands of miles away.