I came back late last night from New York and was groggy this morning when I woke up, thinking about all the events of the last week with work and family and feeling even more irritable. It’s as though every time I come back from San Francisco, I need to go through a few days of decompression to rid myself of all the tension and angst that has built up in me with all my family dysfunction. And with the work dramas of the last several days, that just adds to the overall angst.

Is it really going to be like this every single time I go home? Are my parents always going to be their same miserable selves, constantly complaining about every person, every event, every restaurant they go to? Are they always going to view themselves as victims in every situation where there isn’t a victim? Are they always going to focus on the worst parts of the news, on the worst memories attached to places? When I mentioned I was going to MacLaren Park with my friend, my dad exclaimed, “I know that place! That’s the place where a woman was sun-bathing and then completely got mowed down by a truck who didn’t even see her lying on the grass!” That’s a typical interjection of my dad: something negative, tragic, or just completely awful. With the new Vietnamese restaurant we went to on Saturday, my dad said two days later to my mom, “I don’t think it’s going to last. What a ripoff!” That is yet another favorite outburst of my dad — it certainly does not bring joy into the house when these statements are made.

The house is full of clutter, and as a result of that, filth. It smells like mold downstairs. Even the backseat of his truck is just piles and piles of mess. I asked him when he was planning to clean this up, and he responded he just cleaned it a week before and that there used to be 10 times as much stuff back there. What am I supposed to do with all this?! One day, this is all going to be on me…

And their health is in decent shape, knock on wood. They’re able bodied, able to get around on their own and be self sufficient with each other. It’s terrifying to think what it would be like once they are not mobile and need more help, and what that is going to mean for me.

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