Thursday, December 22, 2011

At my mother's house

[General TW for talk of uncomfortable family stuff, violation of personal space, and some discussion of medical symptoms]

Hello all! It's been a while, hasn't it? I've been busy, for a while. I had finals last week into Monday, because of an extension. I don't have grades yet, but the semester is done, at least. I drove home on Sunday after successfully closing my building.

It's an even bigger adjustment coming home this winter than usual. My alcoholic/abusive step-father finally left, after my mom kicked him out. That, of course, messed up family finances, and the end result is that my uncle is now my mother's roommate, which means I don't have a room anymore. My mother offered her bed, and I'm leaving most of my belongings in her room, but I'm sleeping on the couch because I am not comfortable sharing a bed, particularly with my mother, and to top it off she snores. The first night I tried sleeping in her room, I woke up at 4am to snoring and couldn't fall back to sleep until I moved to the couch.

Since I'm sleeping on the couch, and the couch is in the living room where everyone hangs out, I have to wait for my mom and uncle to go to bed, and then kick my brother out of the living room. I have no idea why he's been here every night until after everyone goes to bed. He just stays and uses his phone and iPod. It's weird to me that people spend as much time playing games and chatting on their phones as I do on my computer, which I *think* has more functions on it? But a side-effect of all this is that I don't feel ... secure... in the house. The outside door isn't locked until my brother leaves for his apartment, which is usually after I fall asleep (usually after midnight, which I'm not terribly happy about). I'm also used to two locked doors between me and my electronics and the outside world.

I probably won't be staying here past next Tuesday, when I have an appointment in my hometown.

And then there's the fact that I'm spending a lot more time sitting on the couch, instead of my bed, like I do at school. Apparently sitting with my legs bent for too long results in pain. Last night I tried to alleviate this by putting my legs up on the couch between me and my mother, who was on the other end of the long couch. Well, ten minutes later is when my brother finally decided to join us on the couch for the first time that evening.  I decided I didn't want to fight about why I needed 2/3 of the couch when I'm tiny, and just went into my mom's room and sat on the bed with my legs extended the way I needed them. But it bothered me that I needed to explain that at all. Did no one else notice that there was also space for one more person on the smaller couch that my uncle claimed?

It also bothers me that when I'm sitting on the couch, and my mother assumes my brother is going to sit down or he is already sitting down, she sits in between us and practically on top of me. Like, her arm and leg are right against mine, and I have to ask her to move over and give me space. Like, why does she have to sit closer to me than my brother? Is it that he's bigger and gets more space? Something else? It gets right into my personal space, and the only time I'm comfortable with people that close to me is if I've instigated it, or the other person(s) is (are) close friends who let me set my own boundaries, and whom I am already very comfortable curling up with. All she has to do to prevent this is to ask me to move over prior to sitting down instead of squishing me.

One other adjustment I'm having a hard time with is once again my diet. At school I get two full meals a day plus whatever I feel like eating for breakfast. I keep buying lunches here, due to not really having lunch food available, and dinners have all included meat or fish, which is something I'm also not used to having every day. One month, and I'll be able to get back to university meal plans, thankfully. Much more doable than the three-month summer break.


Medically: My legs and lower back have given me some trouble with sitting for extended periods (for example reading) on the couch. This reminds me why I've taken to doing homework on my bed this semester, when I used to prefer my desk.

Otherwise, my right index finger has been bothering me since yesterday. Today, looking at it, I think the middle knuckle may be swollen. It's hard to tell, but it looks weird and doesn't hurt the way my fingers normally do. If it is swollen, then it's the first time my fingers have ever done that, which doesn't exactly have me jumping for joy. I don't like new unexpected symptoms.


On the happier side, I did an early gift exchange with a dear friend of mine three days ago, just after I finished my last paper. He's on the other side of the country from me, but we opened presents while video-chatting via Skype, so we got to see and hear each other's reactions. We independently decided to send each other personal gifts of items from our past. I think it's safe to say we're both pleased with how well received the gifts were, and I for one might spend most of Christmas day using mine instead of having those required social interactions that I start hating about an hour into celebrations.

On a related note, I have a few ideas for photography projects I might end up doing while I have some free time in the next month. I might put some of the results up on here for everyone's enjoyment, provided there's interest. :)

Happy holidays everyone! And if you don't celebrate anything, I wish you a happy or low-stress week!

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