So I’ve been mostly radio silent for the past few days because I flew out to Hawaii. Yes, I’m visiting my mom (whom I haven’t seen since way before the pandemic, and the lockdown exacerbated this) and sort of spending my birthday week in the place of my youth.
It’s funny growing up here vs. being here as a tourist. I feel like I don’t belong in either group. I’m no longer a local (and some places I knew had either closed or moved elsewhere) but I have too much insider knowledge to be a tourist. I’m mostly hitting up old hangout spots (Ala Moana has changed DRASTICALLY since it was my mall as a teen) and also trying to avoid my Mom’s controlling nature, which is what caused me to leave Hawaii completely in the first place.
I don’t know if she is truly a narcissist parent, but she was always in charge of my life, and even when I tried to be more independent, she would always demand that I do whatever she says. Not angry, never angry. She only raised her voice to me a few times while I was growing up, and that was because I was being a rebellious little shit. And the frightening result of me being a rebellious little shit and those consequences made me not want to be a rebellious little shit anymore. It was physical, it was frightening, it was real, and it shook me to my very soul and afterwards, I never really trusted her ever again.
But then the rage I saw during that one single event, I realize I also seem to have sometimes. Gotta love family. It could be why I never had kids myself.
But we’re civil now. I call her weekly (when I remember and when I have time and when I feel I won’t be drained with her constant questioning). I’m here, in Hawaii, now, spending my birthday with her.
Families are complex and imperfect and I have too many emotions tangled up right now. I haven’t been here even a day and she asked me to move back home. I have a life in California. I have a job that I’m kinda proud of and people there who support me and I don’t want to leave that. My life is my own, not an extension of my mom’s, and I wish she’d understand that.