At the beginning of quarantine, I was “blessed” with the company of my two older sisters who were sent home from college. In their minds, coming home was a curse, and I think this made me feel rejected in a way.
Eventually, being in the same home every day was affecting me more than I believed. My family was eating dinner together, and my sister simply asked me how my day was. The desire to scream was overwhelming. I was unable to engage in simple conversation without the need to yell. Was this a result of months cooped up inside? Later that night I attempted to befriend my sisters to prove to myself that I could spend time with these people that I love dearly. This was a failed attempt. I succumbed to anger, running to my room ashamed of the painful words that came out of my mouth, and am unable to write them now. As I stepped downstairs a bit later, I overheard my sister on a Zoom with two friends. I heard her say, “I think Sasha is struggling more than she thinks. She says she loves quarantine, but she is mad all the time and probably needs to see her friends.” Hearing these words led me to face a reality that I was avoiding immensely. I was not being my best self, although I had convinced myself that I was.
I ran back to my room, determined to work through my anger. I pulled out my journal from an unorganized pile of papers, notebooks, and folders, and wrote descriptions of all my angry outbursts as well as possible reasons for each. I was stressed about my parents’ health, I was tired of Zoom, I was scared of the possibility of my sisters leaving. I asked myself, “why didn’t they want to be with me as much as I wanted to be with them?” I knew these factors were affecting me, but I also knew that it would take more than identifying them to stop these mean words from bubbling over.
The next night, my mother and I each pulled out a guitar to practice. Unexpectedly, we ended up playing together, and the three other members of my family joined in to sing. It felt like a cry of pain that turned into an appreciation for being together. After we finished, my parents headed to their bedroom and I was left alone with my sister. It was my time to apologize: “Guys, this is really hard for me, but I am so sorry for being so rude. You don’t deserve it. I just want to spend time with you.” Both of my sisters responded with a hug. I finally understood that they too wanted to be with me.
These months were difficult, but learning to appreciate my family allowed me to grow. May we all cope with difficult times through the company of our loved ones.