When I moved back home in 2010, the original plan was to stay for no more than a year or two while I got on my feet. Seven years later, I’m still here.
It’s not that I don’t want to live on my own. My mom doesn’t interfere with my life and all she asks for in return is help around the house and for me to pay half the bills, which is more than fair. I cringe whenever I have to tell people I live with her. Not many people understand that living with her is a conscious choice I’ve made, not so I can avoid adulthood, but so I can be here for her when she needs help.
In July 2014, my mom was rushed to the hospital from work. I rushed over there as soon as I got the call, terrified and suddenly feeling very alone. When the doctor said she needed a pacemaker, you could hear a pin drop. Still, she made it through.
Over the last couple of years, our roles have slowly been changing. My mom is fiercely independent but as she’s gotten older, she has started asking for more help. At first, I was scared and, as terrible as it sounds, a little resentful because a heavy responsibility was suddenly pushed on me. The last few months have been absolutely draining for her and she’s cried so much. It’s difficult for me to see her like that, because I have always thought of my mom as a super woman, a single mom who raised me on her own, got me through a rough bout of depression, and continues to work. I’m not used to someone depending on me.
I am afraid that I’m not strong enough mentally to support her, but I know I need to be, for myself, but especially for my mom.