Around the time I entered middle school, I began to resent my family and the town where I lived.
Naturally, a lot of this frustration came from the usual teen angst that most adolescents experience at some point. I knew there was something about my hometown Peachtree City that irked me. It was probably the closed-mindedness of this seemingly homogenous and wealthy town, which coincidentally seems to be the consensus of most people who grow up in Peachtree City. I also began to think that I had matured to a point that I didn’t need my parent’s emotional support in life anymore.
In my mind, I had gotten through enough challenges in life that if something happened to me, then I would be able to handle it myself. Also, my parents and I started to get tired of each other’s company; eighteen years seemed like enough time to spend with each other. I even decided to got to the Freshmen College Summer Experience, so I could get away from my family sooner.
My life seemed like it was under my control. No longer did I have to ask permission to go anywhere or could I be told to do chores. I was seemingly free and mature enough not to need my parents’ solace for my problems.
This mentality changed one day in November. One Friday night, I received a call from my mom telling me that a close, life-long friend of mine had committed suicide. I was shocked – I had never before dealt with something like that in my life. My mind felt like it was going to collapse. Up until that moment, I felt like I didn’t need any sort of emotional support from anyone, especially from my parents.
I even called my parents telling them I wanted to come home, but they seemed confused about why I would need to come home. I couldn’t even find the strength to tell my parents how I truly felt. A person who was my friend my whole life had taken his life, and I was in college by myself with no one else who knew him and couldn’t identify with my pain and grief.
The only thing I wanted was to hug my mom.
Although I wanted to go home, it was the week before Thanksgiving break and there were a lot of assignments due, and there was no way I could go home. I tried to bury my emotions because I felt insecure expressing them to other people, but that did not work. Instead, I had multiple mental breakdowns throughout the week because I could not handle the stress of dealing with both mourning his loss and completing my schoolwork.
I kept asking myself ‘how could my friend do such a horrible thing?’ but of course, there are some things we will never know. No one at the University of Georgia could really help me with grieving for my friend because no one here knew him very well. For the first time in a while, I really just needed my parents.