My friend from Finland hates my parents. Last Christmas when I went home for the holiday, I was miserable- I'd just been sick and missed so many classes that I wound up failing one classes and nearly failing all the other ones (the only reason I didn't was because the teachers were so lenient, and because apparently you can pass a class and get credit with a D+.) I'd been sick, and I hadn't told my parents. They were furious... They were on my back the entire time I was there. My only internet access was at my mom's store, but when I was there, mom and dad were always trying to make me work around the shop, and then mom was always finding excuses to leave early- then again, it was the holidays. I don't know. It just... it frustrated me. Especially when I tried to tell mom I just wanted to relax, to just surf the web and not think about anything or do any work for a while. I'd been let go from my job at the library, because I'd been having trouble getting to my shifts on time- again, because I was sick for the most part- my boss suggested I get a job at a place where the shifts were more regular, like at the cafe or the cafeteria, where the shifts are always at the same. So I just... I didn't want to work. I wanted to just... pretend I was a kid again, waking up in the mornings just to watch the cartoons. Not having to worry about anything. It was Christmas break- surely I could have that for just one month. I tried to explain that to mom, but she got so pissed off. She was mad at me for getting sick, because she just knew it was because I wasn't taking my pills- did you know I take twelve pills a day? Not drug pills, vitamin pills. Various other stuff. Holistic stuff. But twelve of them. All at the same time- every morning after breakfast. She accused me of not taking them. Then accused me of having spent all my time surfing the internet, not doing my work. Funny thing is, every time she shouts at me for those kinds of things, it makes me wish I could do that even more. Because of that, she didn't want me on the computer. I already spent enough time on it. And she'd drag me home again, with nothing to do except watch TV- but frankly, I don't even care about that anymore. All the good shows I loved I can't seem to find any more, and I just want to be able to talk to my friends. I still get scared when mom and dad get mad at me. I have a very strict way of dealing with my parents. When they're mad, always stay out of reach- their hands hurt worse than anything they might throw. Try to get into the biggest room possible, and put something between me and them. Outside is even better- they can't catch me outside, I'm too fast. If they're still mad when we get in the car to leave, always take the backseat right behind the driver seat. They can't reach me back there, like they can when I'm on the other side. And always lie. Never tell them anything that might piss them off. No, it's not worse later on when they find out I've lied- whether I tell them or they find out, they're still going to shout, and the chance of getting hit with something is still the same. And funnily enough, I learned all of that over school stuff. Because my grades were crap and because I was always getting notes from the teachers on how I could never pay attention in class. They haven't hit me since I got diagnosed with ADHD, but I still flinch any time they raise their voices. I don't want to think of what they'd do if they ever found out about my thoughts on religion. It's not that I hate theirs- despite what people think of Mormons, they're not half bad. In fact, they do a lot of good. But to be honest- I don't care if there's a god. If I want to do something, and it's legal for me to do it, and it's not going to hurt me or anyone else, I want to be able to do it. But god... Religion is the one thing my parents hold above all else. It is THE center of their lives. If they got so mad at me over grades... I don't want to think about what would happen if they ever found out about what I do that goes against their beliefs. That's why my friend from Finland hates them. Because I've told her all this, I've ranted and raged to her, expressed my frustrations, even a desire to run away to another country, like to go see her in Finland, and just cut off all ties. But it's funny, how I can say that, yet I still want to go home for the summer. We're going to a new SOHO show this summer. It's a health food convention, we used to go every winter in December- we've been going since I was six or seven. I'm practically the mascot of that show; the regular convention goers know me on sight, by name, and I bring home more free samples and goodies than both my parents combined. I loved that show- god, I loved it more than anything. But this past year, I couldn't go- I had classes. I didn't even remember that it was time for the show, until one day I called my dad. "Oh hey honey! Guess where we are? We're at SOHO!" My mom thinks that might've been what set off the depression that set off my sickness. It seems stupid, yet... for some reason, I'm not inclined to dismiss that theory. So mom found a new show. One in the summer, in July. And it's a big one- even bigger than the one we attended in December. I was... so excited about it. I couldn't help myself. I was finally going to go to my show. It wouldn't be my show- I doubted anyone would recognize me here, or give me free stuff just for old times' sake- but still. I'd be going to a show. And god help me if I can't work the crowd there just as easy as I worked the new people just showing up at our old SOHO. My friend thinks I'm a fucking idiot. She pointed out just how miserable I was last time. How little time I had to see her online, how all the time I was on was spent ranting about all the things I hated... I want to say that summer will be different. That I'll have more time to do the things I want to do, that I won't be dragged around by my parents like, as she put it, property. I want to say that my parents won't be pissed off at me. That mom won't be looking for every opportunity to tell me off for the same little offense over and over again. But the fact is, I don't know. I want to go home. I miss the good things. I miss mom's broiled chicken and dad's fish stew. I miss listening to Echoes on National Public Radio on weekend nights, lying down in the back seat of the car as we drive home from whatever place we decided to visit. I miss... humidity. Lizards. Freaking out because I saw a gator in the canal behind the store, then dragging the store employees back there just to see them freak out and laugh. I miss home. I miss it. But... it's like my friend said, I guess. "It is a natural goddamn instinct to like your 'family'. However, when they treat you like shit they own, you gotta start realizing that IT IS NOT WORTH IT." "It is fucking frightening how easily you let people order you around." I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say to her. I want to say she's wrong, but in the end, I just don't know how right she is. I just wish... That things would be okay. I want things to be okay. Why can't things ever be okay?