Home sickness… this has been a problem for me for as long as I can remember. Specifically if I was separated from my mum; I remember sleeping over at my dad’s house when I was 10 years old because we were going to go to the hospital to meet my new baby half brother together but I was so anxious about being away from my mum that my dad had to take me back to her at midnight.
Actually every holiday I went on with my dad I would have to battle my intense anxiety about being away from home, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I got used to being away from home with my dad but that took years of annual holidays with him to achieve. I remember when I was 16 I went away for this thing called NCS (National Citizen Service) and I had to spend 2 weeks away from home, I didn’t make it through the second week.
A year later I went on a three day summer school experience where I had to spend two nights at a university to get a taste of what uni life was like. I did make it through those two nights but on the first night my anxiety was awful, I was crying and everything, luckily I’d made a friend who let me stay in her room to talk for a while. The second night I was so exhausted (we went clubbing but with adult supervision and no alcohol, I did a lot of dancing though) that I didn’t have the energy to be anxious besides I was going home the next day.
More recently I was in hospital, both times, I’d cried and panicked and practically begged to go home. I did get through both weeks though (probably the medication they gave me to knock me out helped)
Sleepovers with friends were difficult to, I could stay the whole night but I would get very little or even no sleep at all whereas my friends would be able to sleep soundly and I didn’t want to offend them by making them feel like bad hosts or have them think I was a baby for wanting my mum so I would just… wait in the dark silence for the sun to rise and everyone to wake up instead of telling them I wanted to go home.
I would wonder why I am this way, I’m 18 (nearly 19) I should be glad to be away from home but that’s how “normal” people my age function. Not me, I have depression and BPD with anxiety so I can’t be like them. Speaking of my BPD, I have a theory that it is linked to the home sickness I get so badly. You see, BPD occurs when your relationship with your primary attachment is disrupted at an early age (in my case, that would be my dad leaving the family home for his girlfriend when I was 6) but according to psychological studies you develop more than one attachment in case of such disruption; you can have another primary attachment figure (in my case that would be my mum) you can also have secondary attachments (e.g. grandparents, aunts & uncles, guardians/carers)
Since my mum is my other primary attachment figure it makes sense that I would fear losing her (which is the core reasoning of BPD, the fear of losing someone you’re attached to the same way you lost your first primary attachment) when I’m away from my mum I fear that something will befall her or, for whatever reason, I would not be able to return home to her, therefore losing the only other primary attachment figure I have and my dad doesn’t ease that fear because I am not as attached to him as I was before I was 6. He’s been demoted to a secondary attachment figure. So to summarise, My home sickness is my BPD being triggered as a result of being separated from my primary attachment figure.
My dad will be taking me on a weekend away for my 19th birthday soon (we’re going ghost hunting XD ) fingers crossed my separation anxiety doesn’t get the best of me otherwise I’m going to end up like this…