Saturday, October 13, 2012

Living a Locked Up Lifestyle

I shouldn't complain but this kind of living just doesn't work for me. I wrote about it in India and now I'm writing about it again here. I'm talking about having to always lock up your belongings to protect them.

My parents have foster kids in the home that cause them to have to keep things locked up. By law they have to keep all medicines locked up and out of reach of the girls. This includes simple medicines like Tylenol (Crocin for those of you in India). Organic or natural medicines must also be locked up.

In addition to that, they have chosen to keep their bedroom locked up because one of the foster kids has a behavioral problem that causes them to need to. Given they take in troubled teenage girls this is a mild problem but that doesn't mean it isn't one that can bother you immensely.

Over the last couple of months I've watched my mom get keys to go into her bedroom during the day and then lock the door on the way out many times. I talked to her about why they did that and she told me that one of the girls would go into their room and ransack it just because she could. I guess it's not a diagnosable disorder but the girl has an aversion to anything being closed.

She can't close doors, drawers, etc. If they are not open and things are not chaotic she starts to freak out. She seems to have a fear of closing doors - even the kitchen cabinet doors. It's quite odd.

This reminds me of how I had to keep things locked up in India. Of course, I didn't have a foster sister there with mental health issues but I did have an overly-involved family. I can't call them nosy because I don't think they always went through my stuff just to see what was in there. I know once MIL searched the room but I have no idea what she was looking for. I truly think this was a learned control behavior and nothing malicious even though it drove me crazy!

I carried the keys around with me for a while then I began hiding them. We rarely locked our room from the outside but we did lock up our cabinets.

While this isn't a huge issue, I have definitely decide that this is not the kind of life I want to live. I'm much more open than that. I've started to think that my open personality just doesn't handle this kind of hiding or secrecy well. I am more comfortable with most things out in the open and readily available and in an environment where people respect each others belongings enough not to bother them.

This whole trip home has been a great learning experience both about myself and my culture. Not just my personal culture but Virginia culture and US culture. It's been good to view my family and my country through fresh eyes. I'm undecided on some of the issues and how I feel about them but I look forward to continuing to rediscover life and know myself more intimately.

What are some things you notice when you come home?
Are they similar but somehow different than your life in India?
How does it make you feel to realize these things?

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