I had a very long chat with my son, who is in Asia. We hadn’t spoken much recently because he took off on a solo 10-day road trip during a break from his teaching job. It was nice to get all caught up with him and hear some of the highlights of his trip. I am so proud of him. He’s now virtually fluent in a difficult Asian language; he planned and completed a road trip that highlighted areas he wanted to see and I can hear his confidence growing.
He was telling me that he is feeling momentum building for his return to the U.S. Our chat started because he wanted me to read an email to his grad school advisor. It’s time for him to set up his school email and select his courses for the Fall. I helped him tweak the email and that lead to the phone call.
When he returns to the U.S., his plan is to visit with family for a week as he packs up and prepares to move up the East Coast. We walked through that timeline so I could put some dates in my calendar.
Then we talked about logistics of where he would be living for grad school. His girlfriend has pushed the housing selection responsibility onto him, the guy who is living literally halfway around the world. That was my opening…
“How are things going with her?” He admitted that they have been bickering more frequently. We then began the discussion of how it would be much harder to break up with her once they have moved so far away and are living together.
We talked about how living with her and her “emotional support” dog (a Pitbull mix) is going to make housing incredibly difficult and probably more expensive. His post-grad school is in an expensive, urban area.
He mentioned that during his orientation for his current overseas position, they specifically said that if you have mental health issues, they do not go away with a change of environment. “If you are depressed in the U.S., you will continue to be depressed in Asia with it possibly worsening due to stress.”
His girlfriend battles anxiety and some other issues. She is in therapy and on medication. She is somewhat estranged from her family. I have seen a tendency of hers to battle with those around her. Her roommates moved out, her apartment complex manager fights with her and other stories give me pause. She’s a smart young woman, but she will hold my son back from his goals.
My son wants to travel the world. He wants to work in areas that require high security clearances. It will be stressful and demanding. Having a stressful, demanding home life isn’t conducive to his career and life goals or his own mental health.
I explained to him that I was going through the situation of planning to break up with the Hunter. I told him that it was going to be really hard since we are living together. I suggested that he NOT follow my example.
It will be interesting to see how he handles the situation. This has been his first serious relationship. Time will tell. I am hoping that sharing my experiences will help him make his own decisions, but at the end of the day, he has to decide how and when to act. Good luck, dear son! I’m on your side.
Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash