Please help me move on.
posted by cobain_angel to human relations (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not quite sure how to put down my feelings on this, so I apologize ahead of time for the wall of text.
I moved to the US when I was 15, from Mexico. I moved between the end of secondary school (equivalent of junior high) and the beginning of high school here in 2005. When I was in Mexico, I was a bit of a child prodigy and very popular among my classmates. Over there, when you start secondary school, you are sorted into a technical "group", such as electricity, carpentry or industrial drawing, and then you stay with the entire group you are paired with for the entire three years, every class, every day. I grew very attached to my friends there as well as to the rest of the people. I was very happy with my life there. When my parents told us we would be moving I wasn't devastated or anything like that--I was actually kind of happy to start anew somewhere else. Excited, even. I didn't really know any English, but I still thought I'd be ok. And my life since has been pretty much great, with most of the toughness happening near the beginning of the move when I was learning to write and speak English. I made a few friends, dated a little (much less than in Mexico), graduated high school, started college and two years ago I married my husband, whom I love very much. I have an excellent job that pays me more right now than what I would earn out of college with my degree. We have our own little apartment and finances are great. So far so good, right?
But...I can't stop thinking about being in Mexico, specifically those three years in secondary school. It's been almost seven years, and not a day goes by without me thinking fondly about those years. I don't have many friends, and the few friends that I do have, I feel like I'm just a distant friend to them. I have trouble interacting with people socially--I saw a thread in here a few days ago mentioning the feeling of being with people as having one's arm in icy water, and I feel that describes what it's like for me now. I was never like this in Mexico; over there I was in speaking terms with almost everyone in my big school and casual friends with everyone in my grade. At first I thought there might be something wrong with me, but people seem to like me well enough and I've asked both friends and strangers I chitchat with if there's anything that they feel I'm doing "wrong". Nothing. I suppose perhaps friendships aren't the type of almost sibling-like love that people have over there...I don't know, but I miss it.
I've visited home once since I left, this past new year's. I (wisely, in retrospect) decided to go alone, and I found that it's not really the place itself I miss. I got together with some of my old friends, and while we had a good time, it felt off. Like they were interacting with someone they thought of as dead. I felt like they really didn't know how to handle me. I got a lot of "you STILL know me so well!" comments from them, so I'm guessing I still know them well, but they have moved on, and rightly so.
I've tried to talk about this with my husband, but he doesn't really understand. He barely remembers junior high, and it doesn't rank as any important period in his life. People in general don't seem to understand; they tend to suggest that I go home and visit, or that I find ways to contact my friends, or say "well, we all miss our childhood!". I have done those things, and while they do help somewhat (for example, when I visited my old school I realized the place itself didn't make me feel anything, and I've since stopped thinking of it as much as I used to), they don't really help me move on. They actually make me realize just how much I feel I have lost.
I'm realizing more and more that as I get older I'm starting to forget people and things. I've forgotten a few faces, names and voices. I was looking through one of our class shared notebooks and noticed a few memories we had recorded in there and I remember very few or none of them. This terrifies, horrifies me. The thought of it makes me want to cry. Soon, I will have been here longer than I was in Mexico, and this also terrifies me. I'm realizing I think of those three years as the absolute best years of my life, and I'm only 22! Lately I've been having lots of suicidal thoughts where my reasoning is that I've already lived the best years of my life, and what else do I have left? I have so much left to give, I think, but so far seven years have proven me wrong. I've never been at peace with myself as much as I was during that time. I think that's wrong, but I can't help it. How do I even begin to move on from this?