#6 - I Tried to Escape From My Family's Dysfunction; It Didn't Work

It used to be excruciating for me to spend time with my parents. Any form of communication was painful.

I dreaded and avoided phone calls, messages, family trips, anytime they asked me for help.

I sometimes went three weeks in college without talking to them, despite knowing deep down just how much my parents were thinking, missing, and worrying about me.

Living at home, I spent as much time as possible outside with others and attending events.

I felt so uncomfortable being under the same roof that I biked for 30-minutes each day to work from a coffee shop.

At 23, I came to the stark realization that none of this was going to work.

I'd been trying for years to escape the dysfunction between my parents and me instead of confronting it.

As much as I tried to deny it, I carried the weight of not having a good relationship with my mom and dad everywhere I went.

It was this deep, dark secret I hoped nobody would find out about. I desperately wanted to hide the kind of person I was at home—impatient, selfish, and a stick of dynamite waiting to go off.

I was utterly exhausted, trying to pretend that things were okay when they weren't.

My parents loved and served me with their whole hearts. It was the last thing they deserved. So I started putting my energy into improving our relationship.

I knew that it would be worth it, and it's become the proudest thing I have ever done.

Joseph J. Lam
On a mission to help people connect deeply with their parents. | CEO & Co-founder of Parents Are Human (parentsarehuman.com)