Thursday, May 24, 2012

Separation Anxiety Also Happens On The Elderly

My parents sent me to live with my paternal grandparents to Bandung when I was a toddler, so separation anxiety was probably not a problem for me (D would say that when he left me there, I kinda ignored him because I was already playing with my cousins, hahaha). Fast forward three decades later, it was my parents who have this problem.

They would text me every night with the same questions,"Where are you? What time are you coming home?" despite the fact that I would only answer with,"Still on the road. Soon." They get cranky and panic if I come home approaching midnight. What I didn't know is they also get separation anxiety when the other left for quite a long time. Below are the excerpts of conversations I had with them regarding this issue.

#1.  Ask the other one to cut their trip short
Situation: M departed to Kebumen for five days to visit her mother (my grandma) last March and was scheduled to come back on April 1, when the government planned to raise the fuel prices. Then D texted M...
D : I think it wouldn't be safe for you to come home after the government has raised the fuel prices. You can see for yourself how bad the demonstrations are.
M : So what's your suggestion?
D : You should come home before the fuel price hike, I'd say March 29 is safe enough.
M : Ok, then.
Once M sent that reply, D turned his head to me, grinned mischievously and said,"It's a good thing she'll be home soon. Thank God, she bought the fuel price hike as the reason."
My response: -_-"

#2. Worried when the other left home too long
Situation: D came home when M was praying. Then he left again before M finished praying and without saying anything to me (I was ironing my clothes on the second floor). He left for about one hour. But M was panic.
M : Is he upstairs?
Me: No.
M : Did he say anything before leaving?
Me: No.
M : That's weird. Ok, I'm going to the grocery shop to see if he's around.
Me: Relax M, D can walk home by himself.
M : But he hasn't taken the lunch. What if something happened to him?
Half an hour later, D came home safe and sound. He went to the house of neighborhood unit leader and got engaged in an intense conversation, as usual.

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