my home is an emotionally shitty environment

By Laura Gao • 3 min read
April 2023

the yellow glow from my ring light at the corner of my right eye. it casts a bright radiance on my notebook as my pencil scratches against it. I'm thinking about whether to introduce the essay with "i can do wtv i want and owe you an explanation" and then transitioning to "but i care about you so i will try to show you why these deiciosns = my flourishing anyways," or open with empathy and show that i understand they care about me.

And then noises outside my room jolt my mind away.

"Bianca. Daniel's left hand has skin issues. Wiping his ass uses his right hand. Why can't he do it? Why does he have to ask me to help him? He is this old and he still cannot take care of his own bathroom needs himself?"

My dad's voice is loud. Harsh. It's the sound of a teacher screaming at a grade 1 student to STOP TALKING IN CLASS GODDAMIT THIS IS 100TH TIME IM TELLING YOU!

My dad's voice is piercing. Sharp. The needle in a haystack when you comb your hands through and scoop up a fistful of hay, as your fingers clench in suddenly sth unzips your skin open. It's the iron blanket of words that wraps around your body in a dome, and you want to just cut it open and poke your head out for some fresh air but YOU CAN'T.

Mom: "You can say that nicely. You can tell daniel."

He continues. "Do you know how much time I spent in the past week wiping his ass for him? How did you raise him, why did you let him be like this. How come all of these things you need me to scold him for? I don't understand. You guys are bothering me to death.

Daniel. Things you can do on your own, do them on your own."

"Can you talk nicely???" mom yells up the stairs. voice stern. rising in pitch at the end.

"uHHHH UGHHHHH. DAD'S NOT COMING." my brothers voice.


brother: "WAIIIIIIIT. can't you see i'm in the BATHROOM?"

Anyways, at like 8:30 to 9:30pm, the daily bedroom routine, the hallway outside my bedroom is riddled with screams. All four fucking voices of them. (ok actually it's like, my dad talking loudly. he thinks this is justified and this is what parenting should be - scolding your kids until they learn to do the right thing. mom is usually chill. siblings' normal voice is just 20db higher than a normal person, and are also always beefing with each other. like. every day. if there is a day where they do not fight, it's a miracle.)

I wonder when I go to sollo, if living in an enviornment where there's not constant yelling will have a noticeable impact on my hedonic setpoint.

leave a msg for laura

i respect your emotional rawness. keep introspecting, maybe a little less inspirational quote posting...

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