I am an adult child of a workaholic. There was a time when I was ashamed to talk about it because everyone I talked to told me that my parent is just hardworking. That was the better case. After that I hadn’t had the courage to say that my divorced parent was frequently away and my brother and I were left to our own devices except for an occasional dinner at grandparent’s.
The result of this is that I don’t remember. I don’t remember in a sense that I have fog over the memories when I was growing up with tiny holes here and there. There’s one exception where I remember, or I should say I feel the continuity, not just blank space, it is the year when I moved to US to live with the other parent.
The strange about that one year is that I never heard about kids or teens who decided to live with the other parent, not to mention in a different country. All Adult Third Culture Kids that I have talked or listened to so far moved to different countries because their parents got their jobs there. While lurking and sometimes participating at r/raisedbynarcissists I got similar results, I might have missed some posters. Granted I was abused when I couldn’t follow neurotypical standards, I was mostly neglected as a child so it is not surprising that when I saw an opportunity I took it. “My parent is almost always away. Who cares what I am going to do?”
I don’t need more proof that I was neglected, I still have little problems with the word abuse, I would classify what happened as an abuse if my parent wasn’t the one who did it, after analyzing how my learning disabilities were dealt with. My parent brought me to a psychologist because the school requested an evaluation. Then they sent a paper to the school. The almost end. At the same time this parent told me that I have ADD. Fifteen years later when I requested the diagnosis on paper from them they told me that I don’t have it.
I was stunned. This happened after a sabotaged evaluation process for Asperger’s syndrome. It took me three years until this parent was able to talk to me about it without yelling what I want from them. They yelled at me that I am an adult and it’s my problem. The only thing I wanted to know was information, the diagnosis on paper preferably.
Note: There are two places in Prague which do AS diagnosis for adults. Both need parents. The other parent lives currently in Canada so coordinating diagnosis with the other parent is almost impossible. Not to mention that it’s faster to get hormones when you’re a transgender person (3 – 4 months). I know this because I am one of ~75 people who got approved for surgery this year in the Czech republic.
There were countless times when I needed my parent to be there for me but a phone call happened. When one of my parent’s clients called I had to listen to a one half of the conversation about accounting. Unfortunately I had to learn budgeting, basic accounting and bookkeeping and all that stuff on my own later. I don’t want to remember those times. The fact that every May and June my parent was gone all the time and a lot of times throughout the year is awful enough.
Last six years I live in a city 250 km away from them but most of the time it doesn’t feel enough. I don’t know if it is because of badly handled repatriation after they manipulated me to return, two authority figures can manipulate one 14 year old, but every time I hear Czechs abroad I experience an anxiety attack, I don’t feel safe. It’s weird to be around people I am not sure I can trust, not even a bit.
Today I sent my landlady a notice. With my lack of confidence, depression and anxiety it was a big win. In three months I will be on my way home, I have a rough idea which at the moment is enough for me, destroying a curse my parent put on me that without their (financial) help I won’t make it.