Parallel Worlds

Two parallel worlds. Two people connected and disconnected, under the same roof. You cannot be helped if you don’t want it. So simple to judge, though really hard to take the first steps towards change.

It started when she was 12. She was just a child like any other. Playful and full of energy. It doesn’t matter what’s going on outside in the world. She owns her private world in her mind. Ann had her regular routine. Her family was small. The mother played the role of father. The grandmother played the role of mother. That was part of her world.

“How about your dad?” People would often ask. She didn't know. And for some reason, she didn't ask either. Her mom Liza had so little time to spend with her. Why ask such a thing?

Ann was a brave girl. Climbing trees, playing with bugs, exploring new places by bike. But now she was afraid. She felt so distant from her mom, as if they were in two different worlds.

Liza used to work extra hours every day. The provider of the family. Everybody loved her at work and she had amazing friends. The best weekends were when they got together. Who doesn't like to have fun?

These last days have been different, though. The bitter feeling of losing the job. The agony of the unexpected. Which decision should Liza make? She was 100% unsure. Soon enough, her choice would define the family’s fate.

Ann was almost a teenager, she was so busy trying to define her own identity. She didn't care much about Liza’s problems. They were her mother’s only. To her mind, Liza would not be unemployed for too long. Deep in her heart, she knew her mother's courage, and she understood her personality. Liza was not as lazy as she was. Ann could not understand where all that laziness had come from. Why can't life be just all about fun? The difficult things, like math and adult issues, shouldn't be part of her world. But they were.

Life is tough without communication. Her mother would say she was too slow to finish her homework and would ask her many questions she was never able to answer. That was the kind of “productive” conversations they used to have. Why was it so hard to talk? They avoided it as much as they could.

ADHD. Not surprisingly, years later Ann found out the reason for all that “inconvenient behaviour” of hers. Her mother still believed she was as normal as everyone else. Or maybe she was encouraging Ann to believe in herself? Liza and Ann still didn't understand each other very much, but they were supportive and able to follow a similar path even living in their own distinct worlds.