What's it like to be separated from your family?

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

I am such a family person - I completely love spending time with them, whether this is my own family or my boyfriend's. When you're placed in a situation where you are forced to be apart from your family, it makes life even harder. I'm sure I'm not the only one either feeling like this or in this situation, but like I always do with my blog posts, I write my feelings down for others to read and reflect upon.

It's been a bit of a tricky one, especially with the effects of the Coronavirus lockdown. There was a lot of speculation in my case as to why I did not come home from people who know me, but all I can say in this situation is that you should not judge our choices as one, they don't effect you and two, you never know the situation behind closed doors. On Monday 23rd March 2020, I genuinely got stuck down in Devon with my Grandparents. The build up to this was on Tuesday 17th March, I made the decision to leave university halls with half of my stuff and temporarily live with my Grandparents who live half an hour away from my university. This was meant to be a temporary move, as how can anyone predict what's going to happen in the future? By Saturday 21st March, my boyfriend and I took on the challenge (and yes it was a challenge!) to clear out my entire room at my university halls, which was a whole task in itself. So fast forward two more days and we're placed in lockdown. The announcement was made at 8pm of the evening of the 23rd March. Baring in mind my parents live five hours away, there was no chance of going home! Once the announcement was made, a journey home would have been five hours to come get me and five hours back to our home; it would have taken my Dad ten hours of driving to return to Sussex with us returning at 6am in the morning. It would have been a crazy idea. But nevertheless, I've had to accept it. People never understand your own problems and I feel too many people are too quick to go into judgement. From my perspective, no one ever realised or understood my situation - a lot went into assumption. The common thought was I chose my boyfriend over my family which isn't the case. I got stuck here! The comments over this did become annoying, because although it's so great being near him, from the outside in, I would have never made the assumption that I would choose to be apart from my family to be with someone else. That in itself is a pretty challenging choice.

Leaving the family behind for months has not exactly been easy. I miss them every single day. I've missed Mother's Day, my Mum's birthday, my Dad's birthday, my youngest brother's birthday, and I'm sure to miss Father's day. Missing all these important family celebrations is hard. I feel somewhat guilty because there hasn't been a day where I haven't missed them. It's something that I've been forced to accept. Even though they have announced students can go home to a permanent home, that would still mean ten hours to come and get me, which I don't think is fair to do. I'm not in any danger or trouble and my Grandparents have done a great job of putting me up. I keep in contact regularly on Facetime - it's crazy to see how my youngest brother is growing up. He looks so tall now! He turned seven last month. Obviously I knew that when I went to university, I would miss part of him growing up, but spending this much time I feel as if I'm missing out on a lot of his childhood. Every time I see him on a video call he is just growing and growing. He is such a chatterbox too now. I mean he spoke a fair bit when I left home for university but now, it almost seems like he doesn't shut up! I guess he takes after his sister on that part!

Being separated from my family for this long is something I never even thought would happen. Of course you are separated whilst being away at university but during that time you are able to go back and forth to visit and Facetime calls don't seem as precious. Right now, they are all I have in order to see them. With Boris Johnson announcing the other day that those living on their own and single parent families could stay overnight at another residence, I'm hoping that it won't be that long before they announce that I am able to go home. The catch I find myself with is my boyfriend is in Cornwall and my parents live in Sussex. I don't want to be months apart from him, despite being months apart from my parents. The difference is I've done the months apart from my parents so I'm used to it. I'm just having to ride it out like I'm sure most people are having to do with their own families. But again, I am hoping it won't be that long before I can return home for a bit then obviously come back to Devon! There are exciting times ahead!

Stay safe and keep well,

EJ x

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