By Jessica Grose, The New York Times
I have a 48-hour serenity limit when I’m with my parents. After two days, it’s like an alarm sounds inside me and sends me right back to 1999. I’m a petulant teenager again with a bad attitude, and everything my mother says, no matter how innocuous, inspires the response, “Ugh, Mom, stop nagging me!”
This unstoppable regression, which has been going on since I left for college, felt worse once I became a parent myself. I am an extremely grown woman now, I thought. I am beyond this. But, like clockwork, by the third day of exposure to my mom and dad, I’d be back in the ’90s, scowling and blasting the Breeders in a borrowed Honda.
I am far from alone in this. Psychologists even have a term to describe the way we fall back into predictable, maddening behavior patterns when we’re with our family of origin… MORE
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