I am claustrophobic. Claustrophobia is the fear of crowd. I am claustrophobic not just to the crowd I find on the public place but to the crowd I find intruding my personal and private space. Some people find themselves lucky that people surround and give them constant attention and keep entering their room and responding to their private work but I don’t.
I don’t like my personal and private space intruded. Though, I have never experienced what they are as yet. My parents don’t understand that I am a 19 year old teenage girl, soon to turn 20—an adult—in a few days, that I need my private and personal space and priorities to be respected.
I don’t like people barging in my room when I am contemplating or carrying out my work. I don’t want their concern. I don’t want to know how much money they have spent on me. I just know that I would not grow up fully until my private space is respected and granted to me. I don’t even have an escape from this intrusion because I live with my family, not in a paying guest (shared or single). Well, on further contemplation, I don’t want that from them either because then they will count it another of the favours they have done to me and would count how much did their expenditure increased because of me. I am a reason of their constant struggle. Had I not been alive, they would not have to bear so much weight of expenditure.
Everything I do is kept a check on— how much do I eat or how many glasses of water do I drink, every time I say something sarcastic for the sheer purpose of humor that doesn’t even hurt anyone at that moment is repeated later to make me feel shameful of my ‘remarks’ by my brother and father equally. So, they keep a check on what, how and when do I say or do something good to give it an ugly turn to irritate and shame me later as a culprit.
I don’t have an escape to my friends because they had to my trouble by not understanding or hearing my problems but adding to them by making me struggle to get a permission from my parents to venture to interesting places with them, which they know is an impossible task. Everyone here is self-centered and if I complain or tell about my sufferings, they are either not heard, if heard, not taken seriously and never taken action against.
Therefore, I believe a permanent escape to this intruding claustrophobia is to earn a job and money and buy a house where my family can never chase me and live there alone, breathing freely. Maybe, I would need to change my name and identity altogether to attain that freedom but at least my family would not be there to claim again that my accomplishments are their gifts and to judge my acquaintances, thoughts, beliefs and actions and to trap me in that claustrophobia, where I could love anyone and don’t have a constant worry of the ‘reputation of my family’—the basis of their life.