Coronavirus Diaries: Sam Brunner


Senior Sam Brunner writes in his home during quarantine.

Sam Brunner, Copy Editor

**warning/disclaimer: this article deals with some sensitive material and may be triggering to some readers**

Isolation is not in our nature. Over this break, I wrote a research paper on loneliness. Loneliness does not discriminate. Oftentimes I find myself in the center of the room, all eyes on me, and never do I feel more alone. It is a physical longing, not to be around people, but for a connection, and being isolated from the rest of the world makes connection a rare commodity. 

I feel the least amount of comfort in my own home. My dad likes to drink. He likes to drink a lot. That’s not exactly the real issue, the issue is the lack of understanding between him and I. I remember one day, I skipped my last two classes and when I got home and was questioned about it, I began to break down and cry and I told him that that morning when he spoke harshly to me it made me feel so stupid and small. The constant thoughts I have making a white noise in the back of my head grew louder and louder. They weren’t speaking to me, they were screaming. It made me feel like I was across the street again while he chucked baseballs at me because I didn’t play well at third base when I was seven or eight. He threw them harder and harder and harder and told me to move faster and catch them. I kept missing them, and I cried. After explaining to him what I was feeling, and how I wrote on my first semester reflection in English class that day, “I have done nothing right, I am stupid and lazy and let all of my teachers and my mother down,” he told me I was trying to manipulate his emotions. Mom wasn’t much help then either.

I feel trapped in my house. I try to go outside, but lately I haven’t felt much like being outside. I take shelter in the basement, and every creak I hear above sends a wave of anxiety over me, because maybe they are coming downstairs.

I love my parents, really, I love my dad more than anyone else in the house does, and I hate myself for it. I talk a lot about it in therapy. Last time I went extensively into it, my psychologist looked at me and told me the solution, though he knew I was not going to like it: “You have to forgive him.” I sat, struggling not to cry, clenching my fists with anxiety and fear, telling him, “I don’t think I can.” 

Some days are better than others in quarantine, stuck where I feel I can’t speak freely. Being around my sister has helped a lot. My mom always said, “You have to be good to one another, because no one will know just how screwed up your parents are quite like your sibling.” She reminds me how petty Dad can be. “Laugh it off” is our family motto, along with “walking on eggshells.” 

Honestly, school was my escape from all of this, but I have had a lot of time to reflect on myself and my situation. Though I do feel trapped at times, I’m learning how to make the most out of everything. My sister and I laugh and work out together, my mom is always there to show me love, and sometimes, when we’re all together at the dinner table with my dad, it feels okay to be myself and to love him. I don’t think he will ever understand my mental health, or my sexuality, and I think when I start to wear skirts next year he won’t understand that either, but I love him and no matter what I know he loves me more than anything in the world, even if he can’t find the words to say it sometimes.