It’s a funny thing how your perception changes so drastically when you visit your parent’s home. I quickly transition from an adult to an angst-ridden teenager the moment I step foot inside my mom’s house. One moment I’m totally responsible and high functioning, and the next I’m crying hysterically on the bathroom floor. It really doesn’t help that she hasn’t stopped treating me like a dumb teenager. I also don’t think I benefit from the uncomfortable environment she creates, with her heating, ventilation and a/c system. My mom has a weird obsession with the thermostat. She prefers to keep it turned as low as possible, so that she uses a minimal amount of energy each month. The thing is, she’s willing to sacrifice every bit of personal comfort in order to save a few bucks each month by keeping the heating and cooling system powered off. When I go to visit her in the winter, the house is completely miserable. She hates to run the heating system, so she sets the temperature control settings down to 60 degrees, but from the moment I walk into her home, I am cold and shivering. I layer up with heavy sweaters, socks, and sweatpants, but nothing cuts that northern chill during the long winter. I’ve tried to adjust the thermostat, without her permission, but my efforts are always undone within a few moments when my mom gets her fingers on the controls. I know that being cold isn’t a great excuse for my exhausting behavior at home, but I don’t think that it helps to maintain the highest standards of mental health, either.