A Temporary Home
Updated: Oct 25, 2019
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Christmas of 1994 - I was only two weeks old. My parents lived in a small apartment attached to my father's grandmother's house. Just .06 miles away lived my grandparents, and now, little two week old Lia did too. Merry Christmas.
At the time, my grandma had recently become unemployed and happily took over the role of being my full-time caretaker. Days turned into nights and those nights turned into a week...weeks...months. Eventually two years came and went until my parents bought a house in a different town - and it was time for me to "move out" of my grandparent's home.
Growing up, the address in which I lived never felt like "home" to me. It never gave me a sense of security, safety, or comfort. It wasn't the place that I looked forward to coming back to every day after school, or after a long period of time away. "There's no place like home" well actually, there were other places - and much better ones too. Anywhere but there.
I never knew what I was going to walk into every day when I came home. Would it be a complete and utter mess? Would my dad be passed out in my bed because he was too high to get upstairs? Would my bedroom door - which was right off of the living room - be ripped off at the hinges yet again by my mother; exposing the smallest amount of privacy I had left to the rest of my household and all else who entered? Life went on like this for quite a while - and to be honest, as much as I hated the place, I couldn't find the courage to leave - regardless of how many times I contemplated it after numerous threats to "get the fuck out". My friends were here, my boyfriend, high school - I couldn't see myself just picking up and relocating to another town right then.
After multiple thundering blow out arguments and threats made by mom, she finally said it to me one last time - "get out of my fucking house". It was February of 2012, I was only 16. I was sick and tired of being threatened and told to leave the only place I knew of as home. In just a day, I packed my entire bedroom up into my little 2001 Ford Focus, leaving nothing but my bed and the frame, drove to my grandparent's house and never went back. I drove without even having my driver's license twenty five minutes away to the new place I would call "home". As I walked into the house and dropped my stuff on the floor, tears flowed from my eyes - the weight lifted off of my shoulders broke me down. I remember feeling so many emotions at once in that moment - relieved, yet panicked. What would life be like now? It was the first time in my life that I went forward with such a big change.
The transition was shaky for me in the beginning. It was weird having someone look after me (my grandma) after years of being so independent, having more responsibility than anyone my age should've. I wasn't used to coming home to my laundry folded on my already made bed, or having my lunch packed for me before school. It was like I went from one extreme to the other. While moving out of my parent's house was the best decision at that particular time of my life, I had no idea the anguish I would soon go through caused by an anxiety not yet recognized. Unknown to me then, I now can understand that so many things led me there.
While I was beginning to adjust to the move, other things changed too. Driving to school every day as a junior in high school was not something I wanted to do, but had to do. There was no way I could tell the school district that I moved to another town - smack dab in the middle of junior year - I refused to even think about relocating to another district in a town where I knew absolutely no one. The thought of another drastic change, especially to that degree, scared the shit out of me. Being able to drive to school and park in the lot was a senior privilege only, so once they found out that me, a junior was parking in their lot - it was over for me. I feared that the school would find out I moved away. A group of senior girls harassed me in the cafeteria for it, one guy tweeted about me. I mean HOLY SHIT. One spot out of the entire senior parking lot - was it really that big of a deal to you? At the time, my pain resorted to anger. And so, I was angry. Angry and hurt. They could have their fucking parking spot - my grandma would drive me up out of her way to school before traveling another 45 minutes in the opposite direction to work. "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about".
At the same exact time, my relationship with my high school boyfriend was deteriorating before my eyes. The move was good for me, but bad for us. It just added pressure to the already failing relationship. He decided to end things with me, and I was devastated. The drama was too much. Just another pile of shit added to my toppling plate of worries. I began to think that maybe moving away wasn't the best decision I could've made right then and there. Maybe it was. Who knew? I didn't.
Before I knew it, more than seven years came and went and I was still living in my temporary home with my grandma. A lot of things changed between then and now; but I've always felt a lot of guilt about residing with her, relying on her to house me - because during that time, I couldn't afford to do it on my own. She already raised her two kids - and it wasn't fair for her to have the responsibility of worrying about me. Sure, did she enjoy having me there for a while? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, I was the one living in her house.. and not for nothing - but let's just say she's a stubborn Italian stuck in her ways. (Love you Grandma!)
As many great memories I had in that house, there were some really dark and terrible ones too. Unfortunately, I tend to think more about those than I did the wonderful ones. A lot of times I had to fight the urge to just pick up and go, even though I knew in that moment it wasn't realistic or practical. At almost twenty five years old, I felt that it was time I needed to plant roots elsewhere - however, my boyfriend and I didn't have the finances for it. We didn't want to just settle somewhere, or pay rent money towards something we really didn't want. Jordan and I aspired to have a place of our own, but it just wasn't feasible right now. Together we made the decision to live together in his parent's basement to save some money in order to begin to create the life we both want and deserve. For now, it works. I am happy, as is he.
Adjusting to another place is taking some time and getting used to, and while residing here I am at peace and a lot less alone,
but for me -
it is still yet another temporary home.
"You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved."