Posted by: Judy | September 8, 2015

I need this out of my head…

I’m not seeking sympathy or fixes.

This is something that’s rattled around in the back of mind… pretty much all my life. I  joked about it and berated myself for being melodramatic.

Last Saturday, my sister and I enjoyed the yumminess at P.croissant and talked, like we do every Saturday. She’s been learning a lot of new things. We talk through what’s going on in our lives, helping each other make sense of so much that’s happened and things we missed learning growing up.

I’m not sure what brought it up, but my sister mentioned that she’d been learning about homelessness. She looked at me and told me that I fit the profile. I brilliantly deflected it by replying, “We both pretty much grew up that way.” We were shuffled from one room to another. Our things could disappear at any time. We were not allowed to lock doors. We were expected to allow others to walk in on us at any time, in any situation. Yes, even in the bathroom. And we were not allowed to complain. If we did, we were belittled and punished.

I want to change the subject. A distraction. Thank you, Legolas, for stating the obvious. ~ (my snark symbol)

Yes, I have a room of my own, though my parents repeatedly attempt to convince me to move to a different room, exactly like when I was a child. They endeavor to convince me the other room will be better. I know this game. I will move, and they won’t be happy. It’s true that my current room is the hottest in the house. The location is the southeast corner. I also have a television, stereo, and computer, not to mention me, toasting up the room. A screen or cover over the window is not an option. I need to be able to see clearly outside. However, any room with all the electronics and me is going to be warm. No matter how often I point this out, I’m told that maybe another room would be cooler. My room is often at least five degrees warmer than the rest of the house. I’m pretty sure changing locations in the house won’t change that. It isn’t about location; it’s about content. What do I know.

Okay, not to mention all the OCD, PTSD, and other quirks. I painted this room. I did the work. I did a good job. There are paintings, photos, calendars, sketches, etc, on the walls, where I hung them. I’ve added stickers, like ivy and butterflies. I bought pretty matching covers for the light switch and electrical outlets.

My cable for my computer is set up for this room.

I have a storage room, where I keep a hefty supply of food, compliments of my food insecurities, all of which were earned. I really need to clean it up. I need more shelf space. It isn’t quite hoarders. I actually do use what’s there. I simply need to organize it better. I’m overwhelmed by the thought of tackling it, so I haven’t yet.

Though I was allowed to create a little sitting area in the basement, I never use it now. I finished pulling it together, and NM decided she needed to spend more time in the basement. I had friends over, but it wasn’t long before NM simply had to be down there, at the other end of the room, doing her own thing. I surrendered the territorial fight. I keep my extra books, CDs, and clothes there. Clothes I can’t wear because I’m too fat. Whole other kettle of fish.

Notice how I cleverly diverted from the homeless thing?

All the things, pillows, blankets, books, etc, are ways of establishing this is my space, even as I know it could be taken away at any time. Yes, even now. I lost count of the number of times I was shuffled from room to room.

It’s one thing to mull, in the back of my head, being homeless. I’m able to berate myself for being melodramatic, a drama queen, Gloomy Gus, Eeyore. I have food to eat, clothes to wear.

It’s like having a light turned on in a dark room when someone else says it.

We talked about how we weren’t allowed to take jobs while we were in school. I didn’t want to work at a fast food restaurant; first because I couldn’t bear the thought of working around food and not being able to have it. I would have had access to food. I didn’t know this. I was also taught that only stupid people work at “menial” jobs. Yes, I have learned better. One of the many lies I had to rip away.

Trusting God in all this mess is tough. I’m not giving up.

Side note: I transplanted 4 of the seedlings into little pots. Two are outside, and two are inside. Inside, one is in the living room with the other plants and one is in my room. We’ll see how they do.

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Responses

  1. Wow, another similarity. My parents wouldn’t let me have a job in high school, yet my mother would barely give me enough money to drive to school (she probably wouldn’t have given me any at all if I didn’t have to also drive my sister, relieving her of that duty) and school lunches. I actually applied for and got a job at McDonalds that my mother made me call up the boss and tell him I couldn’t take. Finally at the end of my senior high school year, my dad decided it would be a good idea for me to work at the hardware store he and my mom went to for garden supplies. I got a 20% discount for them. :-/

    Anyway, from that point on I had jobs and finally a degree of autonomy. I was able to move into an apartment my senior year of college, and that was an even bigger relief.

    I think your sister has a pretty good observation.

    • Sporadic allowance, lunch, games, dances, clothes all came out of it. I was expected to take lunch from home, except there wasn’t much I could eat. NM offered to pay me for working for her, doing extra chores, but then wouldn’t pay me. I didn’t learn a healthy work ethic until I worked for the airlines, in my late 20s. Even then, they were always asking me, “When are you going to get a real job?” My health deteriorated, and I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue by the time I was in my 30s. Body has never really recovered.

  2. Hugs.

    • ((Ruth))


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