Moving back home where my heart is: My gratefulness project day 5
My move is done and I am surrounded by boxes again. My third move in six months after living in the same place for over seventeen years.
When I first set out it was to live with a man and his kids.
When I set out the second time it was to live alone because I couldn’t live with the man.
This time I’m back where I began, but it feels very different.
As the movers put all my furniture back where it had been six months ago, the house started coming together again with slight differences. A new carpet here, a new piece of furniture there. But it’s my mindset that’s completely different.
When I left here I’d been feeling trapped for many years. As if I wasn’t going anywhere in my life and I needed to break free of something. I thought it was living with my dad, but it wasn’t.
Then I thought it was that I wanted to be in a relationship, and maybe I did.
But as my life took things away from me it also gave me back many, many things too.
Not physical things, not really. But emotional, mental things that I needed to feel at peace.
It brought back my priorities. My wants and needs. My connection to my own inner being.
And it also taught me that I can leave a situation to find my way and come back to it a very different person.
These moves were my version of backpacking around Europe to find myself.
When I first moved I thought my limitations were outside of myself, and it’s possible some of them were, but really my perceived limitations were coming from within me.
I was using other people or situations as an excuse to not do what I wanted and needed to do.
But once my relationship fell apart I realized I’d made a big breakthrough. I’d finally said No! to being abused and acted on it immediately by walking away quite literally.
It was very frightening. I didn’t feel I could move back in with my father at that time. I felt that would be a defeat. So I lived two months on my own realizing that what I really wanted was easy to do no matter where I lived, and that I was missing my son something awful.
That was the real breakthrough. And when all the pieces just fell into place for my son and me to live together again I realized this is where I really wanted to be all along.
I am sorry my relationship didn’t work. There were many things about the man I really loved, but I cannot be on the receiving end of abuse any more. I spent too many years of my young life being blamed for my mother’s mental illness, I couldn’t stay in a relationship where it happened again.
Similar to my mother, I doubt he’ll get the psychological help he needs and will likely go on blaming other people for his own life. As so many people do. As I was doing when I thought my father was my problem when I was actually my problem.
It’s true that living with my father isn’t always easy. But living with anyone isn’t always easy. But he is not abusive with me and never has been. And for the seventeen plus years we’ve all lived together–my son, my father and me–they’ve gone very well on the whole.
So today I am thankful that I have a family to come home to. That I am back living with my son. And that I can wake up every morning knowing that my being here makes a big difference to them, and to me.
From the series, Because I’m a woman and because I can! by Jacqueline Snider, writer and editor
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