More about my long lost home

It is almost official now that I will be moving out by the end of next month. I won´t be moving far away, just somewhere in the same area in a place we own, so I won´t have to worry about the rent while I finish my studies. I was feeling almost fine with it today, a bit giddy and excited, and now that I´m sitting at our kitchen table I´m hit by some terrible sadness.

I feel that sadness towards my old home, which is now definitely doomed. I could have put up a big fight and cried and shouted, like I did dozens of times when I was younger and my mother wanted us to leave. But I didn´t because ultimately it is so futile. The only way I could cling on to this place forever is if the rest of my family died now. I´m not even sure if I´d want to stay here forever, just maybe keep this place forever, right in the shape it´s in. This is oddly in line with how I feel like my development suddenly just stopped somewhere on the brink between childhood and teens, and how I was starting to yearn for something which felt very old and very familiar. For the place and time to which I sometimes return in the dreams I mentioned.

I´ve always tried to both develop and keep everything the way it is. There was always a yearning for developing, going somewhere, moving into some direction or arriving somewhere else. Maybe just the desire to build a permanent home somewhere else – and always knowing I wasn´t going to live in this home as a child. Whatever it is that I´m really holding on to is long gone and dead, as far away as my childhood friends and the things we did.

I´ve always felt obliged to stay here, keep things together, keep things the way they are, take care of them, and now that this place´s time is counted in weeks rather than in months all I´m left to say is: “I´m sorry. I couldn´t save you.”

Something inside of me is responding to this, with a terrified, abandoned cry, but it always knew I was going to betray it eventually. I will vainly punish myself by not enjoying anything, not really getting or going anywhere, and I will suffer severe anxiety attacks, the type that take the breath away because everything around, the seemingly familiar things in that half-ways familiar place will feel twisted and wrong. I will be left there like with some things saved from a burnt-out home, while my parents will live at the other end of the country. I´ll still be there, living somewhere nearby a ruin I couldn´t save, because I was the only one to whom it meant anything.

A weird thought just came to my mind, torch this place tonight with everything and everyone in here, no need to survive. The only way to stop your mother from insulting this place by abandoning it. Not that I would do it. It would just be ultimate closure. A worthwhile ending to this story, a valid answer to my misery. It is actually very similar to typical murder-suicide relationship tragedies, just that this is more like a child murdering herself and her family so she doesn´t become an orphan.

I hate my family, all of them, for just walking away. Not only now, but years ago. My sister went away a few years after my father did, and now my mother is leaving, too. And they all became more and more nasty in asking me why I didn´t want to leave, as well. They branded me as a loser or as the family problem for trying to hold on to what was once there, to something I lost without ever being properly notified of it. It goes as far as me being what makes good family relationships impossible because I refuse to move out and get along with my parents and be nice and pleasant when we all meet. And maybe they´re right! Maybe back then they all adapted to the new family situation and moved on and got ready for a fresh start and a new system, and I´m the only one who didn´t. Maybe everything could be wonderful if it wasn´t for me.

Sometimes I get those weird revenge fantasies of just disappearing, too. Disappearing without even leaving as much as a note, walking around without enjoying anything, doing only things which would upset or hurt my parents, and let them see how they like it. In a way, this is what I´ve been doing for the last ten years, just that I always did it directly under their nose. And it accomplished nothing. They were worried, they were “unhappy”, they were saying that “we really needed to do something about this”, but in fact nothing happened. Nothing changed about them. They didn´t suddenly become available. They never even talked to me together as a family. They talked behind my back, yes.

I cannot take how clichéd this is. I´m this messed-up just because my parents separated? Seriously? Well, no, because I was suffering from anxiety and stuff much earlier, see the laundry list. But that doesn´t matter. The thought that their break-up could even affect me that much is inacceptable. It shouldn´t have affected me at all, because it is none of my business. Now where ever that came from!

Now – how did I see my parents´ break-up until I reflected on it? It´s weird enough that although I´m a person who spends hours and days thinking about stuff, I never really thought about their break-up. It never occurred to me that it could affect me in any way, because for all I knew it was something between my father and mother. I had nothing to do with it. And maybe that´s the main thing: There was no acknowledgement whatsoever that it affected me, and the entire family. Normally kids are asked who they want to stay with – I wasn´t. There was no divorce, so there was no question. There wasn´t even any kind of talk for all I remember. Was it just unthinkable that I could have any feelings about this?

I didn´t have any feelings, indeed. I had anxiety attacks. The summer when my father moved out I was spending my days in the living room, watching TV, eating incredible amounts of candy. My parents were at work or working on moving his stuff, my sister was in her room or going out. Nobody cared about what I was doing, only that my mother got mad at me over the candy. I was starting to feel random bouts of nervousness in the evening, and I think I was rather jumpy, too. Later I was worrying about my pet dying, or the house burning down, or something happening to my mother, and in order to battle those worries I developed elaborate thought rituals.

I recently understood what that fear of losing someone is all about. I realized there is always a trace of anger mixed into that fear, a sense of betrayal, like if someone dies it is because they someone did it on purpose. And this lead me to understand what assumption lies below that fear: That those closest to me would rather die than come back to me.

In order to make them come back anyway, I have to use those thought rituals and try to influence them. I believe this is basically how it works. I don´t know if I had this before my parents separated. Maybe I´ll somehow find out one day.

I sit here in my room and it seems so innocent, so small, it needs to be protected, it needs us to stay. It needs me to protect it, but I can´t. There´s nothing I can do. I think that it shouldn´t hurt like this, then, but it does. Why do I have to feel this place´s pain at being abandoned when there is nothing I can do about it?

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2 Responses to “More about my long lost home”

  1. vicariousrising Says:

    The main thing I thought of as I read this is that you would like to salvage your childhood that should have been. That no one else feels the same hurts you the same as the fact they did the same to you.

    Sorry for the armchair therapy. Just what came to my mind.

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