It isn’t easy, this constant moving. The unmaking of a home is always a time of intense grieving for me; always moving, but never a settling of heart. None of these places are “home” in the sense that four walls and a roof of your very own are. These are not appliances I picked out and bought; nor, for that matter, are the paint colors on the walls. It doesn’t mean I’m not grateful, or that it isn’t nice, it just isn’t mine.
We perch on the edge of our boxes, my daughters and I, clutching rolls of packaging tape and bubble wrap, and wait for the next wave to hit. The stress to hit. There is no opportunity to just . . . rest. Sleep is fitful, and full of odd dreams, in which total strangers are always taking my stuff out the front door, and loading it into trucks. Most of my dreams are about moving, or my marriage, and the home we owned when the girls were small. All are very intense, and vivid, and full of sadness.
There are no days of waking up happy, and worry-free. Hasn’t been, either, for many years. I keep saying that the last ten years have been, for me, just one very long, very bad year, but yesterday I realized that it has been a whole lot more than ten. Somehow, I never thought in a million years that I would be alone this long, or would end up raising two kids on my own. We have moved so many times I can’t remember what the kitchen looks like when I think of going down to make coffee in the morning. I keep reaching for light switches that aren’t there. People who don’t have to move constantly have no idea what it’s like (but they mean well), in much the same way that a therapist who has never personally been through a divorce, or ever been a single mom, cannot really understand what you’re going through, and thus cannot possibly know how to help. They don’t even know what questions to ask, and “interventions” fall to the wayside like poorly aimed arrows, missing the mark by a mile.
I miss my life. The happiest times were when my kids were little, and I was able to be home with them. I’ve heard many women say this, but it’s true. We had a tiny little house, but it was ours, and we painted the rooms, and planted flowers, and made it home. I’ve tried to recreate it, as much as possible wherever we go, but I’m suddenly realizing that I’ve been dragging this same stuff around for almost twenty years now, trying to hang onto a life that’s long gone and over. (An arrow aimed at this would have made at least one session well worth the money). The house is long gone, and the kids are young adults now, and doing well in spite of everything we’ve been through, but I wish – how I wish – with all of my heart – that I could have given them a safe and stable home while they were growing up. I wish I could give it to them now, but it’s too late. Seems too late, anyway.
So, those are my thoughts tonight. I’m supposed to be writing clinical papers, but can’t concentrate, so it’s off to bed for now, and I’ll try again tomorrow. I am (clearly) overtired and stressed out, and feel way too old for all of this. My thoughts are heavy these days, and don’t lead anywhere healthy. I have one spot in the house – in every house – that’s mine; it’s where my chair, and my desk, and my Bible are. It’s the first thing I set up whenever we move into a place, and that’s where you’ll find me every morning, pen in hand and coffee ready, whether I’ve slept well or not. I am well aware, on the periphery of my mind, that there is much work to do and there are many people to help, especially those who are still caught in the mess of Sozo, and Theophostics, but all of that will have to wait for right now, because this work has to be done first.
See you in the morning, people. Good-night.