An amazing thing is happening to me, I think I am falling in love. I get all the feels, that butterfly feeling in my solar plexus. The warm glow. I get giddy when I think of the object of my affection. I dream of spending long nights with them, of sharing a lifetime of dreams and memories. I dream of waking up with them, nurturing them, watching them blossom.
They make me feel secure and safe, a feeling I have been craving for a lifetime. She wraps her four walls around me and envelopes me in a blanket of security which no one can take away from me- well, as long as I pay a significant amount of money to the bank for the next 25 years that is.
It’s been a slog, it’s something I never thought would happen, but I finally have a place which feels like home, feels like I belong. My inner child feels placated, my adult? Hell, she finally feels like an adult.
Growing up with an alcoholic parent fills one with this constant feeling of impending doom. You never feel completely at ease, always waiting for the next binge to come and interrupt your feelings of safety, of happiness. The alcoholic parent will often create a situation which gives them the excuse to drink, to blame you for their shortcomings. An amazing family day turns into sitting in the snow behind their parked car, the keys hidden in your knickers so as they can’t drive off and kill themselves, kill someone else, lose their licence- take away your security and your home.
You move house, a lot. Your parents embarrassed, for another fresh start. Changing school again. It’s ok though, you’re sociable, you adapt- you make new friends. Although we know that’s not true, the reality is that we become fearful of friendships, knowing how easily they are fractured.
My last relationship was one in which my security was constantly threatened. An amazing day will turn into accusations, protestations that you are not enough for them, that you are holding them back. That without them you wouldn’t have a home, they will take it away if you do not do as they say, or if you question their negative behaviours (we all have them) The pattern of them creating a situation so they had an excuse to act out, to spit venom in your face. Of you doing anything to placate them- allowing them to dictate texts you should send to your parents, tell you over and over again what a terrible person you are, how selfish. How you and only you are the problem.
I would listen as he told me he wanted to physically hurt my children- tell him he was right, that they and I were terrible and must do better. I would send him texts at 3am, hoping he would read my apology before I woke up and maybe, just maybe, that day he wouldn’t tell me to get out of “his” house. Maybe he would even love me that day. The truth is it was him, not me. Him unable to adult, unable to not see me as the enemy, to feel like he always had to defeat me.I would turn back into a little girl- “if I clean the house, bring him lunch, ignore my children, put on a pretty dress and do my hair and make up just as he likes, walk to the shops and back with the ingredients for a new recipe for him and his boys, bake him his favourite cake- become perfect”, hopeful he could see how hard I was trying.
So this is why this feeling my new home gives me is so exciting, it’s so alien to me. Such a new thing. This sense that I belong to her and her to me. I am probably boring people with how excited I am by her, by how much I love my shabby little terrace. They probably think I’m a little bit mad that she gives me this glow. I finally, at the age of 39, wake up feeling secure. It’s epic, it’s beautiful and actually, the stuff I wrote above can bugger right off because it’s becoming more and more irrelevant every morning I wake up and feel like clicking my heels Together.
I’ve even allowed myself to form friendships the hints of new relationships – I still struggle. I still question them, in not so subtle ways as to whether they really do like me, as to why they like spending time with me. I still over analyse everything and everyone’s motives, but I am getting so much better at suppressing that ugliest- better, but by no means perfect. But I am having an amazing time learning to let go- climbing hills, walking dogs, mornings in bed and swimming in rivers
Ding dong the witch is dead, there IS no place like home