When I was 17, I had to move in with my father and step mother suddenly, because my mother had a mental breakdown.
Because of the sudden factor of them having to take me in, they were not prepared for 2 more people in the small apartment (my Sister 4 Years younger than me and myself )
They had other children and all of the bedrooms were already doubled up. There really was no place to put us, but clearly we could not go back to my mother’s house.
She was not even allowing me to enter the house in order to get a change of clothes. All I had to wear is what was on my back.
Luckily I had my favorite stuffed animal with me and my much needed favorite comfort blanket. When my mother had thrown me out, in a crazy rage, the night before, I had taken those things with me, as I headed out the door into the dark streets.
So, my father rigged up bunk beds in the living room. For a small attempt at privacy, he took a large cabinet or bookshelf (I don’t remember ) and turned it so that it divided the living room in half.
My sister and I slept in the bunk beds on the far side of the dresser. My Dad and step mother watched the tv, which was sitting on the dresser, on their side of the makeshift wall.
My sister was in the bunk bed right above me. I was in the lower one. The tv was right behind my head, and the sound pounded into my head.
No metter how much I begged my father, he would not turn it down to a level that I could tolerate to sleep. Hebdid not want to inconvenience my step mother, I guess, who had already had to deal with her household being disrupted.
They could have gone to watch tv in their room at 10 pm, so I could get enough sleep, but it just did not happen that way.
So, between the tv, my sister’s snoring, anxiety over sleeping in someone’s living room with no privacy and no door close, anxiety over being thrown out of my house with no belongings etc…I could not sleep.
I had to lay there for hours, listening to my brain go around and around, wishing for peace. I have always been very introverted. The lack of my own room with a door that closed, was a terrible trauma to me.
I could not cry, over the sadness about my mother disowning me and throwing me out into the street …because there was no space or privacy in which to cry.
I could not talk on the phone to my friends with any privacy. The only phone that I could use was in the kitchen. There was no way of grieving or attaining any comfort about the trauma of the situation.
I had no clothes, none of my guitars, no books, none of my personal belongings for 2 weeks, at which time my father managed to get into the house to fill up a few boxes with my things.
Of all the simultaneous trauma, the worst thing for me was the lack of privacy. I craved being able to sit alone, behind a locked door, to be allowed to feel what I felt, cry if I wanted to, write songs and poetry about my feelings and to show whatever emotions I wanted to on my face.
My father always forced me to be strong and not to show any strong sadness or anything. It was similar to how guys are taught not to show weakness and emotion or they are told to “suck it up”…”it isnt that bad, don’t be a big baby”
It did not take long before I realized that I could hide out in the bathroom and just come out if someone knocked. I took my guitar in there, sat on top of the closed toilet seat, placed my sheet of music on the edge of the tub, and practiced my guitar in there for hours.
I became very good at the guitar that year. It is probably the most I progressed from one level to another, in that short period of time, as I ever did since.
My high school guitar teacher would praise my progress and I sucked up the complements , encouragement and support like a sponge. It was my only source of anyone telling me I could do anything right.
The guitar room and the music area at the high school was my sanctuary. I went there before school, and during the study hall periods, in addition to guitar class, band ( I played the flute in marching band and the bass guitar in jazz band) and piano class.
I quickly advanced past the other students in piano class, so the teacher allowed me to use one of the practice rooms, to work on my own…all alone! I was in heaven.
I had an entire private room all to myself for 45 minutes 3 times per week.
So, I have always been sensitive about having time to myself and privacy. I am triggered by any living situations that make me flashback to that situation when I was 17 , which went on for many months until my father was finally able to rent us a bigger house.
Every single time I have had to live here with my ex husband’s parents, they have done nothing but cross my boundaries and invade my space. Nothing is sacred and everything and every space belongs to them, including bedroom drawers, medicine cabinets, my trash, and insistence in opening and going through all of my boxes, when I moved in. This was even after asking repeatedly to for ny ex mother in law to please leave the boxes alone, until I was ready to open them . And to let me open certain personal boxes myself and be able to deal with personal items myself.
I had just had to leave an abusive situation with an abusive partner and I was not ready to open certain boxes because there were too many traumatic memories and triggers, in the boxes.
But there she was, digging through the boxes, and putting stuff all over my apt, in prominent places where I did not want it to be. Putting everything in the wrong place, so that it was making more work for me.
I could not throw out items that were triggering to me, because she would scold and reprimand me for being wasteful and ungrateful to have things.
I had throw things out when she was not looking and bury them under other trash so that she would not take them back out and put them on my shelf.
Living with them, is like tormentb to a highly introverted person that likes to keep my personal belongings and business to myself.
On top of that, there are 13 people living in this house, soon to be 14 when the new baby comes.
I had a guessing game a while ago. I asked people to guess, in the comments section of one of my posts to see who could guess how many people lived in my house.
One insightful blogger guessed 14. If she is reading this now, I had a lot of fun with our messages that went back and forth that day…
Anyway, at first I thought this blogger had done really well to come within 1 number of properly guessing the number of people in the house.
Then I remembered that my ex sister in law is pregnant, so if you count the baby in her tummy as a person living in the house, then she had guessed dead on at 14! Very cool!
She and I had some fun messaging back and forth that day. It would not surprise me if she pops up to comment on this post:)
So, what is the moral to this story or the point to this post? …….Aaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!##!!!
TOO many people on top of me. I wish I had money to rent a room or a small apt that I could go to during the day to work out of.