Home – where the heart is, where everyone knows your name, etc. etc. To be completely honest, I haven’t really felt “at home” in my actual home for a long time now. It’s not the ideal environment for a young adult suffering from a number of mental health issues and an undying lack of motivation to be living. It’s something that I really can’t help at the present time, but something I’m actively working on changing – or, at least semi-actively.
Right now I’m living with my mother and grandmother, in my grandmother’s home that she has lived in for over 62 years. There’s no problems with the house itself, aside from how unbelievably cold it can get during the winter. But the overall atmosphere located within said house is where the unpleasantness is located. See, my mother works from home, and she has since I was about 6 or 7 years-old. She’s upstairs on her computer trying to earn a living, leaving me tucked away in my little corner, as well as my grandmother. My grandma has been through a great deal of hardship over the past couple of years, from the loss of one of her children to a horrible injury that landed her in the hospital for a 4 month stay.
I probably haven’t mentioned before, but some of my mental health issues are actually hereditary. My mother takes medication to manage her anxiety, as does my grandmother, and I have other relatives on my mother’s side that deal with similar health issues. My father undoubtedly has a number of diagnosed problems that he passed along to me as well. I in no way blame them for how I turned out – I’m not planning on reaching out to Dr. Phil in order to blame my parents for everything wrong in my life 😛 – but it does help to create a bit of context. Three people with various anxiety triggers living under one roof isn’t always easy.
My grandmother also suffers from other health issues, one of which is dementia. Since her fall and her return from the hospital, she’s able to get around the house with a walker, but she still can’t be left to her own devices for very long. I often spend a great deal of my spare time at my boyfriend’s house, and there are times when my mom begins to feel trapped at home and wishes to get out one day for a few hours, and if I’m not available to stop in back home to let out the dog and to see if grandma needs anything, things can go very, very wrong. When my grandma hasn’t gotten enough sleep she often believes things that aren’t real – one example of this is when she accused my mother of bringing random men up to her room, drinking and doing drugs, etc. – and it can make her very agitated, and when this happens it is very difficult to assuage her and to reassure her that everything is going to be okay.
My mother and I moved in with my grandma almost a year ago, and we’ve yet to finish unpacking all of our things. We used to live in our own house, just the two of us, and with moving here we were forced to downsize quite a bit. There’s a lot of clutter throughout the house, from my bedroom which looks like a landfill of boxes to the main level with small messes scattered here and there that my mom and I don’t always have time to clean up right away. Mess and clutter is a trigger for my grandma’s anxiety – and for my mom’s anxiety. Things get stressful pretty quickly around here.
There is one place where I do feel mostly at home, and which acts as a utopia for me to escape to when I’ve spent enough time under my own roof, and that is my boyfriend’s place. He occupies most of the basement level of the house, and his parents spend their time upstairs on the main floor. I often spend many nights there, and on occasion I even get to hang out in the basement while my boyfriend’s at work. I love spending my time there, especially with him of course, but I’ve never felt 100% at home because I once made the mistake of overstaying my welcome, and I’ve been in fear of upsetting or annoying his parents ever since.
My boyfriend and I have been actively searching for our own apartment, and we’ve even visited and applied for a few. Unfortunately, in our small town, finding a place that is both affordable and pet friendly has proved to be a challenge. One of my primary daydreams is finally getting to live with my boyfriend, in a place that’s completely ours (and in a place that I can have fun decorating with various nerdy and pretty pieces of decor XD). I know that I need to work harder in order to find a decent apartment, and I know that the sooner we can find our own place, the sooner I can improve my current circumstances and be able to create a space that will fully feel like our home.
I’d love to know if anyone can relate to any of these struggles, so feel free to post a comment below to share your own experiences.