Tag Archives: parents

I Suspect This is What Real Life Feels Like

When I ended my relationship 5 months ago and chose to “temporarily” move back in with my parents, I complained that I was retreating deeper into my own hellish limbo and ever farther from the “real life” I’m supposed to be living. Well, I suppose that means I should be thankful for the healthy dose of the-shit-just-got-real I received just a couple days ago.

My father, on any given day, is playing one of, say, a dozen characters, and there is no warning signs for which version you’ll be dealing with: dancy-and-goofy-and-creepily-tickly Dean; long-winded-lecture-that-has-no-point Dean; sullen-and-wordless Dean.  Frankly, none of them is pleasant. Or tolerable. Or vaguely mimicking normal human behavior. But when his manic-depressive tendencies take him on a downward trend and he’s had a few too many Budweisers and a very fickle blue moon hangs in the sky, you get irrationally irate Dean, and he is the worst. He is the version that screams with rage at my mother about such earth-shatteringly important topics  as loading the dishwasher and overripe fruit. He is the version that shatters the glass fronts of the china cabinet and breaks the framed wedding photo of himself and his wife over his knee. He is the version that strangled me when I was 17.

This is the Dean that makes me wish I was adopted. I don’t want to believe I share any DNA with a man that psychotic.

Well, that Dean made an appearance Thursday. I knew I should have just gone for a walk when I could almost hear the spit flying out of his mouth as he yelled at my mom about nothing of significance, but I did not. I stayed in my bedroom, stupidly believing that if I just stayed quiet I would be left alone. Alas, I was horrifically wrong.

Dean came into my room to talk to me about the new tires I was going to purchase for my car. And though I knew, I knew he was not going to be capable of an adult conversation, I did my best to stay calm and have a discussion with him. But every time I tried to answer one of his (increasingly aggressive and loud) questions, he’d bellow, “Shut the fuck up and answer my question!” I made the mistake of pointing out that one cannot at once shut up and answer; trying to use logic with Psycho Dean is NEVER wise. This lead to…ugliness. The fine points of what was said are irrelevant, but, basically, he screamed, while red as a wine stain and wild-eyed, that I am a bitch and a mooch and I will never become anything and I will not take responsibility for the pathetic excuse for a human I have become.

And then he said he didn’t care to have me around.

So I left.

And I am not going back.

I am now, for all intents and purposes, homeless.

OK, now, fear not: I am not sleeping in my car. I have been overwhelmed by the willingness of my friends and family (and my ex-boyfriend and his family, even) to take me in for a night, a week, or an extended period. I am clearly, clearly loved, really and truly loved by many, and I am crying just thinking about it. I have some extraordinary people in my life.  As I type, I am sitting on a stool in my aunt and uncle’s kitchen, because before I could even ask for a place to crash, the bunk bed in my cousin’s room was offered to me.  And I know I have shelter for at least two weeks, with many offers of couches and spare beds for the time following. So everything will be fine.

But GOD. I was kicked out of my HOUSE.

This, I believe, is what we call a shitty situation.

And it also feels very very real. Like the sort of “real life” you’d see on TV. Or read about in a women’s magazine. This is a whole new kinda limbo in that I seriously don’t belong anywhere, which makes me feel like it’s at least a legitimate form of limbo, which thus makes it more real. The more fucked up your life is, no matter how lost and aimless you are in the process, the more legitimate your existence. Life is hard, but at least I am legit. Like I have street cred or something.

Haha,  just made a joke. In this midst of this clusterfuck that is my life, I am still laughing. Because even though this pretty much sucks, it could be worse. That’s called perspective. That’s called growth. I must be leaving limbo if I’m acting all adult.



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The View from Purgatory

A very talented and brilliant friend of mine recently pointed out to me that “writing is always the answer.” And so, as I sit here in the bedroom where I slept as a child, under the roof owned by my parents, feeling a creeping of déjà vu and the beginnings of displeasure at my new (old) living situation, all I can think to do is write.

But the problem seems to be, I have nothing of great use to say.

A sorry, sorry excuse for a blogger, I am.

Look, here’s the thing: for the past year and a half, as I struggled with living in “limbo”–having no career, no financial safety net, no health care, and no idea how the fuck to change any of that–I told myself repeatedly, “Well, at least you don’t live with your parents. But, lo and behold, here I am, living with my parents. If I was in limbo before, what is this now? Purgatory? (And no, those two things are NOT the same place. Ask the Pope.)

You know, it may have only been a few days, but I can say so far it’s not all bad, mooching off the people who spawned me: I get to hang out with my brother more, which is awesome because he is the coolest person I know; I’m saving loads of money on food and cable (that I barely ever watched anyway); I don’t have to rush home after work to do my “womanly duties” anymore (cooking, cleaning, being pretty, etc.) so I have more time for yoga and running and anything else I damn well please; and Wednesday the Cat is my new buddy. But it’s just the dignity of the thing. I was out! I was free! I would come home drunk without judgement! And now, well, I’m living like I did back in high school, and I fucking hated high school.

So even though there isn’t anything inherently wrong with living here, for as short a time as it may turn out to be, it makes me squirm. There is just a certain amount of anxiety that comes with me simply being in this house. Maybe it’s some of the less than stellar memories, maybe it’s because it is a cluttered mess around these parts, maybe it’s just because I’m not totally in charge anymore, but I instantly feel a little more stress being here. I had a migraine today, and while the weather could definitely be the culprit, I can’t help but wonder if it was parental-unit-induced. I’ve had fewer and fewer headaches since leaving home for college, and now I’m thinking maybe it was simply because I wasn’t freaking here.

But I need to cut myself a little slack. I couldn’t just keep living with my ex–even if it wouldn’t have been the worst thing, it certainly would not have been sane or healthy to do so. And I simply can’t afford to jump right into an apartment lease. Not only monetarily speaking, but also, logically speaking. I’m looking to move out of state. I’m applying for “real jobs” (and allowing myself to have faith that I will land one of them). I’m using this sudden life-change as a jumping off point for even greater and more positive changes. I’m starting to believe that this sudden singleness is a cue for me to get myself out of limbo and into the next phase of my life. If I signed a lease in Southeastern Michigan, I would be condemning myself to at least another year of floating aimlessly, wishing for something more but being held back from achieving it. If I keep 50% of my boxes packed and only think of my stay here as a brief stop on my travels to somewhere not here, then it’s not so bad. I’ll get a little rest, let someone else cook for me for a change, and take a month or two to figure out what the fuck to do next.

Now, I’m going on a brief trip to Chicago in less than two weeks, and I couldn’t possibly be more stoked. It’s my birthday present to myself: two nights in a hotel with a king-sized bed all to myself a la Home Alone 2; two days worth of eating out at restaurants I can’t afford; one concert (actually, many concerts, seeing as it’s an all day festival headlined by none other than my favorite trio…you guessed it, 30 Seconds To Mars. I’m starting to feel like Penny Lane from the movie Almost Famous, except I’m not following the fictional band Stillwater around the country, I’m getting my fill of Jared, Shannon and Tomo); 48 hours of just me, myself, and I spending some quality time together. I’m hoping that over that short span of time I have some sort of epiphany. Maybe I’ll realize that Chicago is where I’m meant to end up and I’ll just up and move there. Maybe I’ll love my solitude so much that I’ll decide to live out of my car. Maybe I’ll realize that I need to go get my PhD in Entomology. WHO KNOWS? I’m just letting myself believe that by treating myself to a little adventure that it will give me some idea of what my next great adventure should be.

Or maybe it will just be a really fun trip and I’ll come back and hang with my parents for another 3 months.

But I’m really hoping it’s the former.

So, yeah, I’m about to go to sleep in a room with walls stenciled with butterflies and daisies (I kid you not). It’s a sort of surreal feeling, but, hey, what’s life without a little surrealism?

Dali is so proud of me right now, I can tell.

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