Yesterday I asked…What is home to you? Is it a person, a place, a thing?
I have always thought like Pumba…”Home is where your rump rests!” I was 15 when The Lion King came out and since we moved so much as children I found truth in it. Home really is wherever you make it.
Or so I thought at 15.
Now at 31, I am reconsidering. I think, like a commenter yesterday, that home is the feeling of comfort that you have in your soul. A wholeness not brought on by location or surroundings, but grown to fruition within ourselves…or at least I’m starting to think anyway.
I’m not there yet. I learning. I’m growing, but I’m not there yet.
I have been researching my own past to try to determine when life changed so dramatically for me that it creates tension where there should be none. Since it is February 21st is doesn’t take long for me to understand when that break happened.
When I became a shell and less of myself.
By this I mean that I have spent the last 15 years trying to fill a void that can’t be filled by anyone but myself or God. I believe I have a strong faith in the Lord, but it is today and this day for the last 15 years that makes me know I am weak of faith.
Maybe it’s just this day in particular that makes my faith weak.
February 21, 1997 is the day we confirmed and found my grandfather’s body in Lake Buchanan. He and our pastor had been fishing and got caught in a storm on February 19th. They suffered hypothermia and drowned.
I cried for days, weeks, years even.
At first I had the rest of high school, my activities and my job to fill the time. To fill the void.
I thought little but of the schedule and what had to be completed for the next goal to be reached. For the next accomplishment to be met. As good a show as I could put on I found no happiness in any of this. I finished high school in 1999, without a plan. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. Go to school. Don’t go. Get a certificate in a profession. Just go to work. I had no freaking idea.
June following graduation I watched my 2 year-old niece. Just me and her for the whole month. I stayed busy, we went places, we did stuff. July I went on a trip to Europe. The first week planning, two weeks there and the last week of the month I had a decision to make.
Go to the recruiter and become a military private or go to school until I figured out what I wanted.
I chose school. Then I got bored. Some people just aren’t built to sit and learn in a class room. I’m one of those…but may still go back. I’m deciding that now.
When people ask if I would repeat high school again…go back in time…knowing what I know now I respond immediately with a yes. I would go back because I would have knowledge of the accident that was to come and I would spend more time with my grandfather. I would listen to his words and take notes on how to do things. I would want to be near to him. I miss him. Even now as I write this out the tears flow…and yes I’m at Starbucks. Receiving stares from people who know nothing of what I write.
Each of us have an adult that we are close to in our youngest days. For me it was him. I know he wasn’t perfect, but I worshiped him.
I lived with my grandparents from age 12 until I was through high school. The first years we were there I could be found, when I wasn’t at school, helping my grandfather. We had a garden, we built a shop, we made a bigger garden, we fixed up the house, plumed a sprinkler system, and I learned more than I can ever remember. I was his shadow.
The gravity and immediacy of this loss have haunted me. My dreams. My fears. My life.
I feel myself getting close to people and then immediately recoil knowing that some how I will lose them and I don’t want to feel that kind of pain. The pain that rips your soul from you…even if just for a while.
I can honestly count the number of people I have allowed to get close to me since high school on one hand. The people I still depend on for emotional support don’t need me to dig into those feelings. They have always been here and they don’t need me to mention it.
I am trying to open up to people. Trying to not push as much as I want to, I know sometimes I am an utter failure in this, but I’m trying.
I have tried to fill the void of his loss with rebellion. Yes…I rebelled, but I’m not much of a rebel.
I have tried to fill the void with a marriage. Terrible idea.
In my need to be whole I try to patch up the broken. I try to fix the other people I see in need. I can recognize the pain in their eyes because I feel it in me. I recognized that pain in my ex husband’s eyes and made thousands of failed attempts to help him. Ending with the realization that you can’t fix what doesn’t know is broken.
Behaviors learned from parents are the hardest to break. For me it’s chocolate, coffee, and delicious food, for my husband it was vodka, prescription drugs, and ignorance. If there is a problem take something…it will disappear.
Only it doesn’t.
The problem is there for the partner – the true partner – in a marriage. They are forced to handle the situation and eventually because they are broken themselves they just learn to tolerate the experience. The life that would drive a normal person from the relationship becomes their link to wholeness.
I was happy because I was making him happy. Innocence and inexperience are tragic flaws in the hands of an addict.
Relationships with everyone I was close to became secondary to the relationship I had with him. He became my home because together we were one.
It is a tolerable existence when it is just two people living life together. You know there will be ups. You know there will be downs. You learn what will fill the downs to make them come back up. You live life as they teach in AA, “one day at a time” but nothing is ever normal to the world on the outside looking in, even if it seems normal to you.
Then the two create a third person. A child, helpless and innocent. A person that needs protection. A person that needs your constant attention.
Eventually you recognize all that is broken in your life. I had the realization that I was still broken.
Broken of spirit.
Broken in soul.
Broken to the point of not remembering who I had been. I tried to leave…but the hole would tear back open.
The hole that had been left by the death of my grandfather had been filled by this man, although I didn’t understand this fact. So, I would go back. I allowed myself to go back because he made me feel whole. He made me feel like I was home. I found comfort in the pain because it gave me a reason to be where I was…I was home.
It’s funny how so few letters it takes to change hole to whole to home.
Where is home for me?
I now understand that it is not in location. It is not in the people that surround me.
I have to find it with in me. I thought I had found it within me, but days like today…or maybe just today…I recognize my void is still here. Still waiting for me to fill it. Still waiting for me to understand what I have missed all these years.
If you seem to be in a holding pattern, as I explained yesterday, what do you think you are missing?
I think if we figure out the source we can find the resolution that will create wholeness.