After having had the opportunity to spend the day, as I pleased, with nobody to worry about, it made me realise just how many people take that exact thing for granted. I always knew that when we were to move in with Dad that things would be a little awkward, but I don’t think I could have considered just how claustrophobic it would become. There is a huge part of me that loves that we live with Dad because it means that I can make sure he’s not alone too much, eats regularly and can basically live for free but there’s a fine line between giving someone space and acting like a lodger. Add to all of that the fact that financially it means we can get ourselves back on our feet after years of money worries to be able to get ourselves sorted for the future. Then there’s the huge factor of me having promised my Mum before she died that I’d look after him still holds true to my heart.
I can’t sit in the lounge with my Dad for too long because there’s only so much fucking NCIS anyone can watch! That and the lack of available oxygen can be a serious problem. There is no flexibility with what is on the tv, at any given time, so the only time I tend to be in here is when we are all having dinner together or if I’ve come in from somewhere and fill him in on what’s gone on during my day. We sometimes congregate in the kitchen and talk but we’re all about space. With that comes the fact that it means I spend my entire time in the house in our bedroom. The bedroom is so cramped that the only floor space is one person wide around the whole double bed.
There has never been a time in my life where I have wanted to live anywhere other than the city, until recently. I grew up in the city and always enjoyed that you could be anywhere in 30 minutes by car but now I find myself prioritising extra bedrooms and garden space over anything else. I know I’ve wanted to have a family forever and the fact that I’ve not been able to so far has made me crave fostering all the more. Being stuck in this ridiculous battle at work is only adding to this craving. Undoubtedly there’s an element of fight or flight where flight seems to win the battle more often than the fight seems to. Chances are that it’s caused by the futility of the battle but it may just be easier to want to escape to somewhere new and start all over again. Ideally I’d just escape to my happy place but, as always, the main thing standing in my way is the lack of money to manage it. This just makes me want to focus on managing to sort us out for a better life in the future so that it’ll be easier for us to escape annually, if possible.
I know I shouldn’t complain or moan, and I really do appreciate all of the good things that come with the situation, but so much of the claustrophobia is such a new feeling to me that it’s taking me an age to adjust to. I’ve come from a situation where I basically lived naked in my flat to always having to have clothes on. Having the tv on in the background no longer exists in my world and the general tension can be unbearable sometimes. When you add in the fact that sex can only ever be something that is silent then it just makes you want to break out and escape. I need space to be me and the psychological effect of living with a parent is that you always know that it’s their house so their rules. That’s fine when you’re a kid and you’ve not thought of any real rules for yourself but once you’ve been out into the big bad world and reached the age of 35 you kinda need to live by your own rules.
It’s funny, when you do feel holed in, you start to see everything in your world differently. You realise the things that are truly important to you, the things you are grateful for but most of all you realise what you want for yourself in the future. These are things that you never truly know until you have them taken away. Small things, simple things. I’ve never been someone to have a big, long list of things that I want to do or places that I want to see or things that I want to have. I’m pretty low maintenance in that way. Even the things that I do want, I don’t think I’d ever feel like I’d failed if I never managed to achieve it. Like I said when I was 10, I only ever want to make a difference and if just one person’s life is better for having had me in it then I’ve done something right. Nothing more, nothing less. I already feel like I’ve achieved that so, realistically, if my life was taken away from me tomorrow I’d still feel like my life has been fulfilled. Anything else is just a bonus.
For now, my wishes for my life and for the future are love, contentment, a house with a garden and bedrooms to fill with little people and the chance to visit my happy place every year without having to panic about where the money would be coming from. All things that people take for granted every day but something that, at the moment, feels completely out of reach.