This week I have moved house. It is apparently the third most stressful thing you can do (along with getting divorced which is why I am moving house!) but coupled with that over the last 14 years I have fallen in love with my house. And I don’t mean I love it like the inanimate object that it is or I love the memories I have made in it. I mean I am in love with it like you are in love with a person. It is part of me. It is my safety net. My comfort blanket. The one that is always there. The one that will never let me down. I know where I stand and it always delivers exactly what I expect every time. I could go on.
I have been through some very difficult times in my house but it has always kept me safe. I never witnessed nor was the victim of any violence in those four walls. It never gave me anything but support. Four walls of it. And a front door that locked and shut the world out. I have lost count of the amount of times I have been hiding in my bed while the door knocked and I didn’t answer. My house never betrayed me.
So why leave? Because I can’t move on to my next chapter still in love with my old house. Like in a relationship I have started to let it down. I don’t care for it in the way I should. Familiarity often breeds contempt. My house will always be there for me whether I treat it badly or not. So I got lazy and started treating it badly. When I look at it now empty of stuff I know I did the right thing. One day soon a new family will move in and love and respect it as it deserves. My love is a dependent and unhealthy love. It is a selfish one too. It is time to rid my old house of me so it can be loved more appropriately.
I’m not sure my ramblings will make much sense but as I lie in a new house that feels alien to me, it brings me peace to know I am doing the right thing for my old home. Just like my ex-husband. Letting them both go to those who can love them better. Thanking them in my heart for helping me, supporting me, and keeping me safe. Now it is time to find safety for myself and I cannot do that wrapped in their protection. However much I would like to.
“How are you settling in?” People have asked this week and the truth is I feel the polar opposite of settled. My stomach is a tight ball of anxiety. Eating is difficult. Coping with life even more so. A slight deviation from a plan this week found me struggling for breath as my chest tightened so much it hurt to take any oxygen into my lungs. In an honest conversation with my brother this morning, I said I knew it would take time to feel settled. He responded it was relative to the amount of time I had spent living in one place. He moves a lot so can feel ‘at home’ in three days. It is true that 14 years is the longest I have ever lived anywhere. It is true that I hate moving because we moved a lot when I was young. But there is something more to it. Something deeper. Something that I have tried to explore and understand by writing this blog.
My emotional safety has always been a responsibility I have sought to delegate. To my ex-husband. To my house. To the world. But it is no one else’s responsibility to keep me and my heart safe. It is mine. Safety is not something external. It is something you carry inside. I am very aware of caring for my physical safety. Not running in the dark. Carrying my keys in my hand ready to use as a weapon (University self-defence classes taught me that!) And always being alert to potential danger. I have been taught that from a young enough age. Now it is time to do the same for my emotional safety. Now it is time to learn how to carry safety with me always.
Thank you for loving me house. Thank you for keeping me safe. Thank you for healing me. Because of you I am strong enough now to find safety on my own xxxx