Thursday, July 16, 2009

I miss my house.

I don't miss the lie that I lived for 4 years. I have to let it go. It's gone. I can't get it back yet, I still miss it. Is there a time limit on grief over a lost home? Should I even grieve over the loss of 4 walls in which I was rarely happy? I can't answer that question, I just know how I feel.

When I got married, we lived in an apartment for a few years. Then, my daughter was born and eventually we needed more space. I applied for a loan, searched for a house and found "it," our first home. We knew the previous owner from church. She was an AKA sorority sister. I was certain of this because the house had grass green carpet and everything else was pink. Pepto Bismol Pink. The fact that I could see past this nauseating decor, I knew this was the house for our family.

I was happy at times in our apartment. I lived for my son, then for my daughter. Before long, I was unhappy again. A new house, a home for our family. I thought this will make me happy and bury the feelings of unrest.

Our contract was accepted and we moved in after school started in 2004. Before I could step foot in that place we had the carpets replaced and The Ex-Factor laid down blond Pergo flooring. I painted my son's room ocean blue and my daughter's room the most gorgeous shade of lilac. Finally we moved in! The house was empty for awhile after leaving a 1,000 square foot apartment but the new 1,628 square foot home gave us plenty of room.

I did my thing as a stay at home mom. I made friends, the kids had play dates, I organized the cook-outs and birthday parties. It felt good and I was happy, or, at least I thought I was. It kept me occupied and those feelings of unrest set aside.

Numerous refi's organized by the The Ex-Factor had us struggling a few years later. In 2006 I began the process of the great "coming out." I had lived a lie all these years pretending to be a happy hetero and this was my chance. I was going to have it ALL: the home, the kids, the lover and this time it would be true, my truth. It would feel right. It would be perfect because I had done the one thing I was terrified of. I came out and admitted my sexuality. I was set free.

The Ex-Factor and I had discussions of one of us moving out and the other staying in the home for the children. I wanted it to be me, but it wasn't meant to be. I crunched all the numbers and there was no way I could afford the mortgage, the utilities, the HOA fee and the unexpected problems that come with home ownership.

I left and it sucked and I cried and the kids cried. But the house, it would still be there. Everything I had done to make the house feel like a home for my kids would still be there. Did I mention I remodeled the kitchen with granite counter tops and maple cabinets? The stability I created for the kids, their friends, our neighbors, the community. I was leaving but it would still be there...for my kids.

Fast forward to The Ex-Factor never paying a bill once I moved out, losing his job, the house going into foreclosure and then it's just gone. The day after Christmas, a little over a year after I moved out, the house sold on the Court House steps back to the bank. The bastards! It stayed empty for a long time but then on New Years Eve the next year a family moved in. I was in the neighborhood at a friend's party. I watched them unload their U-Haul. I wept part Vodka, part wine and part sadness. I immediately hated these people and made all my old neighbor's promise to hate them too.

Sometimes I live in a fantasy world and I dream of hitting the Lottery. I would buy my house back from the bank. Never mind building a new house. I want my house.

I don't know why I can't let go. I don't know why I look at pictures of my old house and relive the stress of remodeling that kitchen. I don't know what it is about this house that has a hold on me. Was it because it was my first? Looking back on my former life, I would be happy for months at a time, then deeply depressed, unable to get out of the bed. I was miserable. I had someone inside of me trying to get out. That house did absolutely nothing to change that.

Why do I crave something...someplace where I was pretending to be someone I'm not? I don't know if I'll ever understand. I just know that I miss my house.



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