I hate being home. Avoiding home is something I’ve been doing recently, its space not feeling like mine anymore. I’ll come home to dark, looming household and an unmade bed. The fridge is empty, only filled with rotten produce, and the house smells like smoke in the late evening. I’ll briefly talk to one of my housemates, Sean, and retreat back to my own room to wallow in bad television and whatever food I brought home from school. I’ll avoid my other housemate, Blaine, since it seems like every time I talk to him, I’m shot down.
I feel unsafe in my own home. Part of this, is the fact that I’ve been living in the same space since I was 17, an extremely different time filled with booze and a toxic boyfriend. Blaine has seen me grow in the past year and a half, but that’ll never remove his initial relationship with me as a 17 year old. No matter what I do, or how much inner growth I may develop, I’ll never be enough for Blaine. He’ll always see me as a stupid 17 year old girl who drinks too much and ends up in her own puke at the end of the night.
Part of his understanding of me isn’t entirely false, I definitely was a stupid 17 year old girl who didn’t know much, but that doesn’t excuse his verbal and emotional abuse. At every single joint party we hold, he never fails to put me down in front of our shared friends. I’ll speak to someone about how I’m starting to get my book together, pass classes, and really get excited about my future in college and hear him yell from a different corner of the room, “You’re not a grown up. You can barely take out the trash.”
And it hurts. It hurts to come home and not feel like I’m living with two brothers anymore, but a friend and a tyrant. It hurts knowing what I need to do moving forward: emotionally detach and find a different housemate. It’s important for me, especially having grown up with a dedication and loyalty to family, I know my own emotionally boundaries and take care of myself first. In all of this, I’ve realized how much I seek older male figures in my life due to my broken relationships with my father ad stepfather. Creating space and boundaries is more than protecting myself, but preserving my relationship with him. I don’t need to necessarily cut him out of my life, nor do I want to, but shifting my emotional investments with him and giving us time away can not only aid my current predicament but reinforce a future, healthy relationship.