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Homeward Bound

Do you remember as a child building a fort, or a bridge, or a tower out of wooden blocks? When it was completed, you stood so proud looking at your great achievement. Then…suddenly…your sibling strolls in and knocks down your architectural wonder in the space of seconds…running off…laughing…in the wake of total devastation. The ruins of your edifice lie at your feet. You’re standing in the midst of the destruction. The surreal scene replays in the minds eye over and over again. Your first impulse is to rebuild piece by piece, but frustration, anger, and exhaustion prevent you from taking that course of action.

Well, that day has resurfaced to haunt me once again.

Only this time…it’s my current living situation that lies in ruins…and all of my medical disabilities are that sibling…the one that strolled in…knocking down all I have built.

For reasons that are far beyond my control, it appears the inability to support myself any longer, while trying to manage all of my health issues, might be forcing me to move in… to move in with… to move in with my…dare I speak these words… my, my, my…

Parents.

Wait. Let me rephrase that.

Yes.

I am moving back in with My Parents.

[insert gun in mouth?]

For the past 4 days, I have been struggling with the decision to either:

1. Find a way to keep on fighting to stay in my condo?

OR

2. If I should just surrender?

Of course, the strong willed, determined, fighter in me, during full blown panic mode, and while using all of my last ditch efforts, tried to figure out any and all ideas that could, or would, keep me in the sanctuary of my own home. I spent the first 48 hours straight scheming.

I asked my current landlord for a rent reduction. One that I know he will never agree too, but I had to take a shot.

I looked into part time jobs.

I talked to my boss about a raise.

There is the possibility of seeking out entirely new employment.

I tried to try to find another apartment, one that falls more within my price range. However, to keep my son in the stable environment he has come to love and depend on means I have to stay in my area. My ‘area’ doesn’t exactly have ‘affordable’ housing.

Then, I considered a bunch of CRAZY ideas. [if you only knew what really goes on this head sometimes] But, I am just too old for that sort of nonsense. I have too much dignity and gained too much self respect to allow myself to do ‘things’ I would only regret later or that will make me feel ashamed.

So, instead, I spent the next 48 hours writing it all out. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t eat. I just wrote. I wrote at least 12 pages about the ‘backstory’ and how hard I have worked to get HERE. Here, in this very house I am living. I wrote at least another 12 pages of how hard I have been fighting to STAY HERE.

Believe you me when I tell you to ‘Thank Me’ for not posting all of that.

And then, I just cried. A lot.

Before I can even get into all of the fear surrounding the idea of moving back home with my Mom, Dad, and Poppa Sye, and before I can even begin to explain how painful it will be to capitulate my privacy, freedom and my independence…What’s really been bothering me so much? Whats been the driving force behind my total devastation?

The feeling of being a failure has been swallowing me whole.

When it felt like the world I have worked so hard to create was crashing down around me, there was so much resentment in my head and my heart. I was very angry thinking about how much I have already had to sacrifice over this last year. Take for instance the food issue, the fact that I can’t even enjoy the simple things like a bowl of mashed potatoes or a sip of Cranbury juice, was annoying at best.

But, now, on top of everything that has gone down this last year, knowing that I have to give up my house too? Well, that was just more than I could stomach.

My house is the single tangible representation of what I have accomplished over the last 5 years. To me, my house is the concrete proof of all my hard work, slaving, fighting, and surviving.

I am sad to say that after such careful construction to define every inch of my perfect living quarters, and using every hand crafted block in my proverbial arsenal to build my super fortress, now, I have to walk away.

I have finally decided to surrender. The gloves are off. I am done running circles in my head trying to find a another way only to prolong the inevitable.

I have begun to take a look at this whole thing from a completely different perspective, with different eyes.

I understand the most important thing is for me to get healthy again. I won’t be any good to anyone, or capable of doing any job, or paying any bill until I am better. I have painfully come to realize that hanging on to my house, the one that I love so much, the same one I cannot afford, is not helping my health issues. The stress of the bills, coupled with the disgusting amount of rent I have to pay, leaves me laying awake every night in cold sweats. The constant thinking, plotting, planning, begging, and borrowing, is one of the biggest factors in my life that only makes me sicker.

I know the sweetest night of sleep I will ever have is when I can close my eyes and not have all of that hanging over me. I know that if I sleep well, my body will have a better chance of healing. I know that by living under the protective roof of My Parents, I will be granted much needed relief, which, in turn, increase my chances of getting healthy again. And faster.

But, I have been on my own for soooo many years. How am I going to live with other people? Especially with people who are of the authoritarian nature. Ya’ll know I can’t even follow the rules of blog memes. How am I going to deal with new rules, or being told what to do? Will that angry teenager who still rages inside of me be awaken, or, will I be able to rise to the occasion like an adult?

Fortunately, I am already close with my family as most of you can tell from all the videos and photos. Us, Italians have to stick together. It’s not uncommon for whole families to live under one roof.

I am beginning to see how all of the possibilities of living together as one family will not only benefit me, but all of the parties involved.

I do like the fact that I won’t be or feel so alone anymore.

But I will really miss my alone time. A time I have come to treasure.

I really like the fact that for the first time in years, or maybe even ever, I will be able to save my money. I will have money in my pocket. Actual paper bills. And I will finally (after FOUR YEARS) be able to buy new shoes (instead of coloring in my scuffed ones with a black permanent magic marker).

But it’s not about the material things. Even though who ever said, “Money can’t buy happiness”  just doesn’t know where to shop.

It;s about realizing that sometimes in life, you have to take a step backward in order to move forward.

It’s about reclaiming my energy, my drive, and my desire to live my life…without the constant anchor tied around my ankle…that feeling of drowning and suffocation.

It’s about embracing all my family has to offer, and giving back to them.

My son will get to live with three generations of men. Lord knows he needs at least one good male role model. Now he will have TWO.

My father will have people (like me and my son) to play his practical jokes on.

My son and my father can have their chess wars again. Or play golf, and tennis.

My mother and I will have each other to go walking with. We might even join a gym together. It will be nice to do girly things together. Like pedicures.

One of the best things about this (entire scary move) will be that I am going to really be able to focus on writing. Since I won’t be under the weight of the world, I might even decide to learn how to spell and use grammar properly.

Another bonus, I won’t even have to do my usual 5 -6 hour Sunday-Silk-Wood-Scrub-Down of my house anymore. My Parents have cleaning people. Cleaning people! People that will clean? For Me? Really?

Do you know what I can do with 5 whole hours on a Sunday? (Hmm… learn me some grammar? Rip into a Thesaurus? Get a better command of the written word or English Language? Or simply SLEEP).

Do you know what I will be able to do with that 1800 I spent every month just on rent? (Ahhh, new clothes).

I mean, I wont be living over there like a squatter. I will be paying my parents rent. Holy. Hell. I can even pay them back for all the ‘loans’ I have taken out over the course of my life time. But not at 1800 dollars a month!

To give me a little extra incentive or something to look forward to, my father suggested that once I am settled in, feeling better, and have saved up enough money, that I should look into going away on my dream vacation: spending two weeks in ITALY! (Except…I might not ever come back) Or, I might even plan that traveling tour which includes visiting certain bloggers I am dying to meet. (You know who you are).

Of course, I still have major trepidations; I am still very wary and very nervous about personality clashes, mood swings, or other arguments that will arise once I am moved in lock stock and barrel, but hey, that just might make for some good blog material. Right?

It is going to be a bit crowded, and certainly cramped, but thankfully, we all have our own separate rooms to go to when or if we need to escape being on top of each other.

The next few weeks are going to be rather hectic for me and my family. Aside from the holidays creeping up on us, now, I have to start packing up all of the things I love so dearly. The first thing I am going to do, is decide what I absolutely MUST bring with me, and then throw out or give away the rest.

There is also a lot of work to do over at my mothers house in order to make room for me and JCH to squeeze in there. So my weekends from here on out will be filled with trips to the storage units, moving furniture, packing boxes, cleaning house, and pairing down to the bare minimums.

In the mean time, I am going to spend as much time in this home , as long as I have this home to be in. I want to sit and bask in all of its glory and beauty…before I have to let it go.

This move isn’t going to happen over night. In fact, I am hoping to stretch this out as long as possible. Hopefully all the way until my lease ends in January. But, I don’t know how all that is going to pan out just yet.

On the one hand, yes…there are a lot of really great reasons to go back home.

But…on the other hand, I wish I could have all that is great about My Parents house AND been able to stay here.

(oh, yeah, and…I am still pretty scared).

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  • Meleah

    Thanks Laurie.

    I Miss your blog…yanno…since haven’t been INVITED to view it yet!! Um. Hi. ?? Im sending you an email…. xxoo

  • MELEAH,
    HELLO,
    YOU SAY THAT YOUR HOUSE IS THE SINGLEMOST TANGIBLE THING OF WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED.
    IT’S TIME TO LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED AND NOT WHAT YOU LOSING.
    MAYBE THIS IS THE BLESSING IN DISGUISE–THE ABILITY TO REGAIN YOUR WHOLENESS AND HAVE SOME SORT OF STABLE ENVIROIMENT FOR YOUR BOY AND FOR YOU TO BE NURTURED AS WELL.
    LOOK AT THIS AS A OPPORTUNITY AND A STEPPING STONE AND JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU HAD TO CAPITULATE DOES NOT MAKE YOU A LOSER AT ALL.
    WHAT YOU COULD GAIN IS PERHAPS THE STEPPING STONE FOR THE FUTURE.
    TAKE CARE

  • Meleah

    Derick:

    Im trying to look at what I have accomplished and what I am gaining by moving into my parents house. But this is very.hard.pill. to swallow. I am looking forward to the relief of bill stress, but I am concerned about living with three more people (that are my parents) stress may cause a disruption in the harmony we all worked so hard to have.

  • Meleah

    This is one of the BEST emails from one of my long time girlfriends, I just wanted to save it here:

    “Ok, just read your blog and it looks like you could use a pick me up. Just remember, you’re not moving in with the folks forever, just for now. In the long term, this will be a blip on the screen. Now read this:

    Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl “Will you marry me?” The girl
    said,”NO!” And the girl lived happily ever-after and went shopping,
    dancing, camping, drank martinis, always had a clean house, never had
    to cook, did whatever the hell she wanted, never argued, didn’t get
    fat, traveled more, had many lovers, didn’t save money, and had all
    the hot water to herself. She went to the theater, never watched
    sports, never wore friggin’ lacy lingerie that went up her ass, had
    high self esteem, never cried or yelled, felt and looked fabulous in
    sweat pants, was pleasant all the time and lived happily ever after.
    THE END

    Miss you tons too and happy belated birthday mamma!

    MO
    ———————

    I LOVE YOU MO. Now thats what I call LIVING.

    xxoo

  • The best friend

    I hope your not scared still. I have been waiting for a good time to talk with you about this again, but its never a good time for ANY of this. All you need to do is remembEr nothing good will happen to you unless you close a door. Whether it be a new job or a new living situation…You are moving closer to what you want in life. You didnt want to be alone. You didn’t want to struggle to live.

    Now you dont have to. Your family needs you Mel. The world didn’t come down on YOU and now all of a sudden your parents are stuck picking up the piieces. THERE IS A REASON FOR ALL OF THIS. Your family needs you as much as you need them. For whatever reason God wants you or, errrrr ummmm -The universe wants you ALL to be under one roof.If they didnt need you there for reasons unknown to them as yet, THEN YOU WOULDNT BE MOVING IN THERE. Do you understand that, I know I get a little freaky with that but ITS TRUE. For some reason this is part of your path, keep thinking that “everyone involved in this situation is going to benefit”, and everyone will have a huge role in each others lives more so than ever. Maybe Ron deep down wants JCH around more before he goes off to college and leaves us all to be something great! Maybe You and your mom will join that Gym and maybe she would have never been able to do it without you , and maybe she’ll feel better about herself, and that will have been something that was supposed to happen and could have only happened with you there….do you see? maybe Grampas STILL FUCIKN LONLEY CAUSE …..
    CHRIST,
    YOU KNOW WHY.

    But really everything happens for a reason.
    YOU PRAYED FOR THIS.
    NOW ITS HAPPENEING.
    AND ITS A BLESSING CAUSE YOUR FAMILY IS REMARKABLE, AND EMBRACING, AND LOVING. YOU NEED THIS. RIGHT NOW.
    SO DO THEY.

    Your family isnt a regular family anyway and you know that. Your family is special, just like you. SPEND AS MUCH TIME WITH THEM AS YOU CAN WHILE EVERYONE IS ALIVE. There is no better time than now to build on top of an already solid unit YOU ALREADY HAVE WITH THEM.
    i am ecstatic for you.
    you’re very lucky – dont ever forget that.

  • The best friend

    im crying
    cause of the part where i said grampa needs you.
    i love him. i love you. and i love JCH.
    more than you’ll ever know, baby mia…more than you’ll ever ever know.

  • Meleah

    I love you. Thank you. Thanks for reminding me THEY need ME too. I needed to hear that

  • maleah,
    be like the tortoise–it has it’s house on it’s back.
    where ever you go take your harmony with you–it does not disappear overnight.
    you underestimate the strength and fortitude that you have—there are others who would have buckled a long time ago with what has happened in your life.
    you have been blessed but it has not caught up with you.
    take care and enjoy the next part of the journey( that is the choice that you are able to exercise)

  • The best friend

    ps were going to italy together.
    AS IN, YOU NOT GOING WIHTOUT ME.
    AS IN IF YOU GO WITHOUT ME I MIGHT DIE THAT DAY.

  • Meleah

    WE ARE SOOO GOING TO ITALY – TOGETHER.

    That was RONS suggestion, Once I saved up enough money that YOU and I take off to Italy for 2 weeks.

  • Wow Meleah,

    Sixty comments? Amazing! I can’t imagine having so many people comment. I think overall you’re pretty lucky. I haven’t read a whole bunch of the comments but my first take is wow, the plusses you mentioned about moving in with your folks sound pretty great – for both you and your son – and family. You’re lucky to have parents –

    I’m not sure what your physical problems are but I do wish you all the best. It sounds like you’ve got alot of support and alot of love so I’m pretty sure you’ll be okay.

    Peace to you today. (I came here via Dawn’s blog by the way)

    ~ RubyShooZ ~

  • Marc

    Wow…. Just read the post. I am sorry my love! I can certainly understand why you are scared and nervous, but after reading your post it sounds like you have grasped the benefits of the situation and are embracing them. This is a great opp for Justin to spend time with his family and have men around.
    I know you are freaked out, but know that this is TEMPORARY! Get settled, get your health back, save some $$$, (ok buy some clothes, but save too!) Then when the time is right, you can find a new (and better!) place for the two of you.

    I know this isn’t ideal, but it is what it is and if you make the best of it, it will be OK. And.. now you have permanent babysitters for when you want to come visit!! J

    Happy Birthday! We need to get together and celebrate!
    Love ya!
    Marc

  • Meleah

    Hi RubyShooz:

    I see you all the time over on Dawns site… nice to *meet* you. Thanks for the support. Yes. I am very lucky to have such a great family and to have built such strong relationships with the blogging community.

    Marc:

    You are so sweet. And yes, I think I will NEED trips to NYC for weekend get aways! We will certainly get together for my birthday celebration. xxoo

  • shucks, you just need to cut and paste your blog posts and turn it into a book. i just get it. i feel ya. i understand.

    i would not mind going back home myself. my mom keeps asking me to come live with her because her house, although is paid for, is expensive to keep. don’t like the school in east orange for my kid though and there is no where to park my car at night, can’t park on the street. if i really had to and i’m just waiting for me to get fired, i would go back home.

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