I am content. Maybe it’s because It snowed outside and still looks pristine. The neighbor kids haven’t criss crossed (trespassed) my yard to ruin it and dumb doggie is too delicate (spoiled) to tromp through it much. Maybe it’s because the windows and siding project that has been going on at my house is done and it feels warm and buttoned up. No drafts and no hammers banging. Just silence and warmth. Perhaps it’s because in lieu of tromping through the snow my doggie has now curled himself up with a pillow and blankie on the couch.
“What do you have going on today?” my husband asks. Hmmmmm, I want to cook a nice dinner because the parents are coming over, I need to pick up a few items that will be used for wedding decor (which I found at the dollar store thank you very much) and going to sew up a girlies TWIRP (The woman is required to pay) dress. And if that all wasn’t happy enough, I got new bookmarks for my Bible/Prayer book yesterday and I’m looking forward to sinking into some reading. That all sounds just blissful.
A year ago this kind of a day would have distressed me. There wasn’t enough “worth’ in it. The composite of this day, doing some projects and talking to almost nobody, was the cheap, dollar store version of what I felt like a rich and meaningful existence was.
I love people and seeing life change. I enjoy watching their children and their faith grow daily. There is nothing like living in community and having people eager to share their joys and triumphs with you. It’s intoxicating. But once the vapors of celebrating other people’s lives dissipated I felt like I was living in an empty warehouse with borrowed second hand things. Nothing beautiful. Nothing to enjoy. Nothing of my own.
It’s not that I don’t love my family, invest in them or celebrate life with them. It’s just that I didn’t feel like they “mine.” I have been a perpetual visitor in my own home ever since it was established in 1993. Keeping it that way in my mind makes it safer for me to detach and leave if I ever need to. In the back of every trauma survivors mind there is an escape hatch. All my life I have had a plan on where I would go, what I would do, even emotionally steeled myself for what I felt was the inevitable loss of all my immediate family members. While this feels like wisdom to a survivor, it comes with a cost. The danger of living this way is that you are always emotionally packed in suitcases by the door.
So I’ve decided, that today I am going to pretend like this is my home and enjoy it. I’m going to cook here, host family, decorate for a wedding and breathe in peace and safety. If I’m lucky I will get to wake up here tomorrow and do the same thing.
That IS a rich, blessed and meaningful existence.