Something is brewing deep inside my heart. The emotional stew of stress combining loss, fear, regrets and great sadness. The feeling of loneliness can be excruciating some days. It is amplified here in the house where I live. All of it.
I have always been different. As a young girl I was constantly told I was too sensitive, that I wore my heart on my sleeve, that I should toughen up and not let people hurt me. I’ve always questioned “ why is it me that’s wrong? Why isn’t it you who’s not compassionate enough?” Maybe it has been a little both?
There were very few friends along my path, soul friends I can count two. Two friends out of my 64 years of life that actually reciprocated equally in friendship. One who was my friend from early toddler stage committed suicide in her early 20’s. The second was a young woman I rented an apartment to. She lived upstairs for 4 years. We hit it off instantly and I believed we would be friends until death.
It wasn’t to be. She bought a house in the country with her boyfriend and broke all communication with me. We didn’t argue, there was no animosity. Moving day came, she was gone and that was the end. It was heartbreaking, devastating and I felt betrayed. I still do. For a few years I would send her a happy birthday email but she never responded.
My world has crashed and burned a few times since those days. I keep getting back up brushing myself off and try again. Five years ago I was forced out of the house I had been given to take care of and maintain. Because after years of research I found my fathers family in Italy and made my first ever international trip to meet them. Yup, I scraped enough money together to make the trip. The owner was angry that I had the “audacity” to accomplish a dream and told me to leave.
At a hair appointment with a friend I told her my predicament and without a breath she said “come live at my house.” I moved in here five years ago. I have a bedroom and use of the house. My rent is cheap and all of my belongings are in storage. Including ALL of my art supplies. I sure do miss those. Hand made books in mixed media were my salvation and escape.
A lot of people have come and gone here at the house. There has been turmoil between them and some nice times. But I don’t fit in. In many ways we are completely opposite. They like guns, hard liquor and metal rock. I like bird feeders, a glass of wine now and then, Springsteen and Americana music. Their taste in food is very different than mine, their idea of clean is polar opposite. Meat is cooked very well (think of shoe leather) done, rarely vegetables, salad is a bowl of lettuce nothing more and grease coats everything. Walls, pans etc. Baking pans are black and greasy. Often I will hand wash stuff BEFORE I use it, like the glass measuring cups. I have attempted more than once to degrease but to no avail. The cabinet doors are so embedded with grime the only thing that will save them is sanding them or replacing them.
They think I’m weird and quirky. I am dismissed daily either in conversation or gatherings or whenever they are together. The phrase “family” is used regularly but it doesn’t include me. During conversations I am always interrupted mid sentence rarely ever able to complete it. To these people I am insignificant and have no value.
Recently I have become the target for a couple of them. Christmas dinner I was screamed at by a visiting family member, pounding her hand on the table and telling me to shut up because I had to repeatedly tell her daughters dog to stop humping my leg. Two weeks ago I was yelled at during dinner because her boyfriend was lying about our governor’s mandate to wear masks in public and I spoke up to correct the information. Yesterday I was berated because I picked a piece of apple out of a bowl made for dinner.
I honestly don’t remember when I felt so unwanted, uncomfortable or so alone. At the moment there are absolutely no other options. There is no way I can afford to move and no place I can escape. I’m miserable and though I try to find a moment each day to feel joy, find a positive, something to feel good about the weight just continues. It’s heavy and sad and lonely.
I even question my very existence, my purpose. It’s not that I don’t feel that I have anything to offer, I do. I’m happy with who I am but I’m wondering if who I am just isn’t getting lost in a world of unlike souls. How long before the raft I built falls apart and I drown?