I have made the biggest change in my life. I decided to leave the desert that I have lived in for 31 years. A friend was leaving and offered to pay my way if I could promise that I would set up a life of my own. I made all the necessary promises and took the necessary precautions. Now I live in Portland, Oregon. I’ve only been here ten days and I can already feel the changes that the place is starting to have on me. I am always busy doing something. The library or a park has become my regular haunts during the day. At least until my job starts next week. I have found a place to volunteer my time for the days that I have off. Everything is so much better where I am at now than where I was before.
I just had a revelation while smoking outside this morning. The two guys I’ve had crushes on, Tennessee and Kit, I’ve liked for one real reason only. They reminded me of a past me I liked. Kit reminds me of High School where I could roam the halls in my iron armor and nothing could touch me. At the same time I could touch no one but that was the draw back. However, the time I liked is that when interacting with others I could give as good as I got. I miss being that strong. Tennessee reminds me of who I was in Middle School. I fought back then. Anyone tried to mess with me I fought back, if it was warranted. There are a few I let go because I wasn’t that petty. Now I am that petty but I can fight back now. The me then, both times, wouldn’t have let herself be the victim. It wouldn’t have mattered if anything actually happened to her. She just would’ve picked herself up, dusted herself off, and walked forward. I don’t know when I fell down and refused to get back up but I can’t do that anymore. I need to be like my younger self. I need to get back up, dust myself off, and keep moving forward.
The last month of my life has been one big up and down, one after another. It started with a documentary that I am participating in. I began the month preparing for this woman who was coming in all the way from New York to my tiny little corner of the desert to film my life. She wanted to film me interacting with people and doing normal things in Las Cruces, New Mexico. “No one lives in a vacuum,” she reasoned. While I agree with her I actually do live in one because I don’t go out and do anything. I like staying at home writing. So, I prepared for this woman to come and show her all the things I would do if only I were the type to leave the house.
Not two days before this woman is supposed to show up on my doorstep my roommate and I get a letter stating that we had to be out in three days. Apparently giving your roommate $800 for rent doesn’t necessarily mean that they will actually pay the rent. I now have to deal with the fact that I am packing for more than just a week up north. I have to also go through my stuff and downsize so that I can travel with everything I own because I have nowhere else to live. One might ask where my brothers were for this situation. My eldest brother was giving me the only option of going to the homeless shelter where I would not be allowed to take my medical cannabis despite the fact that I have a prescription for it because it is still a level one narcotic. My younger brother was trying to allow me to sleep on his couch but was having trouble convincing his wife. My roommate moved back in with his own parents leaving me with nowhere to go and a lady at my door with a camera ready to film my life.
I spent that weekend in the hotel with the lady and her assistant. I took them around to the places I used to haunt. I even showed off the few little gems that could be found in this corner of the desert. They know the place where I find the most peace. They’ve seen the view I love the most. They took me back to the place where my nightmares dwell. Overall it was a very emotional weekend. I didn’t allow myself to settle onto anyone moment and just kept moving forward through everything.
Monday comes around and I am heading on a plane to go and see my daughters. L had purchased tickets for me to come out and see our daughters at the beginning of summer and I couldn’t back out at the last minute just because my life had suddenly burst into chaos. The lady doing the documentary on the adoption of our daughters and the family that sprung out of that decision flew with me giving me support for that initial flight out to Pennsylvania. I traveled with my entire wardrobe, my books and furniture had been placed in storage by the roommate that had screwed me over. I honestly didn’t want to return to the town where I had nowhere to live. I still had to face L and tell her the truth about what was going on in my life.
The first thing L asks is, “What can I do to help? What is it that you need?” Honestly, that threw me back a little bit because all I got from anyone was, “What are you going to do now?” It was weird for me to be asked what they could do to help. I didn’t know what to tell her and had to think for a little bit on how she could help. Together we went over job options and living options that I had. In the end, no matter what I tried to do otherwise, it was decided that at the end of the trip I would return to my little desert town and start the job that I had waiting for me.
Knowing the next step of where I was going to live allowed me to enjoy my time with our daughters. I saw for myself the spoiled lives the twins now live with their little sister. They have wanted for nothing since L and N adopted them. As a family, we went out to a restaurant where L and N showed me northern Indian cuisine. I met aunts, uncles, cousins, and even L’s own mother. The twins were in high spirits talking with their cousins and hugging everyone. While N was at work everyone went to the zoo where we fed giraffes. I’ve walked the neighborhood with L at night where we shared hopes, fears, and writing ideas. I’ve seen the school where our twins attend classes. The youngest child constantly got my attention and daughters were tickled excessively. It was a very loving and relaxing time in my moment of chaos.
I leave Pennsylvania with a writing project that L and I will both be working on and a loan to help me find a place to live. There is a place for me to stay now. I also passed the interview for my prospective job and started training within the first week of returning home. My Month was utter chaos and I am still reeling from the effects. Everything is working out now but there was a moment when I wasn’t sure it would’ve. All because I got help from an unexpected source.
I wish it would rain. Then maybe this sadness that fills me will finally find a release. Last week I failed to say goodbye. It wasn’t intentional. I wanted to say goodbye. I just couldn’t bring myself to get up and face the children that were leaving.
I spent three months of my life living with these children. Seeing them off to school. Cooking meals for them. Making sure that they took their baths and went to bed on time. These wonderful children became the center of my life for three short months.
Now these children are gone and I never said goodbye. I deal with the silence of their absence and wonder. Why couldn’t I be brave enough to say goodbye?
I find myself on the precipice of a decision I am not sure how to make. I am about to gain male roommates to help with the rent at my place. There will be about five guys here with me being the only girl. Sure the guys have their own girlfriends who will invariably revolve through as they visit their respective partners. I am just not sure about being the only girl in a household of men. I’ve been comforted by my male friends that it will be just fine because I’ll be seen as just one of the guys. I am so cool and chill to hang out with there is no way anyone would do anything to me. The problem is I haven’t always been seen as just one of the guys. I have had my share of experiences like all other women in the #MeToo movement. Do I trust that I am just one of the guys? I don’t know what to do anymore.
I finally got up the nerve to have a conversation with my little brother about finances and where I am going to go. We hashed out what he wanted from me which was more financial help. All he wanted was for any extra money I got to go towards living expenses keeping me from buying extra things in my life that would make it less boring. Basically I wasn’t able to buy video games or books because he wanted more money in rent and utilities. I was getting frustrated because he was always coming home with a new video game or a new tattoo. We couldn’t come to an agreement as to why this was unfair to me. Considering the fact that I didn’t get that much money to begin with so daily living was hard enough.
So I left over the weekend to a place that is more with in my price range. Granted I am still living with people but I only have to pay for the room, utilities included, and purchase my own food. Which is completely fine with me. I still have my own space and I get along with the people I am living with now. Today is going to be an adventure buying the medication that I use and getting a new tattoo. I finally feel like I have a freedom to be me that isn’t tied down by ideals that my family has. I hope that this means blogging more and finding more adventures to go on. There really is hope for my future.
I haven’t been writing much anymore. I haven’t really been doing much of anything actually. I still do my school work and turn it in relatively on time. I have had a few new experiences in this new year but I am still stagnating in my room not even writing anymore. It has been this way since my little brother got married in December. To clarify I live with my little brother in a two bedroom apartment in Las Cruces, New Mexico. His new wife moved in with us from a three bedroom house where she lived with her grandparents. I can honestly say the transition has not been easy for her. There was a lot of crying in the first week from her because the change was so drastic. Eventually everything leveled out and we started living a somewhat normal life with dinners at 4-5 pm.
Living with my little brother before his wife moved in wasn’t bad. It was me mostly keeping to myself and working on my writing. We never really had any issues with the way the house was kept. Each of us doing out own cleaning on our own time. We weren’t messy, nothing ever piled up past two days. We just put cleaning off for our respective jobs, his was working in a factory, mine was going to school and writing. I took care of the dogs since my little brother worked. I was allowed to buy myself extra things each month like books and video games. Life was pretty simple then. My little brother gets married and everything changes.
First of all I stopped taking care of the dogs because I was being yelled at that the dogs weren’t mine. The whole neighborhood called them my dogs while I was taking care of them. I never did but I think my brother developed a complex about it. I got yelled at, by my brother, for not doing anything around the house. According to him his wife cleans up after me and that wasn’t cool. I would agree that she was doing my dishes because she took over cleaning the kitchen. I disagree that she was cleaning up after me. I clean my own bathroom and I live in my bedroom, which is also clean. They are responsible for the areas of the apartment they live in. At least that is how it should be. I started to do my own dishes so that they couldn’t complain about it. I’m still considered messy even though I don’t spend anytime in the common areas of the apartment. There is also the fact that my room smells like weed because I am perscribed marijuana for my PTSD and anxiety disorders. The new wife is against weed even if it is perscribed legally.
The next thing I am getting in trouble for is how much money I contribute each month. For full disclosure my two bedroom apartment costs $685 a month, electric costs roughly $100. We don’t have to pay for water which is nice. Since I go to school we do have a $60 internet bill that I need to help with and a $50 cell phone bill shared by my brother. That makes is $895 a month for expenses. I get $975 every two months through student loans and General Assistance while I wait for SSI to kick in. My brother makes $1,200 a month working at the factory he works at. My student loans have to go for books so I am only able to contribute $440 when I get those every two months and give them all of my $240 that I get from the government every month. That’s $295 that I get to use for hygiene, school books, clothes, and my medicine every two months. My brother and his wife want to take that money away from me. They want more money out of me each month because they have car payments and loans they have to pay back so they don’t have enough to cover the everyday bills. Part of the argument my brother makes is that they pay %90 of the bills and I should be contributing more to the household expensises.
Luckily I am social enough to have a small group of diverse friends. These friends don’t really hang out with each other even though we all live in the same apartment. I have stoner friends, drinking friends, and southern friends. The point I am making is even though my friends are very different from each other they all agree on the same thing. I need to move out. To be clear they know exactly what is going on because they are my brother’s friends too. He used to hang out with them then he got married and hasn’t hung out with anybody except for when his wife spends the night somewhere esle, probably with her grandparents. My brother told them his side of the expensises and what he has to pay for (it is the only reason why I know how much he makes). My friends and I calculated it out and they told me that it is unfairly skwed in their favor, my brother and his wife I mean. All of my friends agree that I need to find some place better to live that is affordable. Every single one of them has also offered me a better choice than living with my brother. Two of my friends have offered me their couch while one friend has a whole bedroom that I can take over, so I have places to go. I just haven’t left yet. I am not looking forward to the argument I am going to have with my brother as to why I need to leave.
What I do know is that I need to make changes in my life. I can’t keep living the same life where I stay in my room all day typing on a computer because I’m afraid to leave my room. I can’t afford my medicine, I can barely afford the hygiene products I get every month. I have places to go. I need to make up my mind and go.