November 2017
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what home means to me -- a resting place, not a living place


I've recently realized that the way I spend time and the way I think of home is different than most people I've lived with. Home, to me, is where I go to rest and feel secure -- and this usually involves being relaxed/passive/solitary. It's not where I want to spend most of my time -- it's where I want to go back to after adventures. If I'm happy and healthy I want to be OUT most of the time (at least 5 days out of 7), interacting with people and exploring. Being out satisfies my yearning to wander. The only times I spend vast lengths of time at home is when I'm feeling depressed or need to process/recover or feel like I have no one to explore with (I can explore on my own if it's warm, but if it's cold I need people with me to motivate me to brave the cold).

But for most people, "home is where the heart is" and home is where you are happiest spending your time. I remember this being a point of conflict when I lived with the Wynnes -- I loved that family more than anyone else I'd ever known, and I LOVED my room SO much (it was FULL of light and they let me paint it purple and green and it had a built-in-desk and its own full-of-light bathroom), 'yet' I was out all the time. I was working full time and going to school full time and dating and going to group therapy (which for me was a wonderful social activity), and I loved the whirl. I think Paula started to feel like I didn't care about them because I wasn't often home, and she started asking me to call when I was going to be out late (ostensibly so ze wouldn't worry but really I think because ze didn't want to feel forgotten) -- which I could never remember to do until it was already past the time ze'd be asleep. I didn't realize (until now) that it is possible they felt unloved or like I didn't want to live there -- yet it was probably my favorite place I've ever lived.

It was a problem when I lived with Ash, too, though for a different reason. I spent most of the time that I wasn't working in my room, watching shows or listening to music or making jewelry, and ze felt like I didn't want to spend time with zir because I didn't hang out in the communal area or leave my door open or initiate hang-out time. (my door stayed closed for warmth and to separate the cats, but the closed door communicated 'keep out' to Ash) I enjoyed hanging out but being home for me is a comfort thing, I want to be cozy and relaxed and my room was far too much of a cozy-draw for me to want to hang out elsewhere in the flat, but Ash didn't feel comfortable in my room so to have hang-out time it had to happen in Ash's room.

And I think it was a disappointment for Ben when I lived with zir briefly this summer -- I think ze had envisioned much more hang-out time but I was out most of the time, and when I was home I wasn't in a social mood. It's been difficult for Arizona too -- this summer we spent tons of time together because I was working for room/board, but since school started I've been using financial aid to pay for rent and have not been around the house much (and when I do it's generally to study or relax my brain).

And then when people start feeling unhappy about how rarely I'm around and communicate this, I start feeling guilty and then I start avoiding home because I no longer feel free to leave, so if I'm there I feel sort of trapped. Which is a problem, but I'm not entirely sure how to break that down and stop that reaction.

All this makes me worry that I'm not suited to live with people I'm close with because it seems really difficult to get around that expectation. My daydream looks like this: sharing living space (a house or multi-room flat) with people I love who are either wanderfooted or solitary or not emotionally invested in me; having my own, separate space; having communal space where everyone living there has equal freedom to invite people to (this is very important! I've NEVER had this and yearned for it all my life); having no one be sad if I'm gone for days at a stretch, and no one be upset if I'm home but don't want to interact. I dunno if that's possible. I hope so, and I want to try it with my lil sis and Kyle (who is probably more out-oriented than I am even) and maybe some others. Am I the only one who thinks of home like this?


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Comments
camilleyun ══╣╠══
I've been out of the loop for a bit so I'm not entirely sure where you're living these days especially since my geographical skills regarding Georgia are limited even though I live there now.

I bought a house by myself in Rossville GA in early September. Just like when I moved from Florida to Tennessee, I was afraid to fail because historically I make huge messes not to mention that I typically have people telling me I can't do this, that, or the other thing. That's not to say that I don't have my worries, especially financially, but it's working out well. I'm not going to say this is my dream house or the city I want to live in for the rest of my life but it's all good for now.

For the longest time I believed that I wasn't meant to live with other people because it didn't work out well in the past. My closest friend Jaci came for a visit last month for my birthday and Halloween. She was here for 6 days. We had a couple of arguments and while I was happy to see her, I was even happier not to share the same space with her after she left.

Right now I have a temporary 'roommate'. I'm not sure if you remember my picture post about Cloudland Canyon and The Sailor. I had written him off and deleted his number after the plans we made for my birthday and Halloween didn't work out because he blew me off. I had to ask who he was when he called on Monday November 8 since I had deleted his number. He was letting me know he was on his way to work on an oil rig in Louisiana because he got kicked off the ship when they docked in Knoxville. I have no idea what madness led me to invite him over but that's what happened. He took the Greyhound to the bus station and has been here since. This Monday will be 3 weeks. We get along well under the same roof. He does handyman work around the house until he figures out what he's going to do. He has his own room and I have mine. We are intimate and have tried sleeping in the same bed but it usually works out better if we don't. Besides, people need to have their personal space anyway.

I always thought my idea home would have 2 master bedrooms that way my husband and I could each have our own room and bathroom. I think if I ever do get married again or end up long term with someone I would like that. I like things the way I like them and prefer not to share certain spaces or at least have the status quo maintained in that space.

That's not to say The Sailor and I haven't had a few mishaps. I took him to The Melting Pot the other night and he was so uncomfortable and felt so out of place that his douchebaggery which I had attributed to hanging out with drunken sailors on the ship resurfaced and ran rampant. But I digress.

I think this situation works because I've made it clear that he's welcome here but that he can leave at any time. I've discovered the more freedom a person has the more likely they are to feel comfortable and not try to get away because they don't feel trapped. I've also made it clear that he doesn't have to furnish 'the boyfriend experience' to stay here. Sure, I like being intimate and hugging, kissing, cuddling, haviing sex but I can do without that as well. It's a nice perk but not a necessity.

I see my home as a safe. sane space for me to be in. Sometimes I prefer to stay in because the world out there is so chaotic and other times I need to go home so I can recharge. It's both for me. But it's also not static. Sometimes I like to go go go and be out more than others and other times I'm more reclusive which doesn't always correlate to my depression and anxiety.

camilleyun ══╣╠══
Also, something I find very interesting in this living experience/experiment is how The Sailor sees me. He says I am a patient, tolerant, giving, nonjudgmental, reasonable person who has allowed him multiple chances after making mistakes. When I told Jaci this she joked if he had a clue who I am. I guess people see different sides of me depending on perspective. While the words he chose aren't ones I'd have chosen myself since I do have low self-esteem and am using to others telling me how negative I am, it's so nice to hear someone have a different opinion and say I am a happy, positive person instead of negativem dark, and twisty. In retrospect, I guess I have been happy and positive with him because the encironment, situation, and company have brought that out in me. If I had to tell Jaci one more time to leavethe laundry room door open so the cats can get to the litter box we were going to have a huge problem.
isarma ══╣╠══
I don't see why you can't have that, so long as you communicate what you need and want. I've lived with lots of people communally and others were gone quite a bit. I'm probably half and half. I'm naturally social and out quite a bit, but home more often than I would be otherwise, probably, with my kids. And when I am home? I often don't want to talk to anyone. Or perhaps just snuggle and watch TV and not talk.
xochitl ══╣mona lisa╠══
I'm exactly like that, which is why I'd live alone if I could afford it.

Over the summer one of my housemates (I jumped around a lot because I was homeless) accused me of being passive aggressive and ignoring him because I would sit in my room with the door shut to watch Netflix and eat meals (the ones I did eat at home).
kiwi ══╣╠══
I've had roommates with the wanderlust blood in them while I, admittedly, am a "home is my sanctuary" type. What was interesting is that we had two different work lives: she was doing computer work, in a cubicle, whereas I was teaching at the time in a classroom that I can only describe as "sheer chaos". At the end of the day, she was clawing at her skin, trying to get out of the monotony of her day, where I was desperate to go hide for a few hours, where nobody could find me and where I didn't have to deal with the things I had to deal with as a teacher. In that sense, being roommates worked for us - she would go out until late, I would retreat home and hide.

We don't live together anymore, but home is still my sanctuary, and in that, I'm probably the opposite of you. I love being out but it's exhausting after the crazy days I have at work. (I'll be curious to see if this changes as I head back to school full time.) Ex-roommate is now a stay-at-home mom but I think I see that little glimmer of wanderer in her still from time to time. It's hard because I want her to be true to herself, but I don't want her to hurt her child.

I think you can have what you want. Because I don't believe you're alone in wanting what you want - it's just a matter of finding others who truly, honestly want the same things as you and who are up front and faithful enough to themselves and their desires to tell you that.
lorelei_sakti ══╣jessica╠══
I need my home to be a place where I can feel relaxed and secure too. I am not very extroverted, so I only go out two or three times a week. Home is definitely a place I go to recharge my batteries.

My roommate is out more often than me. We both interact a little when we're both home, but if I want to spend a couple hours in my bedroom on the internet or watching a movie, and she's in the living room watching tv, there is nothing wrong with that. We don't feel like we have to be in the same room all the time. I do leave my bedroom door half open, though, to let her know I'm not trying to avoid her and so the cats can go in and out. They'll scratch at the door if I leave it shut, lol.

I see no reason why you can't find laid back roommates who will let you have your space. Someone who likes to go out a lot like you do would be a better fit than a homebody probably. I think you and your sis would make great roommates!
kmiotutsie ══╣╠══
Your daydream is perfectly healthy and normal. Imo, that's exactly what EVERYONE needs: a space of ones own to just hide away and be alone, with a welcoming communal space readily and easily accessable. Seek it out! I think living with people you already know invites complications. Find some new roommates on craigslist or something & start afresh!
mmmmurgle ══╣╠══
(This is Heather, by the way. I'm commenting partly because this made me think, partly just because it's late and I felt like telling the internet things, and partly so when I friend-requested you, you'd know who I was. Hello!)

I am a very home-centered person (I tend to think of it as my hearth--warmth/saftey/food/company), but I ran into a similar problem the first time I moved into an apartment with my best friend at the time. I think she'd been envisioning us hanging out a lot--but I was doing school, and working, and had a boyfriend for the first time, and the buses didn't run after six, so I didn't actually see her that much. She ended up feeling neglected/abandoned--and I didn't notice until too late that she was feeling neglected, because she'd always been the one to initiate doing things. I think we'd been able to communicate better what each other wanted and needed it could have worked.

I think the real difference was that she was expecting me to build my life at least partly around her--probably not even consciously, but just because we were living together. I think that's probably a key to making you living with people work-- making sure that part of their definition of home isn't based on you. That might work with people who are see their homespace in the same way you do, or it might work living with people who base their space around each other and are happy to have you as a satellite--a part, but not a foundation, with your own space and your own rhythms?

I think either way, it would be key to make sure the people you're living with come adventuring with you often enough they feel like they're part of your life.

Sorry if this came off either rambly or know-it-all...I read it when you posted it and it's been bouncy around in my head since. I used to need that time alone to re-charge too, and now, I almost never get any time just to myself--I spend a lot of that same down time doing not much, but doing it with people I care about, and it's seemed just as good as being alone.

I'm beginning to question that though. I feel like I need some time regularly that's just mine. I haven't made anything in forever, and that's partly general malaise and partly that being around people splits your attention in ways that makes it less casual just to start things.

All right. Enough of that.

radiantbaby ══╣dr who -- reinette/ten | flirt╠══
I'm actually glad you made this post. I'm not sure exactly how justben felt when you lived here, but I know I did have a small feeling of sadness that you were never around.

It's odd, because I generally can't stand living with most people. justben and I have grown into a comfort zone, but most people rub me wrong. I guess for me it is that home is where I like to isolate, be alone, and not talk to anyone. I'm just fine going for hours without speaking to people and I love that even if justben is in the same room as me, he doesn't feel the need to fill the silence up between us.

We have a temporary roommate now and it's making me remember how poorly I share my space. The best roommate situations I've ever had were when they were very independent and were rarely home. I'm really not used to someone who is around so much and also, when they're around, they engage me in conversation and such much more than I'm used to. I feel a bit bad as I think they thought I'd be more social with them, but that is just not my nature. I'm a hermit and I like being alone most of the time when I'm home. If I didn't feel so rude about it, I'd probably hide in my room all the time.

Anyway, with you out all the time while you lived here, you'd think that would have made me happy, but as I said, oddly I did feel a bit sad and, really, more accurately rejected. I guess I had thought that we might have the opportunity to get to know one another better and hang out more. I thought that you stayed away so much because of disinterest in my company.

Still, now that I see things from you perspective, I feel much better about how things went. And honestly, I'm (re)learning with our new roommate, that it was probably better in the long run if you weren't around all the time. At least for our friendship (which is why I never travel with friends, either -- I always end up never wanting to see them for weeks after spending so much time with them).
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.