Thursday, August 11, 2011

To Visit the Old Homestead or Not to Visit?

My brother and I have completed high school and are moving on. My mother has chosen not to remain with the school district for which she has worked for many years. My father's work takes him to several parts of the state, and he doesn't presently work near our home as much as he works in other areas. For this reason and a few others, my parents have chosen to sell the home in which our family has lived for nearly nine years. They will be relocating to the central coast of California. My mother is presently boxing up belongings and preparing for the final move, which will take place in about five weeks.

I have been offered the opportunity to make a final visit to the house that was my home for just over half of my present life, and far longer than I lived in any other home. We moved every few years before settling into the house we are preparing to leave forever. The home of which I speak is filled with memories, some of which are pleasant, but others which are not. I am unsure as to whether a final visit to this home is something I wish to undertake.

It's just a house, for one thing. Wherever we gather as a family when my brother and I are not off on educational pursuits will be our home just as much as the old one was. Once all our furniture and possessions are out of the house, it will mostly be just another house. I'm not saying that in twenty years' time if I happen to be in the area, I won't drive past it to see if it's still standing or to discover what the current owners have or have not done with the place. I just don't know if I need to go inside, sleep there a night or two, and generally pay homage to a place that is just a place.

My PseudoUncle believes that I should go back home at least once before all the furniture has been removed. He thinks I should maybe take some pictures, both inside and outside, of the place. He thinks I should stare up at the roof peak that I once used as a balance beam and take time to give thanks that I'm not a vegetable or a quadriplegic as a result. He thinks I should feel the carpet on the floor where I spent hours immobilized the time I fell trying to get into my wheelchair in the middle of the night when no one could hear me, and remember that I made it through that night. He thinks I should sit on the stair landing where I was stuck because I was too weak to go up or down on my own when my parents were at a party, and remind myself how far I've come and how strong I now am. He thinks I should stare down the window space through which a brick was propelled, waking me from a sound and pain-killer-induced sleep following a physical and sexual assault, and remind myself that nothing will ever come through that window, or likely any other window, at me again. He wants me to walk into my beautiful bedroom that my Godparents had specially created for me after my assault, so I could sleep in a different space than the one containing the window through which the brick was propelled. PseudoUncle says I should crawl into the bed and remember what it was like when I first woke up in that dark room, after having been carried there in my sleep, not having any idea where I was and feeling along walls to find a light switch that would illuminate for me a room as luxurious as a five-star hotel room. He thinks I should feel the textures and smell the smells that will probably be with me for my whole life.

I see his all of his points, but I really don't want to go back there. My five closest friends and most of their families have all moved on. I've already met up with my friends at places closer to where my new residence will be. The old house, and the old town, won't hold much of anything near and dear to me for long. I'm not sure I get the point, since I have no desire to go there. It's almost as though he thinks I need to exorcise demons or something, which will remain forces at work against me if I don't face them down this one last time.

I'm not sure if it's something I really want to do.


  1. That is a tough one. He has very valid points, but maybe it's just too much. I certainly have no desire to go back to my unhappy childhood home, and it contains none of the demons yours does. I hope you come to the conclusion that is best for you.

  2. Babe, it looks like the decision has been taken out of your hands. Remember that there were a lot more good times than bad times there. We'll all be with you - Mom, Dad, Uncle Scott, me, and even Matthew. Uncle Steve and Aunt Heather will be nearby as well. You'll have two last nights in your favorite room in the world (until you see the new one your Godparents are creating in the new house), and you won't even have to sleep alone in there if you'd prefer not to be by yourself.

    It will all be good. Don't worry.

    Love, Auntie J.

  3. I followed over from the Band. Uhh, yeah, I wouldn't go. I'll explain how this works for me because I hate people who give advice. :) So I'm not giving advice. I'm just explaining what I do. It gives me this vague feeling of justification. Anyway. :) There are times in trauma recovery when confronting things/places/events is good and there are times when it really isn't a good idea. Sometimes I will just feel retraumatized, I won't get any "benefit". All those "knowing it will never happen" moments can happen when I set up my new room and look around and know that I have left the polluted energy behind. This is a new, consecrated space. I generally make a pact with my new room to keep me safe. I have a weird relationship with moving though. I've moved more than 50 times so I'm kind of weird about "places to live" not being permanent.

    Anyway, hi. I'm Krissy. I'm from the Band and occasionally I babble on the internet because I find my inner Yoda. Mostly it's ok to just assume I mean well. :)

  4. Auntie J sounds like good people.

  5. I'm another member of the band and read your story there. I think you sound really well grounded. I think your PseudoUnde seems pretty cool to bring up all the things you learned in your house and maybe it is enough to just be aware of all those things. I don't think I'd want to go back either. (I was raped in my 20's.... I'm now in my 50's and I will never revisit the place it occurred.)I wish you joy on new adventures.

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  7. Oh, Alexis! Too much has happened to you!

    Hmm. Let's see.... A surfeit of home made wheat wine has dulled my senses, but I'll do my best.

    Your house did its best for you. It looked after you on several occasions. Maybe your house needs to tell you goodbye? Just a random and not entirely sober point of view.

  8. everyone sounds so wise! Krissy, i'm so sorry about what happened. I had an "alomst" of othat nature, and the only thing that came even close to keeping me sane was that, even though I was injured, it was an almost and was stopped short. Amelia, Auntie J. really is pretty cool.
    She's 23 and smart far beyond her years. Krissy, thanks for you insightful response. The city traumatizes me more than the house itself. Mayy, you made a good analogy.

    The decision has been made, and i am going back, but then i suppose it is good to go through my own stuff and decide what to keep and what to discard.

    Thanks everyone.