For most of my life I’ve had this sense/feeling of not fitting in. Of not belonging. All I wanted was a place to call “home”. A stable base where I could be myself, and feel safe and secure.
When I moved in with my friend M last year (at her insistence), I thought I had finally found that. And for a little while, I had. We get along great and have fun together. At least, we did.
I moved in a few months after her husband passed away. In December things started changing. She seemed different. I started feeling awkward, getting the sense that something was wrong, but not knowing what it was. Since the beginning, we had a deal. If either of us had an issue with the other, we would bring it up and talk it over. I asked her a few times if everything was okay with us, and she would tell me that it most definitely was, that she didn’t have any issues or problems with me, and that she likes having me around.
Last week Tuesday she told me that she needs to speak to me. And with those words, I instantly knew what was coming. She told me that she needs me to know that there’s nothing I did or didn’t do, and that it’s not personal, but she needs her house back. That she needs to grieve properly, and has realized that she can’t do that with someone else living there. I told her I get that, because I really do. Throughout our conversation I found myself trying to make her feel better about her telling me this and the situation, while inside I was breaking apart.
What makes it so hard is that in January she told me that I can continue staying with her, and must never worry about not having a place to stay. And now I find myself in that exact situation. I can’t move back in with my dad and step family as they’re renting a small place until they leave for Sweden in March/April. I can’t go with them immediately, as they first need to settle down, and I need to find a job that side since I’m an adult and over 30. They can help me find a job in Sweden once they’re there, but it’s obviously going to take time.
My business has stalled in January and this month. I have a couple of clients who have put their website work on hold for personal and occupational reasons. I applied for a few regular jobs outside my design work that I felt I could handle, but they didn’t pan out. The one I was really hopeful and positive about that I didn’t get was a quite a big disappointment. So I don’t have a stable salary every month, and it’s just thanks to my dad and step mom that I’m able to cover all my monthly expenses. I hate that I’m dependent on them for that, and I am trying to put an end to it, but my attempts so far at becoming more independent just keep falling short or falling through completely. I feel useless and stupid.
So, I don’t know what I’m going to do and where I’m going to stay. My dad can’t really afford to help me out with even more money, as they need to prepare for relocating and aren’t earning an income now either since selling the business. M said it would be great if I could move out at the end of this month. My therapist is away for 3 weeks, and I’m only seeing her again when she gets back in the first week of March. Had an appointment with my psychiatrist last week Wednesday, a day after the conversation with M, and he told me that I can tell her that it’s too soon and I need more time. That I must wait until my therapist comes back, and they can help me sort something out. I only got the courage to tell her this on Saturday. She didn’t really say much, other than “okay”.
What breaks my heart is that it feels as though our relationship is broken. She knows me so well. She could always tell when I’m anxious or becoming overwhelmed. A few times even before I realized it myself. I never had to tell her when I’ve had enough in a social situation or in public, because she said she can see it in my body language, my hand movements. She picked up those little things, and would give me an out. No one has ever been that attuned to me before. I’m not mad at her, as I understand it from her perspective, but the disappointment is overwhelming.
The worst part of this for me might sound strange to a lot of people. But the biggest, most intense emotions were related to the thought of losing M’s dog. I have a very deep bond with her. I’m one of those people who bond easier and stronger to animals than people. When M first went to meet and pick up doggy, she completely ignored M and ran straight to me. Jumping on me and licking me as though she’d known me forever and just hadn’t seen me in a while. M said I can still come visit them and take doggy for a walk, but it’s not the same. She won’t be there to comfort me the way only she can. Make me laugh every day. Lay on the bed with me or on my lap while watching a movie or reading. She’s a very special dog. Strangely, a lot like me. She startles easily. Is shy and introverted (while still being friendly and gentle), but when she knows you and is comfortable, a total goofball. So not being around every day for her is especially painful to think about.
I’ve also had a couple of dreams where M gets hurt and I’m not able to get to her in time to help her. She’s in her seventies, and like me, really clumsy. It’s a running joke between her friends that the two of us should be wrapped in bubble wrap at all times. So I guess a part of me is worried about something happening to her when she’s on her own. I know it’s not my responsibility though.
The first two days I felt like a wreck and stayed away from M as much as I was able to. It felt like the smallest word or something happening would break me completely, and so my brain went into protective mode. The dissociation and numbness set in. I tried to reach out to my other friends, but they’re not the type you can count on for support. And so the shield has gone up. M flew up to go visit her son for awhile (he’s sick), so I’m alone here now (doggy is with me though), and I’m glad. I need to be on my own. Especially right now.
Maybe one day I’ll find my place in this world.