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Concepts of home have become more difficult for me to articulate over recent years. What does home really mean to me? Is home a place, a person, a state of mind? Unusually, I read the Food for Thought posts already posted before writing this. Now I’m not sure if I’m clearer or if the waters are more muddy. Let’s see.
We moved to the house I would consider my childhood home when I was around 5. I have a few memories of the first place, but they may just be from photos I’ve seen. Home was my parents and brothers. My grandparents and cousins visiting. It was family Christmas’ and my room.
As a teenager I got my dad to paint it purple. I had my own little portable cassette deck, my books and other special possessions. It’s the place I did my homework and wrote. Once I got a boyfriend it’s a place I took him, though my mum was forever calling me downstairs!
I got married from that home (though I had moved out 6 months before) and then my parents moved to a new house. I felt at home in their new place, but it wasn’t my home.
Hubby and I also owned two houses during the course of our marriage. Our first was special because I’d never lived anywhere that afforded real privacy. By that, I mean that parents and brothers could walk in at home and the home warden at my nurses accommodation. Here only we had a key, everyone else had to knock. That made it home. Then the fact we decorated and chose furniture and furnishings. Finally because it was just us. It was a place that we conceived our son and brought him home to. Later I discovered things hadn’t been as I imagined, because his infidelity started at around that time.
When my son was just 3 months old we moved. I wanted somewhere we could bring up a family, a bigger home and better neighbourhood. The new place was fine to begin with. We decorated, but often struggled to make it feel right (for me that is). However it was my son’s home and over time it became mine too. A place of sanctity, somewhere to hide when things were difficult.
At the end, when my ex had all but gone, it felt like the home it had never been. I spent days and nights there alone and became familiar with every nook and cranny. But when it came time to leave, I knew it was right.
My ex still lives there. I’ve been back and it feels no more like home than any other house in that street. That’s not because they have decorated and have new furniture. I’ve felt that way since I loaded my car with my remaining things and closed the door on that part of my life.
Looking back, I am still not sure that home was ever with my ex. But having my son there made it feel that it was at the time.
We live in Master’s house. To begin with it was very weird, but gradually it has become home. Partly because my possessions have found their place and I have made changes to how things are. Also because we have started to decorate and make plans about how things will be. But this is a home because we are here together. I have a feeling about the concept of home that I didn’t have before.
There is one other place I call home. It’s a small apartment in France that I own (well jointly own with the ex). But it is my bolt hole. It’s the place I went to escape the pain and sadness when my life seemed to be falling apart. I’ve laughed, cried, got drunk and had amazing sex there. It is the place I’d run to if things went tits up here with Master. But it is also the place we go to and gradually it has become something of home to him too. Our place, our home.