make the jump

I heard the other day, that the things you least want to write about, are what the world most needs to hear.

The number one thing I have always felt lacking in my life life is a sense of stability and security. Growing up, I always felt really different from my family, like I never fit in the way they wanted me to or that they loved for who I am.

When I was in high school, I acted out a lot in response to the pain of feeling unloved and unwanted by my family. I hung out with friends my mom didn’t approve of, started doing drugs and drinking to numb the pain, and any other escape I could find to get away from the constant hurt that I felt. They say friends are the family you choose and I tended to gravitate toward other kids with dysfunctional family lives. We were all trying to find love and feel loved by someone.

I think it was my freshman year that I ran away. I thought that if I could finally be free of my mom, I could be myself and be accepted by a world that I could create. I was gone for maybe two weeks. I still remember when the two girls I had left with decided we should go home. I went to one of their houses. Her dad called my mom and asked if it was ok if I came home, my mom paused for what seemed like minutes, and then in a voice devoid of any emotion said, “I guess.”

This is what I always remember my relationship with my mom being like. She was distant and emotionally unavailable. She thought that by controlling me or telling me who to become that was being a good mom. She told me, and continues to say the words ‘I love you’, but I’ve never felt that she meant them. Her way of showing love has never made any sense to me.

I had gotten my first job and been working since 14. I know we were poor, but she made it very clearly that she wasn’t going to support me anymore once I could work. So I got whatever shitty job I could and tried to make it work. She never made my brother work though, and was always buying him stuff, even while complaining that he was addicted to playing computer games but always there to enable him. Never doing anything to encourage him otherwise. And he was the smart one. In high school I was always skipping class, but he was taking AP classes and earning college credit. Everyone thought I was the hopeless degenerate. I was just really sad and lonely.

When I was 18 she told me that I had to start paying rent or move out. We had just moved to Utah, which I never wanted to do, and I was trying to drop out of school. The counselor convinced me to do homeschool, so I finished my classes doing pre-made packets and got a part time job while I looked for an apartment. I couldn’t find anything that I could afford on my own, and didn’t know anyone to ask to be my roommate, so I moved into a place that I didn’t know how I would pay rent for every month, and blindly hoped it would work out. Looking back, that was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made. It began a pattern of moving into places I couldn’t afford, creating bigger and bigger problems when I had to move out.

I moved back to California with my best friend for a little while, we rented a room from a woman and got into a bunch of debt trying to make ends meet. I couldn’t deal with the stress anymore. I was so tired of always being poor. One night I took a whole bottle of extra strength tylenol, because it was the easiest way I thought I could kill myself. I didn’t realize how sick it would make me. My friend came home from work and found me. She took me to the ER and I remember the nurse telling me that she knew I was sad, but to tell her I was ok so they didn’t have to send me away. She said the real crazy people were there… I still don’t know what she meant. I guess being sad enough to want to die doesn’t make you crazy?

my mom and Grandma came to see me in the hospital. My grandma gave me a little stuffed animal and told me not to tell her husband. My mom didn’t say much. After, they never really talked about it again, or asked me why, or tried to make me see a therapist. So I moved back to Utah and kept partying, trying unsuccessfully to numb everything inside of me.

It was always the same story: try to make it on a job that didn’t pay enough living in an apt that I couldn’t afford. Things got harder when I became a single mom. Without much help, I couldn’t get a job or go to school or really do anything to improve the situation. And babies are expensive! Somehow I got the sweetest little boy, I still don’t know why he chose me.

Over the years I’ve had chances to make more money, but there is always a trade off. The deal goes like this: sell us a little piece of your soul and then you’ll be able to eat and sleep comfortably. But nobody tells you that every little piece you sell breaks your spirit just a tiny bit more. During the past few years I’ve been trying to figure out what actually  makes me happy and how to support us doing that. Being born with a trust fund or getting married to someone willing to provide for you seem like the only ways to live my dreams. Every time I choose to leave a situation, job, or person that doesn’t feel right it seems like the Universe punishes me more severely.

The past three years have been the hardest of my life. After deciding to leave a job (that felt like my own personal hell) I was evicted after not being able to pay the astronomical rent anymore. They were the only place that would approve me, I should’ve never moved in, but I didn’t have any other options. I stayed with a friend for a while, and then when he moved, my mom reluctantly let us stay with her. But true to form, when I needed her most, she told me I couldn’t stay anymore. So I slept in my car for three months until I found a place with roommates. That didn’t work out. So I was back at my mom’s and then -surprise- she told me I couldn’t stay again.

But of course she texts me every day and tells me how much she loves me and asks how my day is and a bunch more nauseating bullshit. Why does she always abandon me when I need her the most?

Now we’re staying in an Airbnb, I keep telling myself to enjoy our mini staycation, but I know that after this we have nowhere left to go. My mom told me to check out the shelters downtown or maybe the YWCA. I’m angry and hurt and completely terrified. I I don’t know what to do next. I keep dreaming about falling into a void, after falling for what seems like forever, I notice that I’m somewhere deep in space. And I don’t exist anymore. I’m part of space, or it’s part of me, all there is nothingness.

I saw a billboard the other day that said ‘make the jump.’ I thought it was telling me to move to Europe or something crazy, to finally escape all the shit here! But now I’m starting to realize maybe it’s telling me to jump into the unknown. I don’t want to jump. I don’t want to face this fear. I don’t want to be homeless. That’s the thing that terrifies me the most. But I guess I’ve already lived through that… I don’t want to do it again though.

All I’ve ever wanted is to feel safe and secure. What if I never find that?

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