Posted by: speakoutservices | September 5, 2011

My Life in Color: Being Deserving of Home

My refrigerator is sitting in my living room, half of the couch is on the patio, and my cupboard contents are spilled out all over the floor.  It feels like a hurricane has hit my home, but it is really just a process of remodeling.  But the biggest change of all is the color!  After 14 years of staring at white walls, we have gone bold with a “Mid-Summer Twilight” violet, accented by “Leaf Bud” green.  All the door and window frames are a creamy, beige which probably has some cool name if I were not too lazy to get up to look at the can in my garage.  My Hamburger Helper world just got more Rachel Rayish and I never knew I had it in me.  Or perhaps, I never believed I deserved more than ground beef.

I am always taken back when, after twenty plus years of recovery, I am still learning how trauma has effected my life.  Just when I think I have it all nailed down, I get a “wow” moment.  And my most recent awakening came when I looked at my first brightly painted room.  I felt happy and rejuvenated by the thrust of color, and I could not help but wonder just what has taken me so darn long to get here?  Why have I lived with the bland walls, the million-year-old-won’t-come-clean carpet, and the disorganized mayhem I have come home to everyday?

At first, I answered my question with rational reasons – too expensive, no time, kids will just make a mess anyway.  After all, they are little and will spill stuff, right?  Except they are now 14 and 11, and while not exactly mess free, they left sippy-cup land eons ago.  But when I probe deeper, and really think about how I define “home”, my first thought is a place to run as far away from as possible.  The emotional climate of my childhood home was often tense, uncertain, and at times violent.  It was like living with people but being plagued with isolation, and running a white glove over the dust-free house filthy with the secret of incest.  While I believe I have done a good job of being emotionally-present and spending time with my children, I have created a physical space worthy of running from.  It took my daughter to finally point out to me how much she wanted a better living space.

My kids are my greatest teachers.

She helped me to see a new definition of  “home”.   A place of comfort, stability, safety – and beauty.  A place where you want, and deserve, to stay put.

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