Saturday, September 21, 2013

I Need Some Space

It’s funny how people often say that when they breakup, instead of just saying that the relationship isn’t working anymore, stating why, and just breaking it off more honestly. I’ve always found that phrase kind of odd, but in some ways I definitely understand it, although in a much different context, and with a completely different meaning.

I prefer that people give me plenty of space in my personal life, physically and emotionally, I don’t want people hovering over me. I don’t have a favorite seat that I won’t let people sit in, but I definitely understand the fictional Sheldon wanting people to stay out of his bedroom, I’m the same way.

Stay out of my room, stay out of my car, unless you happen to be riding with me in it for some reason (don’t just randomly get into it, if you need something out of it, I’ll get it), and for crying out, don’t stand right on top of me. I like my personal space, and there are certain places that should just be mine to be in. I don’t take very kindly to personal space invaders.

I’ve noticed how much of a difference it makes when I’m allowed to have my space after spending two nights at the house I am rebuilding. I don’t know what mom’s big rush for me to move in there was all about, the siding isn’t completely done yet, the fence isn’t done, and a heating and cooling company is going to be looking into why the furnace doesn’t work on Monday (hooray, another bill! lol)

After all, she’s the one that for 5 years was hell bent on forcing me to stay in her house, barricading me in a room at one point when I tried to leave. “But you didn’t have a plan, where were you going to live, how were you going to have any money?” she said as her excuse for forcing me to stay then (and still stands by those excuses to this day).

Hmm….. Let’s see, why didn’t I have that plan again? Yes, that’s right, it was because you wouldn’t let me work, and I didn’t hardly have the time for it anyway because you kept pushing me to go to a local community college that I had already proven to you in many different ways that it was a complete scam, but you kept denying it (I think she knew all along, but it was a convenient way to tie me down), so I couldn’t have a job, money, or a place to go, and you would have gotten in the way of any plan I had to try to leave anyway. Does that about cover it?

Anyway, the interior of the house is done, and since I have spent the last two nights over there, I’ve noticed that I’m much more awake in the mornings than I used to be, and more relaxed. That helps me out in so many different ways.

My memory completely shatters into pieces, and my cognitive abilities are cut in about half of what they normally are when I’m extremely stressed or tired. 

My co-workers are still hassling me about leaving my keys in the ignition with the car running last week during one of those ultra stressed days. I was glad that Edwardsville’s police department came and unlocked it, otherwise I would have been utterly screwed, I could have called emergency roadside service through my insurance, but the insurance cards and phone number for my insurance were in the car….

Now that I actually have space to myself, I feel better, and have more time. My mom and dad have absolutely no concept or understanding of  the term personal space, (or for that matter, boundaries). My dad, as I have talked about before, due to mental health issues, is incredibly obsessive and hyper (my mom thinks it’s funny, but he hates it when I hassle him that the TV character Adrian Monk is his brother).

He is constantly flying through the house, incredibly focused on what he needs to get done that day, must do this, must do that, and neither hell nor high water is going to stand in his way. That becomes a major problem due to the fact that they live in a house that’s only about 650 square feet. In that tiny of a house, someone constantly running back and forth is going to end up running into you, and getting in your way all day long.

He gets frustrated when someone is standing in the way of a place in the house he wants to get into, especially in the kitchen. If I had to get something out of the refrigerator, and say he wants to clean the microwave, which is right next to it, he’ll just stand there, impatiently, waiting for you to move, and he will stand right on your back the whole time.

He also gets extreme tunnel vision the whole time he’s in one of these manic states, and won’t even notice that I’m there, constantly crashing into me (and I mean that literally). I had learned that when he wants to be in the kitchen, especially when he’s cooking, just to stay out of the kitchen entirely, whatever I need to do can wait, it just isn’t worth it.

Mom isn’t any better, albeit in her own ways. She has no concept of personal space either, constantly standing too close to you, and will sometimes demand to touch you, which as you know, I can't stand, even from family members, and especially from her. I’ve tried telling her, I’ve tried pulling away, she doesn’t understand, and it just pisses her off.

Remember that routine I absolutely hate where people will stand around talking, and block all the exits to the room at the same time?. Both of them will do that multiple times a day, without realizing it, but they do unconsciously in such a rhythm, in such a coordinated fashion, it almost seems deliberate.

She also demands your attention endlessly, shouting at you from another room as though what she’s saying is urgent or absolutely important, when it can really wait, and neither me or my dad can even hear what’s she saying anyway, even in that small of a house. She has a habit of speaking in a soft tone/pitch of voice, and she doesn’t speak all that clearly either (except when she’s angry, and she enjoys being angry). It’s not just us, very few people can hear her or understand her, its fun to listen to her when she tries to call someone on the phone, people are constantly telling her to speak up, or repeat herself.

She swears it’s because of her asthma, but she does it even when she is breathing fine, and when she really wants to shout about something, she doesn’t do that. Both me and my dad learned to act as though we can’t hear her when she’s shouting from another room, (which we can hear the shouting, but the words might as well be in Latin, as well as we could understand them). If she really wants us to know something, she’ll find us, or tell us the next time she sees us.

She will also never leave you alone; she demands your attention constantly. She always had a habit of chasing me around the house, shouting my name, “Where are you?” “Where are you?”, “I just want to know you are alright”.

Sure, as if I’m a three year old, who is going to jam a steak knife into an electrical outlet if she turns her back on me for just one minute……. It’s just because she wants to be the center of attention constantly. It would get to the point that some days, I would play dead and act like I’m asleep just to get her to stay away. She understands that I have limited energy, though doesn’t know why (because, you know, my depression doesn't really exist according to her), so it could make for a decent cover when I got tired of having to put up with it all the time.

Just as there is no such thing as personal space to either of them, there is no such thing as personal spaces either. There was no place that was allowed to be just mine, and mine alone. My room over there? Sure, just go ahead, and tear it apart any time you like, looking for anything that you want, and demand to know what anything in that room is, or ask about it anytime if you don’t recognize what it is, or where it came from, anytime of the day.

My car? Sure, just unlock the door, and look through it for anything you are looking for without asking me where it is first (it’s probably somewhere in the house, but you forgot where you put it). Nothing truly belongs to you, nowhere is your private space, and everything is of our concern, and our business.

Can you see why living there would be like someone dumping a big bucket of stress on me everyday? 


  1. OMG, if you even walk by my mom, she will give you chores. it's horrible. Oh, and my parents never put locks on our doors, ever, so my mom just walks in anytime she wants...not so bad now when I visits (she is conscious that I could be dressing), but when I was a kid, ugh, it was insane. That said, she never wants me to leave....never tries to kick me out of the house. More like, "don't leave, please!"

    1. This reminds me of a story of one of my friend's growing up. When his older brother was about 10 years old he locked himself in his room and wouldn't come out. They had to take the door off the hinges to get to him. His mom then decided to take off all of the interior doors of their house to prevent it from happening again. It stayed like that forever.

  2. great writing! the flow was good and the emotions and images vivid. I was able to relate even though I have not experienced any of those things.

    good writing leaves you wanting more....

    Perhaps it would be interesting to open up and peer inside your parents minds to imagine how they experience their individual relationship with you!.........


    1. I wonder what they really think, sometimes i think that I would never really want to get inside her mind....

  3. When I first went off to college, my mom insisted I come visit them any chance I got. Once in my first semester I didn't come home for a 3 day weekend and she was pissed. But when I was there she wouldn't leave me alone and I wasn't able to get my homework done. I tried explaining this to her a bunch of times but it didn't get through. When I finally stopped coming home and told her I would only visit if she gave me some time alone did she understand (somewhat).

    1. People like that, you just have to be that direct with them, that is if emotionally, and financially, you can afford to do that.

    2. Being direct didn't even work for a while. I told her very clearly "If you don't give me time to do this work I will have to stop coming home so often", that didn't work. Only when I went through with it and cut my visits way down did she get the message

    3. That's the way I'll have to be with my mom, I guess....


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