Those of you who have been following me for a while, know that I have Panic Disorder and CPTSD which has lead to long bouts of agoraphobia. Right now I am in the midst of one of those bouts where I have not left my house in several months. As a matter of fact, I have only stepped outside my door into the yard once or twice during this time. Part of the reason is that we have several new neighbors on the block many of which are loud and trashy.
My neighbor, who owns his house and has lived on the block for over 30 years, said “the neighborhood has gone to shit”. I agree! This is not an exaggeration in any way. When I moved to this neighboorhood nearly 10 years ago, most of the homes were owned by people in their 60’s or 70’s who had lived here for 20 plus years. It was a very nice quiet neighborhood with a couple of families with children but mostly elders who took pride in the neighborhood. But as the opioid epidemic took over Appalachia, our city started going downhill especially the blue color and working-class neighborhoods. Many homeowners died or moved out and absentee landlords bought up the properties looking to make a quick buck from the college kids but ended up renting to anyone with the money to pay.
Just the other day one of the neighbors decided to cut up a PT Cruiser with a saws-all. They spent 4 days right under my window sawing through metal and glass from sun up to sundown. Mind you I live in the city not out in the country somewhere. This is not something that should be happening. Every morning when Beth goes out to work she has to step over used needles on the sidewalk, walk past working girls and street soldiers, and deal with large loose dogs that bite. You take your life in your hands just walking to the bus stop now. This, of course, has done nothing for my agoraphobia.
So we had the opportunity to rent a new place this month (November) with the official move-in date of December first. The place is very nice with a private front porch and a fenced-in backyard that the dogs will love. It’s the entire first floor and the upstairs neighbors are friends of ours so that works out well. I have not physically gone and looked at the place but I have seen it on FaceTime and two of my daughters have been in it. It’s nice and I have been very excited all month about starting this new chapter in my life. I have created a wish list for things I need and a few I would love to have for the new place. I have made plans for a dinner party near Christmas and for my son to come in and spend a few days. I have been very happy about making all these plans. However, now that the time has come to actually move, I am having issues.
This weekend my youngest daughter Cheyenne came up to help me with packing. The first day was great because I hadn’t seen her in a few months but the second day when we actually started going through stuff and purging it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I AM MOVING!!
I am leaving my safe place and going to a place I have never been with no way of ever returning to this place. I am tossing most of my stuff because it is the old leftovers of a bad relationship that ended 5 years ago and starting fresh.
I AM GOING OUT THAT DOOR NEVER TO RETURN!!!!
I am excited about decorating a new place and tossing all this old dusty dirty falling apart crap save for a few family pieces I am taking with me. I am tossing this recliner that has been my home within my home when my anxiety is through the roof. I am leaving the beautiful stray cat that comes to my window for food but won’t let me touch him (or I would take him with me). I am going outside, getting in a car, with my Vinny and Edie, and walking through the door of a strange place that will be my new safe place.
HOW CAN A STRANGE PLACE EVER BE A SAFE PLACE?!!
I know that this move will be a new start and a new opportunity to get some of my old life back. This place will be a place of friends, family, food, and creativity but right now, my mind is not listening to my heart. Instead, my mind is trying to hold on to this recliner and never let go; hold onto this room and never leave, hold on to this apartment and never open that door again. My mind is screaming NO MEANS NO AND YOU CAN”T MAKE ME!!!
But my heart and my soul know I will walk out that door because it is what is truly going to allow me to heal and grow.