New Home and the Old Trailer:
After nothing working out with multiple apartments, houses and even mobile homes over the span of six months, my friend (April) and I have finally found a home! It is a duplex with a couple and three young boys in the other half. It’s very large with two spacious bedrooms, one bathroom, a cute little kitchen, a lovely living room, and a foyer.
April and I have both grown up in unpleasant conditions and we’ve never had a “nice” place that could truly be our own. Every place I’ve lived in has been hoarded and frankly deplorable. Because I’ve always lived in small, cluttered spaces, I get very anxious and uncomfortable if I don’t have enough space. My preference for large, open spaces isn’t a selfish or greedy one, but rather a larger scale of someone disliking turtleneck shirts because they feel like they’re being choked. I feel suffocated in smaller rooms. I’m not exactly claustrophobic, though. It’s a bit different from that.
April is such a wonderful friend. In every place we looked at, she said she would take the smaller bedroom. When we looked at the house we have now, April wanted the bigger room. Both bedrooms are spacious, but one is larger than the other. I knew she wanted the bigger one because she likes a lot of light coming in her room and that one had two windows. The larger room was perfect for working on my art, though. There was enough space for me to set up my art supplies by one of the windows, and without crowding the rest of my space. I wouldn’t be able to do that in the smaller room. April got so excited when she realized that, and immediately said that I could have the bigger room because it was perfect for me. I know she wanted it, and yet she not only took the smaller one, but she was also thrilled for me and how perfect it was for me. She didn’t make me feel bad like others have in the past, and she shared in my excitement. She is completely selfless and I am so very blessed to have her as a friend.
We went shopping for some furniture afterwards and I got the chance to repay her. Neither of us have ever really had a nice bed of our own. My beds have mostly been mattresses on the floor. I’ve always wanted a bed with a frame and posts. They look so pretty in people’s rooms. I found a gorgeous king size bed with a frame and posts at the store we were at. I couldn’t find a price tag, so I ran up front to ask about it. That’s where I found April. She had also just inquired about the bed. There was only one. I asked if she wanted it. She was wide-eyed. She said “Well, yes, of course I want it. It’s beautiful. Do you want it, too?” I replied “Well, I was interested, but…” She immediately cut me off and got all excited again, telling me that I should get it. There she was being completely selfless again. This time I insisted she get what she wants. I told her that there were plenty of other beds that I could choose from, and I was happy to do so. April got so excited, she even teared up a little. She wouldn’t stop thanking me and saying it was a huge sacrifice on my part, so I reminded her of her huge sacrifice with the bedrooms. She said we are more than even. I don’t feel like the bed was a big sacrifice for me, especially when I got to see how happy it made her, but I’m so glad that we are both satisfied and happy. The bed is perfect for her. She has been suffering some back pain from uncomfortable mattresses. She needs one that is good for her back, and the nice frame is just something she deserves. I don’t need any special mattress because my morning yoga helps me even if I do wake up with some pain. I can sleep on basically any type of mattress, but April truly needed a good one.
I can’t believe how well April and I work together in every situation. I’ve never had a friend who compromised “with” me before. Friends and roommates in the past have always made me do all of the compromising. April and I have similar taste in decor, and when we find something that we disagree on, we both compromise equally. It is such a relief to me, and so refreshing.
Our new place needs to be painted. The landlady was going to paint it, but we offered because we enjoy painting and we want to move in as soon as possible. Ever since I moved into the dilapidated trailer that I mentioned in the “My Story” posts, I have been dying to paint and decorate! I’ve never been in a place where I’m allowed to, so now I’ll have the chance! It’s so wonderful that April is also excited about painting and will enjoy it. We agree on all the colors for each room, and we even picked out a couple of art pieces from a store that we’re going to hang in the living room. I have a sort of modern/abstract taste in art that not many people like, but April does!
My bedroom is going to be a pale baby blue. I love light colors, white or nearly white. Blue is a very peaceful color to me, so a very pale blue is going to be perfect. I can’t wait to get started! I don’t know what color April is going to paint her room yet. We’re going to paint the living room either white or beige, as well as the bathroom. The kitchen will be white.
I’ve never had a foyer before. It probably seems silly to most people, but it’s just so nice to me that our home has a foyer. It’s a good size, too. It’s not a hallway, it’s actually a foyer. I’m ridiculously excited to decorate it and set up a table with a lamp and a place for our keys, a shoe rack and a welcome mat by the door. We also have a large screened in porch where can enjoy the fresh air without bugs flying around or biting us. Plus, I’m a smoker and I have never been the type to smoke indoors, so the porch is nice place to sit and have cigarette. Although, I am trying to quit!
Now that I actually have a nice place to live, I feel more comfortable admitting that I was still living in the dilapidated trailer with all of the broken things. Everything was falling apart even quicker and I was really scared that I wouldn’t move out in time. My bathroom sink fell out of the counter. The ceiling in the bathroom was falling in. The outside wall of bathroom was falling out. The cold showers were taking their toll, even in the summer heat. My bedroom ceiling was leaking. The kitchen wall was falling out, and the sink in there was completely useless. I was washing dishes in the bathtub.
It was pretty scary during all the rain and storms. There were overgrown trees hanging right over my bedroom and I was afraid they would break and fall through the roof. That didn’t happen, though, thankfully. One tree fell, but it was on the other side of the trailer where I never went, so it was okay.
My bedroom in the trailer was clean, but every other part of the place was hoarded and barely usable. I’d been living out of a single room for over three years. As time goes on in the new place, I’m sure I will begin to get over my need for large, open spaces. After all, I won’t be living in my bedroom anymore. I’ll be able and allowed to use the rest of the house. I know I’ll spend a lot of time in my room, though, because I’ll be working on my art constantly, but I’ll still have a living room with a couch to relax in.
I look around the hoarded trailer, trash-filled yard and place, and I feel nothing but shame and disgust, even though I know rationally it’s not my fault and I didn’t create the conditions. My new place is something I and April will feel proud of. For the first time in both of our lives, we’re going to be able to host parties. We’ve been planning since the beginning of the year to host Thanksgiving in our new place! We’re now also planning a birthday party for a friend who has been incredibly helpful and generous in all of our moving plans. Her name is DeAnna. She is letting us use her van to move our things and to transport my cats. We have a truck to move furniture, but we can’t put cats in the bed of a truck. DeAnna has also treated us to lunches and dinners out when we’ve made trips to St. Augustine (the town we’re moving to) in our searches for a home. And she gave me and April gift cards to various restaurants and extra spending money for my birthday in June. DeAnna calls me and April her surrogate daughters because she never had children of her own. She has given us useful and decorative gifts for our new place. DeAnna is definitely like family to me, so I am beyond excited to be able to host a birthday party for her! It’s going to be a surprise. Her birthday is in December, so I’m going to tell her it’s a Christmas party, then she’ll arrive and we’ll have the whole place decorated with balloons and birthday banners, cake and ice cream, gifts and games, and all of her friends will be there.
In the old trailer, I couldn’t even invite people over for a visit. April would visit and she was always really nice about the conditions. She would remind me that it wasn’t my fault and she would act like it was no big deal when I would apologize for subjecting her to it. It was okay once we were inside my room (as long as it wasn’t raining, haha), but the yard and every other part of the place was awful and embarrassing. Having a nice place and being able to host parties and invite people over is just such an incredible blessing to me. I imagine that normal people probably don’t think much about the fact that they can have friends over whenever they want. Growing up in a hoard, though, hosting an event or inviting someone over was always embarrassing and stressful. It won’t be stressful now. April and I are equally neat and clean people who can’t stand clutter, so we both know that our place is always going to be clean enough for someone to drop by unannounced and not cause us stress. Unannounced visitors dropping by a hoarder’s home causes a tsunami of stress and emotions to pour in. I am NOT a hoarder, at all, but my mother is and other people I’ve lived with were.
My mother and I have had a seriously rocky relationship. As you may know from reading my past posts, she was abusive for the majority of my life, and her hoarding has impacted my life greatly. However, we are now finally beginning to repair our relationship. She is no longer abusive. I confronted her about the past and the current (at the time) abuses, which was necessary for me to be able to move on and try to let go. She stopped the emotional and verbal abuse that she had still been doing, and she acknowledged and apologized for the past. She will not stop her hoarding, but that’s not my problem as long as she doesn’t bring her hoard into my home. I’ve offered many times to help her clean up all of her places, but she won’t do it, so I have to just accept that she wants to live that way.
My mother took about two years before she actually started showing that she cared and was willing to treat me respectfully and lovingly, but she is doing that now and I am very grateful. She is my mother and I will always love her. I was ready to cut her out of my life completely, never see her again, so I told her that. I think that’s what made her start changing and actually making an effort. I never really wanted to lose my mother, I just couldn’t have someone so toxic in my life. Now that she is making a genuine effort to show me that she cares and wants me in her life, I am thrilled to put in equal effort to forgive her for the past and repair/rebuild our relationship now. She is being supportive and encouraging, and she has even agreed to help me financially if I need any help until I get on my feet. In fact, she is the reason I’m able to move into this new place. Granted, the money she’s given me for it was technically supposed to be mine anyway (from my deceased father’s life insurance), but still it’s nice that she’s doing it now.
The only issue I foresee with my mother is her visiting and over-staying her welcome. She is making so much progress, but she is generally a selfish person who takes advantage of people. She never stays home and will not get a job because she vacations constantly and stays for free with people all over the place. She shops at all of the local thrift stores and dumpster dives, then hoards whatever place she’s staying at. She cannot do this at my and April’s place. We don’t want her visiting every week and staying for extended periods of time. We want to live on our own, not with my mother. We also don’t want someone coming in a cluttering up our home. My mother can’t even spend one day out without cluttering up the vehicle she’s using. She can’t spend one night at a hotel without hoarding out the place.
This could become an issue with her visiting. I’ve told her that she can visit, that I want her to and I want to spend time with her, but she seems to have taken it as an open invitation for a free place to vacation whenever she pleases. She has been raving about all the vacations she can take to our place and all the things she can do, all the thrift stores she can shop at. April and I don’t know how (or if) we can put a stop to this since my mother will be helping me out financially in the beginning. She technically owes me a lot more money from what she spent of my inheritance than just what she’s given me for the move, but I don’t want to fight with her anymore or guilt her about spending my money in the past. Does anyone have any advice on this matter? I’d love some perspective and suggestions. I want a fresh start with her and to rebuild a relationship with her. In the past I have received gifts from her and just returned them to the store for cash so I can get food or necessities, but I can’t do that with gifts from thrift stores. I wish she would spend money on things that I actually need instead of buying me a bunch of “stuff.” The amount of money she spends on gifts for me could sustain me with food and such for quite a while. I will definitely be making enough money at my job to pay all the bills and take care of my cats, but there may be a couple little things that I fall short on until I build up to working more hours. That’s where my mother said she would help.
My lovely little kitties are going to be ecstatic when they see the new place! They won’t be confined to a single bedroom anymore. They will be allowed to roam through the whole house. They’ll have a cat tree, scratching posts, window sills to sleep on in the sun, and a bunch of toys to keep them happy and active. I’m getting nail caps for them in the beginning just to make sure that they don’t try to scratch anything other than their scratching posts. I don’t think they’ll need the nail caps forever, though.
I’ve always been very diligent about maintaining the cats’ litter pans, so my place has never smelled like litter. I’ve always had to have the litter pans in my bedroom, though, and I don’t like that at all. Now I’ll be able to place them somewhere else in the house. Who wants a litter pan next to their bed anyway? Haha. April and I agreed that the litter pans can go in this one back closet that’s tucked deep in the wall and out of the way. It’s a perfect place because no matter where they go in the house our guests won’t have to see litter pans.
Now that I have so much space, I’ll be able to properly separate the cats for feeding time. One cat has to have a prescription formula, and another is on steroids which go in his food.
They also have plenty of space to exercise! One of cats is quite overweight, so I’ll be exercising him often (I have a lot of dangling toys to get him moving and playing).
I haven’t worked in several years, so I’m lacking a sufficient work history that employers always look for. I’m also not formally educated (I only have a GED), so that doesn’t help either. I was very fortunate to get a job through a friend of a friend. People are right when they say it’s about who you know, I guess. I feel a little guilty because the place wasn’t even hiring anyone, but the owner gave me the job with no questions asked. The other employees don’t seem too happy about that, unfortunately.
The job isn’t a glamorous one, but it is honestly exactly what I wanted to do. I have severe anxiety and there isn’t much that I’m comfortable and confident doing. I know it may be hard to believe, but as far as minimum wage jobs go, I wanted to work in housekeeping at a hotel. And that’s exactly the job I got!
I met with the owner and his brother (the manager), and they literally asked me what position I wanted and then guaranteed it to me immediately. I filled out an application and was interviewed, but it was all just a formality. They said that none of it actually mattered because I have the job no matter what. All I have to do now is call them and let them know when I’m available to start work.
I didn’t get to choose the hours I’ll be working, but the hours they need me are again exactly what I wanted. Naturally I don’t want to be doing this my whole life, but right now in this stage of my life it is all exactly what I need/want. I can’t work certain hours because of the bipolar disorder. I wouldn’t be able to work the crazy shifts that some people do (work late one night and early the next morning). I need a steady routine in my life that does not change, and just at first, I need to start out slow with less hours because I haven’t worked in a long time and I need to adjust and make it my new routine. With this job I’m getting exactly what I need for my stability. It also helps a lot that I really like my bosses! They are so nice and they made me feel really comfortable. I wasn’t nearly as anxious as I thought I’d be.
I can’t believe how beautifully everything has fallen into place for both me and April. She got a job transfer with the company she’s been working with for years, and she may even be getting a promotion soon! April has a car, but I don’t. I don’t want a car, either. I want to use the bus, walk or ride a bike. April’s job is located farther away, but she doesn’t mind the drive. In fact, she said she likes it. My job is located less than two miles from our new home! I got a bike and will be able to ride to work, and if the weather is bad I can take the bus! My bike is really nice, too. It’s a lovely pale yellow Panama Jack bike. I can’t wait to ride it to work every day! It will be good exercise, too.
In addition to my job at the hotel, I will also have my artwork. I’m not sure if I will sell any of it, but I’m going to try, and if I happen to make a little extra money while doing the art that I love so much, that will be wonderful! If I can’t sell it, that’s okay, too. I’ll still enjoy it as a hobby as I always have.
After I’m settled in and have a new routine established, I also have the opportunity to earn a little extra by baby sitting on my days off. I absolutely love children and I’ve been told that I’m very good with them, so that will be nice. Our neighbors actually have three little boys, so if they approve I’m sure April and I will get to play with the kids once in a while. Their side of the duplex doesn’t really have a yard, so April and I want to let them know that the kids are welcome to play in our big fenced in yard all they want. Children should have a nice yard to play in, I think. And if we all get along, April and I want to offer to babysit if the parents want to go out for an evening once in a while. Truth is, I’ve never had neighbors so close and I’m really excited to get to know them and hopefully form a friendship. I will enjoy spoiling the kids, too, once I have some spending money. I love doing Christmas and holidays for children.
Oh and I actually have a job perk that I didn’t expect at all! My boss told me that I will be getting passes to various attractions in the area as an employee. That will be very nice.
I have so much going on in my life right now it is overwhelming, in a good way! So many good things have happened, I have so many exciting new ventures, so many opportunities and so much positive change taking place. The next thing I’m looking forward to, obviously, is November when my girl visits!
I cannot wait to have her here with me! The only thing I’m not looking forward to is having to go to work while she’s here. It will be okay, though. I’m just not going to want to spend even a moment away from her. It’s going to be hard, but I’ll still have plenty of time with her.
I’ll be making a list of all the places I want to take her whenever April and I go out to explore the town. I will be saving as much as I can afford from August to November so I can take her out on dates. I know that she would be perfectly happy just staying at home with me, but I want to take her to a few nice places. The passes that I’ll get through my job will be nice, too, so that I can take her to all of the local attractions.
I just can’t wait to have her here. Even just looking at my new place for the first time, I was imagining her in there with me. I’ll be able to cook for her. She doesn’t really cook, but I love cooking. I’ll be able to curl up on the couch in the living room with her to watch a movie. We might even be able to go bike riding together (we’ll have to get her a bike, though).
I don’t know how it happened, but apparently one of my posts (“My Story, Part Eight- Nelson’s Lessons) was featured on a site about bipolar disorder. I was quite surprised to find my post on the site, and really curious as to how it got there. It’s nice, though, I think. I wasn’t sure I’d actually written anything useful or helpful, but it’s great if I did. The site is bipolar.alltop.com
I won’t have internet access at my new place for a little while, but April and I are working on getting it. I love this blog and all the people I’ve met on here, so I’m sure I’ll spend some time at the coffee shop across the street after work once in a while to use the internet. If I’m slacking at all, though, it’s because I don’t have internet at my new place yet. No worries, I will be around!
If you’ve actually read this entire post, thank you! It’s quite a lengthy update on my life.
Thanks so much for reading!