Finding Home

They say that there is no place like home. Well for me home physically had always been the beautiful state of Oregon. However the physical home would change during what would become the last portion of my marriage to David and my emotional home would be lost it would seem for quite some time. My life was always filled with hard times and a lot of ups and downs, however if you had told me that when I got married in October 23rd of 2004 that I would be divorced just a little over two years after getting married I might have not believed you. Not to mention if you told me that I would have lose most of my material possessions due to the ordeal I would be put through I would have not believed you.

I would never believe that the marriage I had with David would end the way it would. I would have never belieeved that I would lose most of my material possessions and still struggling now to regain the things I have lost. The most hurtful being a good portion of my writing being lost due to Kansas and knowing that I would never be able to get it back. If you told me it would take almost losing everything important to me to really realize how blessed I was I don’t think I would have known what to tell you because I was blind to what I see clearly now. I was blind in some ways or just took for granted those things that I have been blessed with in my life.

I still remember that day, the day my life seemed to change forever. Most of the time since the divorce I have tried to push the thoughts of him out of my head especially those months in Kansas. Recently though, I have come to the realization that I have to let the memories come out even if I rather block out all the times especially the bad ones that I had while I wasn’t living in Oregon. I often refer to my friends those two months in Kansas as the worst months in my life which overall is true however in the end it was also the best thing that could have happened to me.

Before I tell you more of how I really have found home I need to tell you more who I am. I am at least a third generation Oregonian although my family might have been here longer. My family has never been close. My father had never been part of my life for he decided at a young age for me that he rather say I wasn’t his child and vanish from me. I don’t even remember my grandfather on my dad’s side since he passed when I was four however I have been told several times that he loved me and if he was alive now he would have told my dad off on how he treated me. The rest of the my dad’s family lost contact with my mom when I was too young to really remember any of them, however I do know my father has two brothers and a sister.

As for my mom’s side of the family there has never been a closeness as I had experienced first hand growing up. My mom is one of seven kids. The first three were given up for adaptation before my Uncle Terry was born, who is older than my mom as she was the second oldest of the kids my grandmother sort of raised. My grandmother did find the first three kids while I was in Junior High School and I got to meet two of the three, the third would not happen until my grandmother passed away in August of 2007. My grandfather on my mom’s side of the family passed away back in April of 2000 when I was with David the first time. Even though my mom has a decent size of a family, none of us are close, I barely talk to any of my Uncles or Aunts with the exception of maybe once or twice a year.

It’s a sad reality but it is what it is. My mom tried many years when I was growing up before my grandmother even found the rest of the family to do family dinners on Holidays to no avail. However through it all the one person I could count on was my mom, although my real father seemed to totally disregard my existence my mom had been there through everything from all the good and bad. I had seen my mom go through many things as a single parent and with not being able to count on my real father for child support, he still owes her back support to this day, and I haven’t seen him since that fateful day back when I was about to go into Junior High.

My mom and I really went through hard times growing up. There were some very hard times due to my father and other issues that seemed to go on. We went through bankruptcy, welfare, food stamps, special housing, and living with my grandmother a few times just so we would have a place to stay. However I did know I was loved and cared for, my mom really seemed to believe I could do anything I put my mind to and I worked hard through school hoping that it would help me have that better life that she wished for me.

I originally met David when I was eighteen on August 16th 1999. By that time I had gone through High School finishing with about a 3.7 GPA and was ready for College. I felt even back than I was ready for College more than most of my friends. I had gone through a few relationships by that time but David was the first for so many things. David was the first one that lived with me after us being together for a month he moved in instead of us having to take the bus to each others house. There was something about him that swept me away at my young age than and partly does now.

By the time David and I met at the max station near where we were going to see Runaway Bride we had been talking for almost two months. I remember being nervous and excited this was the first time I had met and would date anyone that I met from online. The rest of the guys I had dated by that time either went to my school or were friends of people I knew. David was also the first to ask me to marry him and the first engagement I ever went through. Although originally we had planned to get married on our anniversary at the year that I figured I would be done with school he was the first one I went through the whole emotions of being engaged.

After over a year of being together soon after our anniversary in October he left, because at that time and even now through relationships I always tried to celebrate monthly anniversaries. Sure he said something about it but I thought at that time we had worked things out and he was going to stay. It was a very hard and emotional time. I remember how I spent so much time with my best friend Adam just trying to get through the pain, the hurt, the heartache, and the numbness that seemed to follow after he left. By the time he left I felt that I had gone through so much since even meeting him over a year ago. By that time I made one of the hardest decisions in my life and lost my grandfather.

Although my grandfather and I never was that close most of my life something seemed to change right before he passed away. He tried to close the gap between my mom and him as well as myself and him. He even told us how proud he was. So by the time David left me I felt betrayed. It took lots of time for me to get over him and there was a part of me that never was. I still loved him despite trying to move on several times.

Between the time he left me and the time he returned in my life I had gone through many other things. I had switched majors in college from Accounting to Management, I had gone through a few more engagements both leaving me disheartened, and before he found me I was dealing with a relationship that seemed to not be going anywhere that was hurting me. When I found James the guy I was engaged to a few years after David had been gone I thought perhaps I had found something better. Everything in my life seemed perfect until one day he seemed to disappear without a trace and I felt like I was mending a broken heart for a long time after that. I wrote him letters even though I knew he would never see them just to get through the pain in my heart.

After awhile I found Mike who started out positive just like David and James. I ended up breaking things off with him because I felt that we were never going to get married due to how his parents seemed to keep controlling his life when he was in his mid thirties. Soon after Mike I had a rebound relationship with Damien who I was with when David messaged me again. At that time things were not going well although I did care about him. I was quite surprised that David messaged me after all this time finding out that he had read one of the poems I had recently wrote as a way of looking back to our past and seeing things from other angles.

We started talking again and just like before he swept me away. It really wasn’t hard now that I think about it for him to sweep me away. I felt confused with Damien and I and I still had feelings for David although I went through so much between the times of being with David before I still had feelings for him. I still loved him and wanted to be with him. Chalk it up to being the first guy for so many things in my life or the fact that when it came to David I seemed to forget anything else bad whenever I was with him good or bad.

So Damien left and David came back into my life. We started talking everyday and than he came down to see me in July of 2004. It was like I was eighteen all over again seeing him again at the greyhound station when he came to see me. I fell right into his arms as if all the pain he caused me didn’t exist and all I seemed to think about was that he was back in my life. The passion and chemistry I felt from the first moment I met David originally was still there despite all we had gone through. I allowed myself to believe that this was the best relationship I had been in despite the great relationship I had with Adam and others. I felt secretly desperate and just wanting to settle down.

Before I knew it we were planning on getting married it seemed that we picked up right were we left off before he left before. He quickly got a job and made the move to live with me again. Three months after he came back to me we got married at the house we were renting with my mom. It wasn’t quite the ideal wedding that I wanted I had always dreamed of an outdoor wedding but we were in a time crunch it seemed because I had needed to get on health insurance through David’s work and in order to do that we needed to get married as soon as we could. Even the whole getting the license was a blur to me. By the time I got back with David my asthma had gotten about ten times worse since the time he left me all those years ago when I was just nineteen.

So, we got married, I was twenty-three at that time. My best friend Adam was David’s best man as none of David’s family could come to Oregon on the short notice and Janelle served as my Maid of Honor and her daughter was my flower girl. The wedding itself was small but decent considering what I had originally wanted. I was unaware and happy about life and was ready to move onto other things. I could remember from a young age of wanting to get married and feeling the want even more by the time David and I did get married. Things seemed perfect in some ways despite the issues with money which was nothing new in my life, the bad roommates, and the fact that jobs and asthma didn’t seem to mix very well I was happy, or so I thought.

I went through a lot due to my asthma, always going back to work to make my mom happy as she would pressure me after awhile of not having a job to help with the bills, when I would have to quit due to my asthma getting really bad and it seemed to get worse and worse all the time. Nothing seemed to work on that although the doctors at that time didn’t see it as anything serious I have come to find out that in some ways I was right all along. My days of being able to work outside of the house were numbered and few because I had both bronchil and than the symptoms of occupational asthma although never to this day have I been diagnosed with the later because I don’t have health insurance currently.

Relationships with some of my friends became very strained due to David. David was a very jealous person although I tried reassuring him time and time again he had nothing to worry about. Not to mention there was times I would believe him over my friends. It’s a hard situation when you are married and in love with someone and not wanting to see what might really be going on. I found out he would talk behind my back about things that were very hurtful. When things seemed to be at the worse and I just wanted to get away from everything I seemed to had found the answer to my prayers and thoughts I had at that time.

There was a person I had been penpalling with by that time for about a year and she offered my husband and I the ability to stay with her and her husband so I could get away from everything and start a new life. It seemed like the perfect plan at that time, I felt that my mom was against me and wanted both of us gone and it was straining my marriage, my friends seemed distant, and I just wanted to start over. At that time it seemed like the perfect thing to do, to pack up, leave with my husband and hope that with starting over that our marriage could be better as well getting away from certain things going on in our lives but I would be proven wrong again.

November 17th of 2006 started the journey that would change my life forever. David and I had decided to leave before Thanksgiving so to be able to spend Thanksgiving with his mom before reaching our final destination in West Virginia. We got things for our car which was a gold Chevrolet Cavailar and got everything all packed to go. My mom was moving out of the townhouse we were trying to buy as she couldn’t afford it and didn’t want us living with her which was the other reason we choose to do this. We felt we couldn’t get our own place with the rent costs with me not working due to my asthma and so we choose to go with what I thought was a sure thing.

So, although excited for something new in my life my heart was still feeling torn. It would be the first time I would live in a place that didn’t have my mom and it was also the first time I would not be living in Oregon after living there for twenty six years. I knew it was going to be hard in many ways. Dealing with living in another strate, being away from my mom especially that many miles, getting use to a time difference, and having to find friends that lived in another state but I felt I was ready for it. So, with determination and what strength I could gather I looked at the townhouse, gave my mom one more hug, and went into the car with David to start our journey toward West Virginia with our first stop being in Idaho to visit his grandmother for a few days.

While we were in Idaho we also went to visit a person that was like another father to David and seemed to really adore me although his wife was another story. Before leaving to go to Salt Lake City Utah we ended up losing my cat Hercules. On the 19th of November we arrived at Salt Lake City Utah tired with lack of sleep and not being able to sleep due to being excited about being able to stay the night at his sister’s house that happened to live there. We left the next day to go toward Kansas. On the 21st after having to take naps along the way from Utah to Kansas we arrived at his mom’s house with our money becoming really low. By this time we hadn’t heard from my friend we were going to stay with so we were forced with the decision of staying with his mom which made her happy as she hadn’t really gotten to see David since she moved to Kansas to be with her late husband’s family before he passed away.

Thanksgiving was spent with Don’s family which was David’s step dad who passed away. I remember feeling very awakard and out of place not knowing anyone and feeling the first signs of missing Oregon and my mom although I did call her that day to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving. The day after we spent most of it at my friend Shirley’s house as I had promised to see her still despite not going to West Virginia since she was only about 2 and a half hours away from where we were now staying with David’s mom. Things with David’s mom started out okay enough it was interesting to get to know her a bit more and live with her although the room we had was very small and didn’t have much space but I was just happy to be with David and to be starting over.

Before I knew it that would soon changed. David and I seemed to talk less and less about things, I started staying up later at night not able to sleep and being too use to being on Oregon time instead of two hours ahead, missing Oregon, and tired of feeling that I came second to his mom and her issues when my asthma seemed to get worse by the day due to her smoking inside of the house. I felt tired, I felt hurt, and I felt home sick after being in Kansas for about a month but not knowing what to do as I felt I wasn’t welcomed anywhere else. My time spent in night chats seemed to be the only haven for me where I could feel apart of something when everything else around me seemed to be falling apart. It felt that other than talking about things in chat I felt like I suffered in silence as my husband became someone I could not even deal with anymore.

Christmas was very hard as I was very home sick and I wanted nothing more to be home in Oregon and I remember crying because I wanted to be home. David didn’t seem to really notice or care that I was feeling heart broken and felt home sick. His only solution it seemed was to somehow in the future to get enough money for where I could at least go home and see my friends and my mom.

I remember the last movie I would ever watch with David. The movie was Eragon and it was an enjoyable time as we spent the time at the theatre just the two of us and for a short lived moment I felt maybe things could get better but I was wrong. Things would just become worse. I felt like I had no privacy and I felt outcasted in the place I was living at, especially with David spending more and more time with his mom not that I would spend time with him because I didn’t want to deal with the crap anymore. I never seemed at that time to be able to keep the same hours as him and I never seemed like I could get alone time if I had wanted to. He seemed to just go behind me anyways buying his mom cigerrettes even though he knew that it was something I asked him not to do for his mom not minding how we helped otherwise but feeling that she should pay for her own habit especially when this habit would make my health worse and worse everyday.

By this time our bank account was gone and was negative due to David’s spending on things and I had no money to my name. I did get an offer from my friend that lived close by if things got too worse that I was always welcome there for as long as I needed it and I about took her up the offer a few times. On the 16th of January of 2007 my life started changing even more. It was the day that I got the plane ticket to come back home that Saturday on the 20th. It would be 6 days after my mom’s birthday but I guess you could say it was a belated birthday present for her to have her daughter back in Oregon and back home.

By that time anything that was left of my marriage seemed to be gone. My husband seemed to decide his mom was more important than me and that my health issues didn’t matter if I couldn’t come up with solutions that fitted his needs to help take care of his mom. He seemed to decide if I had wanted to go home to visit my friends and that if I decided to stay there it would be my choice but he would go back to Kansas to take care of his mom and not care how that might matter to me. I had found by that time he had snooped through my emails, my conversations with my friends, and what little phone calls I made to my mom and other people and using my poetry against me by slamming them on the desk near me when he asked for a divorce.

When he did that I was honestly afraid. It was the first time I had known him that I had seen him as angry as he was. For a brief moment in time I thought he was going to hit me but before he thought it or the feeling had passed with tears in my eyes I grabbed the phone and went into the little closet of a room to call Tristan who became my boyfriend through all the mess before this day hit although wasn’t anything official until a month after I had been home. I remember tears in my eyes and not being able to talk for a few moments with him asking me what was going on and me not having the words to speak. I remember wishing to be anywhere than there and wondering if later he would end up hitting me. I remember Shirley letting me know I would always have somewhere to stay if I needed it before my plane trip home.

I remember how I seemed to walk on eggshells all that week before the plane trip home just so that the last time I had in Kansas wouldn’t be too miserable. On January 20th very early in the morning at about four in the morning I woke up to the last day I was in Kansas. I took a shower and got ready. Sadly I had to wear clothes I had to wear a few times because David hadn’t done any of the laundry and it was too hard for me to go to the laundry area in the apartment complex with the smoking in there but at that point I didn’t care I was just happy to be coming home. We started our early morning trip driving from Parsons Kansas to the airport in Tulsa Oklahoma. We stopped at Sonic for food on the way to the airport. As we got closer my heart started racing as I hadn’t flown in many years by that time and it would be the first time I would fly all by myself.

Once we got the airport David made sure I got everything checked in with the luggage that they would put onto the plane, gave me a hug, a kiss, and told me to call him once I was back in Oregon to let him know I made it safely. With the tears threatening to fall I walked into the airport went through the security where I almost forgot my laptop through the whole mess and as I finished a song came into the airport radio that seemed to fit the situation. A Brand New Day by Sting was playing and with what little change I had I called Tristan to let him know I was at the airport and after that I just waited near where my plane would board until it was time.

Thankfully I brought a book as I couldn’t get a connection at the airport before boarding the plane or anything so I just read while I waited and tried to take miniture naps throughout the trip. Before I knew it I was in Arizona at Phoenix which is where my layover was before going back home. I knew I would be stuck there for at least about 2 hours although it ended up being less with our plane getting there a bit later than expected due to the weather and other things. Thankfully I didn’t have to go through security again and they transported my bags from one plane to other plane for me. The only thing I did was get something to eat since I was able to at least get David to give me money enough for something for lunch although I had a bit left over and got a few things at the convience place in the airport.

After I was done eating I decided to do as before and just sit in the area where I would have to board my plane until it was time, the time went pretty quick despite everything else. Once I was on the plane I knew my journey to my true home was almost over. We had to stop to let some people off in some airport in California I don’t even remember now which one it was. As we inched closer to Portland International I kept on thinking how much I was happy I was back in Oregon. It was rainy and grey but I didn’t care I was beeming with excitement. There wasn’t that many people left by the time we got there on the plane and I was close to the front so I could get off quickly wanting more than anything to walk quickly to where my mom and Adam would be.

At that time both my mom and Adam had agreed to be at the airport waiting to pick me up since mom has bad night vision and I didn’t even get in until close to nine in the evening. Although excited to be home once the plane landed and we were allowed to leave I did take a quick stop to the restroom and than walked faster than I ever walked toward my mom and Adam. I saw tears in my mom’s eyes as I gave her a hug and than turning to hug Adam. I almost lost it than as well and than we made our way to Adam’s car. Once we got there I did call David to let him know I made it safely and called Tristan as well. I was happy again. I was home.

Although I was tired from my lack of sleep with waking up early and not being able to sleep much before coming back home I decided to hangout with Adam and our friend Shannon because I was just so happy to see Adam I didn’t care how much or how little sleep I was on at that time. Once I did get back to the place my mom had moved to after losing our townhouse I remember crawling into the bed and falling asleep pretty quickly drained and tired from the whole trip back home. Not having David there was a weird feeling, I had gone over two years of having someone next to me if I wasn’t so tired I am not sure how I would have handled it even though I was hurt by what he had done to me. Sometimes it felt like I lived a life in a haze not always fully knowing what was going on around me and although I had Tristan in my life I was trying to repair the damage dealt by being with David.

I had so many issues to work out through my mind, knowing that he took me from a very confident person to someone who felt completely lost. So, I did what I always had done before in the circumstances of my life, I wrote and hang out with my friends especially Adam. It seemed that Adam and I more than picked up from where we left off from the whole what happened to David and became even closer. Since even that moment I would say that my relationship with Adam is even better now than compared to when I got married to David. We have gotten even closer and he has been someone I could count on through everything that life threw my way since that time.

Before my birthday hit Tristan came to Oregon to be with me and life seemed to be finally getting better. Yet once agai, that only lasted for so long. The issues we seemed to have with our relationship due to me not wanting to have the things I thought I wanted. I dealt with going to the court house to do the second hardest thing in my life which was standing there with David to sign the papers for the divorce even though a part of me didn’t want to. My thought of happiness with someone else shattered one June day although by that time my divorce was final but things with Tristan and I seemed to be too strained.

I couldn’t seem to live up to the ideal Tristan wanted in his life. So, again I was alone and it was hard. Throughout all my life I had always been a relationship person always enjoying being with someone never one to like being alone although I had done it before in my life.

Since my divorce I have gone through a few relationships the longest lasting one was six months. It seemed my search continued to find that person I was meant for. Even going through the divorce with David I still believed in love. I have gone through a lot since coming back to my physical home of Oregon I seemed that I also found home in the same time. I found that although I was gone in Kansas that Oregon will always be home. It is the place that had people that really cared about me and through almost losing everything I found myself. I found the person that no matter what I go through cannot be destroyed.

David seemed to try to get me to change to what he wanted in his life. I have found now that I will not put up with things I might have back than. I am a lot stronger person than I was when I originally got divorced. I do not put up with the stuff of one night stands or friends with benefits. I found that I know what I wanted all along. I might have lost many things from clothes to cds to even my writing. I found that the most important things were there all along.

The love of my mom who supports me through everything even with the fact that I cannot work due to the severeness of my asthma and has become even more so now one of my best friends. The love of my great friends especially Adam who showed me that I was a strong person and that I really did mean a lot to a lot of people even if for awhile I felt that I wasn’t. I found that I was more of someone than I could even think of. I was worthy of love that was right for me and that there were many people that indeed love me.

Even though David seemed to try to alienate me from my mom and my friends in the end it didn’t work. I found a way to keep them and become even stronger with them. No matter what I go through I have found home in my heart and in my soul. Finding home wasn’t really coming back to Oregon, which is my physical home, it was more of finding a way to be okay with who and what I am and not letting anyone get to me on those things. To fully accept me for what my life is and not letting anyone change me. Finding home was finding myself through it all, and finding that I have a lot to offer and if someone couldn’t accept that than it was their loss not mine.

Finding home was finding that no matter what people think. No matter what people do. No matter what you might go through you are your own person. You have to be okay with yourself and love that for whatever it’s worth and that love of friends is irreplacable. So, lose anything else in life but the ability to find home in yourself is one of the best things to happen in one’s life.

Dedication: I would like to dedicate this memoir to the following people. First off, my mom who has been there for me through everything and loves me for who I am. Second, to Adam who is my best friend of 11 plus years who has really been there and helped me through many things in my life. Third, to my past relationships since David for helping me realize and teach me what I really want in my life and for showing me that I knew all along what I wanted in my life. Fourth, to all my really close friends that have been there through the whole thing and supported me through it there are so many people on this list and you know who you are. Thank you everyone for helping me find home in myself.
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