The Old House

I had to go by our old house today to pick up some stuff.  It's been about a month since I was last there, and it's the strangest thing to have to go back.  I don't like having to go back, even though most of our stuff is still there.  I never fully realized how stifled and anxious I felt there until I go back.  Not to say that the old house doesn't have a place in my heart; after all, I lived there longer than anywhere else, even my childhood homes.  It's the first place Dennis and I called home together, and I've lived my entire adult life there.  We took Jack home from the hospital there.  But the old house represents all the things I want to change or leave behind:  all my shortcomings, all my failures, all my bad habits, all the things I didn't accomplish, so it's tough to have to go back there, even to get things I want.

Dennis says it's like returning to the scene of a crime.  For me it's a very tangible past that I very much want to move on from.  I am so overwhelmed with melancholy when I'm back there.  I never imagined I would feel this way about a place I called home for 11 years.  Going back makes me wonder if I ever actually felt at home there.  I know I should have and I probably did (of course I did, right?), but now I feel so out of place when I'm there I can't imagine ever feeling at home.

It's lonesome out there in the country, isolated, even though we were still in the city limits.  There weren't really any neighbors; just warehouses and pastureland with a few trailer parks in between.  No sidewalks, no retail, no community.  We lived on an acre of land and I never even went outside to enjoy it.  I don't know if it was me or the house.  It always felt heavy, oppressive.   The ghosts of the people who lived there before us were still there; ironic, since it's a family home, and my in-laws were the ones there before us.  I never had room for my things, even when we would make room for them.  I would paint or rearrange furniture, hang pictures and decorate, but the place never felt like it was mine because it wasn't.  After a while, I just stopped trying.  It was overwhelming.  I felt smothered.  Sad, but true.

I'm so glad we don't live there anymore.  I think that's the saddest part.  I don't miss it at all.

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