The Meaning of Home
Life these days is about home, whether I get to keep it or lose it.
Home is not just a place to live, a house to own, it means a safe place to be myself, where my animals and I can just be. No pressure, but an ability to take care of myself and pets which has been high priority since the accidents.
Home. I think of warmth, comfort, safety, familiarity, peace, stability. It is not a place to acquire possessions or impress, it is the foundation of my life.
Home is where I wrestle with issues people never see, safely cry, be who I am without fear. I am accepted here. My animals loved me before and after I was disabled. Though sometimes this home feels like a prison, it is one constant in these arduous years.
As a person with a disability, my home is a tool. I can control the lighting, movement, noise. I am free to wear earplugs without anyone commenting or judging. It is where cupboards and drawers are labeled because I forget their contents. It is where the stove burners are labeled because I forget which is which and minimize potential hazard. Things are organized in ways to help conserve my brain budget for bigger tasks like working, and maybe one day, have a social life and be more active again.
It is also where I exercise. I’ve been active all my life, but especially after the accidents, if I do not work out I experience increased pain and loss of mobility, and the nagging, irritating thing of my hips having a mind of their own and painfully dislocating. Not fun! Exercising at home is a very important part of my life because I can no longer tolerate noise and movement of a gym.
I can darken any room if the sunlight is too bright or if I need to rest, everything tailored to my needs and it works for me.
Having a home is one of the most important things I could ever ask for. I grew up with domestic violence, when old enough, got out as much as I could, that wasn’t enough so I house sat. While it was helped, life was constantly nomadic and tiring. All I wanted was a home of my own. I rented for years, usually Mother-in-Law apartments, I never liked complexes. I doubt I’d like them any more now with uncontrollable noise.
After moving three times in quick succession due to each being put up for sale, it was time for me to look to buy a home and grow roots! I needed stability, having landlords deciding to move and having to find another place added stress.
After a long search, this home was one I could afford, a far cry from the 50+ others looked at all over the county! My home is a place for me to lovingly care for as God would have.
It is where I planted a rose garden in memory of my mother who loved roses. When a special person passes away, they have a beautiful rose planted in their honor. The last one planted was the Peace rose for my grandmother.
Home is a place to sing, dance, exercise, be silly, play with the cats and dog, and be as free as I can possibly be. All other connections to this world have been given up in this arduous journey of disability, must I also lose my own home?
Do the disabled have any less need for the safety, security, comfort of home? Need we be segregated out of society into densely populated disabled-only communities?
Are we excluded from the American dream? Everyone needs a home to call their own.
My home is where I thrive, dream, love, hope, laugh and cry. It is where I continually try to help myself get better, help my brain. Maslow said shelter is one of man’s most basic needs. Right now, I need one sure thing in my life. I need one place where I do not feel lost or that I do not fit in. A place to call my own without the slightest threat of it being taken away.
I feel if I give up the fight for my home and what I believe is right I am condoning what society says is the outcome for most with TBI – losing the right and ability to home ownership and be tossed into a merciless system that cares nothing for the spirit and soul of those who pay into it.
I would be as adrift as I was when I had to house sit, but worse, with a disability and health that will only continue to worsen in that type of undeniable, ongoing stress.
Just because most people lose their homes doesn’t mean it has to be that way or that it is the right thing, it just means that is the best we can do thus far…