New Beginnings

TW: Allusions to suicidal thoughts, suicidal behavior(cutting), verbal abuse, emotional abuse

A new place. A new start. Two days ago, I moved into my very first apartment a few miles from the heart of MSU. It’s been a surreal couple days. I’ve been trying to move away from home for a couple months now, but things kept falling apart. First, it took me ages to find a place I could sublease until August ( I already have a lease for Fall onwards). Next, I found a place, visited it loved it and the sublease fell through. The girl I was trying to sublease from had to stay since the apartments she was planning on moving to delayed her move-in date until May. I was devastated. It felt like no matter how hard I tried to escape the hell-hole of home, I was shackled to the address with chains. I started the search all over again and this time put my eggs in multiple baskets. Most of them fell through, and the last girl told me multiple people were interested and inferred that I was not high on the list. I was exhausted, but nonetheless I sent an application, called leasing every day and got a lease to sign within days. I was ecstatic to hear the other applicants backed off, and once I signed the lease, the place was mine. Then, the fiasco of signing the lease came into play. My father panicked about hidden fees, only to call and find out we didn’t find a form showing they were all waived. He also panicked needlessly for days about how I needed to pack everything, and everything I needed to do the first days moving in. Lastly, the moving in process came to a head. A last minute decision led to my parents telling me at the last minute that they preferred me unpacking my boxes the next day, and coming back home after dropping apartment necessities on my move-in date. I felt my head spinning again and was infuriated by this push but ultimately let it go. The next day, I was really ready to leave home, and thankfully it was my last day at home. However, that didn’t stop the chaos of moving and buying and unpacking until 8:30PM, with my father complaining about how he couldn’t set this or that up, or how I needed to ask my roommates about this and that because otherwise the world would end—obviously. But at the end of these last few strenuous months: I made it! I’m living on my own and I’m ready to work on loving myself more and not being in constant chaos.

So how did I get to this point? Well, I’ve obviously alluded to my father and panicking and pestering and chaos, but the truth of the matter is that it was more than that. I felt safe at home to start off, however I did deal with toxic— I may even go as far as abusive behavior from my father. I don’t want to go too far into details but a summation is there was gaslighting, victimization in situations where he was gaslighting or manipulating, ad-hominem attacks, condescension, a lack of accountability when he f*cked up (which was/is often) and mansplaining topics he didn’t know anything about. I do feel bad. My sister and mother are still home dealing with this behavior on a daily basis and frequently have breakdowns over his behavior. I couldn’t stand being home anymore. I started skipping classes, missing assignments and HerCampus deadlines and I’m failing one of my classes due to me feeling horrible and skipping that class for a few weeks now. But academics weren’t the only thing suffering. I started ghosting my friends, spiraling with my boyfriend, thinking about how I wanted to end it all, and once even hurt myself voluntarily. I think the downward spiral started with a fight in which my father walked away from me with a smirk after he defended parents saying things such as “I wish you never were born” and I pointed out that’s a part of what drove me to suicidal thoughts freshman year (my parents used verbiage like this or communicated to me I would be a high school dropout who wouldn’t get into any college). I got very triggered as the conversation and his reaction brought back traumatic memories. That night, I made the smart courageous decision to make a “cry for help” story on my Instagram, and I’m so thankful to the dozens of people who reached out to me. I barely knew most of them and it meant a lot. After this incident, my mental health progressively got worse and while my new therapist is helping, she can’t save me from myself. Therapy is a toolbox, not a cure (although my father thinks it's just quacks exploiting you to tell you what you want to hear), so some days you’ll do better than others and it's a long process. That’s okay, I want to be better for myself and I want to be happy. I want to tell myself everything he did was his fault, and it’s inexcusable. If he doesn’t choose to work on himself, then I’m not sure if he deserves a place in my life in any substantial manner. 

So now, I’ve moved in. I have two roommates who are nice, I make my own food, and I take the bus to go places while checking my bank account frequently. Adulting at its best. Yet, things haven’t changed as much as I had hoped. I think I had this idea that my life would get eighty-percent better the second I moved. My father isn’t here, there’s no yelling here and that stupid house is nowhere to be seen. However, trauma doesn’t work like that. It stays in you and often doesn’t go away. You can cope with numerous practiced techniques and self-realizations over time. Time heals some wounds, however it’s barely been a few days! Furthermore, adulting is really hard. The busses come infrequently and the bus driver doesn’t seem to enjoy my presence, driving gives me anxiety, the WiFi is horrible and I have to sign forms and check emails from the apartment every day. I can’t wake up at 3PM anymore with roommates who are up and about (I could but I’d feel guilty), and I get like twelve million texts and calls from my family every day. I love them, but I didn’t even talk to them this much at home! I do really miss my mother and sister. I miss talking to my sister about social justice issues, John Oliver, Taco Bell, Jerry from Parks and Rec and so much more. I miss my mother’s homemade food, her telling me about what she learned at work or therapy and her silly jokes. It’s really lonely in a new city when you know one person who lives there and there’s no one to talk to. So… Here's to a new beginning that hopefully helps me be happy and grow as a person.