It Was Never A Nest

 

empty nest syndrome

Now. I accept the fact that I could be over sensitive. I admit that I can get hung up on semantics at times, and I understand people mean well. So I’m going to dial it back a bit and not correct people when they say the following to me:

How’s it feel to have an empty nest?

But right here and now I’m going to explain why that question makes my skin crawl.

You see, to me the concept of empty next is like this. A couple creates a home in order to raise their family there. And they do raise their family there, together. Nothing’s perfect. Everybody has issues and ups and downs but for the most part things went according to plan. The Empty Nest Syndrome is a term that describes a sadness and emptiness parents feel when their kids move out.

That is not my situation.

Empty-nest

These are the same people who think they need two sinks in the master bath. Um, not me.

This was never a nest.

 

Platoon-2-840x420If you’ve read some of my other posts you know that when I acquired this home it was basically a hoarders’ house. And I bought it because I could not afford to stay in my other nicer home in a friendlier neighborhood because of divorce.  From the get-go it wasn’t me happily building a nest for my baby chicks.

We were in survival mode. I built this home for the purpose of fleeing it.

103_dugout

It was never a nest. What I have here is a foxhole. Yeah. Think about it. We left what would have been the nest and were set off to war conditions — divorce. We dug a hole and survived. Made do with whatever rations and provisions we could find. My little soldiers were sent out for small battles (various life functions) and came back to the foxhole. And now? They finally made it out long enough to have somewhere else to lay their heads (A dorm can be a lot like a barracks — also temporary housing — but safe).

During these past years in our foxhole I have lived one step ahead of bill collectors while my career took a big hit. The only thing about the foxhole that makes me sad is that I still owe money on it and have not built enough equity to flee. I weep because I need a new heater and a sump pump.

I feel like a sergeant screaming — Go Go Go Go! Whilst I hunker down and try to figure out which bill gets paid next.

I know we are blessed to have had a roof over our heads. We have had some happy memories here. Soldiers will tell you of good old war stories and lifelong friendships –But they don’t want to go back to the front lines!  The kids and I have funny stories. Remember when we didn’t have a toilet? Good times, good times.

The Burning Bed

Also, I’m a divorced, custodial parent. This is the kids’ only home and all their stuff has always been here, but they did visit their father. This ain’t my first time alone in my house surrounded by reminders of the children while they are somewhere else. I have already felt that pain and emptiness. Been there. Done that. Over it.

For the record, most people have it backwards. Back then people assumed I was happily enjoying a “break” from my kids when they visited their father. No, that separation was gut wrenching, because they were just kids, I missed them, they missed activities, and none of us had any choice in the matter.

Now people assume that because the kids aren’t home with me full-time, I must be sad. No, this separation means I did my job, and the kids are somewhere they chose to be.

Empty nest?  No. It’s completely different for me.

Now I just need to plan my escape.

shawshank rock

Andy Dufresne preparing to crawl through raw sewage to escape Shawshank.

Just Me With . . . a college graduate and four college students, a mortgage, a various other forms of growing mountainous debt, water in my basement, a heater and water heater on their last legs. And no one to combine income or share expenses with. 

P.S. I promise to dial it back when people ask about the empty nest, though. I really do. 

See also:

Weekends Off Fallacy

Going Away to School — and Staying There!

Piss, Puke, and Porn

Double Sinks in the Master Bath – Must We Have Them? Really? Part I

Double Sinks In The Master Bath, Part II

Advertisements

One response

  1. Great piece, Roxanne! Have missed your writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: