She sat down for a cup of coffee. It had been a long, hard day. Work was demanding as usual. She was tired, but the “good kind of tired” as she liked to call it. She filled her days with work. She kept herself busy so that she didn’t have time to brood. She did not want the time to think. Her thoughts were, after all, her greatest nemesis. It was these thoughts that robbed her of her peace. Her thoughts left her feeling lost. Her thoughts reminded her of all that she had lost.
She felt the fatigue come at her in waves. She welcomed them. She wished to be subsumed by them. Unbeknownst to her, came the thoughts. The one feeling that reigned paramountly was that of loss. The dictionary defines loss as a state of no longer having something. Her itinerant thoughts soon found their way elsewhere. She asked herself what was home? Home is the place where you feel that you belong. Such a laidback definition, isn’t it? The concept of home seems so trivial until one loses it.
For her, home and loss were synonymous in their import. She slipped into the recesses of her sadistic mind and was transported back in time. Back to a time when she had a home. Home. Back then, it meant where your roots lie. The home was the place you went back to after school. As you grow up in a home, you create memories. There is the cupboard where you accidentally locked yourself in. There is the kitchen where you went, foraging in hunger. There is the room where you read your first romantic novel. The room where you first masturbated. The room where you fought and laughed with your siblings and parents. The desk at which you pretended to study. The landline phone from which you secretly called your boyfriend. She felt all these thoughts as she drifted through the corridors of her “home”.
She also saw her mother working relentlessly for hours on end. She remembered how her mother’s labor was taken for granted. She remembered her father, drinking, smoking, and whittling away time. She remembered the multitude of times that her father abused her mother, verbally, physically, and emotionally. She remembered the skewed perception that this abuse was love. She remembered the loud fights that ensued once her mother had had enough. She remembered how it felt when her parents separated.
When parents separate, one feels the loss. Loss of stability, however shaky it may have been. Loss of a home and the memories that are a part of that home. When one leaves home for college, one leaves behind memories. However, when parents separate, one leaves home for good. When she left home, she left behind childhood albums, school books, clothes, and distinct memories. Memories that are lost forever. She experienced the loss of a sense of belonging. Where does she now come from? Where is she going to? She experienced a sense of rootlessness. Loss of home probably does that?
She felt herself getting lost in the vortex of her despair. She struggled to pull herself back to her present reality. The truth was that she now had a lovely husband and family. She shared his home and life. Yet something always felt amiss. Try as she may, she couldn’t salvage her lost memories. Try as she may, his home couldn’t replace hers, could it?
She wished that the pain would go away. She wished that the feeling of loss would go away. She tried to be mindful of and thankful for her life. She tried like she had promised her therapist that she would. She kept fighting the losing battle with her inner demons. She heard her father’s screams and her mother’s sobs. She heard the laughter echoing off the walls of her home. As the noises grew louder, she felt her head throb. The façade of normalcy that she wore was fast-wearing thin. She knew she was losing her ability to think clearly. She was losing her ability to ground herself. She was screaming within. She just wanted this pain to end.
She opened her eyes and looked at her coffee. She then opened her balled-up fists and looked at the pills. She had sat down, looking for reasons to live……..In vain!