Mar 23, 2014 by

          “Tree, do you even live here?” my sister’s boyfriend, who I’ve known since I was in high school, joked the weekend after I moved into my parents’ house. “I’m here more than you are.”

          “You’ve been here?” I asked in shock.

          “Yeah, four times this week,” he said.

          “What? I haven’t seen you!” I exclaimed.

          “You’re never here!” he reemphasized his point.




          “It’s Saturday,” my youngest sister stated six days after my move. “You moved in on Sunday, and this is the first time I’ve seen you,” she coincidentally noted as I was on my way out.




          “What time is it?” my mom groggily asked one Sunday morning after I walked through the door, accidently waking her.

          “It’s 7:36 am. I need sleep!” I declared before dramatically crashing in Saturday night’s dress and makeup.

          My mom is now shocked whenever she catches me home at a pm hour, even during the week.




          I’m in denial that I’ve moved back to my parents’ house. (So much for being adaptive to change, right?) Maintaining the mental facade that I still live in my apartment hasn’t been difficult, given that I’m really only at my parents’ house to sleep. Until I began living with other people, I didn’t realize just how much time I spend out, either with friends or doing my own thing. Though I only truly lived solo for the last month of my lease, I had the apartment to myself often enough in the months leading up to Olivia’s move that I successfully pretended I lived alone longer than I actually did. For most of a quarter of a year, no one was home to know whether or not I was home. Now that there are people to notice my absence, I’m more highly aware of my social activity. It makes me proud. I had no life to speak of at this time last year.

          Pride in my social life aside, I am in definitely in a period of avoidance. Until this weekend, I hadn’t even begun moving my furniture into my childhood bedroom. (The fact that I don’t simply refer to it as my bedroom sans childhood is denial in itself.) I’ve also yet to start unpacking, making getting dressed each morning a game of hide and seek. Recall that I moved three weeks ago.  Further sustaining my front is the fact that I stayed at my parents’ house for a month last spring, and of course returned to my apartment afterward. Thus, I think I’ve subconsciously been waiting for this spring’s return home. It hasn’t hit me yet that I’m already home. (Harsh! That was hard to write. I am so tempted to click backspace on that sentence. I am not ready for that kind of realism.) Unfortunately for my emotional stability, my illusion is beginning to crumble against my will. Yesterday, my dad helped me hang the pictures that once adorned my living room wall in my bedroom. I’m making it look like a mini version of my old apartment. It is painted the same colours. (Oh my God, I am queen of denial.) Today, we moved my bed and my couch up from the garage. The room did not look as I had expected it to. It did not look like my apartment. The rest of the furniture would have to remain unmoved and the boxes untouched. I was on the verge of tears. I needed to go for a drive.

          In the car, on the way to bring my old landlords the last of their mail (yeah, reality has been aggressive this weekend), I had my little cry. I’m not going home, I forced myself to acknowledge. Olivia and I are never going to live together again, I continued. This is not temporary, I threw myself one last punch. Pretend was over. It was time to deal. I let my tears run their course, and proceeded to remind myself of the reasoning behind my choice. I made this move with purpose. I gave up my apartment for financial opportunity, and I stopped living with Olivia because our friendship wasn’t working. This is only semi-permanent; I will live on my own again. With those reminders, I felt in control. I walked back into the bedroom I drove away from, still upset but less fragile. I kept the light off to pretend that half of my old living room wasn’t suddenly settled within it. Denial dies hard.

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