Lately, my home hasn't felt like my home. I have loved ones staying here because... well, I guess it's just more convenient. I don't mind the company, either. In fact, I need the company. Except that my house is starting to feel like it's not my own. And I don't know what to do about that. I need to establish boundaries, but I'm not sure where to draw those lines.
And just to be clear, my loved ones have not over stayed their welcome. I'm just having trouble sorting out my own needs in my head. I know my needs will be respected, once I've voiced them.
I wonder if I will always feel like I need a roommate. I wonder if I'm substituting that kind of intimate/non-intimate interaction for something else... something less conflicted. There aren't many people I'm actively interested in living with. In fact, I can't think of anybody, besides Archer. And for now, I actually want to live alone. (Incidently, so does he, which works out nicely for us.) I do want my house to not change when I'm not looking. I want to not be required to inform other people of how I want things done. I want to just do them myself.
But I also want company. It's so fucking lonely living alone. Having other people around keeps me level. Not because it makes me feel level - it doesn't - but because it forces me to act like I'm ok, like nothing bothers me, which keeps me closer to feeling ok, at least for a little while.
I wrote this in something I'm not going to post in entirety: 15 Aug 2012: Sometimes I wonder if I can handle living the rest of my life alone, or with only a roommate. I think I will need a roommate, always. I wonder if I'll always be able to find one. Will I be happy never living with Archer? Is cohabitation necessary? It was always expected, in the standard-issue model of relationships, but obviously we're not the standard relationship. So now I'm left wondering, do I need it? I think I do. I'm afraid that I do, becuase I know I'll never get it. But maybe I can substitute a roommate, so I don't feel so alone. Maybe I'll be sixty years old, still sleeping with my stuffed animals. Maybe I'll have to let my dogs sleep next to me, again. Maybe I'll always be a little bit lonely. (Maybe this is the sacrifice our relationship requires of me. He has certainly made plenty, for me.)
I suppose that makes it sound like co-habitation is something I want, like right now. It isn't. This is prophetic speculation. Right now, I want my space to be my own. I want to own my space.
I don't know how long I can be alone. I also don't know how to live happily with roommates.
I know that I will always have pets. Or at least a pet. My life is better with one, and there are too many homeless pets for me to not help at least one. They ward off the loneliness, and maybe, in this house, that will be enough. It wasn't enough, in my old house, but that's at least because of my history in that house - that's where I moved when I got laid off and couldn't feed my child, where husband #2 left me, and it was secluded from the world, on a desolate stretch of desert grassland. Nothing in the world could have made that place ok. [That place had an energy that damaged me, in addition I think, to the lingering energy of the events there. My own events, and historical events. That house was located in a place called Miracle Valley. If you're curious, google the shootout at Miracle Valley, in Cochise county, Arizona. I didn't find out about that until after I moved there.]
So now, with this uncertainty, I'm trying to decide how much company I need, and whose company. What is sufficient? What is necessary? And for how long? Do I need human company in my home, or is the company of my pets enough?
For a while there when I needed my dogs' company, I would just sleep on my couch. They could curl up around me, there. Now someone else is sleeping on my couch, and has been since I got back from Rwanda. I don't remember when that change happened. I think it was while I was gone. I don't think anybody ever asked me. It would be ok, really... I think. Or maybe that's just the conciliatory Bones, trying to make everyone happy. Maybe it's not what I really feel. Maybe if they did ask, I would have said it's fine, just to avoid conflict. Maybe I depend too much on other people to recognize the boundaries of a conscientious society.
Where should my boundaries be?
I really don't know.
And another thing... I find myself leaving my house less, because I have people here. Which makes sense, right? You don't leave your house when you have guests. But when the guests don't leave, when they transition into de facto roommates, it's externally-enforced hermitage. Maybe if I didn't have guests, I would get out more. Maybe that would supplement the company of my pets, negating the need for roommates.
Does this all sound as confused as I feel?
"S'ok Mama, I luvs you." -Bellissima
Written today, 26 August 2012: I'll figure this out. I got some input from Archer, who's better at identifying boundaries and foreseeing potential problem areas than I am. My house guests and I are going to establish boundaries together, and our situation is changing. Their stays here are becoming shorter and more clearly articulated, because of some other (more complicated) things going on in their lives. They left tonight. They'll be back in five weeks, to stay with me for one week, before they go again. Which is cool. And I'm working out what boundaries I require... I'm feeling optimistic. Tomorrow, I'm going to spend some time organizing my house. I'll probably be spending a lot of time on that this week. I need to get it back to being 'me.' I need to nest. Then I can have house guests here again.