When the family and I arrived in Alabama, I had such high hopes. After seven years of rain, I was dazzled by the sun, sunsets, clouds, blue skies, rolling hills, flora and fauna. I loved the smell of the dirt. It reminded me of my Grandpa’s farm. Grass under my bare feet, wonderful nature on the breeze, I thought I had found everything I could want in a home. Really, it is everything one could ever want. My dog can run free. He loves it. I have chickens. The kids have room to run and I can homeschool them. Not to mention the rent is dirt cheap. Oh and I absolutely love my church.
There is a dark side that has nothing to do with Alabama. I am lonely. The kids have been sick since we set foot into this house. And the house? There is so much that needs to be done but we can’t afford it. The Teenager holes up in his room and doesn’t want to meet anyone. Extended family is barely anywhere to be found. We have had certain family members put their feet on the property, but they don’t come over to interact with us or the kids. When Jon had his first relapse they disappeared into the wood work. I guess the fear is that if one persons drinking problem will come to light, everyone else will have to explain theirs too. He has had a couple of relapses since then and we are more isolated than ever. (To those who don’t think I should write about these “deeply personal things” …buzz off.) I long for the days when other men in the community would keep fathers and husbands accountable. These days, families are left to suffer in silence and are encouraged through the actions of others to just keep quiet and not upset anyone.
I have not lived near my family in years. Decades. When I was young, I just did not want to be in California. I had a wandering spirit that wanted to experience other places. Oh, and I had ZERO desire to run into any of the jerks I went to high school with. I felt comfortable to be me only when I was thousands of miles away. That, coupled with being involved with The Teenager’s grandparents who never wanted me to be around my family at all. They were always afraid that if I went back home to visit, I would want to stay. What a bunch of mind controlling sociopaths! Of course I would want to stay. They were my family! My dad worked blue collar jobs and my mom worked for a title company. We lived in a pretty conservative town. According to my dreaded ex in laws, that made them anti-education cave people who should be avoided at all costs. What a stupid waste of years trying to maintain peace with those people. Good riddance.
I had just made the break with THEM and moved home when I met Jon. We got married and we’ve been gone ever since. I’m tired. I don’t want to be away from people who love me anymore. I’m so tired of missing weddings, birthdays, holidays, baby showers, and funerals of the people I love. I don’t care if they live in Syria. I want to go home. I want a place to go when my husband stumbles. I want people to talk to, in PERSON, when I am lonely. I want a family dynamic that is settled, calm and caring. Sometimes, I really wonder if I am not being kept away from my family AGAIN. I can’t blame my husband for avoiding people who might call him to the carpet on his drinking. Lord knows, NO ONE has done it here.
I know that we gave Florida three years, and Washington seven years, so it seems unfair to give Alabama only a year. I am getting older. The sands in my hourglass are precious to me. I have gone above and beyond, done everything I can do to be a good wife. I have put up with more than most people would bear. I have honored my covenant with my husband and I plan to continue doing so, but I can’t do it here. Unless I get a direct message from God. And I mean direct. Like burning bush direct. I need to go back to my people. I don’t want to die alone and forgotten. Yeah, it does seem that bad. Sometimes.