I’ve been struggling with this question for a while now, could it be both?
I love my house, my family, my dog, my bedroom and the general feeling of being back at home after been away for a while. My bedroom (my bed!) especially has always been a sanctuary for me during some of my darkest days. Whilst working away recently I missed my parents, my bed, and I suppose I missed home, but when I am here, it is a completely different story.
Although my trauma didn’t happen at home, ‘he’ came to my house several times, ‘he’ went in my kitchen, my living room, and my bedroom. One of my most vivid memories is me buttering toast for ‘him’ and one of my friends in my kitchen, before a day out. It seems silly even typing it, that such an insignificant memory can cause so much mental torment. Memories like this probably explain partly why I don’t sleep well at home, it used to be much worse but improved drastically once I started taking Mirtazapine.
I’ve spent a lot of time this year at places other than home: my cousin’s house, summer camp and working abroad. I hate the thought of my family thinking I don’t want to be there, because I do more than anything and I love spending time with them. Sometimes though the thoughts are too much; the memories and the negative emotions that are associated with them. It’s not the house, the people or the environment, simply (or not so simply!) the memories. When I’m at home, often I want to be somewhere else just to escape, but when I’m not, I’m homesick and miss my parents.
My parents have, and still do so much for me. From dragging me out of bed (literally) or helping me make phone calls when I’m having a bad day, to getting me through University when so many times it felt like too much and I wanted to quit. Which makes it harder when I’m feeling down at home because I want to be near them, but sometimes the violent sea of memories and emotion is just too much which absolutely breaks my heart.
I had a series of EMDR sessions over the summer, but after returning home from a holiday and everything hitting me a few days ago, I think it’s safe to say I need some more. It absolutely terrifies me to go back, but I now know that I need to. Over the summer I had all of my friends around me which made the process so much easier, but knowing they are all at the end of the phone does help massively, hopefully it will help in the long run.
As always, photo credits to @little.megg