Usually, people take time when making a huge decision like moving away.
While leaving my family and moving away was something I had been envisioning for quite some time, it went from vision to action in less than three months. Before then, my over-analytic nature got the best of me. I couldn’t just act on impulse; I had to plan everything out first and make sure everything fell into place just right before I could make a move. Of course, that never happened.
The closest I had come to moving out was several years ago. I had a few thousand dollars saved, bought the most essential things I needed and started storing them for the day I would finally move. I was looking at apartments on Craigslist and checking out whatever places wouldn’t make me go broke within a few months. It was around Christmastime, and since I had all of my money saved, I didn’t buy any gifts for anyone. Somehow my mother found out my plans and flipped on me that Christmas day. She flew into a rage, throwing everything within her reach, calling me ungrateful, a horrible person, uncaring, a selfish bitch. After a few minutes of her rage, my mind just went off to another place – a coping mechanism I have been utilizing since childhood. Needless to say, I did not move. For years after, I could not even think of trying it again. She instilled a great amount of fear in me, and I did not want to experience her wrath again.
In November 2014, I was hospitalized in the behavioral health unit for two weeks – it would have been longer, but insurance would not cover any more time. It was my first hospitalization, though I admit it is not the first time I needed inpatient treatment. I won’t go into details in this post, but the social worker, knowing not even half of what my reality at home was like, wanted to send me to a supervised living facility. She knew it wasn’t safe for me at home, but there wasn’t much help for adult victims of their own parents; even getting me into supervised living would have been difficult. I declined. I didn’t want that life, either. I wanted to be in control. She gave me six months to get my life together and get out; if I was hospitalized after that, it would no longer be my choice.
I started weighing all of my options. I had some money in savings, but not enough to live on for long, especially where I am living. I thought about moving down south, where it is much cheaper to live. A big change like that came with huge complications. I would have no health coverage, no job, no one close by to lean on, and most of all, no way to even get myself and my things down there. I was close to just giving up and letting them put me in a home.
In April, I reluctantly attended a retreat offered through my support group. I say reluctantly because I ultimately ended up going after close friends and my aunt encouraged me to go – I would not have gone if left to my own indecisiveness. The experience ended up being life-changing for me. It was the push I needed to get myself out of my situation.
Within a week of coming back home, I started looking for apartments or rooms. Not down south, and not where I was living then. Just far enough to be out of my family’s reach, but close enough to have access to people I cared for. It took two months, around 12 hours of traveling back and forth, and a miracle before I finally found a place. Three days later, I put down a security deposit, paid rent, and starting packing a bag. Ten days later, on that fateful Friday, I moved out of prison and into an apartment. Now I am here, in a town completely unfamiliar to me, with a roommate who just met me, having no idea what the future holds. I took a leap of faith. I can only hope this leads me in the right direction.