Tuesday, May 28, 2013

When Home Isn't Home Sweet Home

I've had a blog post swirling around in the recesses of my brain for a while now.
It conjures up so much for me.
Warmth, security, my safe haven, my restorative place in the world.
 It is a source of inspiration and a creative outlet for me. 
But what if your home isn't your safe haven for some reason?

A few years ago our old dog got fleas. 
He was miserable.
I tried to treat the fleas, but he couldn't tolerate the stuff to make them go away. 
I remember crying one day because I could not get him out of the tub after a flea bath and he was too frail to jump out by himself. 

I would try to bathe him but several days later the fleas were back with a raging vengeance.
He was suffering from a hip injury and from the skin irritation, so we made the very painful decision to put him to sleep.
He was 16.
It was so sad.

Two weeks later Rebekah and I began to get flea bites.
The fleas had hatched in the carpet and since they had no host they were biting us. 
Each day was a massive effort to rid the house of the fleas. 
I called the exterminator but they didn't give much hope that they could do better than I. 
For about three weeks, I had this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when it was time to leave work and head home. I was safe at work from flea bites.
Home wasn't restful anymore. 
  It wasn't a safe place anymore because those blood sucking parasites were feeding off my ankles and feet.
Rebekah and I have scars from that flea infestation.  
I'm sure they bit Bill but he has never been allergic to them. 

Home wasn't a safe and secure haven anymore.

In my circle recently there have been a few people struggling with their home not being that haven.
It could be a pest problem or it could be a problem with the integrity or safety of the home.
Mold in the bathroom.
it could be a peace of mind problem with a neighbor.

That is the situation my daughter has been facing for the past few months.
Her next door neighbor would not leave her alone after they exchanged numbers following a fire somewhere in the apartment complex. Rebekah felt safer knowing that she could call her next door neighbor if she needed anything. 
Instead he used that number to try to have more of a personal relationship and she just wasn't interested. It culminated with him banging on her door and her calling the police. 
We yanked her out of that complex and for the time being she is safe at home with us.
 For weeks it threw us off. 
Her home, her little nest wasn't safe anymore.

For those of us who are introverts, our homes are paramount to our ability to recharge, refocus, regenerate.
If our home isn't safe everything can feel kind of off.
Do you know what I mean? 
Ultimately, our homes aren't our safety and security but they sure do play a vital role.

Linking with,
Cornerstone Confessions


  1. Katie, you've expressed so much wisdom here. Home is absolutely a retreat to us from anything out in the world that is bothersome. You are right though...sometimes what is within becomes threatening. I hate hearing about your daughters neighbor. That's really scary. I hope she can feel safe moving out again.

  2. What a scary time for your daughter. Our homes should be the safest place for us, but sadly that isn't true for lots of people. Glad you have your daughter safe with you.

  3. You are so right. If we can't retreat and feel safe in our homes, where can we go? I try very hard to make my home a safe place for our family (double checking locks, alarms set, etc.) I fear that if anything happened here it would break my heart. Here's to all of us being safe. Glad to hear she's home and safe with you. Good luck with that situation. That's a tough one.

  4. So, true…and very sorry to hear what your daughter went through. I'm glad she's home and safe with you. Most times we take our homes for granted. There's been so much in the news lately, between Oklahoma, Super Storm Sandy, and more, where home is forever changed or lost, which is hearbreaking. There's no place like home.

  5. Thanks for sharing, Katie. I have had an experience when my home was not the place I needed it to be. It did not provide the comfort, security, safety and refuge that I long for from my home. I am an introvert and love being at home. It's my sanctuary.

    We had a time in our lives when we lived somewhere that existed in the middle of very stressful and emotional conflict. On top of this we had mice! During this time I had a kind of breakdown.

    I cannot tell you how much it meant to move away and how much I will never again take the security and peace I feel at home for granted again.

    Great post. Linked here from Cornerstone Confessions. Blessings.