Monday, February 20, 2012

When Home Is Not a Refuge

For a lot of people home is a place where you can go, let down your hair and relax. It's the one place to feel safe and secure. Maybe this is the hardest thing of all for Bart and I -- or for any adoptive parent. I think we grieve the loss of a safe, relaxing place where we can find psychic space.

When others are off at work or out of town they look forward to going home to relax. While we look forward to going home, it isn't the same feeling. We look forward to seeing each other and our kids, but we know that depending on the day, home may just be a battlefield. There might be rages, arguments, accusations, or bad news. There might be drama, conflict, or all manner of interesting things that could happen at any time.

It's not impossible to live like this, or even to live happily like this, but it requires finding other safe places. My safe places include a couple different coffee shops, one crowded, the other fairly desolate, where I can go to get psychic space. Safe places also include the hotel rooms that I am fortunate to be able to spend time in once or twice a month when I travel.

My safe places are also people, people who I know will be encouraging and supportive. When I have a meal with them or am invited into their homes, I can feel that sense of relief and safety.

And of course, my church and my God are places of refuge for me. I don't know what I'd do without them.

Let me clarify something. My home is safe in a physical sense. But when it comes to needing psychic space it doesn't always serve that purpose.

Maybe this is something you have thought of before, maybe you haven't, but it is worth considering. Is home your place for psychic space? If not, where is that place? Have you been there enough lately?


Jen said...

In the past 11 months, I have been alone in my house twice. Twice. Last Thursday and Friday, all four of my children were at school, and I was ECSTATIC. I have reclaimed my home as my safe place from 8-2 on school days. The amount of emotional healing I have accomplished (and house cleaning as well) during those two days is astounding.

AND they go back to school tomorrow again!! Yippee!

Kerry said...

We are foster/adoptive parents. What you have written is increasingly become the story around here. It's difficult to explain to people who aren't "in" it. Thank you for your words; it's nice to know it's not just me :)

DynamicDuo said...

my space is the bathtub. Nearly everynight the routine is that I get my very hot bath and am not to be disturbed unless there is a family emergency. Typically I take my bath the same time the girls go to bed, if I don't it throws there routine off, and I don't need to say anymore about that. It has become my one hour in the day, that I am totally alone, no phone, no computer, no body. Somenights I cry, but most nights I lay my head back, close my eyes and drift far far far away.