Today I was thinking about how it feels to ‘be home’. I grew most of my teenage years in several residential settings. And as a kid I grew up in an abusive atmosphere where we most of the time tried to adjust en try to keep one of our family calm, to prevent that he became more abusive then he already was. Therefore I don’t think I really ever had sort of positive feelings of ‘being home’.
Despite the negative things at home, I did had the privilege to see and learn many countries and cultures as a child. One of the beautiful trips I made was to Egypt. I was amazed by the beauty of the historic and big buildings. But at the same time I was amazed at their culture of today. It is so much different then ours, but yet interesting and beautiful.
As a kid I also made some trips to the United States. I loved the beautiful nature and national parks and I also enjoyed the many Disney theme parks. However, these are not my most dearest memories of the States. I still remember the several strangers who asked me how I was doing and who didn’t accepted my ‘fine’ answer right away. Because of the way they looked and asked me wouldn’t make me surprise if they would intervene if they could. They noticed that there was something wrong with me. No stranger in my own country, Egypt or in any other country I visited in Europe, ever noticed and let me know that they were seeing that there was something wrong. It gave me a strange, but good feeling which I haven’t forgot.
I usually find it a bit difficult to leave beautiful places and people. Especially when I’m not sure if I will see them/it ever again. But these experiences were really worth it. And I’m wondering, are these kinds of feelings a bit of what home should feel like?
As a teenager I grew up in several residential treatment programs. I got depressed and that got out of control. Most of the time I enjoyed being in a big group of other teenagers, varying from about 10 to 30 others. It was never really quiet and I enjoyed the presence of all the others. Looking back it wasn’t really a good thing that these groups were mixed genders. There were also a lot of problems on the groups. Letting boys and girls live together (apart from family) is already questionable whether that is healthy and responsible idea. But putting (sexually) traumatized girls and (sexually) traumatized) boys together is a real bad idea. I also hear a lot of stories of other girls who had some serious negative sexual experiences with guys on such groups. Apart from that, I have been close to some other girls from time to time. This was on a friendly and non-sexual way, and they have been very valuable to me. With a few of them I still even have contact with today.
At the other hand the more things I see and the more people I met, the more I have to say goodbye to. I soon discovered that new beginnings and meeting new people, also means new endings. I realize that every new person I meet, means that I also have to say a final farewell to one day. Often the first “hello” and the last “goodbye” is on the same day. But it becomes more difficult when you know someone longer and really love that person. Even a marriage cannot prevent a last goodbye. Maybe there is really a place known as heaven. I personally hope there is and that I will see all the people and animals I love back again. But that scenario isn’t something I can be sure of at this time.
During my work as a prostitute I had some clients who where frequent visitors. Some said I was very good at some specific sexual act, while others said they were in love with me. But one of the most interesting reasons I heard was that he wanted a place to be himself and also want to talk. Often those men had difficult issues at home from what I’ve heard from them. So they visited me to find something that they didn’t had at home. Don’t get me wrong – I’m just talking now about a small group of my clients. But looking for some sort of attention or love from just a streetwalker as me, it was interesting. Most of my clients on the streets just want to have quick sex.
Through all my experiences I think I can say what it is like to ‘be home’. Or at least what it means to me. To me it’s being with people who loves each other and where is respect, freedom and desire to share important things to each other on a frequent basis. The hard thing of all this is that you have to miss each other from while to while and even have to say a final goodbye one day. It makes it even more harder if these people are living apart in all kind of places. But I guess to me that ‘being home’ is not restricted to some kind of physical place. Although I do sometimes miss the times of being with my grandparents on the county where I woke up when the roosters crowed in the morning. Unfortunately I had to say my final goodbye already to them. Maybe the memories of loved ones at a specific place is a part of ‘a home’ as well?
So I’m really curious, what means ‘being at home’ to you? Is it just your physical home or is at about people? Or both? Or did I missed something important? I’d love to hear from you!