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Homesick

By Brooke Davidoff

September 8, 2011

I want to go home. The California heat and my mommy are calling. I'm not homesick, I'm heart sick. After the loss of my father the only thing that seems to matter to me is family and pre-existing friends. I don't have the energy nor the desire to go out and meet new people or couples to hang out with. I don't know what to say to them. I feel like I live currently in a BAD Lifetime movie.

I don't make small talk these days. I have no idea where to begin. I'm heartbroken from the death of my father and can't seem to get around or over that. It seems to come up in my mind daily and small interactions with random people seem so meaningless.

After the last year and a half I don't even know HOW to make small talk anymore. I'm not sure if I'm depressed or not, I don't even care. I make it out of bed everyday. I work 5-6 days a week; I come home and don't get drunk or high to try and self-medicate to avoid reality. It sounds like a great idea sometimes, I won't lie, but Myles is my priority.

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I come home and I'm on mommy time. I play on the floor, we tickle, we cuddle, we watch cartoons (over and over and over again), we go on walks so we can say "Doggie" over and over again at all the doggies we see. I surround myself with my son Myles because, sadly, emotionally he's how I am surviving. That's a lot of pressure to put on a baby.

My father's house in Wildomar, Calif. (just north of San Diego) is currently being rented and might become vacant in the next few months. We all now own it per legal paperwork -- my mother, my two brothers, and I. None of us can afford the mortgage; none of us live in the area to just move on in and take over payments. If I had a job offer in the Inland Empire I'd pack today and drive on down.

I have a huge hole in my heart and think moving back to southern California will make me better. I think seeing my mom a few times a month and having all my old girlfriends back to hang out with on weekends and have our kids play together will fill part of the void my father left. Moving into his house will make me closer to him, not that he's there.

I'm not ready to let go or move on from his death. He was in my dream last night. We were at a party sitting in the corner avoiding all the random people eating. I was in a funky party dress my mother helped me pick out.

I have cousins with babies in So Cal who Myles could grow up with. I would have an emotional support system from people I trust with my emotions. I would get out on weekends because there would be people I WANT to see, people I know HOW to talk to.

How do you make friends when the majority of things on your mind are HIV, Death, Bills, Baby Stuff and Baseball? I realize I'm in a cave socially and I cling to the dream of moving home to get myself out.

Before my father's death I didn't have much of a desire to move back to Cali. When we were being evicted we thought of driving down there to rent the upstairs of his house. What could a newly single man do with a 5br 3ba 3,000 sqft home by himself? Duh, he'd want his daughter, son-in-law and grandson to move in, keep him company, help him pay the mortgage and make dinner. When my parents told me they were getting divorced less than two years ago that was my idea. Either have him move up here to Seattle, or move there so he wouldn't be alone.

I can't imagine that house empty. I can't let my mother emotionally or financially have to manage this herself. She lives in Long Beach and works in L.A. -- no way can she move in and take over the payments. My little brother lives in Oakland, Calif.; he's a teacher. You need two incomes to afford this place. My big brother lives in Seattle and doesn't want to move back to Cali. I offered him to move with us and rent the upstairs so our mom wouldn't have to deal with finding new renters. It's not really her responsibility alone. I feel like it's up to me to keep this house in our hands.

I feel like I have an unfair advantage over my mother and brother: I get to come home to Myles. I don't come home every day to a place half full of my father's things and have the time to be able to be sad. I never have time alone other than at work or in my dad's car to think about what has happened to my family. All of their hearts broke on May 4, 2010, like mine did. All of them have a huge shattered void inside of them and I get to have Myles. If my mother got to see Myles twice a month he could help her heal.

California is HOT. It's expensive. It's NOT green like the Northwest. But it's where my heart broke and it's the only place I think can fix it. I have no idea how to find a job in a state with such high unemployment, and day care I can afford and then be able to afford to move from Seattle to Wildomar on one income. Moving truck money, gas, hotels -- because with a baby you can't just DRIVE for days. I'm open to ideas, suggestions, donations.

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See Also
More Inspiring Stories on Family and HIV/AIDS

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Dave (San Francisco) Fri., Sep. 16, 2011 at 2:57 am EDT
Brooke, I'm having a similar dilemma. My parents are now in their 80s, and I would like nothing more than to move back to the northeast to be close to them and my old friends. Like you, I can't figure out how to get cross country without a job waiting at my destination. Plus the thought of not being able to obtain health insurance to cover the cost of my HIV meds has me terrified. I feel so stuck and isolated. :-(
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Comment by: Lucy (Texas) Fri., Sep. 9, 2011 at 10:25 am EDT
Oh Brooke,
Think, maybe you are lucky you don't have to stay down there an wallow in evrything you see reminding you of your tragedy. Up in Seattke you take a vlean, full deep breathe and slowly let it out. You have a new start out there. Honestly, Devin crawled over me the first 2 years. He just turned 4 and I am finally getting out of my funk. I go to couseling. I don't know if you are up for any of this, but I just started going to Church. Believe me, I am not one to push it down your throat, cause I never believed it was true, but I have met the most amazing support groip there. When I walk in the door, strangers look at me with full eye contact and say I'mm glad to see you today! I come out on top of the sky every time I walk out of that place. I feel important there. Its not all about religion either, we are helping people less fortunate than us, like donating our military ball dresses to girls so they can feel beatiful for a night. Some of my friend sew and knit blankets for disaster areas and Haiti. These people are so selfless. I can't wait to get to their level. I also sell ThirtyOne gifts. Now I know it is a direct sales company but I really believe in the products. It forces me to meet people if I want to make money and the support group through that company is also amazing. Like I said Devin is 4 and I think its been 7 years since my dad died. You may get there too...plus a lot of happy meds never hurt anyone :) call me any time!!!!
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Comment by: Emily (Idaho Falls) Thu., Sep. 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm EDT
Oh Brooke!! I'm so sorry!! Do you have any job connections in SD/Wildomar? I wish we lived closer! Sending you hugs.
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Voice of ONE


Brooke Davidoff

Brooke Davidoff

Brooke was diagnosed HIV positive in January 2010 -- two months married and 11 weeks pregnant with her first baby -- and has already begun to educate others about HIV. She lives in Seattle, and her poetry has been featured on TheBody.com. Her son was born on July 15, 2010.


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