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.
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.
Voice of ONE
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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