Where is home? This homecoming has not been sweet. I went straight into my overstimulated-hell hole after traveling and began immediately lamenting leaving CA. I’m not happy here and it’s visceral. I watched a movie while in CA and it showed a scene of the Kentucky Mountains which look much like where I live and when I saw that scene I had a sinking feeling that made me feel sick. This has simply never felt like home. And I’ve tried for over half a decade now.

I’ve in turn made my husband feel distraught. It feels impossible for me to live here any longer and for him, with his new job it seems impossible for him to leave. He also likes it here. We are both in pain.

I hope my oversensitive nervous system calms down soon from the travel, but it doesn’t help that I’m having all this conflict with my husband. I am afraid. Deeply terrified.

Does anyone know what it feels like to live somewhere that DOES NOT feel like home. I was so happy in CA. Everything is different. It feels like my soul is demanding that I be there. I want this to be different. I want to want to stay here and be with my husband. This has been going on for several years though and it’s finally hit a high note. I’ve never stayed in CA for a whole month before. I’ve gotten home (here) and I haven’t left the house in four days. I’m so isolated, there is nowhere to go without driving a long distance. And I feel unwell. In the bay area everything is either a 5- 10 minute walk or drive. I got out even when I felt like shit.

We talk about me going and getting a place in the bay area and living separate for awhile. The thought sickens me. My terror is that he won’t follow. I’ve not been easy to live with for a long time now. I wouldn’t blame him if he gave up on me.

And I can’t possibly continue my taper under these circumstances I need to feel somewhat free of stress. I was so distraught last night having caused both myself and husband pain that I took extra drugs. My CNS was on fire. I wanted to knock myself out. And so I did. I slept 12 hours. I just took enough that would guarantee me a long hard sleep. My fantasies went elsewhere, though I am not at risk of suicide, I think about it when things get really rough. Permanent sleep. Permanent solution to a difficult problem. It’s more of a habit that anything else—no risk of actually doing it.

And so this is life. Interrupting my withdrawals dammit. I’m too delicate still to deal with this raw deal kind of life shit. Will I ever toughen up? Life always brings shit, you know. No one is immune from that. Is this my fault should I be able to accept reality—life here, not in CA?

So for now I need to try to mellow out. Ride out the pain that is inevitable with the stimulation of travel and the conflict at home. See if things cool down at home. I need to figure out what my options are and what is actually tolerable or not. Right now I can’t see any answers at all. All options seem to suck.

18 thoughts on “Homecoming?

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  1. I have so Much to say about this and I’m afraid that so little of it can/will help you.

    I was born in Salem, Illinois (a teeny tiny town about two hours east of St. Louis) in my Grandma’s house. After that, I was moved to (in order): Tulsa, OK; Denver, CO; Houston, TX;’ Ft. Worth, TX; Terre Haute, IN; Louisville, KY (in two different areas of town); Norwood, OH; Amelia, OH; Batavia, OH; Ocala, FL; Norfolk, VA; Ocala, FL; Cincinnati, OH; Monterey, CA (yeah, I liked it there although I felt lonely because I knew no one except my sisters and some bikers–mostly Iron Horsemen and Hell’s Angels); Cincinnati, OH; Mt. Carmel, OH; Oakley, OH (two places); Loveland, OH; Amelia, OH; Mt. Carmel, OH; Amelia, OH; Tampa, FL (at least half a dozen places); Cincinnati, OH (at least a dozen places–not including the three years or so that I was homeless); and then, finally, here to the town near where you live, where I’ve actually lived in the same apartment for ten years now. (italics edited to protect my privacy–Gianna)

    The only constant in my life was my Grandma and her farm in Salem, IL. Grandma was always the only Safety and Unqualified Love in my world which was filled with neglect and abuse of all sorts. Grandma died in November 2003 and her house has since been torn down (although I absolutely refuse to go see the land since they tore Grandma’s house down).

    But ya know what? My Grandma is STILL with me. Her farm is STILL with me. Any time that I feel alone and/or lost, my Grandma is STILL there for me…and I know that she will Never leave me.

    Thus, My True Home is always here…within me.

    My children and my grandchildren live in Cincinnati, OH. I missed so much of my children growing up (because their father “stole” them from me when they were just 3-1/2 and 6 years old). Losing my kids damned near did me in for good. I tried to kill myself more times than I can count.

    It just about Kills Me to think that I have missed so much of my grandchildren growing up (they are now 3, 3-3/4, 7-1/2 and 8 years old) and that I seem destined to miss even more. After all, I always wanted to grow up and BE my Grandma. Of course, I realize now that I will Never BE my Grandma…but I hope to be Very Like my Grandma…especially for my grandbabies: A Safe and Always-Loving Haven in the Storm.

    So, I’m trying to work out a way to move back to the ‘Nasti (Cincinnati, for those who haven’t been activists there) as soon as I can. However, I know that it’s going to take a long while, given my financial abilities/difficulties.

    In the meantime, I CAN try to keep up with them as best as I can via telephone, email, and snail-mail. I CAn keep my hopes up by realizing that I was in even worse straits when I moved back to the ‘Nasti to be with my kids after their father stole them from me. I CAN dream about how I will be with them eventually because I DID actually end up moving back to the ‘Nasti to be with their parents after seven long years apart. I really KNOW this time that I CAN do it.

    So, please take heart and know that you can DO whatever is best for YOU to do. And, selfishly, I’d love it if you were able to move into town where we could see each other and do things together.

    Also, I travel around the country fairly often for this, that and the other. For me, it takes me a week or so to get “settled in” wherever I am…so don’t feel alone. I don’t think it’s a matter of weakness or illness or anything negative at all that you need time to get your feet under you again. Just seems natural to me. I’ve heard some folks call it “jet-lag” for want of a better term.

    Love… Sky

  2. Does anyone know what it feels like to live somewhere that DOES NOT feel like home.

    are you kidding me? i have a whole category in my blog called “being from somewhere else.” i feel like i’ve died a little every day since i moved to the Land Where No One Walks.

    why don’t i live? b/c life is not simple that way.

    take heart. you are not alone.

  3. Hi, I understand very much what you are feeling. I believe some places, whether it’s where we live or have been at one time, [like for me it’s Sequoia Natl Park and Yellowstone, and well yes, California where I grew up]- are sort of spirit residences for ourselves. I remember being on a hike in Sequoia and thinking “my soul resides here”. Then my mom reminded me we went there quite a lot when I was a child, and it was like my safe harbor, my retreat. I would take my kids there quite a lot when they were little. I would hike with my youngest in a backpack, and those are times I remember fondly. I have learned that I am stubborn and fearful of change. Though it is hard for myself, living in a wooded area, one thing I immediately noticed when I was in Ca last month–was that I missed my deep breathing morning walk in the woods. Once I was on the beach, I breathed deep and remembered how many years I spent there. In a way, it helped me to realize, that my soul resides peacefully whereever I am, when I choose to persue the tranquility I feel we all have inside ourselves. Sometimes, we can end up needing that ability when in awful situations; such as hospitals or things like that. To tap into your tranquility now, is a challenge, but it is not in California or where you live now. It really is within your heart and soul.

    I also agree, with Sara, to remind yourself that you have a large and good network of support, from Ca. to your husband.

    Take care,


  4. Joyce,
    what a sweet and intimate comment. thank you for sharing so much of your life with me.

    Hormones are certainly hell and they play a large role in my problems. I completely relate to that as I do to the meds just not doing the trick. There are so many of us for which that is true. There need to be alternatives made widely available. People do respond to a host of different things—not just my trip here.

    Yes, indeed, you have to have some degree of stability on the inside to enjoy the outside.

    thanks again…

    Have you thought of starting a blog if you like to write? It’s a great outlet and good practice….

  5. I’m very sensitive to my environment. I lived in Western MA, where my husband got a job. I had an infant then, no car, and no friends. It snowed for a good 6 months out of the year. I was so lonely….however I did start a writing career, drove an hour to a writer’s group that I found which was run by a famous children’s author. I lived in the back wood’s country of Western MA for three years. I always held the goal of moving back to the PA area in my mind, and this held me together.

    When we finally did move to PA, I had a total nervous breakdown. I probably would have had it anyway, but not as severe as I did after I moved. I totally missed my writing friends, and had to face life, as I wasn’t facing it while I was in the “waiting to move” mode. The depression lasted 19 years, despite the fact that I was living where I thought I wanted to be living. This past year, I was dx’d BP. So far I’ve had trouble with all med’s. Even though I live in a very nice town, art movie theater, Victorian downtown, etc., I am still suffering with B.P. So, I feel that despite my nice
    surroundings, if I feel dark and empty inside, things will seem dark and empty on the outside.

    I’ve been feeling like a failure…because I tried to go the non-med route and failed terribly. I wasn’t on good vitamins, but I’m not sure I would have been ok even if I was on good supplements. I just started a vitamin regime, and am hoping for the best….despite being on med’s, I feel like I am going crazy half the time. I’m at the menopause age, and I think that may be playing into my troubles. I have plans to go to a natural menopausal clinic for saliva, urine and bloodwork and see where to go from there. There are so many books I have started to write, and it’s very disappointing that I’m not well enough finish them. I have to continue to have hope, because if not for that, I’d be in real trouble.

    Thanks for your blog, Gianna, and I wish you the very best, in your brave decision to try and go off your med’s with the support of nutrients.


  6. I was an Army wife and not a good one. I wasn’t perky as I moved home. I hated living in South GA amongst the small minded in that tiny town. When we moved up here, I was miserable for months, having left behind a large house, garden, friends, cats. I don’t bloom where I’m planted. It takes me a lot of time. I remember with one move, it took me a year before I hung my first picture. And sometimes it doesn’t work out, as in S. GA.

  7. thank you Sara and Tessa both,
    Sara, you were not at all patronizing and I’m getting around to centering again. I don’t think it’s easy to imagine how out of sorts I get when I travel. Anyone withdrawing from drugs becomes very sensitive to overstimulation. I was a wreck the first ten days in CA, before things changed for the much better after that. Any kind of overstimulation can do me in, including a long talk on the phone.

    In any case earlier tonight I left the house for the first time in 4 days and I looked around at the natural beauty of the place I live and felt some small amount of peace.

    Maybe we’ll rent a place in the town near where I live. It’s a cool, hip, town. I just live too far away. We discussed giving living there a shot by renting and seeing if that takes care of some of what I need. I think proximity to human beings could take care of a lot of what I miss so much about the bay area. If I could walk to a grocery store or drive only 5 minutes to a restaurant that could go a long way. If it works out we could sell our house and buy there.

    We’re working on it and I’m mellowing out. I just sorta got hysterical there for a bit. I was so wasted. I was so overstimulated and I was so happy in CA and I’m so lonely here. Everything looked black and white—but the shades of gray in between everything are coming back and I realize that I don’t have to make a decision immediately.

    I’m in a decent if not perfect mood this evening. I can imagine being happy if I live near other people. So hopefully we can pursue that.

    thank you Sara. And Tessa, I’m so glad you got to live where you want and that you got the boy too!!

    I want to keep the boy too—for now that’s going to be here. The future could bring many things and he has not ruled out returning to the bay area and we would end up in Marin, strangely enough, Tessa—that is where I last lived too. Though I lived in Berkeley and SF for much longer periods.

  8. Gianna,
    I moved from California to Belgium to be with my now husband and was miserable for a year and a half. I really tried to make it work in Belgium for his sake but in the end I left Belgium and came back home. I was terrified I would never see my husband again when a few short weeks after returning he broke up with me.

    After a few months back in California, I was so much improved that he moved here and we married.

    I have bad days here of course but overall I am better here in California than anywhere else. Unfortunately, I am in Sacramento and I would much prefer to be back in Marin where I felt most happy in my life.

    I don’t have any great words of advice, just wanted to let you know I understand. I do think you are on to something with the sense of isolation. That was my biggest problem in Belgium. I didn’t know anyone and had nothing to do. It’s easy to sink that way.

    Hang on.

  9. Without being patronizing and I hope you won’t take it this way I would focus on what you can be grateful for right now. Think of as many things as you can to be grateful for including having what sounds like a patient husband. And grateful for the resources that you found in CA that are helping you towards a path to healing. And that you are still alive after all these years on psych drugs. I hope that you can come to see your situation as a glass half full rather than half empty and that from this perspective you will be able to discern the path ahead. I wish you peace and success in the coming days and weeks.

  10. thanks everyone your support helps me.

    I talked to my neuro-psych—he’s not my therapist but a very kind man who knows me very well. He said that what I learned in CA is good information and to look at it that way. I was certainly on to something, with the treatment and the location, but it’s just information right now and it would be crazy to try to make a decision right now.

    I thought that was good advice. I’m mildly calmer.

    Before I can listen to my intuition, HSP woman, I need to be able to hear through the din of chaos. But that is what I intend to do. One thing I’m thinking in the short term is getting a place to live in the town I live nearby. Maybe if I was in town (forty minutes from here) I wouldn’t feel so isolated, maybe then I could start to see some beauty where it now seems Godforsaken, as Sally said.

    thanks again all.

  11. I hope an answer comes soon, Gianna.

    I am sorry you’re suffering. I do relate to what you’re saying though. I also relate to wanting to just sleep for 12 hours.

    I do the same thing. It helps to take a break from excessive worry.

    Being in constant “problem solving mode” isn’t fun, is it?

    It’s exhausting, really.

    Listen to your intuition. Do what feels right.

    I send you lots of support.

  12. Wow… Sounds like you’ve given life-where-you-are a fair try & it Just Ain’t Working. [I know you’ll never budge THIS TX girl very far!]
    Maybe this is one of those times when you have to leap, and trust that the net will appear…

  13. Gianna,

    I don’t know exactly how this feels as an adult, but I gotta say, I can relate to what you are going through at a certain level – what happened my senior year in high school…..

    I grew up in the hill country – Austin, Texas……back when Austin was a beautiful place – it still is, but when I was a kid, I spent countless hours camping, canooeing, exploring those hills – before the highways were built – before the condominims went up……

    I have memories of buying huge inner-tubes – the ones from heavy equipment machinery – for a dollar (used) – would put patches on them, and take them down white water rapids – for a mile or so – the rapids would empty to a clear crystal pond – fed with spring water – would swim all day in those areas – could see turtles and ribbon snakes in the water – water so clear you could see your own toes underneath…..

    Had friends out the gazzoo – friends I had known for years – was a high-school swimmer – part of a swim team – connected to those I had grown up with – felt like I would live in Austin forever……the place where the cowboy met the hippie – and the two became one – kinda a long-haired country boy kinda feel – the ‘Willie Nelson’ town – herb gardens and rodeos – hard to put into words – you just had to be there, I guess…..

    In any event, unbenounced to all of us kids, my dad suddenly was offered a job in Dallas – the big city – and he accepted – and so, we moved – without warning – with no chance to voice any concerns…….it was the way things were back then…..

    I spent my senior year in high school surrounded by people I had never met – isolated……I used to stare out the window in the spring and look at the trees – the flowers blooming and the redbuds coming out……dreaming of Austin – seeing those hills……wishing I was out at Lake Travis, or Lake Buchanan – fishing or taking my boat out….riding my bicycle out in the middle of nowhere…..

    How long did this last? Hell, I still miss Austin – it will always be my ‘home’ – we visit from time to time, and I always feel empty inside when we come back to Dallas – life in the big city – never got used to it.

    But, my parents are here – and the rest of my siblings, and we’ve settled a bit – my kids are tied in – connected to their friends, etc…….and we’re here now – settled……

    I still dream of going back there – or maybe Tucson – I would enjoy the lifestyle of this place as well – the univeristy there has an Integrative Medicine Dept – and a rehab counseling school – people ride bikes, and go for long walks – and they are into natural lifestyles……not the hippies I once grew up with, but similar maybe…..

    I miss the hippies, and the rodeo riders, and the hill country – and the place I grew up – I think I always will….

    And so, I relate at a certain level – maybe not in the exact same way –

    It’s tough, I know –

  14. Some places feel like home right away. Other locations take years to grow on you. I have moved many times. And been extremely homesick. What once seemed like G–forsaken land, now seems beautiful. But it took many years for that to happen.

    My prairie relatives think the woods are creepy and too cluttered. They can’t see far enough or who is behind the trees.The sun goes down too fast. My forest relatives think the prairie is barren and desolate.

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