It's been over two years since I moved back home. I never could understand why things were so strange for me, why I didn't seem to be doing the things that every normal person was doing. For instance, going to sleep at a decent hour. I wasn't doing the things that I used to do, it was as if I was a completely different person. And I always felt that it was because I missed Marty and because he wasn't here any more I was a completely different person. But I have come to realize the real reason just today. And that reason is that I don't live here.

Don't get me wrong, all my stuff is here. Most of it is still packed away in boxes, stored in the basement. For the first time in my entire life I have a bedroom all to myself. And I hate it! Growing up my sister and I shared a room until I moved into the dorms. At RIT I had a roommate until I moved in with Marty and then of course, there was Marty. But now I am all alone and still the room doesn't feel like mine. In fact, it feels less like my room than any room ever has.

Finally, about two weeks ago I began to sort through some of my things. I opened up my closet and found piles upon piles of my high school stuff, still tucked away, waiting for me to throw them out. I didn't throw anything out but I did make more room. I unpacked some of my personal things that really should have been unpacked within a week of moving in. My whole life has been packed away for two years! At first I think it was in response to not wanting to move back home, a strong stubborness within me refusing to acknowledge the need to be here, which progressed into an unsettling feeling of not being at home. I don't know if it was my stubborn streak alone that made me feel not at home, the fact that my family drove me nuts or my stuff being unavailable to me that created this awful feeling...

My bedroom has been a complete mess since I moved home. It literally looks like a tornado had struck a giant dishwasher before entering my room, only to leave the contents of said dishwasher scattered all over my room, mingling with my clothing. My family never could understand. "How in the world can you live like this? This is disgusting! Dirty clothes, dirty dishes, papers scattered all over the room! How can you live like this?" But what neither of us understood is that I didn't live there. This was my place to sleep. It wasn't home. And I only slept there when I was so exhausted that I couldn't stay awake another moment. I didn't sleep there, I crawled into my room, dumped all the crap off my bed, grabbed a blanket and crashed. There's a big difference.

I don't play the flute anymore. I have three flutes and they are all broken. It makes me sad to know that I cannot afford to fix them. Yet another thing to add to the unhomeliness of it all. I don't sit on my bed and listen to music anymore. Until recently my bed served more as a storage area than a bed. I don't read in the bath tub for hours at end anymore. I don't cook. I don't clean. I don't read on the toilet anymore. I just don't do anything. And I used to think that there was something really wrong with me. But there isn't anything wrong with me, it's the feeling of not being at home. It's the feeling of living someone else's life, the life that is expected of me while I am living in this house. It's not the life that I want. Well, maybe it is the life I want but it's not coming about in the way that I want and as a result I struggle against my family's pushing.

This afternoon I found myself sitting in the bathroom reading Feel This Book by Janeane Garaffalo and Ben Stiller (who I happen to absolutely adore!). I suddenly realized that it had been ages since I had done this. Suddenly I wondered, am I me again? My bedroom no longer looks like a scene from Twister and here I am sitting on the pooper reading a book. Could this really be Debbie coming back to life? Have I spent all this time wondering who I am, what I like and what I want to do when it was there all the time, just burried under family pressures and annoyances? And suddenly the world looked a little less gloomy and I didn't feel so damn short anymore. Today turned out to be a pretty decent day after all.

Note to self: buy MarilynM a new copy of Feel This Book