A new office, a house for sale, hypervigilance and parental loss
Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 - 10:12 pm.

I now have my own office and my life has forever changed. I'm now able to separate my working space from my leisure space, I can leave work at work and come home to have a life. The office is big enough to hold a table for meetings! I have a window with a view to green spaces, to Andrew's office building, and to my own apartment building. It's perfect.

*My* office is in the Psych Department building, in the hallway for the PhD program academics and researchers. That's it, I've made it in life! That's where I wanted to be, that's where I belong. I just sort of got lucky with the office, as I got it because a colleague returned to his home country, but I also won't pretend that I don't deserve it. It's about time, really!

I still have to fully settle into it, but I've made myself at home there already. When I was offered the office last week, I thought I'd be there a couple of times per week. I felt very attached to my workspace at home, and I saw myself getting lazy. But then I realized I needed to protect my new turf before they thought of offering it to someone else, so I showed up on Monday morning with my stuff. Then I found the office was quite comfortable and I decided that I'll be there everyday.

More good(ish) news: A new house has come up on our radar. This. Is. The. One.

Andrew and I joke (but not really) that our phone listens to our conversations and Big Brother shows us what we want. Well, Big Brother came through big time this time around.

We'd seen a house last week. It's in the neighborhood that we wanted and in the price range that we might afford, but it wasn't well-kept and was missing a few characteristics that Andrew and I want. We kind of let it go without much regret. Then, one of these nights, Andrew got an Instagram ad about another house in that neighborhood. It had those characteristics we wanted and it was cheaper than the first one we saw.

We went to see it on Thursday morning. We brought our friend's dad along again, because it feels great to have an adult who's more of an adult than you handling these things. A stand-in for our parents to guide us through this potential milestone.

This dad has thus made an initial offer on behalf of Andrew and I. Meanwhile, the two of us are scrambling with different banks, asking for information on mortgages and other things I barely knew how to handle in Spanish, and so I don't even know how to explain them in English (I could look it up, but meh).

This house is also unkempt. Damn these owners selling their house "as is", without cleaning up after their tenants. You know that you can't just move in once they give you the keys. On the plus side, though, it helps us to negotiate a lower price.

Andrew and I were looking around the house, and while our friend's dad was talking to the letting agent, we kept glancing at each other and mouthing "this is it". You have to have a poker face at all times when handling real state, so we were being careful. And also, we're trying to be realistic and not fantasize too much about the house. We still don't know if our offer will get through, or if any bank will approve our credit.

Nevertheless, things are happening. I was talking to my therapist this week, and I was so happy after comparing how we seemed to be hitting rock bottom when I started therapy. Now Andrew has a stable contract, we got a car (it's not the object itself but the freedom it has afforded us), and we're able to think about buying a house.

Friendly reminder that we're in therapy because we were unfairly assessed as unfit adoptive parents. We seemed unfit, but we were only discouraged with our living situation at the moment... and, may I remind you, that assessment was conducted in the middle of a fucking pandemic.

My therapist told me this session, again, that they (the adoption people) got it wrong with us. It stings. It always stings to remember that. We're making the most out of therapy and of the time we have until we reapply to adopt. Still, it hurts that we're doing this because a psychologist had a very narrow view about Andrew and I.

I also got a very important acknowledgement from my therapist. She was able to understand that my "fear of the outside world" is actually hypervigilance. That comes from my social environment (I was born in the middle of a civil war and raised in a very violent country), my upbringing, my being a woman, and something I'd never considered before: my queerness.

When she said that, I was like... wow. Yes. I "pass" as not queer, but that doesn't change that I belong to that group that is always under attack. I do research about it. There's a shared reality to which I'm very sensitive to, even when I didn't think I belonged to that group. All that on top of living in a place full of conservative, hardcore right-wing entitled assholes. But I've learned enough to know that I wouldn't do my child any favors by keeping them holed up and sheltered forever.

Just wait until I get assessed again by the adoption agency. I'll fucking show them.

One last thing: I've been thinking about my parents a lot. My dad got his surgery cancelled again because the thing that goes through his arteries couldn't get through. He ended up all sick and confused, he was discharged, and my mom is taking on the burden of it. Bless Brother #2, a medical doctor and the only one of the children my dad listens to, who travelled to our home country to be there with him this week.

But that's slightly besides the point. I've been thinking about them because at this stage of my life I feel I'm mourning not having them around the way other friends my age have them. For advice, you know, so they can help you out with adulthood. I do realize it's a luxury that I've reached 37 with both parents alive, but they're barely so. And they're a 24-hour journey away from me.

It's felt nice to have our friend's dad guiding us with real state. And then another friend lives right next to the house that we want to buy; we stopped by to see her (she was working from home with her toddler, a sweet girl) after we saw the house. Her dad was there doing home repairing, he gave us some more advice about these houses.

I thought it must be nice having your mom and dad around like that. I mean, nearby and with good enough health to walk by your side and give you advice and lend you a hand here and there. I've been aching because of this.

I also feel for my parents. I don't really know what they think about all this, but I do believe they also mourn not being able to be there for their children anymore. It breaks my heart for them, because I know that, if they could, they'd visit us and keep up with what we're doing and help out as they can. It'd break my heart as a parent being in the conditions that my parents are, because I'd be missing a big chunk of my child's life.

But there's nothing much they can do. I've said it before, and I know it's a horrible thing to say, but I need my parents not to be around anymore. At least my dad, who's unable to take care of himself and is miserable and pulls everyone nearby into the black hole that is his misery. I need my mom to be free. But I say my parents because I need my siblings and my nephew to be free so they can flee my home country. The dictatorship is getting worse and more dangerous everyday.

Now I'm all angsty so this would be a good place to stop. Sorry to end on a sour note. Things are actually going well for Andrew and I.

Stay safe.

prev / next