The Trailer – Part 3

Previously on The Trailer

The Why

The Ego

Embarrassment

I’m embarrassed for my kids to have friends over. I don’t want to host things like play dates or parties. I drop my kids off in nice, middle class neighborhoods to hang out with their friends and am horrified when those parents drop their kids off at my house, afraid of what they’ll think. (Hi my name is Jessica and I’m a people-pleaser with low self-esteem.)

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Quality of life

Sure, part of it is vanity but part of it is the toll it takes on you to live in shitty conditions. When you’re constantly battling things like roaches and mice. And don’t get me started on how we can’t keep squirrels out of our ceiling and how they almost drove us INSANE last winter. No hyperbole. And then. AND THEN. As if them eating parts of your house DIRECTLY ABOVE YOUR BED WHILE YOU’RE TRYING TO SLEEP isn’t bad enough, one of those little fuckers dies up there and your son’s room smells like rotting squirrel carcass for weeks.

When yet another thing breaks and it’s the last straw and you find yourself saying too often, “so I guess we live like this now”. Maybe later I’ll tell you the story about the shower knob breaking off in my hand and the ensuing emotional crisis.

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Guilt

I’m ashamed of my house and often times it feels like living in a third world country (actually, our quality of life was way better when we lived in a third world country). But also I have so much mom guilt over the whole sitch.

This is my daughter’s high school experience. Sharing a tiny, shitty room with her teenage brother. Said brother waking up every morning and getting dressed in the bathroom because of the awkward shared space. If my daughter wants to have a friend sleep over, my teenage son has to sleep in the floor of his little brothers’ equally tiny room.

My daughter has had multiple friends tell her that they think our house is gross. I know I’m not the best housekeeper but you can’t polish a turd. You can’t – polish – a turd. All the elbow grease in the world doesn’t change the fact that we live in a glorified cardboard box (that, by the way, we’re constantly worried will burn down).

Comparison is the thief of yadda yadda

It’s just damn near impossible to not be jealous or feel bad about your situation when you hop on social media and see all the normals in their insta-worthy “real” houses. I know just because you have drywall doesn’t mean you don’t have real problems. I know that! Still. If I had a choice, I’d like to have my marital issues and mounting debt in a spacious 4 bedroom with a nice, deep tub and maybe a den for the kids.

By the way, there are certain TV shows that give me LIFE on this issue. Like Speechless. Oh my gosh. It’s a good show anyway but HELLO they’re living in a shitty rental for their son to go to a certain school and their teenage son and daughter share a room. I spend more time looking at the background than at the characters. These are my fictional people.

Honorable mention: Roseanne, Shameless, My Name is Earl.

Maybe I’ll shut up now

Please, for the love of all that is good and HGTVy, don’t respond with any Christian platitudes to my griping and complaining. I am well aware that like, young children are victims of sex trafficking in lots of somewheres and millions of people have it worse than I do.

But those people don’t own this blog. Hi my name is Jessica, and I these are my feelings.

Frank Shameless gif

 

The Trailer – Part Two – The Ego

Previously on The Trailer

*insert shitty recap montage here*

So we know the facts of why I live here. Turns out, living off of student loans and an entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t pay much.

Now on to all the feelings.

Fine Print

Also, I wish I didn’t have to give this disclaimer but – I’m not trying to offend you. Believe it or not, this blog that I write about myself on the domain that I pay for is in fact about … me. My feelings about my living situation are, crazy as it may seem, not about you or your living situation.

I’m using this space as therapy to process my feelings.

Shame

Let’s cut to the chase. I have deep embarrassment over living in a crappy old mobile home. To the bone, shame.

Hey Jessica, tell me about your childhood. Mkay!

I grew up poor. Not poverty stricken – just good old fashioned, God Bless America, clawing-to-be-lower-middle-class-but-at-the-end-of-the-day-still-white-trash, poor.

I spent part of my childhood living in a trailer. Several of my good friends growing up lived in trailers. I spent many happy hours in crappy old trailers not once realizing they were crappy old trailers.

I remember being jealous of my friends that lived in trailers because for some reason all of them were only children of single mothers and I thought that was the BEST THING EVER. I wish I were an only child of a single mom! You get to eat macaroni for dinner and do whatever the hell you want! 

Plus, in my experience single moms of only children were like, the coolest. Think trailer park Lorelai.

Lorelai and Rory

But I digress.

*dream sequence flash forward*

I moved out the day after I turned 17 and never looked back. Never went back, I should add. I severed my relationship so cleanly with the first 17 years of my life, that it might as well have been someone else’s childhood.

Not only did I move out (let’s be honest – sneak out in the middle of the night), I skipped town soon after. BY-EEEEEEE.

I got married, had some babies, and moved around the world a time or three.

Danger, Will Robinson

When you chop off your childhood and cauterize the wound you hobble through life with phantom family pain. Something hurts but it couldn’t be my past because – look! – I don’t have one!

tis but a scratch

I am deeply ashamed to live in an old trailer, to raise my children in an old trailer, because it means that I’m no better than where I came from.

Or it feels that way, at least.

There’s more to say. But I think I need to leave it there today. Sit in it for awhile. Listen to this song by John Paul White on repeat.

Jessica

The Trailer – Part 1 – The Why

We live in a shitty trailer.

It’s old AF. I guess the PC term would be “dated”. Like, “Oh, that paneling is a bit dated”.

my-name-is-earl

But we’re going to call a spade a spade here. Houses become dated. Trailers just get old. Because let’s face it, if you live in a “real” house it can be updated. You just pray to the HGTV Gods, channel the holy spirit of Chip and Joanna, and *boom* the DIY fairy installs trendy shiplap. (Which 20 years from now will be as dated as my paneling).

But trailers are more like … cars. The value plummets the second it drives off the lot and then you just use it until it falls apart.

Do not @ me with your trailer reno story, Janet. This isn’t about you. 

Why tho

When we moved back from India we found ourselves needing to almost immediately find a new place to live in a new town.

IMPORTANT DECIDING FACTOR

We knew that the Wild Things would be starting public school after being homeschooled for 6 years. It was extremely important to us they be in the best school that the district could provide. Because obviously it was going to be an insane transition.

I just. I mean. Those poor kids. In the 12 months previous we had moved them to India, then had to move back to America unexpectedly, and also settle in a new town. OH, AND NOW YOU’RE GOING TO GO TO SCHOOL, KIDS.

I don’t have a fancy “why” we decided this. We were sure it was best. End of story. We were also sure it was going to be just the absolute effing worst until it wasn’t. Particularly for one of the Wild Things.  So we wanted them to be in the best school to make the transition as easy as humanly possible.

Long story short

This is the only place we could afford to rent in the school district we wanted to live in. And honestly, we were lucky to find it. The trailer may be shitty but it’s in a nice area. When I say it’s old, I mean it’s old. Like, the Original trailer. But it’s on a nice big lot in a good part of town. When the thing was plunked down here decades ago this area was just farms. But in the last 50 years the county suburbs have grown around it. If you walk across the street the rent doubles.

Again, I know that we were blessed to score this little shit hole for ourselves. The guy said that when it comes up for rent it never lists for more than a day. So, it’s a choice we made. We could live in a nicer house, for less rent, in a different part of town. But putting our kids in this particular school was our number one priority.

Next time on The Trailer

You guys, I just realized this post is going to be long AF unless I break it into multiple parts. 

So this is Part I – The Why.

Tune in next time for ALL THE FEELINGS.

Jessica

P.S. This is not about trailer shaming. This is me processing my feelings. Stick around for the next parts of the series before you @ me. Again, my reservoirs of chill are depleted.

Grief – Duh

So my last post probably made me come off a little

Anger. Inside Out.

Obviously I am a multi-faceted person with the normal range of feelings. HELLO, that was the point of that movie. My last couple of posts were a release. So of course they’re going to be an emotional geyser.

I like, have perfectly normal days, you guys. I’m not just walking around yelling expletives at nice old ladies.

I’ve been seeing folks share this post from Jen Hatmaker on Facebook where she talks about realizing that your anger is grief in disguise. Well, duh.

Anger is one of the stages of grief and perfectly normal. Clearly, I am swimming in a sea of grief. Oh hay, Anger. Have you met my friends Bargaining and Depression?

Grief is a process.

When trying to decide whether or not I would pick up this proverbial pen again, the one question I really asked myself is – why? Why do you want to blog? Is it because you’re still a teensy bit of a fame whore? (Maybe). Because that’s not a good enough reason.

What I settled on was that I think it will help me process my grief. Free therapy, y’all. (Who has two thumbs and no health insurance? This girl.)

I think it’s time to finally get it all out of my system. Lay it out in the open and let this shit breathe.

Because I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to get my shit together. Go to the gym. Lay off the hot pockets. Become a healthy, functioning human being.

A lot of this trauma has been festering, lying mostly quiet until

pms

Predictable. Emotional. Geyser.

So let’s start the healing, mmkay?

 

Bittersweet Symphony

JK, I’m just bitter. Like, nuclear reactor level of bitter.

About pretty much everything.

I told y’all in my last post that if I came back to blogging on this platform it would pretty much just be me bitching. And you were like “YAY! WE LOVE BITCHING!” So …

When we came back from India one reason I didn’t verbal blogarrhea our trauma was because I wasn’t ready. When we moved here and people would ask me where I was coming from I would just tell them my hometown. Because “Our dreams were recently crushed and we were essentially deported” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue.

The last two years have been a lot of us just ya know, keeping on. We came back from India and within 3 weeks we had moved to a new town, signed all our little unschoolers up for public school, and decided – fuck it, let’s try the American dream thing this time. Because the self-sacrificing, “Here am I, send me” shit didn’t pan out. LOLOLOL, last decade.

So at 35 Jeremy went back to grad school. Again. This time for a degree that, like, pays money. Because his first two careers qualify him to either be a pastor or a defense contractor – both of which he’s morally opposed to.

We feel like utter fools for wasting our lives up til this point and being unable to provide for our children. I’m mad at everyone and no one. I see people on social media that took the traditional, sane, responsible path in life and I have so much … I don’t know. Rage isn’t the right word. What’s like, sad mixed with angry? Oh right, I guess that’s bitter.

I ain’t mad at you with your four year degree, mortgage, and above ground pool. Good on you. I’m mad at me. I am 35 years old and have never owned a home. Never even come close. Could literally not if I tried. The bank would laugh me out the door.

I spent so many years reveling in how we were so nontraditional, who needs security anyway because Jesus, lololol. And now I just … want to be able to get my kid braces.

Another reason that I haven’t really shared our trauma with the masses is because I have zero chill left. Zero. Particularly for Christian platitudes. I will lose my fucking shit if you tell me everything happens for a reason or some other nonsense. That is cult talk. Stop it.

no chill

Also, I don’t want it to be about manipulating you into telling me I’m not a loser – “You’re awesome Jessica and everything’s going to be okay!” This isn’t like when girls say they’re ugly so that their friends will be like “Omg Stacy, ur so gorg. Shut ahp”.

There are basically two responses that won’t make me ragey:

  1. Same
  2. Bro. That Sucks

End of list.

Pick one.