I was lucky enough to have a home growing up that was stable. Dysfunctional yes, but I always had a roof over my head, food to eat, and heat. I was very uncomfortable in my skin growing up, so I took home for granted. I never wanted to be there. This question of what a home means to me is actually really difficult for me.
Having lived the life I have lived, I have been in many different places that I called “home.” Most of those places ruined my sense of home. I could of had the most beautiful home in the world, but when you have people coming and going from your bed day after day, hour after hour, home starts to get distorted on a level I never thought possible. That feeling of never knowing who is showing up at your house, or will they try to come back when they are not invited.
Or living in a house with three men who all wanted to own you, when the one who actually does own you controls every aspect of me. Making me share a bedroom with him, controlling everything, down to what I could wear, and who I was able to talk to in my own house that I was paying for. I remember never feeling safe there. He slept with a gun under his pillow, and I was always so scared that he would roll on it wrong and it would go off.
People were always coming and going, using my bathroom, stealing my stuff. They would party at my house and leave it a mess for me to clean. I would never know who was showing up, wondering if they were going to try to rob me at gunpoint because it had happened before. The police showing up to raid the house because it was bound to happen. Every sound making me freeze because I was constantly on edge. I can truly say I would not wish that feeling on my own worst enemy.
I remember my few rich regulars, I could not wait to go to their house and "pretend" it was mine for just one hour. Being able to shower without needing shower shoes, and knowing that the towel I was using was clean - those were the hours I would saver. Like I said before I grew up in a middle class home, I was not used to living out of a hotel or at my worst a trap house. Looking back I feel so sorry for that girl. Thinking she was living the life, but it was the life of wasted potential and false dreams.
But at that time I would of rather been living that way then to be back in jail or another institution. Staring at those stark white walls can make anyone want to cringe, or even worse with an old creep who would abuse me when I slept.
I go into these dark things because I want you to understand and I want to be able to express the gratitude I have for where I am living now. The very first moments I walked into Amirah, I could feel the “homey” feeling. It was a feeling of peace that I had not felt in a long time. My room was decorated! I remember being so excited for that and telling everyone in my family how beautiful the house was.
Now I have been in a lot of treatment homes, but Amirah and the way that is set up makes me want to be a better person. I cannot explain how, because I know that material things do not matter. It is that I know that God is in this house.
We have volunteers coming and going, but I still feel like this is my home. Although temporary, it's my home. As of right now, I do not have a roommate, and my room is my favorite place. My bed is my most prized possession because it is MINE. I made it how I wanted, and it is so comfy and cozy. The minute I get into it, I feel secure. Although some might argue it is too comfy because I never want to get out of it!
I just want to say thank you to Amirah and all or the supporters for helping me become the person I want to be, so that when I leave here I will be able to create my home to be like Amirah. I will forever hold the people in my heart that this amazing house has brought me too.