Not your average Why I Became an Interior Designer Story
Hey there, you doing ok today?
Fancy taking a bit of a journey? I'm going to take you on a journey of my personal experience that's lead me to interior design. It's not your average Why I Became an Interior Designer Story talking about rearranging rooms as a child but please read on and leave a comment.
Have you ever experienced that moment of not being able to turn your key in the lock? There’s nothing wrong with the mechanism itself but opening the door to the dark days that lay inside churns your stomach.
Of course, there was days that were easier when no one is home and your guards down. When the car was parked on the drive, however, coming home to a place you don’t particular want to be sucks. From the eyes of a child, trying to navigate innocence, you’re unsettled by the things you’ve seen. Anticipation that you’ll see more, or hear, takes your last bit of ease. And then there’s the visions. They’re too graphic for your eyes to shut at night .
Living through domestic violence before you’ve reached double digits crushes your trust. Your bedroom is a refuge without a lock or any shield for when you hear the cries.
You’re stained with crippling anxiety that lasts until now. The feeling of vomit waiting to erupt from your stomach happens every other Friday and again on the Sunday. The ritual of staying the weekend with who now is the part time dad, is the trigger you cannot escape until your teens. By that time neither parent has had contact with the other. You settle into a false security that it’s over. But chapter two awaits.
Chapter two began in adulthood, at the happy time of new parenthood with an adorable baby to coo over. You’re not too sure when things turned ugly, but by the time they do the atmosphere is swamped with negativity to snatch up any trust you have left. The first strike warranted an apology, although it was most definitely YOU at the root cause. As long as you improve and hold your tongue, the first strike would be the only one.
But somehow you’re transported to a time when the baby is sound asleep upstairs, and your unborn child has stopped cartwheeling for a moment. Maybe. Maybe they’re still moving about but the weight that presses into you, heavy on your wrists above your head means you take little notice.
The weight of another pins you fast to the make shift mattress but it’s your throat that feels it the most. Gripped tight until your vision blurs, those hands do not belong to you but are powerful enough to weaken your breath. Breathe. Lay there, overwhelmed and no longer scared you lose the will to see another day. Should your breath lessen and your eyes get blurrier you will get your end. Far from the happy ever after you wrote stories about as a child, but an end of feeling useless, humiliated, wrong.
Suddenly, after time has passed, when the anxiety of begging for air through the tears that pour down to your ears, the grip is loosens. The weight shifts, and the shadow that wanted you to pay, exits into the night. Breathe in. Exhale. Cry. And climb into the bed that lay waiting for you upstairs, willing your eyes to close and sleep the pain away of being transported back to that child of a single digit.
Time and time again, you pick up the pieces. There’s always mess to clean up. The picture frame got knocked over in the explosive atmosphere and baby’s toy got crushed as it lay in your path. Your make-up didn’t hold up when you cried. Clothes, torn and bloody, discarded. Wounds will heal. Scars can fade. But the consequences of your experiences alter how you live from then on.
You sleep with something you can use to protect yourself with, so despite never playing a lick of baseball, there’s one close at hand. But sleep is never as sound as it could be especially when the pillow still smells of him. So you wash the smell away, or buy new pillows to hold onto at night. You even get used to the extra closet space you’ve gained from getting away.
But that creek makes you wonder if he’s crept back in. You’ll have to get someone in to rid the house of squeaky doors and floorboards. It’s not about the what your home looks like, it’s a matter of feeling secure. Home does that for you. It restores what was lost.
As you walk around your own home, the flashbacks greet discomfort. So even though you have got away from that weight that terrorised you, there’s reminders ingrained on the wallpaper, sitting all evasively on the couch, and in your bed. While you have much work to do to mentally to heal yourself, and much time reassuring your children about your new way of life, styling your home can also help you in your new Chapter. Chapter three.
There’s no need to burn the mattress by drag it on outside and watching the flames rise (which is ridiculously silly by the way). This is hardly good for your lungs and the neighbours are not going to thank you.
But what you can do is recreate your home to welcome fonder memories to live in comfort and security. I don’t want you to see the bad memories and I’m sure you can agree with me, you’d not want this for your children either. I didn’t want it for mine.
This is my personal experience of domestic violence & not your average Why I Became an Interior Designer Story. I am thankful that those I love got to the other side safe and sound. Many victims, male and female, don’t get this opportunity or endure from more horrifying experiences than I have.
If you’re on any part of the journey of domestic violence, please fight your way out and rebuild.
Thanks for reading, stop by again.