I have heard people say that your house is a reflection of yourself. The way you decorate and organize and clean – it’s all a glimpse into who you are. Your home should be your haven. Your retreat from the world and the chaos in it. Just like your soul – you should have a place deep within you where you can go to “escape”. Well – if this is the case – I am a pretty scary reflection. But, when I thought about it, I realize more and more how true it is that my home is an exact representation of me.

My house is big and beautiful on the outside. The yard is maintained and there are some “accessories”…jewelry made of petite roses, necklaces of vines growing on the porch fence, earrings of hydrangeas and baby’s breath. In the spring, the whole house explodes with the colors of azaleas blooming in giant bushes filled with red and white. It has clean and stylish hair (leaves are raked), the driveway and porches are water-pressured and pristine, and it stands with a bold presence on the road in it’s black and white majestic splendor. Many times it causes drivers-by to slow down and gaze at it. It’s appearance is very important to me – it’s how the world sees it, what the other moms think about it, how it makes people green with envy that I could actually own such a thing. I am not only keeping up with the Joneses – I am passing them. Ha.

On further inspection (venturing inside) it’s a whole other story. Caos and disorder reigns. It is surface-clean, bleached and scrubbed. But, there are cobwebs in the corners, hair behind the toilets, spots on the windows and we won’t even get into the upstairs rooms where no stranger is allowed to roam. The hidden recesses of my home (and my self) are a secret. A dirty secret.

It’s always loud and tense inside. Oh, outside you can spot a woman sitting on the front porch swing and two kids playing in the yard and they all seem so content…the perfect family. What you don’t see is the teenager in his room, feeling depressed and lonely and he has no idea why. The husband is inside looking at porn on his computer and wishing his wife were sexier. The wife on the front porch is wishing she could run away and never look back. The two kids playing in the yard – well, they are whispering obscenities to each other and telling each other how much they hate them.
The house doesn’t look as old as it is. I don’t look any where close to 39. I usually get carded for alcohol and sometimes cigarettes! This house is falling apart. Aging. Rotting from the foundation up. The pipes are corroded. I feel older than my years – I am so tired. I feel like I am falling apart much of the time and being a woman, my pipes (female parts) are always corroded.

Our house looks really expensive – and it is, really. Way more than we could afford and that was before my husband lost his job. I look expensive – we look wealthy. I always have portrayed that – but nobody really knows how totally broke we really are. We are in foreclosure every month, we have to beg, borrow and steal (well, not steal) to pay our basic bills. Money is a constant stress here – but you would never know that by looking at me.

This house was a rental for several years before we bought it. People stayed here, some abused it and disrespected it. It didn’t really matter to them because they didn’t own it and didn’t care. It was of no real use to them since they didn’t own it. It was just some shelter “in the meantime”. That is my past – my life until a few years ago. Men stayed here, most abused and disrespected me and I know I never really mattered to them. They just used me as a prop or a trophy – look what they “scored”, what they “won”.

We all know – you can’t judge a book. You can’t judge any body, ever. Ever. That is one thing I never do – you have no clue what’s really going on behind that beautiful green front door with the stained glass windows. You never know.

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