back home

Going into this I knew it would be difficult. I think I underestimated it. I moved away three years ago and have done my best to distance myself. Three years later I moved back, and I don’t blame me for ever leaving, and I won’t blame me for leaving again. It’s just so bizarre.
I’m living with my grandmother, who is recently widowed. The death of my grandfather was hard on all the family, and for reasons I will keep private it caused us all a lot of grief and separated many of us. It was, of course, hardest on my dear meme. Sometimes I walk into the room and she’s crying. My heart cries with her. There is nothing to say to a grieving woman, no words that can be spoken. Instead I sit with her and hug her. I just want to go in my room and lock the door. Sometimes I feel like I can’t handle it.
My cousin lives with us, too. He stays in the shed out back. I’ll correct myself and say she, because she is currently transitioning into a woman.
Having a transgender in my incredibly conservative Christian family is another reason to lock the door. She stays with her girlfriend out back and they have two raging bulldogs and a chicken. (My cat is not a fan.) She doesn’t have a job. I’m not sure what she does all day, but doing whatever she’s doing doesn’t have a positive effect on her emotions. Oftentimes my ear receives her troubles. I am (was) happy to listen, but there is not much to say, and it’s oftentimes one-sided anyways. I have voiced my support in the matter.
However, prancing around in my grandmother’s backyard in a bikini does no good for her nerves, which her doctor advised needs to be lessened.
And bitching because she doesn’t accept you is incredibly rude, especially considering that she loves you, allows you to stay rent-free, and has not disowned you, like some family do in these cases. I do not think that a woman of her age and religious affiliation can ever understand the process. Sometimes I wonder if I do, but for the sake of progression, I try to.
I moved here with the intent to cause the least amount of burden and stress on my meme as possible, it would seem that my cousin is too selfish and consumed with her transition to feel the same.
My parents live 15 minutes away from me, but I still don’t see them as often as I ought to, but more than I used to. I feel like that’s progress, but apparently not enough for them.
My sister called me the other day telling me she was in my driveway after I sat down to write. Apparently nobody feels the need to communicate in the way that I best respond to.
My cousins, my aunts, my uncles… there is so much.
For a while I would sit down and listen to everybody’s sorrows and troubles and thoughts, but what a burden that is. I just smile and nod, or shake my head and agree that it’s a bummer, counting down the minutes that I can go in my room and lock the door.
But I don’t lock the door. I don’t have the heart to.
My meme tells me I’m a blessing.

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