All day, I had the intention of going home after school/work, and making sure that I would fall asleep at a decent hour so I would be plenty rested for the following day. I thought it was the perfect solution to me feeling always tired and drained. 

Well now it is 2 a.m. and my intention of going to sleep at a reasonable hour has expired. 

Instead, I found something a lot more peaceful than sleep. I found a realization, that I don’t in fact have a home. 

A home is somewhere you are supposed to go to and feel comforted, loved, welcomed. The only thing I feel when I pull into the driveway of my house is hatred, annoyance and frustration. Not only am I mad at the chipped, stained walls, or the clogged sinks, broken shower, missing toilet… or even the hinge-less doors that can’t lock and can be opened just by a gust of wind. No I am also mad at the people who reside in these four broken walls. My incapable mother, my dysfunctional and closed-minded grandmother and lastly my does nothing step father. 

I come home from work at 7 p.m. The house is quiet. My mother and step dad are already asleep. I haven’t seen my mother since Sunday and it is now Wednesday and soon it will be Saturday. Grandma is sleeping her 20/24 hours downstairs. I walk into puddles of dog pee on the floor, sometimes they have a paper towel lazily thrown on top to sit and soak. Past the mess on the floor into the kitchen I find a sink full of dishes, plus more piled up on the extended counter and grease subdued stove. The dish-less counter is layered with sticky residue, smudges and crumbs. If I were to lean an elbow against the counter while waiting for my microwave dinner to heat up, I would have to then wipe off possible days old raspberry jam. 

The house is so broken and disorderly that you can’t even begin to fix it. I try one day by re-organizing the chaotic inhabitants of the refrigerator. But my family in all their tiredness does not care to where they place their food and drinks. Once again you have to dig through Little Ceaser’s pizza boxes and Dr. Pepper bottles to find your food that has been seamlessly pushed to the back. 

I scrubbed the stove for 45 minutes once. It was perfectly clean. Two months later and no one has touched it except to cook so you can only imagine what it may look like. 

Let me pause to stop you before you bring up the question, “why don’t you clean up then?” Because I am 17, and while I am already spending 8 hours at school, 4 more hours at work and then spending 2-3 hours at home studying… I simply don’t have time to do all the chores in the house. Nothing is more infuriating, mind you, when you clean and organize something only for it to be destroyed the next day, even if all you need to do is throw away your plate! If I were to clean the house, after everybody else, and make it acceptable looking, I would surely be thrown into insanity. I already feel like I am. 

I could not count the amount of times I have woken up in this house and cried. Wasting hours sitting in a McDonald’s parking lot at 10 p.m. because I don’t want to come back to the place I have to call home. The amount of times my mind has anxiously spiraled into me wanting to just end it all because I am incapable of legally moving out and incapable of physically being able to live on my own. 

I’m only 17. So I drive home and go to my room. I shut my door and lay in my bed. For hours I lay awake, waiting for my body to relax enough so I can fall asleep. It never happens, because I am not comfortable, I am not happy. I am not home. 

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