As seen at the VOX Journal Jar In Exile. Please come and visit us. We’d also be pleased to have you participate.
My answer is here instead of there because I think it’s of a more personal nature.
Did you have a childhood hide-out? Where? Describe it.
I don’t think I really had a hide-out, per se. I’ve always been a loner of sorts, and so my alone time was not always confined to just one space. My “Fortress of Solitude” was my bedroom, really, and to a lesser extent, much of the downstairs rooms in the old California split house. For a time, it was known to be neater and tidier than any other room in the house. I was so obsessive that I would make my bedsheets so tight you could bounce a quarter on them, even with blankets and bedcovers, somewhat. One of the covers was a quilt that had remained in excellent condition since I was a baby. I wouldn’t be surprised if I were to go back to that house someday and find that the tie rack was still mounted in the closet.
Some things moved in and out of that room. The weight bench and weight set my father used for a brief time came in. I wanted him to do more of it with me after he got me started, but I lifted alone. My stereo system moved out to the den in later years when I wanted better sound from the TV (but the set didn’t have stereo ouputs).
The “lesser extent” included the downstairs bathroom, which was decorated and furnished to my tastes. Sometimes I camped out with a sleeping bag in the room because it was the darkest spot in the house to take a nap. It also included the utility room, where the family dog stayed for many years, as well as the clothes washer and dryer. I had been taught to do my own laundry, so I suppose it was a natural extension. I mentioned the den, which as I said, became a new home for my sound system (home sound was a small hobby of mine) and it also was where the family computer was located. Naturally, the computer was another place to escape, which worried my folks to no end– I think the only other family member that used it much was the middle child of my three younger sisters.
The neat freaking deteriorated a bit and I got a little slobby, I think because I realized that no matter how neat and tidy things were, the abuse and emotional incest didn’t stop. The family dog moved to a pillow bed upstairs. No one at that time really cared about my computer or sound system hobbies. Tensions increased.
Although my college and university years were bumpy and involved four different institutions, the process of moving out began. My baby sister moved in at times, but left most everything untouched (too afraid to dare change anything). After I started university, I was pushed to take summer courses– most likely so I’d maintain residence there. But after a year there, I got married, so it became a moot point to go anywhere else until I graduated.
My parents eventually decided to downsize to a smaller house and thus this chapter was more or less permanently closed, save in memory.