// abandonment, disposability, othering
“I want to move out soon.”
She says it gently, matter-of-factly, her words freezing your insides and making every hair on your head stand on end. Your breath catches in your throat as you stumble to respond, to stammer out a nod even as your heart frosts over with fear.
Of course she doesn’t mean anything by it. She’s always only ever been kind to you. She’s always tried to understand you, to put in the effort to help you where she could, it’s just that she belongs to another, slightly happier, safer feeling species. She just doesn’t understand.
“Where will you go?” You ask her, your voice cracking slightly, entire body trembling. You try to come off as casual, everything’s fine, right? You wonder if she notices.
“My girlfriend just got a new place. Its nice and spacious, it has gardens,” She smiles contentedly.
“What about you?” She asks you innocently, the question staking through you like the sword of Damocles. Her family loves her; collapsing into the safety of her parent’s home is the worst thing that could happen to her. She doesn’t understand.
You shake your head, trying to keep the bitterness out of your voice as you shrug, “Well…you know I can’t really afford a place on my own…” Your words trail off. There’s nothing else to be said, there’s nothing else you can say.
“What about that porn gig you tried to do? Wasn’t that going to be a bunch more money?” She asks, she’s trying to problem solve, she doesn’t notice that she’s just making you feel bad by pointing out how privileged she is by barely understanding your world. You envy her so much.
“They kept violating my boundaries and hurting me,” you say after a long silence. It feels bad to admit you let it get to you. You wish you could have just forced yourself to be okay with what they did to you. You had tried so hard to make it work. She keeps trying to help.
“I know you don’t get along, but could you ask your parents for help?” The innocence of the question is all that stops you from seeing red. Instead it just fills you with a profound sadness that has you collapsed on the floor sobbing before you realize what happened.
Of course you can’t ask them for help, they already threw you away, smiling and telling you they loved you even as they hauled your possessions to the curb to be thrown in the trash. They knew you didn’t have anywhere to put them, they were just doing you a favor. That was love.
You cradle the beat up stuffie that you managed to salvage from the garbage outside your parent’s house, letting your silent tears run into its matted fur as you fight down the dissociation long enough to answer her question. “They can’t do anything.”
She shakes her head sadly, “Well, I’m sure it’ll work out fine,” she smiles at you, trying to be encouraging.
You shrug, eyes a thousand miles away, “Will it?” You ask her, feeling the hopelessness seep into your words, “I might just end up on the street again.”
She sighs, “I can’t stay here forever just to keep helping you, that would violate my boundaries.” She gets to politely assert her boundaries and the worst that will happen is she goes to live with her parents. Her boundaries, your ability to be housed. It makes you cry again.
“Please don’t try and make me feel bad about this,” she pouts, “I’ve been your roommate for a while now, I want to move on with my life. You’re cute and smart, I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to support yourself, you’ve just gotta apply yourself and put in the work.” Stupid.
You nod, clinging to your stuffie, staring blankly at her while ruminating. You realize she’s gone quiet and is watching you watch her. Something tries to pass between you but the gulf is too vast; all that makes it across the gap is the lonely sense of overwhelming distance.