Does a House Make a Home? uh, oh….guilt followed me home

written but not proofread…..that’ would be a big reason I don’t publish as much as I should….I reread things and think they aren’t good enough…whey would anyone care?….Oh I shouldn’t say that!  ect….ect…  So here you go, what was on my mind….  and another little painting I did on my phone.  

We moved a year ago.

We haven’t sold our house.

Turns out we can’t.  Sounds kind of odd huh?  Technically we could, but it would have to be for much less than we owe on it, and much less than we had offers on it.  We would have to do a “Short Sell”, and ruin our credit.

How does that happen?  Foreclosures in our neighborhood.  Due to the foreclosures our house is appraising for much less than it should.  There are other houses in the neighborhood in the same predicament we are in.  It’s really hard when we had 2 good offers and they couldn’t get loans because of the appraisal.  I do not understand why the amount the foreclosed houses sold for has anything to do with the amount our house should sell for, but the appraisers have this magic formula they go by.  News Flash!  That magic formula, does not work!  We had our hopes up a little bit because one of the other families trying to sell challenged the appraisal and everyone thought they would beat it.  That the numbers would change.  They lost, and everything stayed the same.  That was a sad day.

What do we now?  Rent it.

For a little over a year now we have been paying rent and a mortgage and all the expenses that come with both….like utilities, insurance, and for the house….HOA dues, lawn maintenance…..ect.    I don’t talk a lot about money on here, we have been lucky, Hubby has had good jobs so we haven’t had to worry about paying for the necessities, medical insurance, and my bills…ect.  Right now, things are tight.  We don’t have debtors knocking at our door, but I’m not comfortable with the situation.  It is making me feel even more guilty that I can’t work….that I can’t help.  Hubby had to take a big pay cut for this job.  He didn’t want take a job that didn’t give him very flexible hours so he could come home if I needed or that prohibited him from being  able to take me to doctor appointments.  That was hard.  Another thing, I felt very guilty about.  He was out of work for 16 months, it was hard to find a job with these requirements.  (Well I have to admit, it was hard to find a job at the time anyway.)

This whole situation has been tearing me up inside.  Because of the Avascular Necrosis, and the increased vertigo and migraines, I wasn’t able to travel back and forth to help get the house ready to sell, and Hubby didn’t feel like he could leave me alone to go take care of it, and we sure didn’t have the funds to have professionals come in there and take care of everything. So it took many months to get the house on the market to begin with.  (More Guilt – a pretty useless emotion in situations like this…but I just can’t help it.)

So, I’m stuck in this city, alone.  There is no one for me to call on for help if Hubby goes out of town.  My cousin and his family live fairly close, but it would take them at least 45 minutes to get to my place.  If I fell, or started having a scary vertigo attack…45 minutes or more, could feel like forever.  However, I wouldn’t want to call an ambulance unless it was a true emergency..and yes I would call them for that.  (yes I learned my lesson after I broke my foot)  Often need some help, but not a hospital.  Plus, who would come and get me and take me home?  Hubby would be 3 hours away, and he sure doesn’t need to drive under that much pressure.  Plus, my darling husband would be so worried the entire time he was gone, he wouldn’t get much done, so why go in the first place.  (G-U-I-L-T….don’t fuss at me…I know, I know, gotta get over it, I was better about it, I’ll work on it.)

We had to depend on the kindness of others to help us.  Our amazing neighbor helped us so much.  She ran a yard sale, and got so much stuff out of the house.  Another friend of mine, came and got a huge amount of stuff out of the house.  Yes we downsized so much, many people helped by getting things, and a dear friend came over many weekends and helped sort, and clear things out.  Moving from our house, to a little bitty duplex, was very hard….just physically getting rid of things.  I have become a firm believer that I don’t need much.  Especially since I’m sick.  I got rid of a lot of stuff, and most I don’t miss at all.  I gave away most of my art supplies.  now I miss it.  I do think it will get better when we get settled some place, but right now, we live in a place that is just so…..not a home.  I miss seeing things where they are supposed to be.  I hate seeing things that look out of place because they just don’t have a place.  It looks odd.  Our couches wouldn’t fit in this small place, so we had to get something else, it doesn’t look like us.  Then I had to get a recliner when I had my surgery we were forced into something that really doesn’t match anything because of the short notice, and it’s hard to find one that doesn’t rock.  I really tried to make this place feel like us.  I have paintings and photos all over, we really tried to make it comfortable, but it isn’t.

The duplex is now….falling apart….No…really!  The floor started buckling up, and last week the vent in the floor kind of exploded.  When it started we thought it was water damage.  It started last year, and we told the landlord.  The caulked the window, even though there was no sign of water coming into the window.  It seemed to stop during the winter.  When it got warm it started again, now the floor is bulged out about 6 feet into the living room…in waves.  It’s dangerous.  The landlord is finally paying attention (after I mentioned it was dangerous, and I tripped).  They finally had a professional come out and look at it yesterday, and it looks like it’s termites.  It will take at least a week to fix it and they will be tearing up the whole living room floor and the hall that goes to every other room in the place.  We could not be here, and neither could most of our furniture.  So we kinda need to move.  Before they found out it was termites, Stuart asked if we could wait until the house rents, and the landlord said yes.  Now, I’m not sure he will say that, termites causing damage may trump us needed to wait on money.

What do we do if we have to leave early?  Take money out of retirement, of course.  Hopefully our house will rent fast.  If not, that will not be good.  When we move we will have to pay a new pet deposit, higher rent, a deposit (who knows how different it will be from here)….and someone to help us move….and who knows what else we have to add to this.   Hubby is never going to be able to retire.

When I’ve been back to the house, it has hurt so much.  The last time I lived in a house that was owned was when I was in the 7th grade.  My parents moved that year and we started renting then.  My father still rents the house he lives in.  I always felt odd that we didn’t own the house we lived in.  I always thought, if they changed their mind, we could possibly not have a place to live.  When I was almost out of high school, the heating system went out in one place we lived in for a long time, and the owners decided not to fix it, we had to move.  My father still lives in that house, I never felt like it was home.

After I moved out, I rented.  I never felt like I had a home.  Funny thing though, I’ve lived in two places that I rented that I felt comfortable in, one was a condo that I shared with a girl who is still one of my very best friends.  There was one house Stuart and I rented that I felt could be our home.  Then something happened to the house and again the landlord didn’t want to fix it, and we had to move.  My heart broke.

Finally we bought a house.  It took me a while, but I felt like it was our home.  I had a little herb and wild flower garden in the front, I had a big kitchen I could go crazy in, I had a room that was all my own that I could create art in…we had a place that we could call home.  That meant so much to me.  As I got sick it was harder to go up and down the stairs, but I managed.  We realized that the house was just too big since I couldn’t maneuver the stairs any more, and I couldn’t really create art like I used to, and we weren’t going to add any children to that big house.  We thought about selling and buying a new house, but we were going to wait a bit until the market came back up a bit.  Then….Hubby lost his job and things had to change, fast.

 artrage watercolor of one of the wildflowers from my garden.  by w. holcombe 2015
artrage watercolor of one of the wildflowers from my garden. by w. holcombe 2015

I went to our house recently. Now, my little garden is gone.  It is a patch of dirt, grass, and weeds.  The house looks so odd being empty.  It needed to be cleaned, painted…and some various things done…..I cried, just a little, I knew it would bother Stuart.  He doesn’t understand how I feel.  I don’t understand how I’m feeling.

Home is not a House.

Home is where my love is.

Home is where Stuart, Max, and Kiki are.

as long as we have our necessities taken care of, what else should I be worried about.

I feel lost.

and I feel GUILTY   is it completely stupid…maybe.

But let’s face the facts, people with chronic illnesses often feel guilty about …. a lot of things that they have no control over.

And I’ll talk more about that later.   I’m just way too tired to talk about it now.

At a different time, This post would not have been posted because I would have gotten here and gotten overwhelmed and decided I didn’t want to show everyone how I was feeling and not end a post on a more positive note…..but today…..I’m just writing….

But know….I don’t let this guilt consume me.

One of the BIGGEST things I believe in is COMPASSION.  I bet almost everyone, if not everyone, reading this post also believes in compassion.  (a lot of shaking heads out there…yep, you are agreeing huh?)  Then why is it so hard for us to be compassionate toward ourselves?   Yes, I feel guilty over things I have no control over.  Then I sit my butt down and have a little cry….yep I get all over whelmed with all of this and just cry….then I talk to me, like I would talk to you….and I feel that wonderful feeling toward me….compassion.

And the guilt isn’t so big any more.

Sure sometimes it seems to build back up and crawls back up on my back, but I’m a pretty compassionate woman.  I can reach out and feel compassion for others and me.

There are other ways to deal with the guilt, but I think that compassion is the best place to start.

Heck…I think compassion is just a pretty good place to start…….period.


9 thoughts on “Does a House Make a Home? uh, oh….guilt followed me home

  1. Money issues are always worrisome. Guilt and worry don’t ever improve matters, though. Even though that’s true it’s hard not to let them creep in. All either of you can do is the best you can–and it sounds like you both are. Be kinder to yourself. Yes, be compassionate with yourself. That’s how we all should be to ourselves. Love and hugs! 🙂


  2. bipolarbarbieq

    Money is such a huge stresser, as well as when your shelter is at stake. I really want a house of my own some day. I’ve been in the same one my whole life. Before I got lyme disease we were going to move but I got sick and it didn’t happen. I suppose it’s for the best. But even now that I have a job, I’m still struggling in debt and to get by, and every month calculating the budget is hard. Your writing was very nice even if it was stressful for you. I hope it helped to get it out. You’re going to be okay, I know it.


    1. bipolarbarbieq…..yes sweetie….we’ll be ok. I’ll be okay. I’m sure. We are on the way, it’s just been a bit overwhelming. and there is more to tell…not about a home but about what has been going on…life has been a bit over the top, and not in the best way. One thing we can all count on though…things change. nothing ever stays the same. I know things will change. Hopefully for the better wink….whatever happens, I’ll get through it. I’ll reach out for help if I feel that I can’t. 🙂


  3. Having been a nomad all my life, I’ve never had a “home.” My parents didn’t own a home until my father retired. By then, I’d been away from home for years. When my mother died, it was still her house, not mine. An occupied but cold empty place for so many years.
    A few times, rented spaces have felt as close to having a home as I’ll ever feel. For me, home will never be a place that is mine. I’ll never own the little house with the garden and wildflower lawn I’ve wanted. As has been quipped about me “Home is always where you’re not.”
    So, it must be hard to lose a physical home and a sense of home. While dealing with other losses too.
    Be compassionate about you and yourself. Guilt is an easy coat to put on. But so much harder to take off — zippers stick, sleeves shrink, buttons catch.


    1. Phylor….home really is this very special place in my heart, and however I make the place I live mine….some how. If the place we lived now wasn’t falling apart, and I felt better this year, I could have made it more mine. With potted plants, and plants hanging in the windows. I do have 2 new jade plants that I love. My cousin’s wife’s big jade plant got knocked over a few limbs broke off…and voila, I know have a couple of baby plants. They are lovely. Next year I will have some herbs….even if just a couple of tiny plants. even if it’s just for me to smell. and a few wild flowers, I can grow them in pots too. a few seed packets and some trashed planters….i can do it with very little money. yes, I’m feeling better today. got my determination pants on. Even if I have had vertigo all day…with it being a pretty darn bad attack for about 8 hours.
      Screw it, I’m not dead….and it could be worse. I was thinking about me taking care of my mom, 24/7 for so long. I’m not like that. Stuart doesn’t have to do that much.
      I can do this.
      I can do this.
      I can.
      you can
      you really can.
      we have each other to lean on.


  4. Shaking my head, yes. Compassion is easy for us to give someone other than ourselves because we know what it’s like to have these chronic illnesses and all the other things that can and will go wrong and we don’t have the energy to give ourselves compassion. I have avascular necrosis in both hips. In July 2015, I had my left hip replaced and it’s still not healed and I must still walk with crutches. It still hurts a great deal and I have no idea if this is normal. My ortho. surgeon said it should have been healed in 6-8 weeks and then I would have had my right hip done, but I’m just not able to do what I need to do, apparently, but I don’t get any answers as to what I’m supposed to do if I do all my exercises and walking and the next day I’m in agonizing pain. Am I to tough it out and work through the pain? Or do I take a day off? Or do I just do less? Whatever I do is either too much or not enough because I cannot get any answers out of these PT and the surgeon. I can hardly wait to do this all over again with the other hip. sigh…………. and, yes stress makes everything worse and that’s probably the real reason why I’m not healing. I hope you get to feeling better and get the housing situation taken care of. It’s so difficult to have to deal with all of that under the circumstances. I wish you the best and I look forward to following your blog. You are the second person I’ve come in contact with that has avascular necrosis. I really wasn’t expecting to be having any hip replacements for about another 25 years!


    1. Oh..tlohuis
      I’m so sorry you are having to go through that….AVN is hard.
      I only had it in one hip…so far, and hopefully won’t get it anywhere else.
      I’m so mad at your surgeon and PT…they aren’t being very helpful.

      The pain you felt from the AVN, should have been much better immediately after surgery.
      You should only feel post surgery pain now. It should be different.
      I was walking very quickly after my surgery. I never used crutches. I used a walker. I have severe balance issues, so crutches were out for me anyway.
      But you also have the other hip getting you problems.
      How are you supposed to really do all your strength training on your new hip if you can’t put all your weight on the other hip due to the AVN pain?

      Before my surgery I did a lot of strength training in the pool. i couldn’t walk, but I would work in the pool.
      Also, I did a lot of my post surgery strength PT in the pool.
      Ask your doctor if you can get a prescription for AquaTherapy. That way you aren’t fighting with that other leg to try to get the new hip stronger. and it will be so much easier.
      Yes, you should be further along.
      No you should not be healed. That takes a year.
      But you should be able to get along with a cane by now at least.
      I had my hip replaced on April 17th, and I can do about anything now.
      I’d like it to be a bit stronger, but I’m having problems with my knee so that’s making it a little difficult to really strengthen it as much as I’d like.
      However, it is doing great. I can touch my toes! I even sat Indian Style recently. not supposed to do that much…but that was a goal for me.

      I do know someone that I’m sure would be happy to talk with you.
      She talked with me when I was first diagnosed and scared.
      She has AVN in almost every joint imaginable…and she is awesome!
      I hate I lost contact wit her.
      If you’d like to talk with her….drop me a line…go under the tab to contact me and just shoot me a line through there.
      or if you want to talk more about this with me….I’m here.
      I know how painful AVN can be, and how scary.
      I’ll email you back….I promise.

      Do they have any idea what caused yours?
      They told me steroids, until it was all over, then they told me….they don’t know.
      I’ve been having a lot of pain recently in my other hip….of course that makes me nervous.
      I think every time a joint hurts now I’m going to be very nervous.

      best of luck my dear….please reach out when you need it.
      this is very hard to go through.


  5. I wish someone would have suggested that I do some strengthening exercises before the surgery, however I was diagnosed, went to ortho. surgeon 1 and went to ortho. surgeon 2 for a second opinion. I went with surgeon 2 because he did my son’s leg when he had a terrible tib/fib fracture and I was really pleased with his work, and I felt like I kind of knew him. Yesterday I tried to use only one crutch because when PT was last out here, he said I needed to eventually, hopefully soon, start using only one crutch. Sigh………….I did that yesterday and last night when I was out and about and I just about collapsed. I will not be using only one crutch again, any time soon. I’m really paying for it today! I was told that if you get AVN in one place, it’s highly likely that you’ll get it in other joints, such as shoulders, elbows, wrists, jaw, hips, and knees. I’ve already got it in both hips and I’m terrified of getting it anywhere else because I don’t believe they do shoulder replacements and such. I only know they do knee replacements and I’ve heard that is way worse than hip replacements. What do they do if you get it in you jaw? Seriously! I am a talker and I cannot be left unable to talk. I don’t need to worry about eating because I have gastroparesis and I currently have my 2nd feeding tube. I’ve had this one since July, 2014. You’ll have to excuse my ignorance, but I am not very computer savvy and I’m not sure what you mean by going under the tab to contact you. I would be interested in talking with her, as well as you. They have no idea what caused mine. Probably the autoimmune disease I have. If I were you, I’d get that other hip checked out as soon as possible so you don’t have your femoral head collapsing on you. I look forward to keeping in contact with you. I hope your day is going well. Take care. Peace out, Tammy 🙂


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