She’s Leaving Home

Last week a good friend of mine sent me the message below. How is it that friends –even the most recent ones- can see things that close relatives cannot?

Curious how certain patterns, certain things become relevant in one’s life. ”She’s Leaving Home” has been a background piece several times in my life, all of them crucial occasions. It perfectly apprehends my run-away-bride behaviour, my always-radical departures.

My first attempt to leave the house occurred at the age of 4; it didn’t take long for my father’s driver to follow my trace and bring me back home. My first solo adventure lasted only few precious hours but it tasted like heaven. Ten years later I escaped from a hideous -girls only- board school in San Antonio, TX and hitchhiked my way to Dallas. Back home and forever grounded my mother asked why I behaved so thoughtlessly. No word came out of my mouth; I felt guilty and confused. At that time I couldn’t clearly understand myself let alone what others expected from me. It seemed that everything I was or wanted was the exact opposite to what adults had planned for me. My parents divorced short after that incident so their wild cat ended up living in the North of Europe with a French aunt I had seen twice in my whole young life.

Uncertainty was never a problem since it is in my nature to take risks and rise to the occasion; however it was my infinite need to be free and discover the world and myself what kept me going. Marriage was never in the original plan of course, but a home. My daughters became my home; I created what it was denied to me for so many years. Thus when I realised that my multiple attempts to save my former husband were completely futile and that his mental illness was threatening not only his but our lives; I took my girls, jumped into my van and left. No certain destination. No hesitation whatsoever. Behind me bombs hit, showering debris from all sides in the darkest night of my life. In front of me a thick cloud of dust, a suffocating forest of poisoned smoke. Failing was not an option, so I gave gas.

All supposedly friends with no exception shook their heads and asked why do you behave so thoughtlessly? What could those people possibly know? No word came out of my mouth. This time though I felt no guilt, no confusion. For the first time in centuries I could see clearly. I saw so much bullshit all around me. I saw horrible realities, realities those friends and relatives had chosen to ignore. I could no longer relate to the aspirations they had for creating a wealthy, comfortable and pleasant life for themselves.

Thankfully my former husband never asked, he was an utterly clever and sensitive man; I guess he knew from the bottom of his heart that he had blew it, he knew he had lost me for good. We were headed in totally opposite directions and we could never hope to turn those around and go back towards a point in the past where we had something in common.

Yet I cared till the bitter end, my love for him never died. I loved him for the good times and all the lessons learnt together in the far past. It was just that my love for life, other people and purposes had far exceeded it. And I was brave enough to stand up for my values and genuinely, yeah, perhaps recklessly, acted accordingly.

Among the ruins, midst in the misery of an apocalypse’s-like scenario, and right in the core of nowhere, freedom was mine at last.