Seeking Refuge - I was starting to feel like an intruder in my own home.
Posted by Kezia Calvert on 9th Oct 2022
I was actually looking for a tattoo artist the day I found Misty on a local Facebook moms group. I wanted to feel beautiful again, and not so much like the exhausted new mom I was. Not only was I navigating the loss of my autonomy, I was also fielding a daily barrage of demeaning behavior from my boyfriend. But, even though we could barely afford to pay our rent I was desperate for something to bring a smile to my face. Call it revenge but tattoos had always been my go to in times of sadness or turmoil. So, without a clue how I was going to pay for the tattoo I typed up a short plea for help on a local area single moms group.
Within minutes of posting, I received numerous recommendations for a woman named Misty. She was running a tattoo studio out of her home in a small village down the road. After a short messenger exchange she invited me over to discuss my tattoo in more detail. As my worn-out orange Aveo chugged down the hilly winding road on the way to Misty’s house, my mind was distracted. I was thinking about all the fights my boyfriend and I had been having recently. How each one felt increasingly uncomfortable. I was starting to feel like an intruder in my own home.
Before our daughter came along my relationship was showing signs of wear. We spent many nights on opposite ends of the apartment, not speaking to each other. I was often in trouble for something I’d said or done. Then there was the silent treatment. And the accusatory texts. The disappearing for hours on end, sometimes overnight. And most concerning of all, the jealousy towards our daughter.
As time went on and his behavior intensified I started seriously daydreaming about how I could leave him. But without support from my family it just wasn’t possible. I had nowhere to go and no means of supporting myself and my daughter.
My daughter’s innocent coos and cackles in the back seat were the mismatched soundtrack to my uneasy thoughts. I glanced up in the rearview mirror to see her blowing tiny spit bubbles, each one promptly popping and running down her chin in a shiny, slippery mess. I couldn’t help but smile. But it wasn’t enough to fully turn my thoughts around. I really hoped a new tattoo would lift my flagging spirits.
From her Facebook profile picture Misty looked like an interesting character. With her Rapunzel-length bright purple hair, bold makeup and multitude of tattoos she definitely stood out from the other moms. In the short time I’d been a mother the thought often crossed my mind that I missed having friends, especially other moms who might understand the harsh realities of motherhood. I found it intriguing that Misty was a single mom, I had so many questions I wanted to ask this woman I’d never even met.
In the five years since my boyfriend and I had uprooted our lives and moved across the country I had struggled to make many connections. Sure, there were the women I worked with at the Italian family restaurant, but there was an undeniable distance between us since the birth of my daughter. Not being able to work or spend any money made it really difficult to maintain social bonds. I definitely didn’t feel like I had anything in common with most of the moms in my area who were upper or at least upper middle-class and married.
My attention was drawn back to the present as my GPS announced our arrival at our destination. As we pulled into the long driveway of Misty’s old Victorian home my eyes took in the overgrown bushes and large evergreens. The house’s many angles cast a plethora of ominous shadows where the light didn’t seem to hit. The mid- afternoon sun desperately trying to poke itself through the low-hanging clouds. A collection of carved pumpkins and children’s Halloween artwork adorned the steps leading up to the mudroom. I turned off the engine, took a deep breath and opened my door, silently praying that my visit would be fruitful.
Photo by Jessica Furtney on Unsplash
About the Author:
Kezia Calvert is a published author, teacher, speaker, wife, mother, recovering people pleaser and perfectionist, and woman in recovery. Kezia graduated from the University of Reading, in the U.K., with an undergrad in English Literature. She later completed a post-graduate certificate in Human Resources Management, and numerous cognitive behavioral therapy coaching certificates. Kezia was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, but has also lived in the U.K., Kelowna, B.C., and Toronto, Ontario. Kezia now resides in sunny Pennsylvania with her husband James, 8 year-old daughter, Harper, and senior cat Cleo. In 2022 Kezia founded her business, Kezia Calvert Creative where she facilitates self-discovery writing workshops for men and women across the globe. Kezia is currently writing her memoir, as well as a work of fiction. Kezia loves connecting with people in the sobriety community, so please feel free to reach out!
You can find Kezia on Instagram@thesoberelephantchronicles Instagram Link where she offers daily sobriety support, motivation, and inspiration. She has been sober since November 1st, 2020.
Website: keziacalvertcreative.com Check out her site here
If anyone would like to order a copy of "My Last Hangover" email me at: Keziacalvertwriter@gmail.com