I decided to leave my little 240-square-foot haven in San Francisco and return to my Brooklyn apartment. The landlord wanted to raise my rent more than $200, which is about 10% higher than before. The cost is unsustainable. Besides this, I find myself unhappy living in the San Francisco Bay Area. The culture is drastically different from New York. It’s easy to reconnect with people I’ve known in New York where there is a genuine openness to maintain relationships. In San Francisco, though I’ve met many people, only a select few are friends. This makes SF a lonely place. In addition to the negatives of San Francisco, my parents have become elderly and have no concrete plans for their long-term care. So, I am taking the responsibility to help them make plans, to know their preferences or where they are willing to live, and communicate this to my siblings.
In the last month, I’ve been slowly gathering items to discard, donating them at Goodwill, and packing things to keep to send back to Brooklyn. I will leave San Francisco with less than what I came with, including hope. I feel stressed. My brain is in a fog. I have trouble concentrating on things like work and cannot toleterate watching the news. As my boyfriend pointed out, I am scared. (Together, we decided moving back to New York was the best thing for me. Right now, I’m not sure. He will remain in San Francisco until his kids are both out of the house.) My emotions are so suffocated by trauma’s repercussions that I can’t even recognize my own fear.
In spite of my unhappiness, I have a lot to thank San Francisco for. I felt safe. I learned a valuable healing technique, which I am certified to use to help others. (I will be volunteering with IAVA.org in New York to help veterans with PTSD using the technique.) I found a full-time job, recently passing a 3-year anniversary. I had the best therapist to help me heal enough to get that job. And then there was nature, so close to the city, so accessible, and so helpful.
I’ve also been feeling withdrawn. I don’t want to talk on the phone. I don’t want to see or talk to people. I don’t even want to hear other people having conversations. I am irritable. And I’m at the airport waiting for a delayed flight to take me home.
A while ago, I thought my PTSD would be healed by now. But I feel like I’m far from healed.