*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission
Being close to your parents often means living in the same house, but not necessarily in the same room. What do you do when you feel like you truly want your space and a place to just be with your thoughts, but you still have to share a room with one of your parents?
And when it's not about the number of rooms but more about clutter and never cleaning up, does it make you more understanding or just lose patience?
My friend Ava has been living with her mom, Brianne since she was little. Her dad, Steve, passed away when she was in kindergarten, so it's always been her and her mom.
Brianne didn't consider getting married a second time because she didn't want a stepdad for her daughter.
"We were fine together. Just the two of us. I don't think I could handle someone else trying to be her dad and taking away all the memories. She looked up to some of my friends and her grandparents, but that was good enough. I didn't feel like a new partner would add anything good to our lives," Brianne said.
They have a two-bedroom home, and Brianne has been working hard to be able to afford everything her daughter needed as she grew up. Overtime happened a lot, but she had friends and her own mom come by to watch over her little girl.
"I felt it was all worth it for her. And she was so happy with the presents I bought; we also went on trips, and we made wonderful memories together. Having her has changed my life for the better," Brianne said.
There is one thing that's been annoying her daughter, though. And it's been the same throughout the years.
"I never had my own room. Not when I was in kindergarten or when I started going to school. Not even as a teenager in my first year of high school. I think that's so unfair. All my friends had that, but I keep having to share my room with mom even now," Ava said.
Even though they do have a second bedroom, Ava couldn't have it as her room because her mom keeps gathering different things in it and won't throw them away. The clutter has been piling up for a long time, and she gets upset whenever Ava wants to go in there and select a few things to get rid of.
"How are we going to get rid of all that dust and make the room look neat if she just adds more objects and books and papers? When I open the door to that room, she shouts at me and won't stop arguing until it's locked again. But that means I can't have a room to myself; it's so tiresome," Ava added.
Ava has talked to her mom often about the second bedroom and pointed out they need to clean it. She also got her grandparents involved, but Brianne won't hear of it.
She still doesn't want to touch anything in that room and feels she's attached to every object she added during the past 14 years.
"I share a room with her because she clutters the other bedroom; how do I get my own space? I'm trying to be patient, but she won't do anything about it. I don't think we can ever use that room the way things are. And the only way to actually get a room will probably be to move out," Ava shared.
How do you think this should be handled? Would it be ok to just take everything out of that room while her mom is at work and get rid of the clutter that way? Should Ava ask to have her room as a teen, or is it fair for her to keep sharing the room with her mom until she goes to college?
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