Chapters logo

Freedom, at long last!

Moving out at 16

By Dave RowlandsPublished 3 months ago 4 min read
Freedom, at long last!
Photo by Kadarius Seegars on Unsplash

I had a troubled youth. That is the only safe way to express that. Shortly after I turned 15 we moved into a house that we had to share with another human. I use the term 'human' lightly, as this particular person would constantly make all of my friends uncomfortable, particularly those of the feminine variety (I've had issues with trusting males my entire life). This 'human' worked as a security guard, as well, and had access to firearms.

Whoever thought that it might be a great idea to move in with this guy, I know not, but apparently it was the only sane financial decision we could have made at the time.

So, very shortly after I turned 16 there was an incident. The stupid fucker security guard idiot had left his revolver on the dining room table. Had I not been in a more controlled state of mind, I'd no doubt have picked it up and plugged several rounds into the fool that had his back turned to me only a few scant metres away. After a few minutes of agonising about whether or not to commit murder while my intended victim contaminated yet more butter with honey (one of the most egregious crimes imaginable to my 16-year-old mind) in his attempt to make himself breakfast I retreated to my own parts of the house.

A couple of days after this I began to investigate social housing. Because it was a case of someone potentially being murdered if I didn't get the fuck out of the as rapidly as humanly possible, they gave me a house within 6 days. For the record, I still live there to this very day.

My first sight of MY place, I knew it was where I wanted to live. Maybe not forever, but it got me out of a house where I felt barely seen and largely ignored. It was a place that my friends could come and hang out without worrying about being kicked out by my step-father around 10 pm every evening.

Most importantly, it was somewhere that I could genuinely be myself. That was something that was severely lacking in my life at the time; I'd always had to conform to the wishes and sensibilities of other people that I was living with.

I'd had to deal with my mother, for example, trying the old "Have you just tried acting normal, just in order to fit in?" trick on my from the age of around 6 or 7. I didn't want to 'act normal' to 'fit in', I just wanted to be me, dammit, without being judged for being different. I wasn't even all that different! I only had some shit wrong with my brain that means I hear dead people's voices, it's not like I was gay or anything else that would have been socially awkward in the 1990s. But then, having mental issues was even worse, it turned out.

Some people thought that me being out on my own was doomed to failure, and by the Power of Greyskull am I glad to have proven all of them dead wrong about it.

I've now been in my little place for nearly 30 years. I figure had I murdered that moron who left his gun lying around, fully loaded (yeah I had time to pick it up and examine it in detail while he pissed about in the kitchen just a couple of metres away) I'd be out of prison by now, and would have had a much harder time getting any kind of social housing.

Somehow, people with mental issues are considered unable to make rational decisions. I've found that it can be difficult at times, but if you have time to pick up a gun and examine it to see whether it's loaded, then you have time to rethink your murderous intentions and perhaps choose a better alternative.

Also some people just need their own space, their own place where they can just be themselves. In my house I have neighbours that will get annoyed if I play my music too loudly, for example. Fair enough, if I'm bothering them in their space. But they will knock on my door and ask me nicely to turn it down. I have had some truly amazing neighbours over the last couple of decades. At home? My stepfather would just slam my bedroom door open, yell at me to 'tone it down' because they had a 'business meeting' in the 'office'. It was a fucking residential house. We had a study. They had an actual office in the city that they could have used for meetings, not the damned family home!

But it wasn't my place, I wasn't paying for it. I didn't get a say. I only lived there. Well, existed. You can't call what was going on 'living'. But, when I had my own place? All very different. I was in control of everything. Some of it fucked up, I've had to go without electricity for a little while because I didn't pay the bills, that sort of thing. Same with the phone, when that was a thing.

People need their space.


About the Creator

Dave Rowlands

Author and Creator of Anno Zombus, but don't let that worry you; I write more than just zombie stories.

Discover more about Baby's parents role during the Auspocalypse at and come and join us at the Anno Zombus facebook group.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.