I’ve been talking to my therapist a lot about home. Moving to Newcastle and saying goodbye to a relationship has felt like losing a sense of home. That is harder than anything, not least because it unearths so much adoption trauma. Home – both in terms of bricks and mortar, and being in each other’s arms – is the hardest thing to say goodbye to. It’s wrenching.
In recently reading Genet’s Prisoner of Love, I have thought so much about how many people experience this most painful of losses. As a new refugee crisis unfolds across Europe, it is so distressing to watch. People make promises and gestures and do what they can to help, but all I’m left with is a renewed sense of how shit the UK — and society in general — is at dealing with crises of this kind.
For all the lip service we pay to our own compassion, our daily life is marked by our refusal to make homes for the homeless — be that literally, or for refugees and migrants of other kinds. But despite exacerbating the nomadism of many peoples, whether chosen or enforced, we also do not make space for movement in our society either.
No matter the kind of displacement you experience, be it as a child or an adult, as a Traveler or as a refugee, one horrifying truth resounds: our society is defined for so many by the myriad ways we deny the homeless a sense of home, whether in houses or on the road.