Living Small In a Country That Lives Large

Apartment living

Photo by vadim kaipov on Unsplash

I used to live in a giant of a house. It was five bedrooms and over 2,500 square feet and full to the brim with things. It was a lovely home that let the world know a happy family lived there. That’s what the facade led others to believe. Really, it was a prison where I battled depression and watched as my family slowly fell apart.

Now I live in a 3 bedroom apartment full of love and peace and healing. The interesting thing is during some of the worst days of my depression I longed for simplicity and dreamed of downsizing. I find it amusing that I am now living my former dream. I know someday I will buy my own home and my children and I will move from our apartment. I hope they look back on this time with fond memories as I will.

My children and I have received many benefits by downsizing to our three-bedroom apartment:

  1. I can clean my home in about an hour.
  2. Our small space keeps us from accumulating too many things. While our apartment is almost 2,000 square feet there are five of us living here full time. It almost makes it an automatic one-in, one-out lifestyle. Even so, we probably have too many things and are always decluttering. We have to walk up a few flights of stairs which is a natural deterrent to buying unnecessary items.
  3. We love our neighbors. It’s almost like we have a built-in family living so close to other families and my children enjoy playing with the friends they have grown to love. It will be sad to part from our sweet neighbors who have gone through COVID alongside us and made our home sweeter.
  4. Maintenance is not an issue. If a wasp’s nest shows up or something isn’t working we call for help and it is fixed within a day or two. I love the convenience.
  5. An on-site pool and gym. We are right next to the pool and gym. I do admit I need to visit the gym more than the one time I have been there but we swim almost daily in the summer which is a lovely privilege to have.
  6. No yard work in the hot southern sun. No explanation needed.
  7. Simplified bills. Our water and wi-fi are part of our rent so it’s a one and done. Our power bill is much less than it would be for a large house.



Julia Freeman, Trauma Recovery Coach in training

I believe survivors of narcissistic abuse and domestic violence deserve to live in freedom and peace.