A few weeks ago I moved into a new place in Olinda. After seeing the what was to be my new home I thought it was perfect. It was a beautiful old house only a short distance from the forest and township of Olinda.

When I spoke with my new landlord, who lives in the Northern Territory, she told me that her son, and my new house mate who we will refer to as Sam, is a nice guy who likes to keep to himself. When meeting with him for the first time he seemed like he would be easy to live with. He told me that he smoked some weed which didn’t bother me. But it wasn’t until I actually moved in that I began to realize exactly what he got up to. I would very quickly learn that he was high every single day. It’s not uncommon for me arrive home to find him puffing on a bong. It was not long after that when I learned that he also sells drugs to his mates. And not just marijuana. These are things that I don’t do and want to have nothing to do with.

This, coupled with his criminal record of having restraining order against him and his loss of licence, led me to very quickly become uncomfortable there. I’ve resided to spending most of my time in my bedroom. Being unable to relax and enjoy myself has led to me becoming a recluse in my own residence. It has taken a heavy toll on my mental health. The inability to feel safe has been triggering for my anxiety and the general negative situation has me feeling depressed. I don’t want to spend time at the house for worry of who might be over and what they’re up to.

Without a space in which to feel safe and comfortable I have began to feel lost. I don’t want to bring my friends or family over and look forward to any chance I can to leave. It was only a few weeks ago that I went through the ordeal of moving house and am already looking to move again. This is the first time in my life in which I don’t have somewhere of my own to feel safe. Only now am I really beginning to understand the value of one.

Invest in your space. Whether it’s your bedroom, shed or house. Make it your own. Dress it up and don’t let anybody in there who you don’t trust.