I awoke to loud music again this afternoon, as has become the custom for the last 2 weeks solid. It’s like an alarm clock every-single-day. It’s like my mattress acts as some sort of amplifier to the “boom-boom” sound of the base. Maybe, it’s the springs in the box springs that causes the reverberation; I don’t know; but this is like psychological torture for me! I ran across an article last week on Mashable, titled “5 Autism Simulations to Help You Experience Sensory Overload” that does an excellent job at showing what “sensory overload” looks like to someone who experiences it. Nothing can show exactly what this is like. The videos are a good start, though. I’m not autistic. Otherwise, I would have been diagnosed as a child, right? Granted, both my kindergarten and first grade teachers tried to hold me back a year because they felt I wasn’t “emotionally” ready to move on; but that’s another story for another day. I have, however, experienced sensory overload my entire life. It was the main reason why I cried so frequently as a child because the world, to me, was an overwhelming place. Not reacting to every little thing, as perceived by others, takes every ounce of control I possess. It’s exhausting.
In times of stress, this sensory overload is much, much worse. The remainder of last week and into the weekend was frustrating and infuriating after the incident with my car. Even though the child’s father said he would pay for the repairs, he has not. Honestly, given the irresponsible nature of my neighbors, I would have been more surprised had he actually done so. However, the problem still remains, how do we pay to repair this windshield so that my car is drive-able again? From what we can tell, we have 3 options:
- This first option will happen, but it’s really not an option for getting the car repaired now. We’re going to have to take the children’s parents to court and file a civil lawsuit to get restitution. However, that will take a long time. The sheriff’s department told us it would take at least 3 years! There’s also the cost of an attorney and court fees, which will probably be added to the amount they owe us should we win the case. There was no doubt in the deputies’ minds that we would win, considering the children confessed and given their history; but considering none of these people work, I’m not so sure that either me or the court will receive a penny from them. I hate to waste the court’s time on this because $400 might not sound like a lot of money to some people, but $400 is the difference between having a place to live and NOT having a place to live for us. And the second option could cost us that.
- The second option is to use our rent money to pay for the repairs since that is exactly how much we need. Considering our landlord has told us on multiple occasions that this child’s mother is not supposed to be living next door, this is as much his problem as it is the entire neighborhood’s. Maybe, withholding rent would finally make him do something about it. I doubt it, but one can hope. Granted, the other neighbors are all rallying to have both of these trailers condemned, as they should be. There’s no doubt in my mind that should these trailers be inspected that they would, indeed, be condemned (unless our landlord paid off the inspector, as I’m sure he’s done in the past since there are more code violations here than anywhere I’ve ever seen in my life). Even though we’ve made multiple complaints with our mutual landlord about the problems here, I’m still not so sure that this option is even an option. I need to speak with an attorney.
- Finally, the third and most likely option is to take out a small loan in order to pay for the repairs. I really hate to do this because I find the idea of credit abhorring; and it will end up costing us a lot more than $400 in the long run, not to mention a $100 payment for the next 4 months is really going to hurt. That’s money we could be saving to move, and I just want to get the hell out of here! Given this financial set-back, I doubt it will be anytime soon.
Can anyone think of any other options? That’s all I’ve got. We had thunderstorms and rain showers ALL day yesterday. We’re expecting more today, through tomorrow. I fear my car will be completely ruined. It’s covered in a tarp, but that’s no guarantee in keeping out the rain or the damage excessive rain might cause. I need my car. We live in a rural community. There aren’t a whole lot of options for getting around, not like larger cities. When these children busted out my windshield, they didn’t just damage my car. They stole my freedom, my ability to escape the hell that has become my home-life as a result of these neighbors. Hell, even the arguments KR and I experienced at the first of the year were a result of the extreme stress we’ve been under. Now, I’m worried that even
if when I do repair my car, what will they do next?
The neighbor who had his windshield shot with a BB by this same child who shattered mine came over to talk at the end of last week. Somehow or another, the two “muddin'” tires, as KR called them, made their way over into the neighbor’s yard. KR was saving them, tucked safely under a tarp by our porch in case he needed them for his truck. They’ve been there for months, even after the two others were stolen. How they got all the way over there, I’m sure I’ll never know. The neighbor was returning them to us when I just happened to walk out to take out some trash. He told me that the sheriff was out here that day, too – again, next door. I hadn’t even noticed because I was so depressed that day that I barely moved from my computer chair (staring blankly at nothing on my computer screen as I attempted to process the overwhelming anxiety I’ve been feeling between waves of tears – this has been the case since last Tuesday). Neither of us knew why the two sheriff’s vehicles were there, and both of us agreed that we couldn’t care less. He asked me for our landlord’s phone number, which I gave to him because I truly feel they (he and his wife) have the right as home-owners to voice their multitude of complaints. Heck, at this point, ALL the neighbors do.
I stay inside my home. I’m rarely outside here. I keep to myself. I want to be left alone. I would love some privacy. All of these things are true for both KR and myself. We would love to be able to enjoy our yard, but we realized pretty early on that this just is not an option here. The insanity of our “living situation” has me feeling completely hopeless, in a desperate state of despair. I’m catastrophizing. When I catastrophize, my thoughts always end up obsessing over death and ruminating on thoughts of suicide. I’ve felt hopelessness and despair so many times throughout my life, to the point of feeling suicidal, which is how I know this. My obsessive thoughts about suicide and death never completely go away. I, and I alone, have to deal with these thoughts in my own way, hoping that I never give in; but the fact that I understand why people do – that terrifies me most. I had to learn to analyze myself because this is how I process emotions. This past week was truly a test of my will to live. Thankfully, whatever part of my mind shuts me down in times of distress, still does its job because this past week overwhelmed me. No distraction helped. I tried my best to understand “why” this week was so much more difficult. I’ve been putting up with the neighbor’s crap for right at 3 years, now.
Tell me the body doesn’t remember, even if the mind can’t.
I dare you.
At around 1:30 am on April 27th, I broke down. I cried and cried. It wasn’t until KR came into the living room asking what was wrong… as I sat staring out the opened living room window… staring out into the darkness… tears streaming down my face… the thought occurred to me…. “What’s today’s date?” I got up and checked my computer.
April 27th. [The child I gave up for adoption]’s birthday. At 2:04 am, he would be 15 years old.
Oh, god, the pain of that realization. Every doubt, every painful memory from that time-period of my life. All the second-guessing of leaving my first son with my ex-husband…. The torture of not knowing who the father of my second child was – a rapist or a man who cared nothing for me, except as the conquest of a naive white woman. Everything hit me like a ton of bricks. Writing this out, I can’t hold back the tears. The pain, the sorrow, the pure self-loathing that comes with knowing that I left behind not just one child, but two…. Knowing that neither of these children will ever know the anguish I felt in my decisions. Knowing that no other person could ever understand this pain, this sorrow.
My own bizarre thoughts as a very young child, “I must have been adopted. This isn’t my ‘real’ family. I should run away and find my ‘real’ family. They don’t love me. I’m not worthy of being loved.” And the same questions that accompany these thoughts, “Where did that come from? Why would I possibly think that?”
An indeterminate amount of time passes…. Was I was an unfit mother?
I felt like I was an unfit mother. I felt that I couldn’t give my children the love and attention they deserved. Isn’t that the very definition of an “unfit mother?” I was not emotionally prepared to deal with life, let alone children of my own. I made the “correct” decision, right? The best decision for my children? Will they forgive me?
And, yeah, this, THIS is what my neighbors trigger for me. Particularly, seeing the maltreatment and neglect of children, triggers this for me. It takes a neglected child to see, to understand, what a neglected child is going through and feeling. Or maybe, I’m just completely fucked up and don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. I don’t know. But this is what I’m dealing with right now, what I couldn’t get out yesterday. I’ve actually been writing on this one for 3 days; so I apologize for the length.
It’s thundering again. A storm’s on its way. God, I’ll be glad when this life is over.