Ironically, the back-story goes back to a time that I actually can’t remember—at least not consciously. A time when, as a little child, bad things went bump in the night. For a while (most of my life), it was helpful to “forget”. It was a protection. But those memories didn’t, and don’t, go away; they are just tucked into deep, dark, murky places in the body, waiting for an opportunity to reappear and rattle the bones. This is a form of PTSD; and even after years of working with various therapeutic modalities—when given the right causes and conditions (like a perfect storm)—these memories can still get triggered and rise up in fury, evoking heart-stopping terror, like one’s very life is in peril, even when that is absolutely not the case. So—as one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, might say: “I still have a few – wee – small issues around that.”
I moved to WA eight months ago and live in a modest duplex, nine houses down the block from my grandchildren. It’s a quiet, idyllic neighborhood with both young families and retired people living side by side: a pretty sweet scene—until— the man next door moved out and his drug-addict daughter moved in: “To give her one more chance to get her life together. It’ll be just for a month. Honest.”
She came with an entourage. At first it was a slow trickle; then—a steady stream of other homeless drug addicts floated in and out of the apartment twenty-four hours a day. I suspect they were mostly “tweakers” (meth users) because they perspired a lot, were nervous, and stayed up all night, speaking in very loud voices. Sometimes there were arguments where they shouted at each other, and I began to feel more and more uneasy. I was assured that they were on their way out, “any day now”… really? They had nowhere to go. Why would they leave?
At first, I tried to help. That is my way. I supplied them with a few dishes and other eating utensils. I gave them homemade soup. I baked bread and brought it over. “Don’t you know how to make white bread?” Hmm. Maybe this is not helpful.
Two weeks ago today I finally sent an email to the landlord of this building who is old and in kidney failure. “I was done,” I said, “It’s either them or me.” And, I began looking for other places to live. That very night, after I heard loud voices and checked the locks on my door, etc., my mind went blank and I lost the ability to remember for about seven hours. You know the rest (Part 1). Obviously, I am back now and I am well. I spent six days sleeping down the street at my family’s house until the druggies were kicked out and the locks were changed. But that is the next story.