Love Thy Neighbor…

Over the last several months since a single father and his teenage daughter moved into the other half of my duplex, I have done everything I can to be a good neighbor and a good person to them. 

The daughter, Samantha, smokes weed. I told her when they moved in that I don’t have a problem with her smoking weed, but it makes me violently ill and I asked her not to smoke inside the house because we share a ventilation system. 

Even when I realized that her father was dealing drugs, I still didn’t call the landlord or the police. I should have, but Samantha is an intelligent girl who was accepted into college at only 16 years old and I didn’t want to screw that up for her. She has a full scholarship. She also been abused her whole life and seriously deserves a break. She’s not perfect. She is quite an angry and sometimes violent person, as well as a bit of a brat. But she has been through hell in her life and this was her chance to build a better life for herself. 

Repeatedly, she has continued to smoke weed in the house and I have had to talk to her and explain over and over that I’m allergic and it makes me very sick. I usually talk to her and she agrees to smoke outside and that’s the end of it for a while. 

Then on Thursday I came home to find my house filled with weed. I immediately got sick, but I was also absolutely livid. I try not to talk to people when I’m angry, especially that angry. I waited until I’d calmed down a little and then I approached Samantha alone. I calmly stated that I have asked her multiple times very nicely not to smoke inside because it me makes me very sick. She replied and said she didn’t care and this was her house, too, and she would smoke inside if she wanted to. I told her that the landlady doesn’t even want cigarette smoke in the house, let alone weed. I made it clear that if she couldn’t respect my one request for my own health, I would be forced to call the landlady. 

She continued to smoke weed inside all night. I shut my air vents and turned off the AC, but it barely helped. She was smoking so much! I locked my cats in one room that smelled the least like weed. I was so sick that I was shaking, dry heaving and crying. I had to call the landlady. I was up all night sick. 

I was just starting to stop shaking at 10:00 the next morning when Samantha decided to smoke in the house again! In addition to being sick, I then started to panic. My reactions to marijuana is extreme, which is why I say I’m allergic. I’ve never been tested for an allergy to it. I don’t see how I could go to a doctor and request a weed allergy test. I have been hospitalized for it before, though, but I was too out of it to be able to tell the hospital that it was weed that was making me that way. 

The landlady called the police and I talked to them. I explained how it makes me sick and that I really didn’t want this girl’s future ruined over weed, but that I cannot physically tolerate it in my house. The cops arrived at 2:00 in the afternoon and the neighbors had still not stopped smoking it. In fact, despite the cops knocking on their door, they refused to answer the door and smoked their weed from 10:00am to 3:00pm. The cop could smell the weed at the door. He asked if he could come into my side of the duplex and I allowed him. He smelled the weed coming from the vents when I opened them. He stuck around for over an hour, but no one answered the door or came outside.

Samantha had left around noon, but her friend stayed in the house and continued smoking. Even her mother had been smoking in the house. The cop told me to call the police every time they smoke inside and hopefully if there are police at their house every day, they will stop smoking inside. 

Samantha’s father doesn’t want to get evicted, so he is angry at Samantha and angry at me. He hasn’t spoken to me since the police came. They called him when they were here. He has been at home since then, though, and hasn’t allowed anyone to smoke to inside. 

Last night, Samantha stood outside my bedroom window at midnight and screamed for 20 minutes about not being allowed to smoke inside. I considered calling the police again because I know this girl can be violent, and her father is a drug dealer, and they all hate me right now. I didn’t call, though. I still don’t want to get her arrested. 

I got no sleep again last night, but at least it wasn’t because of weed making me violently ill. 

Since all of this started, I have been afraid to live here alone. My friend, Sophie agreed to stay with me for a little while, and this guy I’ve been talking to about renting my spare room said that he can move in next month. The landlady is concerned for my safety, too, and even offered to let me move into her house until this is over. She is trying to evict them. I’m scared to leave my cats here, too, though. Sophie staying here is helping me a lot. I know my cats and my house are safe while I’m at work. 

I think I have been more than reasonable with my neighbors, considering all of their illegal activity. I think if you can’t smoke weed respectfully, to the point that you will endanger someone’s health, you are acting illegally. Similarly to someone who drives drunk and endangers people’s safety. I would never have called anyone about her smoking weed if she could respect my one and only boundary that is for my health and well-being. 

 

So that’s where I’m at right now. It’s not over yet. 

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HOARD

It’s that time again. Time to write about hoarding and its place/influence in my life.

 

I walk into my kitchen and start putting away the now dry dishes. Everything has its place; everything has a home. As fluidly as I brush my teeth in the morning, I spin around the kitchen placing things where they belong. It is second nature; I don’t even have to think about it. But I do think about it.

I stop for just a moment, look around at everything neatly organized in my kitchen, look down at the spatula in my hand and I know exactly where it goes. I know where it goes, and I know that it fits. I won’t have to jam or stuff anything into a place. Everything fits and everything is neat and organized. 

I have to think about it, because there was a time when I had to think about it for a different reason. Washing dishes, doing laundry, putting things away, etc., was a chore. Everything was a chore. It was all difficult because nothing had a place and even if it did, there was never enough room for it. OR, if there was room, you wouldn’t want to put it there anyway because, let’s face it, no sane person wants to put clean silverware in a drawer full of rodent feces. 

I have to think about it because I have to appreciate the mundane things that everyone else takes for granted. Those things are wonderful to me. 

I clean my bathroom sink every single day because the one I had before was falling through the floor and cleaning would collapse it. My sink here is pure white, perfectly clean and absolutely beautiful. It shines, literally shines. 

I move my furniture and sweep/vacuum and mop underneath and behind it because where I lived before, this feat was impossible. 

I sit on my couch because I never sat on the one where I came from. It was soaked with urine and the stench was overwhelming. 

I throw things away like old tupperware containers because no one can get mad if I do anymore. I donate old stuff to the thrift store because no one is telling me they’re saving it for something. 

I do these things now that I could not do before, and I appreciate them more than a normal person, because my mother is a hoarder and I didn’t have simple “luxuries” when I lived with her. 

I dance and spin and skip and run and jump through my entire house, because I have the space to do it. I walk through my house at night with the lights turned off because there is nothing in my way that I can run into and get hurt on. 

I invite people into my house. 

I tell people they can crash at my place, because I finally have somewhere for someone to sleep. I even have breakfast and coffee to offer them in the morning. I have guest pillows and blankets, and those have their own space, too! 

I’m 25 years old, and now I can finally have sleepovers like I wanted when I was a kid. Too bad I had to grow up in order to have a sleepover. 

I am doing all the things I couldn’t do before, and it’s a beautiful thing. 

 

Hoarding is so much more detrimental than some people realize. Even now, 150 miles away from my hoarder family, I am still affected. I would love to go visit my mother, but I can’t, because in two mobile homes and three campers, there is still nowhere for me to spend a night. I don’t want to sleep in her neighbor’s guest room. I wouldn’t be going there to visit them. 

I’m also still struggling with some OCD because of the hoarded conditions I used to live in. A friend came over a few weeks ago and cooked dinner in my kitchen. I did okay with that, but she also washed my dishes. When she put them away, she moved my butter knives over one space in the drawer. 

Even thinking about it now angers me. It’s not like I have a panic attack when things like this happen, but I get angry. It’s disrespectful to rearrange someone’s things, especially when everything is perfectly organized to begin with. It really bothered me. It was as though I couldn’t put the butter knives back in their place enough times to make it right. Classic OCD. I didn’t repeat the action multiple time, but it is still bothering me. They should never have been moved in the first place. 

I don’t look OCD. I don’t act OCD. No one knows I’m OCD. No one can tell. But I am, obviously. Everyone would know if I actually allowed it to show. I don’t let people see it, though. I didn’t say anything to my friend about the butter knives. 

 

Thank you for reading my long, boring rant about hoarding. I need to get it out of my system every once in a while.

To Have Someone Care

I haven’t had too many issues with my heart recently. I’ve been feeling pretty good. However, for some reason I had another episode today. I was at work and I got dizzy, then blacked out for a moment. I know that these episodes with my heart are likely stress-induced, for the most part. I’ve been trying to keep myself calm, keep my anxiety low, and not push myself too much physically. Today, it just didn’t work.

I got scared, as I usually do, and I texted Kay. I told her that I blacked out and wasn’t feeling well. She replied immediately, asking if I wanted her to take me to the hospital. I explained it wasn’t that serious. She insisted on coming to get me. She helped me into the car, carried my things, loaded and unloaded my bike, got me home and into bed, and even asked April to keep an eye on me. She texted me less than an hour later to see how I was doing.

She cared. Truly cared. She rushed to my aide. She did everything she could to help me.

Once again she made me feel important.

I remember when I was passing out at work, I’d texted Deven. I told her I was passing out on the sidewalk and couldn’t find a ride home. Deven did nothing. She didn’t care to see if I was okay. She didn’t care to come to the hospital, even when I begged her to. She didn’t think to call April or anyone. It had made me feel truly insignificant in her life. She wasn’t my girlfriend, but she was supposed to be my friend at least.

Kay isn’t my girlfriend, but she made me feel like I mattered. She made me feel like I was the most important thing right then. She had plans this evening, but she was there for me. Luckily I didn’t interfere too much with her plans.

I have the feeling that Kay would do just about anything for me. I don’t know why. I have to be careful what I ask of her because of this. I have to be more aware of her than others. I have to make sure I know she’s not doing too much or giving too much of herself. I have the feeling that she would.

Love and Life

Right now, that’s all that’s on my mind- love.

Damn Australia. Why must it be so far away? And so impossible to get in to?

I told Michelle at work about her. She asked me what I’m doing here; why I’m not in Australia with my girl. Good question. I’m here because it’s too damn expensive and complicated to move to another country. Believe me, I would be there if I could.

I asked my girl if things would be different if I were there. Of course they would have been different. Obviously my national limitations aren’t the only reason I’m not with her, but if I could have been there when she needed me, everything would have played out differently.

I guess things work out the way they’re supposed to, but this can’t be all that’s supposed to be. This can’t be the end.

I look forward to the moment where things fall into place and stop hurting, no matter what place that is.

Alright, enough crying about lost love.

Life is still good. I’ve been working for Ruthann, taking care of her mother. They’re such good people.

Yesterday, Ruthann told me that her mother said I was her nicest friend. Haha. So sweet. I think her mother is just wonderful.

Plus, with this second job, I think I might be okay financially. It’ll still be a bit tight, but I’m getting there. I got extra hours at work, and I’m getting paid pretty well working for Ruthann. Not to mention my art. I’m going to set up a shop soon and try to sell my work.

I’m not as stressed or worried lately. Things are going well and I am going strong. My heart hasn’t been as bad lately. I actually think part of my heart problem was literally a broken heart. Heartache is stressful. I’m learning to manage it while at work, though, so things are improving.

As soon as I have an evening off, I’m going to start a new painting. I look forward to uploading it here and sharing it with everyone.

Off to work now.

Medical Update

My friend took me to the hospital today to get the results of my heart monitor.

The actual doctor wouldn’t even see me to explain the results. The emergency room receptionist was kind enough to explain what she could. She said I have some sort of palpitations and I need to see a doctor and get meds for it. She said its likely because A) I’m 25 and people under 30 sometimes experience this, and B) I’m very thin which means I feel it more than others. She said it’s not life-threatening, just life-interfering.

So, I’ll be going to another doctor and getting meds for it. Then I’ll hopefully be okay. All good news.

Just a random post

I’m finally getting the 24 hour heart monitor today. I really hope it will show something. I had another episode at work yesterday and I couldn’t make it home on my bike. Daniel and Deven picked me up and drove me home.

Apparently one of the guests at the hotel where I work saw me last Monday when the ambulance came. He approached me yesterday while I was waiting for my ride and asked me what happened last week. He was very nice. He’s an Egyptian pilot. There’s a large group of Egyptian pilots who stay at the hotel for months at a time. I don’t exactly chat with the guests, but they’ve all been so nice whenever I do talk to them. There are a couple housekeepers who complain about the pilots and I don’t understand why at all. They’re friendly and polite every time I see them. Maybe a bit less interactive when we knock and wake them up, but no one likes being woken up.

I hate racism and judgement. One of the housekeepers gossips about everyone, which I can’t stand, and she complains to me that the pilots call the tissues napkins. So what? English is their second language. Give them a break. I hate it when people aren’t understanding with language barriers. It’s not like the pilots don’t speak English at all. It’s easy to figure out what they need.

I wish I was in a higher position at work just so I could make some changes there. The first change I’d make would be the attitude toward our guests. Most of the housekeepers are just fine with the guests, but there are a couple of them who are just rude. It’s not a housekeeper’s job to give an English lesson to our foreign guests. And you sure as hell don’t just walk up to a guest and rudely snap “Who are you?!” Whatever happened to “How may I help you?”

When I first started working there, I was offered the position of assistant head of housekeeping. I really wish I could have that position. I didn’t realize at the time that the position wasn’t open. They wanted me to take someone’s job- Michelle’s job. I love Michelle. She’s a great person and she does her job. She’s not perfect, but the main issues I’ve seen with her have only been on early school release days when she has to finish work early to go pick up her daughter. It’s not easy being a single parent. Michelle does her job and she’s good at it. I don’t want to take it from her. I’d really like to be head of housekeeping. I don’t think that will happen, though. The current head of housekeeping is wonderful and she’s not going anywhere. Who knows what the future holds, though!

I love working at the hotel. I like the position I’m in now, and I could see myself moving up as time goes on. I’ve been thinking about college a lot lately. I’m thinking I might be interested in going to college for business management. Years down the road I could see myself running a hotel. Since I’m friends with people in every position at this hotel, including the owners, I’ve found myself wanting to ask about the budget and financials because there are some repairs that need to be made and changes that could improve customer satisfaction. Things like that interest me greatly and I’d love to be in control of those aspects of the business.

Anyway, I’m off to the hospital now to get the monitor.

Hoarder Mother

I’ve been getting so many views from people referred by hoarding sites lately. I greatly appreciate the refers and the interest. I want to express my gratitude and make sure that you all know that your interest is appreciated.

I always feel guilty writing about my mother and her hoarding tendencies. I still can’t forgive my mother for all she’s done wrong in my life. I spend most of my time focusing on my life and the positive aspects of it.

I talk to my mother once in a while, less often than a daughter should. I did tell her about my recent medical issues and my trip to the hospital.

Before I moved here, I was living in my mother’s mess with no transportation and no income. I had no way to get a job, no way to get basic necessities from the store when I needed them. I was completely reliant on my mother for all my needs.

I’m free now. I live in my own place. I have a job. There are several stores walking distance from my house. Best of all, I have trash pick up and no longer live with garbage piling up.

Let me tell you, karma is a b*tch.
My mother’s car broke down the week that I moved out. She has been milking unemployment for over a year and they have cut her income in half. She refused to look for a job while she had the chance, so she’s now stuck with no job, no transportation and she is completely reliant on her friend. I bet her trash is piling up around her, as well as her hoard. Our situations have basically switched. She is getting a taste of what it was like for me over the last several years before I moved here.

When I told my mother about my possible heart condition, she offered to come stay with me. Everyone else thinks she’s being nice. Naturally she knows how to seem caring and selfless. Truth is, though, she just wants to come stay in a nice clean place with free food and things to do. She told me that she pulled a muscle in her back and she’s “gimpy” at the moment. Other people feel sorry for her, but I read that and immediately I see her trying to come here and be taken care of.

Not a chance in hell would I let her come stay with me while I’m sick. I can barely take care of myself and my pets let alone her. I wish she was the type of mother who actually would come stay here and help me, but she’s not. She would spend her time shopping and hoarding my house; complaining about her back and her miserable life. I can’t handle it. I know her too well. She wouldn’t help me clean up the house and take care of the cats. She wouldn’t help me cook meals and keep things neat and organized. It would be a big pity party for her and an opportunity to buy more stuff and mess up my place with her junk.

This is a hoarding parent, in my experience. My friends would be judging me for being hard on my “poor mother” when she’s in pain with a pulled muscle and living such a “rough life.” No one would get that she chose the situation she’s in. No one would see through her manipulative manner. My heart can’t handle her. She’s not as caring and kind as she seems.

My mother has always used other people to vacation. She goes to someone’s house and mooches off of them while shopping and collecting more for her hoard back home. I can’t allow that here. Especially not while I’m ill.

I’m sure there are other children of hoarders who experience this with their parents.