I was there, at my mother’s house, not at all enjoying my spring break, tending to her after her knee replacement surgery, when I discovered she’d been lying to me to get me up there.
Her cats had tapeworms again. After I had taken them to the vet in January, two months before. This was one of the few things I told her I needed her to do for me to come up there. I just needed her to treat them for fleas consistently so I could be in her house without parasites. She said she would
I felt manipulated. Used.
At this point, I don’t trust her anymore. She’ll do whatever she feels she has to and will say whatever she feels she has to in order to get whatever she wants. My needs, comfort, health and safety don’t matter.
That’s not at all to speak of her cats’ health. I asked a couple of people if I should get them treated again and they told me the same thing: if you treated them two months ago, and they’re sick again, they’ll just keep getting infected. There’s nothing you can do for them.
Unfortunately, I think they’re right.
Then I came back here and tried to get work done. I didn’t get anything done up there. Yes, poor me! I have the privilege of being one of the elite few in the world who can earn an advanced degree full-time. I have no illusions about where I am in the world. This is the top, really. I have clean water, a safe place to lay my head, an automobile–this is great. I do get anxiety, though. I’m behind in my work.
And I churned out a book for a contest just now. I’m proud of it, and proud of myself. It’s good work. Poems. No one would read it except for my boyfriend. They’re too depressing. Everyone said to send them some, but they didn’t really want to read them because they’re too down. I understand; they’re all about death. That’s not something people really want to read.
My habit has been to wait for the muse to come to me and then work off of inspiration, and I didn’t do that this time. I just worked through the time I had allotted. There was only so much time, so that’s the amount of time I had to work on it. It’s still work I’m proud of. This means I can do this always–it’s a new skill for me. I feel like I should have had this sooner (I’ve been writing for twenty years! I should be here by now!), but I’m at where I’m at and it’s here.
I also feel bad today because I set a boundary that was the right thing for me, but I don’t think the other person saw it that way. I can justify and explain and make a case to you, but I don’t have to. I know what was the right thing for me to do. I can’t hurt myself today because that’s what I think other people want and need. I have to put my own oxygen mask on first. Besides, I don’t know what they need! I’ve never been that good at figuring that out. I destroyed my own life and showed up somewhere with a shoebox full of most of the pieces and needed help putting them together. What do I know from life coaching?
Boundaries are tough, y’all. But living without them? Way fucking worse. You can take that to the motherfucking bank.
Warning: this mailbag is rough, rugged and raw. It’s really, really nasty. It will make you have the willies. You can bail now. You really can. I’ll make it really long here and will put something that will buffer you from the ill content. Just remember: I warned you, and what is seen cannot be unseen. I mean, compiling it icked me out. Medicalish of nature.
The next one won’t be like this. I promise. I couldn’t take it if it were.
I have bird mites again. This time, there are far fewer, but they’re bigger than ever before and they bite way harder. This is, I think, the fifth or sixth time I’ve ever had an infestation of bird mites in an apartment of mine. No one ever fucking believes me. One person I know did, because she had them, too. Once, in the worst of it, I was riding in a van to the airport and I accidentally made everyone in the van itch. It was awful. I said nothing. I was ashamed. They would have believed me. And they would have made me walk. I will always feel terrible about that day. I hope I didn’t make that van infested forever. Awful. I am a terrible, infested person.
There are ways to get rid of them. Because of the ways it takes to get rid of them, I do not doubt I will get cancer in ten to twenty years. Right now, they are coming from the attic. I can’t afford to move yet. The landlord doesn’t believe me, and he takes his time getting the birds out of the attic.
The catch is: I don’t want anyone to get the mites so they believe me. I’d rather they think I’m crazy, or I’m on drugs. Which is exactly what happened to me today at the Home Depot where I bought mite exterminating supplies.