This is Part 5 of my Mid-Live Crisis series.
So this fine and fabulous middle-aged deer is walking along, minding her business, and along comes some bright lights. She's seen them many times and had some close calls, but always managed to jump out of harm's way.
Right now she's tired, 'cause she missed her dead mama too much and way longer than she should have. Her mom told her this in a dream from the Spirit World, and said she couldn't protect her no more, that she had to move on.
Our deer was left feeling even lonelier, because she's been going to long without the loving she needed from a mate. Ain't her fault the hunters been baggin' so many of the fellas for so many years. One way or another, they've been disappearing and their population reduced from being put into cages or their graves.
She worries a lot that her own young'un, an almost 21 year old fun-loving stag, whose muscular brown body might catch the eye of hunters - again. The next time they might get lucky at his expense. She doesn't worry too much about her young doe, who is generally cautious where she steps, but recently displayed one minor act of recklessness.
So Lady Deer has been mulling over all this shit in a mid-life crisis, and she wasn't prepared when the hunters came after her...
It was mid-late June. The letter had been pushed under my door a few minutes after the rental office closed. In effect, it said that according to county rules, they could reclaim their property by simply giving a sixty day notice without giving a reason, and that I had until the end of August to move.
I pay my rent on time. In May, I had paid up for that month and June, as I often do to get it out of the way. So what the hell was the problem? And why would the sneaky bitch landlady give me this notice to vacate on a late Saturday, when I couldn't ask her why until Tuesday?
That was a baaaad weekend. The best I could figure out is that my landlady and I had a rocky relationship, particularly in the past two years. She's moody and prone to be abrasive as it is, and years ago she often appeared to have a hangover when she showed up to work. She's also one of those self-important people who acts like she likes to argue with tenants.
She's also white and from a state known for producing some of the most ignorant trailer trash in the country. I won't come out and say she's racist, because that's impossible to prove, but I will say she reminds me of one. I'm certain she suffers from that disease known as white entitlement, where good manners and fairness are not needed in interacting with non-whites.
This manifests itself in multiple ways, from making you wait endlessly to get your dishwasher repaired because she assumes it's your fault and not a mechanical defect; speaking to you in condescending and self-righteous tone when ask why it's taking three weeks when it should take three days; and doing multiple inspections on your apartment where she complains about dust in places only someone 6'5 would see - and then returns to see if the dust is gone. Petty shit like that.
Awhile back, I got tired of it and I complained to her boss. She backed off, but that bitch carries a grudge to the extent that she likes to destroy people, no matter how wrong she was. She laid low until she was able to invent an excuse to make me disappear.
To make a long story short, it took me three weeks, umpteen emails, and a meeting with her boss to find out her bogus reason. I won't go into details since I'm still mulling over whether or not to sue, but it's so trifling that even their own attorney told her boss that a tenant cannot be evicted for retaliation.
He later said he "was speaking in general, and not about the case", but that's a lie. Lots of lies fly when management gets caught doing wrong, making shit hard to prove. To admit she acted inappropriately would make them vulnerable to a lawsuit. He colluded with her and told another lie, and said "you two should apologize to one another, and maybe things will work out."
Apologize for what? For not grinning at her abusiveness, and complaining she's unfair and unprofessional? I have too much pride to apologize to a hater who took so much pleasure when she told me there was no reason I was being asked to move. Seriously, she took sadistic joy in telling me that. She could barely keep from laughing.
Well, they say pride goeth before the fall.
I began falling... even more than I already had been while suffering through an unexpected mid-life crisis.
What to do? And where the fuck would we live? I couldn't think of a relative who would take all three of us temporarily, so as during slavery, would my family have to be split up?
When looking for an apartment, it's all about the paystubs, and no, they're not interested in seeing the hard cash you have stashed away in your safety deposit box, not because you're doing anything illegal, but because you don't trust the banks.
Thus, I was screwed.
Like a deer caught in the headlights of a truck sporting a Confederate flag, I froze.
Life can be challenging and hard enough at times in the absence of racism. Add that to the mix, and it really can break your spirit. I have never been poor, homeless, on welfare, nor lived in a shelter. I have worked with people who have, but it never occurred to me it could happen to me. I thought of my education and my savings as a bullet-proof vest from all of this.
I could not find another apartment to rent in such a short time. My income is simply too low, and it's low because I like being a stay at home mother.
I wasn't with my son until it was too late. He went from shitty foster care as a toddler to being adopted by me, and I was a great mother except I worked long hours. My latchkey kid was lonely. By that time I wised up, he had hit his early teens, the Bloods and streets claimed him for several long years.
I was a stay at home mom with my daughter, who is seven years younger; another piece of luck for her is I got her as an infant. Grandma did much of her babysitting, and when she was seven and he fourteen and getting into real trouble, I sold my property and went part-time so I'd be home.
The difference in the effects of how they were parented is striking: she's on the honor roll and has a calm temperament; he never finished high school, and only this year has he started to chill out from his stormy teens.
Now suddenly, our modest lifestyle was threatened because of the actions of one vicious, entitled bitch who hunted me down and shot me.
Too much stress can lead the body to illness. You might become a little less adaptable to trauma when you get older. I've been wounded before by racism, other "isms", along with the normal wear and tear of life. Accepting that I'm not a young woman anymore, and coming to grips with the fact that so many people I cared about are gone, especially my mom, was the mid-crisis I still wasn't quite out of.
But now, my body began to express my feelings. I tried to hide them from everyone but inside, my heart and soul were bleeding. I began coughing a spat of blood each morning.
No health insurance, no place to live soon, no luck on the job search, and no hope. Could it be lung cancer, from my years of off and on smoking? Would I die in a homeless shelter from this?
No. No way, my mind thought, I won't go out like that, but then it took that dangerous turn, and I began wondering who would be best to take custody of my youngest if... "something" happened to me before things got that bad.
I tried to shut off that thought when it would unexpectedly come, and I'd close my eyes and sit quietly, and daydream about better days. But when I'd open my eyes, realty was there, like a loaded shotgun staring me in the face.
In the span of a few weeks, I went from stagnation to being frozen, and now, emotionally, I was like a dying deer...
... and for the first time ever, my children were, in effect, motherless, because psychologically, I simply was not there.
This was Part 5 of my Mid-Life Crisis series.
To be continued...