Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Remedy For Burnout:
Pull The Plug

Pulling the plug was easier than I thought.

Figuratively, that's what I did earlier this year. Stopped watching and reading so much news on cable, mainstream and alternative sites and blogs, and stopped blogging. So many of so-called conspiracy theories have been exposed to be true, some thankfully have not. The evil that people do, particularly ones with the power and money to affect the masses finally overwhelmed me.

So I tuned out.

Not completely; I still skim the news or what passes for news each day, but limit myself to 15 to 30 minutes a day, and some days don't watch or read it at all, and instantly click off propaganda designed to stir up anxiety and/or hatred among people.

This strategy still has not insulated me from racism or hate. I have a pretty nasty landlord whom I complained about last year for talking to me abusively and behaving horribly in general. She held a grudge for this and waited for the perfect moment to do a payback. Despite paying my rent on time and even early for years, she concocted a reason to justify telling me to move within certain timeframe legally allowed by the law. They can do this where I live, as the deck is stacked in favor of landlords, not tenants.

I complained to her boss. He's a 60-something year old white guy who can't wrap his old school brain around the concept that a black tenant has rights to be respected, which is clearly stated on the lease.

In a nutshell, I've been given the "uppity Negro" treatment, where complaining about injustice results in retaliation and more injustice.

Thus, I'm in the process of moving. I may or may not have a viable lawsuit, depending on whether an attorney thinks the case could be won. Pursuing court action is always stressful, which is one reason so many date rape victims don't press charges. They want justice and often revenge, but neither comes swiftly and it's not guaranteed in a he-said she-said scenario where neither is provable and there is no hard evidence beyond the spoken word.

I have my written words as documentation in this case, but these white collar thugs have put nearly nothing in writing themselves, and say one thing one day then deny they said it or that I "misunderstood" what was said. This ordeal has sucked the joy out of my summer. The cumulative effect of racism in my life plus this made me very, very depressed.

On the other hand...

Sometimes it's just time to move on. I found a new place and if things go well, will sign a lease early next week. It's actually nicer than where I live now and a little cheaper, and my youngest can walk to school. It's a house, so we'll have a backyard. There's another tenant who sublets the basement, but he seems cool, and we'd only share the laundry room.

I thought I might need a little extra money too, so I looked around for another job, something part-time. Went to an interview this week and the lady hired me on the spot. Pays really well and the hours have great flexibility.

The only thing is, she said I have a physical and an x-ray for a TB test. I was exposed to TB nearly 20 years ago. Didn't have it, but if the skin test is positive, they put you on medication for 6 to 9 months.

Hell, I haven't been to a doctor is six years because I have no health insurance. So first things first. On Friday I went to a community health clinic and got the X-ray for $20. My fear is not TB, but lung cancer. Recently, each morning when I awaken, I cough up a little blood. It's not much, and is usually dark, but on Friday it was bright red.

I've wondered if my many years of off-and-on smoking caught up with me. TB would be welcome compared to cancer, since the former is usually curable.

I've been thinking of an old saying a lot and in my mind, repeat it like a mantra to keep me calm and grounded in reality: what's done is done, and what has been done, cannot be undone.

I don't pray for mercy, only strength and ability to plan well for my youngest child's life. My son is grown and has been working all year, and should be able to fend for himself if things don't work out for me.

And at night I tell myself, God's Will be done, God's Will be done, God's Will be done...

and whatever happens, because of this, I know that I'll be okay.