Thursday, January 14, 2010
Finally, I am rested enough to write and have a little time to do so. In the grand scheme of things, what I've been through pales in comparison to what the Haitian earthquake survivors and other traumatized peoples will endure in the months and years to come, and I remind myself of this fact.
Still, I have been tested. Walked through a hell-like abyss and am still climbing for safety out of it, all the while praying for guidance and to be brave when nothing but fear consumed me and hostility surrounded me.
Let's begin with my live-in-the-basement, under a rock landlord. That S.O.B. was my worse nightmare. I wrote about him three posts ago. Last week I came very close to filing a Peace Order, but was scared because he's so damned obsessed with having everything his way, which has all the hallmarks of irrationality, combined with what appears to be mania. Add his history of violence where he stabbed a former tenant or roommate seven years ago, and an underlying mental depression, and a fatal disease (he has lung cancer that is not being addressed because he lacks health care and falls in the cracks of being eligible for it), and one should pause before taking any dramatic action, because folks with nothing to lose and having this mentality often lack the emotional brakes to "not go postal".
Man oh man oh man, putting my intuition, faith and fate, totally in the hands of the Lord, was the biggest challenge I have ever had. I simply could not go through with this Peace Order. Even went to court last week and filled out the paperwork, but froze before submitting. Something kept telling me not to do it, at least not yet. Every single time I haven't listening to that inner voice, I have regretted it, so I listened.
Instead, I called the owner of the house. Predictably, she didn't want hear a dag-gone thing about the problems he's caused me. Well, his death threats got her attention, along with my learning of his past assault on some other unlucky person. She happens to be the best friend of his mother and knew him since he was a child, which made it very difficult to hear about this dark side of him.
I understand this so well having a son whom my mind's eye has seen for years as a little boy, blinding me for so long to the selfish, entitled, and destructive young adult he's become, who is also bipolar. Not "suffering from childhood trauma and moodiness" as I've lied to myself and to some degree, my readers, but bipolar. I still hate thinking of him this way; I like the old fashioned words and phrases better: selfish, overly-demanding, inconsiderate, immature, lazy, and lacking common sense. I like these because they address character flaws which the individual can change if motivated. In some people, like my son and my landlord, I suspect their problems have more to do with the bad habit of being bullies with a might makes right attitude than a true chemical imbalance in their brains.
This may still be true, even in the case of Rocco, my landlord. His mother's friend is like an aunt to him. She was shocked to learn of his behavior and past legal problems. Because she has a job that is indirectly tied in the police department, she could verify what I told her. This lady met with both of us, and to make a long story short, he's been acting civil since then.
You know why?
He doesn't want his mama to find out he's been an azzhole.
This is why I suspect he's not a true bipolar. They can't control their behavior under any circumstance, even when the cops are present. Oh, they might be a little crazy, but they ain't that crazy. Well, Rocco's pseudo-aunt served as the next best thing to a cop. It was, at least for now, a win-win situation. He's chilled out from stressing me out, and he gets to live without additional stuff being added to his rap sheet.
The odd thing about all of this unnecessary drama is that it chilled out my son. He not only knows that when I do move, probably in the Spring, he won't be coming with me and my daughter. He's on his own, for better or worse. He must believe me because he got back his old job and starts this weekend.
In addition, he's never, ever seen me so vulnerable and frightened as he did from just before Christmas until this past week. Instead of putting me through hell, he's been protective and scared to death that the landlord might snap.
It's weird though, that as soon as Rocco chilled out, Xavier got demanding. Bitch actually told me the other night when he came home and saw I'd made a salad for myself that in the future, I should automatically make one for him "just in case" he came home. I told him as long and hard as I've been working lately, he should have dinner ready for me.
The night before that, he was watching mixed martial arts (MMA) on tv, and yelled at me for walking past the tv set and demanded that I wait until commercial time. I told him he was acting like a sexist idiot, and he better not ever got-damn tell me or any woman some shit like that. He actually tried to argue the point and couldn't believe I was so "inconsiderate" and looked mad as hell doing it.
I blew him off with a wave of my hand. Eff him.
My late mother had several brothers and sisters. One, I'll call him Leon, lived with their mom until she passed away. He was cheap, too, and rarely lifted a finger to help my grandmother with anything. Only after Grandma died did he get married - to woman desperate for a husband. They were both in their early 50s, and she had been dating him for years. Had her own nicely furnished, small house. He moved in, and of course had no bills because her home was paid for.
The thing I remember most about Uncle Leon, beyond him being fairly invisible and no fun as a kid when I lived with Grandma on school days, were those visits to his new place. Aunt Maggie would have lots of good food prepared, and she stayed confined to the kitchen or dining room and would never walk past the tv set during a football game "because he'll get really mad".
I thought this quite strange and awful as a child, because my dad wasn't a thing like that. He rarely showed his temper, and I can count the number on one hand with fingers left over. I used to ask my mother why Grandma or his wife tolerated Leon's selfishness.
She said, "Grandma sees him as the weak one of the bunch."
"Why?", I asked, "he has a good paying job and a Cadillac."
"He's weak in other ways, I suppose."
In hindsight, Uncle Leon may have suffered from depression, but mostly, he was enabled to be cheap, ungiving, and dependent on his widowed mother who felt she needed a man around the house, despite him not being worth a damn.
So when my son, who coincidentally was born on the same day as Uncle Leon, made the same kind of demands like having his dinner ready and not walking past the TV set during his sports show, I knew he had reached a new and higher level of assholery.
This, combined with his behavior of acting like an entitled, sometimes abusive parasite since turning 18 three years ago, I knew once again that he's evolved into the kind of person I don't need in my life beyond an occasional let's meet for coffee and cake at Starbucks, and if I put up with this nonsense indefinitely, I would certainly end up like my grandmother - stuck living with a no count, good-for-nothing son until I'm ready for the afterlife.
I'd shoot myself in the head before I let that happen.
This is also exactly the kind of shit that daughters don't need to see their mother or grandmothers tolerate from an adult sibling of either gender, or from a boyfriend or husband. Thank God my stuff is tight when it comes to dating; but I've been a dumbazz role model as a mother; Xavier should been put out two or three years ago, but at least, now that he's 21, my mind can rest easy that I truly have done everything I could to save my son. After we move, it will be up to him to save himself. Like most of us, he can do it - if he truly wants to.
Otherwise I have been immersed in a very cool workforce program. Even when I leave, I still work, and work at finding a really good full time job. This, and the son and landlord issues, have been all-consuming; the only news I've learned about in three weeks is the earthquake in Haiti.
Thus, my apologies for disappearing in Blog Land, and thank each and every one of you for your comments and emails. I will cherish them always. That last post was too hard to respond to... so many thoughts and feelings with each comment. I'd soak them up like a sponge and think about them for days, and finding reassurance in the caring you sent to me.
Anyway, this work program is really helpful in getting extra work or for those who are unemployed. My resume has never looked better. The role playing for job interviews has been enormously helpful. Many of the clients also have solid work backgrounds but hard hit by the economic downturn, and there are also wonderful young people with little work experience or education but loads of smarts, determination, and personality. The deadbeats or insincere don't last very long, so I haven't seen many of them.
Although I hate needing any kind of temporary government assistance and have too much pride, I'm slowly accepting that I paid taxes for programs like this by working long and hard, full-time, for over 20 years and part-time for the past several years to better cope with Xavier's problems.
Finally, the smoke is clearing from the battles I've been through lately, and hopefully the worst is over. I see hints of blue and sunshine in this figurative sky in my mind, and think that God willing, 2010 will better.
I have always found pleasure in very simple things, and I can hardly wait for the flowers to bloom...
Posted by Kit (Keep It Trill) at 9:28 AM