We are now at two weeks out from moving day. THIS is a good thing.
I’ve been noticing weird things about myself though. As moving day gets closer, as this cloud becomes ready to lift, as I inch ever so close to the life changes that I’ve been pining after for so long - moving out of the city, moving to a better area, selling this place - as those things draw near, I have not felt relief or joy rising - at least not yet. That may not come until the ink is dry on everything.
It’s strange, but I almost feel like I’ve been coiled up, perhaps turtled up for a while now, by the circumstances. This year has been weird, obviously.
Apart from the virus situation and basically nothing happening for the last 5 months, here we had the riots in May which are having a long term impact on us and on the city. That changed the game, for me. The city and state officials stood idly by for almost a week while people rioted, burned, and looted the city. They did not raise a finger. We who live here were left to either band together to defend our own blocks like some kind of Mad Max situation, or to make an escape plan.
I sat here at my kitchen table watching black smoke float by the windows. It smelled like a campfire in here. My wife and I had to have a conversation about what our plan was if if a mob of rioters intent on attacking us and looting and burning the building where we lived came that night. We actually had to have that conversation, in 2020, in a major city in the United States. And we had to have it because we knew that thanks to the decisions of the city and state government, that if we were in peril,no help was coming. What in the world? This is America. Losing trust in elected officials to carry out their most basic responsibility, to maintain safety and order… I won’t be in a place like that. I won’t be in a place where I can’t protect my family,
Apart from all of that, it’s just been a bad experience living downtown as the city has continue to go downhill, and we’ve had a string of bad neighbors, and all the other things I have documented here. It’s really depressing to see downtown turning from what was a nice place 10 years ago to a place where you can’t go out at night, you can’t walk without being accosted by aggressive beggars or drug zombies… it’s just really sad.
I think that I’d been turtled up for so long in survival mode that now it’s all coming to an end, mentally I’m starting to uncoil, and what’s coming out is pain. I’ve had a lot of pain living here that I just ignored, but… that doesn’t make it go away. Pain and loss have to be dealt with, you can’t just keep carrying them everywhere.
I have a lot of feelings of loss, I suppose.
I lost 4 years that should have been able to make the most of.
I lost most of the first 4 years of being married, which have still been good but could have been so much more.
I lost all the work I did previously getting to a healthy place mentally. I lost my independence from therapy appointments and medications and anxiety and sadness.
Lost my love for a place that I once loved. I lost a dream of what the future looked like.
Lost so many hours in traffic and dealing with city hassles. Lost my Jeep, because it was a stick and I was getting a repetitive stress injury in my foot form driving in the traffic here.
Lost sanity from having things stolen, cars towed, watching the news to see how close the latest violent incident was to us. Lost time having to drive out to the suburbs to do things.
I’m taking a stock, taking an account of all this loss. Not because I want to remember it all or anything, but to remind myself of how much I’ve come through. I have been pretty tough these last few years. And I tried to do a good thing in the first place, sacrificing to give H what she wanted. Turns out it was a little too much, and I need to sacrifice… a bit less.
But this is our life, right? You put on your armor and fight every day, you survive what happens to you, and your armor gets dents and scratches and needs a lot of repairing at times, but you keep doing what you can. You show up every day and try to make it better.
There was a long time where I was suffering from what really, honestly, was an abusive relationship - that is to say my relationship with my life situation as it was. Remarkably feels like an abusive relationship including the major feature of “Why couldn’t I see it?” or “Why didn’t I leave sooner?” or “I was fooled by others words into thinking I was the problem”. Weird, huh?
Pain has to leave the mind somehow, I think. Maybe this is a long, slow sigh before I finally can say I survived, and things are better, and now I can rest.