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I have spent the last two days cleaning.  Scrubbing shit out of hardwood floors – literally shit.  Scrubbing walls that had something I don’t want to know on them.  Vomiting as I cleaned.  And I have spent the last two days trying so hard to convince myself that this was not my fault.  That I have not caused it.  If you’ve ever been raped, if you’ve ever had a home invasion, you know the feeling.  Of no safety, of crawling out of your skin, of utter devastation, of thinking that if only I had been more aware, or paid better attention, then this would not have happened.  But the truth is, there was no way to foretell or to know to prevent what happened.

What happened?  Well, you know I’m a story teller, so let me tell you my story.  Please keep compassion in your heart for everyone involved – right now my anger and hurt may not allow me to write from the perspective that would reflect the compassionate womon I strive to be.

If you’ve read my blog all along, you know that last year I went away and left my son in charge of my home for a week, during which a large, scary, home destruction party took place.  You can read the entry, called It Feels Like Rape.  Anyway, this year I knew I would be away for a couple of months and I really wanted to get someone I could trust to come in and look after my cats, keep my home, and mow the lawn.  I found someone who was a friend of a couple of people that I really trust and respect and who was looking to move to the area.  And she was a Festie! What a win/win!  She and her partner could stay here for free and look for permanent housing, and I could go work for Fest with a sense of peace.

Two days ago, I came home.  The lawn had never been mowed.  The grass was a foot and a half high.  My house looked abandoned.  Have you ever watched with morbid fascination the videos of animal control officers going into “the cat lady’s” house?  Seen the shit and urine everywhere?  The open cans of cat food that have been there for weeks, in the can, on plates, covering the floor?   The piles of dirty dishes and laundry in every room?  The tub filled with water and bad, bad unidentifiable things floating in it? The mold?  The slime on the walls?   The ripped down curtains?  Things broken and not cleaned up?  And then the interview with the cat lady who doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about?  Yeah, that is my house.  Be grateful you can’t smell it, too.

I can’t tell you what happened to the womyn who stayed in my home and destroyed it.  I can tell you that I found many prescriptions for pain and anxiety.  I suspect that they both have issues that bloomed in each other’s presence, and someday I will truly be able to believe that they were doing the best that they could do.

Right now,  I’m feeling… I don’t know what.  On the verge of tears, hard core anger, total helplessness,but mostly numb.  I have a couple of really good friends who keep reminding me that small and compartmentalized is best. 

I can’t really describe what has happened in my house – but it, and I have been violated.  I smudge often.  I am having to spend money I don’t have.  Small, but important things have been broken or sullied.  I slept in my car the first night, because there was no safe space for me.  And the lies.  The lies.  The lies.  I have tremendous fear that there will be more that I have yet to uncover.  I want to read my mail, but the cats have shit and peed all over it.  I want to clean, but when I opened the drawer to get a rag, there was dried cat vomit and piss all over the rags.  Every place I turn, every cupboard I open, any place my eyes can see, I cannot find safety.  Today I will clean the shower – because I need to take one.  But I cannot find my towels and really, it doesn’t matter because I couldn’t let them touch my body anyway.

I’ve cancelled my credit cards.  I’ve notified my bank. 

And as to the cat ladies?  Well, they really don’t seem to think anything is all that wrong.  They did take my cats to the vet (for fleas?!?)  And I am actually grateful, because what I thought was old age in my oldest guy  turned out to be something treatable.  They fed them expensive veterinary food, treated the fleas, bought lots of cat toys with feathers and catnip.  They even listed me as a reference while apartment hunting.  Really?  What they have never done is apologized for the horror that was my home.  Or even acknowledged that they had done something so out of bounds that it could send them to jail.  Or offered to help clean.  Or offered compensation for the things that I will need to have repaired or replaced.  And now they want to let me know that the cats are due back at the vets for follow up treatment for ear mites and fleas.  Really?

So, I know I am notoriously hard to buy for, and my birthday is coming up.  Here’s what I want:  chopsticks (don’t ask what happened to the old ones), sage for smudging, your good thoughts, and that feeling of safety and security to come back.

Soon, really soon, I hope, I’ll be able to write about what an amazing, life changing experience I had at Fest, and about the beautiful loving womyn who are a part of my life because of it.

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