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Writing amid Household Problems

25 Jul

July 22:

Well… last night I read yet another rejection letter for a gothic novel that I consider my best novel so far. Guess it doesn’t matter how much I revise and edit it. Anyway, I meant to query magazines/ journals today… and discovered that my WiFi decided to say, “Fuck you! So what if you pay Comcast way too much? You don’t get to have WiFi!” Restarting my laptop… unplugging and unplugging my modem… pushing the button on top of my modem… nothing worked. The instructions on my computer screen mentioned connecting the modem and the laptop with an Ethernet cable–but I don’t have a spare.

Did I not pay my overpriced Comcast/Xfinity bill? Maybe I need to dig through snail mail and check…. And maybe I need to take a look at the surge protector somewhere under my tv cabinet.

And then there’s the bathtub full of dirty water. Well, about three inches, that is. It has something to do with my hair clogging the drain. The plunger has brought up a lot but not solved the problem. So my last shower was in the back bathroom (which requires stepping on a stool to climb in). I do pull Cousin It out of the drain from time to time, but apparently Cousin It finally succeeded in committing suicide.

I need to call a plumber… but first I’m gradually cleaning and tidying rooms that the plumber would see. That’s the living room, the hallway, and the bathroom. (I can close doors down the hallway.)

I say gradually because I’m doing this at cooler times, when I’m less likely to pour with sweat. I intend to do a bunch this evening, or basically… night.

Nice thing about all this craziness–plus my obsessive “This is what fascism looks like” news reading/watching, I’m scarcely brooding about toxic people. Barely, though it slips in from time to time.

Reading Mexican Gothic has inspired me to steep “Theater Patron” in more gothic atmosphere. It admittedly increases the word count, but it’s all for the best. Something to keep in mind in many of the Margot/Roland/Vincent stories. (“Theater Patron” is one of many, and I’ve been revising it for publication.)

July 23:

My main focus today is house cleaning (yuck) because I intend to call both the plumber and Comcast tomorrow.

The standing water has mostly drained, but there’s still some–and that’s after days, maybe a week. I’ve lost track.

The WiFi is still nonexistent—pretending as though my network doesn’t exist—it isn’t even a choice. No, I’m not trying to use a neighbor’s WiFi–I want my own back! It’s frustrating. I wanted to submit stories to magazines/journals yesterday, but I couldn’t use the internet on my laptop. The only internet is on my phone.

Brooding about certain toxic people… I think one narcissist showering me with verbal abuse, projecting, and pathetically trying to gaslight me right before Oregon began officially socially distancing… is triggering in part because of a certain narcissistic sociopath who used all the same techniques… but was far more skilled at manipulation. That’s a motivation to resume working on the novel inspired by said narcissistic sociopath. It’s better to do that earlier in the day, not in the evening. I don’t wish to go to bed in a rage.

I took a break from housecleaning. I had dinner while streaming Trevor Noah and resumed working on a fun, humorous fantasy novel—changing the novel from past tense to present tense. This has been a gradual process, of course, since it’s over 92,000 words.

I still need to take some things out to the trash and recycling and sweep the floor of the living room, hallway, and bathroom. The bathroom floor might also need some scrubbing.

It’s pathetic that all this is happening at once—the clogged bathtub drain, the shower curtain rod falling down repeatedly, the WiFi not working. Plus I still need to get on with putting up that curtain rod in the library and making library curtains and cleaning the mildew from the wall in the back apartment and painting over that with anti-mold primer…..

Meanwhile, I have memories of a narcissistic sociopath in my head, accusing me of being incapable of functioning—a variation on how my narcissist mother made me feel incompetent starting when I was four years old and helped paint the living room. The accusation of incompetence is tied in with my need for respect and acceptance.

July 24:

I’m revising an old story to submit online and have several internet folders open to magazines/literary journals. I’d like to submit more than one story today, but I’m compelled to edit/revise stories before submitting them, especially if it’s been a while since I worked on them.

I called about the WiFi, and it’s working: Comcast needed to reset the modem. How random. I called the plumbing company, and they have someone coming Monday afternoon. Such a relief to have all that taken care of—also a relief that I have two bathtubs.

Denial Gets You Nowhere

4 Jul

I moved to Eugene under the impression that it’s a progressive college town and a hippie mecca. It didn’t take long to learn that its days of being a hippie mecca are … pretty much over. I know this isn’t the 1960s or 70s but still, hippies are still a thing on the West Coast, and they were still a thing in St. Louis, at least in the 1990s.

In the past week or so, I’ve discovered disturbing things about Eugene via Nextdoor. I’ve learned that white supremacists are organized enough in Eugene to be making sure that no yards have Black Lives Matter signs. It got me reflecting on my impression—that started not long after I moved here—that while Portland has radicals such as anarchists and socialists, Eugene is more about liberal Democrats. It can be a bit frustrating.

On top of that, denial among white people in Eugene is apparently a normal everyday thing when it comes to local white supremacists.

I posted a link to the GoFundMe page to help Isiah Wagoner, the black activist who was supervising the Children’s March when a white supremacist deliberately ran over him. This was after I read about how the driver gave him the finger before stepping on the gas and aiming for Isiah Wagoner. This was obviously intentional… and yet the cops let the psycho free. Meanwhile, Isiah Wagoner is in the hospital—hence the GoFundMe page.

The only comments I’ve received for posting this on Nextdoor were a couple people claiming that maybe he isn’t a white supremacist. The second commenter even made some bizarre comment, suggesting that it wasn’t intentional and that maybe he was distracted… because people are pulling people out of cars?!?!?!? Um, no. So with a roll of my eyes, I found the original Eugene Weekly article and copied and pasted the url into my post about the GoFundMe page.

Denial isn’t just a river, especially with closed-minded fools.

White Supremacist Thieves and Vandals

30 Jun

I know signs are less important than lives, but this is still creepy and disturbing.

Here in Eugene, a “progressive college town,” white supremacists tear up and steal “Black Lives Matter” lawn signs. They do this on a massive scale. It doesn’t have to be the official sign–it can be any racial justice sign. One was a cardboard sign that said “Justice for George Floyd” or such handwritten in purple marker, and a POS tore it in half and left the two halves lying in the yard.

Someone else found torn BLM signs that weren’t hers inside her trash trolley, and on top of that was a bag of dog poop.

Some people have said this happens repeatedly–they put out a new sign, and it gets stolen. One person said she might make a separate sign that says every time it’s stolen, it will be replaced.

Someone mentioned that there used to be a whole bunch of social justice signs on a corner, and they all disappeared.

Someone even said that the KKK are back. They’re distributing fliers in South Lane County–complete with their number. Guess they want prank calls. WTAF. Since moving here, I’ve learned that in the 1920s in particular the KKK was very mainstream in Eugene.

I’ve learned about all this on the Nextdoor app, not in local news.

Anxiety… and Funny Cats

5 Jun

I just remembered: I forgot to do laundry. I could do it now… or wait until tomorrow….

Brooding about toxic people. They’re not worth it. A pandemic and a revolution and that’s what I’m brooding about. No, that’s the other thing I’m brooding about in addition to the pandemic and revolution and white supremacy. Lots to brood and panic over.

Not sure I’ve gotten through a day this week without crying a little. The crying is when the pandemic and riots and all that are on my mind, not empathy-less assholes.

Nasal congestion, a little phlegm, and very little coughing, so I’m getting better and might be up to taking tonic again starting tomorrow. Of course, I could also be Typhoid Mary–asymptomatic with coronavirus.

#

A few minutes ago, I was pressing pieces of sleeves for my 1890s tea gown.

Virginia was dozing on the chair inches away from me. She didn’t react when I sprayed the bottle of spray starch. When I push the top button, it hisses a bit like a cat.

In contrast, Gabriel was sitting in the doorway and watching me the first time he heard the spray starch hiss. He jumped and ran out of the room and down the stairs.

Gabriel soon returned, and while he walked into the room, the spray starch hissed again. Gabriel jumped, turned, and ran back down the stairs.

Overheard Car Accident

26 May

Apparently with the pandemic there’s been an uptick in reckless driving (at least, according to people on Facebook).

Even on my residential street, at 2 am last night my skylight was open… and I heard a vehicle zooming along and then BAM! CRUNCH!

Probably a fender bender—I didn’t sneak downstairs to look. Soon I heard knocking on a door and people talking. After a while I saw flashing lights visible from my side window.

Gaslighting in Hindsight

25 May

Response to a Twitter post about giving an example of someone accusing you of something and they turned out to be wrong:

A frenemy for years kept insisting I’m bipolar and schizoid (I’m neither). She finally called me a sociopath during one of her tirades. She also claimed she has no personality disorders. Turns out she’s a narcissistic sociopath and I’m an empath.

Shove Off, Narcissist

4 May

Oh, look, my inbox contains an email from Mindfucking Psychopath, who still believes he’s entitled to have contact with me. Nope, still incorrect. I can see the beginning of the message in the subject line, and it looks like a pseudo-apology at best.

Actually, despite the above sardonic tone, my reaction to merely seeing that in my inbox put me in a murderous rage. No, I am not ready to read a message from that narcissist who used some of the same manipulation techniques as the narcissistic sociopath who gaslighted me for six years.

No, Fuckface is NOT entitled to project his majesty’s traits onto me. He is NOT entitled to gaslight me. His belief that those closest to him have to walk on eggshells or let him lash out at them–or walk around on eggshells AND let him shower them with verbal abuse anyway–is bogus and always has been bogus.

No, he has NO right to have ANY contact with me. His delusions of entitlement are bogus, always have been, and always will be.

While I do regret texting with that narcissist and thereby getting into a fight with the parasite, I do NOT regret blocking his majesty’s phone number and social media accounts. I do not regret going No Contact, as I did with other toxic relatives years ago.

I DO regret that it took me this long to finally stop having blind and stupid loyalty to that narcissist. It seems ridiculous that it lasted as long as it did.

Since a narcissistic sociopath gaslighted me for six years and I broke up with her in 2016 and have learned a great deal from that experience, it was inevitable that I would FINALLY stop having that blind and stupid loyalty to that self-entitled parasite. His delusions of entitlement are as bogus as those of the narcissistic sociopath.

He should be grateful that my blind and stupid loyalty lasted so long—but instead he’s outraged that it’s finally gone. He didn’t deserve that loyalty, had no gratitude for it, took it for granted, and destroyed it. It’s never returning. Good riddance.

So yeah, while I’ve certainly gone through afflictive emotions and have been depressed since he lashed out at me via texting, days before social distancing became official here…. I certainly learned from this experience. My days of letting him lure me back into a false sense of security–my days of assuming he has a right to be in my life–are permanently over.

I’m sure I’ll read and respond to Mindfucker’s email at some point, but not today. Not while I’m in a rage. I intend to meditate a lot this month and read at least one self-help book and hopefully get back to reading a Buddhist book by Sharon Salzberg. After all of the above, then I should… probably… maybe… be up to reading Mindfucker’s email. That could be a month of meditating and reading. At least.

And I need to actually do this meditating–formal sitting meditation, not just tell myself to do it. That’s not only my usual informal meditating first thing in the morning and last thing when I turn out the light at night. I used to be seriously into meditation the first few years that I got into Buddhism; it was normal for me to meditate at least an hour a day, occasionally as many as three hours. I got out of the habit when I moved many states away.

I’m creative and suck at time management, so it’s easy to procrastinate and prioritize writing and sewing over meditating. But if I’m going to read that email without going into a rage and without writing an enraged reply, I need to get back into intensive daily meditation.

This pandemic would have been stressful enough without verbal and psychological abuse. The fact that Fuckface pulled that shit right before I began social distancing means that this social distancing has not been easy for me–it has involved a great deal of rage and brooding in addition to emotional sponge general pandemic anxiety. That’s another thing he isn’t entitled to: creating so much trauma.

He has no right to have any contact with me. In fact, his majesty isn’t entitled to a reply email. I don’t owe him anything, especially not even more of my time, energy, and emotional labor.

Bad Roommate Dream

27 Apr

My lower back is a bit achy, which might explain why I dreamed that I was a witch who put a curse on an enemy, giving them an achy back.

I had a dream in which I had two roommates. One of them was this rather conventional blond woman. She and I were in the laundry room, I think, and she owned the house we lived in. She was bustling around and having a monologue…. during which she said, “You’re a lazy roommate, but at least you can afford to pay the rent.” I froze in shock. She kept talking. She also continued bustling about and soon left the room.

At some point, I had processed enough to be walking around the house and grumbling. “If I’m so lazy, how do you explain the fact that I’m writing the first draft of a 90,000-word novel in only one month?! Oh, yeah, that’s really lazy!”

Next I was out and about in an urban area on a gray day. I parked in an alley, I think. I needed time to process, and now I was furious at the judgmental roommate and knew I’d be moving out as soon as possible.

I found myself at what may have been a yoga studio—an event was going to start soon, but for whatever reason, I wasn’t staying for it. I was walking in the opposite direction from everyone else in an alley leading into the yoga studio. Someone skinny paused in walking to do a yoga pose right there on the spot in the middle of the alley. I wondered if I could still do that yoga pose and knew better than to try it in front of others. The accusation of laziness was fresh in my mind.

At some point, I was one of three women who were wandering in an alley kind of lost. I wasn’t sure where my car was and was trying to remember where I parked. I ended up, still in an alley, where there was a concrete-looking building with a lot of clutter, junk, and people standing in line. One of them was a woman I had been walking with in the alley. Even though she was in line and I was in the alley and intended to continue searching for my car, I was still talking with her and vented about my asshole roommate. I may have said something about how I was going to start packing up and searching for an apartment today.

I woke up in a foul mood and remembered an occasion when a bunch of toxic relatives had, as usual, broken into my house and sat around my living room and accused me of being lazy. I was shocked and speechless in reaction. This was a time when I was working a minimum of 40 hours a week at a thankless job… and when I wasn’t at that job, I was writing, sculpting, or meditating. How does that fit the description of “lazy”? I was writing, among other things, a 500-page novel about those same relatives who thought themselves entitled to break into my house and take their personality disorders out on me.

Bad Dreams

12 Apr

I dreamed that I went into the restroom at I think a rest stop, and there were three women in their 60s in there chatting and putting on makeup at this row of little booths.

One of them insisted that I should put on makeup–I think she was making fun of me for not being into such things and for being “square.” Hmmm, how Asshole Audrey of her. And I think they were laughing at me.

Weirdly, instead of just ignoring them and leaving, or rolling my eyes at them and leaving–as I would have in real life–I wanted to prove them wrong about me. As if it mattered what they thought of me! So weird.

I went up to one of the little… cubbies… and put powder on the left side of my face–the side they couldn’t see–and at this point they were ignoring me. There were little brown plastic cups into which makeup brushes were sticking up, and I grabbed one and dipped it into powder. I didn’t know how to put that crap on and was alarmed at the results of the makeup—it was a mess of powder on my face. I hastily started smearing it around and even though I figured you’re not supposed to use your hands, there was so much of it that I ended up using my hands to spread it out all over my face. I was uncomfortable with the entire process, embarrassed, and aware that this wasn’t me.

 

I vaguely recall a dream that combined the Doctor Who novel I’m reading with the coronavirus pandemic. Ace was trapped in a strange place and aware of the need for social distancing.

Nightmares during a Pandemic

7 Mar

I dreamed that I lived in a large Victorian Queen Anne house in a fairly rural area. The house had a wrap-around porch and a stone foundation with a basement. Because the house was built on a slope, the basement had an exterior side door.

At some point I had a visitor who was a friend.

Toward the end of the dream, I heard people on the front porch. I was in the basement and didn’t want to talk to them. I wanted to hide. I slipped out of the basement side door without locking it and ended up… where? Under the front porch? On the porch? It seems like I ended up on the wrap-around porch, which doesn’t make sense if I was trying to avoid people whom I thought were at the front door.

Wherever I was, I witnessed a group of about six people slip in through the basement door I left open! They were breaking into my house.

Enraged, I went after them.

I went into the basement and grabbed a long piece of wood leaning against a wall and, yelling, “Get out of my house!” or something like that, charged at one man. A struggle ensued, with me pushing his throat and him against the wall while the others watched (or ran away?).

A male friend or acquaintance of mine came up behind me and tried to be the voice of reason, I guess. He said, “Don’t kill him! You’d end up in prison!” I just felt angrier.

 

I dreamed that my brother and I were in a car in a parking lot. We were having a conversation… and we may have been talking about the past, when we lived in Indiana.

He said something about Britney Spears. Confused, I knit my brow and said, “But… I don’t think Britney Spears was around in the 80s.”

Completely out of the blue, he yelled at me—how typical—I don’t remember what. His rage made no sense and creeped me out (what else is new?). He got out of the car.

I recovered from my shock enough—only after the asshole got out of the car—to become enraged and, giving him the finger with both hands and yelling repeatedly… well, something very vituperative that I won’t repeat hear. He ignored me

 

(Last night I was revising one of those autobiographical novels inspired by toxic people. That could well have triggered that dream, even though it was a different perpetual playground  bully. I am so sick of empathy-challenged perpetual playground bullies who harbor a bizarre delusion that they’re entitled to use me as their doormat/verbal and psychological punching bag and that it’s somehow magically my duty to be their doormat/punching bag. I was sick of them before the 1980s ended.