The last time I was in therapy, it was the summer, 2016, nearing the end of my contract job where I was miserable.
Almost 18 months later, I’m back. Now I’m miserable because of this guy, the housemate.
I need to move.
I gave a long explanation of what happened at my Patreon for my subscribers, but TL;DR, my housemate has decompensated (clinical for lost his shit) twice since the full moon eclipse (once before and once after). He has untreated schizophrenia along with some Axis II/personality disorder stuff.
So all the bitching and accommodating and complaining I’ve done has because of that.
I should really refocus the misery towards the owners of this house. This housemate is only symptomatic of their neglect and passivity.
When I had made the appointment with my therapist who reminds me of a hippie, nicer version of Carrie Bradshaw, the psychotic breaks hadn’t occurred yet.
If you want to say that my higher self was prescient and knew I’d need therapy because serious shit was about the kick off, I wouldn’t bar you from saying it.
I arrived early after I returned a shitty memoir that’s getting some public acclaim. I scheduled the ride home that I’d miss because I was too afraid to be rude and look at the time on my phone, with its ringer set on silent.
My therapist was running late, which she explained later that since I was her last client and she had a yoga class later, and because hadn’t spoken in a while, she thought it’d be OK to run late.
Hey man, first white person I’ve heard say that to me. It did cost me $10 as a no-show. I have some weird hang ups with my Lyft score.
Meanwhile, as I waited, I was tweeting folks and feeling pretty whole and cohesive as a person. Last time, I was really worried about my social life. That hasn’t even changed–it’s probably gotten worse.
The circumstances I was currently in weren’t defining me.
For once! For once.
Anyway, her office, which is in this holistic multi-use office, had moved across the hall to a smaller space. I sat down on the smaller couch as I waited for her to bring a cup of water.
When she came back, I was ready to get into it, and she was too.
But I had to backtrack, amend what I was going to say. I couldn’t just say, ugh, this guy I live with is icky and I want to live by myself. Now it became, wow, I don’t feel safe in my own home because this guy completely lost his shit, twice, in less than a week.
And…those episodes wasn’t traumatizing, really. My clinical background somehow saved me and also helped me to connect the dots–>
forgetting my name multiple times–>poor dishwashing habits –>smoking inside many times –>ashing on our green porch –>yelling at himself or someone a few times–>having poor personal boundaries with my things–>wanting to talk to me all the time–>responding with verbal abuse–>schizophrenia.
That knowledge let 9 months of annoyance and energy drain collapse into relief and anger. Relief that this guy isn’t just evil and clueless. He’s unwell and unmedicated.
And enabled. By the other roommate and by the inactivity of the owners who are just fine with taking money from an SSDI recipient because they know the money will be stable.
They can assuage the pain beating in their pink liberal hearts and take pity on the man who lived in the woods for 12 years, but not pump any blood to actually help him.
And, well–armed with this clinical revelation, I tried to make a change. He was supposed to admit himself into the hospital by yesterday. This leathery bag of chronic coughs is still in this house.
When I came back from therapy and saw that I had gotten a package, he was outside, on the porch, smoking and ashing on it.
“You have a package,” he lowly bellowed. It was the first thing I saw, sitting on the marble pedestal by the door. If he was actually looking me, instead of looking for his next Axis II fix, he would have seen me look at that first as I silently walked to the mailbox to get the (mostly junk) mail.
“You-you have a package!” he said more loudly as I pursed my look in my mother’s look of part annoyance-part-I-guess-I-need-to-honor-your-presence-sack-of-carbon.
I took my package and walked inside.
This guy, who had called me a piece of shit and god knows what other epithets, had the everloving gall to speak to me.
He’s one sick motherfucker.
I’ll be honest, about therapy–because I have a BA in psychology, because I wanted to be a child psychiatrist, because I was social worker, because I researched kids in child welfare, because I’ve been doing therapy on and off since I was 21–I tend to love talking shop in a meta way. To talk about my own clinical make-up, about the clinical make-up of others, it’s almost like I’m doing the job of the therapist.
When I had come to my therapist the last time, I realized that I didn’t really need her for clinical insight. I already knew the answers. I just needed her support.
Today was similar. I had told her that moving was going to stepwise–first out of this house, and then out-of-state, most likely to that place which continues to call me, like incessant sirens, trying to guide me away from certain shipwreck.
Besides her support, I wanted her to give some practical insight about moving, and she did give a town that I could possibly move to. But she told me how my eyes lit up when I told her about the beach.
Either way, it’s probably best I get the fuck out of the Dodge.
I came away with a couple of practical things and a few insights.
- I need to go work elsewhere more often. I know this, but I don’t want to spend the money. But I need to do it.
- Something I need to do more of–look for housing every day, 30 to 60 minutes.
- An insight about the landlady–from my therapist’s experience, younger social workers, such as the landlady, seem to be more skittish around actual clinical work. So she is not surprised that she didn’t pick up on those manipulative Axis II vibes that this person is exuding out of his tan-skinned pores.
- It was interesting how I kept talking about poverty when I have some money–right now, anyway. A client later today asked me to invoice him for the writing I need to do while he’ll be on vacation. I know that my time in Florida has been marked with housing hardship, but it’s hard to see how things are getting better, better enough to start over, even with a shitty credit score.
- And then there’s the pattern of saving the day. When I realized last night that I was probably not going to get a follow-up from the landlady on the schizophrenic anymore, that there would only be more enabling and excusing, I gave up–and my therapist gave me permission to do just that, to hang up my cape, to be a fierce advocate for myself, like I was for my clients years ago.
So after, my therapist sat with me for a couple minutes as we waited for my ride to arrive, which was nice for her to do. And then my ride took me to Wawa–was this an accidental Eagles celebration? I just wanted carbs. I got some Valentine’s doughnuts and other things.
And then, I made it home.
The rest of the day isn’t that important to write about, but I’m just glad one person in this town gives a shit about what happens to me.
And, there’s really some solid hope here now. There’s the hope that I’ll leave here, sooner than later. But there’s the hope that I won’t be dealing with terrible roommates ever again. Even bigger than that, there’s the hope that my new normal will not have anymore crazy, tragic stories.
What’s been strange about this week, and last week too, is watching things start to blossom, things that were dormant for months. In the midst of barely contained chaos is some real beauty, some real connection, some real longevity.
And well, I thought for year that when I was 40, things would start come together. I never knew how or why, but only that they would.
And now, they are.
All the things. Coming together. For good.
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