Sunday, August 24, 2014

Appreciation

I've been very lucky for the past 3 months, after being given word back in June that my boss wanted to make me a temp-to-perm employee. As I've said, all benefits kick in this coming Tuesday.

Aside from just the past 3 months as a result of good job news, I've also been feeling fairly content for the past year or so due to both a backlog of money from freelance work way back in 2012, plus an inexplicable change in the residents of the apartment complex I've lived in since 2010. Within months after I moved in to these apartments, there was first an aggressive dick next door who constantly played his music super-loud and wouldn't change his behavior even after I talked to him. Luckily, he moved out fairly quickly. He was followed by a passive young guy who was also loud and incredibly, sloppily fucked up. I once passed by his open door and witnessed garbage lying everywhere --- once he moved out, also quickly, the roaches that had been feasting on his waste quickly spread over into my apartment. It took weeks of roach treatments to get rid of the infestation. This outer disgustingness completely mirrored my inner feelings --- I was a loser who couldn't find a real job, I deserved the shitty neighbors that I had.

For the past year or so, though, my apartment complex has been almost completely quiet. Scumbags gone. It took months, though, for me to relax once I came home... I was always "on alert," waiting for something to be tense about. Similarly, when I first moved in in 2010, the neighbors living in the house behind my apartment were also aggressively obnoxious --- firecrackers 'til 3am on holidays, etc. They, too, have not been much heard from recently.

In short, I was in full PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)-mode from 2010 until about 2013. Which included my relations with Sandra. When she first contacted me in 2008 back in NYC, things were exciting and fun for about 2 months. Then, all sorts of creepy emotional shit started kicking in... What random guy she was sleeping with, etc.

While I was in "Fear Mode" in NYC, her behavior seemed to fit right in with my circumstances. I was fighting for survival there, not feeling very secure about anything. I desperately needed SOME anchor, had none, wanted her to be one... She wasn't at all. She was as flighty as what was going on around me. Same with once I was forced to come home to Austin. I then desperately needed some support from someone... Nothing. Nothing.

Things have calmed down for me now. I'm able to take a step back and look honestly at what I'd been through for the past few years... I'm actually horrified by Sandra's behavior toward me. And horrified at myself for how I let her affect me. My old poetry professor David Wevill giving a rare reading at UT a couple of years ago, for example... When I told Sandra about it, wanting her to go with me (we'd both been in his class back in the '80s), she first said that she wouldn't be able to go... and then went anyway, not telling me... while I was at home that night crying. What kind of shitty person does that? When I was feeling like shit myself, I was very tolerant of others' shitty behavior --- I felt like a loser, like I didn't deserve any better. In my current frame of mind: What she did was awful. And there were multiple "awful" things that followed.

I was desperate for some human connection, in lieu of nothing else working out in my life... My now having a new satisfying job is, on the surface, shallow... But in reality, it's actually quite meaningful psychologically: My boss likes me and appreciates my good work. I'm incredibly thankful, after years of knowing what it's like NOT to be appreciated for ANYTHING.

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