New Neighbors, New Neighborhood

I am so incredibly overwhelmed right now.  Today has been a chaotic day with an incredibly chaotic ending, and it’s not even completely over yet.  I know I hadn’t been writing much because, well, lots of reasons, writing, NaNoWriMo, and all kinds of other chaos.  Today I finally have a minute, so it’s time to write.  I need it for my sanity.  It’s way overwhelming out there.

Most of our stuff has been moved over to the new place.  It’s good to know that most of our old house is closed down and I won’t have to deal with it anymore, but at the same time, I’m almost wishing for the problems of that place.  It was peaceful there, quiet, and completely not like this place at all.  Here it’s kind of a mad house, especially today since there’s a party.

The whole day started out okay, at least until the point at which the people delivering our beds and dining room set got involved.  They called and said they would be here in about an hour.  That was at eleven.  By noon they weren’t here.  By one they weren’t here.  They finally arrived at almost three, and they didn’t have an order in for the table and chairs.  Well, there went my plans for the weekend, enjoying our table by working on a puzzle together.  That sounded like a good idea, and incredibly chill.  I was going to have to make other plans.

Then I realized I forgot some essential things at the old house if we were going to spend the weekend here.  I packed up pretty much everything I could cram into the car in addition to the pillows I’d forgotten and the bath stuff.  It figures that I still managed to forget the tooth brushes.  On the way home I almost got run off the road because someone wasn’t paying attention to the lane markings on the road.  The old ones started one way, but the fresh new ones picked up and continued a different way.  The person followed the old lane markers and almost hit my car.  This happens almost every time I drive through that section of road.  I know they’re doing road work there, but it’s crazy dangerous.

Feeling all out of sorts and ready to curl up in my nice new bed, I got home to being reminded about my neighbor’s party.  They’re really nice people, but they’re your almost stereotypical blue collar set, that enjoy drinking and being loud.  They have beer pong set up in the back yard and a small outdoor bar.  It was nice being out there for a while, but by five there were enough drunk people that I was feeling it was my cue to bug out.  As I sit here writing this, I can smell the stink of alcohol on me, and I didn’t even have any, nor did any spill on me.  The breath that was breathed on me must have been pretty strong because it lingered.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re very nice people, and I think once I have my dog, I’ll be able to handle it so much better, but until then, I’m ready to go to bed.  I can’t do this today.  I just don’t want to be judged because I’m not pushing myself to be out there.  If I could handle it, I think I would.  I need to learn to be social, but I really don’t think I can.  There’s just too many people and too much chaos.

The crowning moment for my meltdown was the realization that they’re roasting a pig.  Aside from the fact that I don’t eat pork, I don’t eat food that has a face.  I have a hard enough time eating roast chicken or turkey because it causes a panic attack when I realize just what I’m carving off of.  I can’t possibly eat a roast pig.  I felt sick when I looked out and saw it slapped down on the table, waiting to be put on the spit.  I had to leave.  I couldn’t watch them do it.  I thought I could handle it better when the pig was already roasting.  I’d seen that before at Greek festivals and the like, but it wasn’t.  All I could think was how it looked like burned human flesh in the dim light and the smell of roast pig, while delicious to some, turned my stomach.  That was the final factor that sent me running back inside the house, ready to hide.

The sad thing is I was trying to do something to help myself through it.  The neighbors have a beautiful German shepherd.  He’s big, bold, and sweet as can be, though the kids sometimes overwhelm him and he barks.  It’s been really hard to be open to the possibility that I won’t be able to fund a German shepherd dog with him around.  I don’t want to settle for something else, something lesser.  Okay, so I know it wouldn’t be lesser if it’s the right dog for me, but it always seems like lesser in my mind because it’s what I truly wanted in the first place.  So I was chilling with this dog and suddenly the wind turned and all I could smell was the roast pig.  My littlest started fussing about this point, so attention was drawn in my direction.  I just hit my limit.  It was time to go inside.

(And somewhere in all of that I had to bathe the dirt monsters I call kids so it may be a bit disjointed.)

The party will probably rage on for a while, and I’m happily hiding away in my room, on my new bed.  It’s not the most comfortable of beds, but it’s a bed, and it’s mine, and it’s worlds better than the shelter bed.  It’s going to be strange sleeping without a little one in my bed.  Little one is so excited about having a bed that I’m in a child-free bed.  It’s strange.

Still, I like the place well enough.  I really like the quirky slanted ceilings in the bedrooms.  I like the funky alcove the toilet sits in.  I love the kitchen, as much as it’s not going to be a great shape for a table to go in.  I’ve got my own little office.  We have a game room.  We’ve got a big living room that’s got enough space to really spread out.  The back yard will definitely keep the kids entertained.  It’s a really good space.  I feel comfortable here already, far more comfortable than I ever felt at my last place.  Hell, I feel more comfortable here than most of the places I’ve lived before.  It’s like I’ve been here far longer than I actually have.

Now I just have to figure out how to get my dog.  Once I have my dog, I think I’ll feel so much better about attending these parties.  I’ll have my dog to create space when someone who’s had a bit more alcohol than I’m ready to handle gets too close, not in an inappropriate way, but because they just have no concept of space.  I’ll be able to have my dog guard my back so I’ll no longer go out of my skin when someone walks up behind me, thinking nothing of it, or disappears behind me and out of my view.  I’ll be able to settle in and enjoy it, even if roast pig is a part of the whole deal.  That’s one of the things I noticed tonight, just how much that would have helped.  I think I could have tolerated it longer if I had a dog there to keep me safe.

I was reminded of this yesterday as well, which was a very different experience.  We were walking to the VA pizza dinner when I realized it would be getting dark soon and we were about to walk through the bad section of town, which is saying something because the whole town is really a bad section of town.  Anyhow, there was a drunk woman yelling at another drunk woman, swearing and everything.  Not long after that there was a man who was definitely not right.  He was kind of stumbling as he walked.  He’d stopped at the side of the road a good ways before we got there.  After we passed he was following behind me.  I kept looking behind me, very obviously.  He kept looking very directly at my butt, between the pocket with my phone and the pocket where my wallet was in.  My companion suggested we step to the side of the road for a second because I was losing the wrap carrier I was using to carry my littlest to that point.  I had put down the little one earlier, giving in to a request to walk, then draped the wrap over my neck, along with the extra scarves I used to create a few more warm layers.  We stepped to the side of the road and this guy started to follow me until I turned to full facing him and my companion stepped in front of me.  This guy stumbled past and waited down the road a bit.  As he watched me layer the wrap and scarves around my waist and very deliberately certain to well cover phone and wallet, he decided it wasn’t worth his time and stumbled across the road towards a group of people, after trying to take an alternate road and almost falling flat out.

It was that look, that determined, lustful look that set me off.  I’d seen that look before and it was unsettling.  It shook me and I was suddenly unable to cope.  I managed to make it where we were going, but I was off for the rest of the night.  I didn’t sleep.  I couldn’t.  I just didn’t feel safe.

Now that I’m at the new place, I’m pretty comfortable with the idea of sleeping.  I wish the last of the stuff from our old house was here.  Then I could really be settled.  It was just too late to make another run back to that house, though I’d considered it.  There’s almost no reason to have the movers come to our house before they go to the furniture bank at all at this rate.  I’ve got to be out here on Monday so cable and internet can be installed.  I should be able to fit almost everything in the car then.  Whatever was left over could probably be packed into the car on the day I closed out the old shelter unit.  There is literally that little stuff at the old house.  I’m almost tempted to say screw it and just move it all myself. It just makes more sense.

The place here isn’t perfect.  I can here the neighbors next door a little better than I’d like.  I have every intention of putting stuff up on the walls to at least muffle the effect.  Plus, when there’s more furniture and the place is less cavernous, I’m sure we’ll hear a little less.  On top of that, if the neighbors get loud I can always turn on the television at that rate for background noise to distract me, or get online and write about it here because I’ll have more reliable internet.  I’m definitely ready for this to be over and done with.

Plus, I had a problem with my case manager yesterday.  She was all upset because she called me three times while I was getting my food stamps taken care of.  There was a problem in the way the last person filed it, so I wasn’t going to get any until it was fixed.  She was upset that I didn’t call her back.  Then she showed up at the place a half hour early, complaining that I hadn’t been ready for her appointment.  She’d wanted to close out the unit, which she couldn’t do because we didn’t have beds here.  It was so incredibly frustrating.  I’m just glad it’s all over and I won’t have to deal with her again after Tuesday.

Now I just need the kids to go to sleep.  There’s a rule that food isn’t allowed upstairs.  That means I can’t bring a snack up here, though I’m starving.  I’ve barely eaten all day.  I honestly want them to sleep so I can eat and go to sleep myself.  Even with all the noise downstairs, I think I could easily knock out and be quite happy about it.

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