Things Have Taken a (Mental) Turn for the Worse

I am in a terrible place lately. My suicidal thoughts have increased dramatically. I have started hurting myself again. I am getting help. But I feel like saying it isn’t enough. Putting it here, in writing, is like a contract to myself. I am doing something about it, but I wanted to post about it as well. Especially since everybody on social media is posting that copy-and-paste “I am a safe space” thing for mental health awareness. Saying that is all well and fine, and may work for some people. But I know that for myself, personally, I would never take somebody up on that. I wouldn’t want to bother them with something as menial as me. I would feel like I was imposing, despite them posting that. I felt guilty even mentioning to my husband, the man that I have lived with for 5 years, that I wasn’t well. Thankfully, he knows me enough to know that I must have been really serious to say anything. Normally I just bury it and say “it’s fine” which everyone knows is not.

Yes, it is great to offer up a blanket support statement of “anybody can reach out to me.”

But some people who are suffering are not able to do that.

Since I feel worthless, why would I waste your time when there are other people you could be helping?

Just tossing this out there for other people to think about.

It’s like with dogs. Some dogs will walk right up to you to let you pet them and play with them. Others need you to approach them first, with care and caution, before they will play.

An “open door” policy doesn’t seem like that to some people. It actually presents itself as even more of a challenge. Which results in people not actually reaching out despite needing to. Sometimes you have to reach out specifically.

“But I meant my message. Anybody can come to me.”

No. Some people cannot. Not because of you. Because of them.

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It’s Opening Night

The show opens up tonight.

I did really well at the rehearsal on Wednesday. I know that I have done all that I can and am confident in my own performance. I cannot make that same statement for someone else in my cast.

I was not able to attend last night’s rehearsal, due to Open House at my school. I am hoping (despite all odds pointing to ‘no’), that the other actor had pulled himself together and finally learned his part.

As of Wednesday, he had finally learned most of the middle scenes but magically forgot the entirety of the last scene.

My character is crazy by that point and they are throwing her out despite her not wanting to go. So I can’t even cue him along.

“Are you about to throw me out?”

“Yes, we are throwing you out!”

“No! I won’t go!”

That doesn’t really work.

You know what actually bothers me the most?

The director is always getting on me if I am even off the slightest bit with paraphrasing or skipping one word. If I say “Go away! Leave me alone.” and the line is actually “Just leave me alone!”, they will stop rehearsal to correct me. And then make a note again at the end that I need to look at my lines.

But he doesn’t know whole chunks and they never even say anything along the lines of “Maybe you could look at your lines.”

I suppose they think that obviously he must know he needs to look at his lines since he doesn’t know any. That doesn’t seem to be the case, though.

I had been really excited about the fact that I was finally going to be the last one to get to do my bows, too. The bow order in shows goes from the smallest part to the lead. In my adult acting career (outside of school shows), I have been near the end, even second to last, before. But this would be my first show to really get to take the final bow.

Except.

The director decided to have me bow second to last.

The guy who hasn’t learned his lines is getting to bow last.

 

 

I am frustrated. This show has ended up being some of my very best acting work to date. But if he doesn’t do his part, it won’t matter.

My Show Opens on Friday

Our play opens up on Friday.

I know my lines and my part pretty well. I know all of my blocking. I have all of my costumes.

But I am not ready for the show to open.

Here’s why:

This is my first time doing a play again since before I got pregnant. With this marking my return to getting to act on stage, I really want it to go well. Therefore, I have put a lot of effort into not letting my cast mates (or myself, if I am being honest) down.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for a few people in the cast.

One lady was really struggling with her lines a lot and kept saying she was working on them. We all offered to help and she never took us up on it. Thankfully, she has actually gotten much better in the past few days, so she is getting there.

But there is one man in the play who really does not know his lines at all. Out of the 6 different scenes, I would say he is 75% correct and confident in 1 of them. He is probably 50% in 2 more. He is about a third of the way there in 2 more.

And there is one scene that he maybe remembers two of his lines? He doesn’t know ANYTHING for that scene.

And… His part is a major part. His character is leading the rest of us on an experiment. His character is often informing our characters of things we don’t know. So it isn’t like we can even help out by hinting to him (which is what often happens when someone is dropping lines all over the place – the other actors help guide them towards their lines).

We are down to our final three rehearsals. And I actually cannot be at the one on Thursday since it is Open House at the school I work at.

I may be ready, but the show is not.

The Wall Collapsed

Pouring rain woke us up. And then…

CRASH.

The wall collapsed. The wall we have been trying to get our landlord to fix since it started cracking during Harvey last year.

There are bricks all over. We actually can’t get out right now. My husband went out the side door to try to move all the piles of bricks.

HARVEY NEVER ENDS.

We Lost Another House

They countered our offer. We accepted. Last minute cancel.

Meanwhile, our landlord finally came with someone to look at the falling apart wall. Told us “not to touch it, because it is unstable.”

Uh. Duh. Anybody looking at the wall can see that. It is LITERALLY cracking and crumbling from the inside out.

It actually struck me that it is a pretty good metaphor for my life currently.

  • Giving the facade of being useful/doing my job
  • Weakened from the inside
  • Cracking at the seams
  • Falling apart

I actually took a picture of it the other morning, because the pure irony made me laugh. I am going to make a meme for myself.

Definitely not feeling this new job. The school board changed the school’s hours in August and I am seeing less of my family than when I supposedly had a more demanding job. Getting out of this house and into a new one was something I was pinning everything on. It would make it worth it.

Welp. That has clearly backfired.

More cracks in my foundation as everything just seems to wear down on me heavier than normal.

Without anything to really look forward to, I am not sure how much my facade can keep up before I do actually just fall apart.

It Is the Anniversary of Harvey

It began to pour this morning and I felt my heart skip several beats.

Oh no. Not this. Not again.

After about 30 minutes, it tapered off to a steady sprinkle and I felt a huge sigh of relief escape me.

At this time last year, we were in the midst of Hurricane Harvey. Even thinking about it now is really hard for me. I do not want to go into details, because I still am terrified of all that happened. I was a mess during it for multiple reasons, but here is a very brief summary:

  • I am terrified of drowning
  • My daughter was only 5 months old and clearly couldn’t swim
  • We have two cats
  • We had water in our house

 

Obviously we are alive. But that is not one of those things that you just forget. As it had been getting closer and closer, so many TV channels were airing things called “Remembering Harvey” and “Recovery: 1 Year Later”, etc. Don’t worry. We haven’t forgotten.

One of my friends was rescued off of her roof with her two little children. Another was on the third floor of her apartment building, on her balcony, and jumped into a boat. Another was rescued from her attic. I have friends whose houses were completely destroyed with no chance for repair. Others, like us, who were able to get the major problems taken care of and were only displaced temporarily.

Things start to become your “new normal”. But then all of these shows pop up in case you forgot. We hadn’t, but suddenly our traumatic experiences are becoming entertainment. We aren’t watching these shows because we still vividly remember it. I don’t need to see the pictures of the flooded streets. I distinctly remember the water on the cars on our own street.

So it gets you even more amped up.

“What if it happens again? They said it was a hundred-year-storm, but what if this is the start of a new hundred years?”

Trust me, we bought extra things for our “Hurricane Kit” this year! Things we, hopefully, won’t need. Things like toddler flotation devices, a tent in case we need to camp out on our roof. We are honestly debating buying some kind of kayak or something.

This time last year was a series of panic attacks for me, one directly after the other. I am indirectly reliving everything and feeling like I may have some again, second-hand almost. Just the constant memory and reminders is anxiety inducing.

I used to love the sound of the rain. Now I cannot stand it and it speeds up my heart.

We Are Trying to Buy a House

We have rented the house we currently live in for two years. It really is a nice house, but not a “permanent” home for us. We used to think it could be and hoped that maybe the landlords would eventually sell it to us. They said they were not looking to sell. But there have been more and more issues with the house lately.

A few days ago, our landlord did ask us what our offer would be so he could consider it. He had recently been looking at repairing a huge problem on the house. So this made me think “Aha! That problem is quite costly and difficult to deal with and he may consider selling to not have to deal with it.” He didn’t say this, of course, but the timing was obvious. We looked at comparable houses in the neighborhood and in similar condition in terms to needs of repairing and more. We told him what we would offer. We figured he didn’t realize we knew the actual value of the home and was hoping we would be willing to offer more. He has yet to respond. That proved it to us. Since we didn’t offer more, he isn’t willing to deal with it.

Yeah. Sorry, buddy. We know what the neighborhood goes for on homes that don’t need repair. But that isn’t this house. We are way more than aware that foundation issues in a house ain’t cheap. We know about the issues with the deck that you still haven’t fixed despite it being a year since Hurricane Harvey. Remember? We were the ones living here during that. We know where the wall busted in and had a hole from outdoors to inside and caused us to get mold. We know where the ceiling has an issue. This house will be costly to fix.

Why do we know all this? Because we have been working with a realtor over the past month and are looking at homes to buy. Our landlord is not aware of this.

We had, actually, put an offer in on a home in the neighborhood. It was a good price and in good condition. It was accepted and we were so excited. Until the inspection happened. We thought it would go great. After all, the sellers were living in the house still. When we looked at it before we made our offer, their dog was there!

Let’s just say there were major problems.

  • Previous foundation repairs that they denied
  • Faulty wiring throughout
  • Rotten wood in areas
  • Breaker box issues
  • The water pipes were completely rusted through in the back of the house and you could not get any water in the master bathroom

We countered with an addendum asking for certain repairs (note: not all) or price decrease. They countered back with the slightest decrease ever (we are talking $2000) and a snippy letter stating that “You have to understand that the house was not built in the last 10 years. We refuse to do any repairs on these items since they are non-essential.”

Oh. I hadn’t realized that water was non-essential. Silly me!

Turns out, the sellers weren’t actually living in the house anymore. They had just left some stuff to make it appear that they were. A facade to make naive buyers go “oh, well, if they were living without water in that bathroom, it can’t be that bad! We can fix it eventually.”

I have a toddler. She takes baths. We need water.

How do I know they weren’t actually living in the house anymore? Sleuthing, my dear Doctor Watson! While the inspection was going on and he was making all of his notes, I was walking around and planning where I would put all of our furniture. I couldn’t help but notice some odd things.

  • 5 out of 6 dining room chairs were broken and couldn’t support more weight than a purse.
  • The oven was so new that it had never been used. You could tell this by the signs inside from the manufacturer.
  • In the master closet, there were weird clothing items. Like a bunch of shoes, but not all of them had matches. Winter coats and nothing else, which would make your outfits ridiculous in the 100 degree weather we constantly have.
  • The dresser was completely empty, so they clearly were not getting dressed here.
  • No towels, but they had half a bar of soap in the guest bath to make it look like someone was showering there.
  • No TVs, computers, coffee machines, electronics of any kind.
  • Canned goods in the pantry and soda in the fridge, but no perishable food. And no dishes, cups, pots, pans, utensils.

They must have been stopping by once a week to slightly tweak things to make it look “lived in” and brought their dog over right before any showing to give that same impression.

Incredibly sneaky in a clever, manipulative way.

We backed out of the house.

It still hasn’t sold.

I wonder why?

We had almost put an offer in on another house, but were told someone beat us to it. They said we could try to outbid them, if we wanted. We did not. Hence, we went for the “Facade House”.

But this other house was still showing up in our online portal as for sale. We contacted our realtor, who contacted the sellers’ agent. Apparently the buyers had backed out before the inspection for other reasons. They had received an offer that day, but had showings scheduled this weekend, so were going to wait to look at all offers until the start of next week.

We decided to put in an offer today.

Now let me just say, we have no intent of getting into a bidding war. We do not actually believe there was another offer. We think this might be a selling tactic to try to prevent us from submitting below asking price. “If they offered more, we won’t get the house!” Which is an actual thing that happens. But for it to happen literally the day we were shown the house (and told about it 20 minutes after we finished the showing) and then again the day we inquired as to its new status? It is perfectly possible it is true, but unlikely.

I guess we will find out?

I don’t want to get my hopes up too high, just in case. Lesson learned from the last one, I suppose. I was literally taking video in the rooms of the “Facade House” where I would pan the room and say what I thought could go where. And then the inspector talked to me. And all the air in my balloon of excited-soon-to-be-homeowner-ness seeped out. I really thought they might consider doing the few repairs we requested. You know, the water pipes? Because even if they decided they didn’t like us for finding out their rusted secret, they weren’t going to be able to sell this house at a “move in ready” price with that issue. Each new buyer was going to find out the same information and request a similar addendum.

I deleted the videos.

It was really rough for a bit, because I had been so excited about moving. We would have been near our closing date right now. Packing everything up. Gearing up to start the autumn off in our new home. Planning the holidays there.

I am trying to stay neutral.

 

 

 

But I really do hope they accept our offer.