Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Where are the Adults?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In the last twenty-four hours I have been asking myself the question "Where are the adults?"  When I pose this question I mean to reference not just people here in Minneapolis but also America as a whole. I am currently ensnared in a situation in which my landlord has served me notice of eviction.  I do not know his full reasoning for his decision and I doubt that I would find out even if I were to ask him directly.  Unfortunately the situation is quite complex.  And I am convinced that his motives are much more murky than he would admit to.  It's a stressful, disgusting situation and I am vowing to myself that this will be the last time I ever am compelled to deal with such a horrible landlord.

I have been wondering where the adults are because I am convinced (and I feel rightly so) that the eviction is being precipitated in part by my decision to publicly disclose the dysfunctional behavior of a local arts organization in which my landlord serves as a member of said organization's Board of Directors.  Last month he indicated his intention to evict me in a sudden burst of words that lasted no more than a minute.  I couldn't even take the time to discuss the matter more thoroughly with him because he had to go off to work.  I later apprised myself of my rights and learned that verbal notification of eviction is not legally valid; a landlord must provide written notice of eviction for it to be valid.  I thus decided to let the issue go because I (wrongly) assumed my landlord actually was aware of the laws that govern how he should conduct himself as someone who rents out part of his home in a major city.  I assumed incorrectly and yesterday I learned that I had.

So now I find myself in yet another maelstrom of chaos and am faced with the challenge of deciding how to proceed.  Given the conduct of a number of members of this arts organization, as well as the difficult position I feel I was put in due to my landlord's conduct, I decided I would publicly share the statement I recently composed and submitted to the organization expressing my severe displeasure and upset with how I have been treated since I made a complaint about the group earlier this year.  So I posted my statement on Facebook.  In my statement I acknowledged my diagnosis of PTSD from earlier this year.  And yet despite the fact that I made it very clear just how severe my challenges have been in recent months I still received disrespectful messages from two separate members who are active members in the organization.  One came from a man I considered a good friend.  That relationship is now over.

I assume there is some prevailing sentiment among members of the organization that a sufficient quantity of harassment will eventually cause me to cease and desist, turn around and run away in fear.  But I only feel more emboldened to publicly expose the extreme dysfunction within the organization as the insults and cruelty mount.

I find this situation especially painful because it reminds me so much of much of my childhood in which I did not feel safe in my own home.  Only this year did I finally awaken to the anxiety I was feeling day after day, week after week and month after month while growing up with my father.  To deal with the pain I dissociated from my body.  I did not realize until recently that I was experiencing something of a partial out-of-body experience for protracted periods of time.  Now that I am becoming fully conscious and feeling myself in my body much of the time I am aware of this horrible amount of pain I was trying to cope with by not feeling it.

As I became aware of the pain I was carrying around (but not fully present to) I simultaneously began to feel enormous grief that I was so consciously unaware of the pain I was carrying around for so long.  My awareness of my grief is still a much more recent phenomenon.  And so now I am faced with the challenge of addressing the grief I feel while simultaneously coping with the coming holidays, my lack of employment and now, as of yesterday, the issue with my landlord.

As I began to become more deeply aware of my pervasive grief I quickly began to ponder what options exist for me to move through my grief.  I came to conclude some time ago that there is no "right" way to grieve.  As I have felt at times overwhelmed by the experience of so much lost time in my life I have found myself at different moments feeling almost paralyzed by grief.  And thus it seems the antidote I naturally created was movement.  In the last week I have been a bit of a gym bunny.  I have come to the YMCA (where I am sitting now to compose this) more days than not and gone swimming, done physical therapy, run around the track and so on.  Today I did twenty-two laps in the pool with the assistance of flippers.  I feel much better after doing so much "movement therapy".  I can think more clearly and concentrate better than I could earlier today.  I am continuing to take my medication and I feel that there really is nothing I can be doing that I am not already doing.

I have been praying for a long time to find solace, healing and a way forward from the darkness of my past that has haunted me for so long.  Perhaps that path is about to open to me and I do not yet see it.  Perhaps I am already on it but I cannot clearly discern I am on it because I feel so consumed by the pain and chaos of the current moment.  What I do know is that I am doing everything I can humanly do to move forward...and yet as I become more resolute and committed to moving forward no matter what  it seems that the scale of the obstacles grows in proportion to my own determination.  It seems so surreal. If I have any readers who have ever experienced such a weird phenomenon I would welcome hearing from you to learn more about what your own experience has been.

When I experience this apparent increase in "opposition" to my own determination I then find myself wondering if I am just creating a story in my own mind that has no objective basis in reality.  And it also seems more than a little bit harsh that we would all be living in such a world where an extremely deep intention and commitment to heal would ironically be met with more massive obstacles in the way of that goal.

I cannot overstate how exasperated I still feel with so much of my life though.  I feel as if I live in an entire nation governed by many, many people who behave with the maturity of five year olds.  Witnessing the behavior of our illustrious Congress last month as the federal government partially shut down for a period of time was just one example I cite here of how we no longer seem to be a nation of adults who actually behave as if they are adults.  I can see that another aspect of my own grief is the feeling of not being able to be a child when I actually was one.

I will shortly be venturing out into the dusky evening and chill winds to meet a friend at the local Aliveness Project.  I am grateful for all that I still have in my life.  I pray that one day I will be the person I wish to be and be living the life I wish to live.

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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!