I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be,
but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.
— Douglas Pagels

Monday, September 10, 2018

Another week in the absolute fiasco that is my life

September 3rd: I was at the grocery store across the street from my apartment loading my car. An obviously drug-impaired young man followed me to my car and tried to get in it. I locked the door quickly so he couldn't get in, and he threatened to shoot me. Unfortunately, the windows were down. He reached for the lock inside to try to unlock it, I yelled at him, and he threatened to shoot me again; specifically, "You 'bout to get blowed!" while reaching toward his cargo pants pocket.

I yelled at him again, loud enough that other people in the parking lot could hear me, and he ran off. I went home, called the police to report it, attached my pepper spray to my key chain, put a knife in my car, and ordered a taser. I hate weapons, but this is the third time I've been threatened in this god-forsaken town so I clearly need to arm myself in an attempt to stay safe. I'll probably never use any of it. As you can see, I'm more likely to argue myself dead than actually harm anyone.

September 4/5: Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall in my area. I lost power for a little over 12 hours, but was otherwise fine.

September 7-ish: I started having trouble breathing in the front half of my apartment. I was already having trouble breathing outside of it (for quite a while) because all of my neighbors smoke in our shared breezeway. Neighbors from other buildings also come over and sit in the breezeway and smoke. I am both allergic to it and a serious risk of respiratory failure due to Periodic Paralysis, so this is a double whammy of misery for me. Now I can't breathe inside my own damn apartment (for the second time...if you've been here long enough, you know this happened when I first moved in also). It seems that the new neighbor (that I share a wall with) is smoking indoors, and it is somehow making its way into my space.

Today the 10th was the worst day yet, as I was sick from the smell to the point that I was trying to catch my breath, lost my voice (it's still gone 8 hours later), and can't breathe out of my nose at all. My throat is thick and feels like it's a millimeter wide. I contemplated the ER. I reported it to management, who has ignored the nationwide smoking ban in public housing, and refused to acknowledge it. I let them know I was aware of the ban, sobbed on the picnic table outside the office, packed my bag, and came over to my older brother's house, where I am now. His house is also an allergen problem, but I had to get away from the apartment. 

After talking with a couple of organizations, I think I'm trapped in an unfortunate loophole that allows property owners to ignore certain regulations. However, I am under a HUD subsidy and it is HUD's job to provide safe housing for people with disabilities, so meeting with them is the next step. Their office is five hours north, and I'm not optimistic that I'll receive the help I need without an attorney. I have experience as a federal paralegal, so that is an advantage, but my illnesses are going to make this situation much, much harder. I'm not even supposed to be under any stress.

I wish I had never been born.

How has your week been?