No, this is not a docudrama on the perils of standing on stage props, poor Marilyn Manson. I loathe everything that man stands for, but I have to admit-the poor CD sales, his broken ankle on the first night of his Heaven Upside Down tour; then the attempt to climb a stage prop of two guns pointed in different directions which resulted in the whole works crushing him-well, that’s a shame, as Jerry Seinfeld would say. I must admit I did chuckle at first, not that I am gloating, but man o’ day-what do you expect when Satan is the god you serve? It is my prayer that as he recuperates, he has a change of heart-but that’s another story and I am sidetracked.
We were up in the jaw dropping beauty of the Adirondack mountains, on lake Algonquin. Prior to the trip, I was an anxious and traumatized mess: fake news of the September 23 Armageddon, the flea situation, the hurricanes, the fear of flying high and actually enjoying life for a change-all of this led to a reoccurrence of my PTSD symptoms. In 25 years my husband and I had not had a “real” vacation together, and as we hit the state of New York, my nerves began to mellow, I was beginning to exhale and I cannot praise God enough for His part in getting us there.
Prior to leaving, we had ripped out carpet, vacuumed every crevice, and at 5:30 in the morning I sprayed the last of the flea killer, and closed up shop. My “best friend” of twenty-five years was taking care of my only indoor cat, Maya Angelou. She was to feed her in the evening-I had no problems trusting a grown woman, RN and administrator of a local veteran’s hospital-I left food and instructions on the table. My in laws were right across the street. What could possibly go wrong? As it turned out? Plenty.
On our third evening there, I turned on my cell phone. I had planned to stay away from my phone, social media, news venues and the like. I needed to heal, and I wanted to spare my husband the constant freak outs about the world in which we live. For whatever reason, I felt a nudge to check to see if all was well in the state of Pennsylvania. I was relaxed, happy and hadn’t self-harmed in days. My body was repairing itself, and I looked forward to the next leg of our journey. We were to spread dad’s ashes on Lake Pleasant, hike Auger Falls, dine in a lovely five star restaurant, and I hadn’t seen Dwain so happy in ages.
The text read-‘Hi sweetheart. Just wanted you to know that I was over to feed Maya this morning (what? My father in law was assigned the mornings, why was she even there on a Sunday morning?) and I was wearing white pants. I was covered in fleas. Is there anything you would like me to do?’
Holy mother Mary, mother of Jesus, and Joseph!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She went on to say that the only room she had been in was the kitchen. I text her back immediately, telling her to please turn on the air conditioner, asking if she wouldn’t mind setting off a bomb or two DOWNSTAIRS, as Maya the cat stays in the bedroom. The very reason we hadn’t set off anything upstairs. I phoned her and left a message, telling her where the vacuum cleaner was, and also reassuring her that I would make this up to her.
In less than the five minutes it took me to do this, my blood pressure sky high, my mellow harshed-I became hysterical-worried about the cat, my friend, the house………it was like being shot from a cannon, and I immediately regressed and began tearing at my skin, bawling like a child, inconsolable. My husband was livid. Why? Why would she text me this news? How could she be so cruel? Was she not capable of figuring this out on her own. And then it hit me. THERE WERE NO FLEAS IN THE KITCHEN. I KNOW THIS BECAUSE IT WAS ONE OF THE ONLY ROOMS THAT THE DOG AND CAT WERE COMFORTABLE IN. There was nary a flea in my abode when we left for New York. My husband took me in his arms, shush honey, it’s okay, I’ll call my father, we will get through this, shhhush baby…….he was in touch with his dad immediately, and Tom was to set off a bomb in the kitchen. Relief warmed my muscles, the blood returned to my face.
I phoned my brother and told him I would call him when we returned. I wanted him to know that I was turning said phone off and would not even look at it until our return. When we were unpacking, the phone must have fallen out of my purse, and there it remained for three days. I had bought my “friend” a lovely gift for tending to my feline. I flicked on my phone to call her to see if she was home, but was immediately stopped dead in my tracks. She had left three voicemails and a text. She had called each night of our stay, and then left another text:
“If you EVER get around to checking your messages, there are still a number of fleas in the kitchen. THANK YOU.”
Appalled, I thought back to the many times I had given her the benefit of the doubt when she belittled me. Because of low self esteem I had clung to her advice, and many times I felt her to be intentionally cruel and callous. One Summer I had given her a pair of earrings. I took great care in picking them out, lovely avocado halves, expensive but worth it. Days went by and I finally called her to ask if she liked the gift:
“Please give them to one of your nieces. I will put them on the porch.”
Many, many times I had asked myself if it were possible that she was a narcissist. That is not a term I use lightly, and I pushed the thoughts out of my head immediately. I thought back to the day I called her, the day my sister sent me the email that would end our relationship. I had told my sister my feelings, for the first time in, well, ever. I was hysterical, crushed at the idea of losing my blood, my world upside down, I cried out to her.
“You fucked up Michele. You fucked up.” The harder I cried in protest, the louder and meaner her words.
Jesus has taken the scales off of my peepers. I have learned that highly sensitive and empathetic, albeit broken people are subject to being surrounded by the Jezebel Spirit. But I am stronger and wiser now. She is a part of my past, and there will be no confrontation, because at the end of the day, that is exactly what she wants.