Over time, I tried to ignore the uncomfortable feelings I had in our place, or I would make it a point to be out of the apartment as much as possible by hanging out with friends. Even on certain days off I’d have a whole day away with my D&D Pathfinder Campaign, which at the time was a godsend for me. Then when I began looking for work again, I was at the apartment more often trying not to spend, and applying for jobs. Feeling stuck there was suffocating me.
It was so intense that I even experienced one of the worst panic attacks of my life one night while watching TV alone waiting for James to get off work. I was paranoid, anxious, and couldn’t sit for more than a few minutes. The sensation was very similar to when you were in school trying to pass a note to a friend and you were being watched like a hawk so it was always nerve-wracking to find the right moment to pass it. I honestly felt like someone was watching me, and that was a first. Yes, I’m a natural scaredy-cat, but this was 100x worse.
I did get another job, but by then it was too late; I was miserable and terrified in this place and it felt like it had a hold on me; like I would never be free. Some of you are probably thinking that is crazy, because I could just wait for the lease to be up and then we’d move again. However, we had moved so much in the past 2 years alone, that it was scary to imagine doing it again so soon for one, and two, we would need to save up and come up with a plan to move somewhere else which wasn’t going to happen while James was working, I was working, and neither of us had time to go and explore possible new homes in other states.
In terms of the weird happenings… There were a few times that I had sworn I’d closed a cabinet, and then I would return to the kitchen later to get something and it would be open again. I have an awful memory, so at first I just thought I was that forgetful, but after it happened a few times I was sure my memory wasn’t that bad.
Another unexplainable incident involved the shower curtain. I like to keep it open (it’s a weird thing I have about open doors etc. being less scary than closed curtains and doors) and I generally only close it if we are expecting guests. I was home on my day off, and had just taken a shower. Opened the curtain to get out and go change. A few hours after running errands and watching a bit of TV, I go to the bathroom and the curtain is closed. James was at work; he hadn’t been home since I showered, so it was odd and pretty unsettling to say the least. At the time I thought maybe I closed it earlier and forgot to reopen it for some reason, but part of me was sure I hadn’t closed it. For anyone who thinks it was Zeus, it certainly wasn’t. He’s not the brightest, and he’s way too lazy to close a shower curtain.
So maybe I’ve made myself sound insane, and that’s fine. What I know is my truth, and if you are focusing on the logic or facts, you have missed the point. It didn’t matter what was actually real; it mattered how I felt about these events. To any friends or family reading, I apologize for not sharing this as I was trying to prevent any possible judgment or mockery about it, and I was also partially in denial to try to alleviate the pressure I felt there, hoping it might just dissipate. As you might guess, it did not help. Denial is never the answer, kids. The heavy darkness I felt on my back only got heavier and darker as time passed, and it was one of the larger factors that led to my current status.
I do miss my boys dearly, but being back in the state, even for just a couple of days was torturous and though I had a slight hope that I wouldn’t feel the same about that apartment as I did before I left, I knew deep down that I would always feel that way. I did enjoy my little family reunion in the time we did have, and snuggles on the couch with Zeus and James were a brief respite from the overall experience of being in that place again.