I realized this morning that 2 days ago it was 4 months since I flew up to Washington, leaving on a very hot July 20, arriving in a very cold northwest to begin a month of what I've come to think of as my Tacoma Tribulation.
It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. Tilting more towards the former.
In the 3 months since I've been back to the relative, relative-free sanity of Texas I've talked to 3 people regarding the "You Can't Go Home Again" syndrome. One of the 3 moved to the South the month before I did, moving from the same county in Washington that I moved from. She moved back to Washington this past June.
It's been months and she's still not re-acclimated to the frigid northwest climate. Or being back "home." She too has experienced the "You Can't Go Home Again" feeling.
The trouble is, when you move away from where you've always lived and you go back, it's sort of like going to a class reunion. The people seem stuck in time. They aren't relating to the current you, but to someone who no longer exists. Like when I was up in Seattle some friends showed up, one dating back to high school. This guy has carried around baggage relating to me for decades. It did not take long for the old neurosis to rear its head. I found it very bizarre to experience.
In Texas all the people I know are real nice to me. It's a very positive, re-enforcing environment. And then I go back to the northwest and it's like being stuck in an insult machine. It was profoundly disturbing. I reacted to it with a hunker down mentality, just bear it, this too shall pass.
One of the worst is one of my relatives. You'd think when they haven't seen you in a couple years that there might be some ability to be pleasant for a short duration. The relative I'm talking about is a very unhappy person, sort of stuck in time, is an alcoholic, bossy, very thin-skinned, yet constantly making offensive, off-putting remarks. No adult ego state has ever formed, the poor thing is perpetually stuck in a very contaminated parental ego state. If I can help it, and I can, I intend to avoid this person for the rest of my life. I see no reason to expose myself to toxins, human or otherwise. Unless they grow up. Which won't happen.
In one of the good things that happened up in Tacoma I shed myself of some bad baggage. It'd been sort of bothering me for awhile, but I didn't quite know if I was right or not. I knew the party in question was toxic. My fear was that daily contact with this toxicity, via the telephone, might be having a deleterious effect on me, to an extent that might be unhealthy. And then, with a month of personal contact, while in Tacoma, it showed me, quite clearly, that this was not a person with whom it was healthy to have any sort of relationship. Mentally ill people really should be as purposefully avoided as any other type of sick person. You don't want to catch what they have. Catch their sickness, next thing you know you weigh half a ton.
The change in my mindset, free of the toxic exposure, in the past 3 months, tells me that my intuition had been correct all along.
In the past the mentally ill would be put in an institution. In modern times, more often than not, they are put on medication. I don't know for sure if this is progress. Unless the pills can totally stifle the illness, I'm thinking that locking them away from those of us who don't need pills might be a better plan. In mental institutions they have all sorts of fun arts and crafts things for the patients to play with.
Well, my little sister, Kristin and Max & Blue were nice to me, for the most part. I did have some poodle issues. My mom and dad were nice to see, what with their mammoth jam-making projects and other projects. Be warned, if you stay at my little sister's house you are made to work for your room and board. It's either that or eviction. I've never done so much vacuuming and dish washing in my life.
Speaking of dish washing, I very rarely get sick here. There seems to be a lot of getting ill at my little sister's house. I wash my dishes here in very hot water, likely killing anything bad. Up there they didn't have very hot water, so they relied on chemicals in the form of dish washing detergents to give them the false sense that their dishes were safely clean. It made me nervous, fearful of food poisoning, my entire month there. My fear caused me to politely decline dinner call at times. Or to go to McDonald's. And to consume just enough alcohol containing beverages a day to safely kill anything bad that didn't get washed off the dishes.
My method was successful. I did not get ill. I never even got a slight stomach ache. Max & Blue had some tummy troubles while I was there. I fear their food bowl isn't getting enough hot water and way too much dish detergent. Poodles should not have to suffer like this.