Outer Limits

November 13, 2005

Tonight is a bad night.

Tonight is one of those nights when I can't sleep, when my fears, and worries, and anxieties get the better of me. I'm physically tired yet unable to sleep. I feel trapped and out of control about everything.

The upstairs tenants are loud and noisy, sometimes they have domestic violence that is scary to be near. They smoke, and all their friends seem to smoke as well. They stand outside my bedroom window and talk and drink and smoke at night sometimes. I can't have my window open without getting the stench of their smoke in my space. And I am afraid to say anything for fear of retribution.

Recently they acquired a dog, which initially was barking all the time, we complained several times to the apartment management. The last time we told the manager we were going to escalate the matter to the city if they didn't do something about it. Within hours of our having mentioned to her the SPCA, the male upstairs tenant was knocking on our door. On the surface it was to apologize. But then he said that he had been told some one was threatening to call the pound on his dog. Obviously there is no trusting the manager, or no confidentiality with her.

So I am reluctant to approach them about the midnight smoking parties outside my window. I'm looking forward to freezing rain, sleet, and bitter cold. Hopefully it will drive them inside and away from my little sliver of fresh air. I hate being a captive in my own apartment. I don't like it that the insensitivity of others intrudes on my space, and makes me feel afraid. Especially now when I don't have Michele to comfort me, or to help sort this out.

Having to deal with everything by myself these days is pushing me harder than I realize. I am at my outer limits; physically tired, emotionally drained, mentally spent, spiritually exhausted. And I don't seem to be able to recover any ground in any of those areas. At best I am managing to maintain where I am, not getting better but not getting worse. I have sparingly used the Xanax I have to help me sleep on several nights now. I don't like having to medicate myself in order to sleep, but I know I need the rest.

This is so incredibly hard.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.