Lately: the Bad

Time to get  honest, despite being hesitant. Today's card is the 3 of Wands, all about moving forward. But if I'm going to move forward, I need to come to terms with the past. Life has not been kind to any of us the past few years. Unless you are a billionaire. And because I know how much we've all suffered, it's hard for me to talk about my own suffering. But I would like to get things out in the open, to give you all the context from which I am working, writing and striving. 

It's hard to know where to start. My struggles go back a long way. It seems like hurricane Katrina was the beginning, but after losing everything in that storm, I did manage to eek my way back to almost normal, though it took a very, very long time. 

I think I'll begin with that thing that sank us all. The pandemic. Now, 2020 was not a horrible year for me. As years go, it wasn't bad. I had a decent job, and I had a bit of padding in my savings account. When a (then) friend suggested I come back to Louisiana, well, I figured it was time. I didn't go back to New Orleans, but I landed instead in Thibodaux. I had a little duplex that I loved, my cats were happy, I could work from home, and I felt like life was looking up. 

Then in early 2021 I got sick, really sick, and needed a major emergency surgery. I woke up with a body that had changed entirely, and recovery was long and difficult. My friend that had suggested I move back to Louisiana skedaddled out of my life, and I developed complications from doing physical labor that I had no business doing. 

Then in August Hurricane Ida hit. I managed to get into a hurricane shelter with my cats at the last minute, and I won't go into detail what it's like in a shelter with no electricity and four cats that are being cooped up in kennels. But at least they were allowed to be with me. In Katrina I wouldn't go to a shelter because pets were not allowed. I was ready to die with my cat, and would have, had my neighbor not taken me along when she evacuated. 

A friend got me out of the shelter some days later and took me to Alabama. I will never not be grateful for the rescue, but they turned out to be alcoholic, narcissistic, and increasingly abusive. It reached the point where I was very afraid. I did not mind paying rent, but they made sure I wasn't able to work enough to make extra for savings - they took everything. I had no door on my room and no privacy. I was expected to cook but constantly accused of adulterating food. I wasn't even allowed to take a shower. I have a colostomy, and access to hygiene is extremely important for my health. But there were times I was even accused of faking my ostomy (I guess I wear this bag for show). What I'm saying it, it got bad. I was only able to escape because they got covid and quarantined elsewhere, giving me time to arrange a quick and very frantic exit. 

Now I'm safe, but I'm nowhere near stable. My situation is temporary. The cats are with me and we're trying to rebuild our lives in one of the worst economies I've seen in this lifetime. But I'm going to move forward, and maybe chronicling my forward motion well help me maintain clarity and perspective. 

A dear friend created a GFM for me if you want to read it. (the part about the abusive rescuer was left out because they knew the location of the GFM and we feared it might trigger another narcissistic rage and put me in further danger). I'm not asking for donations - it just includes some details from another perspective if you're interested in knowing more about me and my situation. 

So, yet another journey begins here. 

I'll also be writing a post about the good soon. Most of it touches on my spiritual journey, but I want to remember the good in the spirit of gratitude. It hasn't been all bad, and there have been many spiritual blessings along the way. And I am especially grateful for the kind and supportive friends who have helped me through this difficult time. I love y'all.