The Harvey Diaries (Pt 2, 8/30/17): Isolation & Guilt from a Not-as-Affected Houston-area Resident

DISCLAIMER: Written on 8/30/2017. I’d intended to post these thoughts the day of, but Harvey cut off my internet access for two days, and as such, this was the result. I had difficulty sleeping and the storm just wouldn’t stop, so I figured I’d better write it as fast as I could while these reflections and emotions were swirling around. This post is partially edited for privacy reasons.

Part 1 (of 3) can be found here.

8/30/17 (approx. 6:00 am)

I want the internet up now. Right now. Just for an hour so I can pull some things off to work on and see what’s going on.

And save some stories I can read offline and work with, that would be great.

I woke up after some restless sleep. I’m annoyed and a little freaked out because I heard that wind and rain getting worse (or maybe it was the wind shaking the rain out of the trees, I can’t be sure—no news or Doppler to speak of, dammit). Either way, I had some morbid half-asleep dreams about me or dad dying, about the water coming up to the house and eventually me and the dog being on the roof while dad either stayed below to just lay in his chair.

It creeped me the hell out. I didn’t wanna go back to sleep.

That and remembering that my windowsill right next to my head is all warped. When they were fixing the front of the house about a year ago, I guess none of us ever noticed that my windowsill was in bad shape. Maybe it’s a recent development, but I wonder if some of the headaches I have are the result of some mold growing in the walls just beyond what they stripped off the front of the house.

I’m glad they finally did it–we’ve watched too many episodes of “House” to ignore crazy spiky mold growing outside (and I did my daughterly damnedest to nag dad about fixing it). I just hope they stripped out enough that it wasn’t still in the walls and creeping toward my bedroom

I noticed the damage when I pulled up the shade to let some light in yesterday. And for some reason—maybe it was my clothes or the window or something outside—it smelled a bit like weed in my bathroom and bedroom, like I’d caught a whiff of it passing by.

I hate that smell, and it bothered me that I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from because it’d barely go away. Maybe it’s an old mouse-hole I tried to plug that went under the house–all that water under the trailer can’t be good. At least we’re not going to float away, and it’ll dry eventually.

Well, I’m going to be doing my damnedest to write today and do something more than sewing and reading. From what I remember before the cable died, the central hub for our provider was getting some bad pounding. Won’t be surprised if we’re out of service for a while.

And then the phone lines. Heaven help us with those phone lines. I can’t even get on the board and tell AT&T that we’re out over here—they wanna send a tech direct with every option I choose and won’t let me speak to a human being.

If I was smart, I’d be getting some exercise and run around a bit, try to get some things taken care of. Me and the dog are going a bit stir crazy around here—maybe I’ll try to get her on the leash later. Just wish I could get a report or something so that I could make sure we weren’t too far from the house and another aerial snit fit deluged us.

I want to be able to do something. I’ve been working on needlepointing coasters and boxes for a while now and it’s getting damned old.

And yet, I still can’t stop working on them. I just need to keep my hands busy. I think it ensures that my brain is going to be quiet, dammit, whether it wants to or not.

Those dreams last night upset the hell out of me. I wonder what my eulogy would be like if my sister-by-choice had to give it because something had happened to me. That kinda creeps me out…and makes me really depressed because I’m too fucking scared to live my life, no matter what I say or do.

And I’m jumping the gun a bit here, but part of me had the awful thought that my lethargy and headaches could be a result of some kind of cancer or something. Maybe brain cancer. What would I do if I had brain cancer that was operable or 50/50 or terminal because of some damned mold and my fear of doctors?

Heavens, kid, snap out of it. You’re out of the water and you’re fine.

That thought should help. It just makes me feel worse, actually.

I’m up and dry in my house, just stranded. And everybody is gone. I can’t check on anybody or be useful to anyone.

You know, it’s morbid as hell, maybe, but I don’t think we think about death enough. I’m sure those who are sitting on the roof of their houses right now are wondering about it themselves. I pictured myself on my roof, water getting higher and higher while I had the dog under a tarp with me, whimpering, and started feeling hysterical.

And it was a dream. I probably wouldn’t be much different if it really happened.

Fucking climate change denial. I hate it. This is an issue, and we’re seeing it up close and personal. Snap out of it, people.

And I hate being out of the loop like this. It’s only 6 am but heaven knows I won’t be going back to bed any time soon…not with that wind making me think it’s raining more right now. Nope. I am going to just take breaths, do more needlepoint (obviously) and try to get some things out of the way.

Heavens, I wish I could go someplace else for a while, just to be around other people, though usually I’m too awkward for that sort of thing.

Though, in my current state, I’d probably be verging on hysterical crying.

I admit, I’ve spent the past few days contemplating loneliness. And if all the power goes out and the internet and such, I can only imagine how hysterically lonely people will be if they can’t chat or Facebook all the time and they’re used to it.

I’m glad I’m not that addicted to my machines…at least, not my social media. I’m actually annoyed with texting right now, it’s barely working thanks to this wind. I just want to see that something else is going on in the world, whether it’s about other events or whatever.

And if Dump did come down to Texas yesterday, did a squirrel tackle his hair and try to nest in it? I’m sure it was drier than its old place.

Heavens, I’m sick of headaches and all. I’m surprised I’m not hysterically crying already, trying to get through what’s been going on and the loneliness and isolation, the inability to get anywhere.

If anybody asked me what I’d want for my birthday, it would be a job. A good job that I could learn from that would give me elbow room to work with. That’s what I need super badly. I need a good job so I can make my way.

Maybe I’m being morbid, but I think dad’s giving up. I just don’t know why I feel that way…not exactly, but his lack of prep for this storm and seeming lack of anything outside the house is worrisome. I don’t think he’s set foot outside except for the other day when he went to his truck and drove off to see what made the power go out—twice. And he hooked up the generator. Otherwise, since getting out of the hospital, he hasn’t been outside at all.

Maybe I’m a shitty daughter, or we’re a shitty family, but I’m damned alone. While part of me wants to be around people, though I can’t afford it, part of me feels like I’d be hysterical and a blubbering mess if I was around them.

And with this new-found feeling I have about dad, I’m hesitant to do anything. I’m also in a hurry to do everything because who knows what is coming around the corner. I’m going to have to take charge and get a lot of shit going, because I just can’t help but feel like the man’s given up and is just going through the motions of living.

His life is in that lazy chair. I said it almost jokingly that we didn’t have internet, phones, cable, but at least he has his DVDs because heaven help us if we can’t watch TV. That’s all dad wants to do, though…what else is he going to do?

What else will he let himself do?

I don’t know if it’s a lack of energy or habit, but this is a little creepy to me. Ugh, my head’s really bugging me now and I just have to have something in me. More gatorade and maybe a nap. I think this pain above my left eye will become a migraine pretty soon if I’m not careful. But fuck, I’m so tired of all this, I’m not surprised if I get one.

I guess this is really getting me down, and putting me in the right place to seriously contemplate paying off my debts and getting the hell out…but I’ll probably stay out of fear and the status quo.

Because that’s me–I can’t figure out how to do anything for myself. Other people, I’d love to help and be out there and do everything possible. Me…not so much.

No wonder I’m feeling suicidal—I’ve got too much fear in me to possibly do anything good for me…or even bad for me, provided I try something good and it doesn’t work. This world is hard to adjust to. I want to do so much, but have no idea how to get there. I’m down in the dumps and I’m sure dad has his own right now…I don’t want to burden him with them.

And it occurred to me that maybe I’m an idiot and I’ve been giving myself food poisoning with the shit we’ve got around here. Time to clean out the icebox when the storm is done—throw everything out and start over except for shelf-stable stuff that just needs to get cold again. My stomach hates me and so does my head.

When and where does all this end, and do I still have a job? I’m working on a heart attack from stress and anxiety…and dad’s “take it in stride” attitude is definitely not helping me.

(last entry coming soon)

And people think, “oh, it’s just water.” Pretty freaking powerful stuff to move concrete freeway dividers like that, huh? Found this picture when we got the news back–amazing.

Part 3 can be found here.

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