2:30 am: I woke up from a horrible dream. I couldn’t breathe. I was being suffocated. I woke up gasping and crying. I realized it was a dream and tried to go back to sleep.
3:00 am: No use. May as well get up. The dogs probably need out anyway. Better take care of that while I’m awake. I put the young dog on his runner and let the old blind dog make his way around the yard. He doesn’t go far because he can’t see.
I go back inside to clean up his mess. His bladder doesn’t work anymore and he’s left a trail of drops all over the floor. Get the mop. Get the bucket. Get the bleach. Be silently grateful that I don’t have carpet.
Now the real nightmare starts.
The door is open and a car drives by. No one drives through this neighborhood before 5 am. The young dog starts barking. This is a different bark than the one for when he sees the neighborhood armadillo walking by in the morning.
It wasn’t a car. It was a tow truck. They are here for the car. Seven years of payments wasn’t enough; and this last year has been impossible. We no longer have a car.
Of course the truck driver is “sorry” but he still takes everything from us anyway. Because he actually isn’t sorry. He’s grateful because his family doesn’t eat unless someone else’s family is stripped. He helps us get everything out though. His partner is a dick who really doesn’t care. But I can tell the driver hates himself a little.
I try to push the suicidal thoughts away but they invade too quickly. I’m a screaming, sobbing, weeping mess. I am crying so hard that I can’t breathe. I’m suffocating in my own terror. I want to wake up but I’m already awake.
The nightmare is real.
My husband is calm. Calmer than I can be right now. And I’m thankful that he’s there. I can’t even think. My primitive brain has recognized that there is a threat and is reacting by pulling back everything that isn’t a survival need. I’m no longer thinking. I’m lashing out and screaming and crying and not doing anything at all productive.
But my husband is here. At least we have the truck. At least he can think enough to remember that. But the battery is dead and it barely runs anyway and the tags aren’t right. But at least we have it. At least this can’t be taken. Yet.
We have no home. We were evicted again. The second time in three months. I can’t get my husband to work this morning. I can’t get our stuff to storage. I can’t get my pets to the no-kill shelter. I can’t get to my appointments. I can’t get my daughter to school. I can’t do anything.
The nightmare is real.
My mom can’t take all three of us.
We have to leave Florida.
Oh god no.
My family landed in St. Augustine in 1763. That’s 252 years. We survived disease, pestilence, war, famine, racism, terrorism, economic depression. We survived everything. We stayed. We held on. We’ve been here for 252 years; 179 of those were in the same town. A town that we helped start.
And now I’ll never see it again.
We are too deep to fix it in our lifetime. We’ll move to Kentucky, where his family is. We’ll never have enough to make it back to Florida. I’ll never see my older children again. I already haven’t seen my son in two years. I’ve seen my daughter once in the last year. My youngest daughter will never see her brother and sister again.
I want to wake up.
Why? Why is this happening to us? Why can’t we get just one win?
We did everything we were supposed to.
Why wasn’t it enough?