When my husband and I moved into our new apartment, I was adamant that I do a full cleansing before we took a single item in.
As is customary, I threw out our old broom and purchased a new one. This broom was the very first thing to enter the door. I then set to work. After clearing the space using sage, candles, purified water and salt, I opened a full circle throughout the entire apartment. I even had my husband take photos of it for an article I'd planned on making that never came to fruition. This was before I purchased my fantastic camera, so the pictures were incredibly grainy and I deemed them unusable.
But sometimes, try as you may, a place has a permanent negative vibe that you just can't clear.
I did the cleansing the day before we officially moved in.
The next morning, I had a terrible sharp pain in my eye.
I immediately self-diagnosed it as a corneal ulcer, which it was. With it being a Sunday, all the doctors offices were closed. My husband and I were between insurances so I sought out a Walgreen's Minute Clinic where I was given some antibacterial eye drops. That did clear the corneal ulcer, but I began experiencing bruising sensation in my eye and cheekbone. As doctors tried to diagnose it in the following weeks, the pain grew and my vision began to blur. By October, I was out of work, using my computer for incredibly short stints at 150% magnification and unable to workout, drive or make my own food. Things were rapidly going downhill with my health. Doctors speculated on everything from MS to a pituitary gland tumor. I was left most days sitting on the couch, contemplating my own mortality at the young age of 25.
Before I was eventually hospitalized and diagnosed with scleritis (an inflammation of the white part of your eye), we had other events that became clear warning signs of the problem our apartment was about to become. When we moved in, we also made a major purchase: Our first brand new mattress. Aaron and I had been sleeping on the same bed he had as a teenager growing up in his parents' house. Prior to the move, we could never afford to replace the damaged spring mattress, which had more than once poked me to the point of blood. I was so excited to get it.
I was less excited about climbing into bed one night and finding a huge wet spot where the ceiling had leaked through to the mattress.
We spent days drying it out while the complex and the roofing company they had a warranty with argued about whose responsibility the repair was. The mattress was up against the wall, a bucket in the center of the room to catch the water, and our bedroom was essentially defunct. My husband and I resigned to sleeping in the front room on my old futon.
It might have been some stroke of a miracle, or maybe a curse, that we did.
One night, I woke up to a strange, light breeze. As my eyes tried to adjust, I thought it might be a relatively large moth and attempted to ignore it. The more awake I became, and the more I took a look, I realized the animal in question was much larger than a moth.
It suddenly dawned on me as I climbed out of the futon across my husband and grabbed our dog, squealing, "Aaron, there's a bat in the house!"
Bats are super cute, but not when they're flapping around your front room at 4 in the morning. Zeus and Hermes, our incredibly large Maine Coon mix hunters, were terrified of this bat. Its wingspan was nearly a foot. This wasn't just a tiny fruit bat; this thing was huge. Aaron grabbed a towel and locker-room-slapped it out of the air. When the towel hit it, it gave the loudest shriek and I instantly felt horrible, but I couldn't let it stay inside. I grabbed another towel, tossed it over the semi-unconscious bat and threw it out onto our balcony. It took a second for it to move but it eventually flew off.
With the leak still going in our bedroom and the horror of a bat in our apartment, I called the office positively enraged. It would take two days for them to seal off our fireplace, and another several weeks for them to finally come to an agreement with the roofers and fix the leak. But by then, things seemed to be evening out.
This was about the time that I had officially beat scleritis, but I was beginning to have terrible episodes of stomach pains.
Often times, I'd be curled up in a ball, vomiting from pure pain every hour or so. I would begin seeing a GI specialist.
In December, I noticed some strange looking dandruff on our indoor-only cat. With a bit of searching and a few tests, I discovered that what our cat had was remains of fleas above his tail. I was positively mortified. In the four years that I've owned pets as an adult, and the 18 years of owning dogs as a teenager and kid, I'd never, ever had a flea problem. We kept our pets clean and checked them routinely for issues. I did all of the standard flea warfare, between Dawn dish soap, chemicals and natural options, but nothing solved it. Even worse, even my husband and I were getting eaten alive. It was completely out of control in a way my ISTJ Virgo II personality would never, ever allow to happen.
When we first moved in, our next door neighbor noted that she had a bit of a flea issue.
It turns out, our neighbor's flea issue was a flea infestation, and we were reaping the consequences.
Apparently, she let her cat be an indoor/outdoor cat, but would literally never bathe him or treat him for fleas. In an unfortunate move that made enemies with my neighbor, I had to turn her in to the complex. They flea bombed my apartment building and I had to put all of my pets on expensive flea pills. As a rescue volunteer, flea pills are the only absolutely, 100% positive way to ensure fleas do not return. As long as our neighbor kept on top of her problem, we probably wouldn't have had to begin pilling but I simply could not trust her to do so.
Somewhere in here, I left my original Circle after a miscommunication. It's not something I can elaborate on, but it didn't lessen the stress of this complex.
I was then diagnosed with Celiac Disease and IBD, as well as a Vitamin D deficiency.
After my hard work last year of losing 42 lbs, I was bake to square one. I began exercising again, but something felt incredibly off. Maybe it was the negative energy, or maybe I had simply never seen a healthy day since we'd moved into our apartment, but I just felt like I couldn't get healthy here. I posted about my concerns on Facebook and tried to vent it out.
In May of last year, we moved my friend Charli and her boyfriend down from Chicago. They moved into this complex as well, but just haven't had any of the same experiences we've had. They had even originally moved into a one bedroom but upgraded to a two bedroom and had good luck with both apartments. In attempt to work with the complex, we tried looking at an apartment right above theirs. However, this apartment looked like it had a rough road in comparison to our current one or Charli's. The appliances were much older, one even having mold in it, and there were some serious issues with the walls and carpet. In the end, we decided to stay put.
Then came this week, which has been absolutely surreal. Monday had been an incredibly strange day to begin with. As my husband, myself and our friend Tony left out to get food, I watched a woman's dog have a heat stroke right in front of us. I jumped out of the car and began helping cool her dog off while she went back on her walk to get her car. It took her about 15 minutes to get back to her house and get her children in her SUV. During this time, I hydrated the dog slowly, cooled him down by putting rubbing alcohol on his feet and getting him damp enough to shift the direction of his fur. By the time she pulled up, Bobo was sitting up on his own but still very disoriented. My husband and a few other neighbors help move the dog by blanket to the front seat of the SUV and I gave her directions to the nearest emergency vet.
Guys, if it's 92 degrees out and you own a large 9 year old Lab mix, don't walk your dog two and a half miles in the sun. Please.
On our way back from dinner, my husband got a phone call from a friend who was stranded downtown. I drove him downtown and dropped him off to help out with the car, then returned home with Tony. When we walked in, we noticed flashing lights and cop cars blocking off part of our parking lot.
Apparently, two men fatally shot a 19-year-old and ran off.
Granted, the event was likely isolated - some sort of personal vendetta, drugs or something of that nature - I couldn't help but be rattled by it. We spent the next two days having detectives question us. Of course, Tony and I had nothing to say. Even more so, my husband didn't get home until about an hour later. So we obviously have no information. But it didn't make me feel any more comfortable about being out and about in the evening.
I typically prefer running late at night - around 9 to 11 pm. It's cooler, the sun's down and there's something invigorating about running in the dark. After Monday's homicide, I stopped running at night. I can't seem to bring myself to run in 90 degree heat during the day, so I haven't been exercising like I should. That's been a bit of a problem.
Then, today, we noticed a Fox 4 news vehicle outside the parking lot and many emergency vehicles.
Turns out, a man driving drunk in a meat truck crashed into a bottom floor apartment in my complex.
This evening, I began cleaning up the bathroom and knocked over the broom we had purchased for the apartment. Out of it spilled a dark, watery substance. It's probably some sort of dirty condensation from being stored in the bathroom but seriously?
How many signs do I need?
I admit that, despite moving every single year for the past three years, I'm still terrified of moving. The apartment complex is incredibly accepting of the fact that we have four pets despite the fact that the pet limit is two. I don't know that that's something we can manage to find again, and hiding two cats has been terribly exhausting since 2011. The management company has even stepped up their game at the beginning of the year and the office staff has actually been pretty awesome since. And our maintenance guy is amazing. Heck, if we wouldn't have moved to this complex, we would have never rescued Apollo. And I can't even imagine that.
After the homicide, my husband's exact words were, "It's likely an isolated event. We shouldn't be too concerned." After the DUI driver crash, I asked him, "How many isolated events do we have to witness before we're involved in the next one?" We sat down tonight after discovering the news article and had a serious conversation about our future in this apartment. Even Aaron agreed that two events like this in one week are just a little much and that he has grown to strongly dislike this complex. We both agreed that a new start, for the fourth time in a row, might be just what we need.
I love our granite counter tops in the kitchen. The bar and its lighting is wonderful. And our fireplace is pretty spectacular, but is it worth it?
What would you do?