Monday, January 12, 2009

Take a Chill Pill Phil

Its moments like what just happened that remind me, and everyone around me, that I have a problem.

I don't like to use my clinical depressive state as an excuse for bad behavior, but "its all I got," so to speak. I say that half jokingly, but it's true that once my "trigger is tripped," that's all she wrote. I am officially "out of control," and it is an ugly thing to behold. Once I have entered slippery slope territory, it's figurative ass-over-tea kettle time, and down I go.

Well, ...a little while ago, ...down I went.

My current marriage, which is my second, is now ending because of it," the "it" being "my condition." And yes, I know it's all my fault. I KNOW I can make people feel pretty bad when I get going on them, and try as I might to stem the meanness, it still manages to come out.

I tried to explain to her what was going on, about the demons in my head, but there are only so many apologies and so many explanations before it becomes too much for anyone to bear. I don't blame her at all. I only hope my "next" will be more understanding than my "ex,"and be willing to stick it out. I am not hopeful.

Anyway, my neighbors on the other side of my back wall got a new puppy the other day. It looks to be about 3 or 4 months old, a cockerspaniel. I began to notice an incessant yapping the other night coming from somewhere over the fence, but couldn't be sure from exactly where. We called subdivision security and asked them to intervene so we could get some sleep. That seemed to work, but evidently only for the short term.

This afternoon, about an hour ago it started up again. Yap! Yap! YAP! YAP! ... ad nauseum... I went up to the second level of the tower to have a look. There it was, the cutest little cockerspaniel, but it was tied up by itself to a backdoor with about 6 feet of leash. The way it was acting, obviously, it was lonely. Dogs like that need people, its bred into them. Leave them alone, especially an untrained puppy, and they will yap and yap until they get what they want, which is attention. Well, it got attention all right, but too bad for its owner, the attention it attracted was from me.

I had warned Divine that I should not be the one to confront our neighbors about this "problem;" I just don't do well with social interchange anymore, especially when it involves "drama-drama," as they say here. I'm not sure if folks who know me understand what a trial it is for me to meet and advise the hand full of veterans and dependents that I try to help for a couple hours a day, four days a week. When I get home I am so tense with anxiety that it takes me hours to unwind. The meds do help though. I thank the VA for that.

The young dog was in full yap. I couldn't help myself, I called out: "Hello! Excuse me!"

Nothing. I called again, and again, and again, louder each time, and finally boomed out a full marine-voiced "HEY!" and I did so four or five times. I could feel the blood pounding in my carotids as my heart began to explode with anger. There was the slippery slope and down I went.

Finally, the lady of the house came out to see what I wanted.

"Maam, can you please control your animal? Its barking right outside my bedroom window and where I'm trying to watch TV on my porch. I can't even hear myself think, much less my TV."

I could feel my eyes bulging and my face betraying my steamed condition.

The answer she gave REALLY set me off, "The dog is here inside my yard. I don't have to do anything."

That enraged me beyond repair. I was now practically out of my head mad and yelled at her, "Are you aware of the subdivsion rules on barking dogs?"

"What rules?"

"You are supposed to control your dog so that it doesn't disturb your neighbors!" I didn't say it, I practically screamed it, I kind of had to over the yapping of her puppy, plus I was red-faced livid at her nonchalant in-your-face response.

I said a few other choice things as well, nothing profane, but full of venom and choked with intensity. Her teenage son came out of the house, or burst out, took a look at me, listened for a moment and went back inside. I began to realize that what was happening wasn't going to accomplish anything. I did have that much control, but it was too late, I was shaking with emotion.

What should have happened in the first place took place at that point. Divine went to the subdivision office and chatted up the lady who works there, as well as to the head of security. She brought them to our house where the lady confirmed that I am indeed correct about the "barking dog policy" and she informed me that she and security would go next to our neighbors and inform them of the rules. I was only beginning to calm down. Geez, what's wrong with me?

I took another "chill pill," which is what I call my psychotropics, and listened as the security guard and subdivision lady arrived at the yapping puppy house and explained to my angry neighbor that the dog had to be kept quiet as per the rules.

As we used to say in the old days, payback is a bitch, and I'm sure she'll be trying to exact some from me. I'm gone for the next week to Cebu, so she'll have a week to either get rid of the puppy or figure out how to keep it quiet. We'll see...

Anyway, where's my pills?


Ed said...

I hate small yapping dogs. If you still have the problem, it would be best for all involved (including the tied up dog) to hide some sort of lethal pill in a chunk of meat and give it a toss from the top of your tower while nobody it around.

Amadeo said...


Yapping dogs, blaring radio, TV, karaoke and loud conversation - the banes of city living or subdivision living here in the Phils. Where houses are not insulated from either noise or weather. Where windows have to be kept open for proper ventilation.

I have learned to re-adapt, in the same way I slowly am adapting to the harsh weather.

Hang in there. I tell myself that while the locals have the latest in technologies - loudest speakers, microphones, sound systems, car horns, etc., we still live in a 3rd country where social courtesies continue to be minimal.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Ed, I guess the "quiet puppy pill" you describe would have to be considered the "ultimate chill pill." Hmmm. Sounds like a plan.

Amadeo, my eventual plan is to move to another province, to find a large piece of property with a view of the water, and place my house right in the center of it where I can assure the presence of peace and quiet. Lets face it, present company excluded, Filipinos love loud raucous noise, they revel in it. Nothing to do but find a place where I can insulate myself from it with distance... Its doable.