Friday, September 07, 2007

my twelve-headed monster

Friday, September 07, 2007
I felt seized by frailty of my psyche, when I heard the tone of the message on my voice mail. The message seethed with hostility, with the sort of personal resentment that comes from making a career out of bullying and intimidating other humans. Please take this message seriously, Roxanne, the message said. How patronizing, in a manner that only a bully could manage. And, of course, what a veiled threat! I felt the evil, twelve-headed monster ~ also known as my Ego ~ begin to rouse.

I felt my Self begin to break ... from the inside out. Just from listening to the message. I had not yet spoken with this chap who left that message for me. I dreaded it, of course ~ likely related to the fact that this professional bully seemed to have the social skills of a black mamba! And, i have a weakness when it comes to rude heathens and social bullies. I must confess, I simply have no tolerance for these people. I know, I must grow some. Lately, I have had success in managing trying situations through self-talk. Yeah, I typically talk myself into silently growling about it while thinking how fortunate for me, I don't live with such a nasty human. I catch my Self, as she's about to fly off the handle ~ and remind her its not worth the effort and energy to become that misery.

Alas, I failed this time. I lost it. My frail Self broke wide open, unleashing the full force of the twelve-headed monster, known as my angry Ego. I returned the call, holding my anger all-the-while. I had no new information to provide, and indicated so in the message. I did not request a call-back. What for? What did we have to discuss? Well, the intimidator wanted to get his fix, I suppose. Gotta get that humiliation hard-on, don't we? Yup, that's it, I've decided.

So, the asshole returned my call. Rude. Arrogant. Hostile. Insulting. Humiliating. I wonder if the part about calling me a thief ~ ... you're stealing ... ~ forms part of the script they're instructed to read to clients. I wouldn't surprise me, you know? Not at all. The tirade rolled from his lips, like an endless stream of the foulest-smelling vomit. It bled all over me. All over my psyche. It gurgled, boiled, bubbled. It swept my Self away from me. On hearing the feigned concern for my credit rating, I finally lost it, retorted My credit's shit, don't do me any fucking favours, and then hung up.

So ... that ended it, right? WRONG. No sooner did I exhale, and the phone rang again. Some other asshole, apparently also hankering for a humiliation hard-on ... at my expense, of course. This time, I had to listen to another unpleasant chap tell me about my unco-operative and verbally abusive Self. Yeah, the problem's with me ~ a thief, and a verbally abusive one, at that! Hilarious. And sick, because, our man clearly believed himself. How sad for him, I think as I write this. And, if he's married, how sad for her. But ... saddest of all for anyone who happens to have the misfortune of possessing his genetic material. Indeed, I did not see it this way as he spewed his very own flavour of intimidation and humiliation vomit my way.

He took it upon himself to snoop through my credit rating file ~ none of his business, really, for none of the items he mentioned pertained to his client ... and he had no idea of what he spoke. What business did he have, asking me how my car got paid off, over a year ago? Or mentioning a past item, an item in dispute and unrelated to the matter at hand? NONE, methinks. Finally, my verbal flogging ended. Actually, I ended it, after hearing the caller, in a very malicious tone, threaten me with, I'll be calling in 24 hours and you better come up with the money or we'll be taking you to court. Before hanging up, I replied, Go ahead, I won't be here to answer your call. After hanging up the phone, I proceeded to trip out.

I can't remember, really, exactly what I did first. I googled "debt collection laws bc," to get to the BC Bureau of Business Practices and Consumer Protection Agency. Of course, my friendly debt collector callers totally violated their code of conduct. And, obviously, I have recourse. Immediate recourse. As in, request in writing that the agency refrain from communicating with me via telephone ... and communicate with me only in writing. With my shaky hand, I scrawled out a handwritten letter, quoting the Act, making my request. I reminded said friendly agency that it had an obligation to comply with my written request. I waited until after 1800 hours and then hand delivered it, to the agency's drop box.

But, not before completely flipping out ... calling my mother and having a complete breakdown over the phone. I ~ who tried so hard, and succeeded, to keep myself serene, strong, and balanced for the past two or three weeks since the suicide attempt, fell apart. It didn't occur to me think about what I will do ... to whom I will turn and spill my guts ... when my mother no longer can answer the call. I just gushed. Undignified ... given that my son sat there, stoically watching me completely unravel. Mum did what all blessed and loving mums do ~ comforted me ... listened to me ... told me all the things I had going for me ... and that I mustn't give up, that it simply didn't make sense ... and where would quitting school get me? NOWHERE ~ a place I already happen to find myself. A dark pit out of which I continue to climb.

Its a slow climb. And I felt ashamed ... at having stumbled back into the pit a little. And at all the verbal diarrhea ~ the intimidators' nasty words and sentiments ~ I'd heard. I felt wounded ... so terribly wounded. Not just my Ego. But my Self, too. It's really stupid. How, 24 hours later, I still feel traumatized from these phone calls. How, writing this has made me cry. How ... this has caused me to question my stability ... my sanity ... my ability to function fully in society. I felt bent from this episode. Bent and traumatized. And mildly paranoid that someone would come and get me. For the whole evening I felt edgy ... shaky ... really jarred.

I wonder if that's a reasonable reaction. Or if, perhaps, my psyche seems too brittle. I still feel afraid when the phone rings. I feel even more afraid when I return home, and see the message light blinking on my phone. I feel positively seized with a dreaded terror as I'm listening to said messages.

I hate the phone. Positively hate it. Because people use it as a tool to socially rape others. And that's it ~ I feel as though I've been socially, psychically, raped. How grotesque.

The credit counsellor I spoke with this morning informed me that's how collection agencies do business. She wondered, out loud, how anyone who does that for a living could live with himself. I silently wondered, too. Not that it matters. C'est la vie.

God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr

And now, I do suppose that I must take steps to ensure accountability on the part of those individuals. No man that's ever raped me has ever had to account for his behaviour. These men will. Somehow. And that's not Roxanne feeling vengeful. That's just Roxanne feeling compassion ... for humanity. By forcing those around her to account for their actions. I ain't tryin' to change the world, just the way I operate in it. There's a difference, and I think greater efficacy of action lies in the latter.

*Sigh* ~ another letter to write.

2 comments:

foam said...

ugh, money woes. collection agencies.
poor baby. you will get through this and they will get their comeuppance eventually. they sound like a legal mafia.
and what are mama's for if we can't occasionally cry on their shoulders..even if we are adult.

the.red.mantissa said...

yeah ~ they do sound like someone who would work for tony soprano, don't they?

like i said, at least i don't have to f*ck 'em ... or carry their DNA ~ now how would that be for a life sentence? hee hee.

yes ~ about mums ... so true. i consider myself very blessed to still have one. she's 76.