It’s as if I’ve moved to NJ, not CA

Lovely Little Things

Life has been weird since moving to LA. For the first two months, we were in a short-term rental, and the place gave me bad vibes from the start.

My cat, Dylan, hated it. He didn’t want to settle or be comfortable. It was as if he couldn’t believe we’d make him live there. He even got mysteriously ill for a couple of weeks. Luckily, he seemed to get over it.

There was nothing outwardly wrong with the place. It was big, newly renovated, and nicely furnished, but it was decorated in a way that said, “martinis” and “fancy parties,” and I prefer a place that says, “write in your pajamas all day” and “it’s ok to spill tea on this.”

Besides Dylan’s mysterious illness, there were a lot of other odd incidents.

The thermostat was crazy. Out of nowhere, I’d find myself shivering because it’d put itself on 60, or hot, because it’d jumped itself up to 80.

For a couple of weeks, there was a lot of drama over a strong unexplained paint smell that also came and went at random.

Anyway, that’s just a couple of examples. I tried to write about everything that happened, but when I started getting into the details, I realized that I was creating a piece that would be far too long for my newsletter. Each incident could be its own issue.

Dylan took to this place right away. Before, I blamed his dislike of the other apartment on the transcontinental move, but now that he’s here, it’s clear that he hated that apartment in particular.

Things haven’t been so great for me in this new place, though. We spent weeks carefully searching for an apartment that would work for me. I’m very HSP, and I need certain accommodations, which is another thing that’ll take too long to explain.

We thought we found what we thought was the perfect place. Before we moved in, I was really nervous that something unexpected was going to be come up, and it did. The neighbor below us smokes pot multiple times per day and the smell fills our apartment.

Within 30 seconds, I get a headache, nausea, and coughing. My symptoms last for more than a day after he has stopped, but since he does it every day, I can’t recover.

I got myself an air purifier and blackout curtains that claim to also block pollution, but I don’t know if it’ll be enough.

We’ve spoken to management, and they say they’re working on it. They said they’d update us today on their progress. I don’t really want to get into all the details of that drama, either.

It’s been hard not to feel a lot of despair over the situation. It isn’t because we moved and there was pot smoke. It was because we moved, a million difficult things happened, and then there was pot smoke.

I hate being highly sensitive, and I hate the term “highly sensitive person.” It sounds objective, feeble, and like more of an emotional issue than a physical one. In most people’s minds, they can’t separate the word “sensitive” from “emotionally unstable,” and because of that, I feel I will be perpetually misunderstood and easily dismissed.

I find the physical challenges far worse than any emotional challenge. I notice that in the HSP group that people struggle with sounds and smells than anything else, as well (there’s endless talk about noise-cancelling headphones and the need for more fragrance free products). Yet, somehow, in most literature, the emotional/psychological aspects are emphasized. We’re portrayed as delicate little fairies that merely have the problem of taking everything personally.

If my main problem in life was that I took everything personally, I wouldn’t even be here, anymore.

I don’t think the pot smoker is insulting me. I don’t even dislike him. I feel bad that he’ll likely have to modify his behavior for me. My problem is the part where I hack up a lung every day.

Anyway, enough ranting about that. More than anything, I’m just sad. I’m worried that I’ll have to move again. I’ve lived in four different apartments in the past four months, and I’m tired.

When I put everything together, it’s all very weird. It’s so idyllic and beautiful here, but it’s making me ill. The stuff from the other apartment was so strange, it was if I’d moved to New Jersey, rather than California.

Do you want to like this post and read or leave comments? Then, join the discussion on Substack. To get more posts like this in your inbox, check out the The Intentional Hulk newsletter on Substack.