Yesterday, I ran into someone I have known for years–or did know. “Jacob” was the director at a residential program my then-therapist recommended me to after my parents wanted rid of me–again. It was a residential treatment center for people with mental illness looking for a way to live independently. I saw him in the lobby yesterday after going down the stairs at the mental health center. He has hardly changed. He was still tall and slim and had long hair and a beard. True, his hair was white and he wore glasses, but you would know him anywhere. His clothes were a bit more “business” than when I knew him 30 years ago, but they were still trendy–“young”. I was shocked he still worked at the mental health center. After he left the directorship of the “house” in the 1990’s, he worked as a clinician (talk therapist) at the mental health center’s East office where I went to attend therapy after an ER visit due to an especially perpy day. I was there 7 years, left for 10 and am back now for over 2. Now he’s an Executive of the Mental Health Center. The Center has grown very large. They were pretty much a startup when I first went there in 1990. Since I have been a part of “mental health” services since the early 1980s I remember there were a few more private hospitals in town but I don’t know if there was a Center like the one I go to. I’m thinking Health and Hospitals took on outpatients as well as private therapists who took Medicare/Medicaid. The place where I have stayed twice was open in 1976 and there had to have been mental health services before then. The City still has a separate mental health program but its conducted in an old smelly building that used to be the main mental hospital. You can still see the bathtubs in the restrooms upstairs. You can feel the “ghosts” of patients past in there. “Jacob” is now a big shot, but still an “old hippie”. He sort of stood out in the preppy 1980s. After a short interview I was invited for “dinner at the house”. It was July 18, 1985. It was a warm, dry day. I had gotten there early. Dinner was at 6:30 back then. I thought it was sort of late because we ate at 6 every night at home. I remember sitting in the shade of a huge, old elm tree and listening to the cicadas sing and asking myself why my therapist of 3 years and my mother wanted me there. I was not dangerous or out of the hospital or did drugs. I was currently dropped out of college because of low grades and lack of interest. I had a job working the overnight shift at a gas station/convenience store. I was the one who sat in the little hut and collected the money. It was a busy street full of nightclubs and I’d get some rude and drunk customers. I drove myself to the huge red brick building that used to be a convent in my old Plymouth Fury III with the AM radio and no A/C. The transmission sucked, too. I was 19. I went inside just before dinner started and got the customary greeting: “why don’t you go into the kitchen and see if the cook needs help?” The cook didn’t. Dinner was announced with a huge chuck-wagon triangle. We sat down for dinner. The dinner was my community interview. People would ask you questions about yourself, your “illness”, what you intended to do when you were there, and your long term goals. You either had to work or go to school and had to see a therapist. I remember feeling scared of Jacob because he was so big. I felt judged and thought for sure I would not get in. End of story. II. I was called the next day. I had gotten in. I was to move into the house in 2 days. I would pay 63 bucks a week for rent and 6 dinners a week. (I told you I was old). You could also nab leftovers and government “commodities” for lunch if you were home at midday. Breakfast food was bought by residents and stored in cupboards. You would get a section of a cupboard for your cereal, etc… I was making 130 bucks a week after taxes so it would work. A “buffet” apartment where I lived in the 1990s now goes for 1050.00! I paid 265.00 when I lived there with utilities covered. The rent at the community is still pretty low considering the rents in the city since they have to cater to people on benefits, mostly. Toilet paper and linens were provided but not anything else like toothpaste, soap, cosmetics, etc….. I lived in a “shared” bedroom because it was cheaper. I think the singles were 80 a week or so or even a little more. I lived in room 3 I think. The rooms were nun’s cells before, so the singles were tiny, but the doubles were larger but without a sink. I remember there being some kind of destroyed nasty shag type carpetting and no screen on the window which was common in this area back then before climate change provided more summer bugs. My roommate didn’t seem to like me. She was up in her 30’s and had a good job. She was a substance abuser, so up on the house’s social scale. She was haughty and cold and got really angry at me when I looked through her record collection. I should not have but didn’t have many social skills after my isolated childhood and wild adolescence. She was always laughing and flirty with everyone but me. I saw social disaster for me. Her eyes were always red but she swore she was sober. We lived next door to the tub bathroom and down the hall from the smoking room. When I was first there, there was a tornado warning and I remember sitting on my bed and looking out the window at the pouring rain and hearing the sirens. It was hot up there but summer was already almost over once I was settled so I didn’t suffer that much. There were no fans. I kept going to my gas station job from 10pm-6am across town then tried to sleep at the “house” during the day. It was very stressful. The “house” was noisy during the day and I only got a few hours of sleep. In September, I transferred to another location nearer the house and got to switch to day shift. I even got an engraved name tag instead of one put on with Avery sticky tape. At first I didn’t fit in, and and I did not think I would last very long. First of all, I was the youngest there, and my problems did not seem as severe as the other residents at the time. Turns out they probably would have seemed more normal if they weren’t on huge doses of “old generation” neuroleptics. Jacob, who seemed to take a liking to me, said I was “high functioning”. A high functioning WHAT? My dx has changed a million times, getting “worse” each time! I do not believe my dx. I think I am and always was Asperger’s, which is mild autism. I also grew up in a cold home and did not know how to give or receive love. Thank God for my Grandma who did show love! The people at the house that were at the top of the pecking order were the substance abusers and people with eating disorders. People with mental illness were underneath. The substance abusers tended to be younger and less drugged than than the mentally ill people as well. Later, two 18 years olds moved in after I turned 20, so my time as the “baby” was short. After a month or so, people started talking to me, and my “roomie” had left the house over some rule infraction. I almost always had the room to myself after that. I’d get roomies off and on but they’d spend the night away from the house, etc…it was sort of weird. I got sort of an extra large single room. Soon, I made a friend of a new arrival. She was the divorced wife of a local DJ and had depression. She was so depressed she was made to get ECT which fried her short term memory. She had also lost custody of her sons. She accepted me immediately. She was in her early 30s and was sort of a big sister to me. She went out and bought a little coffeepot and we’d have coffee in her room Number 2 every morning. We would go out with others to a local bar where I did a little underage drinking and later some legal drinking. I also made friends with a young man from England who was tall and dark with blue eyes and loved “new wave” music. (what’s that Grandma?) We went on trips to the ice cream parlor with staff. I made friends with the two staff members, also. The lady staffer, C, had ridden into this city on a HORSE when she came here to live! The male staffer was kind to me sort of like an older brother. I remember going to the movies with him and he may have been the one who let me ride with him on his motorcycle! Staffers were usually Divinity students getting internships working with us. There was one young man who was always “coming onto” me, and there was another guy who hated me but he seemed to be the only one. For the first time in my life I felt “accepted”. Between the social activities at the house, my then-“boyfriend”, my job, pen pals, and my family I really felt I had a life. I was always on the go. It was too bad Ms. Coffee turned into a perp later. I got 40 hours a week at work and regular days off at the new location. They even gave me hours for “watching the store” during remodeling. Strange, my boss gave me a copy of Animal Farm to read while I watched the store. Did he “know”? One of my little rituals was to eat the breakfast buffet at Big Boy on Saturday morning, one of my days off. I also remember putting 10 bucks of gas in the car on Friday night after I got off work. I think work even cashed our checks. I was so proud of myself–3 years before I was locked up in a psych ward and now I was living away from my parents, working, had my car with me, had some friends, and felt good for the first time in my life. I tried Clove cigarettes (terrible for your lungs) at the little coffeehouse, got high in the park with another resident and went back to the house and lay on my bed in fear that Jacob would come in and know I was high!!! There were mostly special and some not-so-special memories from the house. There was a woman I met who had anorexia and we found a sick bird. She knew a woman who did bird rehab and we sent the bird to her across town. The bird woman had a huge Checker car called the Bird Ambulance. I got to go to a fancy dress dinner in Spring ’86 in a borrowed dress. I bought fancy stockings, shoes, and earrings. The female staffer made me up. The featured celebrity there complimented my looks! Another time, I went in Ms. Coffee’s car into the hills to a remote bar. We were coming home and Ms. Coffee was drunk? and the man who always wanted to get it on with me had to drive. It was 2 or 3 am when we got back to town. He was a smartass and would try and go thru the synchronized lights just as they turned green. At one intersection, another car was running a red and smashed into us. A window blew out and the car was totalled but no one was really hurt, just bruises. I remember the day Challenger blew up–I was trying to get food stamps. It was in February ’86. In December ’85 a bunch of us went into the hills and cut down a Christmas tree. I remember being so happy helping to decorate it! I went crazy with my new independence! I dyed my hair blue!! It lasted a week. The customers at work were angry with it. Now, it’s common. I did it when it was risque. Ms. Coffee and a group of us went to Easter Sunrise Services outside–I had always wanted to do it and I did! I also went camping with a few other residents and went on a rafting trip (my only one) in 1987. Cooking dinner, especially on Sunday, was an adventure. You had to be “cook” once every two weeks. You had to plan your meal, keep it within the draconian budget, cook it, set the table, serve it, then CLEAN UP. It was here I discovered I liked to cook. Cooking on Sunday could go for hours, especially if you had to finish cleaning up after Sunday Meeting. Jacob seemed to take an interest in me. There was a diner a block away and we’d go for a One Dollar Breakfast (2 eggs, toast, home fries), fifty cent coffee (take that, Starbucks!) and sometimes a Dollar slice of Baklava. He acted like he wanted me to succeed in life. I felt like I was sort of in his “inner circle” of residents and ex-residents that he liked. Another resident that Jacob liked was a serious young man who had had to drop out of Oral Roberts University. This guy asked me out but he was too sick at the time and when I met him later he was better and he wasn’t interested in me anymore. I was attracted to the cute dark English guy with the blue eyes and freckles anyway. He would share his Walkman and we would go on walks. I think they had Walkman players with plugs for 2 sets of earplugs then. He would tease and tickle me. He even tried to kiss me. I would’ve gone with him but he was bi and AIDS was a big threat then. He had a tragic end about a year after I left the house. I used to visit his memorial when I lived closer to it and talk to him. There was the fun day when the volunteers arrived and we all helped to paint the house! I kept my old U2 t-shirt with peach colored paint on it for years since it became a memory of better times in my increasingly dark life. I spent a lot of time in Jacob’s office. We “just talked” and he did not mind. He almost felt like an uncle to me or a much older brother. On Sunday night we had a “spiritual” group that was very faintly Christian and Jacob would wear jeans and my feelings (and other girls) were far from filial then. He was married though and I met his pretty wife at the Christmas Party. My best memory was when the staff and residents surprised me with cake and ice cream on my 20th birthday! I had not had a Birthday Party since age 10 and that is when all the other girls turned on me at my own party–how sweet! so this little party was great. People seemed genuinely happy I would celebrate my milestone birthday there. Finally out of my teens! I have not had a birthday party since. Soon I will be 50 and since I am targeted I’m sure there will be NO PARTY. I did not know that in 1985-1986 I was living in paradise and the hell of targeting would soon steal all my joy bit by agonizing bit. II Like all good things, my house stay came to an end. I had quit my gas station job in March ’86 then I got an on-call job at a shoe store stocking shoes that didn’t pay enough to stay at the house. I had to leave without my dream of moving into one of the transitional “satellite” apartments nearby. They rented for about 300. I moved “home” in June, 1986. I went to Florida to become a professional groupie but came back in only 5 weeks since I was only getting paid what I was getting back home but my room was 88.00 a week without food. I went back to school in early 1987, graduated in late 1988 and did not find permanent work. By 1989 it was bad at home. I still hadn’t found work beyond “temping” and my mother and I were at each others throats. My sister was still in college and I was on the outs with my Grandma by late 1989 since she started taking my parents side on everything instead of being my advocate. My father had had bypass in the Spring, my Aunt had been incapacitated by an ill-advised surgery, and I had become a TARGET and did not know it. I lost both my Grandma and Aunt the next year. My mother booted me out of the house just before Christmas in 1989, giving me some money my Grandma had gifted me with at birth. It wasn’t much, but at least she didn’t just boot me onto the street. Since I had never looked for an apartment before, I ended up back at the HOUSE again. This second time it was not as pleasant, however. Jacob was still there then, and I was welcomed back, but it was DIFFERENT now. First of all, I was not the “youngest” anymore. I was not a cute little teen all bubbly with youth and energy. Also, Jacob seemed different. He said to me, “boy, have you grown up,” like it was disappointing. Was I to remain a child forever like Peter Pan? Life had gotten rough and so had I. I had a single room this time and it was 465.00 a month. I paid monthly this time since I had money starting out, plus my “graduation gift” was a 1st month’s rent at my 1st apartment, so this was “it”. The first room, Number 15, was tiny and right off the library smoking room. Later, I moved to room “1” across a men’s double that was very noisy since they played fantasy baseball and their printer was always running. It was also over the steep kitchen stairs that a lot of old homes have: sort of like servant stairs, so I’d get foot traffic going up the stairs. “2” was the room where Ms. Coffee had stayed. The second friend I made at the “house” I met the day I came to dinner. She was in a crisis over dinner being done on time and here I was to save the day. And so it went. We were friends for years. The “house” was different, somehow. The atmosphere was more hostile. There were a group of residents and a few hangers on that “ruled” the house” and they held court in the “library”. They were like the adult version of the Mean Girls or something. They harassed a man out of the house when I was there and probably were relishing the thought of his destruction but he just moved on and was fine. I tried to ingratiate myself with these bullies but they hated my new friend so I ended up loathing them. By that time in history, society was becoming more cruel and perpy. A man that came to dinner said he had a breakdown after seeing the movie “Heathers” which I thought was so weak of him since I only thought the movie was about bullying…I looked it up last night and the movie has murder and violence in it…and kind of “predicts” as The Powers That Be often do the school shootings that would start 10 years later. There was a victim of SRA that had become a Christian but still had MPD. She could switch to one of her child personalities on a dime. That was almost a deal breaker for me. The worst people from before were schizophrenics. Two of the men were Vietnam Vets, one of them physically disabled. The other was married to one of my old counselors from the hospital where I stayed at 16. They had a suicide plot and one bailed and the other survived but their friendship was OVER. Another man would DIE during his stay there because he had a heart attack and could not get treatment without insurance. I’m surprised he wasn’t taken to the city hospital where they treated indigents. Instead, the hospital down the street sent him home and he died. He was 55. He started a “baking club” at the house where residents would get together and bake one night a week or so. There was always junk to eat in the house after that. I met a woman with horrible SI scars and horrific art that she drew depicting a rape. A man jumped out of a second story window and broke his ankles. The house was a dark place now. I only had a PT temp job this time. Because I had that extra money I went out and splurged on highlights for my hair for a then absurd 80 bucks. I went to Wal Mart and got some sheets for my bed instead of using the old sheets the house provided. I noticed people were acting oddly to me sometimes…inside and outside the house. The targeting had started in late 87 but it seemed to get worse overnight when I moved out. Weird old women laughed at me when I walked down the street. There was this woman I hated there who only stayed a short while but kept on popping back up in my life. A person called me at the house but when I got to the phone no one was there. I had to go to the mental health center because I no longer saw my private therapist. They put me on drugs that had side effects. I lost my temp job and tried to stay on at the house doing janitorial but could not keep up with the rent after my Grandma’s money ran out. Sunday meetings were a hoot when it was decided that there would be a “chore committee” that would “grade” people’s chores. The people on the committee were of course the house bullies. They would give themselves 10 on their chores and give others 4, 5, or 6. It was like the bullshit orchestra tryouts in high school when the conductor let the kids determine section seating. I was at the house all day in the basement since a heat wave hit. Nasty talk shows played all day that showed audience members ganging up on guests they didn’t like. Proto-stalkers??? Sally Jesse Raphael, Gerado Rivera, Cathy Jones???, etc….that and all the “judge” shows. The heat was horrible upstairs. We were getting a 100 degree spell which used to be very rare. I had a west facing window. The June sun set late and the city heat island kept things hot all night. The temp in my room was about 95-100 at night and down to about 86 in the morning. They provided no fans. A woman resident with a fan was able to reduce her room temp. I can reduce the inside temp to about 76 in the morning with a huge fan during a heat wave but it will go up during the day–but not to 100!!! I felt ill with the drug side effects and the heat. Another woman resident got smart and set up a hammock in the back yard. I decided to go downstairs to sleep in the cooler “chapel” but someone was already there and he made me leave. The room was huge. He yelled at me and said I reminded him of his MOTHER. OOOOOH. What a perpy insulting thing to say. I had to go back upstairs and burn. I started feeling ill. I finally just gave up and moved home, owing the “house” money for rent. I wonder really what the “house” had to do with my life. Were they setting me up for stigmatization as a “nut” later? My 2 stays propelled me towards independence since we had to learn to cook fast, do chores, pay rent, shop, etc…, yet, somehow, I was being funneled into the trash can of society. Were they setting me up for stigmatization as a “chronic nut” for life? Was I to live in the wasteland of the Severely Mentally Ill with the loss of dreams and the acceptance of “lower expectations”? I found out later at a “clubhouse” for mental “consumers” that the staff at the clubhouse was not using it as a place for people on benefits to get away from home and isolation, but, as a job factory to funnel people on benefits into low paying jobs which got people off benefits and steered them to dead end jobs that are self defeating since you lose medical benefits and end up losing the job and going on the street and applying for benes all over again…but now, you are worn out and ill and willing to be more COMPLIANT to overdrugging or whatever they have on the agenda for you. There were a few favorites that got good jobs at the clubhouse that seemed to function normally but that was tokenism. I think the clubhouse was destructive. I had a degree and at least wanted a job that had some responsibility: I did not want to be a file clerk or work for Burger King. This job scam is a subject for another post! I think people who are on benefits should be able to work but should be able to keep benefits unless they are truly better and can continue on their own. A LOT OF PEOPLE TOOK JOBS AND ABANDONED THE BENEFITS BECAUSE THEY WERE ASSIGNED PAYEES THAT DID NOT LET THEM HAVE ANY MONEY–EVEN FOR GROCERIES. They gave these poor souls “gift cards” for the store. One such person left benes and went to work and then lost her job and came back a year later, looking 10 years older and dragging an oxygen tank. I could go on about forced drugging but I covered it on my old blog that cannot be resurrected. Sometimes it’s needed, but not at the extent they do it. Forced drugging with neuroleptics (antipsychotics) is legally sanctioned torture due to the akesthesia symptoms that are a side effect. I have tried 6 different ones and they all had the same depression/anxiety effect on me. My Dr. wants to try me on a seventh. Essentially, I was able to live w/o “meds” for over a decade, but, targeting, witchcraft aimed at me, and God knows what else drove me back to the Docs. Targeting took away my dreams of overcoming my bad childhood and adolescence. I stayed poor year after year after year until I just wore out and went on benes–then I had no life at all! I thought God had a plan for my life but satan and his helpers stole it, for the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy. Again, I wonder if my first stay at the “house” in 1985 was a setup.. I was sort of “lovebombed” there as a youth and it was a way for them to make me think I was on of the Seriously Mentally Ill. I sort of started to think of myself in those terms–someone who is “chronic”, E.G., SOMEONE WHO WILL NOT BE “BETTER” WITHOUT DRUGS. A career nut. I even “tried” for benes as early as 1986 but got turned down because the doc who saw me thought I “just had to get away from my parents.” He was partially right. I would have made it if not for targeting. I was jealous of another young woman who did not have to earn her bread since she had benes, yet, she was not on psych drugs, or seeing a therapist, or going to a clubhouse or anything. She was free as a bird. She got around her town on a bike. She lived in squalor, though. I was suffering at the time working a nasty temp job and only having about 30 bucks over my rent for food a week and maybe 10 for anything else. That was a 40 hour job with a long bus ride and the bus was a dollar each way and took that 10 a week. I struggled to work until mid 1999. I was 33. I did a variety of temp jobs, food service jobs, day labor, and one “real” office job that lasted only 2 years. My last job was Mickey D’s, which is in another post. I finally threw in the towel and took the “checks”. I’m not a bad worker. I’m not fast, but I work consistently and like to be accurate in the office and produce good food in the kitchen. I also was accurate at the “till” usually being within a dollar. I rarely called in sick, and only when I was really ill. I was getting “fired” so much that I had NOTHING to show on a resume. What I got “paid” for these often physically exhausting jobs, was no more than benefits. NO health insurance. One job kept me on a yearly average just ONE HOUR UNDER what I would need to qualify for the HMO. Shysters. At the end of my working life, I felt often ill, colds dragging on for months, always scared about being fired every day I came in, and even scared about my next meal at times when my tiny check ran out a week before the next payday. I lost my apartment in 1999 and I found myself living in “community” again–at a shelter. Oh well, at least I had experience. PS Just saw some fundraising videos about my old community. They did a major remodel a few years back. The place was really dirty and run-down and trashy when I was there. It’s now Posh Palace. The resident testimonials were sooo great. It cannot be that great, but, that is what keeps money coming. The community DID have its success stories–people who returned to full work in “society”, but for the most part people moved into apts, but on benefits. There were a lot more people who used the place as a revolving door back in my time, but now there are time requirements. It seems more structured with more groups now. Back then, we were pretty much on our own. We were expected to attend a few dinners a week, Sunday Meetings, and “cook planning” meetings. You could also go to a meeting on basic money management and have a “one-on-one” with an under-staffer, or Resident Coordinator. Overall, the “house” was good and bad. I had some of the best times of my life there, but I came to see myself as “ill”. I still see Ms. Coffee on the bus every once in awhile. She just perps me. I’ve seen a few others from the “house” off an on over the years but not many. I saw a “success story” that had an apt and a job that I knew from the second time give me a dirty look on the bus years ago. Ahhhh, targeting…. I guess the “house” was the best it was ever gonna be.
On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today, write about finding something.
Tell us about the time you retrieved your favorite t-shirt from your ex. Or when you accidentally stumbled upon your fifth-grade journal in your parents’ attic. Or how about the moment you found out the truth about a person whose history or real nature you thought you’d figured out. Interpret this theme of “finding something” however you see fit.
Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.
You could pick up the action where you stopped, or jump backward or forward in time. You might write about the same topic, but use a different style, or use the same style to tackle a neighboring topic.
Not sure how to approach continuity? Here’s a time-tested tip: pick a favorite book or two. Read the last page of chapter one, then the first page of chapter two. How did the author choose to connect these two separate-but-connected narrative units?
In the last installment of a cereal killer I had lost everything: my freedom, my joy, my laughter, my love of country, any trust I had for my family, any notion that I was “free” in any way. If everything is lost and is not coming back, what is there to find? There are small things, and thin comfort they are, but they exist nonetheless.
By losing everything by being a ti you gain the knowledge that everything is not as it seems in life and you are forced to walk around awake and not asleep. The new knowledge you gain is painful and unpleasant as you see the nice little world around you crumble and ugly realities take their place. No one is who they seem to be. You cannot trust the news anymore, you cannot worship celebrities anymore. Amusements don’t seem fun anymore if there are lots of people there. You begin to see the multitude of amusements around you as stupifying activities for the hypnotized masses. They go to amusements to waste time and get their pocketbooks raped. Even simple passtimes like walking and visiting a library or museum are ruined by the presence of law enforcement and guards everywhere along with aircraft that dog you from the sky and of course the perps. This is a thin recompense for your past life but at least its real.
You get a keen painful awareness that people are taking all kinds of trouble and time to get ahead in life but that if will give them nothing. They attend school after school to attain degrees they will never use, or, if they use them at all they will work beneath their potential in a soul stealing job that they will probably lose due to layoffs or whatever whim the “boss” decides to use to get rid of them. The few that succeed will have their souls (yes their souls) demanded of them if they wish to continue to be successful. Some good people slip by and work hard in their fields all their life to be laid off with months to retirement and nothing to show for it. Others will retire with some money only to have a long illness take it all away. The only ones who grow rich and keep their money and toys are the evil ones. Everyone else ends up in the poorhouse or in very lean circumstances otherwise. This knowledge brings you nothing. The perps even stop you when you try to learn something online to try and “get ahead”. To learn for the sake of learning and not earning and for personal use and not economic use is a new concept for many,
You realize any happy or joyful moments are rare and do not return. That any joy does not come from the amusements THEY provide but from God. The hollow laughter at a sitcom, the scream on the roller coaster, or wild applause at a rock concert are plastic. Did you ever get the feeling at a concert that you were there and supposed to be enjoying it but you didn’t and you felt crowded out and miserable in the dark amongst people you would cross the street to avoid? You try to whoop and cheer and forget about it but the whole thing was plastic. Did you leave the concert feeling cheated, almost raped? I have. I never shared that. People brag about being at this concert or that, but the actual experience sucked. There is more real joy in watching a bird fly or lightning in a storm.
The loss of family is real and cannot be replaced though. How can you replace it? If you have God in your heart and a relationship with Him, He can love you in the absence of family. You still can’t replace family, though.
It was a windy day.
I decided to walk another way home to get some exercise because I was new to a weight loss program. I was in a dark mood already since my life had seemed to have taken a downward turn the past few years for no apparent reason. I walked slowly and tried to avoid oncoming people as much as possible to avoid the sneers and weird smiles I got all the time. Each look was a knife through the heart.
Then I saw it: an envelope blowing in the wind towards me. It was small and pink but loaded with sheets of paper just as I used to write letters to pen pals–long and newsy epistles. I was afraid to touch it at first due to my new-found fear of being infected by the evil intentions of others, but it was irresistible. I prayed for protection then opened it. It was three pink sheets long.
The letter started:
You may have noticed that despite your best intentions to improve your life it is not improving. It is getting worse. You are not imagining this. Going to your therapist with this information will not help. You will be drugged. Neither will going to the police, or the government. This is your life now. All hope ends here. Going the religious route (very common I must say) will not help as we will get other church goers to reject and spew you out of their churches. Your last bastion–family–will be of no help as they have already been converted to our way of thinking. You are truly alone.
Even the little you have now will soon be gone. You will not be able to get a job, talk with your family, go to school, or even do volunteer work anymore. You will have to eat out of the hand that whips you, there is no other choice. We are a special secret program to deal with trouble like you. Going to another state or another country will not help. We await there too. Getting a car to escape us even at times is out of the question for your particular case. Try even praying your way out of this–it won’t work. We intercept your prayers and read your mind.
You are a criminal that has escaped punishment.
“What did I do?” you ask
It is something you did a long long time ago and you conveniently forgot. But we didn’t. We know everything. We are all over. You will pay for this crime. Our client has tons of money and says money is no object. Your life is his object. The best thing you can do is kill yourself now and save yourself the trouble of a lifetime of misery. You think this is a hoax? It is not. Years from now, you will wish you took our advice.
See you “later”
I took the envelope and the letter and burned them at home. I thought about keeping it as evidence but thought I would be laughed at and told I wrote it myself. In the 5 years since I graduated College my life had gone from having some hope for the future after a dark adolescence to hell on earth. I wondered what I would do that night. Would God come through or would I suffer this life for the next 20, 30, 40 years or end it now?
I stood in the park the next day wind whipping around me as tears formed feeling alone. A group of people laughing loudly and sneaking looks at me was coming. Them.
Tell us about a time when you flew into a rage. What is it that made you so incredibly angry?
About 20 years ago, when I was a new Christian, a woman PRETENDED to receive the Holy Ghost in front of my then pastor then later proceeded to tell me about it. I think I asked her why and she said she wanted to impress him. Later the real “her” came out and he and his wife were not impressed.
After I left her that day I went ape shit crazy angry. I would have burned her at the stake. I was hollering and screaming like an er, demon. I was a baby new Christian and never heard of anything like that. Now I know people sometimes play at things that are too serious for others to consider faking it. I did not grow up Christian and had no idea played at religion. As a Jew, you were either religious or not, your choice….people usually didn’t act.
Now I might have told her that was a dangerous thing to do and repent and then might have had a laugh later at her presumption.
P.S. Just run across the Prompts for ALL of 2014. I would post every day but sometimes the Prompt is TMI. Could I just post TMI or a little poem in it’s place?
I got a prep cook job in 1995 right around the time I got saved? and worked there except a few slow periods for over 2.5 years. It was pure misery as I worked with ex cons and others who cussed and drank and bragged about wife beating, etc…I worked for a man who hated me and seemed obsessed with me. Turns out I might have seen him growing up but never met him–his family’s home was 2 blocks away from my grandparent’s house when I was young. He mistreated me and ridiculed me even when he no longer was my boss and he worked in another department in the kitchen. He weighed 400 pounds. He’d make me work through lunch when everyone else was gone. He would “find” me in his car and want to take me home. I got out fast when I got there.
My worst enemy from cooking school magically appeared as a new employee. She managed to brown nose the boss and took hours away from me. She would also try and start “fights” with me so she would end up crying (a trick she did in class that almost ended my schooling). She even tried to pry me about my past in the hospital by telling me her story of being in the same hospital a few years later. I said nothing. I knew then she was getting her info from somewhere.
She was instrumental in getting me fired. I saw her shaking the hand of a strange older white woman the day I got fired. (I was forced to quit probably to avoid any lawsuits) The whole thing had been fixed. The reason I was fired is that I got into it with an aggro temp from a day service who had it in for me.
After I left almost 3 years of lettuce chopping, meat cutting, and fruit cutting etc…I began to struggle which ended up with me eventually becoming homeless and getting on the dole.
I had temped a bit during that job including working in the BOOKSTORE of the college I had graduated during lulls, but hadn’t been truly unemployed for 3.5 years. I went to a temp agency that specialized in food jobs and all they got me were dish-washing jobs and one banquet server job and one cashier job. I also got to give out samples at a warehouse store. Whoopee. None of it paid the rent and I got kicked out of my apartment and had to move home to my father. It was May and I had struggled to survive since the past October.
He was not happy to have me home but he used me to clean the house and cook for him. I was so hurt and exhausted and bitter I did not work for a few months. I did a one day stint in a dress shop doing inventory, that’s it. I did inventory for Sears from an Agency years ago and was offered a job a min wage and no benes. I did not take it. This shop did not even need me back the next day. I did not work until August when I trained to drive a school bus.
They put us through class training, driving training, CPR and everything else for weeks until we went to Motor Vehicles to pass a test and get our special bus license. Before that we took a road test to pass that as well. I lost that job in weeks. A big fat ugly woman blew up at me in the driver’s lunchroom because I had accidentally taken her seat and I got fired. I knew no one liked me because another driver “narked” on me when I hopped a curb and one of the drivers’ children who went to one of the schools on my route had started a fight hitting a girl half his size. His mother showed up and screamed at me. They even made me take another urine test. I knew it would not last. The stress of getting up at 5:00 am and the job stress made me sick and it was a long time before I felt well. My father had put me in this little miserable apartment and I hated it. I moved home again.
There, I continued to look for work but found none and essentially got another month or two off before I went back to the world’s most famous Scottish Restaurant. This time I was in Drive Thru and at least half of the customers acted like they had it out for me. I did not know a lot of them were perps. I hated the job and fell ill due to allergies from the store doing remodeling while I was there. It took 2 months to get well. They cut my hours and told me they didn’t like my work. I asked over and over to be on the “grill” just to get away from customers but for some reason they refused. I was on Grill the whole time at the other McD’s. It was either Drive Thru or Front Counter. I gained weight drinking all the soda all day and felt bad overall. One day the owner’s WIFE came thru the Drive Thru and treated me like hell (I had never met her) and I got fired. Also some bitch got into it with me over a glass of water–a total skit.
I had moved out again during my McJob and now could not afford rent. This time my father would not have me home as he had sold the house and he didn’t want me to stay over at his new condo. I applied for a few jobs, got turned down, then applied for benefits. I lived an extra month in my apt due to a charity donation then moved into a shelter. I did not see my father for 2 months after that. When he did see me he would complain of the 30 bucks a month it cost to leave my stuff in storage.
I was sent to a “clubhouse” for crazies from the mental health center where they tried to get everyone to work and tried to scam people out of their benefits. I got my benefits when I was there and was threatened by one of the workers that I would LOSE my benefits if I didn’t participate in Job Service and Voc Rehab. It was a lie but I did get a few jobs before I got rent assistance to help with bills. Voc Rehab found me a job filing right on the premises for 6 months, I worked at Burger King a whole week, worked for a charity that provided meals for home bound sick people and then took my last job with a service for “disabled” people who wanted work. It was the last “regular” job I ever had.
It was in a hospital right by my apartment so I could walk to work. That was the only good part. I could feel the hatred the first day. Only one woman was nice to me and she was an Apostate Christian (prob another perp special) who hated Christ and complained about everything all the time. It was filing again and there were tons of files. Some were so high I had to climb on a stool to get them and others were at floor level so I had to sit on the stool or the floor to get to them. I was sexually and racially harassed by a man there and no one did anything. The only good part of the job was the cafeteria and the coffee cart. A strange thing that happened was that I saw the name of the first doctor who put me on Stelazine worked there and was a winner of some kind of contest run by the cafeteria. There was a teen psych ward and Eating Disorders hospital there then. Poor kids, having her as a doc. I was horrified she would find out I worked there. Mercifully the job ended in 3 months. That was 2001.
Aside from volunteer jobs and a very very part time gig I had a few years ago I’m sitting on the dole. It’s 2013. So much for the American Dream.
Someone wanted to know about all my lovely experiences in the er, job market before I went on the dole. I cannot post them all–but my temp follies were sort of funny. I got into “temping” at the urging of a friend because I had been complaining of the food service jobs I had been getting. He said I could work in an office (turns out not all the time I also did factory work, grrr) and not work night hours (most of the time, I had one evening job) and be able to plan what to do since we would not be at the mercy of a food service scheduler who would want us to work nights, weekends, etc…Right after I started “temping” my friendship with this person stopped as we broke up but that is another story for another time.
It started with the shoes. I had found the worst job in the world: prepping shoes for the sales floor. It had started as a temp job at a mall my mother had found. Once I got the “job” I left the mall and went to work in the “hood” which is where I live now, actually, and had to commute in my ancient car. It would be a short bus ride now.
It had irregular hours, I was always “on call”, and all the job consisted of was opening cases of shoes, taking the paper and other debris off them, putting a huge ugly security tag thru them and putting price tags on. It was the most depressing job. I was alone in the back room. Sometimes I’d do 100s of men’s shoes in a color called “puce” which is a vomit gray color. After the shoes were processed all I did was put them on a cart and roll them onto the sales floor–then open more cases of shoes. My friend got a temp office job and told me it was more dignified.
It was my entry into the temp world, where I would find most of my jobs the length of my work history. He quit the job right before I got on so I didn’t work with him.
The first temp job was not so bad. It was filing in a nice office environment with a bunch of other temps. I was assigned there twice. The second time around people seemed meaner to me. I also might have met my first perp there. I told the story on my old blog how I went to lunch with a work friend and this other “woman” who tore me to pieces when I got up to go to the bathroom. Still it was not the worst job I got thru the temp services .
There was this particular job I got all the time…I’ll call it “the papers”. I got sent to do this about half a dozen times or more despite my education, etc… It consisted of taking documents, packets of documents and files of documents and taking staples etc out and separating them and sticking the individual documents on white paper with tape to be microfilmed. It was a boring thankless job. The first time I did the “papers” was probably in 1988 and the last time was in 1995 when I complained and was put into a cold garage to do something else idiotic with old files. I got sick. I worked with a woman who sat there and said God D***t all day just to get to me because I was a new convert. Perp, probably. She’d come in in a dress and combat boots.
I worked at several temp places starting in 1986 and the last assignment I did was probably 1996. After that I rang the bell for Aunt Sally and worked at Mickey D’s for the second time. My work history is the stuff of nightmares. From 1979 when I had a paper route until 2009 when I quit the only job I ever really liked, it was one thing after another. I have the trashiest job history in the world. I’ve even been fired from volunteer jobs.
Stay tuned for more.
After 5 1/2 years I completed college and realized I had really learnt nothing. I had a few facts about history and had read some stuff from England but really knew nothing that would get me a job in the real world unless I went to graduate school.It was a Liberal Arts waste. I had no energy to start that as the gangstalking was already wearing me out plus my parents were putting pressure on to find a job–any job–thereby denying me time to look for one I was qualified for. I took the Civil Service exam and did not too well. I applied with the State and the City too. Nothing. I applied all over town and ended up “temping” and getting abused by the customers and temp agency. I started to attend classes to train for a trade and sometimes I would get a job for a year or two and that would be it. I tried to take the GRE to get into graduate school and did well, but not good enough. I tried only once to get into graduate school and failed. My life was already too stressful at the time dealing with gangstalking, poverty and chronic illness. After that, I trained to be a line cook, got a job that lasted the requisite 2 years then nothing. At the same time I slaved night shift at McDonalds and on weekends or gave out hot dogs at the ballpark After the one cook position I got, I temped, and even though I cooked before, all I could get was dishwashing or banquet server jobs. I even tried to drive a school bus but lost my job to a big fat bully in the lunchroom of the bus service. I even worked at my old school as a temp cashier at the bookstore. My last unsheltered job was a second “sentence” at McDonalds until one day I went in and was fired without warning. I was getting abused by the customers all the time anyway. I did not know the customers were perping me and enjoying themselves at my expense. I thought I must suck, my work must suck, I must be nuts…etc. After trying to get on at another McDonalds I finally quit the job world and applied for benefits. I had a few sheltered jobs after that made miserable by perps but that’s it. Even volunteer work does not pan out. The perps have destroyed any way I could make a living.
School was a waste in that I should have been working and enjoying myself in those last few years before targetting. I had no idea this would be my life although hints were placed as far back as preschool.