Thursday, January 29, 2004

I hope I can keep this computer running long enough to post this.
A lot has been happening but I probably can't write about all of it.
My extension is due by Friday midnight. Its crunch time. I have run into so many roadblocks the last few weeks trying to get stuff done. i have accomplishe a lot however difficult.
tuesday I went to the Social Security shrink; just arranging to get there was a challenge.
After mt consultation he said he would approve me and expedite the process so i could get my benefits and medical ASAP.
Today I go to the SS medical doc. Pray it goes as well.
I talked to the legal firm yesterday and she said if both docs approve and expedite it would probably be about 60 days and they are shooting for my case to go back into 2002 when I originally filed. Pray that it works out. I could use that money to help get a car.
One of the women here and I are going to try to get a place together to save on expenses.
I found a place but I am running into roadblocks getting the lady to understand about getting the deposit from an agency that helps women coming out of a shelter.
And she wants the money for the rent now instead on the move in date.
Its a private owner not a complex.
We want to get a place there because we will feel safe and its quiet and convenient for what we need.
Also, another woman has a car that her ex has but its in her name and she " gave " the title to my potential roommate.
The only problem is her ex has the car. He is supposed to be at court today so they are as we speak trying to locate the car and take it back.
Its an old Honda but we don't care. Its wheels. You can't imagine the struggle trying to get stuff done without transportation.
I need medical verification about my condition as part of the requirement for my extension. I have spent a week calling back to my former clinic trying to obtain this info. Last week the fax was broke here for 3 days but no one knew it. They couldn't figure it out.
( ???? )
I even called back to the shrink I saw Tuesday to ask him to fax something but got a recording and haven't heard anything yet.
I go tomorrow to start at a clinic here. I have to pay $7.50 for medication but don't have the money.
They will write 3 prescriptions a month.
i have to figure out how to find a way to pay for the meds now.
I hope if I haven't heard back from these other docs that the doc I see tomorrow will write out something or else I am screwed as far as a 14 day extension. I will be exited next week.
One of my roomate here stole my calling card and money. I was stupid and didn't know it because I don't think like a thief.
My locker combination was in my coat pocket.
I didn't think about someone could get into my pocket and get it.
She was caught last week shoplifting from Wal-Mart.
All they gave her was a citation to appear in court. Had they arrested her I wouldn't have been stolen from.
the shelter exited her yesterday because she committed a confidentiality and security breach on another issue.
Last night we discovered there is another thief here.
One of the women has 3 children and works at a Sonic trying to get up on her feet.
She had 4 shirts and a couple of outfits in a bag and went to use the phone and accidentally left her back by the phone when she walked away.
She remembered about it a few minutes later and went back but it was gone.
The sad thing is if she can't turn in those shirts if she leaves the job they will keep her check.
What is it in people that they feel they have to steal from women who are down on their luck? We are all in the same boat here. WQe almost all of us will share what we have because we understand each others situation; people don't have to steal.
I know its a compulsion but its very disturbing.
We come in here being screwed over by someone we love and who is supposed to be loving us and then to get screwed over by someone who is walking in the same shoes.
I can't wait to be out of here.
I am grateful that this place is here and I will always protect the location and confidentiality and safety of future residents. I have learned invaluable information while here. I just will be glad to have my own place.
I just need these extra couple of weeks to get a few loose ends tied up.
So that is a short synopsis on what is up with me.
I will update as I can.
Keep me in your prayers.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Things here are calm right now. The ones that were troublemakers have been weeded out.
We have a good group. We are very supportive of each other.
yet, we know it won't last.
There is one bed in my room that we call the pshcho bed. The last three intakes that ended up in my room were VERY interesting if you know what I mean.
The joke is don't even give them sheets or toiletries because they aren't staying that long.
We had one that claimed she was abducted from Wal-Mart parking lot by three black men,taken to the Ramada Inn and forced to use crack and smoke pot under threat of being shot with AK-47's and then raped. BUT, she was laughing about it and we caught her in so many lies.
She ended up at Wal- Mart because she was reporting to her probation officer on Saturday but they were closed for lunch. She was supposedly there for a UA ( pee test for drugs).
She said the cops didn't buy her story and I told her I didn't either.
She lasted here overnight and took off.
Then another one was here for a day but went home because she was out of cigarettes.
The other one was just a kook.
Tonight the hispanic women were trying to teach us how to "punta dance".
I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.
I needed it because the day started off with a lot of anxiety and depression.
I really need my meds. I have been hurting so bad I can't stand it. I am using over the counter Ibuprofen but they only let you have 2 tablets twice a day. That isn't even half the dose of one prescription pill I was taking not counting the other pain management stuff.
I have been having a real problem sleeping. i have nightmares or the pain keeps waking me up.
I got a bottle of Vitamin B to help with the anxiety and to relax for sleep but it isn't helping much. I know I need to sleep for the mania so this is starting to be a real problem. I am cycling more now than I have in a long time. I finally wa given 2 appoint,ments to see Social Security docs for my disability claim. I don't know how I am going to get there because I don't have a car anymore and they won't provide transportation here.
I will probably only be able to stay here for a couple of more weeks and then I will be exited because my time is running out.
I am having trouble finding an apartment because I don't have verifiable income and"or some other issues.
I am not yet 55 and I don't have minor children so I don't qualify for State aid.
My disability claim hasn't been approved yet so I can't claim that.
I will figure something out.
I allow myself to cry and just tell myself this too shall pass.
I have been forced to remember things from my past that have been repressedfrom seeing certain situations here and hearing other stories from the other women here.
We even had one here who ws accused of molesting children. She was accused and then we found out she was in another shelter previous to here and was exited for the same issue.
That brought up issues of the incest and sexual assualts that were repressed.
I have remembered more abuse from my father since I have been in here.
We have a support group almost every day and through these some of thes issues have come to light.
The woman I talked about in an earlier post has left and gone back to her home state. We are very concerned for her safety.
Please keep her and her children in your prayers. Someday I will tell her story. It is the worst case of horrendous abuse anyone could ever experience.
She is writing her autobigrapy and if ti is ever published I will reccomend it. She is very young as has had to endure horrific abuse.
The night before she left she had a bad dream that I pray was not prophetic.
There is a plaque outside with the name of 5 women who have been in this shelter but were murdered by there abuser when they left.
In her dream she said we were all sitting on the porch and she was walking up towards us but we couldn't see her.
As she walked past the plaque she looked down and her name was on the plaque.
It gave me cold chills.
She had to return to her homestate to testify in front of a grand jury but her abusers family is lookin for her. If they ever find her they will kill her and the children.
They are capable. That is all I can reveal.
As I said she needs constant prayer.
On a lighter note we all are finding our humor again. We have private jokes between us. The staff doesn't know what to do with us.
The other night instead of a support session we taken on a field trip to an auto repair shop and a guy from AAA gave great discussion. We all learned a lot and fun just getting out. On the way bavk we were making jokes about all kinds of stuff that would only be funny to other women in our situation. The staff member didn't know what to think.
Imagine 14 women in an old white van who haven't been out for awhile.
I found out my youngest is out to sea somewhere in the world. That is all he can say so keep him in your prayers and Dan and Jennie are having a hard time. Not that he tells me much because I think he doesn't want me to worry. He doesn't understand I am worried because I don't know what is going on.
My oldest daughter still isn't speaking.
And the youngest daughter is going to college and right now is taking a math class that is tough for her.
I am so proud of her because she is learning disabled but is determined to go to nursing school. She has wanted to do something in the medical profesion since was in 3rd grade.
She qualifies for tutoring because of her disabilities but she won't ask.
I found out recently that she has driven to Florida and Dallas. This from someone who was afraid to go on the freeway a couple of years ago.
I really love my kids.And I am so sorry for all the grief and anquish I have put them through because of wrong choices I have made in my life.
I have a hard time forgiving myself.
I know Jesus has forgiven me; I am my worst enemy.
Its something I work on daily.
Thank you to buddies who kep in touch with E-mail. I really appreciate it.
Your encouragement goes a long way.
So until next time....

Saturday, January 10, 2004

The thief was busted and Finally owned up.
The next day her roommate had some missing so the thief was asked if she took it and acted all upset. She wanted to know why everyone thought she took it.Duh...
Now she says she is going into rehab. We'll see.
She really got upset when I told her I couldn't stand a liar or a thief.
Well, if the shoe fits. All the women here have tried to give her the benfit of our experiences. I don't think she is really out of denial. She has three little boys who just want their Mama to be good.
One of the girls got good news. Her abuser was caught Thursday. She is one I mentioned when I first got here.
Unfortunately, the state she is from has a law that no matter the charge you can bail out within 24 hours.
We convinced her that after he is tried and in prison to work on changing the law. If succesful, it will be named after her child who witnessed more brutality than any person should ever have to witness.
We now hope he won't be a flight risk. She in some ways is in more danger right now than she ever was.
Keep her family in your prayers.
We have groups almost everyday and I am learning a lot.
I now know the cycle of violence.
For those who don't know it starts out with the tension building phase.
It moves on to the violence phase; which can mean verbal, emotional, psychological as well as physical abusiveness.
Next comes the romance phase or is commonly called the honeymoon phase. That is where the abuser is sorry and promises it will never happen again.
A common misconception is that some women will stay because they must want to be abused.
The abuser thinks she is OK with it because of the honeymoon phase.
What is really happening is that the abuser has returned to what she knew as his " normal " self. She feels safe again.
But the honeymoon phase gets shorter and shorter.
A common expression among all women who have lived with violence is that they feel they are walking on eggshells. The tension is so intense that the one being abused can only focus on doing anything that will eliminate the tension phase.
The result is clummsiness, worrying, forgetfullness, anxiety, sleep and eating changes.
We had one group on the effects of children witnessing violence in their home. It is a fact that statistically they will grow up and be ADHD, self-mutilate or harm themselves in some way and have drug or alcohol issues. (0% of abusive men witnessed violence within their own home while growing up.
Its only been recent that the facts started coming together.
So women who say they are staying for their children are not doing their children justoce.
I know I did in my first marriage and I witness the result of that now with the children of that marriage.
The clergy and church needs to come out of denial on this issue.
Love will sometimes hurt but it is never supposed to harm.
I have had to reckon myself this past week with what living with violence and abuse has done to my life and that in a lot of ways I also inflicted it on others around me.
That is a big pill to swallow.
I am still falling through the cracks as far as a lot of resources because I am not yet 55 and/or I don't have underage children.
I did finally get with public assistance this week and have to come up with a couple more documents but I will get to see a doctor and can get 3 meds a month. It will cost $7.50 for each which is a lot of money when you have none. That's another catch.
Women with underage children can get a cash benefit from the state. I don't qualify.
Women with children are first to get housing and other resources and I totally understand it. Yet, there are people like me who are falling through the cracks.
This shelter has strict criteria to be able to stay here for a short time.
NO ifs and s or buts.
They aren't as helpful as far as being pointed in the right direction.
I am finding out about some resouces or the potential of some on my own.
The expectation would be if I can find this out why isn't the case managers equally informed? And, don't question my credibility when I give you a response to a certain pusuit that the outcome wasn't what was expected.
We come in here having not been believed. We don't need it from staff.
I have met a few women who are strong Christian women and we are developing a friendship. We are not friends. I remind people of that daily.
I didn't know them before I got here and most I will never see or talk to after I leave.
It doesn't mean I am not empathetic of their situation however I have my own issues I am dealing with.
I don't get any more caught up in the drama than I absolutely can avoid.
I walk away from it whenever possible.
There have been a few instances that I couldn't.
My trust level is very low.
I have over my life really trusted and been burnt every time.
I am really cautious now.
I am picking who I associate with not letting them pick me.
I also am very straight forward about it.
The manipulators don't know what to make of me.
And, they think they are so slick.
They don't like it when they are confronted with an issue and its put to them straight up.
I have actually had to tell a couple of them I don't believe you.
At one time I would have but not anymore.
I have been lied to so many times in my life that I can pretty well spot it now.
The other day I was laughing with a couple of the women and one said that was the first time she had heard me really laugh.
I said I must be in withdrawal. I hadn't heard yet that day that I was stupid, ugly, fat or a slut.
There was humor but there was also a lot of truth.
That was an awakening.
So, that's it for now.
Keep me in your prayers.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Its been CRAZY here the last few days. There is more drama here than on any soap opera.
The thief is still loose. We have it narrowed down to who we think it is but haven't been able to catch her in the act so staff will do nothing to intervene.
Last night the lady in the room next to mine said her daughter found a Prozac and she reported it to staff. One of the other ladies was missing meds one being Prozac. She is in the room on the other side.
The suspected thief rooms with the lady in the next room.
The thief also may be a potential sexual molester. There have been words, attitudes and mannerisms to a lot of people that have raised eyebrows. She came back in one night drunk and ran her mouth and admitted she was bisexual.
She has made overtures to another daughter of another family. The daughter freaked out because one of the issues they came in here on was incest.
That family is moving out today.
The staff will not exit this gal or even move her to an adult room. The lady in the next room said her girls wouldn't even sleep in their room last night.
There was another one here they got rid of that had gang connections and was up all night everynight doing computer porn.
She was always running her mouth on a sezxual nature and made many of us uncomfortable.
Four new families came from another shelter in a nearby town and knew this girl from there and they said she was exited because she was caught exposing a child to pornographic pictures.
That is just some of the drama.
I have met everyday with my case manager since she returned from the holidays and am finding out she doesn't know squat about being helpful.
I have done more on my own.
She has even questioned me on that I don't have facts correct and called places in front of me to prove me wrong.She then found out I was right.
There isn't the help available to me because I don't have underage children. I am falling through the cracks.
I have an appointment tomorrow with the public assistance agency to see about meds. That's all they will do and that is at least something.
Another lady here found out about another medical program on her own that her case manager knew nothing about.
Many of us are really angry because we were told through the holidays to just wait until the case managers came back and they would be so helpful. They haven't been.
A lot of the information they have is outdated yet they use as criteria to determine your stay here.
We had a group yesterday and we really let it loose.
We complained about the food issue, the respect of some staff to us and the level of trust and confidentiality that we have caught being broken by staff to staff and to some residents.
We have one that is 24 and tries to run this like a drill sargeant. If you don't do your chores to her specifications she will come get you out of bed and make you redo it. I am talking about some petty stuff not something that would really be an issue.
The other day it was muddy and she was hell bent on seeing " who ' was tracking in mud so we all had to show her the bottom of your shoes even if you were in your room. We had been sweeping and mopping up mud all day so it wasn't an issue except to her.
She threatens to exit us if the least little thing doesn't go her way.
I told her the other day I could get abused at home I didn't need to be in a shelter to get it.
I have such a level of distrust of people right now and things here have only confirmed my beliefs.
Yet out in the community this place is so recognized as a leading place for women to come to to get help.
I was told by the hospital and the mental health clinic this was the place I needed to be so that is why I came here.
I can't say I have really been helped.
I wish professional people could come out of denial and admit that maybe they don't everything because they learned it in a book and sometimes people who are living a situation may actually know what they are talking about.
But, I am not college educated so what would I know.
We even have staff that when we get really into honesty they will say " subject change ".
And we will have to listen to something about their boyfriend or how their car isn't running right, etc.
If I wasn't experiencing thios myself I wouldn't have believed it.
I am so tired of being lied to and manipulated.
Being here has brought a lot of stuff to surface that I have had to recognize about myself and my past and it hasn't been a pleasant experience.
Nonetheless, it is good that its surfacing.
I admitted to my case manager that I am chronically suicidal Not that right now this minute I would act on it but the desperation, hopelessness and fear of the future are always present.
It could be as simple as being diagnosed with cancer and refusing chemo.
She made me promise if I felt I would act on it to let a staff person know.
I was totally honest. I told her I would say yes because that is the right thiong to say. However, if and when an opportunity presented itself and I was feeling that terrible depression I wouldn't come find someone.
I also told her I knew she needed me to say that to absolve her or this place of any liability.
They think we are stupid.
I have my faith and that sustains me through all this.
A cute thing happened last night on a lighter note.
A little girl who reminds me of Keisha when she was 3 is here and she was really afraid of " monsters'. She shared this with me so I took her to all the doors and we prayed.
" Dear God, make the monsters go away. Amen"
Her Mom said when she went to bed she wanted to pray likew the lady did so they did and she slept all night. The first time in a long time.
There are kids here who have witnessed violence to a degree that is a;most incomprehensible.
It breaks my heart.
I do find my humor though.
Especially at night. There are 4 to a room so its hard to fall asleep sometimes and there are noises from the TV and other areas. I haven't rested since I have been here.
I can get real silly.
We have a code name we have to use if we we are out and have to come back in.
The other night I was talking about something and then said my name hesitated a few seconds and then said the code name just as we have to use it here. They all started cracking up. So now my new last name is this word and I was triple dogged dared to use it on a sign up sheet for a grou[p and I did it. I remarkably didn't get into trouble yet.
Then we also have to punch in # and a number so I told this one gal when we got out I would call her and say " Margaret ---; # and the #.
We all laughed for about 5 minutes. I know its not as funny to anyone else; you had to be there.
Anyway, its time for our delightful evening meal.
I would really hate to miss it!!
The other night it was a baked potato. We imagined meat and veggies with it.
So everyone take care and keep me in your prayers.

Friday, January 02, 2004

The computer system here is terrible. It can take literally an hour to get my E-mail and send one off. That is if all goes well.
The holidays are past and like growing up it was dysfunctional!
There are all kinds here. The " shelter hoppers " are the ones I like the least. They are liars, manipulators, lazy, etc.
There are a few women here who demonstrate so much courage I am humbled to know them.
they are here in protective custody from other states. you would know it as the witness protection program.
One family has been in shelters for 2 years and another that I know of for 7 months.
The life stories of these families is horrendous. Small children have seen so much horror.
One very small child barely in school attempted suicide.
Satan knows no bounds to steal, kill and destroy.
I am the oldest one here and some have tried to adopt me as " Mom ". I have to tell them I have 4 of my own and I am here because of the consequences of my own actions.
All I can tell them is here is what I've done, this was the outcome and this is what I think I should have done different.
Some have wanted to call me a friend.
as i told them we are not friends. Twio weeks ago i didn't know you and you didn't know me. In a few weeks max we will leave here and maybe never see each other again.
There are a couple that I've said we are maybe begining to develpo a friendship but it is so far from that now.
I told one girl one night that how did she know that what I said my name was was really my name?
I could be Susy Smith and just got out of prison for murder. She really didn't know.
I want them to stop and think.
Part of the reason I am here is I was too trusting over my lifetime. Looking for something from an outside source that I should have found inside me.
Many times when the drama starts I have to to stand up and say " my name ain't Wes and I ain't in this mess."
I have never not known abuse. I was born into it.
That is why it was hard to recognize it as it was. It looked normal to me.
The capacity for human beings to hurt each other knows no bounds.
I am learning that love may hurt but it should never harm.
I didn't know there was a difference.
I went through the county mental health system and I am now on a waiting list that can take 6 months to 2 years until my # comes up.
If I were to get real bad I would be sent to the state mental hospital which has horror stories because it is a forensics hospital.
It is archaic.
That is scary.
So far I am doing prety good considering.
I know my symptoms and am watching them carefully.
I also believe my God can open doors that would otherwise be shut.
i am daily trying to find alternatives to this mental health system.
In this state if you are indigent mental health care is almost nonexistent. Primary health care is a tad better but not by much.
For welcoming in the New Year the kids were allowed to stay up and I organized a bunny hop through the house. We had 3 new intakes that had come in around 11. I got them and there kids to hop too!
They probably wondered what they had gotten into!
It was a purely impulsive manic thing to do but it didn't harm anyone.
We all have chores here and as in any " fmily " there are the ones who try to not do theirs.
there is one woman here who will really speak her mind. She doesn't let them get away with it.
Cigarette bumming or trying to " borrow " money is another big manipulation factor here.
We have a real thief among us. We know who it is we just can't catch her in the act.
but everyone is on to her.
We have had a few who have been " exited ". That's there soft way of saying kicked out.
When you are exited you have one hour to be out and they don't care where you end up. You aren't their problem.
Its pretty strict. I worry that I am going to do something impulsive in a manic state and end up on the street.
A person would be hard pressed to follow anything like the Atkins Diet here. I have never seen such a gathering of carbohydrates as I have here,
I am not ungrateful.
I am thankful to have something to eat.Sometimes there isn't enough but we always make sure the kids get first. again, the manipulators don't care.
The staff that helps us get a lot of the paperwork to get a place or other resources has been out since before I got here. They are supposed to be back Monday.
What little I accomplished I kind of figured out on my own through trial and error.
I will be glad when i no longer have to be here.
I don't understand the people who do this all the time.
So, now I will have a little cheese with my whine!
I hope everyone's holidays were great and wish everyone a blessed New year.
Thanks for the encouraging comments and PLEASE keep me in your prayers.