Where Pelicans Fly
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5/14/1992 Thurs. 8:49 PM
The shittiest thing that happened since I last wrote is that I had a major panic attack. I thought I was dead for sure. It was very scary. Due to lack of sleep and stress from all the noise and commotion around here, I felt really shitty late one night. I became very depressed due to feeling so trapped here. I once again thought of how I was nowhere musically, I missed my friends and got more cuts from SS. I'm supposed to get $442 monthly, but cuz I moved I had to pay on premiums. Naturally, I was never told about this and found out the hard way when I called my bank to verify my direct deposit. Thank God, though, or else I'd have bounced checks up the ying-yang. All I could dream about was an immediate escape. A one-week vacation on an exotic and tropical beautiful island or beach in a gorgeous hotel. Or a luxury cruise. With maybe a little lust here and there with a gorgeous woman. Hell, I even considered a week in Florida with my parents!
For hours that night, I fought off the tears trying to be brave and tough it out, but then the tears came and I lost control. I was hot and sweating miserably and my heart was racing like crazy. It was pounding so hard one could have easily seen it from across the room. I hesitated on calling the crisis center here, as the last time they made me feel worse rather than calmer. My feelings were thrown up in my face and condemned. I was made to feel stupid about them when there is no "wrong" emotion. Finally, I gave in and called but refused to identify myself. There was this massive roaring sound in my ear and I became dizzier and dizzier. Finally, I just passed out. When I could get up I was wheezing quite bad and it took quite a while to open me up. After a few more hours, I finally could relax enough to go to sleep.
The next day I felt weak and shaky but by dusk, I was beginning to feel much better. I was so grateful when I was feeling better. It was a nightmare. Almost as if someone was smothering me with a pillow and just when I thought I'd die, they released me.
That day I called dad and he called me back. After we spoke I felt a lot better. He cheered me up quite a bit and really let me get it all off my chest. I told him how the only better things were the buses I had access to and the family. Financially, I thought I was supposed to be better off. Instead, it's worse until this summer. My money's going to be refunded retroactively.
5/16/1992 Sat. 12:31
While I'm watching a late-night talk show I thought I'd take the time to write. Guess who's got a phone!?! Nervous!!! Yes, he's actually got a phone! I called him earlier and we spoke for an hour or so. We had a really good talk and I told him how much I miss him. I brought up old funny memories and told him how much I hate it here. He says he'll call or write and maybe try to come see me.
I called Andy to let him know that Nervous got a phone.
Tomorrow, I've got to go to the ER to have my blood level checked. I mean my Theodur level. If it's too high it can be dangerous, says the nurse at the doctor's office.
The thing that pisses me off about the buses here is that they go all the way around the city. There's no direct route at all. If you have an appointment which only lasts half an hour, you spend all your time on the buses. You wait for the bus, travel all around the city, wait several minutes to transfer, then go through the same thing coming home. It sucks. It's about 2½ hours just playing bus.
I think I'm gonna sleep without my earplug and let myself be woken up by next door as I must get the bus as soon as I can.
Since I have so much catching up to do, I'll write a list of topics to write up on tomorrow, such as Pamela who lives next door, Laurie H, the talk with my dad, Fran, Andy, Ann Marie, and my nieces, feelings in general, ideas, thoughts, doubts and premonitions. I'm sure there's much more that has currently slipped my mind. Little stuff too, like Barb and Dave who put my big AC in my living room. Barb's son and his friend put my little one in my bedroom.
This guy who lives on the other side of the court gives me laboratory boxes from work for moving whenever the hell I do.
This girl at Price Rite had beautiful long hair and when I commented on it she said, "Yeah, I was just thinking the same about yours." Hers was so thick and healthy and all one length. Just one more inch to the crack of my ass when you pull it straight. Can you believe it!
Mom and dad sent me a package with super nice curtains, a cute little crystal lamp, a beach towel, tanning lotion and a pair of black shorts.
Jessie told me Steve moved to Chicopee and is fixing to move to California. She also told me how Steve calls her every now and then but she's never asked for his number. She also said she gave him my number, but I have not heard from him.
I am really pissed cuz I cannot sleep! I am wide awake. Well, why don't I begin with the stuff on my list then? I just remembered another thing I forgot to mention.
Tammy lent me her electric typewriter which is awesome. It's got several really neat features and can erase one letter, one word, or one whole line. The only bitch is that the ribbon snapped so Tammy will fix it next week.
Every Tuesday evening she and Bill go see a marriage counselor while I babysit the girls here at my place for an hour and a half. The last time they were here Lisa asked me to sing and I did. Then, she sang to me songs she learned in chorus. I was very impressed. She really held her notes well and I always had a feeling about her musically. Even when she was a baby I felt she'd turn out able to sing even if she never took it as seriously as I do. She's got definite potential. I'm no expert but I know my stuff well enough to know her voice can be developed when she's older. Maybe she'll do so at a younger age than I did. She has a concert on the 25th and I'm gonna go.
Speaking of feelings, well, last Thursday Tammy and I were gonna go to a group session to try to quit smoking. It's $30 per person and she was gonna pay my fee till I could repay her. Early Thursday afternoon, the sixth sense kicked in and I called her. When she answered, I said, "Oh no, don't tell me you can't go." She said no, we couldn't go cuz she was short on the dough. She did say that this thing runs quite frequently and she'd let me know. After she hung up she probably thought to herself, she does have a little ESP after all, huh?
Well, I wish I could "feel" sleep, but I don't.
In the NHA bulletin, it stated that there'd be a Norwich city police foot patrol in Oakwood Knoll beginning today. I know I'm destined to make some cop friends, but I'd really like a nice-looking lady cop to entertain and be entertained by when she's bored and nothing's going on. With all the corrupt cops, though, whose badges go to their heads, I certainly do hesitate. God would never bless me with such luck anyway.
Now, to speak of probation officers. I finally got a letter from a Celia (my new probation officer) to meet with at city hall on the 20th at 11:00. From what I was told about her, she was a Norwich city cop for 4 years, is the senior probation officer and appears gruff on the outside, but she's not. She won't take no shit from anyone but is a nice person.
I know it's a butch.
I'll just start off by saying I've only had 1½ cigarettes since 6 AM. I am still determined to try to break completely free of it. I've been using this new patch you stick on called Habitrol and it helps to a degree. I did have to fight off urges every other 5 minutes all day, though, and I hope and I pray it'll get to the point where I can easily escape the urges. Also, they're few and far between.
I also want desperately to get off the Theodur cuz of the gas it causes me and the way it makes me so bloated. It also constipates me here and there like the Navane did. I want to be completely drug-free with the exception of coffee. I want to hardly ever need to see a doctor other than a yearly check-up. I want to sing without coughing. I want to wake up not feeling like I'm gonna die.
5/17/1992 Sun. 12:05 AM
I am making a pizza pocket now. I just finished it and I don't really like them that much so I don't think I'll buy them again.
I got this thing called Fungi-Nail and it has really helped. Not for the ridges but for the white part of the nail tips. They were going a little too far back into a point. Tammy asked someone at the fire dept. who said it was a fungus, just like the pharmacist did.
There's not too much to say about Ann Marie. She's only been here once but we've spoken a few times. I think she'll eventually visit again.
As for my father, he really cheered me up that time I was telling him how upset I am living here.
He agreed that my voice is definitely geared towards country music. We all have known that. He mentioned the country radio station here and told me he always listened to it at the beach.
He also told me I saved him on a crossword puzzle. A question pertaining to music. I asked him to guess what my range was and he said contralto. I was like, wow, how'd you know? He says there are lots of country bands here in CT, so I should call that radio station to ask them about local country bands. Also, stick an ad in the Norwich bulletin like Tammy, Barbara and Andy and others have told me. I get hesitant about it, though, figuring if I get hired it won't be for more than a few days when they decide to give it up themselves. Or change their style to rock and roll.
Pamela is my neighbor who lives next to me but she’s not attached to me. She lives alone with her 3 kids. I've also met her mother and sister and they're all very nice. They're black but they're also Spanish and they speak it. She's super nice and her mom gave me a ride once to the store along with her sister.
I don't know if she's ever been with a woman or considered it, but she's made certain references. I don't know her well enough but she seems pretty easygoing and open-minded and said she could accept anything. So, when she asked me if I was married I told her I was gay. She still continued on and on knocking men and telling me I was pretty. Am I attracted to her? Not really. She's so-so, but might be fairly nice looking with some makeup and nicer clothes.
Fran and Andy are doing ok and I can't wait to see Andy. Only 3 more months! Fran was on the phone in a massive fight with some girl he just met named Ann. Ann was so funny! Her voice was good for editing too. It wasn't like the CP lady but it was quite hysterical and she spoke so fast, you could barely make out her words. Quite frankly, she reminded me of Maliheh.
I got a check in the mail from Berkshire Gas for $13.46. I don't know why but I won't complain.
That same night I spoke with Andy, Fran and that girl Ann, Fran called Laurie H. Andy did the talking. He read parts of my letter to her and she really was convinced he was cluing her in on something that happened and was trying to help this person. I've begun editing her and Ann.
Sometime soon, when Andy's got plenty of time, he's gonna call Nervous.
As I said before, they began a foot patrol around here, and knowing how I'm always destined to meet cops, I figured I'd make the first move. I met a cop named Warren and we talked about stuff in general and I told him I took the civil service exam. I also told him that other than music, it's the only other thing I'd consider. Cuz I don't drive it may be tough so I was told to stop by tomorrow anyway and maybe start with security. Who knows, but if it was something right around here on 3rd shift, that'd be cool.
I want to try really hard to get some sleep cuz tomorrow it's gonna be warm and I want to try to tan.
I finally found a really nice quiet and secluded spot where I can just get away from it all. I'm not gonna stay here too much longer cuz I don't want to burn. I'm also getting pretty thirsty. It's around 80º today and there's an awesome breeze.
5/20/1992 Wed. 8 PM
Since I last wrote a zillion things have happened. First, let me say that I'll write more about what I wrote in my last entry another time. Since I last wrote, I've been through a nightmare. I've been pretty sick and was a wreck emotionally. Thankfully and luckily enough, I found out some fantastic news today. Tomorrow I'll definitely write all about it.
5/25/1992 Mon. 5:30 PM
I thought I had a lot to write about the last time I wrote – well – I’m now in Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield, CT due to all the stress and anxiety at the project. I was only getting a few hours of sleep on most days cuz of next door. The zoo outside was killing me and I just got over a 3-day cold. My first one in almost a year and a half.
I got sick of being woken up by next door and listening to 10,000 screaming people outside. I detest the apartment and miss my waterbed. I'd sleep in the living room and still get woken up. It was like living in a studio with 6 other people. A few days ago I was on my way to get the paper to look for apartments when I realized I needed change. I went into the Community Resource Office to ask this guy for change and he asked me my name. When I told him he told me his name was Jim and he heard all about the situation. He then said his job is to help people move and take care of the financial part, too. I was shocked and thrilled! He said the quickest way is fire, flood or eviction. I told him he could keep the fire and flood as I value my stuff. I would stop paying my rent if I had to. He told me it'd take a day to two months for me to be moved. They'd pay first month's rent and possibly get me a truck. So I filled out the paperwork with general information and the millions of reasons for wanting to move. Meanwhile, it was 95º and I was going through my cold, getting no sleep, and going crazy cuz of the outside noise.
I spoke with Nervous, Fran and Andy, and even had another long talk with dad to try to keep me cheerful till I moved. I'd watch TV and listen to music but nothing would calm me down and relax me. Two nights ago I'd reached my breaking point and my nerves were stretched to the limit. It was around 3 AM and I told myself to go to sleep and relax as soon I would be moved. It didn't work. I felt trapped, suffocated and terrified. I was so anxious and stressed out and way too revved up to fall asleep. I called the CC. I told him the situation and that there was no way I could stay there one more minute. My asthma was out of control cuz of my stress and lack of sleep. I called an ambulance as the CC told me and they came and took me to Bakus ER. There, I slept on and off and spoke to a woman who is a social worker and also the commissioner at the Norwich Housing Authority. She knew Jim and the situation and while I was there I tried to reach Tammy by phone but got no answer.
I was gonna stay at Bakus on their psych ward but they had no more beds, so they brought me here by ambulance and it is a far cry different than all the other places. When I first came here I was crying and scared shitless. The staff is so friendly, though, and so aren't the patients. There are only about 10 other patients and it's a small unit. My roommate Lindsay is very nice but upset at her family now.
Speaking of my family, Tammy, mom and dad have all been very supportive and proud of me for seeking the help I knew I needed.
Yesterday I spoke briefly with a shrink who shocked the hell out of me. He was the first after a zillion shrinks to say anything kind to me. He told me I express myself well, communicate well and do not need to be here, I need to move. I'd rather be here till I move.
Tammy came to the ER to take me to her place but I was already on my way here.
The shrink spoke to mom and dad and said I need no medication but in the evening I requested a sleeping pill. Never again, though, as I woke up extremely groggy.
Last night and this morning I had my first shower in almost 4 months since I moved.
I'm not sure what time it is now but I just made a really pretty beaded bracelet and polished both my fingernails and my toenails. Lindsay let me use her nail clippers. She has a journal, too. One of the same ones I have.
One staff member here is from England and I was imitating her accent for her.
The food here is good. Not your typical hospital food.
I played the piano earlier but some of the keys don't work and it's way out of tune.
Now for my really really super good news. Dad's coming up!!! He's gonna be here Friday! I'm psyched!
I got here yesterday at 4 PM. Tammy’s begun to pull out my valuables. She's taken care of Shadow and is feeding him every day. She also took out my garbage and did my dishes and is gonna get my mail and do my laundry. I don't know how I'll ever be able to repay her. She, Bill and the girls came up to see me today. She brought me some clothes, this journal, my Word Find book and some pictures of Gloria.
Everyone here thought she was my mom and that I'm 17.
I cried after they left. Especially when I was sitting on my bed and noticed a piece of paper under my pillow. It was a get-well note from Lisa. That was so sweet of her.
I just tried to call mom and dad for the third time but there's no answer.
They have a couple of lounges here with TVs, a VCR and coffee, snacks and fruit drinks. They have a huge box with all kinds of beads. Lots of different colors, shapes and sizes so I made Lisa, Becky and Sarah bracelets, too.
When I spoke to mom and dad last night she asked if I wanted dad rather than her to come up. She said she didn't want me to feel as if I have to choose, but I agreed on dad coming up. I told mom I love her for her concern and that she is who she is, but I am who I am too, and dad and I have more in common. She agreed and said she understood. I can't wait to see him!
I'm gonna see if I can get Tammy to contact Andy and let him know where I am.
I just remembered a funny thing. A couple of months ago, Tammy and Bill went to a birthday party for a friend and Bill got smashed while Tammy got a little tipsy. On my memoboard in my kitchen, I wrote mom's zip code. Tammy was really pissed at her then and she wrote ‘bitch’ and ‘asshole’ next to her name. Perhaps I should tell her to erase it now that dad's coming.
The place I mentioned escaping to several pages back was down at the schoolyard. Across the huge open field is a hill. At the bottom of it is an elementary school. I sat on the swings for a while as some kids played basketball. Some other kids were playing in a sandbox and I noticed a jungle gym with slides, bars and a flat part big enough for someone my size. I was trying to tan there and get away from the chaos. At first, it wasn't easy. Some kids just had to smother me, scare the shit out of Shadow and ask me 100 questions. I was thinking, just shut up, get away, leave me alone, why do you think I came here?
Finally, they split.
Shadow follows me everywhere, of course, and it was so funny seeing him trying to climb up to get to me. He tried climbing up the slide and kept slipping back down.
It's almost 10:30 now and soon they'll be announcing the last cigarette. After you've been here 24 hours you can smoke whenever you want if you go outside. When it gets dark, a staff member must be with you. During your first 24 hours here you can only smoke at scheduled times.
I hope that while I'm in here I get a letter from Andy. I could really use one and he says he's got letters for me from other people.
Right now I can't think of much more to write about and I'm getting sort of tired. Maybe I'll be able to sleep soon but I don't know for sure. I am a night person. I should try cuz they're gonna wake me up at 7:00. Isn't that crazy?!
5/26/1992 Tues. 11:30 AM
Something obviously came up earlier and that's why I didn't get to write. I was incredibly tired when they woke me up this morning at 7 AM. They did blood work on me and took my vitals.
There were several groups here which made me nervous at first. I quickly calmed down and talked freely and easily, though, as I was able to relate to several others and can express myself well. The patients and staff here are friendly and I may even continue a friendship with one or two people when I leave.
I talked so far to two shrinks who were impressed with my ability to communicate and my honesty. They said I shouldn't be here, I should move. Of course, and thank God, I will be moving.
I came here 100% voluntarily and so I was upset to see I had a paper on me saying I was committed involuntarily for 15 days. Usually, what other people think and believe doesn't matter, but this is different. This was a false label on paper, so one staff had me sign a paper for a judge to come see me here and decide. Today, however, when I saw the second shrink, he changed the paperwork and had me sign a voluntary commitment paper. I also signed a paper retracting my request to see a judge.
Today's groups were mainly to discuss the problems that put us here and our future goals for when we leave. There was also a relaxation group and a recreation group.
I also had to fill out a personal question form that breaks down one's personality. It was all true or false but there were 400 questions. Tomorrow, I've got to do 400 more. Oh well. It gives me something to do.
I spoke to dad a short while ago and he'll be here Friday! He, Tammy and I, are gonna look for a new place for me.
Tammy has been so helpful and a great support. She's cleaned my place and has taken care of Shadow. She also told me she's had a long talk with Barbara who feels bad and understands. According to Tammy, Barbara's still a friend and she'll help me pack.
Karen, a really nice friend of Tammy's says hi, she's proud of me, she loves me, and to draw her a picture of a cat.
Why is everyone so proud of me? I simply did what I had to do. What anyone would do under the circumstances.
5/27/1992 Wed. 11:11 PM
Not much has happened so far since I last wrote. I asked for some Benadryl last night to help me fall asleep. I didn't fall asleep, though, till nearly 2:00. When I was woken up this morning I was extremely tired. I'm just finally waking up now and I put on some makeup and brushed out my hair.
Roberta and Kathy, two girls here, have been super supportive and I think we're gonna remain friends when we leave. A girl named Bridgett, too. I gave all 3 my number, but today Bridgett will be leaving.
Several people told me they were proud of me and admired me for being out of the closet and saying I'm gay.
What’s the big deal? I am what I am.
Roberta and Kathy say they both have gay friends I may be able to meet. Either way, whether I meet people through them or not, I will be there for them to call if they're having a rough time with anything.
It'll be lunchtime soon and thank God for that as I'm very hungry.
Right now I am a bit frustrated, pissed and depressed. First of all, I'm really getting very sick of having to get up at 7:00. Secondly, I'm sick of a few unnecessary smoking rules they have here. After your first 24 hours here, during daylight hours, you can smoke as often as you want. You just need to get a staff member to let you outside into the courtyard and to light your cigarette for you. When it gets dark, you can only go out to smoke at certain scheduled times. They're usually an hour and a half to an hour and 15 minutes apart. The worst smoking rule is that there's no smoking at all after 10:30 at night. Unfortunately, they don't allow us to have lighters or matches so I can't sneak a smoke at night.
I also miss being alone even though I like these people. I sure do miss music and singing. I miss Shadow and my TV shows. I really really miss Andy, Fran, Nervous, Jessie and Steve.
My roommate Lindsay and I were just talking about some personal issues. Mainly about our families and the places we've been in. The weird thing about it is that both Lindsay and I have had huge falls. She fell off a cliff and broke her back, and of course, I jumped out a second-story window and broke my arm. I feel better after talking to Lindsay but I still have the same two issues bothering me that I can't control. I hate wanting to do or to have something I can never have or do. Stuck with no choice but to accept never having it which can be so incredibly hard at times. I still wish I could have my dream and live my dream of being a singer. I also wish I could meet more feminine gay women to have one-nighters with once or twice a month, rather than once or twice a year.
One of the shrinks here along with a few staff members and patients insists they know enough feminine ones. Even Ann Marie said that, but where are they all? Is God hiding them all from me? Only one I know is Ann Marie unless you want to count Nissan P, that stuck-up bitchy bus driver and one or two others whose names I can't think of now. I did see a late-night talk show taped in Boston that featured "lipstick lesbians," but to meet these people is nearly impossible. Especially when you're non-sociable, not big on bars and have little money to spend on ads.
I spoke to Tammy earlier and gave her a short list of other shit I need her to bring me. I've also got to think of other clothes I want her to bring. I hope I don't run out of cigarettes before she comes up and brings me more, but if I do, I'm sure Roberta or someone else here will help me.
The only other worry I have is about how long it'll take me to get a new apartment and get moved into it.
That's all that's been going on basically. Some things are changing and some things will never change.
During the daytime, we have several groups we must attend, and in an art class today we're making something quite cool. I hope I can buy and make this sometime myself. It's a little hard to describe, but you put these assorted colored pieces of ceramic on a small square board, then the art director finishes it. After you glue on the ceramic tiles, she pours grout on to fill in the gaps and spaces. It also securely and firmly holds on the ceramic tile pieces. It should be all done tomorrow as it has to sit and set overnight.
About 5 or 10 minutes ago, I paused to go have the last cigarette at 10:30. I was also given a shot of my Alupent and Benadryl. It helps me to fall asleep without having such a groggy hangover in the morning. The Benadryl is now beginning to settle in. I'm getting sleepier. I have no choice for now. I must take it even though I don't have to. It's the only way to get more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep before having to get up at 7:00.
The meds are given out at 8:00 and the first group is at 9:00. They give me my Theodur at 8 AM, noon and 5 PM. The Alupent is as needed.
It is about 11:00 now and I guess I'll try to go to sleep soon.
I still cannot sleep even though I know I should try. Maybe I'll try counting from 100 backward as the relaxation therapist suggested and says she does.
The back part of the bed goes up and down like the bottom does. You can sit up, lie flat and also have your knees up if you want. It's a regular hospital bed. This place looks like the ER with two patients in a room and sliding curtains for privacy. It is a real hospital and looks totally unlike the Brattleboro Retreat but this place is short-term.
5/28/1992 Thurs. 12:12 PM
I just finished lunch but I didn't eat much as I'm not big on pastrami, tuna or turkey.
Bill, who's another patient here, gave me some matches so we can sneak a smoke at night. He knows the right times to do it and knows the staff's scheduled times that they check on us. Every two hours, I guess. Jeanie will certainly distract the staff from any other patients. They're busy with her every night cuz she's always acting out screaming and yelling and being tossed into the time-out room. Because my roommate Lindsay doesn't smoke, I'm gonna zip across to Bill's room and puff the smoke out his window. He's leaving tomorrow so I don't know what I'm gonna do then. I'll have to find another place to smoke.
We had two groups already. One was group therapy and another was aerobics which really felt good to do and I never tired out to where I had to stop and take a break. The girl who runs it is also named Jodi and she's so cute. She says she can tell I dance and that I have good muscle tone.
After all the groups were finished I finally got a little attention one-on-one with my therapist Gloria.
Besides getting up too early and not being able to smoke whenever we want, that's the other thing that bugs me. I feel there's not enough one-to-one attention and too much group therapy. I really do enjoy talking to the other patients, though, too.
Me and this really cool girl named Kathy were just outside throwing rocks over the roof. It's a low roof and Bertie (Roberta) was in her room on the other side, seeing them fall off.
Kathy and Bertie both say they have beautiful, feminine gay female friends who they're gonna introduce me to. We'll see, but either way, they know I'll continue to be their friend and they can call me anytime they want.
Our door here went through quite a bit between Lindsay and I. She kicked it once and now has a sore foot and is using a cane. I slammed it twice. I'll get into that and also write about this guy Robert and about something funny between Bertie and I and a staff member named Debbie.
First, I made two beaded necklaces. The beads are super tiny. I made one for mom to mail to her for her birthday. I also made one for myself.
I forgot the names of Bertie's gay friends, but Kathy's best friend is also Jodi.
When I spoke one-on-one with Gloria and in a woman's group with Lydia and another group with Beth, I addressed my frustrations about life.
This guy Robert who we call Bob is so weird yet so funny. Me and Kathy and Bertie mimic him all the time. He blows air out in such a funny-sounding way. Sort of like snorting. Actually, it sounds more like blowing on a straw or slurping on a drink.
Earlier as I was heading towards my room, Bertie asked Debbie, a staff member, if she could watch her shave her legs (she’s restricted from using sharps by herself). I said "ooh" and burst out laughing. Then I asked Debbie if she could watch me brush my hair. So, I've been teasing Bertie all night asking her who's gonna watch her shave.
I called Tammy earlier who was doing my laundry at the time. She's on an antibiotic cuz her ear is filled with fluid and infected. I asked how Lisa's concert went at school, and Tammy said fine. I finally remembered to tell her how I found Lisa's note under my pillow.
She's gonna bring me more clothes, money, cigarettes, hair stuff and sneakers. Beth, a staff member here, is letting me borrow hers. Obviously, she's small, too.
The bad news is wondering whether or not dad will make it to see me tomorrow. Visiting hours are from 6 PM - 7 PM. He's driving up and he's got engine trouble. Bummer! He told me he was gonna drive rather than fly cuz it's cheaper. Now he'll get to break down instead and spend much more money to get the engine fixed.
Tomorrow, I'll have been here for 5 days. When I am leaving, I don't know.
I got really pissed off at one of the nurses here named Claire. I was wearing a black tank top. The same one I came in here wearing that no one said shit about which more than covers my tits. As I went outside to smoke, she told me it was skimpy and I needed to put a shirt over it. I told her I was plenty covered, I'm an adult, and that if she doesn't like it, don't look. Then she threatened to restrict me from smoking. Some of these staff are just so determined to "win" and have their way.
Before leaving, I'm gonna get the payphone numbers and get all the ones I hate when I leave. I've also kept my mouth shut about the edits and I'll continue to do so, although I could care less if they did know it was me. For a while, I'll keep them confused and there are 4 payphones here so I'll keep them all ringing one night non-stop. They'll be running back and forth not knowing what the fuck to think or do.
There's not much else going on, but I hope to hell my dad makes it here ok tomorrow.
My probation officer knows I'm here and she spoke with Gloria. Gloria told me that she said to call her when I leave. Tammy said Celia went into a thousand questions and Tammy went off on her saying, “This is asinine. She doesn't even need to be on probation.”
Life is never fair and it's full of spiteful witches like Claire.
I straightened out my hair earlier and it is getting long! It reaches just to the crack of my ass when it is wet! I love it even though I sure could use 2-3 inches trimmed. I'd still rather have long-dead split ends than have short healthy hair.
Bill and I sneaked a smoke earlier and we're gonna do it again after the staff goes to do their rounds. He'll come give me the signal cuz he knows the times.
Tonight, I'm not gonna take my Benadryl and I sure hope I don't wake up so damn groggy. Hopefully, it'll be a bit easier to get up knowing dad's gonna be here. I hope he's gonna be here. He better be here. I need him to be here. Please God, let him be here.
5/29/1992 Fri. 1 AM
Well, tomorrow will be the last day to get up so early. I think you can sleep later on weekends.
Twice I zipped across the hall to Bill's room to sneak a smoke with him. It sure makes me feel like a kid again having to sneak around. Now, I really should try to sleep but I really want to go home, pack and move out to a new, quieter, bigger and better apartment, and see dad.
I'm psyched! Tammy called and we discussed the things I want her to bring up. Then, she went on to say daddy's been delayed and may not be able to see me until next week. I was all bummed out ready to cry when suddenly, I heard the other phone be picked up and he goes, "Jodi Lin!"
I'm gonna see him at 6:00-7:00 tonight during visiting hours cuz it's the weekend.
The only bummer is I am so outrageously bloated and my shorts are skin-tight. They were slightly loose when I arrived here. I've gained 5 pounds since coming here. I’m 102 pounds.
I'm so bored and frustrated right now. I'm on step 2 and I want a staff member to take me out for a walk, but they're always too busy. There are 5 steps here, but whatever they're worth, I don't know. There's an observation period which everyone's automatically on for their first 24 hours here. Then there are steps 1-4. Groups are getting pretty frustrating here and I feel there's not enough one-to-one attention. I don't mind discussing my issues with other patients and them telling me their problems. They all are very accepting of me. We can relate to one another with certain feelings and emotions. But there are so many groups and so many different staff members that I'm getting sick of going over and over my issues with so many people. I want to talk to just one staff more often. They're all always so busy and you can't talk to them alone and in private. There are always other staff or patients around. Also, the staff is always getting interrupted to go run off and do something else. They've always got to jump up and deal with someone else or take a phone call. Or someone else comes up and says something or asks a question and they get into a conversation that goes on and on forever.
I want to hurry up and find a new apartment and move!
I saw dad and we had a great talk! Tammy did come up with him, too. They brought me some of my clothes, a few new T-shirts, a real nice neon-colored pair of shorts, a new barrette, some paintings, my sneakers, ballet slippers, lotion, cassettes, a teddy bear, lots of dimes for phone calls, deodorant, toothpaste, a huge tootsie roll, cigarettes, a few bucks and my next journal. Quite a bit of stuff!
They saw Bob and I do the whooshing sound and they met a few staff and other patients. I told them how 1st shift has a hard time waking me up and how 3rd can't get me to bed.
When Tammy said it wouldn't be appropriate to bring my edits here cuz they're crazy, I told her you're supposed to be crazy here with crazy stuff. It IS a psych ward. They brought me up some cassettes of Gloria's and one of Linda's and my Walkman. They said Walkmans aren't allowed cuz of the headphones so Rich was nice enough to let me use his little box. I'm listening to the Let It Loose cassette.
Dad's gonna come back and visit Sunday, but while we were here together we discussed several things. We talked basically about me moving.
Lindsay's writing in her journal and making a list of things she needs her boyfriend to bring.
I just called mom and told her all about my visit with dad. And Tammy, of course.
Bertie, Lindsay, Kathy, Rich and Scott were all calling me Gloria. I told them not to call me Gloria and that I don't want to be her, I want to be WITH her. We were all talking about people we liked and laughing and joking about this and that.
Then Lindsay, who had a sore foot, gave me this plastic glove with water in it. It was ice that melted. There's this wooden box by the nurse's station for patients' comments and suggestions. Well, that's where I put the glove. That nice English lady, Lydia, found it.
I was telling the staff the perfect idea I had in mind to make their job easier. These halls are perfect for roller-skating. So, if they had to bring something all the way down the opposite end of the hall, I could just skate it down.
When dad and Tammy were here I mentioned Andy working at Denny's and how he enjoys living in the nicer apartments Arizona usually has and for so much cheaper. I told him how he grew up living near Diane and her daughter Donna and they moved there and then helped Andy settle out there. Also how Andy said he could easily get me in his complex and how he can go swimming all the time and has a whirlpool by the pool. He's sent pictures of his place so I know how modern it is. He's got a dishwasher, built-in microwave and, of course, central air which is pretty standard there. Most luxury-type apartments are standard in Arizona. Here, you must either be able to afford them or do without.
Andy, Fran and maybe Nervous and Bob are no doubt wondering where the fuck I've been. I asked Tammy to call Andy and let him know what's up with me. I told her to leave a message if he doesn't answer. I don't think Bob or Nervous are able to afford to call me but Fran's probably been trying like crazy. Kim doesn't give a shit, but I wonder if Jessie or Ann Marie has tried? The tape is probably all filled up.
I miss my music and Shadow.
Any minute now, they'll be announcing the final cigarette break of the night. Since Bill left today, who's gonna smoke with me? Maybe I'll go to Bertie's room or Rich and Scott's room cuz I already mentioned it to them. I still have the matches, thank God.
I'll write more later. Now, I'm gonna go check out the painting thing they brought me to do. It's a cat on black velvet.
There's something else I gotta go check out, too.
The other thing they brought up is a pain in the ass, a waste of time and I have no patience for it. It's this clay you mold into this plastic thing with a stick in the middle to make beads. Then, after it hardens, you paint them. It's a messy, sloppy, complicated, frustrating waste of time. The paint by number thing is fine with me.
I forgot to ask Tammy what I've gotten for mail and also for her to bring me any important mail. She hasn't said anything so I guess all I've gotten is junk mail.
I think Bertie, Scott and Rich are asleep, so how am I gonna smoke a cigarette? Go into a vacant room? The bathroom that everyone uses is too close to the nurse's station. I guess I'll wait till after they've done their room checks, then zip across to the vacant room across the hall.
Some of these rules here are so stupid and ridiculous. Some things around here irk you more than they help you and we're made to feel like little kids.
5/30/1992 Sat. 12:15 AM
The staff is now making his rounds with his flashlight. Phil came in here, then continued on further down the hall. He hasn't come back up yet.
Oh, he just did, so now I gotta get across undetected. Wish me luck. Luckily this new patient woke up to go talk to the nurse. I can't remember his name but I showed him the matches in my robe pocket and we went to his room which is on the end and had a cigarette. He told me to wake him up later and this will work out perfect now that I've got someone to do this with.
Man oh man was that a close call! Phil gave me some hot water to make a cup of tea, then I went to wake up that guy. The guy said that Phil questioned him about the smoke. The second time we smoked, the guy ditched it right before Phil came. I don't know what Phil said to the guy cuz I ran into my room, but he never said a word to me. He's gonna let me know when the nurse returns from wherever the hell she is to give me my last shot of Alupent, then I'm gonna try to sleep.
I hope tomorrow night won't be hard for us to sneak a smoke. The staff may be keeping a very close eye on us. Now Phil's sitting in a chair at the end of the hall where he can see straight down the whole hall. I also hear him having a long serious talk with someone, but I don't know what he's saying.
Phil was talking to some other staff whose name I forgot as usual. Even though I have a very good memory, there are too many people to keep track of. Phil was not talking about the smoking to the other guy. They were discussing classes. 3rd shift is really cool compared to a lot of 1st and 2nd shift staff. Maybe that's cuz 3rd shift doesn't really have to deal with us like 1st and 2nd shifts do. Phil’s nice. I can see myself wanting him if I was straight due to his qualities. No matter where I met him if I was straight, I'd never get him any more than I'd ever get the women I really want.
My day was off to a very shitty start here. Yesterday I was told you could sleep as late as you want on weekends. Yeah, right. First, there’s the 8:00 med call. Then there was this shrink running around from room to room at 9:00, or even earlier. I would've been woken up anyway, and Lindsay was moving about too, doing this and that.
When they first paged meds, I never heard it. Obviously, I was in a dead sleep and was lying on my good ear. I finally got up at 9:00 and walked up to the nurses’ station and waited for my meds. I was wheezing my ass off and one nurse snaps at me and says snottily to back away from the nurses’ station, she's on the phone and it's very private. I told her all she had to do was ask me nicely and not be rude about it. She told me to go ask Pat for my meds and Pat's always been nice to me before. I expected her least of all to flip out on me. The other nurse did give me my Theodur and my Azmacort but any nurse should know that those are prevention drugs. You don't take those as needed or whenever the hell you want to. The Alupent is as needed for the wheezing. Pat was talking to Jeanie, a patient, but being desperate cuz I was pretty wheezed out, I interrupted her for it. The other nurse also told me to do so as an asthma attack's more important to deal with before you chat with someone. I mean, it was right across the hall. I'd get someone their Alupent first, then go back and resume my conversation. Jeanie would've fully understood, too. Instead, Pat had to be a hostile bitch and tell me to wait and not to interrupt her so rudely. After several frustrating minutes, she gave me my Alupent. And cuz I say what I gotta say and don't kiss ass and was sick of being kind, honest and obeying and being shit on, I did go off verbally and cuss her out. I don't rudely butt into conversations unless it's urgent, nor was I rude, yelling or swearing at these people to begin with. I was so pissed off.
Also, yesterday when dad and Tammy brought me my clothes, Debbie went through them. They automatically need to search for sharps and crap like that but I asked that she check my clothes. I wanted her to tell me right then and there if anything was inappropriate so dad could take them back. I also told Debbie I was taking no contradictions. I told her to tell other staff that anything I wear was approved by her and no other staff was suddenly gonna turn around and tell me otherwise. Yet after Pat gave me my Alupent she told me to leave the nurses’ station as I was dressed inappropriately, according to her.
How is a pair of shorts and a long T-shirt inappropriate?
I told her, "It's inappropriate cuz I told you something you didn't agree with or want to hear. If all was well between us, it'd be fine."
I swear at times some of the staff get on such a power and authority trip that really goes to their heads! The staff here can really provoke and instigate patients who are not one bit out of line.
I talked to other staff about her first, figuring Pat could never handle me talking to her and would just keep flipping out. Finally, I said that's tough and too damn bad for her if she freaks out and asked for a talk with her. Very kindly she said yes and I told her to let me know when she's free. At noon she told me 1:00. At 1:00 she left the building but said she'd be back in an hour, but we never spoke then either. There's one thing I can surely say, though. She and that other nurse were so friendly from then on after. It didn't seem phony either. They really truly did seem sorry for being rude and needlessly jumping down my throat.
After I got that ceramic tile trivet thing and made 3 pairs of earrings with Lydia, they were so complimentary towards me. You've really got to hound the staff here to get any attention and they'd rather be friendly (which is still nice) after an argument, rather than deal with trying to communicate and better understand the patients. Lindsay and other patients told me this from day one.
Lindsay's a really good person but has gone off just as I have. However, when I got back in the room and bitched, Lindsay told me to stop bitching or she'd slam my head into the wall. After being threatened by so many people, I snapped. I told her I was ready to fight her anytime she was ready, but she backed down, saying it was stupid to fight, so I dropped it.
It's the 9:30 cigarette break so I'll be back.