Living With Schizophrenia: Theresa: January 2008 Archives

Theresa: January 2008 Archives

January 18, 2008

How I Got PTSD; Part 3, My exes

After boot camp they sent me to the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut. I worked in an office for the students of the Naval Submarine School. In February, 1988 I met my ex husband, Donald David Newsome. He was a dungeon master of Pallidium games. I though he was smart and creative like me. Shortly after we met, we exchanged poems and started dating. He pushed himself on me in a hotel room. I believed at the time, he had just gotten carried away with passion. He was delusional, he believed in a pantheon of Gods and told me my diety was Baal Gortha. He believed he was some sort of wizard. I believe he was talking about devil worship now, because he tried to summon a demon once when we were together. He got out on a mental health discharge.

I got out on April 17, 1989 after I told them about the pot I smoked in DEP. I did not tell them it was my father's pot. I had discovered his stash. This lead to my discharge, as I knew it would. I was frustrated with not being allowed to go to a school, the rules, and depression. I moved out to Ferndale, Washington to be with Don, who I believed loved me, because he said he did. We moved in with his father, who he had said raped little girls right in front of him. I allowed his sexual abuse to continue. He pushed anal sex on me many times. He also pushed LSD on me. He loved pornography, not me. We had a daughter in 1990, and I gave her up for adoption because I didn't trust him with a baby. He pushed me up against the stove once and threatened to punch me once. He obsessed about me, calling hospitals and police if I was a little late. He threatened to destroy my stuff. The only way I could figure to get out of it was to push marraige on him, so we got married on April 19, 1991. He raped me because I told him I didn't want to and he kept insisting we had to consummate the marraige. We moved shortly after the marraige and I forgot the top of the wedding cake in the freezer of the old house. He finally asked me for a divorce on July 9, 1991 (One year and a day after the birth of our daughter) and we separated. I did not get my divorce until 1995.

For a long time I suffered from major depression and the anxiety that comes with PTSD. I also felt a learned helplessness and a lack of self respect that took years to overcome. I drifted in and out of sexually abusive relationships, leaving when I felt I had killed whatever interest these men had in me to begin with. Depression and anxiety kept interfering with my work life and I had a history of absenteeism from calling in sick, except when I worked as an Assistant Head Housekeeper at Park Motel in Bellingham, Washington. I worked at that job until they dissolved the position. I didn't feel good at a job until college where I worked as a writing and math tutor. I started college in 1992, graduated community college in 1994 and attended the university in 1995.

College was good for my self esteem. So was Wicca. But I kept running into men who'd push anal sex on me. Although nobody really beat me up until I met David Gallacci, aka "Oak," who was a cross dresser, an artist and a pot head. He threw me on the ground, pushed me down and broke my things on purpose. Apparently he had bipolar too. I interfered with him and his ex-girlfriend Autumn. I was "the other woman." I'm still not sorry I broke up that relationship.

I finally dropped out of college in 1995 because of paranoia and a rape that happened in the computer lounge I always used. Shortly after this I went on a spiritual journey. Somewhere in California, I met some Native American men in a cafe. I went to their house because I wanted to tell them about the relocation of the Navajo in Arizona. Three of them raped me, and a fourth, a half breed (for lack of a better term) punched me six times in the head. I hit him with a kitchen chair and threatened to poke out his eyes. He stopped then. I said "I'm leaving your house now." I reported it, and because I wouldn't let them pull out my pubic hairs, nothing was done about it.

In 1995 some time I went back to Verona, Wisconsin where my biological father lived and paid him a visit at work. It was the first and last time I ever gave him a hug. He put his hand on my rear end.

In 1997, I was being stalked by John Michael Laing-Sparger, a convicted rapist. He had been a friend at the time of his date rape. He had sex with all my friends and then pushed sex on me. He kept calling even though I asked him to stop. He wrote me nasty letters. He fathered my youngest daughter after he pushed sex on me. I could not get a restraining order even though he was convicted of rape. In 1997, my schizophrenia became full-blown. I gave birth to my youngest daughter. I ran, on foot, away from John Michael, a crack addict karaoke singer, and hitchhiked. I was really paranoid and lost in delusions. I was out of my head when they took my daughter away from me in Missoula, Montana. I tried suicide that night because of depression and schizophrenia. I was institutionalized at St. Patricks hospital for several weeks. I had them send me back to Bellingham, Washington.

They put my daughter in foster care. I lost all hope of getting her back when CPS and the courts gave John Michael unsupervised visits, refused to drug test or treat him, believe me about him, and wrote nine paragraphs against me and one against him. I gave her up for adoption to the foster family to keep her away from John Michael and his father, Max Sparger, a child molestor who molested the daughter of two friends of mine. After this I lost my housing and ended up homeless until 2002 when I finally got treatment for both schizophrenia and PTSD.

Only one guy beat me up during my stint as a homeless woman. This was at the Greyhound bus station in Seattle, Washington. He worked behind the counter. He tried to lock the bathroom door and almost shut the door on my arm. My arm was in the way because there were older women there and I tried to prevent him locking the bathroom door. He shut the door anyway and I slapped him. He threw me outside. I got back up and went inside. This time when he threw me, I landed on my head. The police charged me with assault, and I spent a month in jail before the judge threw the case out of court. He was a mulatto, and I don't know his name. This was in 1998. Although I spent most of my time in California, where it was warm and dry, I travelled all over the country. I rarely stayed in one place long enough to be found by any person who'd prey on the homeless. I was scared of stalkers. Nobody in my family, except my older brother, Chris, offered me shelter or money.

For a long time I could not handle being in crowded places or sitting with my back to an open room. But I took example from Peggy, and stepped in wherever I saw abuse going on. That helped my self esteem a lot.

Now, I see a light at the end of that tunnel and I'm sure it's not a "freight train coming my way." (to quote Metallica). I'm sure now there is such a thing as love and God and that I will find justice. Jim, the man who raped me at seven, got away with raping my cousin, too. He only got probation for that. I pray that next time he gets caught raping a child, he will get sent to prison for life.

That is my story. Thank you for listening.

January 18, 2008

How I Got PTSD: Part 2, Mike and Sue

My adoption by my biological father effectively stopped Steve's beatings of me, but I wasn't thankful at first because Sue was handy with a belt, too, and she liked to slap me across the face. She'd also grab me and dig her nails into my arm until she'd draw blood and bruise me around the wounds.

Neither her or my biological father ever told me they loved me or hugged me. They never attended any of my sporting events to cheer me on or anything. They didn't want anything to do with God and openly mocked my requests for love. But I was thankful I no longer had to attend Christian church (Lutheran to be exact) like I had been doing when I lived with Peggy and Steve. I still believed my biological mother was an angel in Heaven.

My biological father kept pornography in the only bathroom in the house we were allowed to use. We were not allowed in my "stepmother's" bathroom, ever. She never turned him in for the drugs either. He put LSD in my older brother, Chris, kool-aid when he was about four years old. He remembers going on the trip. Sue never said one bad word about the pornography to him or anyone else. She was emotionally and psychologically abusive. She made me use OB tampons and go to the gynecologist when I was 16 to get birth control pills.

We also had to do a lot of work around the house with no pay. They never gave us money for anything but lunch at school. We did all the yard work without even a polite thank you. She'd also lock us in the basement when they weren't home and even when they were or we had visitors, we had to stay in the basement. They kept their marijuana upstairs.

I was severly depressed, had really low self esteem and I was suffering from paranoia but they refused to take me to a counselor. I presume because they were afraid I'd turn them in for abuse and neglect. Finally, at 17, I signed up to join the Navy because Sue told me if I didn't join she'd take me to court for being an incorrigible minor and put me in foster care. I had been caught shoplifting and I was afraid of her threat. They put me in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) until I turned 18 and was legal to join the military.

While in DEP I met Steve Harried, and he sexually abused and raped me. He pushed sex on me in public bathrooms and at his house. The first time he raped me was when he drove me home from a DEP meeting after I told him I didn't think it was a good idea that we sleep together. I had such low self esteem I didn't expect any better. I put up with it for almost a year because it was better then the rapes I experienced at seven, and I confused this with love. I dumped him because he cheated on me with a girl he met in Guam.

I left home 22 hours before I turned 18 so they couldn't report me as a runaway. I stayed at the Salvation Army until September 21, 1987 when I was shipped off to Orlando, Florida where I went to boot camp.

January 18, 2008

How I Got PTSD: Part 1, Peggy and Steve

I find peace having forgotten a lot of the awful things that were said to me by the perpetrators of violence. Having a sketchy memory is sometimes a curse, like in science and history classes, and sometimes a blessing, when it comes to my family. However, I remember fairly clearly what was done.

My biological mother, Elinore Sanford, was both lucky and unlucky. She escaped the violence of this world when she ran her car into a telephone pole on August 23, 1973. I was three. She died and went up to Heaven when she went through the windshield. God only knows why she wasn't wearing her seatbelt.

This happened within a couple of years after she divorced my biological father, Mike Lennon. He left her to marry our babysitter, Sue Nielsen, who was fifteen at the time she started babysitting us. This is only part of his tacky behavior. He was a drug imbibing second-rate musician at the time. Most of my family thinks it's amazing that he completed college with a masters degree in Electrical Engineering. I suppose with all the drugs he was doing, it was quite the accomplishment, after all.

I can only speculate on how he treated my mother, but considering his unwillingness to communicate with or forgive me, I'm sure he was the same with her. My mother did not smoke, and he did. I have no idea if she partook of the drugs my father did. My father loves pornography, and I'm sure that had something to do with the divorce.

After the divorce, my biological mother married Vietnam veteran Steve Coach. He was not a nice man. He liked to drink and play drums. He used to beat me with a belt for no reason at all. He probably was not just violent with me. He was probably violent with my mother too. I don't remember though.

Steve remarried Peggy after my biological mother's death. Peggy is a Native American Buddhist. She does not know which tribe she is from since she is a child of rape. Her biological father never told her white mother what tribe he was from. They both adopted me after my biological mother died. It wasn't long before I started to call her "mom."

The beatings continued. Occasionally Peggy would step in between us and put a stop to it. This was very brave of her, although she hit me too, sometimes. I can't honestly say she hurt me. She used to put Tabasco sauce and soap on my tongue for lying.

Peggy's brother, Jim Basacker, is a child molestor. He came over to babysit when I was seven once and he was 18. He french kissed me, which grossed me out at the time. He raped me. He licked my nipples and did everything but penetrate me. He crushed the breath out of me when he laid down on top of me, because I was so small and he was not. He left his sputum in my underwear and on my vagina, and lied to me by saying it came from me. I knew he was lying, even though I had no idea what it was. He babysat me about seven more times after that, and he raped me each time he babysat. Finally, the last time he babysat, I shouted "no!" at him. He offered me a quarter to let him molest me, and I threw it against the wall. The rapes stopped after that and he stopped babysitting me. I think he was afraid I'd tell someone if he didn't quit.

I must have been suffering from paranoia at the time because I really believed my mom, Peggy, put him up to it. I had no name for what he did to me, at the time, and it didn't occur to me to tell my adoptive parents. I didn't trust them. I had no idea what he might've done to the baby, my little brother, and it didn't occur to me to ask. I didn't figure it out till I learned about sexual intercourse in my freshman year of high school. I really wish someone had taught me about child molestation or talked to me about sex before that.

Finally in 1979, Peggy got tired of me allegedly hitting my little brother, Shane. Which he was doing to himself and saying I did it. I also had other emotional problems including rage, which was not violent. I was against violence because of the death of my mother and the violence of my stepfather, Steve. I stopped hanging around other kids in the neighborhood after they stoned a crow to death. They saw me throw one stone at it and they never stopped. She sent me to live with my biological father.

My biological father had never sent me a letter, birthday gifts, Christmas presents or an "I love you." on the phone. But, I went willingly because I knew I had an older brother that I wanted to see. I believed I was just going for a visit, but it was really an adoption. Imagine my surprise when I found out my biological father and his wife were adopting me. I said, "I don't suppose I have a choice," when they asked me, and indeed, I didn't. I was against it because Sue seemed mean and not very compassionate.

January 18, 2008

How PTSD affects me.

I am a survivor of physical, psychological, emotional and sexual violence.

First, I must say that the medication I take for both depression and PTSD helps immensely. It's Zoloft. Most of my PTSD symptoms have disappeared. I still get nightmares and have trouble with sleeping, especially due to the disturbing dreams I sometimes have.

I was re-experiencing symptoms for a long time. I was raped repeatedly when I was eight. I would have frequent memories of that. I never forgot those nights when my babysitter would come over and rape me. I get intense memories of him telling me that his sputum came from me, and of me having to clean it off of myself. I was mystified by it. I always get a sense of horror when I remember that. I also could not forget that I could not breathe when he was on top of me, and therefore could not cry out. I have vivid memories of his french kisses too, and experience a strong sense of disgust, just like when it was happening. To this day, I don't like french kissing very much, although once in awhile a french kiss is okay. I also experienced marital rape, which has led me to avoid a second marriage like the plague. I often felt that that experience was happening to me all over again. I still have disturbing dreams about my ex husband where he's trying to "get some" from me. I hate the fact that my ex husband would ignore my dislike of kissing and force kisses on me. To make this worse, he was a terrible kisser -- like kissing a fish. I have vivid memories of him trying to get anal sex from me. Sometimes he'd succeed. I'd get shaky around the adoptive family that abused me. I still remember my stepfather beating the crap out of me. One very vivid memory is of him picking me up by the collar, holding me against my bedroom door and screaming in my face. I also vividly remember him telling me to take my pants down so he could beat me with a belt. (Am I mistaken, or is that a form of sexual abuse?) My heart would beat fast whenever I came to Eau Claire. I now live in Eau Claire, and seem to be all right with that today.

I also have avoidance and numbing symptoms. I often try to avoid memories, thoughts and feelings associated with all the violence I experienced. I used to go out of my way to avoid both sets of parents and anyone who took their side. Obligation would sometimes take over and I would call them about once or twice a year. They never called me, and after Christmas of 1990, they stopped sending correspondence altogether. I only got Christmas correspondence from my blood father's wife. I felt, and still feel, detached and removed from them. I often feel a little bit numb.

I still to this day cannot remember what my babysitter (my adopted uncle) looked like. All I know is that he had blonde hair. All the details of what he looked like physically are missing. I stopped enjoying sexual activity quite some time ago. It always brings up memories of either my ex husband or my babysitter. I still have a hard time believing, with all my "hang ups" that I will marry (somebody nice this time) or raise children .
I also have hyperarousal symptoms. My sleep problems are getting better now. I don't seem to have so many problems falling asleep, but I definitely have problems staying asleep. For several years, I had problems getting to sleep. I also have anger problems. I still find myself being irritable from time to time, and before I started taking the Zoloft it seemed I was either irritable or depressed or both. I recently learned about splitting. It seems I have done that with anger. It would build up until I would explode, albeit briefly. It often seemed out of proportion to what had triggered it. I could not contain it. Once, fed up with having to clean up the kitchen after all 6 of my roommates one too many times, I dumped all the dishes and stuff on the floor. I broke the window in my YWCA room one night when I came home and threw my keys across the room. I don't remember what triggered that incident. I used to throw things a lot when I'd get mad.

Sometimes I had real problems concentrating, especially when I had to memorize stuff, and I would often startle easily when I was concentrating on something.

I also have a lot of the problems that come with PTSD. It affected my sense of self. For a long time I felt helpless, especially when I'd get involved with another sexually abusive man, and I'd have a hard time taking the initiative to get out of bad relationships. When I was a lot younger, I used to blame myself, but I learned slowly how not to do that. I felt very alien compared to other people. I often felt much older, and believed myself to have lived several lifetimes. For a long time I really believed in past lives and that I could remember bits and pieces of them. On the other hand, It took me until just recently to believe that I was an adult. I often felt like I hadn't reached adulthood yet.

I had distorted views of the perpetrators too. I suppose I still am a little preoccupied with the idea that my uncle is my uncle. I don't know what to make of my old relationships to the perpetrators. Perhaps I shouldn't make much of it at all.... For awhile I felt grateful to my uncle, my stepfather, and my ex husband for showing me what men are really like, and for not being worse. I loved them, which is called the "Stockholm syndrome." I like to think I'm over those feelings now. For awhile I believed my relationship with my ex husband was karmic -- that I had abused him as a man abuses a woman in a past life. He told me we were soulmates and I believed him. I bought all of their ideas about sissies, and magic, and other things hook line and sinker. It took much soul searching after the fact to realize they were liars, and that my stepfather was a racist (not to mention very sexist.)

These experiences caused me to lose a lot of my faith in the good nature of most human beings, as well as God/dess. I despaired for a long time that I would never find a good man to be mine or that I would find love. At least, until I became comfortable with being alone.

My learned helplessness caused me to feel trapped in several sexually abusive "relationships" with men. I always went back for more, or would call these men again asking for a second "date." It would take mental gymnastics on my part to escape from these "relationships." I had a limited view of others. I saw my best friend as a rescuer -- she helped me escape from the marriage from hell. I suppose I put her on a pedestal. She had a beautiful daughter, but she is a drug addict. She did love me, and I'm sure she still loves me. But the drugs get in the way. I also saw her as a victim. Her husband was as abusive as mine. I saw perpetrators everywhere for awhile. I had difficulty coping with my anxiety. I often, especially while stoned, was extremely anxious, and avoided men like the plague.

I think all the visions I had of children I knew being sexually abused was a combination of my schizophrenia and my PTSD. For years I'd have invasive visions of sexual abuse of others. Some of these visions I beleved were real. These visions would make me extremely angry, since I couldn't stop them. And I'd feel guilty for seeing them.

Depression and suicidal thoughts were common for me since I lost my mother at four years old. It's hard for me to believe it was all a chemical imbalance. I think my problems are a combination of environmental and biological factors. The fact that my depression went untreated for about 25 years may have caused my schizophrenia. I did not believe it was a chemical imbalance at all for years; I thought it could be blamed entirely on the abuse. I did not believe, until I tried Zoloft, that medication could help me with that at all, but it did, and for that I am very grateful to God/dess and science.

January 17, 2008

Becoming Homeless

I became homeless in the summer of 1999. I was kicked out of my apartment on Franklin Street in Bellingham, Washington by the cops.

First, I should explain how I got the apartment. It was my first apartment that was all mine. I'd previously rented rooms, either in apartments or the YWCA.

In the Spring of 1997 I applied for housing through the Bellingham Housing Authority for myself and my unborn daughter. I waited with baited breath at the YWCA, and in September of that year, my housing came through. I found a place on Franklin Street that had a dishwasher and a washer and dryer. I moved in at the beginning of October, approximately two weeks before Aeyre was born. I was happy for a little while. My friends Bonnie and Shari helped a little bit with furniture, and Bonnie's mom, Fran donated a microwave she had found.

I got a credit account with Fingerhut, and got myself some pillows, a vacuum cleaner, and a fake Christmas tree. (I do believe I still owe them money....) I got a few other things too, but I no longer remember what they were.

I should have been set for a long time. I wasn't making any money except what I was getting from welfare, and I did not have to pay any rent at all. After Aeyre was born I could afford diapers, and since I was getting WIC I got milk and cheese and other stuff. I was getting food stamps of course.

But I was smoking a lot of marijuana (which was against the housing rules, as well as illegal). I blamed a lot of my symptoms on the marijuana. I must have been addicted, because I just couldn't seem to quit even though it was, in theory, causing so much chaos. I tried not to smoke cigarettes or marijuana around the baby, but it wasn't too long before I was smoking cigarettes while breastfeeding and marijuana in front of the baby. I realized that everything was totally out of control and told God/dess several times that I just couldn't do it (raise a baby, that is).

Her breastfeeding worsened the rape hallucinations too. I could not handle the combination of her suckling on a breast while I felt like I was being raped. Sometimes she wouldn't latch on correctly or would chew. I'd get so frustrated and enraged I'd shake her. I shook her about ten times total the four months I had her in my custody. I knew it wasn't her fault but I couldn't really help it. It was so uncomfortable. In the day time, the hallucinations were really mild, if they were there at all, but at night, they would go on for hours. Fortunately she seems okay now.

She began to avoid my eyes when I held her, and that frustrated me too. I had been screaming at the voices occasionally, and a couple of nights I let her cry herself to sleep. I could not seem to calm her while I held her. Other people could, and I flirted with the idea of adopting her out, but did not know who I could adopt her out too. I lacked the mental resources to research adoption, and probably would've trusted no one anyway. I didn't want to adopt her out to Leslie, the adoptive mother of Chelsey, my firstborn, because she had not sent me pictures since Chelsey was a baby. I knew if I lost my daughter, I'd lose my housing. At this point in time I had no explanation for what was happening to me.

I almost left her alone a couple of nights, but did not do this. I felt trapped in my apartment and helpless as she was. When CPS showed up for the first time, I was labeled hostile. I had been rolling my own cigarettes and the worker inquired whether all the butts in the ashtray were roaches. I told him no, but did not admit to smoking marijuana.

About a month after I came back from the hospital in Missoula, Montana, Aeyre was sent to Bellingham, too. She moved in with a foster family. I was on Haldol at first and had to stay at a respite house until the Haldol wore off, because I could barely move or talk on the stuff. They put me on Seroquel. But it's sedating effects scared me. I was afraid I'd stay asleep through some night terror or rape hallucination and die while asleep. I guess it helped with the rape hallucinations, but I never noticed any change. In the meantime, I took the trip down to Navajo country and tried to help them against Peabody Coal. I saw aliens and imagined all sorts of things while I was down there. I remember one night in particular I saw a huge (ten foot tall) feet and two transparent aliens. I thought it was God at the time. I slept alongside the road a lot while travelling the reservation.

I had weekly supervised visits with her. It really seemed like my case worker from CPS had it in for me. She'd write eight to ten paragraphs against me in her reports and one paragraph against the father, who was a crack addict and a convicted rapist who was pretending to be mentally ill. She recommended treatment for me, but not the father. She just refused to believe John Michael smoked crack or did other kinds of drugs. They never even tested him. (While he was on probation -- or parole -- from his conviction of date rape, he would drink. Perhaps I should've turned him in, but he had been a friend for about five years before he went to court.) I really didn't get it, and my paranoia didn't help. The drug counselor recommended inpatient treatment, but I knew that they'd monitor my meds and make sure I was taking those. And I had no intention of quitting the marijuana, since it seemed to be helping my depression. So I refused to go to drug treatment. In an attempt to pacify them, I lied and told them I was going to NA meetings. This did not work. I still couldn't quite believe I was mentally ill either.

Some time in 1998, I believe it was summer, John Michael showed up at my apartment carrying Aeyre. He had gotten unsupervised visits, and was going to use Aeyre as leverage to get into my apartment. I hid from him and called my public defender immediately. I was floored. I could not believe it. I would not have left that helpless little girl alone with him, and was stunned that CPS had allowed him, a rapist, to watch my daughter unsupervised. The unsupervised visits did cease after a little while.

They made a big deal about me not talking enough, or asking them questions like was it safe to feed the baby baby carrots. Once I did not do the dishes, and they claimed my whole apartment was filthy. It wasn't. They also made a big to do about unspecified delusions. I don't remember sharing any of my delusions with them, much less much of what I believe about God/dess. They wouldn't identify the delusions in question for me. I suppose she wanted to sound professional.....

I didn't want to tell them who my friends were, especially Bonnie, because although Bonnie's parenting practices could be called questionable and she was addicted to painkillers, the father of her daughter was really abusive. She had been embroiled in a nasty custody battle for quite some time, and I didn't want CPS to investigate her. I was certain, since she is part Cajun, they would've taken the children away from her. I just knew they were too white for my friend....

Bonnie and I had become estranged during this time. I had found a wicker bathroom shelf outside by the garbage dumpsters that looked exactly like one I had given her. I found out later that it had just been coincidence, and she still had the wicker furniture, but I had assumed she had been poking around in my garbage. She had also scared me when Aeyre was three months old and she was swinging her around. Her head came within six inches of the corner of the wall. She smiled, and it seemed like the evilest smile I had ever seen. I thought she was threatening to bash Aeyre's head into a wall. It took me about a year to recover from that scare.... I refused to talk to her, and even went to the police, leaving my daughter with Oak, who had proven himself violent before.

I managed to attend Western Washington University for a quarter during the Winter of 1999. That's where I learned to program websites. I'm still not sure how I managed, since I was still halfway sick, and still smoking marijuana. I was careful with my marijuana, careful not to get caught by CPS. Sometimes, though I'd smoke it within a couple hours of them coming over with my daughter.

Finally the foster family offered to adopt Aeyre after I completed that one quarter at WWU. It took me about a month to take them up on the offer. I had no intention of stopping the marijuana, going to inpatient treatment or accepting that I was permanently mentally ill.

It turned out that somebody told the Housing Authority about the adoption within a month or two of it happening. I don't remember who did that. They gave me a couple of weeks to move out. I couldn't find anyone to move in with. And I didn't know how to get housing for my disability. I was on SSDI and SSI by this time, but that didn't seem to matter to the Housing Authority. I was ticked off at a combination of things, my meds for making me so sleepy, the adoption, my failure as a parent, and the voices and hallucinations. I stopped taking my meds, stopped going to appointments with a therapist and my nurse practitioner. I got enraged at the voices for accusing me of raping my daughter repeatedly and sent coffee cups sailing through the window and porch door. My housekeeping went to pot. I couldn't seem to find the energy to clean the house or get off the couch.

I managed to give away several things before I was kicked out. I donated my clothes to Wise Buys. I donated my vacuum cleaner to the YWCA. But I lost most of my stuff when the cops showed up at my door and kicked me out then and there. The apartment was totally trashed. I had painted on the walls, and then washed off most of the paint (although some of it remained.)

I told them John Michael had busted out the windows during a fight. I wanted him punished for something, and I didn't want to pay for the damage.

I kept hearing screams at night. I'm sure now they were hallucinations. I tried to walk on water. I thought John Michael had my daughter and had thrown her in the stream by the apartment. I had no friends at this time, either rejecting them or being rejected by them. Shari stopped speaking to me shortly after I accused Bonnie of threatening to bash my daughter's head in. Most of my so called friends at this time were drug addicts, and by this time I was too. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing that I lost these friends.

I spent the night after they kicked me out under a bridge in Bellingham. I got scared that someone who liked to beat up bums, would find me, so in the morning I moved on. I started hitchhiking, and went down to California. My aunt in Eureka would not have me, so I asked her if I could use her address. She agreed to this, at least. I got my SSDI and SSI transferred to California, where they paid more. One has to have an address to get SSDI and SSI. I proceeded to check out California, keeping as much of my delusions and hallucinations to myself as I could. But occasionally I would break down and start screaming "Faggot" at God/dess, the voices, the devil and whoever else was in earshot. I tried to fight off the rape hallucinations several times, my fists encountering empty air.

During my time as a homeless woman, I decided to make it an objective to see all 48 continental United States. It took me a couple of years of hitchhiking around to accomplish this, but I did accomplish it. I had no ID, having burned this "symbol of government oppression" shortly after I became homeless on the road out of Washington, and could not visit Hawaii and Alaska without it.

I spent three years homeless, total.

January 17, 2008

My Waking Nightmare

I think God/dess was trying to tell me something was wrong....

I remember walking along the tracks in Bellingham, Washington down by the bay in 1994 or so and feeling like something just wasn't connecting in my mind. It was a sensation like a cog slipping or a belt which should have been running smoothly was broken. I attributed the sensation to my depression at the time, which was untreated. I didn't notice anything strange about my thoughts at the time. They were the typical hopeless thoughts of a depressed person. I was wondering why I just couldn't make a success of myself, and believed that a lot of the people I worked with had hated me for some unknown reason.

It was shortly after that in the summer of 1995, I started volunteering at a coffee shop called Miracles. It was really close to the university in Bellingham. The owner was a man named Matt, who loved marijuana. The coffee shop was in the upstairs portion of a two story house. I wanted the experience of making espresso, so I didn't really mind volunteering. Matt paid people by getting them stoned, which for the first couple of months, I refused to do. I had been living in a room at the YWCA for about three years and was tired of the rumors and everything else. So I moved in with David Gallacci, aka Oak, who lived in the bedroom downstairs at the coffee shop.

David was an artist who liked tarot cards. He got the room because he painted murals on the walls of the coffee shop. It was kind of foolish for me to move in with him, because the first night we spent together, I had no intention of having sex with him. I just wanted companionship, and I thought he knew that. But when I climbed in bed with him, he kept rocking against me and shoving his penis up against my back. Eventually he turned me over and "did it" with me. I kept saying that I didn't think it was a good idea, so he knew I didn't want to, but I got tired of resisting, and gave in.

It was while I was staying in this room that I had an interesting experience. I had been into meditation and chakras and Kundalini energy for quite some time. I put crystals of coordinating colors on each of my chakra points and attempted to open my chakras with my hand. I heard musical notes with each chakra I opened. I had also been experiencing some intense visuals concerning my soul. I felt as if my soul was shaped like a blue hourglass of light and was spinning. I spent many hours with my eyes closed, allowing my soul to spin.

I also stepped into a "fairy ring" during my stay at Miracles cafe. A fairy ring is a ring of mushrooms or toadstools. I was kind of scared when I did this. I wondered if I'd be transported to the fairy realm. I used to perceive fairies with my mind's eye in the trees and forests. I used to believe I was talking to them in my thoughts.

When I started having "sexual" hallucinations, I had several explanations for this. I believed it was Pan sometimes, and a couple times, while outside, I thought I heard Pan pipes. I thought sometimes that I had opened up my Kundalini and was not able to close it. I thought sometimes it was the fairy folk. These hallucinations happened constantly. I felt that some creature had enveloped me and was feeding off of me. It was kind of an interesting experience at first, until I realized I had no control over it. That was when they became rape hallucinations. My belief changed from interacting with Pan to interacting with demons. One night, I saw lights in my mind and reached out for them. My mind told me that I was raping angels. I was horrified at myself.

This was long after I moved out of Miracles Cafe and was back at the YWCA.

I still went on with my life as if though everything was normal. I did drop out of college around that time. I had experienced a sense of horror when I recognized the portrait of a man who had raped a girl in the bathroom down by the computer lounge in the university. The man looked just like Sean Hull. A man who had initiated sex with me in Boulevard Park. It made me realize that there had probably been some hostility there. I had thought him cute, but we never discussed sex and he pulled my hair hard when we were together. The thought of "You can't rape the willing" has been in my mind for quite some time, so I often pretend I'm willing when I don't feel safe.

I continued to go to karaoke every few nights, and pretend everything was normal. It occurred to me to tell someone about the hallucinations, since it was a lot like being with my ex husband all over again, but I was too embarrassed to tell someone. I finally found some literature on PTSD and assumed they were body memories. I didn't think medication could help PTSD, so I told nobody. Most of the other symptoms of PTSD fit, too, so I knew I had that. That was when John Michael pushed sex on me in 1996.

Again, I was just looking for companionship. And he knew that because I told him no sex. I spent the night with him after karaoke one night, and he initiated sex with me anyway. I figured somehow I had invited it and commenced a relationship with him. For a couple of months, I referred to him as my boyfriend, but got really tired of the coerced sex every time we slept together. I was really tired to of the anal sex he pushed on me. I got pregnant and in October of 1997 I gave birth to Aeyre.

It was just a few days after that that the nightmare really began. I started hearing voices.

Occasionally it occurred to me that something was wrong with me, but more often I was sure that there were microphones in the house. I cried out to God, Goddess, Jesus, etc. looking for relief. I had an experience where I felt the voices I was hearing were coming out of my heart. For awhile I thought that I had a microchip in my brain, and that the microchip had a microphone and speakers in it. I was so certain my father had arranged for it to be put there. He had sent me a phone with an answering machine attached, and the code for retrieving the messages was on the back of the phone. I was certain he had sent me the phone only so he could listen to my messages. I ended up donating the phone to a second hand store.

The voices asked me questions about sexual experiences I had had, and about ex boyfriends. I thought the voice was the devil for awhile.

I saw several things after the birth of my daughter. I was petrified I would molest her while she was sleeping next to me during the rape hallucinations (which often happened while I was asleep). So I started putting her in her crib. John Michael came over about three weeks after she was born and tried to insist on sleeping with me. I refused and was quite adamant about it. I was still healing from the birth. I remember he kept telling me that his ex wife had been ready within a week of giving birth. It didn't help that he came over about two weeks after that, with the excuse he was too drunk to drive home. He climbed in bed with me and the baby and started kicking me. I was laying down careful not to touch him. I swear I had seen him outside, when I stepped on to the porch earlier that night, fleeing across the street. I got up and went to the couch with my daughter and tried to sleep. I had been having problems getting to sleep because every time I tried to sleep, I heard dripping noises and clicks.

Jay Perlman, a man I knew because of marijuana, showed up outside of my house one night, too. I thought I heard a noise outside and went out on the porch. He was there alongside my house. I asked him what he was doing, and he left. This freaked me out entirely because he had been accused of being a child molester.

I slipped into full fledged paranoia. I kept seeing the trees as monsters. I knew it didn't make any sense, but every time I looked at the trees or their shadows, I'd see creatures. I no longer went out at night. I saw ghostly figures in the house. Once I saw the "ghost" of Freddy Kreuger standing over by the front door. I kept seeing and hearing God, too. I was confused and I studied the bible, having given up on Wicca at the time because of the people from the evangelical church down the street, who came over and told me to get rid of all the Wiccan books and stuff I had. I hated Paul, and didn't want anything to do with Peter, whom Jesus had called Satan. (Most of the time I was convinced that the Devil had everything to do with my problems) So I tore out most of what Paul said and burned it. This scared me more... Sacrilege! Blasphemy! etc.

I kept hearing noises outside my window and was convinced that Jay was outside or John Michael. I got scared of a male acquaintance who I had been sharing pot with. That was the last straw. CPS had been investigating me for awhile, the mistook my paranoia for hostility. CPS started showing up after I discontinued services with another social work agency after the social worker kept insisting I pull up my shirt and show her Aeyre's breastfeeding skills long after Aeyre had learned how to breastfeed properly.

So, I took off with my daughter in the middle of the night. We hitchhiked and I swore I saw her doctor in McDonald's early that morning. The doctor had been something of a weirdo too. He asked me when I was in labor, if I had been molested. Then, when I took in Aeyre for her shots he'd wave his hand in the air over her private parts, all the while staring at me, after her diaper was off.

I continued on East. I thought I was being followed by Predator (from the movies) -- I could see the Predator and that we were being pursued by vampires. I thought the vampires could read my mind. I perceived this dark sticky energy coming from my daughters back and I "pulled" that out of her. I just knew it was connected to vampires. One night, we were offered a motel room. I had just started to drift off to sleep when I felt something touch my calf. I was sure it was preceding a rape hallucination, and that it was the devil. When I got up, exhausted but very frightened, I saw the walls glowing. I remember issuing a challenge to the people downstairs, because I believed it was my last night as a human, and that they were causing all of this with their vampiric powers.

I had stopped smoking pot for a couple of months, although during the hitchhiking I was offered some. I thought at times, that the nightmare I was experiencing was due to the marijuana.

Finally in Missoula, Montana I was in a truck stop. A man who looked like a typical vampire offered us a ride. I told him I didn't ride with vampires. The waitress heard me, and began interrogating me about vampires. They had found me outside after I left crying because I was just so depressed. (At times I had thought I was in Hell) They had brought me back inside and offered me a meal. A woman in the place had a scarf on and I thought she was trying to cover up bite marks. I was wary about accepting any help because I wanted my independence. Finally I got tired of dodging questions and I took my daughter and walked down the street to the convenience store not too far away. That's where the police met me. The police women had fangs, I swear they did. They took us to St. Patrick's hospital. They took my daughter into a little room and made her scream for a long time, like she was in pain. They would not let me go to her.

I was interviewed by a shrink, and he pronounced me suffering from PPD.

A social worker from CPS showed up. As soon as they gave Aeyre back to me, I handed her to the social worker and asked her if she could hold my daughter while I went out to smoke. (I had not had a cigarette the whole three hours I was at the hospital). She said okay, so I went out to smoke. When I came back in, she had given my daughter to a foster mother.

They put me in a shelter for the night. I had bought a small bottle of sleeping pills. I tried to sleep, but I saw a blackness, and heard chanting, and was certain my soul was being eaten. It didn't help that I felt that I was going to hell, because I had an abortion once. I thought one of the ladies there was committing my soul to the devil. I was determined to kill myself before I became a pawn of the devil, or a vampire, and was certain I'd never see my daughter again, so I took the pills.

About four hours later, after wandering the streets with a Blackfoot Indian man, I asked him to take me to the hospital because of the sleeping pills. They put me in a darkened room. I got up, because I was terrified to go to sleep and left the hospital. They brought me back and I left again, this time running away. They brought me back again and restrained me. By this time I was convinced that the charcoal they were going to give me was vampire blood and they were going to turn me into a vampire. I refused to take it, so they shoved tubes down my nose and forced me to take the charcoal. It really hurt. I sensed Jesus there....

They committed me after that, and eventually diagnosed me with psychosis nos. I kept denying that I had schizophrenia. Even though the symptoms fit, even down to sometimes (especially while relaxing) feeling like my skin was on fire. I did get to see my daughter while I was there. It was when I was in that hospital that I became convinced that something must be wrong with my mind. After that realization, all the subsequent hallucinations, and remissions (from meds) became much easier to deal with.

January 16, 2008

A confession.... That poor dog.

I remember when I was in California. I had met this man named Rick in a bar. He was in a wheelchair. He had had no legs. He found out I was without a place to stay and offered to let me stay at his place. I was paranoid, but figured a helpless man like him could not hurt me, so I took him up on the offer.

He liked to smoke marijuana, and at the time, so did I. So we smoked a lot of ganga. We talked about a lot of stuff, none of which I remember now. My home base (where I kept my stuff) was in Willow Creek. I had a little corner of the woods just off the road. It was a little ways off the trail, behind some bushes. Hayfork, where Rick lived was about 30 miles away. I had followed my friend, Freedom, down there to listen to him play. He didn't seem to care that I was homeless, so I went to the bar in big downtown Hayfork and met Rick.

There were a bunch of dogs on the property. They belonged to the neighbor.

I left because he hit on me. I had only been there a couple of days. I don't know if he knew there was something wrong with me or not.

About a year later, I decided I missed him and his capsule for Sputnik. He owned a capsule, which sat out in his front yard.

So, I went to his place. He had crashed his special van, so he was basically trapped in the house. He offered to let me stay again, and I took him up on it. I remember that he wanted me to sell his rocket capsule on the internet. He also told me that I could take one of the dogs with me when I left. He was tired of them running around.

He hit on me a couple more times, and I got really paranoid, so I left again, with a dog in tow. It seemed to me that the dog was just trying to irritate me. We'd walk places and my coffee would spill out of my cup because he would freak out every time a car went by. I only had two hands and found this extremely frustrating. We hung out for awhile in an abandoned garage. I had gotten some food for him from an extremely nice man, who had seen us outside of the store in town. This was hard to carry as it was a big bag, and I dropped it a few times and had to find an alternate container for it since it burst open.

Finally, feeling trapped with the big bag of food, and extremely pissed off at myself and the dog, I cut him loose and threw my empty coffee cup at him. He ran off. I have no idea what happened to him after that.

That was the second dog I tried to have while homeless. The first was Blue (I named him Blue before I found out about Blue's Clues) a neglected and abused animal I tried to rescue from my acquaintance Randy's farm. I had thought Randy was a decent sort, till I saw him try to kick one of their cats. I let him off the leash a couple of times, and the second time, he kept eluding me, and would not let me put him on a leash. The animal control people caught him in downtown Fairhaven, WA and took him away. He had mange, and was not a likely prospect for adoption.... I couldn't afford to set him free from the shelter. So, it's unknown to me what happened to Blue.

The third dog I tried to adopt was a stray pit bull I found in Watts. I named him Fat Albert. He had gotten nudged by a car. He had a huge swelling in his side, and I was a little afraid of him. He was too strong for the makeshift collar I made for him, and he eventually escaped and ran off.

I miss my dogs now, and wish I hadn't been so afraid of vets, the dogs themselves and other authority figures. I don't own an animal now, and am not sure I trust myself with one. But, I vow to take better care of an animal if I ever do get another one.

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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Theresa in January 2008.

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