One of the main reasons I moved back to Asheville was because I hoped to be able to go back to the amazing mental health provider I had when I lived here before. I also looked forward to re-connecting with my church and planned to give back to the organizations that helped me get back on my feet when I lived here before.
Nothing has panned out.
Nearly eight months in the south have proved my relocation to be my worst mistake yet. Not only am I without any mental health support, including a psychiatrist to assist me with the arduous process of getting off the medicine I was forced to take BEFORE Tolstoy and I would be granted shelter, but I remain inside my home, afraid to go out, sick with concern over the fact that I have lost all hope or desire to do anything at all.
NOTHING WORKS OUT.
The south said: "You're too hyper," you have pressured speech, YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN!
After weeks of being told "I have no beds," I went to my case manager at the day shelter to ask her what was going on. I had heard there were beds in the shelter I was begging to get into while I was camping out, yet I kept being denied. Her answer added a whole new level of torture to my existence.
"You will not get into the shelter until you are on medication."
So, for the first time in many (blissful) years, I found myself in front of another psychiatrist, who suggested Klonopin for my anxiety. It worked. I took it every single day, until my last prescription ran out thirteen miserable days ago.
As I've written about before, I managed my mania with medicinal marijuana in California. I had every intention of going back to that when I returned.
Unfortunately, I had no idea that Klonopin is physically, as well as emotionally addicting. I thought I could just stop.
As soon as I ran out, I began hallucinating, having day-long panic attacks, immense agoraphobia and insomnia plus, SO MUCH MORE. The list of side effects is a mile long. I felt as though I might die.
Since I did not have a regular psychiatrist, I made an appointment to see my primary care physician in San Diego, who insisted that I accept another prescription and remain on this drug until I have a licensed doctor to assist me with a proper taper.
Otherwise, I could develop Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, a continual cycling through the horrid symptoms that could last up to two years.
Now that I know more about this prescription, I want off.
Unfortunately, I am still without a psychiatrist, thanks to the recent medical cuts. In the meantime, I have had two temporary psychiatrists who are on the same page with my (much missed) San Diego doctor. The last place I went to closed down. They gave me a three month supply with certainty that I would be seen before it ran out.
Instead, I've gone cold turkey.
My panic attacks are endless.
As if all I've been through isn't FUCKING ENOUGH, I had to go to court today, alone, off my medication, with a public pretender so useless that she encouraged me to take a plea bargain based on the fact that, in her words, "I DONE GOT A RECORD ANYWAY."
Yes, I do. Twenty five years ago, I committed a crime that I took full responsibility for.
Not this time.
What I did do was trust the wrong person, a priest, who told me the man who invited me over to his house to watch movies was safe.
I'm beginning to think NOBODY IS.
The guy talked me into loaning him ten dollars. He bought some vodka, I bought ONE BEER.
We got to his house, sat at his kitchen table, he made himself a drink and put my beer in a glass, as I requested.
The next thing I remember is waking up in the middle of his living room in my underwear. I had no idea what happened, how much time had passed or what on earth was wrong with me. I was covered in bites. I started really freaking out. The man said I was scaring him and left.
Sometimes a shower helps me when I am having a really bad panic attack, so I desperately tried that. It only made my condition worse. I saw bed bugs all over the towels, walls, floors, even my clothes were covered with them. I also heard the sound of something flying around my head. I got so scared that I ran out of the apartment, screaming, stark naked.
My pleas for someone to call 911 where ignored as neighbors slammed their doors shut. I was completely out of my mind.
Seven or eight police officers showed up. With repulsive grins on their faces, they forced me back inside the apartment. The contents of my purse where spread all over the living room floor. I begged them to call an ambulance, while I tried to collect my things.
They made me leave all of it, including my wallet.
I was taken to the emergency room, then to a mental hospital where I was given more Klonopin and an anti-depressant. I also met a wonderful social worker who called the magistrate's office to prove to me that, no matter what happened, the police would have mercy in that situation.
Certainly, she said, I did not have to worry that I was charged with public nudity - my only concern.
She was smiling when she dialed the number from her office. "You're gonna be just fine," she said.
When her mouth dropped open, I was confused. Her shock was nothing compared to mine when she dealt the worst blow I've received in my entire life (unless you count my mother's utter betrayal of me, Tolstoy's death, bed-bug hell, etc. etc. etc.)
Apparently, the police had charged me with Felony Meth possession and a misdemeanor for paraphenelia.
This is my WORST nightmare. I am scared to death of the police. I've remained out of trouble, pretty much, for twenty five years. I still have a panic attack when I see an officer, no matter that I am doing nothing wrong.
Maximum security prison does that to a kid.
It gets better.
Although I spoke to the scum bag who drugged me (and God knows what else) on the phone several times from the hospital, he never mentioned that he was using my debit card to empty my bank account, one purchase at a time.
Nor did he tell me that he gave a statement that put every seedy detail on ME.
He did brag about how the cops had shown up three times to retrieve my things, yet he successfully hid my belongings from them, even when they, supposedly, had him hand-cuffed to a chair in order to perform a thorough search.
Another thing he told the police was that he did not know me, I was just some homeless girl from California.
The priest organized restitution and made me promise not to press charges.
Although I should have, I didn't.
I don't have it in me.
I sucked it up.
I had to turn myself in, then I was assigned a DYKE (i.e. WOMAN WHO LOOKS, ACTS and DRESSES LIKE A MAN, which I think is FLAT OUT DISGUSTING!) public pretender whom I hated from the second we met. The case was continued the first time. The second time the D.A. offered to drop the Felony if I was willing to plead guilty to the misdemeanor and pay a stiff fine.
In an effort to get this over with as fast as I could, I agreed, but I was thirty bucks short. The case was continued until today, when my dumb-ass lawyer put another nail in my coffin.
"Part of the reason I was able to negotiate this deal is because she went to a bible study, then to a man's house and the next thing she knows she is arrested. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time - she doesn't think she has a drug problem."
WHAT THE FUCK?
I had to stand there like an idiot while the judge asked a very pertinent question:
"What is she doing for treatment."
My lawyer looked absolutely LOST.
The judge went against the agreement, but dropped the Felony. She ordered a substance abuse assessment (that I have to pay for), twelve months unsupervised probation with a suspended 45 day sentence, court costs and a fine.
My lawyer couldn't even tell me where to get the substance abuse assessment!
My mind was spinning the entire time. I wanted to speak for myself. I did not.
I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs, I KNOW THIS IS JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE FOR YA'ALL, but this is a game changer for me!
I remained quiet.
Instead of fighting for myself, as I've done all my life, I submit to bullshit.
Now I am stuck with a drug charge.
So, there you have it.
Another tragedy in the life of Go-Go Rach.
I DONE GOT A RECORD ANYWAY, right?
Yep. I do.
At least before this happened, I could say I deserved it.
Not this time.
Of course, I could appeal the judge's decision and, most likely, win.
Or, not, since it carries consequences that I am physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually ill equipped to handle right now.
Particularly without any support.
The details I planned to share in my post YA CANNOT TRUST THEM STEPPERS will have to wait.
It's a great story that I will share when the time is right.