An Ordinary Woman

Watertown, Massachusetts. Original incident March 2008. Reported to Watertown Police Department July 2012. This video describes the consequences. We all should consider whether we really feel comfortable going to our local police if we are crime victims, and what the consequences might be if we are not believed.


Toastmasters speech performed October 11, 2018, Pittsburgh, PA.

Damage to a high-end apartment vs trauma: Can you put a dollar amount on it?

Check this out:

I am not sure you can access the story or the affidavit. Apparently Brown threw objects out of his window, traumatizing a 22-month old child who was walking with his grandfather many stories down below. Now they’re suing Brown since the little boy is traumatized, for $15,000. The apartment is also badly damaged. So the landlord is evicting Brown, and also suing him for $15,000.

Somehow, the eviction and landlord lawsuit seems plenty justified. Brown has not been a good tenant. I rent and I know what it means to be a good, responsible tenant and he has not exhibited good tenant behavior at all, rich and famous or not. Now the little boy’s parents are just trying to get money out of a rich person’s pockets, in my opinion. I’m traumatized by water deprivation. Am I going to get that much money from MGH?

You can’t really put a price tag on “pain and suffering.” The little boy didn’t lose his job and he wasn’t making money for the family nor supporting anyone. Unless they over-pamper him, he’ll get over it, especially since the trauma is surely being validated, not denied. If they send him to therapy and medicate him his life might as well be over very quickly. That would be beyond Brown’s responsibility. It would be the choice of the parents. Think on that one.

Three writing jobs handed to me

All this was done passively, that is, I didn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary (like fill out grueling applications and fake a resume) to get these positions.

One day I received an email stating that I had been chosen for the Yelp Elite Squad. I didn’t know such a thing existed. This is actually a bigger deal than you might think. Why? Because now, my reviews carry more weight. I’m considered a credible and honest reviewer. I have reviewed “hospitals” and clinics. My reviews of MGH and Walden came up near or at the top of the pack. I plan to keep on doing this. The facilities can’t take down my reviews! Of course I have been sprinkling in some reviews of restaurants, grocery stores, and other businesses of interest.

I also received an email invitation about a blogging job. I never thought such a thing would happen since most of the time I have to go through all kinds of hoops (only to be ignored or turned down). I’ll be writing mostly on ECT. I am waiting to find out the guidelines so I can start.

The third is a journalism position. I’ll be writing local stories of interest. This will involve extensive “field research” prior to writing each article. I will be interviewing people and traveling places (on my days off), most of which I can get to by bus. I’m meeting some people this afternoon and possibly doing an interview.

Although none of these are paid positions, all of them further my career and boost my credibility. Credibility has been a crucial issue ever since the 2011 MGH incident. Many people (online) did not believe me, and I continue to get these accusations that what I say happened was “impossible.” (Of course! Not possible that cops could possibly break the law!) If any of you saw the commentary in the Globe you may have noticed the typical attitude I have had to deal with online. That is about how I was treated on Facebook, mostly by complete strangers, called psychotic, called paranoid, called disordered, and they had never met me and never spoken to me.

What has resulted is that I have a constant urge to go overboard proving myself, because I am so afraid of not being believed. I have to be careful and not do this at work. It is a matter of having a little self-restraint and doing a decent acting job.

If the boss says so, agree (and keep your fingers crossed behind your back)! I have my sly ways of getting my point across without sounding too much on the defensive. For instance, a supervisor gave me what I am sure were the wrong instructions yesterday. I asked her to override something but instead, she had me filling out a form. I knew I had to be careful and not argue. I told her that in the past things had been done differently, since I know all the other supervisors do the override. This one told me that this was the way things had always been done. I said nothing, thanked her and told her I would do as she said. I filled out a form for the customer. I did this with the sinking feeling that the form would be sent back with a note saying “Wrong department” or “Go look at the procedures because you are doing this wrong.” So I wrote right on the form that the supervisor (without naming her) had instructed me to fill out this form. This, of course, covers my butt. The worst thing that could happen would be that the form will be ineffective and I will have to do it all again. If that happens, I’d be calling the supervisors, getting one that knows how to do the override, and getting the customer the refund she deserves.

I’m guessing that this kind of thing is typical of just about every workplace. I have slowed down the applications for a second job at this point because I need time to do the writing jobs.

I’m awfully happy about how things are going. I am gaining a voice in the community, not a “marginalized voice” that is a euphemism for tokenism, but a real voice just like anyone else.

This is the way it should be for everyone, but it isn’t. Of course there are plenty of groups that claim they’re marginalized (middle aged white men…) but I see little basis for their claims. I never wanted to be shouting from some remote ghetto for unwanteds. I would rather be welcomed just like anyone else. It looks like that is just what is happening.



My first 10K! Then came home and signed up for another race!

It is hard to believe, but I did it. I was worried about rain because I figured that might make it slippery. This should not have been my main concern. I’ve run in rain before. I do get wet. It’s not any different from getting wet in the shower unless it’s freezing out.

I did not even think of the humidity, but I should have, because it was very close to 100%.  It rained overnight and was foggy when I picked up the Uber on the corner near my home. I waited outside a gas station. My initial plan was to wait inside the vestibule there, but it was freezing in there as it usually is, colder than outside. I believe the temp was 67 then.

I live far out from the city. It took three hair-raising attempts to get the Uber. It didn’t find a driver the first two times it tried, and timed out. Then it finally did find a driver. I was relieved, though, when finally the app said a driver was on the way.

Now this is odd….The driver texted me ahead of time, which is normal for Uber. Is it even close to normal to ask your passenger if the gas station sells alcohol? Then he asked me if alcohol was sold anywhere near my destination. What am I supposed to make of this? Yes, I did feel nervous at that point, but I reminded myself that I need to save my adrenaline for the race. If he had any alcohol on his breath I would have smelled it, but he did not, and he drove fine, not like a drunk person. I have heard stories, have you? As you can guess, I did not become a statistic on the way to my first 10K, and I was awfully glad that Uber came way out here when I needed it. I was the first to arrive!

Of course I was curious and asked if I was the oldest running the 10K. As it turned out, no. Next to oldest. Someone 68 was running. One of the people assisting at the race asked me, quietly (which was unnecessary in fact), how old I am. I have no qualms about telling people my age, mainly because much of my 50s sucked so bad that 60 now seems like a landmark celebration.

I schmoozed a little with the other runners. Suddenly, I realized that these were far more competitive runners than I am. Many had run marathons or half marathons. I wasn’t sure who was doing the 5k and who was doing the 10. Most of us were doing the 10. There were only 22 runners in all, including both races. Some had done this particular race before. Several admitted that this tiny race was a “practice race” for them. Most had fancy running clothes, too. I had on my yellow “Success is the Best Revenge” t-shirt. On the back it says, “Proud to be non-compliant.” I was wearing boxer shorts I get at the dollar store. I have a collection of those. That and “knock-off” shoes that I think are fake Nikes.

They explained the route to us very clearly and made sure we all understood. Each race had a different start point. The route followed along the river headed north, then, we turned around at a circle and went back again, passing the start point, then, at the end of the road we ran around a cone and came back. Then we ran the entire length of the road all over again, turned at the circle a second time and then back to the very end of the road and then, somewhere past the registration stand was a finish line.

We weren’t even paying attention when a blast sounded and off we went. I realized I had not started my music and knew I could not stop to get it going so I quickly tucked my headset inside my shirt so that it wouldn’t fly around. Within a minute it was very obvious to me that I had fallen impossibly behind the other runners, although I wasn’t too far from the other stragglers, not that you’d call them that. I told myself I should not be bothered by this and should keep running. I thought it was cool to be running on the gorgeous trail with no human being in sight for a while.

The humidity was still very thick. The air just seem very breathable at all. I realized I had done most of my runs in a climate-controlled gym. I always thought the gym was too warm for running, but now it seemed much, much hotter, especially in the sun. It was already over 70 degrees out. I kept reminding myself I needed to slow down and pace myself.

I was lucky, though. Much of the race was in the shade and seemed cool enough. I have this promise I make to myself that I will not run if it’s over 70 out. I have broken that promise before, but not many times. Today not only did I break it but ran in humidity that felt like the air was cotton.

A few others had already stopped running momentarily and took the time to walk a bit and then start up running again. I didn’t know I would have to do that…but I did. I didn’t want to at first, trying to slow my running further, and then I reminded myself that I really needed to walk for a few steps. I walked ten feet or so then started up running again, realizing that the humidity was throwing me for a loop.

I didn’t even look at the time until I’d run about 18 minutes, then later the half-hour mark passed. I was never quite sure of the mileage but that didn’t matter. I kept running and told myself that eventually I would finish. Occasionally I had to walk again, but always only about ten feet, then I broke right back into a run. I was relieved that I was not the only one lagging behind. I didn’t mind being last, not at all.

My time was 1:34:06. Yeah, embarrassing a little, but I am super proud that I did my first 10K.

Someone who was admin at the race drove me home even! I could feel it a little as I came into my front door. I walked Puzzle right away, and then told myself that shower was going to be great!

But…I stalled on that. I turned on the computer and there was an email reminder about a 5k on October 20th. I signed up immediately!

Then I took a shower and started my work day. I feel terrific and work has gone fine. How about you?

The people have spoken: “Alleged jump” now.

Here’s a quote from a friend of Marquis Brown:

“He was at my apartment,” Williams said. “I just saw him 30 or 40 minutes before. So it is just shocking … It’s crazy.”

Exactly. I have been to forums and a lot of people are not believing the cops at this point. They believe he was pushed. So do I.

What was the weather on Thursday here in Western Pennsylvania? It was unseasonably warm. It makes sense that on the 16th floor you might want to open a window, just to let the air in. You’d think there would be screens on the windows, though, but maybe there aren’t. After all, this is a tower building, and it likely has central air. But…maybe not. I have heard of dorms that aren’t air conditioned. I don’t recall any of the dorms at UMass being air conditioned at all and I don’t even remember wanting it. Well…that was the 1970s when most people didn’t have AC. Maybe it was up to Duquesne students to supply their own AC if they want it. This is not campus-owned student housing. It is independently owned. You’ve likely heard of these places that tend to be not well kept up.

We will see what happens because an awful lot of people are feeling doubtful. Here around the area we have overall distrust of the police, especially after the recent high-profile shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose.

Some people are saying drugs may have been involved, maybe steroids, which can make a person crazy. But if he did take them, I think someone is going to come out with it.

I think his buddies will be a good source of info at this point. So we will see.

Now they’re saying the Duquesne football player FELL out the window….

Really? Do you folks believe this? There was commotion, apparently. Then, the cops came and what do you think they do when they see a black man? Likely harassed him, physically harmed him or threatened to.

Okay, so he fell out? Please tell me again, No Foul Play. Really?

So dear cops, which was it? Fell? Or jumped? Can you at least agree on a consistent fabrication to tell the courts and the media? Looks like each time there’s an article that comes out you have changed your tune.

If you recall from the Boston Globe comments on another article I pointed out here, where I myself had commented, you’ll observe that many folks claim the cops couldn’t possibly break the law.

So of course…he both fall and jumped. Must be true because the cops said so.



Tiny tidbit on Benjamin DiChristina tells us a lot!

“State police said a forensic chemist was also involved in the investigation but it’s not yet clear why.”


So what happened at the ER? Was he given drugs?  Since an actual crime was committed, can’t they subpoena the hospital records before the hospital personnel fudges them?

This is what happens in a community hospital ER. You go sign in, get your vitals taken, then you wait with other patients with all sorts of medical problems in a waiting room. You might sit there three hours or more. Don’t worry, there’s a TV to watch. Maybe even a soda machine. You will see people coming in on crutches, old people with god-knows-what disease, and kids with scrapes and bruises.

When you are finally seen they take you into a room. Usually those rooms are separated by curtains and there’s one curtain you can use to close the entrance off. You might want to do that because they’re going to make you change into a “gown.” No, not a prom gown.

Then you wait maybe an hour. This is why it’s a good idea to have something to read or have your cell charged up so you can call your boss…”I’m sorry, I’ve had a medical emergency and might not make it to work tomorrow.” Or, possibly, call your buddy and say, “I’ve been here three hours now and they have barely asked me what the problem is.” Or, “I think this was a mistake.” Your cell may, or may not work in the ER since those places tend to be on the ground floor of a huge building.

Now what? A nurse comes in and asks you questions. Just the basics pretty much. This point of contact is crucial because she’s going to size you up based on first impression. She may have very little training, or a lot.

If you’re a frequent flyer they’ve sized you up years (or decades) ago. You don’t stand a chance of getting their impression of you to change.

After that, you might wait about two hours to see a physician. Or you might not see one at all for the entire ER visit. Some people are lucky to be seen by a PA.

You might get a social worker who will spend a little more time with you. She’s there to figure out if you’re suicidal. She’s listening for keywords basically. One that I know about is “I don’t care.” Don’t say that. Don’t use the words “dead,” “death,” or “kill” in a sentence, even if it’s irrelevant or off-handed. Even if you’re talking about the murder mystery you’ve been reading. Be careful, since they may not really be listening to what you’re saying but only filtering for keywords.

If you do not have a known psych diagnosis, they’re not likely to send a social worker at all. They might do a brief “depression screening” which takes only a few minutes and without a dx on record you’re likely to pass even if you’re in the pits of the pits.

Total average time in an ER (if you’re sent away) will be six hours. Maybe that’s how long the DiChristinas spent in the ER with Ben.

Did the ER personnel spend time alone with Ben, or did they allow the parents to stay in there with him and continue to prompt him during the interview? Yes, this happens frequently! I have seen it! It happens to grown adults as well as to kids. Why can’t a mental patient be interviewed without the added bias of the parents? Because MPs are considered too incompetent to speak for themselves.

If the parents took him to the ER, then they wanted him in, probably. If “day treatment” was recommended, then this means one of the following:

1. They didn’t want to deal with Ben, so they got rid of him by telling him about this “great” program he should go to. This gets the family out faster.

2. They couldn’t find a bed for him on a psych ward so they proclaimed him sane enough to do outpatient.

3. They found that insurance might not cover. So they pronounced him sane  enough and altered whatever prior diagnosis they had to excuse them from letting him out.

4. They knew they couldn’t keep him inpatient because doing so would be too inconvenient. Or they feared that Ben was so dangerous they couldn’t put him on a psych ward. (I saw that in 2011 in an ER!). So they figured they’d medicate him until he got to the day treatment program. They gave him a shot of Haldol and sent him along his way. Uh oh….

You see the picture? This IS what happens in emergency rooms! Expect six hours of mostly sitting in a room. They just leave you there while you wait forever. When they discharge you the nurse will give you paperwork. The doctor has likely spent less than five minutes with you. If you have questions upon release there’s no doctor around.

You’re lucky if they show you where the exit is. Why is that? This has happened to me repeatedly. They say, “Okay, you can go now.” I might see three exit signs in three different directions and no one even bothers to tell me which one if the real exit. I guess since nurses are there all the time they figure other people know the way out just as well as they do. They also never told me how to get to the bus stop from the ER, or how to get to the front entrance. I had to ask anyone I could grab.

If you came without money or your wallet they might give you a cab voucher, but don’t count on it. I’ve even seen hospitals keep people because they didn’t have a ride home. Why? Liability. They realize they can’t just release you to the streets or the freezing cold winter because if they do you might die of hypothermia and then, they’d be blamed. So they find some excuse, some invented medical problem, to keep you there. Agreeably this is rare but I have seen it.

Which hospital did the diChristinas go to? Locally, to the one in Concord? I know that one, or knew it. Or did they go to McLean? Some families don’t know where to go so they show up at McLean without realizing they have other options.

The media isn’t likely to tell us. The hospital, whichever one it was, is in big trouble right now and they are likely scrambling to cover their asses.

If I were investigating I would want to know every detail of what happened in that ER, HIPAA or no HIPAA. A crime has been committed and someone is likely to die as a result. Why shouldn’t the law protect the victims, that is, the parents, the girlfriend, and Ben, instead of protecting the hospitals?




Race weather

I’m looking ahead at the weather, which changes by the minute. I’m now seeing the rain will end early morning before the race and it will be 69 degrees. Do they really know ahead of time? No one can predict the future, though we can certainly make educated guesses.

No one can truly read minds. But we can hear tone of voice. We can see facial expressions. We might note syntax and word usage. I listen to customers on the job and I can tell when they’re about to get irate. Irate being the word we use to describe a pissed off customer. You can hear them sigh. They make insulting remarks like “Can’t you hurry up faster?” No I can’t. I’m still waiting for the screen to load…..The more they scream at us, the more likely we are to end up delayed.  Have you ever had someone constantly needling you to hurry up? What happens? You mess up. You drop things. You type in the wrong number. Or you ring up the wrong amount. I don’t have much respect for people who yell at others telling them to hurry. I never did.

However, when customers get like that, they’re generally pissed. I can guess, but do I really read their minds? No. Funny, though, some soften after a while and we learn that they were just blowing off some steam, not truly pissed.

Can anyone truly predict the weather? No. But they can guess based on weather patterns, what is coming our way, which direction the wind is blowing, and what happened last year. They are guessing, folks. They are not predicting. No one is a psychic.

Likewise, when your shrink tells you you’ll be sick for life and have to depend on “treatment,” is this a prediction? No. It’s a guess. It’s a guess based on years of working in the System and seeing people get hooked on drugs and dependent on therapy. They know damn well once you get in, you aren’t going to leave the System that easily. Based on this disheartening tendency, they tell you, “Permanently disabled.”

They are not psychic. Let’s work on breaking the pattern, eh? Let’s show them that they’re wrong, and were wrong, about us. Let’s live independent and productive lives. Let’s show them we can be passionate about something else besides our fake diseases.

As for predicting stuff? I think we might as well leave that up to the weatherman, weather being something rather harmless, rather than creating self-fulfilling prophesies. They aren’t psychic and they aren’t prophets, either. Although I must say a lot of people act like those docs really are.

A real prophet? We’re still waiting for Elijah, so……

Another one, read carefully here

Hmm…He did this right after mental health treatment! Gee! Looks like the parents pushed him into it. Well? When he found out what it really was, he was likely pissed.

So you are claiming I’m crazy, eh? I can just hear it now.

Listen up. If other people are calling you nuts, offensive as it is, please, please please do not subsequently prove you are nuts by your actions.

When I was in fourth grade my parents took me to a very nice doctor who talked to me. I didn’t think much of it. In fact, I enjoyed going there. One day, my friend, with absolutely no ill intent, asked me about Dr. Smith. “Does he talk to you?” she asked.

“Yes, he does,” I replied.

“Julie, do you realize that doctor is a psychiatrist?”

“What’s that?”

“Crazy people go to psychiatrists.”

“But I am not crazy.”

My friend said, “Some must think you are, otherwise you wouldn’t have been sent to him.”

“Is that really true?”

“Cross my heart.”

I ran back home to my parents, very upset. I was nine years old. I told them I refused to go back to Dr. Smith if he was a psychiatrist. My parents admitted he was. I screamed, bawled, and carried on.

We compromised. A few more appointments, they said. I figured it would be okay. He was really nice, after all.

Note that back then, psychs didn’t drug people. I found out what my diagnosis was, later on. Trauma. I called him and he told me over the phone. He said I had been in the hospital when I was five years old. He asked me if I remembered and I said I did. He said I was young and terrified, and I that the trauma had resurfaced when I was nine. He told me we used play therapy to resolve it. He also said I have a strong sense of privacy as a result of the pediatric surgery I had. It has become part of me, and I don’t mind, really. I am surprised that other people don’t care about privacy as much as I do, but then again, they didn’t have their bodies poked and prodded by hospital personnel when they were five years old.

I am no longer traumatized by that surgery. I still have very clear memories of the event. One thing that happened was that the nurse who took my blood (will I bleed to death at her hands?) yelled at me over and over and called me “Julia.” That is not my name. Ever since then it has bugged me to be called “Julia.” And it bugs me also to be called “Mrs Greene.” I was never married and my name isn’t the name of a husband.

I think Dr. Smith did a good job. He listened. Not only that, all that playing was fun.

So did this 25 year old kid come home from the shrink appointment furious at his parents for sending him there? Did he cry, scream, carry on?

Looks like it.