I couldn’t bring myself to make the turn onto Main Street and join the crowds that were cheering and clapping away. I even heard some folks setting off some sort of firecrackers. Instead, I chose to stay on the empty back streets, where no one was walking. I heard the sound of wind chimes and the air was damp. Branches swayed as the wind tossed them this way and that. Today had been our warmest day yet, but we hadn’t been allowed out by police.
Police. Those guys in uniform who were now being hailed as heroes. Who were they to me really? How many times had I had to call 9-1-1 in the past year? I couldn’t even count. Would anything really change now that this had occurred in our town? Would calling 9-1-1 be any different for me, a low-income person on “psychiatric disability”?
Probably not. How many times had the cops seen to it that I’d been properly “sectioned,” that is, taken to a mental hospital, locked up and put “where I belonged,” safe from society” where I would “not harm anyone”? How many times had they searched my apartment unnecessarily when I had phoned them about something else entirely? How many times had they accused me of things I had not done, only because I am a mental patient? How many times had they not believed my story only because I am a mental patient?
What the fuck does it take to gain credibility with these people?
And how many times have I phoned 9-1-1 with legitimate MEDICAL concerns only to have it considered PSYCHIATRIC even before I have arrived at the emergency room, even before I was seen by a doctor, just because the folks who arrived at my door or even the one that answered the call learned that I take psychiatric medications?
I am tired of “the look” I get from the people in uniform as soon as they arrive at my door, just because I live in subsidized housing. Now those of you who own your own homes do not get this look, so you have no clue, you have had very good experiences, but those of us who live in low income housing know very well the look they give us. We are trash to them.
I have heard them yelling at the lady down the hall, who does not speak English, screaming at her while she lay down in front of them.
Disrespect is disrespect.
Does this event change what happens next time I call 9-1-1? Actually, after my last experience, I resolved I would never call 9-1-1 again.
So no, I sure wanted to walk alone tonight at 10:30, just didn’t have the heart to wave around an American flag or run around with humans, wanted to be alone, actually.