Yes, I changed the world today

This is what happened after I left the town offices today.

The letter that I’d brought to the town offices the woman at the Health Department had taken from me and photocopied.  She had returned the original to me and kept the photocopy and written my phone number right onto the copy that she kept.  So I held that original in my hand all the way home.

I entered my building through the back door.  Puzzle and I came up the elevator.  Now guess who was right there?  I don’t usually see anyone from the Housing Authority right there in the hall, but there they were, two guys, really important ones, just the ones I wanted to see.  Never mind who these guys were but they were the “right ones” to give this letter to.  Or so I figured.  Not that I’d actually planned out exactly who the recipients would be.  I just figured I’d give it to someone important.  These folks were important enough.  Not only that, two of them.

What were they doing out in the hall?  I don’t know,  Inspecting some vacant apartment fairly close to my own.

So they ask what’s in the envelope and I say, “Oh, some writing I did.  I left off some paperwork at Town Hall.”

Trust me, they knew.  Oh boy, they did.   And they knew what was going on right away.

So one of them starts in with the teasing.  “Oh yeah, he says, ” Julie’s a writer.”  So I’m starting to feel partway put down by this, again, the tokenism, like writers don’t matter, that maintenance guys are far more important in this world cuz they do practical stuff.  But I say to myself, “Wait till they see what’s in the envelope.”

I can’t honestly recall if I told them that the Health Department stamped their copy as an official “complaint.”  But at any rate, the message got to them.

Folks, I’m positive they got a call.  I’ll tell you exactly why.

A guy named D called me within a couple of hours.  Okay, I’ll admit I was lying down with Puzzle on the verge of a snooze.  He asked me a bunch of questions.  I had to explain that the problem was intermittent.  He wanted to come over and “test” the water in my own apartment, however, when I went to the sink, the water was hot enough.  I tested it myself with my meat thermometer.  It was within range, 110-130.  I told him that 90% or the time, the water was under 110 degrees.

Did he believe me?

He told me as soon as the water was under 110, to give him a call.

I thought about things.  In a way, I felt like i was being accused of being “crazy” or “lying” or maybe “delusional.”  On the other hand, maybe D wanted to nab the Housing Authority.

But nabbing the Housing Authority isn’t even necessary.  They want to avoid getting nabbed.  They are scared of being nabbed.  Very.  Guess what they did?

They seem to have gotten off their butts finally.  Done what should have been done months ago.  Yes, months ago.  Fixed the darned system, I suppose.

As of tonight, my hot water has never, ever been hotter.  I mean, it hasn’t been this hot in ages.

Don’t tell me what I wrote didn’t scare the living daylights out of them.

Now, is what that shrink said true, that my writing degree is “useless”?  If you are reading this now, I love you.  Bless your hearts.  Good night.  Writing rocks.  I changed the world today.

Let’s keep on changing it.  And as I always say,

Never, ever shut up.

 

We Are Not Worthless People by Julie Greene, an official complaint to the Town of Watertown, MA July 31, 2013

I walked into the town offices with Puzzle.  I was bewildered.  I didn’t know which office was which.  All I could think of was the mantra that repeated in my head, “Never, ever shut up.”  And that I will never do.  I told myself that today I am changing the world.  Maybe in a small way, but I am doing something good and I can remember this.  I remembered the shrink who told me my degree in writing was worthless.  Well, shrink, I don’t think so.  I finally picked an office at random and handed the clerk the envelope.  She asked me if this was an official complaint.  I said, “I guess so,” and she stamped it and wrote down my phone number.  Here is the writing that was inside:

We Are Not Worthless People

by Julie Greene

Apartment xxx , Woodland Towers ,Watertown, MA

July 31, 2013

I live in pubic housing. The name of this place is Woodland Towers, and I’ve lived here now five years. I live at the end of the hall, and don’t know the names of my neighbors. My neighbors speak many colorful languages, including Armenian, Russian, and Chinese. I often wonder about the stories of these people. My neighbors don’t know me, and they don’t know that I’m a writer. I keep that little fact to myself.

It saddens me that there are eight stories of people in this building who will live and die and their stories may never be told. What are these stories? The writer in me often speculates about what it’s like to wake up in the morning at Woodland Towers for my neighbors, people I don’t even know:

“I can’t wash my dishes in this water. It’s only tepid. I’m afraid to complain.”

“I had to go to the job interview without a shower because the water wasn’t hot enough to bathe. I didn’t get the job.”

“The nurse said, ‘If you continue to skip showers, you’ll have to go to a nursing home.’ I can’t explain it the hot water problem to her, because I don’t speak English well enough.”

Yes, this all speculation, but the truth is that we are not worthless here. We are living human beings. Yes, perhaps we do not earn a paycheck. Most of us did at one time. The government loves to cram it down our throats the fact that they don’t enjoy sending out to us the pittance of minimal pay that they dole out to us, and in this way, the checks they send us are little messages to us that we are a nuisance to them and they’d love to be rid of us, the sooner the better. It’s not exactly comfortable knowing that you are a squatter.

This is why I write. To bring to life stories that would otherwise go untold. We are not worthless here.

By being lax about repairing our hot water, the Watertown Housing Authority is giving us a very clear message that our lives and health are not very important at all. They are telling us we’re just dust to be tossed out somewhere, something no one wants to deal with.

I believe the Watertown Housing Authority has known that the problem has existed for quite some time and has done nothing about it. I do know that the hot water problem has been going on for months and that other neighbors have gone for days without showers. It is time to act. I will not stand by and continue to see people be treated like they are worthless.

So I am asking the Watertown Housing Authority, please, We Need Hot Water. This means 24-hour access to hot water. Not hot water that only works some of the time.

Julie Greene, [my address]

CC: Town of Watertown

Today, I am acting out. I am writing. We are not worthless people here.

So, the Watertown Housing Authority is going to hear from me today.  CC the Town of Watertown.  Hopefully this piece of writing won’t take too long, but seeing as I don’t have loads of energy, I will have to do it in stages, that is, spend time writing, then probably lie down with Puzzle some and sleep, then write some, then sleep some.

No, we are not worthless crap here.  We are flesh and blood even though we get peanuts from the government that comes out of taxpayers’ money.  Yes, we deserve real hot water.

Oh, what a line of baloney I got about all sorts of tanks and and how the WHA was “working on it.”   And I’m sure you all knew there has been a problem for a long, long time.  You just didn’t want to do anything about it.

I took a cold shower this morning, folks.

This has been going on since winter and we should not have to live like this.

No, this is not a campground.

I’m sick and tired of it.

Okay, this “crazy lady” is going to start writing.  See ya in a bit.

About my July Nano book, what the title is, etc

In case you were wondering what happened to the book I was writing in July…I indeed was participating in July Nano but as you know I did have a gigantic computer crash.  Yeah, it was all tough.  I did recover my data.  I was very happy about this.  I was able to recover the book I was writing right away but was not able to open the file, meaning that i knew I had the file in my hands but the computer I had was not able to handle the file…hard to explain.  The machine did not have enough RAM and the program I was using…hard to explain but I have a different machine now and am able to open the file just fine.

As for the rest of my data…those of you who are not nerds may not appreciate this so I will simplify….

Imagine this: losing everything from undergraduate school and graduate school.  Yup.  All those little short stories and assignments, everything.  Well, I thought I’d lost all that, plus all those letters and miscellaneous files I’d stored over the years.

Not only that but all the pictures of Puzzle as a puppy.  Well, I got everything back thankfully.  Not only that but some instruction manuals I had saved, too.

Did I simplify enough?  Do you understand what this means?  You don’t have to be a computer nerd to get this.

Anyway, back to my Nano book.  I got that back but hell, now what?  Do you want to know the exact title of the book?

It’s freaking funny.  The title i mean.  Here it is:

How to Get Well and Get Out of the Mental Health System for Good

Now I want to tell you something.  My file contains a video and the video isn’t that long.  I transcribed the video into text.  Anyway, I put that into the book, too.  Basically, the book describes how to get well in three simple steps.

Now, listen to me.  This can be applied to any “label” that is, “diagnosis” that the mental health system put on you, whether it is ED or any diagnosis that they put on you.  Anything.

So, I have seen the 12-step program work for people, but guess what?  It doesn’t work for some diagnoses.  I have seen it work for only some ED’s for only a year or two and then it flops miserably.

The “Recovery Movement” simply does not apply to ED because ED is part medical.  I read their stuff and I said to myself, “Huh?”  I didn’t get it.  It didn’t apply.

Well, anyway…I myself got well in 1997/1998 using this three-step method and I saw someone else get better using the same method.

In fact, I’ve seen lots of people get better using this method.

It works and it does not require money or special equipment or special food or “family support.”  So if you have no money or no “loving family” around you, it will still work.

What can I do?  No one listens to me.  Well, I can keep writing.  As you know, I don’t shut up.

See you later.  I love you all.

I wish I could do more to help everyone out there but I am so tired…I love you all so much

I am tired but I am thinking of you all.

I know it sounds dumb and repetitive, but I do say again, I hope someday there is a cure for eating disorders.

I am talking about a humane, non-coercive cure that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.  Something that your parents don’t have to sacrifice their home for.  Something that won’t tear your family apart.  Something that works the first time and something that isn’t some scam and that won’t tell you “keep coming back” for a million years till it works and then dumps you when it doesn’t, telling you there’s something morally or constitutionally wrong with you or maybe you are the exception or you aren’t trying hard enough.  You folks know what I am talking about.

Okay, most of us fall into that “exception” category, right?  Most of us didn’t get “cured” the first time ’round, right?  So we were told we weren’t trying hard enough, we were messed up in the head, right?  We were told maybe to pay more money or to buy special food or maybe you went to a couple of scam therapists like I did, or bought scam products.  Sure, we all did.  They did not work and they cost a fortune.

Folks, if it costs a fortune, beware.  Most good things in life are very cheap or cost nothing.

Anyway, I’m going to go.  I’m tired.  Oh, there’s one more thing I want to tell you though before I go but I want to put it into my next entry.

Me and my dog

You don’t know me.
Me and my dog
I am walking her today and I am tired.

It is morning, and after her walk
I am going to feed her and I am getting undressed
And we are going back to bed.
I am tired this morning.
You don’t know me.
You have not been around.

My stuff, and what goes on with me,
My world, it’s not anyone’s business.
So go away and leave us alone.

Shut the door and turn out the light.
Make sure the door is closed tight and locked.

We’ll get under the covers.
Me and my dog
Never mind the rest of the world
They can go fuck off
Nobody really knows my world anyway
Nobody lives inside my head but me.

Me and my dog.
I guess that’s life.

My blog has had over 50,000 views and it is a cold New England summer morning

I  have made over 1,700 posts.  That’s a lot.

There have been very few comments, considering.  Only 900.  These are the ones that I have “approved.”  The rest were spam.  There were lots of those and these were filtered out.  Very few out of my Facebook “friends” actually read what I write on here anymore.  Honestly, I stopped giving a shit cuz I realized that those that wanted to read it were still reading.  Those that still cared still cared.  You stubborn bitches are still there.  Dang.

I woke up this morning and saw the temps.  62.  I said to myself, “New England is happy about this.”  Well, me, I told myself this is the kind of day for my War Gear.  Yep, a winter day for me.

The kind of day for a hat and gloves.  But no, I put on only a jacket.  That was rather dumb considering I’m on the skinny side.  I need more than a jacket what to me is cold weather.  I was spoiled by our heat wave.

I put on music that reminded me (don’t laugh) of my fat days.  This, I call, my “fat music.”  I’m not kidding you.  I really do call it that.  Do other people with eating disorders have fat music?  Well, I do. This is my fat music.  It doesn’t bother me to listen to it and I don’t believe that listening to it will make me fat.  No, I rather like this music.

It’s the music I listened to while I was on Seroquel and I went to the gym and worked out for hours on end and, sadly, could never, ever, lose weight.  I do remember that.  I remember, sadly, listening to this music and thinking that I was going to work out like crazy….

Anyway, this is the music.  My beloved “fat music.”  I think everyone has some.

I came home and now have on wool socks and a hat and I feel sick and I have walked and fed Puzzle (she just burped in my face) and I am going to cuddle with her in our sleeping bag for a long time.  See you later, assholes.

wtwo more therapists burned out

After I waited a month to see this lady, i i must say I had a most horrendous experience. I immediately phoned my primary care doc who said no, you should not be yelled at like that, julie, nobody should. So she got me somebody else. This guy just did not like me from the startt. did not even want to treat me even though I kind of liked him. he said no way. He seemed to think us writers should get day jobs. Now that was kind of a turn goff to me. like I told him Hey. i went to Goddard. HeSeemedNot to like dogsEither. He evenAsked meIfI ownwned a competer. Hey. i went to college. what o you think?

I’ve already decided what to do about the hot water problem

I will wait till Monday.  I will approach the manager.  I prefer to approach the manager rather than go to maintenance.  I never know who is going to be in that office when I get there.  I never know how I will be treated.  Sometimes, whatever problem I bring up, I get poked fun at.  I’m serious, guys, they do poke fun at me.  Like they beat around the bush or change the topic.  Or say that they have no clue what I’m talking about and refer me elsewhere.  I once called, this ages ago, and they did nothing but make jokes about the problem I was calling about.  I think I said there was a mouse in my apartment and the lady made jokes about “mousie,” and so on.  I honestly wanted to inform them and was rather upset to have a mouse there.  I had mixed feelings, too.  I wanted to deal with this little creature humanely.  I think he or she just ran off.  Maybe he didn’t want to be called “Mousie,” eh?

Meanwhile, I will just keep my fingers crossed that by tomorrow at 7:30 or so, I’ve got water warm enough for a shower, or guts enough to be like a kid again, hold my breath, and take a cold one.