I am frequently heartbroken over the way communities treat people who are known to have a mental illness.
I am a writer. My book, Breakdown Lane, Traveled, can be found in two local libraries. One was a copy I donated to the Watertown Library. The other is in the library in Concord, MA. I suppose someone requested it and the library decided they’d buy a copy.
My other published book, This Hunger Is Secret, cannot even be found in a catalog search anywhere in the Minuteman system. There are so many zillions of local libraries in this system, maybe 30 or 40 at least.
The listing for BLT has my name spelled wrong in the catalog.
I need to donate a copy of THIS to my library. It’s just heartbreaking.
I grew up in this area. I was out of town (Western MA and Vermont) from 1975 until 1986. I’ve lived in Watertown from 1987 on. When I walk into my bank, I am keenly aware that I’ve been a customer there for far longer than most employees I see working there. They tell me they won’t give me a drink of water when I walk in there and ask.
I feel hated here. Despised and loathed. Going out is unpleasant. People see me and if they know who I am, they turn up their noses and act like I’m contaminated.
It’s Julie Greene the Mental Patient, and I guess that trumps Julie Greene the Writer.
I don’t let it bother me the way it used to. For a while, I wouldn’t use the front door of my building because of the gathering of gossipers around the front door. They’re not friendly at all and their gossip is unpleasant to witness. I notice that ever since I stopped seeing mental health professionals, I’ve been less self-conscious walking through that door. I think it’s nice knowing I don’t have to go to someone’s office and get insulted for 50 minutes, every week. You bet those constant reminders that you’re no good are going to affect your whole life very quickly. I think my feeling of self-worth has definitely risen up a few notches, and I’m proud of that. I feel rather good now compared to the way I’ve felt the past couple of years, and that’s progress.