Thanksgiving with Puzzle

Tomorrow is Puzzle’s birthday. Does she even know? I doubt it, but she’s gonna flip when I start making her cake tomorrow! She’ll probably wiggle all over and bark her fool head off until I give it to her. Then, she won’t barking–she’ll be gobbling!

The next day is Thanksgiving. Puzzle, you better be plenty thankful for the cake! More likely, she’ll demand a second go-round. Sorry, Puzzle, not till you turn nueve años!

Last year, I wasn’t thankful for anything. I figured my life was ruined. There seemed to be no point in going on after what happened over the summer. Right before Thanksgiving, Disability Rights finally gave me a call to say they BELIEVED me. This was huge for me. I guess it kept me going during that miserable holiday when I had nothing to be thankful for.  Still, they kept me waiting a full month and then I started wondering if I was going to t to get that call they’d promised. I finally called them. Then, waited another month for a callback. After that, I was promised some “important” snail mail. I waited a full month and then called asking what had happened. Finally, I got the snail mail.

I opened it. It was nothing but forms I had already downloaded off the Internet. And no representation. I called the lawyer with whom I’d been dealing. She said, “Just call lawyers at random. Good luck.”

By then, it was 2014. Fat chance someone living in public housing was gonna get a lawyer by “calling at random.”

I was so, so, so so so exhausted every day. I couldn’t do a damn thing. Just dragging my feet and collapsing on the bed all the time. Oh, then my bed broke.

I guess it could have gone differently. The people in my church could have welcomed me home, and they could have said they were glad I was okay. I didn’t even get that. They didn’t have to refuse my phone calls or avoid me on the street. They could have believed me, and maybe someone there would have actually done something to help. Instead, I was kicked out.

Oh, no, not officially. But the hostility was clear. They didn’t want to associate with me anymore. I guess i’ll never know why for sure, but I got my ideas. They told me I could come back, but only if I promised I’d never again write to the Boston UUA office.

But—can’t anyone write to them? No, not a person with a diagnosis. I’m too “dangerous.”

Guess I got a few people in trouble, eh? Or at least mighty embarrassed….

Imagine the power of a church with 100 members on my side. Imagine being in a group where people actually care.  Maybe a few would have written letters to the state on my behalf. I guess instead they blacklist people they think are “unsafe” for church.

I guess I was totally wrong when I joined. I thought a church would be behind me, an asset to me, and me to them. Nope. I only got hostility and turned backs, and I became even more desperate to leave town.

So now…this Thanksgiving. Know what I am most thankful for? That here in Uruguay we don’t have Thanksgiving so no asshole will come up to me and say, “Did you have a good Thanksgiving? How was your family?” That was one horrible question to try to get around.

Here’s to those of you spending the day alone this year. Here’s to those kids who are teased in school. Here’s to those who got fired recently. Here’s to those who won’t be asking for the day off cuz you have no job. Why ask when there won’t be a dinner?

Mostly, I wish a wonderful Thursday to all those who have been misunderstood.

 

Feedback and comments welcome!