What remains of First Parish Church Watertown? Trauma and sadness. My story.

I do this dumb thing now and then. I read the newsletters of my former church. I used to love receiving those because it symbolized that I belonged somewhere. Now, when I read them I often feel rather emotional. It’s funny how, once removed from that situation, I can look back and see quite clearly the two-faced nature of most religious institutions, including the “liberal” one I was involved in.

I recall my first time attending a worship service there. My expectations were perhaps unrealistic. I had spoken to hospital chaplains and one suggested that having community in my life would probably open many doors for  me. She was right, but I wasn’t going to find that at First Parish Watertown.

At first, of course, everything seemed terrific. I’d go to church, feel like I belonged somewhere, then I’d go home to complete isolation, loneliness, and despair, and also, over the course of the next week, abuse by my therapist. One day, at a church gathering I mentioned that not only was church the high point of my week but during that week when we weren’t together, I was truly struggling. I don’t recall my exact wording. Afterward, one person came up to me and told me that he/she felt the same way, that life was hell and no one even knew or cared. I wanted to connect with this person but he/she was always busy with some other concern and I didn’t want to interrupt or interfere. We never became friends and that saddens me.

After a while, I wasn’t a newcomer anymore. I tried at that point to get involved. That’s when I first noticed elitism and favoritism in the church. I knew that all organizations do this, but I also noticed silencing of “the rest of us”  which wasn’t improving, in fact, it was getting worse.  I spoke out about this numerous times. When I made my opinions public I was often approached rather quietly with a “me too,” from someone. I never was able to establish relationships with these quiet supporters. They stayed away and I didn’t see them much. Some people stopped attending and I sensed this was a result of silencing or even scandal.

The newsletters are no longer sent to me. I have to hunt them down. I write to church members occasionally and rarely have I received a response.

Funny, the very first day I attended First Parish, I did what many do. I filled out an information card that newcomers were encouraged to fill out. This was the standard sort of thing that many churches do. They wanted to know what information you’d like on the church and its activities. There was also a check box at “Do you want the minister to visit?” I checked yes.

I waited until it was quite clear that the minister didn’t really do home visits. Not only that no one in church actually wanted to come near my home in public housing. No one wanted to know how bad it was there. Or they knew but didn’t want to face the truth. Many of the members stayed away from such unpleasantries as poor people. Poor folk are diseased, after all. Best way to handle them is to send services and funding their way and not speak to them, touch them, nor truly be friends.  I am extremely grateful for the one person who did show up a few times. I am also grateful she didn’t act like she was walking into a war zone named Woodland Towers.

Things went on. The situation eroded and got worse. I noticed that just about every sermon included yet one more plea for money. I was getting more and more disgusted. Some people had none to give. I felt embarrassed that the meager one dollar I left in the collection basket was often scraped from my penny jar. I leave apologies to those who had to count the pennies.

I wanted to give in other ways. I wanted to write. I was repeatedly told that they had no use for me. There is one chance for parishioners to speak out and that was called Joys and Sorrows. If you have ever been to a UU church you have witnessed this.

I rarely participated in that. I will tell you why. I felt I didn’t have anything worthwhile to say. I felt that whatever I said would be immediately knocked down no matter what it was. The one time I dared to participate in that, I did, in fact, get approached by someone and I was told, “You shouldn’t have said that.” She proceeded to berate and insult me. I never really knew if her attitude was at all reflective of the general tone of censorship in the church. That person was Rachel. After that happened and I got another berating insult from her, I avoided her to protect myself.

I didn’t know what to do anymore. I wrote to the minister and told him I wasn’t pleased about censorship in the form of tightening up Joys and Sorrows and making more rules and policies about it when this was the only chance people had, the only time there wasn’t a pastoral monopoly in the service. They had already made it clear that they didn’t want me doing the Chalice lighting. They’d advertise that they needed more volunteers for this but I knew they didn’t want the likes of me doing it. In that, I got the very clear message that I could come to church only if I completely shed my identity as writer.

There was too much silencing, too many backhand insulting remarks directed at those with known diagnoses. It all became clear to me precisely what was going on. I chose not to remain silent, to speak out and try to do something.

I was even more shocked that when my kidneys failed in mid-August and I nearly died, I received not one call nor visit from anyone in church. Oh yeah, the administrator dropped off some stuff for me. Of course, she didn’t even stay to talk. But to her, and many others, I wasn’t even worthy of a visit.  The minister knew what had happened and also didn’t call. He finally showed up. I knew it was tokenism. I was embarrassed. After I got out, I figured someone would at least tell me they cared or would ask if I needed anything. What happened then was even more shocking. I was avoided on the street and people were deliberately not speaking to  me nor answering my calls.

It got worse. I used to visit the minister in his office. I stopped abruptly and never told anyone why. I was embarrassed to mention it to anyone. But this is what happened:

I had just been through kidney failure, so I was still physically ill.  I was suffering from trauma from the abuse as well.  That means I didn’t look nor feel so great. All I wanted was compassion from this religious leader. What I got was rudeness and dismissal. It was like even more of my soul was sucked out.

Yes, I know people are human. I know people make remarks they later regret. The day was September 6th, 2013. I asked the administrator if Mark was in and she said I could go ahead into his office.

He didn’t look himself. I can tell you something was amiss. I never found out what it was. His hair was disheveled and his expression showed hostility. Almost like I had caught him in a moment that was not intended for the public. I will never know what was going on at that moment. I saw in him, for the first time, deceit.

I suppose all clergy have their nasty side. I never realized that this was one of those inevitable truths. Now, of course, I know. I walked in there and he said “Hello” to me, but with a guilty look on his face. Like a kid who had just been caught stealing or cheating on a test. He asked me how things were going. I said, “Okay,” but nothing was at all okay of course.

He said to me, “You were here yesterday. I already talked to you.” I didn’t know what to say to that. It was like he was accusing me of….of what? Is being so sick you nearly die a petty concern? Then he said, “Were you out walking?” I told him that this was the case. He said, “Then I am going to ask you to keep on walking.”

I walked out of there and promised myself I would never return. I realized then that it was so obvious that he didn’t even like most of the non-elite parishioners. He tolerated us. In fact, he made those statements loud and clear if anyone was really listening. I’d known it all along, but it’s hard to admit that someone you consider intrinsically good or at least decent would act like that. So you try to pretend that this isn’t happening until it becomes unavoidable.

After that, and even now, I hear the words, “Keep walking.” The sound of those words causes me to relive the experiences I had of loathing in that church toward anyone with a psych label. We were called “dangerous.” A danger to what?

The fall was tough. I was completely isolated and lonely. I cried every day and wondered how the heck it had gotten so shitty.

I had an offer to move to the Seattle area. It was December 2013. The offer never panned out, but around Christmastime I decided to show up at church. I figured I was moving, so I might as well say goodbye and in secret, “Nyah nyah, I never appreciated  your rotten attitude.” No, I didn’t say that. I felt it, but kept it to myself.

It was December 29, a Sunday I was not at church at all, that someone had what they called an “outburst.” When I heard, I told myself that someone must have been silenced like I was, and was expressing just how pissed off he/she was. However, I never learned who this person was. I’m sure he/she was silenced and banished much in the same manner they did to me, ultimately.

The next newsletter, that came out of First Parish, was so shockingly discriminatory that I decided at that moment to write to the person in Boston and tell her what was happening. I have sent this newsletter to a few people since, and they all confirmed that what was written reflected deep prejudice toward people like me.

I wrote a private email to a higherup in Boston, regarding my concerns. I had been through shocking nonsupport from the church. I wrote the email fast and it wasn’t the most carefully written letter I have ever written. I  mentioned acts or words of discrimination against Rachel, myself, and a few other people. I quoted what I had heard, stated publicly or whispered with the assumption that no one would overhear.

I received a timely response stating that they take these things seriously, but according to UU policy, these needed to be resolved internally, church by church. I wrote back one or two sentences that stated that I was fine with her response but that I was not going to let this one go. Of course, that meant more writing, as I am now doing, for the benefit of my readers.

Those two church higherups, Chuck Dickenson, and Judy Kamm barged into my building on January 10th, accusing me of PLANNING MURDER, and bringing the social worker cop, Melissa, with them. What they did was an outrage and should never have happened. They came and accused me based on speculation with no evidence, no data, nor any written warrant. Why? They couldn’t legally do it. There was no crime, nor any crime planned, and I doubt they could have even illegally arrested me simply because they felt threatened by my pen. They had absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing. They tried to convince me that I am undeserving of Freedom of Speech. What they were saying was that I was a person of very low worth, less than human. I stood there, still freezing and dehydrated from the protest in Boston for Justina Pelletier I had just attended. I was shocked.

Not only that, they told me that this “visit” was going to be kept secret from the general church population. Of course! What they did was an outrage and no way would most people in church have supported what they did had it been known.

Clearly, this was an act done to threaten me and scare me into silence. As readers know, I am in a safe place now, free of such hate crimes, and other acts of retaliation.

It was clear what was behind this. I learned shortly after that my letter had had a lot of impact. This was challenging to Mark and his authority was questioned. His job may have been on the line. They didn’t want my letter nor anything I knew to leak out. I guess Mark and his cronies were desperate.

I didn’t know what to do. I tried telling people on Facebook what had happened, and I was again condemned. I thought these people were my friends. I was told that what happened was my own paranoid imagination. I ditched those friends and told myself I needed new ones that actually believed what i was saying.

I still struggle with credibility. It’s a constant battle. This is common to so many people who were victims of medical wrongdoing. It’s not even that known, now we disappear. Some die. Rachel died ten days after I left the USA.  Without community support, we fade away. Some relocate because of the scare tactics used against us.

I would be terrified if I still lived in Boston right now. So many are. I know I was not the only one. I see now that the church has finally instigated “home visits.” As expected, these aren’t goodwill how-are-you visits. No, this is to collect money from parishioners, to use guilt and pressure to get more money from them. I am again shocked. Personally, if I still lived in Watertown, by all means, I would not allow these people to come in. The only time anyone in church ever contacted me was to get money from me. I was so shocked at that. I wouldn’t have minded it they had acted like friends all along.

I don’t know how I am going to get over this trauma. I keep telling myself it’ll just fade. It doesn’t, even though I am far away. I keep thinking I am finally okay again, but it keeps coming back. I went through medical abuse that I continue to relive. I call what happened in church  form of spiritual abuse.  I find myself asking over and over why these things had been deliberately done to me.  Sometimes, I want to cry but now, I can’t. I want to come face to face with that God that allowed this to happen. I want to tell this God just what I think, saying,

“Bah humbug.”

And then, of course, I’d keep walking.

 

Reflections on being a member of a church

“Once a member, always a member.” “The door is always open.” I believed at the time I heard this that this was Gospel truth. Why? Cuz they said so. But it was a lie.

Oh, it does hold true for those they “like.” They didn’t like me. So I got the boot. I notice they took me off their membership list. I notice that just now.  I feel very sad.

I don’t know how to fathom this. I was never honored there. I was never asked to do anything for their church except give money. I had a lot to give but that was denied. I was kept off the greeters list.  I was told this was an “oversight.” But two years in a row? And no apology?  They denied that I had any human worth except what was in my bank account. Beyond that, they stressed silence and compliance.

I never spoke at Joys and Sorrows. Oh, once I did and was immediately put own for what I said. That it wasn’t a joy. Yep, that’s what she said. “That’s not a joy.” I had no clue what to say to that except originally I didn’t think the church believed in censorship. Clearly, they did.

A lot of people got put down for what they said at Joys and Sorrows. I began to notice the same people went up there again and again. I felt that to allow congregation members to speak aloud to the congregation was a good thing. Then, I guess the minister didn’t like giving up his absolute power, so he made restrictions on Joys and Sorrows. It was like a totalitarian regime.

They said they needed Chalice lighters on a certain date. I volunteered. I was happy to contribute something besides fucking money. But immediately, I could see the minister panicked. “Keep your word count down.  Remember it must be appropriate for children.” Wow, did he terrorize everyone in that manner when they did the reading for the Chalice? I was so insulted. And when I came to do it, they were ready with their “substitute.” I was suddenly painfully aware of the reality: I wasn’t wanted there. They were hoping I’d forgotten to show up.

Yep, they claimed to be welcoming. For the few. For the elite. For those that give money. But they routinely pushed out those they didn’t like or those they couldn’t get money from.

They’d do it in sinister ways. I’ve seen people belittled there. I’ve heard insults and discrimination. They claimed anyone could join a committee, but that wasn’t true. If someone they didn’t like joined, they’d gently push them off, convincing them to drop out and at the same time, making it look like there was no coercion.

At the time that I joined, I yearned for spiritual connection and community. I thought I’d found it. But that wasn’t true. I’d go to “feel good” church, come home, then spend the week in isolation. One member even ordered me, “Never contact me outside of church again.” So began the long list of Sunday Only friends.

I might as well have had “Facebook only friends.” Same deal. Don’t call me and don’t talk to me.  I believe you are worthless shit, but I want to add to my friends list so I’m including you. I’ll only come to you when I need something because I don’t value your company.

No, I wasn’t valued at church. I wasn’t loved. I tried so hard, but every Sunday I’d come home after church and cry all afternoon.

After I left Watertown, I noticed they were “allowing” letters to the editor in their monthly newsletter. But have i seen one letter “allowed” in? Nope. That, too, is domination, control of the press by the very few elite.

Yeah, they want more members. More members means more money. You bet that’s what they are thinking. But they didn’t keep me. Sorry, dudes. I don’t want to be valued for my bank account, money I didn’t even have, and then censored and silenced.

In my letter to the UUA in Boston I explained how the church had discriminated against Rachel Ann Klein, and others, too. I sent that letter at the end of December 2013, maybe over the turn of New Year’s, since I was alone as usual and had nothing better to do.

So it was two days after my birthday, nearly a year ago, that two church bigwigs came barging into my home accusing me of plotting to kill the minister. Seriously! They brought a cop with them.  I am not kidding! The two church bigwigs, especially the guy, were shaking all over, like they were scared of “dangerous” me, accusing me of having weapons. It was all speculation, completely unfounded. Based on my letter, which didn’t once state I intended to do anything violent to anyone.  To barge into my apartment building without ringing my bell was illegal, cop or no cop. They had no warrant, no evidence, and they admitted it was all a hunch. I challenged them, telling them they would NEVER do this kind of thing to a person who didn’t have a “diagnosis.” And then they said that all this was being kept secret, only one committee in the church had any knowledge that they were doing this.

I realize now why they didn’t let the rest of the congregation know. First of all, it was yet another act of discrimination. An inside job. Get rid of the unwanted by terrorizing me. Don’t tell anyone. That way, if I speak out, I’d be told by most that they’d never heard of this, and therefore, it had never happened. I’d be accused of being delusional. This left me defenseless and terrified.

I am speaking out now, loud and clear. There is no place in my life for being bullied by any individual nor institution. I won’t be a member of any group where I am not even valued, not wanted nor recognized.

I wish, after that incident, that I’d contacted Rachel Klein. No way would Rachel have called me delusional. She would have known the serious offense the church committed. She was demanding, too. She would have approached them I bet. She had guts. I guess they never liked that, nor appreciated how smart and insightful she was.

Was Rachel squelched by them, too? I’m sure they tried their darndest to silence her in some way. I’m sure she was fully aware of this. Aware people get killed, or bullied into committing suicide. Organizations such as that church only love those that have plenty of money and are silent and compliant. But I can only speculate, and I sure know the feeling of “Nobody loves me.” You bet I do.

 

 

Truth disclosed about persecution of a 56-year-old woman in Watertown, Massachusetts

My original plan was to print out this document and to leave it stashed in my freezer. I wrote it in May. That’s the freezer where I so carefully stored Puzzle’s meat that I cooked for her every day to make delicious homemade meals, at Woodland Towers.

We aren’t there. We haven’t been there for a long time. I had to abandon many belongings.  Eventually, they’ll figure out I’m gone.  Someone will go in there.  If I were to leave this note in the fridge it would be found much sooner.  Truth was, I was really medically sick when I departed, in a frightful state, and had no time to think to leave any sort of “note.”

Here it is, copied and pasted:

THIS IS HOW I GOT BULLIED OUT OF TOWN

I was raped by my neighbor on March 25, 2008. Here’s what happened afterward…..

1. I tried to tell my therapist, Goldie Eder, what happened, but she ignored what I told her. She wasn’t a good therapist.
2. I tried to go to an ER (Mount Auburn) but was misdiagnosed with the “common cold” and sent home.
3. When I fired my therapist, and ended my treatment with her, my psychiatrist, Dr. Kimberly Pearson at Mass General literally yelled at me over the phone and told me I had bad judgment.
4. A local mental health crisis team heard my psychiatrist yelling through the phone and all the way across the room.
5. I found out about a local organization, called BARCC, that helps people who have been raped. I went to this organization.
6. I was advised to move away from my neighbor, who had raped me, especially since he was continuing to assault me.
7. I moved a few blocks away because the Housing Authority, by coincidence, was moving their tenants around anyway due to construction work being done on my building. The Housing Authority had no clue I’d been raped.
8. It turned out that this building I moved to is run down and barely livable. I have had to fight to get my basic needs met, such as access to hot water for a shower.
9. The neighbors were hostile to me for no reason ever since the day I moved in, so I never made friends there.
10. My physical health began to deteriorate. I lost weight and suffered from anorexia nervosa. Still, I managed to finish graduate school in July 2009.
11. About ten of my friends decided they didn’t want to be friends with someone who was a lot skinnier than they were (I think they found this intolerable), so they kicked me out of their group. Because of what they did, I felt disappointed in humanity. My attitude became pessimistic.
12. I had a decent therapist for a short while but she got laid off. The next one, Maria Mellano, turned out to be a controlling abuser who should by all means not be practicing psychotherapy.
13. In December 2010, I broke a tooth during a binge eating episode, and to treat my broken tooth, Maria Mellano sent me to a psychiatric ER at Mass General, and from there, I was sent to McLean Hospital for three weeks.
14. McLean told me my toothache was “all in my head.” They gave me new drugs. The worst of these was Trileptal. It took me months to figure out that this drug had caused me to have trouble with balance (from ataxia) and caused me to become so confused I could barely manage.
15. My two best friends decided not to be friends anymore. I didn’t think I’d ever get over the extreme loneliness I felt. To make things worse, many people then told me I had brought this upon myself.
16. My therapist continued to bully me. Bad therapy is far worse than no therapy at all.
17. By summer 2011, my weight dropped dangerously low. I was put into Mass General, suffering from dehydration and slow heartbeat.
18. The hospital abused me. There were multiple abuses. Mass General broke the law, and violated my basic privacy. They even refused to give me a drink of water. When they found out that I was blogging about their abuse, they lied to Dr. Pearson and told her there was a medical reason for the water restriction, however, this was untrue. I was a caged animal there.
19. My so-called friends said that I was “sick” to blame Mass General. They claimed that it wasn’t possible for a hospital to be wrong or to mistreat someone. However, I have since learned that I am not the only one who was abused in hospitals!
20. Both Mellano and Dr. Pearson denied that I had been abused. I would think that most mental health professionals would at least be supportive. I noticed my personality was changing as a result of the continuing, ongoing devaluation and subsequent lack of support.
21. I went to another hospital, Walden, to “recover” from my experience at Mass General. However, the doctor there said I needed to be incarcerated in the state hospital! Why? Because I refuse to shut up about what was done to me? I managed to get home again.
22. I joined a church, First Parish of Watertown, thinking I might find support there. I began to attend church every Sunday and get involved in events.
23. I tried to make friends at church but every friendship flopped. I had no clue why. It seemed that many church members wouldn’t even give me a chance, because it was known that I had a mental illness.
24. Maria Mellano threatened me every time I saw her and accused me of behaviors I did not do.
25. In February, I was locked up at Walden’s eating disorders unit, Alcott. It was then that I realized that “mental health care” was doing me no good. I made the decision to leave my therapist, Maria Mellano, and devoted my life from then on to helping other sufferers of eating disorders. I continued to see the psychiatrist, Dr. Pearson.
26. I lived in social isolation. No one called or visited and I rarely went out except to walk my dog, Puzzle. I was shocked when I realized that no one really cared about me. I never spent time with other people and was entirely alone. Why was this happening?
27. I made hundreds of calls trying to find “help.” I was turned down by therapists and treatment centers, every single one.
28. I was still suffering the consequences of having taken an antidepressant, Imipramine, and withdrawal of that drug.  Over the years I had been given so many drugs, multiple antipsychotic drugs I never needed and mood stabilizers as well. This irresponsible polypharmacy has left me with the inability to sleep.  I only had an eating disorder and no mental illness at all.
29. In 2012 I had a caring student acupuncturist. She and her supervisor encouraged me to go to police and report the rape, even though four years had passed.
29. However, because I couldn’t stop binge eating, and because I couldn’t get any help and very few people truly cared anymore, I made secret plans to kill myself.
30. I followed through with what I had promised my acupuncturist, and went to police to report the rape, even though I knew I was going to die anyway. It was rather strange talking to them, knowing that should this report go anywhere, I wouldn’t be alive to see the results. However, I felt that I was helping others, possibly preventing Cahill from assaulting further.
31. It was clear to me, though, by the response of Watertown Police that nothing would be done about my report even though I stated that Robert Cahill posed a threat to other tenants where he lived. The police stated that I had no physical proof that I had been raped. I realize now that the police only saw me as a crazy lady who was crying wolf. Not true. That man raped me and on other occasions, assaulted me. I felt as though I had no voice.
32. I was on my way to London. My CBFS state worker called me on my cell to inform me that as soon as I returned to this country, her boss would be coming with her at her next visit. I realized that the state workers wanted me hospitalized and silenced because I had complained about the poor quality of Edinburg CBFS services. I had threatened my worker’s boss, Phil Moncreiff, head of Team 2, that I would report his obvious negligence to the DMH. I knew he wanted to stop me.
33. On the day I was to kill myself in London via overdose, I filmed myself and showed the camera the pills I was going to take. I accidentally fell asleep. Then, it was too late to taking the pills. Bad timing caused me to change my plans and instead of dying, I went home on the plane, back to Boston. Upon arrival, I felt only glad to see my dog again.  I didn’t want to see humans.
34. Unfortunately, CBFS did send me to the hospital, however, they had been unaware of my suicide plan. I was hospitalized at Walden Behavioral Care’s Alcott unit for eating disorders. I was never really sure why they sent me to the hospital except perhaps to keep me quiet.
35. The care at Walden seemed pointless. They didn’t know anything about binge eating. They never listened even though I tried to tell them about my narrow miss with suicide.  They walked away from me each time I asked them to listen.
36. I was shocked that after I had struggled with an eating disorder, anorexia and binge eating, now for 32 years, and had never been able to get humane care for it. For decades I never found anyone with knowledge, and the only find out there specifically for eating disorders involved cruelty and force, not compassion. I asked to leave and told myself I would never go back.
37. After I got home I tried to tell Dr. Pearson about the poor quality of care at Walden, but she decided that my reports of uncaring staff were surely untrue. She said I must be delusional and paranoid. Of course, everything I said was correct, not paranoia at all. However, I was beginning to notice that Dr. Pearson accused me of paranoia every single time I complained of irresponsible, negligent, or abusive staff or therapists. She had given me antipsychotic medication, thinking this drug would erase my “paranoid thoughts” about abuse. However, the abuse really happened. Instead of being supportive and helpful, Dr. Pearson ignored abuse. Providers are supposed to report these things!
38. I went along with the drugging for a time, then stopped the Abilify. It was worsening the insomnia I already had due to my eating disorder. Abilify was not going to erase abuse!
39. The following March 2013, I went to a therapist named David Alpert. He told me I wasn’t paranoid. However, he tried to ask me out on a date on our third session, and also he acted in many other irresponsible ways, and lacked any knowledge about eating disorders, so I fired him.
40. Dr. Pearson yelled at me for firing David Alpert and she accused me of being delusional.  Again, Dr. Pearson shouldn’t have ignored my report of abuse.
41. I went on a rampage. I ate nothing around the time of the 2013 Marathon bombing. Then, I binged for four days straight. I gained 30 pounds in those four days. I feared that I was in medical danger. My doctors had been deceptive with me and not told me my kidneys were functioning under 40%. When I saw I had so much swelling in my body, I tried to ask for help and at least get my blood tested. Lindsay Brady at the Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association attempted to phone my primary care physician, Dr. Marian Klepser, as well as Dr. Pearson, on my behalf, trying to advocate for me. Lindsay said these two doctors were not returning her calls. I felt betrayed.
42. I was desperate to lose the weight I’d gained. I ate very little for the next few months. No one cared about me anymore. Some tried to tell me to go to therapy. That wasn’t caring. That was “doing their duty.” The church members rarely called me back when I called them. I wanted friendship, not therapy. Why did they not care?  Why were these people keeping themselves so distant?
43. I lost a lot of weight and finally dropped under 90. I kept losing. I reached close to 80 at the beginning of August.
44. August 12, 2013, I weighed 78 pounds and went into kidney failure. I was 55 years old. I was a full code in the Mount Auburn Hospital ER.
45. Everything after that went all wrong. Dr. Bibek Koirala contacted Dr. Pearson. I’m sure Dr. Pearson warned them I was a “liability case” because I had spoken out about abuse. Why did Dr. Pearson not even care about me as a human being after I had almost died?  I later learned that this was the only thing Dr. Pearson told them. She hadn’t told them any vital information about me that would have helped me medically, for instance, about the medications that I’d had bad reactions to in the past. I tried to tell the hospital staff myself but they cut me off and were rude to me.
46. Mount Auburn staff destroyed my spirit. The abuses are too numerous to list here. I have been listing these over and over in my blog for months. I cried and cried for months. I suffered post-traumatic stress.  There were so many lost friendships over this.
47. While I was incarcerated at Mount Auburn, someone, probably the police, conducted an illegal search of my apartment.
48. After I got home from Mount Auburn, I cried alone for a month, traumatized by their abuse. No one called me, and many told me how disgusted they were and called me “ungrateful.” My church turned against me because I put in a legal claim. I also reported Mass General from 2011. In November, the Disability Law Center finally got back to me.
49. I realized in September that the church minister, Mark Harris, never even liked me in the first place. He badmouthed many people right in his sermons, even though he edits these remarks out before the sermons go online. I gave up on church. I ended CBFS because they had acted irresponsibly and had not provided anything helpful.
50. Over the next few months, I noticed the medical care given by my current new providers was poor quality. I felt on an assembly line and vowed I’d get out of Harvard Vanguard. I tried to see other doctors, but each time, I was profiled because of past association with the mental health system. I realized I was going to have to move away from here and start my whole life over if I was going to survive at all.
51. I found new friends, others who had been abused either in hospitals or by mental health practitioners. I attend meetings and protests and I continue to write to try to help others.
52. I have been suffering a severe, long-standing “post-trauma” reaction to what happened to me at Mount Auburn. I appear fearful and angry, and I snap at people easily. I feel terrified of sirens, police uniforms, and the proximity of a hospital building. I live in constant fear of the police appearing at my door and taking me away against my will, to be locked up and abused again.
53. There is no excuse for abuse. When people justify what was done to me they invalidate me and insult me. I can no longer tolerate this dismissive attitude.
54. After Mark Harris wrote something in our January church newsletter that was discriminatory against folks with mental illness, I contacted the UUA office in Boston in a private e-mail that revealed many other things I’d seen and heard at church that I felt were discriminatory.
55. On January 10th, 2014, two church members came to my home with a member of the police force (Melissa) and they tried to accuse me of planning to kill Mark Harris. I told them I wasn’t planning this and that their accusations were completely unfounded, in fact, so ridiculous that I nearly laughed. I told them I felt discriminated against by their accusations, and that they would never do this to someone who didn’t have a known psychiatric diagnosis. They had barged through the front door and into the building without ringing my buzzer. The church members told me I could come back to church but I would be restricted, censored, and silenced. I told them that I should be respected as a writer with something to give society, instead of being always seen as “needy.”
56. What the church did to me by coming to my home and wrongly accusing me was a hate crime. Were they trying to get me locked up again just for speaking the truth? I wondered, alternately, if I had gotten Mark into trouble by writing to the UUA.  I had mentioned other church members in this private e-mail, others with mental illness diagnosis that I felt had been discriminated against, including Rachel Ann Klein.  The church people seemed desperate to shut me up.
57. I noticed that a number of times I saw church members on the street and in stores,but they deliberately avoided me. It felt like that was the last straw.  I made several arrangements to move away, and each time, my plans fell through.
58. I tried to at least leave this building and transfer down the street. My next-door neighbor played her TV too loudly, all day long, and I could not stand the constant noise. She was an elderly, hearing-impaired lady, and her son was a Watertown first responder, I happened to know.  It was sad that he was clearly neglecting her.  Even my request to transfer was denied, put off, excuses made.
59. I suppose the most devastating thing of all is that my two brothers, Phil and Ned, raised their families without their Auntie Julie. Phil lived only an hour away for decades, and I never saw him or his family. This broke my heart. These two brothers, whom I loved so much in our childhood, are now awaiting big money they are trying to get from our mom. They’ve put our mom into an institution.
60. I am 56 years old. I am short and thin, and I wear glasses, the same as when I was a kid. I have a lovely dog. I did nothing wrong. I was raped. I was abused in hospitals and by my therapist. I chose to speak out and to write in my blog about what happened. None of these things are crimes. And yet, my community has nearly destroyed me.
61. Since the summer, my kidney function has been around 30%. I believe much of the damage prior to the summer was from lithium, which I took for 16 years. I now suffer from anemia and constant fatigue. I wish I never turned to the mental health system for help with my eating disorder. It was a mistake, a wrong road taken. I feel like over three decades of my life were stolen from me. I started off as a talented student composer, and now, I feel like I’ve been swindled.
62. Cahill was honored. The police who ignored what I told them are hailed as community heroes of Watertown Strong. The doctors and therapists and other personnel who destroyed my life are continuing to live cushy lives. Why are perps glorified? Why are victims treated like unworthy criminals, denied basic needs, forced into the fringe of society?
63. It was always my intention to speak out to prevent others from having to endure the abuses I experienced, particularly what’s now known as psychiatric abuse. Instead, I ended up hated in my community.  I knew if I stuck around, I would not survive given the amount of prejudice I was dealing with. It looked like those accusing me had been working very hard to retaliate and ruin my life, except for Cahill, who died last year.
64. My plane left Logan Airport May 13, 2014. Rachel Ann Klein died May 23, 2014.  I have stated that Rachel died because people in the community did not love her enough. The people of the community turned their backs on a person like me who was suffering.
65. I won’t be back.  Puzzle and I did what we had to do to remain alive and together and free.

 

My motto: Never, ever shut up.
Julie Greene and Puzzle
My blog: Juliemadblogger on WordPress.
First Written early May, 2014.  Modified.
copies to be sent to the media.  Or that was my original intent.