What my last days in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA were like before I left

It was like that nightmare I had had a year previously. That I received in my email notification that I, Julie Greene, was dead. Then I decide to attend my own funeral. I sat in the back and listened to all the nasty things people had to say about me.

Don’t tell me people only say nice things about dead folk. Not true. I’ve heard enough “We never liked her” to make me puke.

I heard enough of that said about me, too, either straight out, or via the disrespect I had been given, or overheard, to clue me in on one thing: I HAD to leave fucking Watertown. I was dying to relocate! Anyplace where I could start over. Completely.

It took a full year before relocation finally became reality. This was really gonna happen!  No more of this shit where everyone hated me anyway.

You had to laugh.  I sure was! I felt like I was a walking ghost no one cared about or noticed anymore. Or wanted. Anywhere. Inside, I would tell myself, “It won’t be long…I will get out soon….” This was comfort. Each time someone was rude to me I promised myself that very soon, Puzzle and I would be free of this hateful attitude forever. I told no one I was leaving. Why should I? No one gave a shit about me! A few folks I wanted to say something…but then, stopped myself.

So I began to observe how often I was called “stupid” or honked at or told I was a nuisance to someone.  Or rudely shoved and told to hurry up. This occurred several times a day!

I would never see them again.  Wow, did that ever feel fantastic.

What the hell is wrong with Watertown? Is it overpopulation? Too much mental health “care” pushed on people? Clearly, these things will break families apart and kill people. Been trying to figure that one out. No one shoves or honks or yells here where I have relocated to. In Watertown, ambulances drove down my street with their sirens blaring four or five times a day. I have heard this sound about twice a month here, and I am near the main drag.

I feel free now and awfully glad to have gotten out from a place where clearly, I was not wanted.

Love, Julie and Puzzle

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.

The apologies I wish I’d gotten, by Julie Greene

In so many ways, the silence, to me, means, “Good riddance.” Nothing more. Like I wasn’t valued, and no one misses me. Although I tried very hard to be of use to people, they made it clear while I was still there I was worthless as a person. The current silence and lack of communication only serves to further drive this point home to me. It’s rather discouraging.

What if I were dead? I’ll bet the response would be about the same. “Good riddance” and not much more.

I ask you, why not an apology? I would love to hear any of the following, if it applies:

“I am sorry I never made friends with you or reached out.”

“There was never any time.”

“I admit I always made excuses.”

“I never picked up the phone when you called.”

“I’d heard you had ‘problems’ so I stayed away.”

“My spouse said to avoid you, so I did. I didn’t even question.”

“I figured that it would be best for the kids not to associate with someone with an eating disorder. After all, to do so would be a bad influence on them, would it not?”

“I felt really good that I lived far away. This was a good excuse not to see you in person or make a real commitment.”

“You look weird. I figured I’d stay away.”

“The whole time we were talking I faked my way through our conversation. I only pretended to agree. I really thought you were nuts and was dying to end the conversation and get rid of you. I never liked you.”

“I heard you tried suicide once so I thought, ‘Must be trouble,’ right?”

“I admit that when I saw you around town, I turned my head or crossed the street and hoped you hadn’t recognized me. I didn’t want to say hello or engage in conversation, and even pretended I hadn’t seen you when you waved. If you did see me, I kept it to a curt, “Hello,” and then walked on, rather than any sort of involved dialogue. This was deliberate. After all, others said you were nothing but trouble, but I never bothered to check out for myself or ask you myself what was really going on.”

“I heard you were violent.”

“Those mental patients might turn on you.”

“I figured being Facebook friends was enough and I’d limit it to that.”

“I’m sorry I never bothered to ask.”

“I’m sorry I never read one word you wrote.”

“I had no interest in your book or any of your writings. I figured since you have a mental diagnosis your writing must not be very good. You must have had ‘special help’ getting your degree. Like special ed, for ‘retarded people,’ that’s what ‘those people’ get, right? Not real college degrees, so I figure.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t listening.”

“I’m sorry that when you wrote to me, desperately trying to reach out, I did not respond.”

“I’m sorry that while we were talking, I wasn’t even paying the least bit of attention, but instead, showed lack of interest by playing with gadgets.”

“I always assumed everyone has family, and never realized there are some who don’t. I’m sorry you were all alone.”

“I’m sorry you were not allowed to have a voice in our community nor valued for your talents.”

“I was only doing my job.”

“I figured doing my job was enough.”

“I am sorry, on behalf of so many doctors, therapists, and institutions and their personnel, that you experienced medical and psychiatric abuse, and that this abuse was never acknowledged.”

“I am sorry for accusing you of being paranoid when clearly you were not paranoid at all, but absolutely right all along about quite a bit of what you were saying.”

“I’m sorry our community clearly took you for granted all these years.”

“I really never realized you had so much knowledge of eating disorders, and never recognized that you would be such a fabulous resource on the topic. Your wisdom, knowledge, and experience were taken for granted all this time. I’m sorry you were treated with such disrespect.”

“I’m sorry our community did not honor you.”

“I’m sorry you were not recognized at all as a writer.”

“I admit I am relieved not to have to see you anymore. I never liked you anyway, or thought I didn’t, because of my first impression. I never gave you a chance and was scared to get to know you because of what others said about you. We never even spoke. But I am sorry that I made that rash decision. In the back of my mind, I guess I’ll always wonder what it would have been like had I really spent time with you, had I sat down with you, and actually had spoken conversation with you. It seemed like no one ever bothered, did they? I’m truly sorry.”

Love, Julie Greene and Puzzle

Exclusion of mentally ill people from a community in Watertown, MA, and what I did about it on New Year’s Eve

Okay, so I could have been out partying.  But no, I have promised that I will not shut up when it comes to stigma, hatred, and prejudice.  It’s one thing when it happens to me. But when I see it happening to others, I refuse to sit on my butt and do nothing.

As a writer, it’s my OBLIGATION to do something.  It’s my duty to write.  No, I have signed no papers, no oath saying, “I will write.  I will not shut up.”  Doctors sign the Hippocratic Oath saying they will be good doctors.  I have an oath in my heart saying, “I will not shut up.”

My pen is powerful. Even on New Year’s Eve when the rest of the world is out partying and drinking.  Oh boy yes it is.

So I wrote a letter and I’m positive it went to the right authority.  I received a bounceback saying the person was not in the office due to the holiday and would respond January 2nd, so I know my e-mail arrived.

Are you wondering what I am talking about?  And why I took action New Year’s Eve, of all times?  Yesterday I received in my e-mail a newsletter, an actual statement sent out publicly to hundreds of people stating that this particular community organization was not going to be welcoming to folks who were mentally ill.  No, not in those words.  But what I have been seeing over time was a whole string of incidents within that organization that added up very clearly to EXCLUSION of those labeled mentally ill.  The newsletter…it was now too much and I was not going to tolerate this.

Tuning out or dropping out…these were no longer options. Remaining silent was no longer an option.  I’m sure not going to take drugs all day and live my life in a cloud of smoke, which is what many do once they have been turned away.  Turning the other cheek was something I did in the past and I no longer do.  I’m not going to sit around praying that God forgives people for doing these terrible things so that I can live with their deeds.  Hell, no!  I’d much rather take action and DO SOMETHING to stop it! Why sit around praying or saying “Om” and doing nothing all day, thereby allowing discrimination to continue and doing nothing to stop it?

Sure, I’d seen stuff happen.  I saw others being excluded.  I heard statements made publicly.  Not outright statements…no one is going to say in the exact words, “No mentally ill people allowed.”  Of course they won’t cuz that’s darned stupid…it’s 2013 and everyday people won’t stand for what’s obviously not right. But when exclusion is subtle, it works.  Those that aren’t wanted get quietly shut out.

I myself was among the unwanted.  I was excluded.  I knew there were others, but I also knew that I needed to be tactful and there was a time and place for everything.  I told myself I would quietly walk out and not say anything.  Not yet.  But when I saw that a public written statement had been made, this was too much.

I looked online at what policies existed within the organization.  There are some.  I asked myself if I should communicate with others I know about in the organization that I know have a “diagnosis,” and I told myself that since my relationships with these folks isn’t that strong, I won’t. It isn’t like I’m best buddies with these folks.  We are scattered.

Funny, too, I made an attempt a while back to get those of us labeled “mentally ill” within the organization together and organize some sort of coalition…this was rapidly turned down by the leadership.  No organizing.  We with this dx didn’t have a voice…but my argument was that maybe we needed one.  There were many that agreed…but this went nowhere. Excuses were made.  Red tape cited.  Apparently, now that we’ve gotten a direct offensive hit as of yesterday, I was right.  I don’t have a mailing list or a way to communicate with those folks.

My pen is powerful.  I didn’t write to just any ole person.  I wrote to the top.  A higher-up. I wrote an e-mail detailing what I saw and heard and felt in my heart.  I wrote it in terms of my own individual experience and refrained from exaggeration or use of wild adjectives.  The only speculation I did was quite reasonable.  I explained my reasoning. Sometimes, when you aren’t in the room, you can only take a guess at what happened.  You might be wrong.  Yes, I acknowledge this and I know my claims might be denied.  But hey, I think when something’s darned obvious and it’s been heard enough times and enough people have heard it, we all know what the patterns are.

You guys know how I am.  I believe in speaking out but I cannot post the letter here as there are several individuals mentioned besides myself, and I believe the information is too sensitive involving those other people.  If I can figure out how to post it leaving out the sensitive parts, I will.

I’m wondering if I should contact anyone.  I’m sure wondering how others feel right now. Or maybe I should just sit tight.

My pen is mighty.  I did something good, something to change the world yesterday.  I hope my letter does what it intended to do, make a footprint on the world and wake people up at least.  You don’t act with such hatred toward people like me.  It’s not okay, and I refuse to stand by and watch it happen.

This cracks me up: Watertown, MA, ranked among top ten towns in MA, for whom?

This was the Movoto blog that rated these towns in Massachusetts.  Watertown came in fourth, behind Marshfield, Reading, and Gloucester.  By the way, Reading is pronounced “redding.”  Gloucester is pronounced “Glaw-ster.”   In case you were wondering.  Bet you had no clue how to pronounce Watertown, did you?  I’m not giving that one away.  I’m not a very nice person.  So they say.

Anyway, here’s the criteria for figuring out which towns were the “top ten.”  Tell me if this ain’t a scream:

  • Cost of living
  • Crime rate
  • High school graduation rate
  • Median household income
  • Median home value
  • Amenities per capita (seafood restaurants, sports bars, Dunkin Donuts, museums)
  • Amenities total (seafood restaurants, sports bars, Dunkin Donuts, museums, and distance from New York City—the further, the better!)
  • The year the city was established (the earlier the better)

So go figure.  That’s the most LOGICAL list I’ve ever seen! Cost of living…hmm, does that mean high cost of living is BETTER or WORSE?  I’m not sure.  It depends on how bad a snob you are.

Crime rate here I’d say is low, and we can all agree that crime isn’t a good thing.  If you are a crook you most likely you don’t want to get caught.  Does this mean that law enforcement keeps the crooks in line better here, or does it mean that the crooks simply skip past Watertown and don’t drop by, cuz the road traffic’s so bad?

As for HS graduation rate, what does this mean?  Are our schools better, or do they keep the “bad kids” that they label and assume won’t succeed away from Watertown schools, and prevent them from enrolling in the first place?  Do they not allow “mainstreaming” of kids that could succeed in public school?  There’s no mention of racial and cultural diversity in schools across Massachusetts. There’s no mention of bully awareness, drugs in the school, teen suicide (of course this lowers graduation rate, duh), the bomb scare at Watertown High last week, and above all, if kids LIKE the schools.  Are they enjoying learning?  Do we have good teachers that are sensitive and smart and intuitive and positive role models and do they encourage free, independent, and critical thinking and do they care deeply about the kids?  Do they communicate well with parents?  Hmm, I have no clue.

Hmm…household income…the higher the better?  And home value, the higher the better?  Well, count me out.  I cannot afford a to own my own home anywhere in the US, so if I stand a chance for better survival, it’s in a town where income level is lower, and home value is lower.  I’d rather there be less snobbery.  I don’t like the idea of being looked down upon by those that have more money than me.  I dislike the idea that everything around me costs more than I can afford.  Do I want to walk streets of gold?  Do I want to go to clothing stores where everything is priced far above what I can afford?  Clearly, I’d rather live in a town where everything is priced inexpensively, tailored to folks that have less money.  I want respect.  That’s far more important to me than a castle and riches.

Seafood restaurants and sports bars are of no use to me.  Why?  They don’t take food stamps and I can’t afford to go to them. A meal at these places costs $10.  Far too expensive, plus I have to tip, too.  That’s not including that cup of coffee and the salad and soup.  Plus everything drowned in “mystery sauce.”  So let those folks who think sports bars and seafood restaurants mean “This is great living” go to these places.  I’ll buy plain, unpackaged ingredients for pennies with my food stamps, and Puzzle and I will eat like royalty.

Dunkin Donuts?  Who goes there?   This is a coffee shop for the cops.  Cops go there while on break. If I show up, never fail, the cops are there, huddled together.  Home away from home.  So we have how many of these Dunkin Donuts here?  Guess the cops have lots of places to go while on break. So what?  I need a break myself.  I need a hangout, too.  My own coffee shop.  So I make my own at home.  What a disappointing survey that “Julie’s” isn’t mentioned!  Just keep the cops outa here, please.

Museums I do like.  We have an awesome one here, the Armenian museum.  I’ll miss the Armenian and Middle Eastern flavor of this town, not even mentioned in this article.  I love going to the “East End,” (not that we really have “ends” here), and shopping for the food imports from Lebanon.  Apparently they come through Canada, but I’m not sure.  I get all sorts of weird spices.  Some spices you can get giant quantities cheaply, and they’re fresh and delicious.  You’ll never know what you’ll find.

Distance from New York?  Oh, please.

Age of town?  I have something to say about that.  I went into my bank the other day. I said, “I’m thirsty, and I’m wondering, could I have a drink of water?”

I’ve lived in this town and been a banking customer at that bank long before it was named what it’s named, since 1987.  How long had this young teller been there?  A few years?  If that.

The teller answered, “No, I’m sorry, we don’t have water here.”

Folks, I’m not sure that it’s wise to move to Watertown. This building is over 100 years old, and yet, they haven’t installed plumbing into it, apparently.  You should be aware that perhaps that whole block downtown has no running water.  This seems archaic to me.  I’ve asked.  Yep, they won’t give me a cup of water!

Yet across the street, it seems they have indeed modernized. It’s such a relief that here in Watertown, they’ve installed pipes at last.  The pizza place, under new management, told me, “If you are thirsty, stop by here anytime.”  The nice guy showed me where to find their water pitcher.  I guess I won’t quite lose faith in humanity yet.  We’re so modern here.

The running water here at home seems to work okay.  I thought you might want to know that.  I seem to be having the last laugh here at home.  That’s because I am a bit younger than the town of Watertown.  If I had been here since the year the town was established, back in 1630, I think I’d be a little too old to be chuckling right now, probably hadn’t lived in Watertown for quite a while.  See ya!