It seems that our Blogging has become a chronicling of the progress of our (my) life as we proceed through this now almost year long chapter.
I have always found October to be the most evocative of months. I love fall and the transition it brings in weather, smells, colors, shorter days, return to school, football, and the soon to follow holidays. October has always boded what for me has seemed as a wonderful awakening, that I adored until now. I used to love fall on the campus during my ten years in and around college. Even after finally finishing my last graduate work, I used to take a day off in October and go spend a day on the campus to enjoy the atmosphere, the fond memories, and be with students who were living through their own college days.
In two weeks it will be the anniversary of a weekend sojourn we made last October to a state park lodge on Lake Erie. I was as happy then as I've been in recent years. We three spent the weekend being together, reveling in the nature offerings that the park preserves, visiting my old haunts from when I lived in Northwest Ohio, dining in favorite restaurants and just being happy. It was like life somehow said that I would be granted a "last-supper-like" delicious interlude so that I would have a contrast as my life descended into the nightmare it has been since.
We returned home. Sue posted about our glorious weekend. We resumed what was then a new routine for us, and particularly for me. My career had ended suddenly and sadly four months before. I was staying home alone weekdays since sue had returned to school from her summer break. T was of course at work in her career. I was passing my time on the Internet, doing household errands, exercising, chatting with sue on line, and yes, drinking (that seems now like it is some sort of horrendous confession........like saying I was murdering children or some horrific crime against humanity.)
The following Thursday Sue and I were chatting on IM while she had a few minutes break while at school. I made what I thought was a meaningless comment. It was the sort of passive aggressive remark lovers sometimes exchange when they are cross with each other. Sue decided it meant I was going to kill myself and called 9-1-1 thinking she was trying to save my life. What ensued was the beginning of a nightmare that has been life since. Sue was genuinely afraid, and swears that she had no idea that when one calls 9-1-1 it means you are summoning the police. From many conversations with her, she had no idea what calling 9-1-1 would set into motion, but she never imagined police, and what ensued. Apparently she thought somehow some sort of psychiatric crisis intervention was being summoned. I did know absolutely that 9-1-1 meant she had called the police with a complaint about me as being dangerous. I left the condo not wanting to be here when they came for me. We live in a very right wing, repressive, conservative Republican, devoutly fundamentalist Christian, suburban, strong hold. I feared police coming here and encountering BDSM paraphernalia might well have dire legal consequences for both she and I. At least t lived in a separate condo next door providing her a shield. I don't know which of us was more naive, Sue in not knowing that when you called 9-1-1 you were calling the police to intervene into a crisis (or that if it wasn't a crisis, police would certainly aggravate it into one), or me for thinking that if I was not here when they knocked on the door, they would just go away.
A half hour later I was in a nearby Wal Mart parking lot, under arrest in handcuffs. They interrogated me, harassed me emotionally and physically, and wanted to search my car, which I refused. When some additional police arrived as this melodrama played out, they told me that they had been patrolling our condominium complex searching for me with rifles and flak vests with shoot on sight orders, if they found me. They joked about how they had frightened several of the "old folks who live there while they were taking their morning walks." It was clear that they wanted to charge me and take me in, but I was 61 and had no previous police record. I didn't fit any profile they were used to seeing. Had I been black or Hispanic I would have been gone I am certain, but I was caucasian, educated, apparently middle class, had a nice car, etc. Eventually I was able to get them to see this as just another example of how women (or "bitches" as all women were generalized in that discussion) were guilty of always victimizing poor unsuspecting "guys" and bringing their life to grief. Amazingly, after we all grunted and scratched ourselves in masculine solidarity against the great feminist castration conspiracy, they took my cuffs off, told me I needed to end my relationship with sue, and let me go home relatively unscathed. So the last year's sojourn into criminal justice and alcohol rehabilitation began.
I was enraged. My adult life began in the anti-Viet Nam War movement, druggie, hippie, counter culture of the late sixties and early seventies. If there was any credo I lived by it was, and is more so today, that never, no matter what, do you call the police. You don't deal with the police. You avoid the police. You don't ever support the police. Police are evil, harmful, despicable, hired thugs. They never help, anyone or anything. If you have any sort of a bad situation one thing is certain. If you involve yourself with the police things will get immeasurably worse. It is a betrayal that you wouldn't even visit on your worst enemy to call the police on them. My slave, my great love had called them on me!!!!!!
I was enraged and felt crushed by the betrayal! I was devastated. That devastation on top of the losses of my parents and my career, and my body's dramatic changes and the two serious and medically difficult surgeries in 8 months that involved, and t's mother's horrible illness and disability and her imminent death all combined I quite frankly became insane.................and yes...............I drank! I drank to oblivion. My drinking, had become increasingly problematic. The gastric bypass surgery I had undergone changed entirely the way my body processed alcohol. It enhances the effects of alcohol immensely. No one seems to know for sure the exact extent of this, and there are likely individual differences in response, but there is some research that indicates it may intensify the intoxicating effects of alcohol to 6 to 8 times the effect on normal people. I did not know about this altered affect of alcohol. And I was drinking, drinking a lot now... I was absolutely not dealing with the pain I was in. T spent that next weekend..........Halloween, about 50 miles away at her Mother's taking care of her in the aftermath of her stroke. Sue and I joined her for dinner and trick or treat on Halloween. On the way back home I launched into another of my horrific enraged tirades against sue for calling the police. I was convinced they were going to come get me and take me away. The following day in a drunken enraged stupor I became threatening of sue and she and t, who had returned here from her mother's, joined her in a motel room feeling it was unsafe to be at home with me, called the police.
My memory is a blur. I recall coming to semi-consciousness in our living room. I'd been passed out on the couch. Five police surrounded me. I don't know what transpired. I was carried, handcuffed and screaming, to the police car. I was devastated and sure this was the end of my life. I still wish it had been. I was taken to my first ever experience in a jail. I was booked, and stripped and thrown naked with a weird quilt wrap like quasi-garment into the cell that would be my home for the next four days. The first two days I was in solitary. They later explained to me that I was not in solitary. I was on suicide watch, which meant I was locked down with no human contact 23 hours a day, and let out in the middle of the night to shower and exercise when there was no one else around but a guard. If I had been in solitary I would have been locked down 23 hours a day, and let out for just one hour in the middle of the night for shower and exercise. It was a discrimination without a difference. It was cold typically in the 50 degrees range. I was naked. I was not allowed to have anything on my feet. I was not allowed to have soap, towels, or even toilet paper. There were no blankets or bedding. My cell had a metal slab "bed" with a one inch thick pad that really provided no "padding," a sink, and a toilet. The lights in the ceiling stayed on 24 hours a day. There was no window you could see out of. There was no clock. The first morning I was arraigned. I was dressed in prison orange pajamas hauled in chains to court. I was allowed rubber thongs on my feet which were of little use. It had snowed. It was better than being barefoot but not much. I had little understanding of where I was or what was being done. In court I asked where I was, what I was charged with, who had charged me. The prosecutor made of this that I was dangerously violently mentally ill and a risk to the community. I had a defense attorney who was a public defender who stood at my side. We had never laid eyes on each other before and she said little or nothing other than telling me where to stand. My bail was set at $20,000.00. I was charged with inducing panic and domestic violence. I was taken back to jail in chains still of course, stripped naked again and put back in my cell.
After another day in solitary I was evaluated by a very elderly lady who was supposedly a mental health professional of some ilk. I am a mental health professional. What she did would not have constituted a mental health evaluation anywhere else. She pronounced me no longer a suicide risk. I was given the same orange pajamas I was dressed in for court, and I was now allowed soap, toilet paper, rubber sandals, a sheet and a blanket, and to spend non-lock down time in the day room and meals with other inmates................my first contact with others other than those I was chained to for transport to court that first morning. After four days I was released pending trial. Eventually, after $5000.00 to an attorney, I went to court the end December. I agreed to a plea bargain dropping the domestic violence charge, and pleading no contest to inducing panic. I was sentenced to 6 months but released in lieu of 6 months probation. The terms of the probation were misrepresented to me by my attorney, apparently due to his ignorance of the practices of this court. He'd never practiced in that court before but had been referred to us by teresa's work. They have an employee assistance program (EAP) which offers referrals to legal services and mental health services. They referred us to this attorney. Accessing him via the EAP we paid about three times what his service would have cost us, if we had simply contacted him directly. That was how we wound up with an attorney who was ignorant of the court we were being heard in. The same EAP did however refer me, and eventually all three of us into the care of a psycho-therapist who has proven wonderful.
I had not intended to write the great American novel here this morning. I had intended to further update where we are now, not describe our path here, but I seem to have unending finger twitching on my key pad. I will try to summarize the long story from then until now....at least for today. I did not do well after all this. I continued drinking. I raged. I was suicidal. I didn't want to live and prayed each day I would not face another. Finally I became suicidal and violent with sue and t in mid January and was taken to jail again. This time I was in eight days and charged with aggravated menacing and domestic violence. The same attorney did as marvelous a job this time, as he may have been somewhat lack luster the first time. I did not receive a violation of my probation despite this offense which is indeed miraculous, and I am sure due in large part to his skill. I plead guilty to domestic violence. The Aggravated Menacing Charge was dropped. I was required to do alcohol rehabilitation and thus to participate in AA, and subsequently to do a year of rehabilitation aftercare, and on-going psycho-therapy all at our expense of course.
We have all of us written here about our experience with AA and rehabilitation, which are interconnected. They are essentially intertwined programs of religious indoctrination. They have helped literally millions of people. If you are willing to, or the only way you are able to survive your addiction to alcohol, or whatever substance is to, shift your addiction to obsession with magic and religiosity, and the dogma of a cult, AA may serve a to provide you a lifeline. I am not orthodoxly Christian, nor will I be, particularly not upon the requirement of a court. If there were ever to be any thought or opportunity for that conversion to occur, this experience has ended that. I do have to pretend to have been converted fully however. If I fail to behave as if I have been gloriously converted to sobriety, by the grace of God, I will go to prison for a year. I have 26 weeks of my aftercare program yet to serve, before I will have completed the program. Aftercare monitors my twice weekly attendance in AA meetings (and writing reports on each one), and requires a weekly hour and a half long Aftercare group meeting to discuss how our higher power is keeping us sober. I am so far thankfully managing to successfully bluff my way through this. I receive accolades about my progress in my recovery.
Soon I will be awarded my nine month AA sobriety coin. I will receive numerous joyous congratulations and hugs. The grace of God will have saved yet another poor drunk. I will stay out of prison another week. sue and t will be glad I am not drinking. Life will be good.
This is a life I despise. It is daily continual coercion to achieve goals that are not mine, and never were. The only place where this life and my aspirations intersect is where I get to not go to prison for a year, and where I will no longer be required to play this game the end of January 2013. The only other intersection is that because of this my two, t and sue, remain with me and we keep our family in tact. That means there might be hope of some semblance of happiness again some day.
As all this progresses I feel better than I did at first. I no longer wish I had not awakened each morning, although I do still find most of my first morning thoughts involve my remembering that I am a criminal, and a drunk, and could well be in prison or jail by nightfall. I feel physically better not drinking of course, and I am doing well with my exercise and diet regimen.
T and sue seem generally OK. They are glad I don't drink any longer. On the other hand they wish they had "me" back. They have been told by the so-called treatment professionals I will be OK again..............someday
So the big thing lately is that I am supposed to recover my Dominance. If you read here, you have read that discussion. I am supposed to spend my life in an intensive program to never drink again, the goal of which, my sobriety, is the goal of my two submissives, the courts, the police, my probation officer, my rehabilitation professionals, everyone in AA, my fellow aftercare participants,..........................everyone, BUT ME. I am to spend a few hours every two days in meetings focused entirely on that topic, and particularly how I can, and will be, saved from alcohol by the grace of God, and only by that grace, in that it is the one, and only, way I can be saved, and joining in group prayers to that end. I must pretend and fake adherence and adoption of this farce, or they can, and will, put me in prison for a year. This active program will continue through next April. Beyond that I will still be on probation for nine months after that and be expected to at least continue with AA meetings throughout that period, and to never deviate from sobriety even once. If I fail, I go to prison...........a year. Beside that, if I have any contact with police, e. g., if I would get a traffic ticket, I would go to prison for a year.
NO I DO NOT FEEL DOMINANT! THIS IS NOT A LIFE I CHOOSE. I AM CONTINUOUSLY SUBJUGATED TO RUTHLESS RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION. THIS IS ALL AT THE INITIATION OF MY SUBMISSIVES TO WHOM I AM SUPPOSED TO BE FEELING THAT SOMEHOW I AM DOMINANT.!!!
That is how it is for me now. I am alive, and that feels like not much of a gift. I am out of jail and that is what I can manage for now. To achieve that, I am required to pretend I have accepted a religion I believe to be false and evil. Were this religion not evil, it would not be a party to this coercion and brain washing. I am not willing to go to prison for a year, to stand up and express my real feelings. I will complete my program and my AA until I am free again.
So it goes, day in and day out. To be Dominant I would lead a self-determined life. My current life, my "now" personifies of the antithesis of self-determination.