Monday, April 14, 2014

My Views On Religion, Because.....

I just woke up from a nice three hour nap because i just had a very scary dream.

In real life, growing up Autistic was a literal nightmare because of my family and being a Catholic. I am not meaning this as a slam against Catholicism, or any other religion; however, that being said, i do want to address the ways religion has failed me throughout my life.....and to also adress the dream i just had.

In real life, when i was growing up, as a teenager in the 1970's, i had plenty of problems with my father, who was a very strict and stern Catholic, who did not accept me at all the way i was, because of me being so different. He spent his entire time trying to correct me, scold me, change me, and literally squelch me. He was alway, always yelling at me and shutting me up. In addition, we were all made to pile into the family station wagon whether we liked it or not, each and every Sunday morning, bright and early, at 7:15 AM, to drive the 22 miles into town to attend 8:00 AM Mass at a chilly cold Catholic church, where they seemed to be quite allergic to turning the heat on, or even providing us with pews that were soft and cushioned. On top of this, i also had to contend with my three brothers and three sisters, who were also mean to me, taunting me and picking on me much of the time, all because i was so much different than they were.

The period between the summer before, and all during, my Sophomore year of high school, (1975-76) was particularly painful for me, because my little brother turned really mean beginning that September, and he got so mean that i became literally afraid to see his face at the dinner table anymore, so i began to spend my afternoons and evenings in my bedroom, only going out to go use the bathroom when i knew he was in bed. My little brother literally began to glare at me all the time, growling at me, and calling me names, and telling me "Hoooooomphaaaaa!" all the time, in such a way that i grew to really hate......i can still remember both the wide-eyed harsh look on his face, and the mean belligerent tone of his voice whenever he would tell me over and over:

"Hoooooooomphaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!"......and also  call me "Pigggggaaaat!!"........

and the dinner table became the worst place for me to be, firstly, because my father would still not let me talk during dinner, except that i was allowed to ask to pass the butter or food, and because my little brother would literally sit directly across from me and give me what i would literally describe as an evil diabolical glare that frightened me to the very core of my being. I grew to dread seeing his big blue eyes because of that. I began to keep my hand in front of my face when in the prescence of my little brother, and even in the years following that, even when he began to be nice to me again, i would still keep my eyes averted from his, and i would still even keep my hand up to shield my face from his. In fact, my relationship with him was never the same after that summer and school year.

I have always been afraid of him ever since then.

I began to have to take my dinners, all of them, in my bedroom. I did this my whole entire Sophomore year of high school. I came out at Thanksgiving and Christmas though, when my mom made him back off and be nicer. But this affected me badly......

My weekends were the worst, because i had to stay in my room the entire time to escape him and his "Hooooomphaaaaas" and "Piiiiigaaaaats".

He actually even said over and over, that i was not a part of the family.

I felt even more cut off from my whole family than ever that year, because of how i was being ostrascized.

At that time, i was reading alot of horror story books, and watching alot of horror movies. I had also had a very frightening dream at the end of my Freshman year of high school, June of 1975, (i went to a Catholic high school all four years, by the way) in which the devil was trying to hunt me down and possess me. Also, that summer before my Sophomore year, my sister, the one who has always been really mean to me, had brought home a Ouija board, and she, my little brother, and i, would play with that every afternoon, and it would tell me awful things about my life, that:

I would never learn how to drive;

I would never have boyfriends until after i was in my twenties;

I would weight 150 pounds by my senior year of high school;

I would go on government aid and never work, and live at home till my late twenties with Mom and Dad. 

In addition, that September, my eldest brother had also stopped speaking to me, because i couldn't take his rough teasing, so he decided to just stop talking to me altogether. My eldest sister, the one who i refer to as one of my nice sisters, was also being very snotty with me all the time. And my other sister, who i refer to as my really mean sister, (who i mentioned above), had taken up residency, placing her craft desk right in front of the part of the kitchen counter, right where the family radio was so i could no longer have access to my music after school. I would have to sneak it at night when everyone were all in bed, so i could still get to listen to my favorite tunes.

I ran away three times that school year, first to a girl's house here in Santa Maria, and then to Santa Barbara, and then to another guy's house, because i badly wanted to escape my family.

The reason i bring up my teenage past, is because my little brother, that same station wagon, and my whole family, all grown up, were all in this dream. All were nice to me, except for "Caras", my little brother, who is now almost 50 years old. ("Caras" is not his real name, by the way.) In this dream that i just had, we were back at our home in the mountains, and Caras would not say hi to me nor speak to me at all, because he said that i was a bad sinner, because of all of my liberal views, and the kind of music i listen to. I still like heavy metal, but now listen to an eclectic mix of indie rock alternative, New Wave, electronica, etc. He said that unless i changed my ways, dark things would begin to happen to me...and he began to glare and hiss at me again. I also heard another voice saying that the path to hell was very wide, and the path to heaven was very narrow.....

That's where i woke up. Scared shitless!!!!!!

I am already greatly afraid of going to hell when i die.

But my views ARE liberal, because i refuse to believe that God is mean and too strict. I had "Mean and Too Strict" growing up. I have also had "Mean and Too Strict" in most of the churches i have gone to throughout my years on this earth. My family are full of mean people who still shun and ignore me, even now. Caras even told my mom as recently as September of 2005, that if i were to move up to Idaho, that he would have to stop having family BBQ's, because if i was there, it would ruin his enjoyment.

He now says that he prays for me everyday, but that he is too scared to have any contact with me because i have always "made him too nervous."

As for some of my church experiences?

At a Southern Baptist church, i was told that God would blow up the engine on my car if i kept taking my long drives up and down the 101 freeway, because i was "Idolizing that freeway more than God". Even though it gave me great comfort to drive the 101 freeway everyday. I had just learned how to drive in the spring of 1990, and i have always had a real road geek fascination with highways and freeways. At that same church, i was told that rock 'n' roll was evil and bad. I was told this at many of the churches i went to, that rock 'n' roll was bad and of the devil.

In 1995, i began going to an intercessory prayer group which was down near the town of Solvang, two ladies and a man, who told me that i was going to go to hell if i kept watching MTV and "Beavis & Butthead"!! They also told me that if i didn't learn how to forgive my dad and all who bullied me on my street, that God was going to take me "Around the mountain over and over and keep me living in poverty" until i "learned my lessons".

Out of my fear that i would go to hell...i ended up throwing my music collection away several times, only to buy it all back, and repeat process, over and over, out of my fear that i would go to hell if i kept listening to heavy metal and grunge music.

Just recently, i was told by some church people that i could have my Autism prayed off of me!!

Other examples of why i am so against organized religion.....and why i am truthfully too afraid of God to actually feel the love i know i "should" feel for him....are things like:

the Tea Party and their cruel, barbaric and heartless brand of politics;

The same cruel heartless attitude of most of Christian television and televangelists;

The Christian hate i see towards the LGBTQI community;

The way the Catholic church has handled----no, the way they have swept under the rug----the issue of all of the priests who have sexually molested so many children---and how that is STILL not being addressed;

A certain Christian rock station i used to like to stream online, where i began to hear the morning deejays poking fun at elderly and disabled people, and they were also even engaging in fat-shaming....yes, these "good Christian" deejays were telling awful mean fat jokes, right on Christian rock radio!! And in the same breath, they were talking about how much God loves us!! Pppphhhhht!!!

The way many Christians shun those who are poor, disabled, and elderly.

I have been shunned and ignored, and accused falsely by many a soul who calls themselves Christian.

Even so, i know my faith and beliefs at the core, are that i feel that there is a God. And i want to feel that my God is a loving god. But i also happen to respect people who have different beliefs and faiths. I would be wrong not to.

So..am i going to go to hell just because of that?

And why, please tell me, why, i would have the dream i just had?

I need answers, please!! Because that dream really scared the pie out of me!!!!!!!




Seriously, Where Has All The Love Gone?

I love that i am once again able to put money in my rainy day savings. I love it that i now don’t have that awful constant fight-or-flight urge to hop a bus to nowhere that i used to have. I love it that i now have a caregiver who really sincerely cares about me.
I found out that JuJu, my last caregiver, was going into one nearby restaurant and complaining to the ppl who work there about me every single time she would go in to get me food for my dinners. AND that she was always telling me my bill was higher than it actually was!! So she could pocket the money!!
JuJu also was mean and rude to the ppl at the Walgreens where i get my scripts for my meds. Also, i found out i don’t have to pay out of pocket for my Ativan, that my Medicare Part D pays for it!! JuJu lied about that too, so she could pocket that money too!! JuJu was mean and rude to alot of ppl on my behalf.
I am so glad i don’t have JuJu anymore as my daily nightmare.
I am so glad i didn;’t follow the yellow brick road to Michigan either, as the circumstances were not right in any way, shape or form at this time for me to do that either.
But ya know what? I fail to see why this world is growing to be so ugly and callous and uncaring to those who are most vulnerable. Churches especially, where one would think that we could turn to to get help, also turn us away like we are lepers. Many of our own families even turn us away, and ignore us, hoping we will just fade off into oblivion if they ignore us enough.
It’s really freaking sad that society has stopped caring.
I do not suffer from my Autism….i suffer from the hate, abuse, and harsh misjudgement i get from most of society.

And So Begins Another Week.....More Random Thoughts

.....And so it goes another week.....i just found out that my other nice sister, the one in Arizona, is moving for the next five months to a place where she will have no phone, no internet, because it's a job for both her and her husband, as they need the money, and now i will have to communicate via old school snail mail with her....something i don't have the spoons to do at all anymore. I am devastated that she didn't take the time to freakin' tell me this. She called my mom and told her, but not me. So sick of the way i am treated and shunned and overlooked by my family!!

You know what i hate? Is when people who turn against me, are always so quick to tell me that

i am selfish,

i am rude and demanding,

that i use my Autism as an excuse,

that i hide behind my Autism,

that i lie and twist things,

that i would do better if i just tried harder,

that i need to grow up,

if only these people got off of their high horses long enough to realize with Autism, 

we have alot of fears, phobias, hangups, routines, and rituals.

These things are magnified and amplified ten to 100's of times more than how it is for the normal person.

We are not selfish, but our world is very precious to us, far more so than a normal person's is because our world is our safe zone where we go to escape the harshness of the NT world, who for the most part still refuses to get us, to treat us as the human beings we are.

I also don't lack empathy and compassion. 

I also have a sense of humor.

And i happen to care about others more than you in the NT world know.

I am not stupid, nor is my hearing bad, i am just wired differently.

My meltdowns happen when people won't

take the time to listen to me,

really hear me, and respect me where i am at.....

when NT people try to problem solve, cure, and fix me,

or they tell me i need to just grow up and "get over it!".

They don't realize it is hard, if not impossible for me to get over things that happen, especially when they happen one on top of another. Or when people move my things or buy the wrong brand of dish soap or other things i like.

Wake up....because we are going to tell our stories. Listen to us. Hear us.

We MATTER. We have a voice. And we have every right to exist and live happy fulfilled lives!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New Plans

This blog will be short and sweet. I was forced to take my other blogs down and i cannot say why........

I will not be moving to Michigan now. I have a wonderful new caregiver now, who actually cares about me, and a realtor friend who are actively looking for a suitable place for me to live that will be closer to the coast. But still in this area, where i grew up. I still pan to take some trips once i am settled in my new place.

Please know, there is nothing "wrong" with me mentally, other than PTSD due to things that have happened in my life and that keep on happening. 

I am Autistic, and and just out to try to tell my story so i can get the right help, and so i can educate others. 

I will also be seeking legal counsel, as i will not be bullied into silence about the things that impact my life and my story. Nor will i tolerate the cops being sent to my house at 2 AM in the morning on false reports of self harm. I do not intend to hurt myself, and am not going to either now or in the future.

I am not going to go away. I have done nothing wrong. But i know the law, and i will tell my story.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

After The Storm Comes Rainbows---My Caregiver Story---Part Six

And now we come to Part Six of my story....a six-part series i have decided to write, because caregiver abuse is a very real, serious, and pervasive problem that needs to be talked about and exposed.

I know; because, as i have told in my stories, i was a victim myself.

Too many times to count.

In the first five parts of my story, i told you about the hell and agony i have been through with all of the caregivers i have had so far through IHSS.....the fear they all instilled into me....and how i felt i was too much at their mercy, and that i had no way out, so i had to put up with their abuse!! And what it did to me. 

I hope you will all scroll back to read the last five parts of this series. As soon as i fel i am safe to do so, i plan to set these stories public, so they can be shared freely.

Before i go onto tell the rest of my story, i need to tell you that caregiver abuse takes many forms. The biggest problems, in my opinion, that contribute to this are that:

1) Caregivers are not paid enough money. Most caregivers are paid little more than minimum wage by the county agencies that pay them to work for eligible clients.

2) Caregivers are not properly screened by county IHSS agencies, nor are they properly trained in how to deal with people of ALL disabilities and health issues.

3) There are no oversight committees which hold caregivers accountable.

4) Most Adult Protective Service agencies, the agency a client should be able to turn to, are understaffed, and overworked, and also underpaid, in my opinion. And most are so harsh to talk to, that that, in itself, is a huge discouragement.

This all needs to change ASAP...because caregivers are coming into people's homes to care for THEM!! Caregivers need to realize that they are going into a profession that requires them to be people-oriented. It requires them to be kind, patient, warm, friendly, and compassionate. It requires a heart that truly cares about others and who truly wants to help others. And if they don't know alot about that person's disability and health issues, they need to have an open mind and willingness to learn all they can about that person, their disability, the way they are, the way they like things to be done, their favorite brand names, their favorite ice cream flavors, favorite foods, and what they don't like as well.

The signs of caregiver abuse are....and these are what happened to me:

1) Financial abuse: When they threaten you, telling you that they are not going to run your errands or shop for you, or take you to your bank, or mail your bills, or run you to the doctor, unless you pay them for their gas. Then they start wanting even more and  more money from you to do these things. Or they come to you saying they never have money for food, and are starving, so you feel obligated to always feed them. Or they ask to borrow money. Along with telling you a huge sob story while they are crying. Or they ask to borrow money and threaten you, that if you don't give it, they won't have a car to drive to run your errands anymore. Also, beware if they say a restaurant charges for say, sides of Ranch dressing.....you need to call that restaurant when the caregiver isn't there, and ask if they do indeed, charge for extra sides of Ranch dressing. I later found out that my favorite restaurant does NOT charge for sides of Ranch, nor have they EVER charged for that!! whenever i would order food from that restaurant, JuJu used to always tell me there WAS an extra charge for my Ranch dressing...this is called skimming. When sending a caregiver out, request that they count the money back to you that you give them, and then request that they always give you your receipt, and count the change they give back to you. The change that you get back, should be an exact match as the change amount on the receipt. If you have your caregiver run multiple errands, he or she should have your change organized so that you can tell easily what change came from what store.

2) When they are more interested in talking on their phone, scrolling down their Facebook wall, texting, and fixing their hair, makeup, and nails, than they are in putting their phones on silent, putting down their hair brush and nail polish, and doing all they can to make YOUR life as comfortable as possible.

3) When they won't listen when you talk, and blow you off, dismiss, and make fun of, or make light of your concerns, issues, problems, and don't respect the way you want and need for things to be done.

4) When they lose it with you and talk to you in an angry put out tone of voice, or rush you, or won't rub the lotion on you properly, or they just slap it on you like you're a piece of meat, and then hurry you up to get you dressed. And they call you demeaning names.

5) When they yell and scream at you, scold you, and boss you around. When they tell you you can't have certain things. When they actually forbid you to have certain things.

6) When they argue with you and get snotty and give you attitude when you ask them to do something, and refuse to do it till later, or refuse to do it till it is convenient for them to do it. Such as two days later.

7) When they tell you they are the ONLY ones who will put up with you, the ONLY ones who will do certain things, when they make you feel as if no one else will say, give you baths; or they try to make you feel as if you are trapped and stuck with them, and there is no way out..that if you hire backup caregivers, they won't do this and that for you.

8) Beware of how roughly they handle you when they bathe, shower, and dress you. It is NOT okay for them to slap lotions and creams on you...and not okay for them to use more than what is directed. It is also not okay for them to put creams and lotions on and not rub them into the skin. If they are consistently rough enough to inflict pain and put bruises on you, this isn't good. At all!!
9) When they leave things undone, or the housewoirk is done very sloppily or it is halfway done, or they don't bother to use dish soap and hot water to wash dishes. When you go in your kitchen to find the faucet, microwave, and certain drawer handles sticky and with gunk on them. When you find your bottles of seasonings also sticky. Also, when they won't wash their hands or wear protective gloves as directed. Or they touch food after touching say, the toilet.

10) When they take too long to run your errands, and/or are consistently late.....and they don't call you to let you know they are going to be late and why. Or they pull a no-show, and don't call you, and you have to call them. Then when you do call them, and their phone goes STRAIGHT to voice mail, when they are supposed to be working for you, and you need to be able to contact them, and cannot, yes, there's a problem!!

11) When you hear them opening drawers that you have not asked them to open. LeeLee did this! Or they take too long in the bedroom to put your clothes away....JuJu did this one night not too long before i fired her, when things started to get their worst.

There are many more warning signs to look for, but these are the main ones i can think of for now.

In November 2012, when i had to let Jessica L. go, i was still very much dealing with the mental and emotional trauma from losing the friendship and support i had from Roger. I was in so much mental pain and anguish by the time JL added to it, that i had gone into my bathroom that night after firing her, and i scalped myself almost bald. That was how deeply i was hurting!!

I can tell you honestly that the past two months with JuJu were just as rough on me mentally. I was also very deeply hurt and affected by her verbal abuse, the way she began to treat me when she gave me my bed baths, and the way she was threatening me and being so snotty to me, that there were several occassions that i almost went into my bathroom to scalp myself again. This is how badly it affects me to be treated like i don't mattter, like i am just a piece of dirt, by someone who comes into my house with perfectly straight smooth hair, perfume, makeup, etc., and they lord themselves over me as if i need to pay for my existence. I will not lie....there have even been several times during my JuJu period, that i seriously thought about killing myself just to end my pain. But i didn't.

Instead, when i was at my lowest point....i saw an ad in my sidebar for a local Facebook classified ad group.....and a light bulb suddenly went off in my head, and i posted on there the following:

"I hope that my post won't be deleted....but i have to post this somewhere....i am an Autistic adult who is in very poor physical health, and i need a new caregiver ASAP, please. I am looking for someone who can work afternoons/early evenings, 2 PM to 8 PM, who is friendly and patient, and who has a dependable car that is easy for me to get in and out of. Duties will include housecleaning, cooking, shopping, my banking, mail pick up at my P.O. box, bathing, showering, taking me to my doctor's appointments, picking up prescriptions, and companionship. I am a client with IHSS, and hours would be approximately 30 hours a week, 126 hours a month. I hope someone will help me, please. I am in dire need. I think my current caregiver has just quit on me."

I wrote this on the evening of March 1st, at 6:00 PM, right after JuJu left my house saying she was too sick to work for me that evening. Immedaitely, i had alot of responses, and some of the first were Kay, and Connie. I friended Kay, and Kay and i began to talk. I had her read some of my notes, and she was quite appalled to learn what all i had been through. I hit it off with her instantly, and made arrangements for her to get me to my bank on Monday, March 3rd. She pledged to help get me set right up with good caregivers......and she made good on her word. In no time, i was set up with Connie as my main caregiver, and Kay as my on-call/backup caregiver. Kay is going to be looking for another secondary caregiver for me too.

I was able to finally fire JuJu.

Connie is awesome. She does not charge me a dime or even a penny for gas!! She is honest, sweet, gives great bed baths knows just how to massage my legs, and she is so easygoing, and easy for me to get along with. She has an awesome sense of humor too!! And she can cook too!!

I have have really been having a blast with her. I am feeling so much happier again, i am sleeping better again, i am not as nervous anymore as i was when i had to endure all of those other caregivers who just didn't seem to have it in them to really and truly care about me.

I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off of me.
In fact, i feel as though a huge black cloud has left me.

It feels great to know i now have a real human being caring for me.
Connie has a beautiful sweet soul.
She is also going to help me to get a handicapped plaque so we can park in the handicapped parking spaces, and she is going to help me to get a wheelchair, so i can get out more and go into stores again with her.

Kay is awesome also. She got me interviews with two other ladies....who both didn't work out...but no worries, because i have both Kay and Connie now.

All caregivers need to be like Connie and Kay!! 

Yes, i still very much have the street issues. And i kid you not, those problems are still very bad. 

I still need to get this basketball-sized lump surgically removed off of my left inner thigh, so i can walk and drive a car again.

But i now know i am going to be okay these next few months till i can make my move to Michigan, which i still very much plan to do, as soon as i have the money to do so, hopefully by June of this year, just in time to be able to enjoy a real Michigan summer!! :)


Silent No More---There IS A Way Out!! My Caregiver Story-Part Five

I am an Autistic Adult who has fallen through the cracks, and because i have never never gotten the help i have needed, certain things, such as my physical health, has suffered. Because of this, i have been depending on personal in-home caregivers to come into my home to help me be able to function and live for the past two years. These multi-part blogs tell my horror story. Because this needs to be told. This needs to be talked about.

In the first four parts of my story, i have told you about how, in the beginning when i began to need more homecare, my mother was able to pay to have private caregivers come for awhile. Then i became eligible for in home care from my state and county's In Home Supportive Services (IHSS).

I also told you about how the traumatic ending to a six-year long friendship helped to catapult me, literally into a cave of fear and panic.....where i became afraid to drive and go places by myself anymore.

Then i told you about all of my IHSS caregivers: Jessica L., KT, Rose, Jee, JuJu, Cecily, KT again, and then JuJu again.

Please scroll down to read each story, before you read this one, so you will understand how this has all come about. I have also written alot of other blogs about my caregivers, and about Roger, the man who i had been friends with who turned against me. I have written over 130 blogs since being on Facebook and Blogger. About my life, and my Autism. I am hoping to write at least two or three books about my whole life as an Autistic who essentially grew up being unheard, judged wrongly, and misunderstood most of my almost 54 years on this Earth.

In this story, i will tell you everything that happened with JuJu when she came back to be my caregiver. I felt i had no choice but to call her back, because i lost KT again, this time, sadly, for good. Because now i felt i was out of options. Because i could no longer afford to be without a caregiver. Because H, my next door neighbor and longtime family friend, was also no longer an option to turn to. In fact, H has flatly refused to get involved in my life anymore. Even though my family and her family grew up together, even though H and i used to have a lovely friendship. She has seemed to turn totally against me too.

When JuJu came back this time, she finally had her own car, and could take me places and run all of my errands. But it soon became apparent that she still wanted alot of money to run all of my errands. Just like she wanted last summer when she worked for me. It also became apparent that she only came back because she badly needed both the job and the extra cash she knew she could get out of me. Because she knew that her other client was close to death.....so why not work for "that lady who lives (downtown)" again?

In fact things were alot different this time with me and JuJu. She was alot more moody and snotty and attitudinal towards me. I have gone through a whole new level of hell with her this time, a hell and agony so intense, that i have been left even more wounded and messed up now.

In the beginning of our second round together, she started off treating me as nice as she was when she worked for me before. Her mom even friended me on Facebook, and so did her sisters again. JuJu even colored my hair again. But unlike the first time, when JuJu worked for me last summer, when she was always VERY good about letting me know when she was coming and if she was going to be late...and last summer, she also did all of my errands with no fuss, and attitude.......

This time? She often came late, and i would often sit here at my computer waiting for her.

And sometimes i would wait and wait for her to come.
She was rarely on time this time.
I would have to call her and message her,
and then she would call to let me know she was either around the corner,
or a few blocks away. And i would wait some more. Then she would finally come.
The torture that her lateness alone caused me was very hard for me to take on top of everything else that has happened to me these past two years.

She started working back with me the last week of December 2013. And she worked for me till February 28, 2014. I was still reeling over the way KT had turned on me and quit me. Since IHSS would only pay JuJu for 24 hours instead of the 29 hours she claimed on her timesheet for the last week of December, i had to pay her, out of pocket, for those five hours. Yup. This meant that i had to go dip into the new kitty i had managed to start back up again.

But she did at first agree to only charge me $15 a week for gas......

She was able to get me to my second ultrasound for my leg, because they agreed to accomodate me by scheduling that for 4:45 in the afternoon one Wednesday afternoon in early January. And she was still being ((well, ummmm, mostly)) nice to me when i had my MRI on January 27th. (It was around that time when she began to put the brass tacks more to me on my wallet, and also tried her best to get me to compensate LeeLee, the little chica who came into my home to talk down to me and treat me like a total piece of shit......yes, that little pint-sized nightmare who came into my home...the one who was going to replace Cecily, and who decided she was going to talk actual baby babble to me!! Like the kind of baby babble that a mean abusive caregiver would talk to an elderly person that they didn't like. Yes, that was exactly how LeeLee treated me. It was very demeaning. I had to call the cops to make her leave when she showed up even after being told she was fired. She only lasted two days with me, because i cannot stand to be treated like a baby.

The good news is that the MRI showed no cancer. The general surgeon said because it is a lymphedema tumor, that he could do nothing, but just send me back for regular lymphedema treatments, which i knew i could not do, because i still lacked a way to make those appointments, because JuJu could only come work for me after 4 PM each weekday, and because i knew they would wrap my legs and feet so much that it would further impair my already impaired mobility.

That was a huge blow to me.

But my biggest hardship was having JuJu come everyday,
always late,
to take all of my hours,
without allowing me to get a backup caregiver,
to tell me which days she wanted to work seven hour days,
and start telling me when i could get my things done,
and when i couldn't get my things done.
She still wanted to eat my food
and she then upped my weekly gas fee from $15 to $25.
And she was getting in more and more snotty mean moods with me.

She was still addicted to General Hospital too, and so i had to watch that with her everyday.
I truly didn't mind sharing my TV shows with her, or even my food and snacks.
I am a generous person.
But i am on a fixed income,
and now that i don't have my own car and cannot do my own shopping,
i have to now depend on others to do it for me,
so it is more of a hardship when i do share,
and then i end up running out of my things that much quicker.
It would be so much different if i could drive and shop for myself again.
And if i had decent money.

As for General Hospital, i was unable to enjoy watching it, because JuJu would talk through it, then start scrolling up and down her Facebook wall, while leaving the annoyingly musical sound effects on on her phone, and then she would even take phone calls and be talking on the phone while we were supposed to be watching my favorite soap opera!! Even though i would always tell her to not do this.

In addition, she had a guy friend who is in prison, as many of her friends seem to be either in jail and prison.....who loved to call her every single night around 8 PM. And talk for a whole effen hour. I was able to get her to curtail that though, and to do somewhat better at keeping her phone non-active during GH. 

But both times she has worked for me, she has always kept her phone VERY much ON, with it constantly beeping and ringing, she was constantly texting, constantly on her Facebook, and taking ALL calls, while she was here, even to the extent that when i was talking to her, i was often rudely interrupted by her suddenly talking into her phone....right when i was in mid-sentence!! And i have always had to sit and listen as she talks about very personal things, family gossip, her family's dirty laundry, all of it, right in front of me, and yes, i even had to hear her yell at her kids on top of it all!! In addition, she would get so engrossed in her phone that i would have to call her name several times, and then have to end up repeating everything i had just told her, because she wasn't even listening to me. THAT is another huge sensory issue of mine, when people won't listen to me, and when i am purposely ignored!! And then i have to repeat every single thing i said!!


Things got to the point where i was getting riled up everyday by JuJu
either not wanting to do my bed bath,
or by her saying mean and snotty things,
or her actually now outright refusing to do so many things for me,
by her making me now wait to get my shopping done and my mail picked up.
Then she began to need even more gas money at the end of each week,
and if she didn't get that extra gas money,
she threatened me that she would not be able to get my dinner and errands done.
She would always use the excuse that her car was on empty again,
so i now had to fork over a second $20 dollar bill for that same week!! 

One day, knowing full well how much i hate dirty crumpled up money, she came back from shopping and getting my dinner, telling me that that was all they had for change, so i got rid of it by advancing her for the last two weeks of February for her gas.

She also told me that one restaurant always charged for extra sides of Ranch dressing. She was also telling me how snotty and mean people were to her. She also told meflat-out "No, i am not going to get you a whole bunch of straws for your drinks, because that will be embarrassing. I will get you only what you need, but no more!!"

Everything was becoming a battle and argument now.

And then her sister Jee came on Friday February 14th to cook me a spaghetti casserole dinner and a lemon cake, and i really had to fork out a huge hunk of money that night!!

Firstly, Jee said she needed $20 for her gas too that night because HER gas tank was also on empty!!
So, guess who had to give it?
Me again!!
In addition, JuJu, whose car was in the shop that day,
came right out and asked me if she could borrow $320
to get her car back that night, because her step father
told her she would not be able to have it back unless she paid him.
She told me that if she couldn't borrow this money that very evening,
that she didn't know when she would be able to get her car back,
which meant that my errands would then suffer.
I felt i had no choice but to give the $320 to her.
But i made her sign a promissary note
telling me she would be paying it back by the 26th of February!!

Next thing i knew, they had to leave to go pick up one of JuJu's daughters, so they turned everything off on the stove and left for a whole hour and a half. When they came back, we were all in the kitchen, and suddenly Jee looked at JuJu, then back at me, and they both broke out laughing really loudly, and saying over and over "Boom, chakka-lakka, boom, chakka-lakka!!" 

I knew they were making fun of me and i told them to stop it. They said they were just joking around amongst themselves. Funny, i felt like **I** was the butt of their joking around!!

Then Jee and JuJu each took home part of the spaghetti casserole, borrowing two of my Rubbermaid containers to put it in, and i never got those back. JuJu did pay me back the $320 though, but then i had to turn right back around and give her yet ANOTHER $20 for gas for that very next week. And another extra $20 for the last week of February also!! JuJu even threatened me, saying that if she found out that i told anyone that she had asked me for that money, she would quit working for me.

After this, she began to get even more rude and mean.

Her other client who was dying, was beginning to really go downhill now. One night when she was waiting with that other client for her nurse to come show her how to do her feeding tube, it was getting later and later, and i REALLY needed to eat, or i would be sick..... JuJu told me in a terse Facebook message "Sorry, the nurse ain't here yet.....go eat some chipz or somthing". I had to order food to be delivered to my house that night, which is very expensive for me on my budget, because most places have a delivery charge and a minimum amount you must order in order to get the food delivered.

JuJu ended up not even coming that night, which left me with other needs unmet that i was so eager to get done. 

Bed baths became another huge thing for me to dread, because JuJu was now choosing those times to talk to me in that same baby babble that LeeLee had done, and to say alot of mean things to me-----right when i was naked in my bed!!
One thing she kept telling me over and over was:
"Oh, Melissa, i'm not going to massage your legs...i'm just not gonna do that....you will just have to deal with it...i will wash them and rub the lotion on them and all that, but i'm not gonna massage them!!"
"If you want your legs to be itched, get a back scratcher and itch them yourself, because i'm not gonna do it for you!!"
Then she would say, also over and over:
"You know, Melissa, none of my friends would ever wanna do this, give you these bed baths.........ya know, there just aren't too many caregivers out there who would wanna be doin' this kinda thing, ya know? Maybe the older ones might....but not the younger caregivers who are like in their 20's, ya know?"

The other thing she did was tell me she needed to work ALL of my hours because she needed the money to save up for a place to move to. When i told her i needed to find backup caregivers, she threatened me that if i got a backup caregiver, she would no longer run ANY of my errands for me, but maybe once a week.

Then Cecily contacted me, saying she wanted to work for me again, and then suddenly, JuJu stepped into find her another job, so Cecily would no longer be available to me. Suddenly, Cecily had my phone number blocked, and she was being cold to me again.

For the longest time, i was wanting to go to Walgreens to splurge on a huge candy run. But JuJu kept making me wait to do that also..... 

JuJu and i finally went on my candy run on Saturday evening February 22nd, but she was in a snotty mood all the way there and back, and even talked snotty to me as we were at the checkout counter. In addition, Cecily came into the Walgreens, and JuJu went off to go talk to her, and Cecily passed us by on her way out, knowing full well i ws there in the candy aisle with JuJu, and she never bothered to say hello to me......

JuJu and i left the store, and i was so upset, i had JuJu drive all over because i wasn't sure what i wanted for dinner that night. We finally settled on McDonalds, and then we came back to my house, where i finally had a talk with JuJu about how she was treating me. I told her if she wanted to keep working for me, this snottiness was going to have to stop, because it was really hurting me deep inside to be treated this way.

The next day and next week with JuJu were awesome, because her client had passed away that Sunday, and now all of a sudden JuJu seemed more relaxed and happy again. Suddenly my bed baths became pleasant, and everything became pleasant again. That whole last week of February.

I need to mention that JuJu had me so afraid of her that i was even forced to always sign her timesheets four days before the end of each pay period, so JuJu could mail them out early so she could get her checks early. I hope to God i don't get in trouble for going along with that, but please remember, i was always under duress that if i didn;t do as JuJu asked, i would suffer with the bad moods, snottiness, and my needs not getting met. She seemed to hold that very much over my head all the time. And again, JuJu wanted to work all of my hours or none at all.

And she was lazy. She did not like to cook, nor was she a good cook either, so i mostly got takeout for my meals, and i most always would get enough to give her some of my food, because she was always complaining that she was broke.

She was broke because she had to pay her drug court so that she could graduate.
She was broke because she needed to find a place to love because her uncle was threatening to kick her and her kids out.
She was broke because she now had to pay me back the $320 she had borrowed for her car repairs.

But.....even though she always kept telling me how broke and poor she was....
she was always making weekend trips to Santa Barbara, and Pismo Beach to shop, and to get her hair done.
She bought a very ugly leopard print sofa from a local classified group on Facebook for $150.
She was always buying new pairs of jeans, and new tops....
and paying for her buddie's who were in jail to have phone cards and money cards.

Even so....it fell on ME to keep her gas tank in her car filled up.

The climax came when she came on Saturday March 1st, 2013
to work off the hours she had already put on her timesheet
that she failed to work that past week,
came in that afternoon very late,
but all bubbly friendly and happy.

I decided to order my dinner from a nearby American food restaurant, for that night and for the next day, since she would not be here for me the next day.....when suddenly, she got up to use the bathroom, and i began hearing loud coughing and gagging noises.

Now, i know that people can throw up all of a sudden, but i knew JuJu was faking this......because before going to the bathroom, she was talking about getting herself cheeseburgers for her dinner at another place!!

She then emerged from the bathroom acting like she was so sick now that she could not stand up. She went to sit at my desk, and held her head in her hands, groaning. I KNEW this whole thing was fake!! So i was yelling at her.....
about how i was supposed to get my bed bath now,
and how was i supposed to get my dinners now??

I KNEW she was ACTING....that she was NOT SICK....why? Because i had overheard her talking ALOT the previous day on her phone about a party she was going to go to the night of March 1st!!!

I suddenly had to call and cancel my dinner order.
This so embarrassed me to have to do this, because she refused to call for me!!
I then had to go in the bathroom and unplug the toilet myself,
because she had put a whole wad of toilet paper in it,
and fish it out
with a coat hanger,
and the toilet paper had her damn puke all over it!!

I knew she was faking it,
because when she got up to leave,
she suddenly perked back up,
walking just fine
marching quickly across my floor to the door,
and then continued to walk just fine
as she walked to her car,
telling me she was so sorry,
but she would definitely make this all up to me Monday, and get me to my bank for my payday on Monday.

On Sunday, March 2nd, 2014, i fired JuJu. Because i had gotten the idea to post on a local Facebook classified group about my plight, and i already had a new caregiver lined up for Monday, March 3rd, and several other very good prospects were also coming forward.

To be continued......