freedom

Page Eighteen, website outline

Living in a country that touts and flouts how free we are. But there are all kinds of freedoms, and there’s one extremely important one I have never, in fifty-seven years, been granted by my fellow humans: the freedom to be myself without constant punishment for being that self. Punishment takes many forms, from verbal insult all the way up to various forms of attack. Just for being me I’ve had an on-going stream of this stuff. Others have too. Especially others with Asperger’s.

Harping, like the chanting of Shakespeare’s three witches, all my life, on many themes that are apparently unbearable aspects of Anne Nakis’ selfhood:  too many animals  —  you don’t smile enough — you’re too negative — you’re not really an  atheist; everyone believes in god — you’re antisocial (by this they mean withdrawn, not sociopathic) — you don’t try to fit in…  and more. Almost everything about me, about who I am, is apparently either so annoying or so repugnant or so aberrant that anyone who wishes to throws in their two cents’ worth, and believes they have the right to do so. They have the right to mock, nag, criticize, punish. But I don’t have the freedom to be myself and be left alone about it. If you don’t like me, if I’m not your cup of tea, then just leave me the hell alone. Why do you have to hurt in some way?

All of this has taught me that it’s money in this country that buys you freedom to be yourself. I hate for that to be true, because I hate people making a god out of money. But the fact remains that if I’d been able to earn the money to buy my own home, no landlord and no other tenant could have bullied me the way they have repeatedly done for being myself, for being the oddball, weird, idiosynratic, creature that I am. No relatives and friends could have had much chance to do so, because I wouldn’t have needed them for any kind of practical help. I could have hung up the phone or slammed the door.                                    

To my mind, it is an ugly commentary on human nature to have to say in all truth that I have been alive for more than five decades, and have been allowed by only one person in one relationship, the freedom to be myself — without punishment or criticism. Everyone has nagged, or criticized, or insulted, or tried to remake me. And there have been many who have actively and viciously attacked me when I failed to allow myself to be remade in their image. I honestly don’t grasp, in light of all this, why there are so many people who do not understand why I don’t like human beings. Why do they think I would like humans, in light of this shabby (at best) treatment I’ve received from them? What grounds do you think I would have to be enamored of humankind?

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read…      Neverending solitaire  (asperger’s)…   Lifelines

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.


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shelter life, et cetera

Page Sixteen, website outline

I have thus far stayed in three different shelters in two different states, and have had two trips each to two of them. I cannot say enough bad about the two in Massachusetts. The one in New Hampshire was better by far. Five stays in shelters to date, and I bitterly hope that there will be no more.

If I had to judge by the two Massachusetts shelters, both run by an organization called ServiceNet, I’d say that shelter life is designed to be degrading, to rob one not only of even minor privacies, but of dignity and of adulthood. You become a child being ordered around at daycare or summer camp.

At the New Hampshire shelter, there were very few rules. We needed to be in by 11:00 pm, and we each needed to do a chore once a week. Otherwise we could come and go as we pleased during the day. We each had fridge space and cabinet space and could cook our own meals, and each clean up only after ourselves. We could shower and do laundry any time the facilities were available. It was almost like living in your own apartment, except that it was a room, and you had to share the common facilities with other people. I didn’t feel demeaned or demoted to child status. Nor did I feel very invaded, as I had a bedroom to myself.

Very different in the ServiceNet Shelters. In Northampton we were kicked out at 7:00 in the morning and let back in at 6:00 in the evening. They did have more open hours from 9-12 and 1-3 when we shelter folk, and anyone else who wanted to, could get in out of the weather, have a snack, etc. But our shelter bedrooms were kept locked during these hours, so that we had no access to our belongings or our beds, and my bed was what I needed most those days.

I wonder if you can conceive of how shocking and horrifying, — yes, horrifying, — these shelters were to someone like me. I can’t speak for any shelters anywhere but the three I stayed in, and in two of those, the people were as unlike me as you can get. Most were alcoholics or addicts. Most had arrest records and jail time under their belts. Homelessness was a cycle they went through periodically, when, for whatever reasons, they stopped paying their rent. They were uneducated. They were sneaky. They knew how to kiss up to shelter staff and act like civilized, reasonably decent people, but then I’d encounter them hanging out with each other on the streets when the act was dropped, and their true, ugly colors shone out. This was especially true of the inmates of the Turners shelter. When you take a person who for fifty-five years has lived in houses or apartments and has paid the rent; who is reclusive and has Asperger’s syndrome and physical illnesses and chronic depression; who has never been arrested or served any time in jail, and so on, and throw such a person into this seedy, lunatic fringe atmosphere, it is devastating. At least it was for me. Culture shock, and all sorts of shocks, and the screaming torment of no privacy at all. I lived in a state of constant, high anxiety, and constantly bit down on my internal screams, keeping them from escaping through my mouth. Constant pretending. Not ass-kissing, as the others were doing, just pretending that I didn’t want to murder every single one of them so that I could have some privacy.

~~~  And now it’s 2011. I haven’t stayed in a shelter for two years now. But all I have to do is think about my various shelter days for a minute or two and here come the pounding heart and the shaking hands, the tears and the inability to sit still.  Maybe staying in a shelter isn’t an ugly wound for every person who does it, but it was for me.

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And then there was living outdoors for two months, which, while it entailed more physical hardship than the shelters, was in certain ways much preferable to them. When I think about that time living outside, I get the same shaking hands and pounding heart and tears, but I also get something else: the memory of the beauty of nature, and of nature’s animals all around me. The geese, squirrels, ducks, chipmunks, and so many more that I lived with. I was living in their home. The dusks and dawns… seeing every minute of them first-hand, with no window-glass between my body and the sky. I fed the animals every day, wherever I was camping. I was in the natural world, a part of it, in a way that you can only be if you live outdoors. That particular part of my homelessness showed me that if I owned my own land, I’d make it a point three or four times a year to pitch a tent and live outdoors for a week or two. To remind myself how the outdoors really feels.

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read…   Spite and malice…   Braonwandering

read…  Mental hell

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

 
 

federal “protection”

Page Six, website outline

This is the subject that causes the greatest trouble, the greatest insult to my integrity and my sanity, the labelling of me as “delusional,” which I am not now, nor have ever been.

Being in federal “protection” was never, prior to 2008, something I ever thought about, and it has never at any time been something I lied about, or something I imagined.  It has been, since about July 10 of 2008, something I was told about, out of the mouth of a real-live individual calling himself Matthew Lacoy, and I have believed him. For reasons that are convincing enough to me, to both my intellect and my ability to pick up the seriousness in Matthew when he told me these things, I believed him two years ago, and I believe him now. If someday someone with any credibility, someone in a position to know, convinces me that Matthew Lacoy lied, then I will cease believing him. Such a person has not yet presented themselves.

But if your mind is so closed that you can’t conceive of an innocent person stumbling into an organized crime hornet’s nest and ending up in an extremely vicious form of federal protection, then your mind is no doubt going to remain closed. I find that most people would rather hurl armchair diagnoses on the subject of what Matthew told me, than even allow a little space in their minds for the possibility that what Matthew said had happened to me could happen to anyone. So if you feel compelled to label me as something, then all you have any legitimate grounds to call me is gullible, or even stupid, for believing the things Matthew said and did. But you have no right to call me a liar, or to call me a delusional. There is no justifiable basis for such insults to my integrity and to the kind of mind I have.                                                                                            

This kind of situation, this undercover, cloak-and-dagger crap that I’ve had to endure, is by no means glamorous. Certainly I’ve known people in my life who will lie about absolutely anything in order to be on stage, to get attention. To minds like that, a situation like the one Matthew said I had might appear exciting and highly rewarding in the attention-getting department (if such a mind could get someone to believe them). But I am not one of those types and never have been. I’m not a center-stage seeker, nor a seeker after the bizarre and the titillating. My observations of the things Matthew and his colleagues did, and the things they said, and the way I was apparently (Matthew never denied it) used by them, did not give me feelings of being special in any positive way, or of undergoing something exciting. On the contrary, the words and actions of Matthew and his ilk left me with a deep loathing for this country, and for all law enforcement. That is what remains: a disgust for the US government and for any kind of cop anywhere.

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read…    Spite and malice…   Sehnen

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

the department of mental health

Page Two, website outline

In Massachusetts, the Department of Mental Health is a state-wide, state-run, state-botched, lumbering and uncaring bureaucracy. I wish I had known that in January of 2007.

It was to this (I now know) indolent and incompetent juggernaut that I appealed when I was being illegally evicted from my apartment.                                                                                                        

They had an entire year to find me a home where I could afford the rent and keep at least some of my 14 animals. They did almost nothing to that end. They did, however, do other things behind my back, some of which have taken a long time to find out. Some I will never find out. They, and their contract agency, Community Support Services, lied to me, told lies about me, and presided over the destruction of my life and a tremendous worsening of my depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. At 55, with these issues as well as physical health issues, they let me lose all of my animals, who were literally my reason for living, and be put onto the streets homeless. I remain without an apartment of my own nearly two years later. I do not maintain that this wretched failure of service was committed to stick it to me, to pay me back for reporting the DMH to Governor Patrick’s office and to their overseeing body, Health and Human Services. There may have been an element of revenge in it, but I still believe that the greatest reason for the downright unconscionable “service” I got from the DMH and CSS was laziness. These state employees are shockingly lazy, and to find a place with a low rent where some of my animals would be allowed was something they just didn’t want to bestir themselves to do because it would have taken some real effort. Their idea of helping someone find an apartment is to give you a phone number for a housing project. Projects do not allow more than one animal, so that was a solution that was not going to be right for me. These DMH cretins have lists of landlords in the community, and work with these landlords periodically. But to go through these lists making phone calls, explaining about the psychological meaning of my animals, and trying to find someone who would let me keep about half of them would have taken time and effort. The same time and effort they spent arranging for places for my animals to be hidden and later killed.

The conduct of the Department of Mental Health both shocked and appalled me, as I naively believed that because their purpose is to help, that they would help. I further naively expected that I wouldn’t be lied to by these people who were supposed to help me, nor that they would do things behind my back that they had no authorization from me to do.

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It’s now April 2010, and I’ve written in other places that on April 1 I moved into what can loosely be called a rental unit, but never an apartment. About the size of a ponystall, it is tantamount to living in a small cell that has a huge window and a bathroom to glorify it a bit. After two years and two weeks of living in a technical state of homelessness, when I had no rental unit of my own, thanks to the DMH and CSS,what I get is a cell with a few embellishments. And I’m claustrophobic.

I cannot say enough bad about this inhumane way of housing poor people, which I only applied for because it was the fastest way to get what is called a movable section 8, a rent subsidy which is not tied to the project you live in, but which you can use in any apartment where the landlord will accept it. You are not condemned to project living for the rest of your life.

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read…  Spite and malice…     Mental hell

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

 

a website, a scrapbook, an unamerikan story

 Page One, website outline

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turners falls, massachusetts

thursday 21 january 2010

why is my story unamerikan? the first answer is that  amerikans like to have stories about people who triumphed, despite having the deck stacked against them. the deck has been stacked against me since childhood in several very significant ways, and I have not triumphed. one of the things my story is is a story of failure, and amerikans don’t want that kind. everything must be horatio alger and bambi: the obligatory happy endings. nothing gets us amerikans down. we just keep truckin’ till that ole sun starts shinin’ again. to heck with all  that. didn’t I fall for that nonsense, and other nonsense like it, long enough? there are several other reasons as well that the true events of my life since 2006 are unamerikan , but I leave that to you. if you read enough pages, if you have a mind that can reason things out, then you’ll discover this other unamerikanism.

and the word story? there are stories that are fiction, and stories that are true. mine are true, with the exception of the single novel I’m putting on this website. you might choose to decide that some events I relate are not true, and that’s no doubt rooted in your own psychological longings for denial. but the set of your particular mind does not make a liar or a fantasist out of me. I’ve never in my life made up stories, except in the days when I was writing fiction. and I don’t imagine things. at times I misinterpret things, as everyone does, but I’ve never imagined events or people or space aliens or whatever. and if you find I misinterpret the words and actions of others more frequently than most people do, then the reason may lie in my autism, in asperger’s syndrome, and my great difficulty in grasping the indirect, tricky ways of other people’s minds.

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donna williams, an autistic woman who has written several books on living with autism, has these words about her view of the world as a child:

               the world seemed to be impatient, annoying, callous and unrelenting.

that’s how I also felt about the world as a child, and that is how I still feel.iIn fact, these feelings are stronger with every passing year. this quote is from her first book, Nobody Nowhere, and nobody nowhere is, vis á vis other people, what I’ve pretty much always been. I was someone to animals: someone lovable, someone of value (even if I am odd), someone they were always happy to see come into a room. it hasn’t been that way with human beings at all.

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and now March 2011, slightly more than a year since I started knitting all of my blogs together into a website. now things have changed yet again. I’ve changed my mind again about how I want to organize all this material. what can I tell you…. my life was destroyed, and that has changed me drastically, and for good. I’ve remained an internet writer much longer than I ever thought I would. I’ve remained this odd beast, an internet writer, whether I really want to be one or not. and I don’t, really. but I have no life — it was stolen. I have no animal family — they were hidden and killed. writing and organizing and doing images is a small anesthetic to the pain I live in daily. below is the most recent re-structuring.

the blogs that form the website:

 

                                       braonthree.wordpress.com  (you are here)
                                       braon
                                       braonwandering
                                       judah
                                       mishi  (asperger’s syndrome)
                                       sehnen
                                       mentalhell   (on blogspot)
                                       sehnen  (0n soulcast)
                                       small tales from rowley
 
two blogs of poetry only:
 
                                        shadowpoems
                                        scealta liatha   (fear not, poems are in english)
 
 
the books; ten little indians which may be turning into eleven:
 
 
                                        mugsy’s book  (a certain dog)
                                        lifelines       (autobio)
                                        don’t ask    (satire)
                                        spite and malice 
                                        all my stars   (animals)
                                        stolen stars   (stolen animals)
                                        neverending solitaire   (asperger’s)
                                        poison and snowflake trees  (turners falls)
                                        being toward death
                                        kaikenlainen    (a brother has died)
                                        lucked out     (a father dead a long time)
 
the eighteen-year-old novel:    the pygmies keep dancing
                               other novels:     dunvegan spell
                                                             she says
 
 
 
  
 
click here to new posts.
 

I belong to, and write in, a number of groups at experienceproject.com, under the name sehnen. follow on twitter: @ziidjian or @annegrace2.

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It’s going to take me approximately thirty-five years to write all the new pages that need doing for these books, and to move all of the existing pages from where they are now to their own new space. these projects are in part a way of living in the daily grief and loneliness and rage. and they are also, and this is the most important thing, a tribute to all the animals of my life, most especially the fourteen who were stolen, hidden, lied about, and killed.

I write bluntly and truthfully; sardonically and bitterly. the events since 2006 and the people who caused them are despicable to me. emotions are raw. I do not forgive these people, nor do I have any desires in that direction. if you seek positivity and airy new-age platitudes and happy endings — in other words, if you’re looking for the amerikan story —  then my website and my books are probably not where you should be. but if you love animals deeply; and if you believe that cruelty is not a fairy tale, but a true feature of some people’s personalities; and if you have any compassion for people whose lives have been laid waste by whatever forces, then maybe you can be a reader here. I appreciate sane, respectful comments. anyone is free to disagree with me on anything at all, in a civil and respectful way.

internet people seem to be hurry people. and information-hungry. and news-mad. none of that happens here, or will. this is slow here, this is about one person and many animals, none of whom are famous or important in the big, fast world. this is true life, true animals, true people, poems, pictures, satire, books. this is emotional. I haven’t yet found anything else like it on the internet, and I wish I could, because I would read it every day.

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The Scrapbook  Art I  ~~  Art II  ~~  Art III

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2013 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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