Page Eighty-nine

Wednesday 4 August 2010           Turners casualty

If you think that there’s only so much other people can take away from you… or that there’s only so much a below-the-poverty-line disability check can deprive you of… or that there’s only so much Asperger’s syndrome and a sick immune system can ruin for a person…   I’d ask you to think again, and think again more deeply…

Asperger’s symtoms have done a great deal over 57 years to prevent my being loved, or liked, or included, or accepted, or valued — in many different situations and with many different kinds of neurotypical people. This has kept me from having a support system, a set of humans on whom I can rely, whom I know for certain care today and will still care tomorrow. Not to mention the number of direct, vicious attacks my oddness has stimulated in many people who like to bully and control what they don’t like or understand. And my immune system has prevented me from birth from working or playing or pursuing my interests to the same level that a healthy person can. Even in my working years, I could never work 40 or 60 hours a week, or more (as other single mothers I knew could) in order to have a downpayment and get that house.

The income, currently less than $1000 a month in today’s economy, with today’s prices, isn’t even high enough for me to have qualified for Habitat for Humanity, and other low-income home-buying programs. I checked into these things in 2003, when we had a lying, alcoholic landlord with an even sneakier woman-pal. I wanted my animals and me to be safe from the whims and underhandedness and plain meanness of anymore psychologically screwed up landlords in Turners Falls. I wanted the personal freedom to live my own way on my own property. Forget it.

And what other people will take? They have taken everything. Everything that mattered. Another mentally ill landlady took my apartment in an illegal eviction. The DMH allowed me to be put on the streets, and made arrangements behind my back to have my animals scattered to various places, and later euthanized. No rental unit of my own for over two years. No animals, the center of my existence. No love, no companionship, no sharing, no joy. 

And without the animals… no more radio shows that I enjoyed, or reading print books, or drawing, or the huge variety of music that we listened to, because I’m no longer able to do these things without the family I had around me. No more walking in nature with my cats and dogs, something that was one of the biggest pleasures in my deliberately quiet, reclusive life.

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