This and That

It’s been a month since I wrote anything significant. I’ve been tinkering a bit with my next major blog post, and my sci-fi story for the second anthology, but not much. I have been so wrapped up in the holidays and my daughter and family and work that I’ve barely had time to do anything at all. But it has been good. I have been living in the moment and taking things as they come, and my therapist and psych both think I am doing well.

I had my med check the other day, and my psych asked me to think about starting to reduce my antidepressant a bit. Having Bipolar I makes using an antidepressant at such a high dosage kind of risky, since I could swing into mania at pretty much any time. But I also take a mood stabilizer, which has been doing its job. She is hesitant to reduce it as well, since that could put me into a tailspin back into my depression. We decided to leave it where it is, and I go back in four months. If everything is still going great, maybe we will reduce my antidepressant some then.

In my downtime, instead of writing I have been practicing guitar. It is going really well. I play with Mr. W once or twice a week, and practice on my own to Youtube videos the rest of the time. I’ve started building up calluses on my fingertips, and it feels great. There is a series of adult guitar lessons starting at a studio by where I work, but unfortunately it is at the same time as my Saturday shift. Ah well. I would like to take some official lessons to make sure I’m not developing bad habits, but I have been having a great time learning from Mr. W in the meantime.

I also got to see all of the first season of Westworld, which is great and makes me want to talk about it with other people who have seen it. I have NOT gotten to see Rogue One yet, but I am hoping to get to see it with Mr. W next week. Over the winter break, my daughter and I saw both Moana and Sing, which were both great movies. We so rarely get to go to the movie theater, it is always a treat.

Anyway, I am tired of seeing my heroes die and mostly can’t wait for 2016 to be over. I will be processing the deaths of many people and institutions for awhile yet. I can only hope that 2017 will be a year of catalyst, and that people will¬† be inspired to create art and take action. I am still heartbroken over the election results, but am starting to feel stronger again and ready to move forward into the next year.

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Cycles and Song: #NaBloPoMo Day 2

Cycles. It all starts with cycles. At some point, everything you once loved is gone, and in some form, if you’re lucky, it someday returns. My relationship with music is like this. Growing up I sang, did musical theatre, and played cello and trombone. I feel like I was able to read music shortly after I could read words. In fact, my love of music is probably second only to my love of the written word.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately listening to the blues and jazz, delving back into music that I have always loved, but didn’t really listen to for years.

In my last major relationship, my music always took a backseat to my significant other’s.¬† After awhile, I sort of forgot that I even had my own musical taste. Now in my freedom, it has been a blessing to submerge myself once again into these tracks, old songs that used to mean so much to me. It is comforting, and liberating. I feel like my mind is so loud sometimes, the only choice is to drown it out with music. Other times, I need total silence to think and reflect.

I’m hoping for a record player for Christmas this year, and if not I will just have to get one myself. I decided I’d like to start a blues/motown/gospel, maybe some jazz, collection. My mom already told me she needs to get me some records, ones that she loves, and I would like that.

I started thinking about this today because someone came over to help me restring my guitar. It just needed new strings and a little cleaning to be good to go. I haven’t even touched my guitar all through my depression these last few years. Three years it has sat in the corner collecting dust, and out of nowhere I feel like trying to play again.

I first tried to learn guitar when I was 14, struggling through tabs of Melissa Etheridge songs. I never had my own, though, so I never really picked it up. I spent a summer in Los Gatos with my former stepdad, and his neighbor had a guitar that I used. After that, one of my mom’s friends gave me his old blonde Fender jazz bass, and I tried that for awhile.I wasn’t terrible at bass, but I wanted to be able to play and sing. I’ve seen people do that with bass guitar, but that wasn’t what I wanted.

I was always more comfortable with bass clef than treble clef, but with guitar you can just use tabs. Or copy people on YouTube. Take lessons. Or, or, or. But the chords you play on a guitar seem to confound my hands still. I feel clumsy, slow, frustrated. It is glorious.

As I emerge from the blackness that has drenched my mood the last few years, I am starting to take joy in things again. I want to see my friends. I shower a lot more often. I’ve even started dating, which has been sort of a nightmare since my divorce. Now I am starting to get more of a handle on what I want, and it is getting more fun.

These cycles come and go. I will get better for a little while, then a little worse. Or a lot worse. But I have been stable for a few years now, and recently moved into a new living situation where my ex-husband and I are not on top of each other every day, which is a lot less scandalous than it sounds. Maybe it’s just a matter of being able to relax and be myself, but a shiny hope has crept in to replace what was once all black and grey.

It’s a strange thing, when old things become new again. Relationships, hobbies, jobs. As we age and mature our perspectives shift, and it becomes easier to see where we went amiss before. We grow stronger and better able to handle life.

It is my hope that by practicing, learning to express myself through music again that I will find some peace. I know my hands are talented. They work hard all day doing massage, then come home to work hard writing all night. They just need some nurturing patience, and to practice. To remember, with dexterity and precision, how to dance.

Bad Mental Health Days: #NaBloPoMo Day 1

It’s my first time participating in #NaBloPoMo. To get started, I decided to go with today’s writing prompt and see what happens.

Today’s prompt: When you’re having a bad day with your mental health, what do you do to help yourself?

I live with Bipolar Disorder Type I, so unfortunately poor mental health days come and go with some regularity. These can look like crying, not being able to cry, feeling numb, being irritable, hating humanity, being overly sexual, being completely detached. It is fun, let me tell you. I’ve dealt with this my whole life, but it has gotten steadily worse since I had my daughter in 2010. Luckily, I am now doing very well, though a combination of medication, therapy, yoga, and just doing my best to be happy. These are a few of the things that I learned.

  • Be gentle with yourself – Over the years though self-reflection, yoga, spiritual retreats, therapy, psychiatric medications, the best thing I’ve learned is to go easy on myself. It’s okay to have days where you are less than productive, and it doesn’t make you a bad person. Depression looms it’s ugly shadow over so many people that I love, and it makes it hard to see and think clearly. Depression distorts the truth and lies to us, making each day a nightmare. It’s okay to be gentle with yourself. It’s okay to love yourself. Be your own best friend and things do sometimes get better, at least for awhile.
  • Reach out to a friend – I know when I’m feeling bad and blue, reaching out to friends doesn’t ever seem appealing. I don’t want to appear needy, or to annoy them, or to express emotions that are less than positive. Those things freak me out. But our friends know us, they know how to cheer us up, and if nothing else, they can listen. Getting out the things that bother you and lightening the load really helps.
  • Get a massage – This one is easy for me to remember because I am a massage therapist. Touch is so important. When I go too long without loving touch, I start to shrink in on myself. Getting a massage fulfills several self-care requirements, and is so pleasant. It can be hard to turn off my brain sometimes while I am receiving, when my thoughts are racing, but even so, by the time it is over I always feel so much better.
  • Take a bath – Relaxing, good for your body, is more appealing than a shower when depressed. I usually add epsom salt and lavender, if I can. Soaking and letting my body relax helps my mind to relax.
  • DID I TAKE MY MEDICATION? – I never forget to take my medication. Except, every once in awhile, I do. Those days are generally less than stellar. I take Wellbutrin and Abilify, and without them I sink into the depths of hell. I will never willingly skip my medications.
  • Call your therapist – Really. I need to remind myself of this one because to date, I have yet to call my therapist when I am not having a good day. But she wants me to, so next time, maybe I will.
  • Watch cat videos – self-explanatory.
  • Get a pet – I don’t currently have one, but given the opportunity I would get a cat again. I love that my roommate has a cat that I can spoil in the meantime. Animals really do understand when we aren’t feeling great and they can be a great source of support.
  • Write – Journal. Blog. Write poetry. I have been working on a series of blog posts about the things that happened during a terrible manic episode that I had in 2013, and going back through all the muck is tough. It feels great, though, to get it out.

I don’t really enjoy doing ‘advice’ type posts, but if my little list helps anyone, it would totally make my day. I hope you feel better soon.

My Arrest and Diagnosis

The morning after my mugging, I awoke in a canyon. I was really lucky that although it was November in the Bay Area, the weather was very mild. It had almost been nice sleeping outside, or would have been if I hadn’t been so afraid. What had seemed like a fun adventure only a day ago (spiked with moments of terror) now suddenly felt like a nightmare. I was scared of everyone, and started thinking certain people I met were Evil while others were Good. It wasn’t the best mindset to be in while wandering streets full of strangers.

During my week on the streets, I had started calling myself Rose and identifying myself as such to some people. So when I walked into the RV place, that’s how I introduced myself. Which of course, did not match my ID. Which didn’t matter anyway, because I gave them an old expired ID I had kicking around in my purse. None of it made any sense. I had my real ID on me, I had enough money in my bank account to rent the RV, everything could have been fine. But it wasn’t.

Instead of renting the RV to me, they turned me away. I guess they actually thought I was trying to commit fraud. So I left. I walked outside and although I do not remember what happened exactly at that point, the end result was that I noticed a set of keys dangling from the door of the RV. Something in my delusion told me that it was FOR me, so I just hopped in and drove off the lot.

Almost immediately a man from the lot started following me, and I took the on-ramp to the freeway that led from San Mateo to Half Moon Bay. If you aren’t familiar with the road, it is pretty narrow and twisty and can be dangerous even in a low-profile vehicle. The man kept gesturing at me to pull over, but in my mind he was AFTER me and was one of the people that had been “chasing” me the whole time I was missing. I was terrified of him. Suddenly there were several police cars behind me, too.

Red and blue lights were flashing and I felt like I was leading a parade. I didn’t exactly speed, but I did start passing cars on the freeway (using my turn signals!). When the freeway ended in Half Moon Bay, I again used my turn signals through the neighborhood until I found a good place to pull over. I passed a police officer on the street and flashed him the peace sign. Now I was grinning and laughing, like it was all a big joke.

Of course I pulled over, and immediately I was terrified again because I had what felt like a dozen guns in my face as they threw the door to the RV open. I know how lucky I am. One officer undid my seatbelt and dragged me from the vehicle, leaving a burn down my arm from the seatbelt. Still feeling lucky. As I hit the ground I peed my pants AGAIN for the second time in two days. If I ever thought I was some kind of cool-headed hero in the face of stress, I have learned I am the exact opposite. I am the quivering jello person that just stares and pees themselves. I’m hoping I can change that about myself with some self-defense classes and such, but I haven’t done it.

The police asked me a lot of questions and I told them about the guy that had mugged me. They asked me if I was drunk, if I was on meth. I was 100% sober sadly, but they didn’t believe me.

I had a really nice officer drive me back to the police station in San Mateo. I remember him asking if this was my Thelma & Louise moment. He even pulled out my state massage license from my wallet and asked how this girl got to be in the back of his car. He calmed me down a lot with his chatter and I KNOW you’re not supposed to talk to the police, but I did anyway. We talked the whole way back. He was the one that realized I was a Missing Person when we got back to the station.

A woman cop inspected me and took my clothes, saying she would have them washed for me. (I was SO embarrassed.) I’m pretty sure the police thought I was drunk at this point, because they threw me in a cell with another lady for many hours. During this time I figured out how to call Neil collect on the phone and got through to him, ending the big question of WHERE THE FUCK IS CARLY? Carly was somewhere she had never been before. Carly was in jail.

Finally they brought in a psychiatrist to see me, who spent a few hours asking me if I was on meth, like everyone else had. I kept self-massaging my arms, pacing around, randomly doing yoga. I was a mess.

The first night, they drove me over to the county jail and tried to put me in with the general population, which basically broke me. I don’t remember much about it, except thinking the other women had microphones and things in their ears, but I was scared. They couldn’t drive me back to Medical that night, so they let me sleep on the floor of the commissary office, away from the other women.

The next morning, I was sent back to Medical. I had my own room for a few days, and they took away my bed and made me wear suicide-proof clothes. I had hallucinations and delusions and it was a miserable time. I remember hitting the suicide button the first night in there because I had missed all the meals so had had no food for two days. Everyone laughed at me when I said I was hungry, and the guard was pissed. But she did eventually bring me some cereal.

Actually, back at Medical everyone started treating me with kid gloves. I had nearly wandered off the first night at county (I did not stay in my seat when told to. Don’t do this in jail.) so whenever I was moved anywhere I had to have my arms and legs shackled. After 2-3 days (I can’t remember or tell anymore) in my solo apartment in Medical, I got moved into a shared space in Medical.

They were trying to give me medication, but I kept thinking they were trying to poison me. After a few days I calmed down and I let them give me Lithium, and almost instantly started getting a little better. I was really giving the police kind of a hard time. I remember hitting an emergency call button (you know, one of those big red buttons that you DO NOT PUSH unless there’s a riot or some shit.)

For as big of a pain in the ass as I was being, I can’t complain about my treatment while I was in custody.

It was “nice” being in the shared space in Medical. I had gotten very bored in my solo room as I calmed down. I had a roommate, and a common room, and there were four other women in two other rooms off the common room. We watched and sang along to The Voice. We drew pictures and talked about our lives.

One of the women was elderly and her boyfriend died while she was in jail and they wouldn’t let her out to attend his funeral. It was pretty sad. One of the ladies had murdered a cabbie and was being sent “off to Napa”, which I took to be the criminally insane place. I was very scared that I was going to be sent there. While we were there, she was on the front page of the newspaper and we decided not to show her the article.

At some point during this first week, Neil, my ex, came to see me. I refused to see him, and I don’t even remember why. I was suspicious of him for some reason, maybe still thinking he was trying to keep my daughter from me. My other friends Devin and Val had been tirelessly keeping everyone up to date with everything that was going on with me, and came to see me as well. They lived in San Mateo and everything had gone down right by their house. Had I managed to find their house, a lot of sad things would probably have been avoided.

My mom had used a lawyer in San Francisco before, Cindy Diamond, and that’s who she contacted to represent me. We totally didn’t have the money for a lawyer, but my mom managed to get some money out of the estate in Texas to pay for it, and I became Cindy’s ‘special project’. Thank the gods. I don’t know what would have happened to me if I hadn’t had a lawyer. Cindy was smart and tough and instantly got me to work writing down the things that had happened in order and getting notes together for an outside psychiatrist. She wanted an official diagnosis for me as soon as possible.

After a few days in the shared Medical room, the police decided I could go back to county jail.I was transported to the San Mateo County Jail, where I spent two weeks. Please note that at this time, I was completely confused as to why nobody had bailed me out of jail. I assumed it was because they couldn’t afford it, that my bail was set too high or something similar. It turns out everyone just thought that was the safest place for me to “calm down”.

It hurt and I cried for days wondering why nobody was bailing me out of jail, and I didn’t have ANY phone numbers, plus I needed an address to go to upon release, which I didn’t have because Neil had said I couldn’t stay with him and Molly while I was so messed up. I honestly felt like I would be in jail forever. I spent Thanksgiving 2013 in jail, and while I should be grateful they gave us pumpkin pie, I will say it was the worst pumpkin pie I have ever had in my life. I will never forget the taste of that terrible pie. I will note, however, that Thanksgiving-in-jail did NOT rate as the worst Thanksgiving I’ve ever had!

I kept myself busy as I could to pass the time. There was one exercise bike to share among the 40ish women that were in our big room, so when I could get on it I used that. I took as many showers as I could get away with, since the water was lukewarm at least and felt pretty nice. Except the one time I took a shower when we were not apparently supposed to be taking showers. The CO whipped open the shower curtain on me and scared the shit out of me. In trouble again.

I got in trouble a few times during the general population stay. There was a “cold room” they would throw us in when we acted up. I spent a few hours in the cold room for cutting in line one time, and for something else that I don’t remember. It was miserable in there. It was just an empty room with a toilet and the AC cranked up really high.

The other girls were mostly young, a lot were moms, and almost all of them were nice. The stories they told me broke my heart over and over again. We compared pictures of our kids and how we wound up there. One showed me how to take the elastic thread out of a sock and use it to thread eyebrows! Another girl I traded some stamps to in exchange for her to braid the front of my hair out of my face.

Coffee. They sold instant coffee at the commissary that we had to make with lukewarm water from the sink. It was still so good. Awful instant coffee with a wee pinch of sugar and dehydrated creamer and it was SO GOOD! It was like the only altering substance anyone was allowed, so they were all coffee junkies. We would be up until midnight sipping coffee and playing cards.

When mail call came, I was always the most popular person in the room. Everyone was curious how I got so much mail, especially since I was from So-Cal, but it was totally because of Devin and Val and Neil. Thank you to everyone that sent me letters while I was in jail. I read them over and over again and if you didn’t get a response, which most didn’t, it’s because I never managed to have stamps and envelopes and a pencil at the same time. Getting stuff from the commissary only happened once a week, and shit would sometimes just up and disappear. Jail.

At least I never did see the meth. Some girls got busted with meth in our room and got additional time added onto their sentences. Not sure how they got meth in jail, but hey, wtf. It was sad. Another girl had a seizure in the middle of the night, which was also scary.

We were only allowed to go outside for a few minutes each day, and only if the whole room hadn’t gotten in trouble. We spent the whole weekend after the meth incident inside. When we did go outside, it was to some cement picnic tables with a high fence separating the tables from a vegetable garden, then the freeway. There was a cat that was sometimes in the garden, and I liked to just sit and watch the plants and the kitty. I started drawing a picture of the garden, and when I finally got out I gave it to the young deputy that was the nicest to me while I was there.

I was so manic. I wanted to stay in touch with everyone! I must have given my email address to a dozen women while I was in jail, though I never did hear from any of them afterwards. Finally, after over two weeks in jail, this one girl asked how much my bail was. I was like, well I don’t know, I think it is pretty high. She said she had a bail bondsman that could get me out for less than anyone else. I wound up calling him and missing him because he came to get me out while we were eating dinner, then he wouldn’t come back for me.

But now I knew I could bail myself out. I called Aladdin Bail Bonds next and the guy offered to just bail me out sight unseen for $126 if I came straight to the office and paid it as soon as I got out. WHAT THE FUCK. I SPENT TWO WEEKS IN JAIL OVER $126?!?!!?

Now I was pissed. But it didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was that I was finally getting out. I didn’t believe it. They said I had to be out before midnight, so at like 11:55pm they finally called my name to be transported back for release. The last two hours I was in jail was the longest two hours of my life so far. I kept thinking something was going to go wrong and I wasn’t going to get out. But it didn’t. They drove me back with a young prostitute that I hadn’t particularly gotten along with in jail but now that we were getting out buddies, we were friends. I am so grateful to the girl in jail that showed me how to bail myself out. I would never have known I could even do it.

Unfortunately, they only give you a bus or train token when you get out and since I got out after midnight, I had already missed the last train anywhere. As soon as I got out I devoured the chocolate bar that was in my purse and walked over to Aladdin to pay my bail. The dude was so nice! I totally recommend them if you ever wind up in jail. I wound up doing payments for like a year to them and never had a problem.

So I was out, but I had nowhere to go. It was so late at night. I thought about walking to Saratoga, where my mom’s friend lived. I knew he would look out for me. But I couldn’t get ahold of him on the phone. My mom had written down some numbers for me in a letter, but I couldn’t get ahold of anyone. I walked around aimlessly for a few blocks, paranoid the whole time that I was going to get picked up and sent right back to jail.

Finally I decided to spend the last of my money on a hotel room for the night and figure it out the next day. I wound up at an America’s Best Value Inn and it was the most luxurious experience of my life. The shower easily rivaled the post-BurningMan shower I had had once. Also, I was so THIN. I lost weight wandering the streets and in jail, and now that I had a full-length mirror I could really see it. I couldn’t remember the last time I was so thin.

They were supposed to release me with my medication, but they didn’t. I had to walk a mile the next morning to go pick up my meds, and the police officer I picked them up from was so rude to me, I cried on my walk back. But I cheered myself up by obtaining In N Out, which was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted after two weeks of jail food.

The next few weeks are still a little blurry. I stayed in the Bay Area for a few weeks to hit a couple court dates, and to see the psychiatrist that my lawyer had lined up for me, Dr. Weiner. I talked to him for three hours and filled him in on most of my whole story. When all was said and done I finally had a diagnosis, Bipolar I. He wrote an extensive paper on me for the court.

I spent a few days with my friend’s mother in Half Moon Bay, who was also bipolar. That time was very healing for me, being around someone that really understood. She also gave me some cash to help get me through, and I will always be grateful to her. I will also always be grateful to Devin and Val, who I spent more time with and who went so above and beyond in the friend realm the whole time I was missing.

I am so loved. Some days it is hard to remember, but I know now that I am loved. Dealing with my bipolar disorder has been a struggle, but I am happy to have a diagnosis and medication that has helped keep me stable these last few years. I hope that by sharing my story to help others feel more free to share their stories that I enjoy so much.

It’s been three years…

I am a different person than I was three years ago, when my world fell apart, when I deleted all of my writing, when I stopped writing entirely. When I lost my mind, and myself.

In some ways, my life is the same. My daughter still occupies a lot of my time, though not quite as much since she is turning 6 in a few weeks and now has school, day camp, friends. I’ve been living with my ex-husband for the last 2+ years, which has been comfortable, if occasionally stifling. We are soon ending this arrangement and I am scared of the transition.

Maybe that is why I feel called to write again. I need somewhere to get it all out at once.

I don’t even know where to start. Do I start with Halloween 2013? The worst day of my life? Or go into detail about the ensuing week, where I slept on the streets and gave away my money to homeless people and wound up in jail? Or do I begin more recently, with all that I have learned about my disorder since then, and the support and love I now receive and feel?

I now know how lucky I am. A lot of people with mental illness have the police called on them when they have breakdowns, with varying and sometimes disastrous results. When my nervous breakdown began, my ex was very patient with me. I now have compassion for how scared he must have been. At the time, I just saw him as trying to stifle me, or keep my daughter from me, and other symptoms of my illness.

I had just started a new job at a chiropractic office in Mission Valley. It was perfect. Close to my house, the chiro was young and motivated and kind, I was the only therapist. I was set up to be in a great position. Then I started thinking hackers were trying to get into my phone, and my computer. I began to get very paranoid, thinking I was being watched all the time, that there were hidden cameras and microphones everywhere.

I ran into a man on Adams Avenue outside Lestat’s and burst into tears. He became very worried and asked what was wrong. He tried to take care of me that day, and had my truck looked at by his mechanic, and paid me for a massage. A very kind man indeed. I was starting to fray around the edges, but I had no idea. Even when this man took me out for coffee, I felt like everyone was staring at me. I was constantly onstage. I was having delusions. I started to feel like the man was stalking me. I told my boss at my new job that I felt like I had a stalker and hackers, and I’m sure he knew then that I was crazy and he regretted hiring me, I’d only been at the job about 6 weeks.

That night I was sure my stalker would be waiting for me after work, so I got into my truck and I fled. I could hear voices telling me that I needed to go. The radio was giving me special signs that it was time to go. The whole world was telling me to GO. So I ran away. I drove all night, past Los Angeles, all the way to San Leandro, when all of a sudden, my truck broke down.

I started to freak out. I was in an unfamiliar part of the Bay Area. I had not-a-lot of money. My truck was broken down. The voices were telling me that something was after my ex and my daughter, and I started looking for them everywhere. Nothing made any sense. I knew I was missing my shift at my new job, so I texted the receptionist that I thought I was having a nervous breakdown, then I threw my phone away. It wasn’t even my original phone. That I had broken and buried in a friend’s yard a few days prior. I had no way to get ahold of anyone I knew. It was a terrible position to be in, since I had no telephone numbers memorized.

I won’t go into too much detail about my adventures over the next few days in this post because it’s already getting long, and some of it is still very embarrassing to me. I will say that I had been reported missing back in San Diego, and though I encountered the police several times in the Bay Area, not a single one of them ever realized I was a missing person that they had found. One cop gave me a ride when he saw me walking on the side of a highway. Another one dropped me off at a homeless shelter. Yet another one let me go after someone called the police because I was hanging out on a residential street walking up and down it very slowly. All these times I encountered the police, and they were nice, but really didn’t help me.

The absolute worst night, I got off a train in Hayward and jumped into a cab. The cabbie thought I was on drugs and told me to get out, but I showed him I had money, just nowhere to go, and he took me to a 24 hour diner and left me there. I ordered pie and coffee, but a few minutes later I freaked out and yelled at no one in particular and ran out of the diner. It was the biggest mistake I made the whole time I was missing.

It was after midnight in Hayward, and I started talking to a man that got off a bus. We walked aways, to the train station, smoking cigarettes and chatting. I never felt like I was in any danger. We talked for maybe an hour, then all of a sudden he hit me. He broke my nose and I fell to the ground. I was so scared I peed my pants, and he grabbed my pants and told me to show him my “lady parts”. I was sure he was going to rape, and then kill me. He had hit me so hard. Blood was running all over my face and hands as I tried to figure out what was wrong with my nose. I didn’t even scream, or try to get away. He could have killed me and I would have just sat there and let him.

But he didn’t. He took my money out of my wallet, then told me to run away. I stumbled off and tried to find help, unsuccessfully. I ran into three people that night, all of which turned away and ignored me. I must have looked homeless at this point. I was covered in blood and not a single person helped me. I had no phone to call the police, so I laid down in a canyon and fell asleep there. When I woke up, a huge raccoon was staring at me. Scared the living shit out of me. At this point I was talking to myself, and scared. I knocked on the door of a nearby house, and a shocked family there gave me some ice for my nose. I told them I fell down. I don’t know why I lied, but they didn’t call the police, just gave me my ice then I left.Nobody called the police at all until the next day when I drove off in an RV from the rental lot. I was soon arrested, and taken to jail in San Mateo. Once I arrived at the police station, they finally realized I was a missing person. There is so much to say here, but I am going to have to finish this later. I will say thank you for reading this far, and I hope to continue sharing parts of my story soon.