My daughter was 3 years old, and my son was 13 when I was first hospitlized. I had $100 dollars in the bank that was supposed to be for a student loan payment towards Mandell school of allied health. I had a bank account with Bank of America.
One day I packed up some pull ups, two bottles of water, and got myself and my daughter dressed to go to the park. I had an I phone 3 that Cory had purchased me, and I was going to take my daughter to the park.
By the time I we got outside the building I decided that I was going to take the $100 dollars out of the bank and take a cab to queens. A voice in my head said that 50 cent would be there to meet me. We had no food, just two bottles of water and pull up diapers.
The alerts where going on off on the phone, and I thought that 50 cent was sending me cryptic messages telling me to meet him at my old high school. It was summer time and schools had already let out for the summer.
I hailed a cab and took it to 187-30 grand central parkway in jamacia estates. It was 11 am in the morning. When we got there I paid the cab $50 dollars plus a $35 dollar tip, I had $10 dollars left in my pocket. When I saw that the school was closed I ended up walking with my daughter to no where.
Even though I had attended school in queens I had no idea where I was going. I didn’t know the area of Jamaica estates. There where no stores just a little park down the road and plenty of houses. I didn’t have a metro card just $10. My daughter was in very good behavior, and followed me where ever I was taking her. I ended up at a church, where I changed my daughters pull ups. We had been walking for some time and where lost in queens. By the time I found the air conditioned church, It was almost 4pm. I had already bought a sandwich for me and my daughter to eat and Iceys. I had no money left over. I had thrown my iPhone away when Ging texted me to see where I was at. She had been in contact with my mother who thought I ws at the park for too long, and went looking for me, and had called Ging to see if me and my daughter where with her.
The cops had stopped me when I was sit-in outside a bodega. I was sitting on the steps and they asked me if I needed to go to the hospital or needed a ride somewhere. They gave my daughter a bag of barbequed lays potato chips and both her and I got in the back of the squad car. I thought there was cryptic messages everywhere. I told them that my uncle lived in springfield gardens and I gave the cops the name of my uncle. (My mothers brother) and one cop googled the name and his address came right up. The cops drove us to the location. we all got out of the squad car and The cops rang the doorbell, but no one was home. The car was in the parking garage behind the gate of the house, but no one was home. The cops left me and my daughter in front of my uncles house. So We sat on the porch bench. We stayed there over night and had fallen asleep sitting up.
The next morning my daughter asked me “where are we going” She missed home. I had no idea. My aunt and uncle never came back. and if they did what was I going to tell them. I didn’t even think that when I gave the cops his name that I would have to have a reason why the cops where bringing me and my daughter to his house for no reason.
So we left the porch bench, and walked left. I had loose change in the bag I was carrying that was filled with pull up diapers. The bottles of water where finished, and all that as around was a bus stop with the bus going to JFK airport.
We walked passed a deli, and then there was a park so we went to the park for a little while. By the time noon hit, My daughter was getting cranky. “When are we going home” ? I told her that we would be going home soon.
My son was in the Poconos with his childhood friend who’s parents had a house out there so he was gone for the weekend. Shortly after staying the park for some time, I saw cop cars. So I walked over with my daughter and asked if they could give me a ride into the city, I was told that it was out of their jurisdiction and asked if I needed a hospital. I told them no, but the cop offered to drive me and my daughter to the train station so I could get back on the the train to the city. I told him I lost my wallet and had no money. They assured me that they would be able to get me on the train.
So I ended up taking the F train to 47-50th and getting off the train and walking with my daughter to Trump tower. I bummed a cigarette from someone sitting on the steps of the building. And we just sat there. The Bad boy world wide building was across the street. And I felt like I was getting messages from unknown voices that I was going to be alright, I could publish for bad boy when I got home.
My son wasn’t back from the Poconos when I got back home with my daughter. I don’t even remember how I got back home. I think I must have skipped the turnstyle and gotten back on the train with my daughter. The B and D trains where right up the block from Trump towers.
When I got home, my father and mother where in the living room. My father was furious. My mother took my daughter and got her something to eat and gave her a bath. My father wanted to know where did I go, who was I with, and why didn’t I call if there was a problem. He said you know you can always call me if you run into a problem. I told him I was in Queens at a friends house.
My father called the ambulance and had me admitted for a pscyhiatic evaluation. I didn’t want to go with the EMT when they arrived. But I had no choice. First I was admitted to Roosevelt hospital then transferred to ST. Lukes hospital on 114th street and Amsterdam. I was in the hospital for two weeks.
I had to change in to the uniform of the psych ward which was blue pajamas. I had to take my bra off and wear biodegradiable underwear. I had my period so they gave me thick no name brand maxi pads. I had showered in cold water and brushed my teeth by the time I was given a bed at clark 8. The psych ward was a co ed so both men and woman where there. I had had a room to myself with my own bathroom and shower.
I was put on resperione, and diganosied bipolar type two. My parents had to come to the hospital for a meeting with the psychologist, and visitiation with me. My father Brough me a slice of pizza from the cafe across the street from the hospital, and it was explained to me that I would have to seek psyciatric care once I was discharged from the hospital.
Towards the second week, my mother had brought me some of my clothes so I could change into my street clothes. I had a pair of leggings and a tunic top, and I spent my days going to group sessions, and reading from the library. There was a Tv in the community area which had the new on. I was given 3 meals a day, and there away always someone checking on me. If it wasn’t the psychiatrist it was the psychologist. They asked me if I heard voices, and I replied I only hear my own voice in my head when I’m thinking. I had problems sleeping becoming an insomniac, they put me on sleeping pills so I could get a good nights rest.
Once I was discharged and I went home, I was pampered with love from my son who didn’t quiet fully understand what had happened but he told me just go to the appointments you will get better. He was very upset for me. He said I had changed because I was taking showers all the time. I don’t know what that meant, but I learned in the hospital that if I was feeling stressed that taking a shower was a coping mechnicanism.
I had my first appointment at out patient care the day after I was discharged. My mother stayed at home with my daughter, and my father met me outside the clinic. He had had to sign in case of emergency papers and have a meeting with the psychologist. I had to take the 11 bus to 114th street and Amsterdam ave.
I had already started to gain weight off the pschotropic I was taking. I had a pair of jeans that where a size 13 and I could no longer fit them so I resorted to wearing leggings and tunic tops I had. I was doing the laundry one day and just threw the jeans away.
I had to see the therapist on one day and the psychologist on another. I was given a lady doctor who I didn’t like so I was switched to Ricardo Miller, who was Jamaican and I had to see him on another day. So I basically was at the offices twice a month. I was given a metro card to get back home, my mother had discontinued the service I had on my cell phone that I threw away, and I had no phone. after some time I had called Ging house and she came upstairs to my apartment so I could tell her what had happened. I had stopped speaking to Cory Brown who had bought me the iPhone, and Ging was more then understanding telling me about Louis who was admitted to the hospital for bipolar disorder and how she had gone to see him.
Then I stopped taking the medication. I was gaining too much weight and my breasts where swollen. I didn’t have the money to buy new clothes, so I stopped taking the medication. I was having a psychotic episode and took a big plastic garbage bag and threw away most of my clothes. I called myself cleaning out my closet. So my mother had called the ambulence and she told them that I was having a nervous breakdown and to admit me to the psych ward which is what they did. My son was pissed with me.
I was in the hospital for a week. I had back to back episodes. So Dr. Miller put me on Zyprexia. I still gained weight, so I became obsessed with Anorieixa. All I had was a laptop, so I would lookup eating disorders and join groups online and I researched how to loose weight as an anorexic person. I was reading tips and tricks to loosing weight as though I had anoriexia. But I was taking my medication every night because my second stint in the hospital I met Natasha Phillips from post graduates program. She was a case worker who would be monitering my medication and making sure that I didn’t need anything. It was a way to make sure I was taking my medication and make sure I had entitlements in place like snap and or SSI.
When I had my psychotic episode my mother grabbed one of the garbage bags I had threw away in the compact room with my clothes in it, so I got back some of my clothes. She had taken me shopping at strawberrys on 104th and broadway, and I was able to get 3 tunic tops that where plus sized. They had limited options for plus size clothes, but I got what I needed.
Natasha was the one who told me to apply for an assurance wireless phone, so I did. It wasn’t anything fancy. I couldn’t get online with it. It was just to make calls. I got the phone in the mail. It wasn’t like the phones they have now which are android phones and connect to wifi and you can do basic searches on google on them.
Natasha had also taken me shopping on 125th street hi energy before they closed the store. She spent $100 dollars on leggings and tunic tops for me. It was a government stipend from post graduate. I was also able to get a futon couch for my daughter to sleep on for Jennifer convirtable on 89th street and broad way.
Natasha came once a week to count my pills to make sure I was taking my medication, and life went back to normal. My mother was working at Art oh mi, and had given me a job sorting mail. I was getting a little pay check, which I deposited into my bank account at TD bank. I had opened the account when I got the job. My mother would bring home the mail for me to sort, and would take it back with her the next day.
I was functioning. I was cooking dinner and going to parent teachers meetings at my sons school, and just making sure that both my kids had food in their bellies, I had learned that I had to open a snap case.
I wasn’t getting SSI, I hadn’t applied for it yet. I had wrote a letter in my own behalf stating that I was baby sitting and making $100 a dollars a week, and took it to the snap office. My mother wanted me to get food stamps because The cost of food was expensive and Natasha said it would be good for me to have a snap case open so I could feed my kids.
I learned I would be getting $649 in snap benefits. I had to fill out an application like every one else, and I became a registered voter. The whole appointment took 3 hours. With no phone that connected to the internet I just sat and people watched. There where woman with iPhones and tablets in the waiting area. Woman on the phone talking. I just waited for my name to be called.
I gave the case manager my letter and she made a copy of the letter so she could have it on file and gave it back to me. She crosse referenced my address I had a rent stub and made sure I was still living at my current address. And then I was told to expect a letter in the mail with budget on it. It took about a week to get the letter. I would have to recertify in 6 months.
Finally Natasha told me about SSI, and how I should apply. It would put some money in my pocket. It was a payment once a month for Social Security adminsitration. My daughter was going on 4 years old. She wasn’t in school yet, so Natasha tried to get me a voucher for Goddard nursery school on 90th and Columbus ave. But because I wasn’t working out the home, I couldn’t get her into the program.
So we just stayed home. It getting to be winter time. And I was going to my appointments with Chris Wilson and Ricardo Miller. I had asked Dr. Miller how long would I be on medication or be going to out patient treatment, he said for the rest of my life.
When I applied for SSI, they sent bother me and my mother a questionnaire in the mail. I first did the application online, my last doctors appoints, my medical history, the medication I was on, and what I did for leisure time. Current actives, and if there where any children in the home.
Then I was sent the appointment to see their doctors. The appointment was all the way down town near the court houses at 9am. I had gotten lost. I had $20 dollars on me so I hailed a cab to take me the rest of the way. Even with the directions on the appointment slip I got lost. I made it to the appointment just in time. I checked in and gave them the appointment sheet with my name and address on it, they gave me a questionnaire to fill out. I filled it out and returned it to the front desk. I had to see the psychiatrist and the medical doctor for my arthritis and trigeminal neuralgia. The whole appointment took about 2 hours.
When I got out from the appointment, I asked someone where the train was, and they pointed me in the direction of the train. I was 3 blocks away from the train. I kept stopping people on the street to make sure I was walking the right way to the train station. I finally found the train station. I took the 2 train back home to 96th a broadway. I had a dollar in my pocket. I bought a bottle of water at the deli on my way home.
It took about 3 months for SSA to make a determintation, I was denied SSI. I could appeal the decision made online, which I did under Natashas advisment. I had to open up a SSA profile under my social security number to do the appeal. I got a letter in the mail that I would have a court date in a year from appealing the decision made. So for a year I sat on the futon and raised my daughter. We where home together.
My mother started working for Democracy prep in Spanish Harlem, my son was in a freshmen in high school, and I couldn’t get up in the morning. My mother would call me by 9 am to get me up, putting the house phone by my head when she left for work. My daughter would be playing with her toys, have had already eaten, she was fully potty trained by this point. Our day consisted of going to the Franciscan center store and buying stuff animals and take small walks around the neighborhood. And then coming back and watching cartoons and eating lunch. It was my job to cook dinner. I had my food stamps in place so once a month my mother and I with my daughter would go grocery shopping. We had the basics, rice, beans, cheese, bread, some frozen dinners like pizza, and swantons turkey dinners. We had pasta and then the meats like chicken and ground beef. But my mother had to put in anther $800 for groceries like milk bread and eggs. Then there was dish washing detergent and laundry that she had to pay for, Plus cable and the rent and any incedentals like picture day or the cell phone bill that she shared with my son. I had nothing to offer. I hadn’t even chase my husband for child support yet.
A year had passed in slow progress. I had stopped taking the sleeping pills because they become habit forming, advised from Dr. Miller, and I was on the right path with my mental health, going to my appointments twice a month. With Chris we talked about housing options, and what could I expect in court when I went for my appeal.
The day came for me to go to court, Natasha met me down town and She had the letter from my doctors stating why I was a good candidate for SSI, which had my medical history and reports of the two times I had been hospitalized, and the medication I was on. Natasha gave it to the judge, and explained that she was my case manager, and the things she did to help me. The judge read the report given to him by Natasha, and told me ” don’t move, you can except a letter in the mail in 7-10 days”.
About a week later, I got my judgement. I was approved for SSI. I would have to take the letter to SSA offices to get paid. I went the next day to Social security offices. I wasn’t working for ART oh mi anymore, my mother didn’t have anymore work for me, so I didn’t have a pay check. So She gave me money to get on the train. It was thanksgiving break and she was home with my daughter. I brought my check book with me so I could give the Social security clerk my routing number so I could get direct deposit. I was told I would getting back pay, and that I would getting $427 a month but if I come back with a letter from my mother stating that I live with her and that I would be paying utilities I could get the full benefit about of $733. So after she entered my information into the computer, I left and went back home.
At home I explained what was told me to me, and my mother wrote the letter for me. I took it back the next day, and SSA called to verify the information. My first payment with social security which would be on the first of December would be $733. I would also be getting my first back pay payment sometime afterward of $3600.
Once I got my ssi I got a phone again, and I was back in contact with Elaine on Facebook. I was feeling like a brand new woman. I had paid to get my hair braided, I was getting my nails done with acrylic wrap, and just maintaining myself. I joined my mother and sons plan with AT&T, and got an iPhone for 99 cents on a promo. It was 8 gigs. It was the iPhone 3. I never had enough money to get a refill on my nails after 2 weeks so I had to wait till the first to get my nails done again. I was giving my son money and buying clothes at rainbow shops. I was buying my daughter toys, and when I got my first back payment of $3600 I gave my mother half, I took the other half and went shopping at TJ Maxx which was right down the block from the apartment building. I had bought my daughter clothes and myself clothes. I had bought shoes for my daughter and myself at Payless on 95th and broadway and at Tj Maxx, that I felt complete, that by the time My daughter started school I was able to buy her clothes to start school with. My mother paid for school supplies at staples, and she had everything she needed.
I was packing my daughters lunch everyday, she didn’t eat school lunch. So by the time I had recertifications for snap, I had brought in my award letter and found out that I wouldn’t have to recert every six months it would be every year.
My biggest expense was the cell phone bill, because ATT didn’t have unlimited data anymore they had data service packages, my son kept going over the data while in school. So at $15 dollars for 5 extra gigs a pop was being added to the bill every month and also my line The bill went from $192 to almost $325 dollars a month. I was paying the bill, and spending money, that by the 2nd week from payday, I was broke. I hadn’t even done the laundry yet, like most people who do laundry once a week, I had enough clothes to last me, and I repeated, meaning re wore dirty clothes. I wasn’t going anywhere. So I would wear something and then take it off and fold it and put it away in my closet. My daughters clothes where washed by my mother. But I never had the money to do my own laundry that I had bought excess amount of panties and I only had 3 bras, and I was washing my undergarments in the bathroom sink when I ran out of panties. I was bathing though. I just had a sense that I could get away with not doing laundry which is part of my diagnosis with bipolar, cleaniness.
Now that Im living in the shelter, I take pride in the the clothes I have and do laundry once a week. plus I don’t have much. My dorm room does laundry Wednesdays and Saturdays. When I got my back pay, and I was doing shopping on amazon I bought a laundry bag. Before then I was putting my dirty clothes back on the shelf and my dirty panties in a plastic bag and storing it in the bottom of my locker, until laundry day. I don’t buy laundry detergent, I use the one that she shelter has provided for us to use and fabric softener. Laundry takes all day at the shelter with the laundry room being open ever 45 minutes, then closed for an hour, you have to start your laundry early.
When I had my ssi the first time, it didn’t stop me from being hospitlized. I was pretty much hospitalized a few times a year for a couple of days or a week. That by 2016 things took a turn, when I started researching how to get credit cards. I was only eligable for retail credit.
My son was 17and working for insomina cookies, when my mother and I switched to sprint from ATT. To teach my son responsblity I was making him pay his own cell phone bill. But that didn’t stop the sprint bill from climbing to almost $500 dollars a month. I decided for my daughters birthday which is December 21st to get her an iPad with sprint. I was leasing it. I got a $100 dollar I tunes credit so she could buy games. Then I got another tablet for myself. Did I need a tablet? No I didn’t. I had an iPhone that did the same thing. So I had two iPad minis.
My mother didn’t suspect a thing until one month I couldn’t make the bill. I have over charges for starting a plan in the middle of the month. so she coughed up $200 while I was on a payment plan. We didn’t have a house phone anymore because everyone was mobile, and we couldn’t afford to keep a house phone with Verizon fios. By then my mother was only getting retirement and a source of income. So we had the phone disconnected.
When my son turned 18, we bought him a mini fridge. I allowed him to keep his sodas I bought at the grocery store in his room, which used to be my room. The wall had come down because we had an infestation of roaches which where eating the wall, so we had it knocked down. So we had the dining room back, and my mother got a circle glass dining room table. Before then we had a square table that sat outside the wall that was turned into a room. I was sharing the living room with my daughter, and I had a brand new smart tv which my mother took out a Best Buy credit line to buy for me. It was $800. But in the the throws of my psychiosis I had copied the numbers and bought online a mini portable cell phone printer so I could print the pictures on my phone, and a play station 3 for my daughter.
The arguments where all the time in the apartment between me and my son. From him coming home late from work and disturbing me in my sleep to using the bathroom first in the morning when I was trying to get my daughter ready for school. He was now working for uber eats.
He had went with me to get finger imaged and brought his high school diploma with him. I was challenging for child support which was my mandation with HRA. I had opened up a public assistance case, and was getting $145 every two weeks, but shortly stopped receiving it when HRA was notitifed that my son didn’t make it to orientation. There was too much cash on hand and they needed him to go to work force to prove he was working.
It was summer time and I couldn’t keep the air conditioning on because of the electric bill. Because of the electric meter put in years ago, my mother said she couldn’t afford the air conditioner. So we had fans.
So from HRA I was just getting Snap benefits, and that shortly got cut off when I closed my case when I started working for The Dry Bar. I had to report my income to SSA by phone and I didn’t have any. I never got paid from the Dry Bar.
I was in the middle of a psychotic episode. So When I got evicted from the apartment, It never dawned on me that I needed an address for SSA. I got Two more payments. By this time I had my own phone line with Tmobile. I had taken out two phone lines, and a tablet. I had gotten my daughter her own phone. She was reciveing benefits from SSI for a learning disability and food pollen allergies. I was her payee.
I ended up at Win 1 shelter from Dyckman centers suggestion. I was on my last payment from SSA, I was receiving $427, the original amount that I was suppose to get when I first applied for SSI. My android phone had stopped working, and I didn’t have any body number, so I was posting on Facebook and instagram. I was in the throws of thinking that Diddy was my boyfriend, that the case manager at Win 1 shelter asked me for an award letter to build an income profile, I went to Kinkos and logged into my SSA profile and paid to have printed out.
I went to t mobile around the corner from the shelter and purchased a phone. I wasn’t receiving my daughters benefits anymore just mine. A few days later my cell phone bill was posted at a tune of $1400. My account was suspended. Everything I owned was attached to my old address including my SSI.
I was thrown out of the shelter for stealing, they clipped my lock and made me take my belongings and asked me to leave. I had been served a restraining order while I was there from my mother and my son. I don’t know how they found me, but I was served at win 1.
Then my benefits where cut. And I had a cell phone bill that was added on to my ever evolving debt. I was served a restraining order, and was in the throws of a psychotic episode. So when I was thrown out of win 1, for stealing a woman’s bag filled with parafinilia like maxi pads and deoderant, I ended up around the corner from Trump hotel international. Then I found my way back on the train to 96th street and broadway. I walked to the precent with my restraining order, that said I had to have the cops with me to retrieve my belongings. So I got the cops to take me to the building in where I used to live, and get my clothes.But my mother had already packed my things up and had them in the shopping cart on the terrace. My son was at work and my daughter was in school. So I grabbed a pair of sweat pants and MGM luggage tote that was left in the master bedroom closet, and left with the cops.
I was out on the street. I spent the night in the park sleeping on a bench. It was spring out and I still was wearing the pair of jeans that I had originally left with and a pair of uggs. Someone had given $10, so I went to macdonlads on broadway to get something to eat the next day.
I decide to go to star bucks on 99th street and columbus and walked by the building in which I used to live, my son comes running out of the building and yelling at me stating that Im not supposed to be around. So I turned to leave. He followed me down the block until I crossed the street.
So I walked down broadway. I stayed the day on broadway in Starbucks I was connected to wifi but I had nothing to do on my disconnect phone. That night I got a direct deposit from HRA child support of $2500. I checked into the Days inn on 94th street and broadway.
They had a tooth brush and tooth paste in the bathroom, and I took a shower and brushed my teeth. The next day I went to sprint and opened up an account with 4 cell phone lines. Two for myself and two for Diddy. I bought a bluetooth speaker, and tried to get back on Facebook but I didn’t have the same log in anymore. My Facebook was connected to my old number and I was locked out, the same thing with instagram. I was talking to myself thinking that I was talking to Diddy in the hotel room. I went to Harlem and bought 2 wigs and make up from Mac, and took pictures in the the ceiling to floor mirror in my hotel room and posted pictures on my new instagram. I was going to keep documented my journey to bad boy through pictures.
When I don’t know how I went though $2500 dollars in 3 days, but I was eating out, buying cigarettes and smoking in the room, and buying stuff from the 99 cent store that I bought sneakers and ended up throwing them away when I was back on the street. By the time I was on the street again I had maybe about $100 dollars. I couldn’t afford to stay at the hotel anymore. I paid for 3 nights upfront.I think I my have bought clothes but when I bought the sneakers I bought a nike Tote. I had thrown my mcm tote away when the zippering had broke.
I was out on the street, So I went to chase bank and had my account closed. They closed it. I lingered around broadway for a a couple of days, sleeping on a park bench using things I found on the street as my prized possessions. I was finding pocket books, and I even found a pair of old navy denim leggings in my size folded and put on top of the garbage.
It wasn’t until I met Fred Ball in Macdonalds that things started to get shaky. He was an older white man who walked with a cane, I walked right up to him and asked him if he could buy me something to eat. He did, and then pulled out his flip phone to call his accountant. He told me he used to be an actor and wrote a screen play.
I hung out in macdonlads for a couple of days. I had met a gay guy named Micheal who lived on broadway and was part of the cast of Rent. Fred was feeding me, and so where a couple of other people. But the workers of mcdonlads stopped taking my order. They said I was loitering. So One day I went into the same mcdonlads, I had just stolen a tablet from Rite aid on 59th street and brought it back to macdonlads to connect to wifi, so I could write for Diddy, and the cops where called.
I had already lost my bag with my documentation in it, when I fell asleep by a link nyc post, and slept walked across the street and was standing leaning on a car sleeping. I dreamt that someone with a gun was coming so I got up and moved. I was right across the street from the hotel.
So by the time I sat down the cashiers call the cops on me and they hand cuffed me and put me in the back of a squad car and took me to the 100 street precent. I was in a holding cell for a couple of hours, they confiscated my belongings which was the tablet I had stolen, and some candy bars I had stolen from rite aid. Then they processed me and took me to central bookings down town. I was in central bookings in a cell with other woman. I had to plead the 5th with the lawyer they gave me, and I was let out on my own recongintice. I was given a metro card and sent on my way to where ever I was supposed to go. I took the train to 59th street. It was better for me to get out of the neighborhood.
The sprint phones got stolen when I had my sleep walking stint they where inside a nike duffle bag I had bought from the sneaker store. I had nothing on me. I had changed into the Jeggings that I had found in the mcdonlads bathroom, and thrown my jeans out because they tore a hole in the thigh area.
Now I was on 59th street and broadway. Time had passed it had already been 2 months. I was getting money from passerbyers, and sleeping the train station at turnstyle under ground market. That I was stealing the store brand denim leggings. I had worked out a plan in my head. I even had prepaid cell service for a month. I didn’t call anybody it was so I could get google play music. I had ear buds and I had made a play list. I was just bumbling around, not noticing that I hadn’t bathed or brushed my teeth, I was using the bathroom at time Warner shops, that the manager of the building had introduced himself. It was a private owned building with public enterence.
I was stealing instant coffee and gettin a hot cup of water from Starbucks and making my own coffee because they where refusing to let me have the sample. I was becoming known around 59th street, that I think someone in Starbucks called he cops on me, after giving me a sample of coffee.
I was sitting outside the post office that was close due to a holiday. I had a large pink suitcase on wheels that was thrown out of tj Maxx because it was damaged. so I took it and put my green sheet that I found in front of a Wendys that I slept in, and that was it. So I was sitting on top of th hard covered suite case when the cops rolled up. I had just finished my cup of coffee. The cops asked me if I was ok, did I need any help. Then one of the cops called EMS. They asked me where was I going, I Sid to the time Warner shops building to use the bathroom. “how about you come with us” And EMS took my glucose and got me into the ambulance. They took my suite case and put it inside the ambulence also.
They drove me to 114th street and Amsterdam ave to st. Lukes hospital. I was admitted, was there for 2 months. The first thing they did was administer haldol, I was given a shot in my arm, and a tray with food. I was taken to clark 8.
It wasn’t until my in case of emergency person, my father showed up that Shit got real for me. I thought I would be discharged and be back on the street. But him and a social worker told me, I wasn’t allowed to go home again, and that I would be taken to Franklyn woman’s assessment shelter.
They arranged for a cab to take to take me to the shelter. I didn’t know where I was going. The cab drove me to the Bronx and dropped me off in front of the shelter. Before I went in I tried to find a cigarette butt on the ground. There wasn’t any. I had a lighter and no cigarette. I had a dollar to my name and broken cell phone that was given back to me from discharge. They where nice enough to pack me some tooth brushes, tooth paste, mouth wash and unscented deodorant when I left the hospital.
I spent two months in my shared room at clark 8 sleeping. I didn’t really attend groups, I had tried to find a book to read but my mind was cluttered. I tried using the computer, I even emailed my mother telling her that when I got home I had stories to tell, but don’t worry about writing me back. I had made up and email address on gmail, I was trying to reach out to her like the previous times I was hospitlized.
So when I made it to Franklyn, I had a torn pair of leggings, and a pair that was I was wearing, a mock neck 3/4 sleeve purple tunic I had found in front of TJ Maxx, a purple true religion hoody the someone had thrown away because the zipper was broken, and my suite case. The coat I stole tore a hole in it so when I got to intake for Franklyn I threw the coat away. It was from Burlington coat factory.
I was given a bed on the second floor, because I had a cane, that was given to me in the hospital because of my arthritis. I was checked out by the internist and they said I was stiff. It was either a can or a walker. They gave me a cane. “Its hard to get a bed on the second floor”. The intake manager told me while I was being checked into Franklyn. She explained which doors I could use to go outside, and gave me a meal ticket that I was to carry around with me. The guards gave me a blanket, a sheet, one pillow, and a lock for my locker.
While living on the street I had braider my worn hair and had taken the braids out in the hospital. So I took the ripped up leggings and used it as a head wrap. I had a comb, a brush, and a small bottle of Pink moisturizer for my hair. I had an afro.
The next day I saw a case manager, who gave me an appointment to see the doctor at the shelter. I had to have TB test done and a health profile made so I could stay in the shelter. I was at Franklyn for 14 days, the longest you can be there is 21 days. Then I was transfered to Susans Place. Franklyn is in the South Bronx the bx 32 can take you to Frankyn, but its a distance. It was about a ten minute drive from Franklyn to Susans place. When I got to Susans place, I gave DHS my transfer sheet, nd thats where I met Ms. Brown for intake, and had my stuff placed in the dryer for bed bug inspection, and told to take a shower to wash off any bed bugs that may be crawling on me from the other shelter. There where no bedbugs but that was Susans places protocol.
At Franklyn you had to be out of the dorm by 7:30 am and go to the drill floor which was located on the first floor. There where two tvs and stacked chairs and outlets for people to charge their phones. You couldn’t go back to your dorm until 4 pm. There was a little bodega across the street, and all there was to do all day was watch what ever was on tv, one was in English, the other one was in Spanish. There was no air conditioning in the building just industrial fans. There was a industrial fan in my dorm. I had made nice with a few of the woman and was lucky enough to get a cigarette here and there. Then my dorm mate gave me two books to read. The showers where on the drill floor which meant you had to go down stairs to shower. So for 14 days I washed up in the sink in the bathroom in my dorm. The showers where public, meaning no shower curtain, and there was no door to the shower room.
There was a HRA office where you could find out if your eligiable for public assistance but they didn’t process the paper work there. You would still have to go to the welfare office to continue your application. There was nova domestic violence offices there also, thats where it was confirmed for me that I will never be seeing my mother or son again. Which meant I wasn’t going to see my daughter ever either.
I was transfered to Susans place so they could administer my medication and because of my mental health status I was transferred to a mica shelter. And so it began My humble beginings, I was starting over again from scratch. I had no parental rights. It was May 2019. My first night at Susans place.