Unemployed Again! (To take another look at my work history click here.) I’d been here so many times that it was becoming the norm and not the exception.
It was my intention to sit out the six months of unemployment hoping that “The Voices/Stalkers’ would also take this time to reflect back on their actions of the past twelve years and repent. Which is really kind of absurd when you stop to think about it — that a complete psychopath is going to come to his or her senses and start behaving like a normal person. But I didn’t know any better the time. Back then, people kept telling me that I was responsible for their insanity. And again, all of this incorrect and unsolicited advise was coming from people I should have been able to trust.
By now, it is July nineteen ninety-nine and I’d been listening to those shrill hostile voices/people screaming non-stop since nineteen eighty-seven.
The kind of anger that these people exhibited towards me and their willingness to give up home, job, and family in order to follow me around should have been the first clue that something was not quite right with them. Their anger was insatiable.
However, it’s hard to see that when you’re in a struggle for your life. I didn’t know about mental illnesses such as paraphillias, delusions, autoeroctic stalkers, and enablers. All I knew was that people were telling me I was bad, crazy, sick, mentally ill, a retard. Of no value and no worth. And that I was a sexual pervert, which I found rather odd since I could count on one hand the number of times I’d had sex.
In terms of work, it was said I had no people skills, didn’t get along well with others, couldn’t work as a team. Uncooperative and hostile.
So OK there I sat with all these labels on me and no job. To matters worse, my sister had bought a big two story apartment building and had asked me to move into one of the apartments when one of her tenants had left unexpectedly. She had a huge mortgage to pay and I couldn’t default on the rent. But I absolutely knew I needed some time to get my head together. I needed to figure out what was going on and why. I needed to know if I was, as people said, crazy.
The worse of it was not knowing when, where, or how I’d lost my mind. All I did was go to work, come home and watch TV until bedtime. On Thursday’s, I’d go clothes shopping at Marshals and on Friday’s grocery shop at Aldi’s, gas up the car, pick up a movie from Hollywood video and come home. At apex/Whitlock/GMG Partners I worked from eight till noon on Saturdays and Sundays. Then I’d go home and sleep. Was I sleep walking? Was I having blackouts? Was I doing things and not remembering? I even took to locking my bedroom door at night afraid I was getting up in the middle of the night. Not so.
About a month into being unemployed, I began to realize it wasn’t me! I wasn’t getting up in the middle of the night. I wasn’t sneaking around with someone’s husband, brother, lover, son, or daughter. I wasn’t sexually active so I wasn’t going out an having abortions. I wasn’t in affect, doing anything. I was, however, wasting my life away, because someone else was upset that I was alive and breathing.
During that time, I started watching The Oprah Show. One of my favorite things was the Oprah Book Club. I’d watch and listen to how fabulous Oprah thought a particular book was and how lavishly she treated the book’s author. And I especially paid close attention to how much money that author made having his book on Oprah’s Book Club list. That was important because of the meager amount of money I was living on at the time.
Monthly unemployment comp $808.00
Car Note* -256.00
Gasoline – 20.00
Electric bill – 23.00
Food – 64.00
Household – 30.00
Total left 15.00
So I started reading every book on Oprah’s Book Club List. I spent hours at the library doing research. All the How-to books said that in order to find my voice, I had to start by writing a story on a familiar subject or something that interested me a great deal.
The first novel I wrote was Ruby Sanders. Ruby Sanders is about a young slave girl being given her freedom but at a high cost. ‘The Voices/Stalkers’ screamed the entire time I sat at my bedroom desk writing. They never stopped. But, they did lessen the sexual tone of their screaming in the afternoon hours when the children were outside playing. But once nightfall came, the screaming started again at full volume.
After I finished writing my first draft of Ruby Sanders, I realized I needed a day job. It was beyond bad. It would take a few more years of writing experience and several more drafts to get it where it is today.
But in the meantime, I summoned up all my courage, and started looking for another job. I knew I’d need every bit of it in order to put myself through that skin ripping, heart searing public humiliation again.
I knew from previous years of work experience that the people in charge – the very ones plastering anti-sexual harassment posters all over the company’s walls – would permit ‘The Voices/Stalkers’ into the work place. Then they’d smile in my face and say, “if you have a problem, Eliza, you should go to Human Resources and talk with someone about it.” That got to be a standing joke and then a threat.
After two months of searching, I landed what I thought was going to be my dream job with a company that had an excellent reputation – American Drug Stores, the parent company of Jewel/Osco Drug Stores.
*When my old car started to fail, I was talked in buying a new 1999 Ford Aspire. I’ll cover that chapter later.
The full ebook version of Stalked! By Voices will be available for download
from Amazon.com in August, 2013.