Resetting Your Moral Compass

preamble 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 remedy

While Hilary and her immediate supervisor and their subsequent replacements seem to understand that urgent tasks simply fall off their lists as they fail to accomplish them, and Charlotte narcissistically assumed my priority in late June, early July 2016 was to give her my undivided attention, from my perspective, my priorities of brute survival and educational and employment goals do not vanish just because Compass employees are unwilling to perform your jobs, uphold the terms of your contract, or obey Washington law.

Not until the first of July 2016, more than adequate time for Compass Housing Alliance to research my grievances and better familiarize yourselves with the terms of our contract and Washington law, did I learn about HopeLink’s Medicaid transportation and gas card program. The same way I’ve learned about most resources available through Seattle’s poverty industrial complex – word of mouth, through other homeless human beings – when our taxpayer-funded social workers spin all their energies whirling around their passive aggressive volvelles and blaming their clients for their own incompetencies. So if Hilary and Jenn, twang-TWANG-twang, had been able to make a list of their priorities and actually follow through on accomplishing them back in November 2015, we should have been able to coordinate gas expenses with my efforts to find drivers on either end of the journey willing to meet halfway to ensure the safe return of my service animal. Instead, they prioritized the delivery of L’Eggs, Stovetop, and sacrificed the lives of two chickens that only wound up in your compost bin because none of us homeless women can afford the ill health sure to result from your arrogant altruism.

In theory, anyway. Although HopeLink has not been able to snail mail their promised ORCA Link application in nearly four months, leading me to suspect theirs may be just another nonprofit corporation raking in a CEO salary on the backs of volunteer labor from the blue-haired ladies of Redmond.

By late July, three days before your second team of dual banjos decided to force me to their shame and blame sessions replicating the behavior found in adverse family environments by threatening me with eviction if I refused to further indulge your sadism, I learned my beloved cat was released back into the desert. She is not a wild animal. Severely abused when I rescued her, she is afraid of the out-of-doors, other cats, and, because she is very smart, most humans. Feral, she has been an indoor cat since she was – the veterinarian’s best guess – five weeks old. She never acquired the tools necessary for outside survival.

I cry.

I type.

I cry.

I type some more.

My best is better than the combined efforts of your entire staff, even on zero budget.

My best is better than all of the employees paid taxpayer-funded paychecks by the mental juridical health system in the neighboring Gem State, where I was locked up without due process of law, and lectured at by beer-gutted white males the importance of caring for pets, while they hypocritically prevented me from caring for my service animal, my best is the trauma recovery that healthy mental health professionals in Washington try to get their clients to accomplish, or the direction the state would like to go sometime in the next decade, but my best is not good enough to protect heart of my heart in this culture of school board directors and social workers and program managers who actively cultivate a society of domestic violence and rapists and mass shooters.

Unless I am able to find her alive and well to subtract from your stack of felonies, Compass Housing Alliance’s combined behaviors go beyond the reckless disregard of misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors, to intentionally injure, disable, or cause the death of a dog guide or service animal, as defined by RCW 9.91.170 or Layla’s Law. You see how quickly passive aggressive communication becomes criminal behavior?

Here is the timeline documenting your intentional animal abuse:

03 November 2015 Hilary interviewed me for acceptance into your program of criminal violence. At that time we discussed my highest priorities: the return of my cat and my computer, so I could resume the full-time job of applying for jobs full time, thwarted from January–November 2015 by the lack of available 21st technology combined with Seattle’s rampaging librarians and sneering, technologically challenged WorkSource surveillance clerks, wherein the first of Compass Housing Alliance’s ever-revolving door of case managers offered to “help with that.” She distinctly stated that Compass does not permit pets, but service animals are acceptable, even encouraged by the terms of your Service and Companion Animal Policy, which Hilary distributed to me at lease-signing.

I explained to Hilary that the psychologist I later had to stop seeing after we both realized the lack of communications between Washington’s Health Care Authority and its medical providers meant that Apple Health, or Medicaid, would not cover her bills, but she had nevertheless offered to write the verification letter required by your policy, even if it took me six more months to reunite with my beloved cat.

Dr. Kennedy severely underestimated Compass Housing Alliance’s ability to set priorities and accomplish much of anything besides abusing your clients.

We discussed logistics. Hilary indicated Compass had vans available for local travel, but out of town might not be feasible. I inquired about using your physical office as a shipping address for the return of my journals from my family’s Idaho compound before my brother-in-law promised to destroy them by the end of 2015. Hilary’s eyes rounded fearfully. I explained I thought my family were unlikely to include explosives in the boxes of journals, but I wanted to keep my location confidential, as my family does have a history of just showing up, unannounced, uninvited, and unwelcome on my doorstep.

There is no telling the lengths to which my family will go to force their will over others.

A good time for a social worker supposedly expert in working with trauma and sexually abused clients to have queried about my access to the Address Confidentiality Program, don’t you think? Especially after I note that Hilary’s home state of Texas offers a similar program. Meanwhile I kept applying for jobs, working my way toward law school, and addressing the issues that led to this period of homelessness in hopes of connecting with employers or clients healthy enough to respect my educated expertise with a living wage prior to my birthday and the expiration of my state-issued identification.

Escaping the hostile work environment of Seattle Public Library’s downtown Mixing Chamber for a full, blissful day on a light-fingered Apple keyboard at Shoreline Community College to meet a fellowship application deadline without librarians coming up behind me and raging me, I insufficiently assumed suburban bus routes ran with frequency somewhat comparable to the downtown buses, missed the hourly suburban bus, and postponed my house screening interview initially scheduled 09 November 2015, with profuse apologies to my housemates via swapping phone calls with Hilary.

Curiously coincident with the Paris attacks, during our 13 November 2015 house screening interview attended by Hilary, Delores, and Angie, I again mentioned the topic most urgent for me, to address any challenges with introducing a service animal to the transitional group household. Delores went on a long-winded tear about how much she dislikes cats, although she also confessed to sometimes luring a neighborhood cat close to the downstairs porch while she smokes.

Hilary at that time very professionally interjected that I do not have to obtain Delores’s permission for my service animal. From all of your revolving door of staff’s subsequent behaviors, however, it appears that Delores does control all of your staff’s decisions with regards to budgeting and the safety of all of your clients.

Next Delores launched into a narcissistic monologue, as a rebellious child competing with siblings, in a tone of whining, ever-rising martyrdom. If I get a service animal, then she should get a service animal, she reasoned illogically, inappropriately derailing the purpose of the meeting.

“Well, I want a service animal! I want a dog! Dogs are different!”

During my screening interview, Delores identified herself as a social justice activist, and, after I introduced Unplay, spreading out my series of four business cards on your coffee table, she claimed to be an “expert” in the restorative justice model, but was unable to articulate the essential dialectic mediated between victims and abusers when I inquired, looking for further commonalities between us.

“I’m not going to get into that right now,” Delores snapped impatiently, avoiding any answer to my direct questions and asserting a hierarchical pecking order similar to fraternity or sorority hazing practices distinctly contrary to the process of restorative justice, by stating, “We’re interviewing you.”

Of course I was already familiar with restorative justice from my graduate school readings of philosophers Jacques Derrida on forgiveness, a distinguished visitor of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission formed after the end of apartheid, and Hannah Arendt on the banality of evil during the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann trial, whose writings profoundly influenced my MFA thesis and teaching pedagogy.

After I explained that interviews are a two-way street, Delores asked a peculiar question about my Unplay model, “So, are you a designer of words or of shapes?”

Shape is but one vocabulary term in visual grammar. As a graphic designer, I use form (style) and content (words) to communicate the same message. In my psychoanalytically and visually educated experience, whenever there is a structural (action) disparity between style and words, that hypocrisy first reveals itself in visual form. Delores’s violent actions render meaningless her pretty words about restorative justice because she does not practice what she preaches any better than Compass Housing Alliance upholds the terms of your lease or Washington law. Contradiction between words and actions inevitably reveals trauma, which could be repaired if our system of education and job markets valued visual literacy equivalent with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Hearing Delores repeatedly interrupting Angie to announce her own personal truths, “That’s not true,” in a declarative, ringing tone, I passed Delores my deny card. As I later explained to Hilary, Unplay is so effective I can usually pick out during the first several minutes of conversation not just when individuals are suffering severe trauma, but at which of the four stations on the passive aggressive volvelle they seem to be most stuck. Misunderstanding Unplay as a game in which players choose labels with which they best identify rather than a model by which traumatized human beings learn healthy communication and resolve conflict through mutually respectful negotiation, Angie happily selected the martyr card for herself.

Later, Angie felt compelled to email to tell me she reports her feelings to herself. And maybe, since she does not have access to a painting studio or compassionate, trauma-educated instructor, after many more years of therapy, Angie might learn the lesson of anger, to alert us to fear or sadness beneath anger, and report those feelings or maintain awareness while hearing the perspective of others as she works to learn conflict negotiation skills that do not include pouting or shouting accusations, the defensive posturing she learned from her childhood role models, skills all the more challenging to acquire and practice while subsisting under the same roof as a criminally abusive housemate.

Delores wrapped up my screening interview by plaintively asking, “But what do you do when the other just won’t listen?”

“That can be challenging,” I answered.

As I commented later to Hilary, I wondered then if her question might have been another of those moments providing evidence for a theory first introduced to me by my older brother, who earned his undergraduate degree in psychology, and began graduate work before deciding the clinical environment was not his cup of tea. I cannot remember whether he was sharing with me knowledge influenced by psychologists Thomas Moore or James Hillman, another student of Jung; here I paraphrase: we despise in others the weaknesses we fail to see in ourselves. I used to hate to admit when my brother is right, but in the intervening years I have yet to see that truism fail. The nice thing about theory, as in multiple perspectives of any given conflict, it doesn’t have to be right. It’s just theory. Before you outright reject (deny) any theory, I tried to teach my own students, try it on for size, start paying attention, does it work for you? Does it hold true as you observe behavior in yourself and others?

I could be wrong, but I suspect the business card that I gave Hilary, to which she responded by carefully stating that she would add it to my case file, rather than passing it along to help me network to jobs with the lawyers in your network, or jumping on the opportunity to learn a healthier resolution to any conflict, was avoid. If the contents of that file are not co-mingling in the Cascades with the ashes of my adopted eighth cousin, twice removed Ted by now, maybe you could confirm my hunch?

To our 19 November 2015 lease signing, Hilary came prepared with your Service Animal Contract for CTHP Residents, which states, “We are pleased to accommodate you and your service animal,” photocopied on the back of the first page of our lease agreement, as indicated by her handwriting specifying my unique information:

cha service animal contractMaybe your ever-revolving door of staff lost track of your 2015 agreements stored in their 2014 folder on your X drive?

I readily agreed to all of your terms, but suggested we first focus on the logistics of reuniting me with my service animal, without which my signature on your form was pointless.

Following a foul-mouthed rampage directed toward Angie that I only partially overheard, something about Delores accusing Angie of moving a painted coffin that Delores stored in the garage, prior to leaving the house on the morning of 16 December 2016 to work toward her educational and employment goals, Linda drew my attention to a dead bird precisely arranged on the fencepost nearest the front door. While I did not directly observe either incident, Linda attributed the dead bird to Delores’s voodoo practice, revenge for Angie allegedly moving her coffin.

If it were my job to resolve that conflict, I would also ask Angie for her perspective, but already I think it is probably more likely that Delores tipped over her own coffin while parking her car in your garage, given her history of raging accusations at her housemates for her own behavior that I have repeatedly witnessed. Maybe what April meant by “team-building” activity, or another good reason to prohibit parking in the garage-?

I neglected to document the bird. I had no idea back then how far Compass would go to defend criminal violence on your property. The bathroom window is too far situated from the front walkway for the bird to have flown into the glass and fallen to the post. There is a slim possibility the poor creature could have fallen out of your shrubbery and landed ever so precisely on a post not much larger than its body, but given the way the neck was wrung, the quantity of blood, and the intestines spilling from its poor corpse, I had to agree with Linda’s conclusion that the violence appeared deliberately placed.

While I was skeptical of Linda’s accusation when I was still relatively new to the household, what I can witness about timing and behavior that day was that Delores seemed to be your only tenant still at the house when I left as well as when I returned to the house by mid-morning and the dead bird was no longer on the post. If her handiwork, then she appeared to also clean up after leaving that retaliatory warning for Angie. There is still a squiggle of bird intestine on that post if you would like to send it to a lab for analysis-? It looks pretty much what you might expect of a small animal’s innards exposed to the elements for three seasons.

With the Restful Peace Cottage left without case management over the winter holidays, in my 28 December 2015 emailed grievance to Hilary I reiterated my concerns with Delores’s violence as it pertained to my service animal, or what RCW 9.91.170 describes as my responsibility to give notice that your client/tenant’s behavior would likely interfere “with the use of a dog guide or service animal,” yet your staff continued with reckless disregard to obstruct the return of my cat, to reward Delores’s intimidating behavior toward me and other animals, and otherwise jeopardize my safety and the safety of my service animal:

“And of course after the incident with the bird sacrificed and left on the fence post near the front door, I am reluctant to introduce my therapeutic cat to the household. While I realize a service animal will need to be contained in my room at all times, I hesitate to put her at any risk to Delores’s level of unchecked violence.”

By Hilary’s and later, Jenn’s follow up responses (or lack thereof), they both seemed to interpret my concerns with a dismissive shrug, as if that meant I didn’t want my service animal anymore. Their assumptions defy logic, your lease terms, and Washington criminal law.

By 09 January 2016, still I had not given up hope on their promises of a gas card prior to Thanksgiving, delayed to “after the holidays,” further delayed to “maybe January” while still navigating logistics with two different schedules of two holiday-busy single mothers on either end of the journey, and trekked into the International District to brave the cold and the cigarette smoking in the line that wraps around the block every second and fourth Saturday to very generously provide veterinarian clinic and pet supplies essential for the well-being of Seattle’s dire poor. So then I had acquired all the pet supplies, on zero budget, needed to provide care essential to psychological well-being and to uphold the terms of your Service and Companion Animal Policy, but still no service animal.

As I documented in my 19 January 2016 grievance emailed to Jenn, inquiring what behavior of mine she wanted me to change after her 14 January 2016 threat of eviction in response to Delores’s criminally violent threats on my life that resulted in Linda’s 911 call, Delores’s abuse toward animals accelerated in terms of scale, indicating she would abuse not just fowl but also small, furred animals:

“The morning after you posted your notices, and I think that may have been after a night when I was awakened ~11:30-midnight by squeaking sounds outside and Diane shouting and brandishing sticks in the yard for the neighbors’ benefit perhaps (?), afterward, her stomping upstairs and slamming around in the kitchen that seems to be her daily morning ritual as well, and I awoke to her handwritten message on the whiteboard:”

wild animal abuse possums not raccoons

Restful Peace Cottage kitchen whiteboard, 13 January 2016.

Image meta-dated 13 January 2016, with Delores’s text in brown, and my healthy communications boundary on her abusive demand to control my access to ventilation, in blue, further reminding her of the quiet hours and Good Neighbor policy required by our lease terms.

I don’t know why a new friend who helped me escape human trafficking – twice – managed to drive, not just halfway, but all the way across the very wide state of Washington to Seattle on 27 February 2016 with my computer, boxes of journals, and luggage hastily stuffed with worn-out, dirty clothes in my winter’s flight the previous year, while somehow omitting my cat, but that is the way it happened. Other priorities? Rush of holidays and children’s demands on her attention? The challenge of herding a terrified cat into a travel carrier? Spontaneous decision to finish the journey west after my westside driver could not rearrange her schedule after your case and program managers failed to keep their commitments in November, December, and January?

In my experiences of family, state, and privatized social services failure, I have learned just to be grateful for the kindness of strangers, and at that time, with Delores’s rampaging hostility unchecked by your staff who seem determined to reward criminal violence, I felt that was probably for the best anyway. I could at least rest assured that my service animal was getting fed and fresh litter while hiding out in the basement of a kind family.

A kind stranger is not responsible for my loss.

It is not the job of unpaid strangers to step in where the state and your government-contracted nonprofit corporation failed.

The job of assisting a trafficking victim ameliorate the issues leading to this period of homelessness is the job of your case and program managers. It says so right there in our Case Management Plan Addendum to our lease agreement.

While I have not documented all of Delores’s animal abuse, on 02 July 2016, by fascinating Jungian coincidence the 20th anniversary of my genetic father’s death, as well as shortly after I completed my graduate studies in Moscow in 2008 coincidentally the same day I completed an oil portrait of Patty Hearst in grisaille on birch panel as she appeared via security cameras during a bank holdup while suffering what some psychologists describe as Stockholm Syndrome, and still more meaningful events coincide on that date in my upcoming analysis of Moscow’s 2015 mass shooter and relevant to the Supreme Court case Armstrong v. Exceptional Child, pace the undereducated opinions of Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare Director Mr. Armstrong’s staff, and the same date this year when Charlotte insufficiently assumed your unreliable transportation budget was best spent watching her spin around her passive aggressive volvelle, standing me up for what I scheduled on my calendar would have been our second case management meeting even though she clearly has not completed the list of tasks I gave her at our first and last case management meeting, through my unit window I observed Delores out in your backyard casting stones into one of the towering evergreens to frighten away two sweet raccoons who occasionally ramble through the last vestiges of the PNW rainforest disrupted by the fence surrounding your backyard. She misfired some of her rocks, with a loud clunk against the wooden fence that first drew my attention to the window, wondering if someone in the neighborhood might have been setting off early firecrackers.

Is it your goal to psychologically harm your clients and violate Washington law? Because if not, you need an abrupt 90° shift in your communications, pulling your passive aggressive volvelle inside out and spinning it around in the direction of healthy communications, beginning with an apology, owning your criminally abusive behavior. Current with this writing, your staff continue mimicking the behaviors of the extended Bundy clan:

Deny.

Avoid.

Blame.

All propelled from their positions of narcissistic martyrdom, symptomatic of trauma, inappropriately abusing their positions of power over your economically vulnerable clients.

preamble 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 remedy

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2 thoughts on “Resetting Your Moral Compass

  1. Pingback: Resetting Your Moral Compass | journal6other

  2. Pingback: Resetting Your Moral Compass | journal6other

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