Friday, August 30, 2013

Twerking, Working and the Dumb Girl

So this week at work it was overtime, stress and digging into what needs to be done to comply with a large upcoming audit. I spent the week elbow deep in piles of confidential paperwork on the patients for the residential treatment center. I worked with the two ladies that had been hired with me and that was cool. I got to listen to their life stories as we deconstructed records, culled and organized before moving everything into new plastic binders ordered in such a way as to pass the audit.

It was alright, the work is repetitive and intense. You have to literally read each and every document to determine where it goes in that patient's master file. Unfortunately your eyes tend to fall on phrases like 'kept in dog crate and fed dry dog food' or 'birth mother was addicted to heroin, crack cocaine and alcohol' or the ever popular 'fetal alcohol syndrome'. The stuff the mast files contain will break your heart.

I've come to realize that one of the biggest factors in all these poor abused kids lives were parents that were more concerned with getting high than taking care of another vulnerable human being. Makes me mad, makes me furious! Feel like I could gladly take a few of these neglectful abusive parents down to Sherwin Williams and stick their heads into the paint shaker and flip it on high. I know I'm going to be glaring at these selfish assholes if I'm ever down in reception on visiting day.

But the real fly in the ointment of work is that they broke in what has to be the world's stupidest girl. She's 28 and continually yammers on all sorts of inane drivel all day long. She makes Lisa Kudrow's character in "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion" look like a PhD in Quantum Physics or something. Seriously dumb.

Example: I'd asked a supervisor about signing the file logs and her interjections were so silly I wanted to visit harm to her.

Me: Hey T....., are we supposed to put our John Hancock on these file creation log sheets after finishing the pre-audit paper work?

Miss Dummy: What! Oh. My. God! I cannot believe you're talking about a stupid movie to a supervisor! That is SO retarded!

I think she was talking about that dreary film "Hancock"

Me (with a deep sigh): John Hancock was an original signer on the Declaration of Independence and when people talk about placing their signature on something they sometimes refer to it as a 'John Hancock'. It has nothing to do with the movie Hancock

Dummy: That is SO stupid! I've never heard that anywhere before. You just made that up.

Imagine this all day long every single day and you cannot get away from it. Got the picture yet?

Late afternoon on the first or second day she started playing what she called 'Gangsta Rap' aloud from her cell phone, got up and started trying to twerk. That's right, twerking at work and listening loudly to songs with words like 'ho' 'bitch' and 'motherfucker' in them. It made for a joyous time, not.

The bad thing is that she has managed to get the other two workers to join in with this playing around and nonsense all day long. The three of them are barely working every time we're left unsupervised. Part of me wants to oink to HR but the other part says shut up and keep working at about ten times her speed and let management look at the file log. They'll figure out who's working and who's playing. I just never want to see that jello ass wiggling around in the records office ever again when I'm there.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What? For Free?

Last night as I was scrambling about at around 11 pm making sure I had my work dress shoes polished and outfit pressed before bedtime I got an SOS call. One of the folks from my old church was calling late at night, not to hurl verbal stones at me for leaving that church, but trying to weasel some free advice out of me.

Back at the old church I would work on folks computers for free. They'd pay for the parts and I'd do the work for free. Unfortunately not everyone paid me for those parts. I'm still about seventy bucks out of pocket. But I did it just to be nice...

....and because most of my old church sisters would whine, cry and manipulate a freebie or big discount out of any business person they could. Vyckie and I talked about this phenomenon in hard core fundyville, asking and begging for free or cheap, expecting a break all the time because you were favored of God.

....and that's what last night was. Someone wanting me to tell them how to set up, work and set the keywords for the SEO on their business website. They were expecting me to do this, in the middle of the night, for free.

I said no and I hung up. I was proud of myself for not allowing someone that had entitlement issues to take advantage of my kindness and help. I've made progress.

I did tell this person that I would help them if they paid my hourly fees for computer help. That went over about as well as a nude organist would during traditional worship service.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Positives?

nor should it hurt to be a grownup either.....
 
I realized today as I participated in discussions during orientation at my new job that I did carry out of my old church some positives. Didn't think that was actually possible considering the mountain chains of Bullshit mountains I hauled out and had to climb over.

Last week I interviewed and was offered at job at a nearby residential treatment facility for kids. Not just any kids, kids with pretty significant problems, that have suffered from mental illness or abuse that must be treated inpatient before the kids are ever considering placing any of these kids into foster homes or up for adoption. They do a great good work there and I've always admired the facility.

It's been years since I worked in social work in any capacity. I'm there to work records compliance so I'm not going to be in direct contact with the children. But they are every where you turn, riding bikes, walking up the hill, in the infirmary, you-name-it. And it breaks your heart, they smile and they wave. I've heard from visitors there and staff that many of the children are eager to be in a loving family and will ask if they can come home with you.

When I originally left the field it was because of burn out. I went to work at the national licensing office and burned out from that after leaving direct care. I'm anticipating since I have little contact with these kids burn out is not going to be such an issue. But getting used to business attire and office hours is a challenge.

I'm in orientation today and we were discussing various methods to resolve work conflicts and the types of uncomfortable situations there are. I said that in my life I kept my lists of people to forgive and taking offense at something/someone short.

The idea that it is within your own personal power as to who or what you will be offended by was a mind-boggling thought the first time I heard it preached from the pulpit at my old church. I could not understand how you could walk through life and not get mad at every slight or random assholery you encounter in your day to day living.

But, I've found, as much as I hate to actually admit I took anything positive away from poisonous old church, that this is actually a pretty good piece of advice to live by. I'm not perfect in my practice of it, being human and prone to going back to that old Cajun thing of 'I'll give you the shirt off my back and treat you decently till you screw me over. Then revenge will be mine! Muuuuhahahah!'  *insert evil laugh while you craft up a bitchin' voodoo doll*

There are some big psyche benefits of not walking around pissed off at everyone and every blooming thing under the sun.

  1. Being offended or taking offense takes energy and you have to care. It's exhausting.
  2. Taking offense ties you emotionally to the person or the object of your ire. Like having a radioactive monkey on your back, it will just poison you eventually.
  3. Being offended requires you to take action against the source of the offense, even if the action is merely filing away the source in the dislike file of your brain. 
  4. Being offended is a real buzzkill, popping up to take your mood from blissfull to shitty in an instant. 
  5. You're instantly reminded of the original offense every single time the source appears in your life again. 
  6. As time passes that offendedness of yours is like a snowball rolling along in a blizzard, it picks up weight, heft, gravitas. It grows and pops out at weird random times to shade things incorrectly and can cloud your judgment. 
  7. It's like being in prison, you're not free, you're still dragging that six million ton snowball behind you.
I know I've missed a few but these are the ones at the top of my mind. Doing this enabled me to forgive Tom Smith and stop taking it personally every single stupid thing he did around me.

Fancy that, I actually learned something useful and practical from Pastor Patrick!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Butterflies

Saturday morning I was lucky, Jim didn't try to wake me up as he got ready to go to the church mens group prayer breakfast. I was able to rest and recuperate after Thursdays very bad asthma attack and Friday's half-assed one, all due to accidental peanut-ingestion.

People, people, people who work at restaurants, when your customers ask you about ingredients they usually are not being picky snotty bitches, it's usually due to some severe allergy. Please know really what's in your food.

After Jim left my bff Joannie called and we sailed forth going to the thrift stores followed by Chinese food. But before she arrived I had a time of wonder following and photographing the butterflies in my front flower beds. I was able to get so close and stand still, watching the graceful aerial ballet by the visitors to the zinnia bed. Beautiful!





Today was raining most of the day, church and Jim was gone most of the afternoon at his mens group league fantasy football draft. I took a nap but kept waking up from disturbing dreams of trying to hang laundry on a clothesline while a winter noreaster was blasting my clothesline and the deck, turning the clothes into sideways frozen flags.

I'm just grateful I didn't dream again about making out with Gary Busey. Every time I dream that I wake up screaming and have to go immediate brush my teeth and sterilize my mouth I'm so grossed out by it.

Tomorrow is going to be insane, I have a physical for the new job and I have to go up to my eldest daughter's house well north of here. Tuesday I'm starting the new job. Going to be a busy week.

Friday, August 16, 2013

How Not To Drive While Eating Flaming Death Cherries

It's been one long insane week, what with Satan's Drumstick, running into a pine tree limb and ending up with pine sap in my hair, going on a job interview and then having the company offer me the position for even more money than I asked for in this down economy.

The drag is I have to get a physical on Monday.

And there were Flaming Death Cherries.....

Yesterday I drove into Fairfax to go shopping with Laura. We hit up a number of home decorating and furnishing stores before hitting World Market and going out to lunch. I finally got a chance to meet my son's girlfriend for the first time. She seems quite nice. I noticed that she and Andy were all luvvy-dovey handsy kissing and hugging all the time. Ahh, young love. Hope she doesn't break his heart.

I left around supper time. Andy was cooking and I really needed to get back to cook dinner for Jim. One of the biggest most tempting things Laura and I do at World Market is get odd drinks and candy. Since I've lost a not insignificant amount of weight this year I usually only by one candy and one drink at WM. Yesterday I bought a tempting treat I'd not had before ...

....something called Christopher's Big Cherry. World Market didn't have them sitting out in a box like this one with clearly lumpy nut-like chocolate coating visible screaming out a message of peanutty death throes. They had the individual packets sitting innocently on the shelf with the description and drawing on the front of the single serving packet warning you about cherry pits and proclaiming it was chocolate covered WHOLE cherry. If you saw that cheery cherry-bedecked packaging would you suspect peanuts lurked within? Nope, me neither. This is one of those rare times I didn't read the label. Later I did and saw the ingredients list with "peanuts" listed in teeny tiny type under the folded back label.

So, where were we? Oh yeah, I'm on interstate 66 (more like 666 the way the traffic crawled and the damn tourists thought they were gonna tote their campers into DC, ha!), caught in a typical Thursday afternoon Nutley Street exit crawl, trapped between tourists and bureaucrats fleeing the city for a three day weekend. I decided, stupidly, that this was the perfect moment for a chocolate covered cherry smooched into what I assumed was some sort of cherry flavored/colored marshmallow coated with more chocolate.

Never even finished my first bite, as I started to shove the teeniest edge of this processed food monstrosity in my maw like Homer Simpson with a frosted doughnut my lips, tongue and mouth started to tingle even before I registered the taste of peanuts in that very small bit. I flung the packet aside and spit out what was in my mouth, watching it spray all over the dashboard and windshield, disgusting blobs of chocolate and chopped fine peanuts. 

At this point I am starting to positively freak out because a) I'm extremely allergic to peanuts, b) I'm stuck in my car in a usual evening traffic jam and ain't going nowhere. 

I can feel my airways narrowing and my face swelling. Pulled off to the side of the crowded interstate to a cacophony of car horns and used my Epipen right through my jeans, followed by an injection of Benadryl. 

The panic attack starts, feels horrible and I think I'm going to die, here on the interstate and no one will realize what type of problems I have because I've neglected to wear my Medic Alert bracelet with access to my medical records because it's been simply ages since I had a life threatening reaction to anything. I freak out, wondering if I should call the cops, drive my car backwards through the interstate traffic to get to a nearby hospital ER. What should I do?

After realizing that the two shots worked and my symptoms aren't getting any worse I decide to keep on driving. There's another hospital nearby, off the third exit from where I am. I get near the exit and realize not only are the symptoms not worse, I can feel the iron grip on my windpipe easing some. 


I drive home like a crazy crazy woman, hopped up on the epinephrine, pounding down the Italian canned cold coffee drinks I'd bought at World Market, adding more fuel to the amphetamine rush of the drug. Made it home just in time for the Benadryl to start making me feel too loopy. 

Go to the doctor this afternoon for my Xolair treatment, leave the doctor's office and go get ice cream, my inner little kid treat for bravely sitting through the needles again. Ask the gal working the counter if there are peanuts in the Nutty Coconut ice cream. She swears it's almonds only. I get some, get home, take one bit and it's lather, rinse, repeat. Yes, yes, it has peanuts too and again I only consumed the tiniest amount. Wheezing again.

I guess the lesson to be learned is to never assume. Read every single label and don't trust the home school kids working at the Christian ice cream parlor because their ineptitude could spell your flaming death after all. 

The general public just does not 'get' how horrible peanuts are for those of us that are allergic.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Satan's Drumstick & Other Lawn Mishaps

This weekend the skies threatened and spewed tiny droplets, never really turning into a real rain, just some dribble, like the clouds had BPH and were barely pissing. But it was enough to stop Jim from mowing. We didn't do anything in the yard, it was a Netflix, napping, baking and church weekend.

So all the lawn work fell to me, which I was something less than enthused about considering I have spent an enormous amount of time the last month working for the HOA to straighten out the mess it's morphed into. I was voted onto the Board of Directors last month and since the HOA hasn't been properly managed for at least eight years I am stuck wearing many hats and working at least two or three hours a day dealing with the fubar. Sure enough it's only Tuesday but I've already been working on several new projects and dealt with angry homeowners. Hey, it didn't happen overnight so the fix isn't overnight.

Yesterday I did a weeks worth of housework in a day so the rest of this week I could concentrate on my two interviews tomorrow, one for a web content provider account and another for a part time job at the local CPS. I'd have to reactivate my social worker license for the last one.

 But the other problem with the interviews is that I have lost four sizes since January. It was off to get a dressy outfit for the freelance thing and something a little less formal for the CPS interview. I got the most beautiful Vera Wang dress and sweater for the first interview and a suit in tanzanite blue for the other one.

I knew I was just putting off the inevitable by going shopping this morning, so eventually I had to woman up, go outside and mow. The problem was that the kids down the street who's grandma lets them do whatever they want twenty four hours a day had tossed a drum stick in my yard and I missed it while GI-ing the yard for sticks and other detritus before mowing. The drum stick has crudely carved pentagrams on it and the words "Satin Rules!" in magic marker.

The problem I had with Satan's drum stick besides the misspelling is that I ran over it with the mower, cursing as I listened to the distinctive shriek, clank, silence sequence the poor mower gave as it stopped, like demons fleeing before holy water. Mower wouldn't restart, I had to take the blade off and unwedge the stupid Satanic drum stick before I finished up. I was racing the thunder and lightening to finish up anyway. Tomorrow after my various interviews will be weed eating.

Sort of reminds me of the time some smart asses or bored teens spray painted "666" and "Satin Rules" on the side of the big firm I used to work for. Some of the folks working with me were afraid to go into the building at all, claiming it was 'cursed'. I had to point out that if someone can't even spell the name of the being they worship it's not likely they'd really be able to put a 'curse' on anything.

I


Friday, August 09, 2013

Fixing

Last couple of weeks I've been busy getting estimates to have the house reroofed plus to build a sunroom and a screened in porch on the back. But I might have to put off a bit longer because Jim came to me on Friday and asked me to look at his teeth because something felt 'weird'

Lo and behold he cranked open his thin lips and grinned, nearly blinding me with the pearly whites. My eyes fell on one of his front four teeth and I jumped back a foot before informing him he now looks like a runaway from the hills of West Virginia. The tooth was split straight down the front, colored a cafe au lait color in the jagged bits.

So now the money we'd budgeted for the roof and porch is going to be significantly reduced by his getting an implant. His tooth snapped off almost at the root over the next few days so it's going to be expensive and no fun to remedy his dental problems.

The one 'fix' I was able to do this week was to go to a decent hairdresser to get the mess that the local beauty college student made of it. Six weeks ago I'd asked for my shoulder length bob to be trimmed and cleaned up. I emerged with chin length hair with many uneven layers. It was impossible to style. I didn't go back and pick a fit at the beauty college because they make you sign a waver indicating that they cannot be responsible if something goes wrong.

Now I'm sporting a just above chin length very 1920s Gadsby-esque bob and I love it. A good haircut can make all the difference.

Looking forward to the weekend with my baby. No plans, just a lot of rest, reading and relaxation with perhaps some naughty fun mixed in.

Money is NOT the Root of All Blogging Part 2

One good thing has come out of the recent unpleasantness online. I got to see exactly what the critics of NLQ are saying and give it much thought.

But there are some misconceptions I would like to address and explain how NLQ works.

1. No one is making a ton of money from NLQ. I see the hit numbers and get paid to update the site. It's not that much considering the hours involved. Site owner isn't getting a penny.

2. The reason NLQ went from being only two original authors to many authors via the Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Networks has to do with the fact that there are many people willing to share their stories of Religious Trauma Syndrome and recovery and it takes the pressure off the original two authors.

3. Why don't we run every chapter of a story at once or immediately sequential is that I try to keep the content varied so that there is something for everyone and some authors take their time between submitting new chapters.

How I chose Quoting Quiverfull daily: I read through links people send me or through a list of Quiverfull blogs I read daily. If something jumps out at me so that I nearly drop my coffee cup it's going on QQ.

How I chose the daily articles is I run what is sent to me or what I see on our SASBN authors list. I don't edit the stories for content, only for spelling. Everyone's voice is their own voice, I'm not going to monkey with someone's true voice.

Why don't the two site founders post much? One is remarried and busy with her new family and the other is busy speaking at conferences and with her children.
 


He Brought His BItch to the Waffle Hut..


I tried to intervene yesterday between two factions that were stuck in a one-sided Mexican stand-off yesterday and it went about as well as one of my favorite scenes from "The Ladykillers"

Won't make that mistake again any time soon.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Money Is NOT The Root of All Blogging

One of the attitudes about bloggers and blogging that irritates me the most is this notion that everyone that has a popular blog must be raking in the money faster than Charlie Sheen acquires new STDs.

That's just not so.

Even the bigger blogs that are pulling in some money are only usually pulling in enough to cover their bandwidth bill.

Big commercial blogs, such as Livestrong.com or say, About.com, with content written by others are pretty much the exception. Unless you happen to come up with something that fascinates millions such as drawing penises on celebs (I'm looking at you Perez Hilton!) or some of the news aggregates like Fark.com.

The rest? The bloggers are lucky if they cover that bandwidth bill and get enough Amazon credits to keep downloading something like "50 Shades of Grey" or "Twilight" every month or so.

Now there are those that engage in what I've always called "Welfare blogging". There was a famous internut troll who called herself 'Welch Wop' and 'Liz Bateman' that thrived on begging for money via her blog and the Use.Net groups that I was familiar with. Plus, a few much more prominent bloggers that pretended to cancer or other scary diseases as a way to fund their lifestyle.

But eventually the fakers get caught, law enforcement has even been involved more than a few times. So I don't worry about it. Fakes fake and get caught.

So why blog? I have blogged going all the way back to 1999 on different blogging platforms because I love to write. I may not be the best at it but it's been a mostly therapeutic experience for me, some place to put my thoughts in a safe way. I live visible in a small town and it would not behoove me to say something of the things I think.

Sometimes it's a place to record exactly where I am. At one point I erased three years of blogging because it was obvious going back and rereading those years that I was suffering from a major depression. Too many dark thoughts and places I never want to remember.

Many times for me I record the weird things that happen, like the time the kid threw up on my shoes in Wal Mart or last fall when some rather fluffy lady ran over my foot with a electric scooter and I fell into a display of lightbulbs. Sometimes life is a very bizarre thing!

Add in the times when wonderful things happen, like my son finally finishing up his degree or some of the trips I've taken. Memories I want to keep.

But money? Bah! I wish

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Slutty Girls....(Fill In The Blank)





One of the big phrases I heard many times in my very Catholic family was "Slutty Girls...." with some description of whatever undesirable behavior that these imaginary threatening exemplar ladies were modeling.

I heard that hoary old chestnut so many times that if I were to suddenly pick up a Marlboro, flick my Bic and actually inhale I'd hear my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother and probably countless generations back exclaim in my mind - "Slutty girls smoke" - spoken in parts outraged and cautionary.

Not that girls free with their favors all smoke. It's just the perception of my family's womenfolk on my mother's side. But it worked. I don't smoke, almost no one from that half of my family smokes. I asked an aunt about that recently, she said the same thing I did, that even thinking about lighting up gives her that same interior Greek (Cajun) chorus of ladies saying "Slutty girls smoke"

"Slutty girls" also didn't wear clean underwear. They didn't listen to their mothers. They didn't get good grades and were responsible for all sorts of awful evil things happening. My other grandmother  brought a few new wrinkles to the things slutty girls did, they got their ears pierced instead of leaving them as God created them.

The "Slutty girls" lie was used on myself and younger female relatives to keep us acting with what our female elders deemed acceptable comportment and seemliness as we went into the world in our Catholic school plaids and knee socks.

I never questioned it then, even if I found myself abundantly pissed off by it at times, like the time I asked my mother at 7 years old for a mini skirt and fishnet tights. My mother told me that this was something 'Slutty girls' wanted to wear, which in retrospect seems like a silly thing to say to a seven year old since I wasn't even sure what 'slutty' meant. I knew it was to be avoided but had only the most nebulous idea what it was. It was 1967, a year when nearly everyone under 25 had on fishnet tights and a mini skirt. Not me, knee-length pleated plaid and knee socks for me.

Now in the evangelical Christian world I hear politely worded "Slutty girls wear that.." condemnation in the lip service to Christian modesty. Seems like there has been a decidedly nasty renewed pushback towards any female actually daring to wear summer-appropriate clothing by the Modesty Brigade.

Are they talking of women or teenagers walking around wearing three postal stamps and a whole lot of string? No, they are protesting ladies wearing swimsuits at the beach that aren't neck to knee, shorts of any type and sleeveless tops. In hot weather, in the deep South, in the desert, at the beach.

My problem with this is the same one I have with the whole idea of 'slutty girls' - it's saying that men are beasts that are incapable of controlling their eyes, their minds, their hearts and it's our job not to tempt them into raping women dressed in a way that turns those men on.


That type of thinking is downright dangerous. It turns women into objects, things possessing sexual organs that are not human. It also demeans men, assuming that no man can exercise self control because they aren't human either, they are animals.

I've said this before, but apparently it bears repeating - the Christian right needs to get over it's obsession with sex.Stop obsessing over it, stop thinking about it, stop adding all these rules to Christianity that Jesus never approved. Encourage others to dress as suits the weather, their personal tastes and their body, not to suit your fear of and obsession with sex.

Put to death the labels of 'slutty girls' and 'immodest'. These are the things that hurt everyone and causes divisions. Love each other and stop with the judging everyone else..

Thursday, August 01, 2013

The One That Got Away: Josh Powell and the Others That Didn't

It was with great interest I've been following the story of central Virginia's Josh Powell and his quest for a decent education in the face of Virginia's laws allowing homeschooling parents to teach as much and as little as they'd like. He is one very determined young man that took on the world of Virginia homeschooling to do what was right, have the same opportunity towards a well rounded education that will benefit him the rest of his life.

Knowing all to well what the homeschooling world of central Virginia looks like from my years giving art lessons to homeschool kids I'm impressed that Josh was able to summon up the courage, sheer gumption and focus to make it out to an educational goal. He's officially my new hero!
It is my dearest wish that all this national publicity he's getting will shine the spotlight on our state's disgraceful homeschooling laws. There must be oversight by the state over what the kids are learning in homeschools. Homeschooling in Virginia puzzles me because we have some of the top public schools in the nation towards the northern part of the state.

Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons but the main thing is that what I feared for most of the homeschoolers I taught ten years ago here in Virginia has started to come to pass. They are mostly unemployable. The most successful of the lot works the drive thru window at Starbucks and many of them tried and failed working at that most homeschool friendly employer of homeschool kids - ChikFilA.

Listening them and their occupations here...
1- Starbucks Drive Thru
1- Ruby Tuesday waitstaff
3- Volunteering at local ministry
1- Playing with the town's semi pro football team hoping to get a college scholarship for football and make it to the NFL
1- Clerking at grocery store
Uncountable - either working on family farm/enterprise or doing nothing at home
1- Homeless, living on the street.
1-Toiling as unpaid slave labor at Teen Mania

That's a pretty pathetic turn out for kids that were bright and could have done well with a good education. Only the girl at Starbucks is in college, working towards her degree at the local community college. Every time I roll through Starbucks I see her and all she can talk about it getting away from her controlling interfering parents. Which I find really comical and interested because her mother is and was the head of the local homeschooling org.

But the one of my art kids that just breaks my heart and makes me want to smack HSLDA around is what happened to a gal I'm going to call 'Beth' here for privacy's sake.

I first met Beth when her mother signed her up for my high school aged homeschooling art classes where I taught things like classical drawing technics, introduction to oil painting, stained glass introduction, air brushing and a host of other subjects geared towards those children thinking about studying art at a college level. Very hands on, designed to get everyone a taste of things they hadn't done before.

Beth's mother warned me that Beth was rebellious, prone to lying, she was all sorts of negative things. Beth had been schooled at a public school her first few years, mother said, until it was obvious she was rebellious.

But I never saw one sign that Beth lied or was rebellious. She was always a lot of fun and I truly enjoyed having her in my class. I loved that girl like I loved all my teenage students, they were my favorite class always!  The only thing I saw was a teenager struggling towards independence while her parents tried to control every bit of her being.

Taught her two years then stopped teaching homeschoolers because of the odd assortment of problems and over protective mothers that sought to control what and how I taught. A couple more years pass and I go into ChikFilA and see that Beth is working the counter and seems to have trouble making change to the point where the manager comes over and started berating her in front of all the customers.

I hear through mutual friends that Beth has been hired/fired from every fast food place in town. She didn't even possess the most basic life skills, such as making change.

More years pass until a lone December night when I was working at the community cold weather shelter and spot a familiar face. Yes, it was Beth, at the cold weather shelter for the homeless.
After I managed to help get dinner out and dinner cleanup, plus make sure everyone has a bed and clean bedding Beth and I go into the side chapel library to catch up. What she tells me shakes me to the core. Gone is a pretty shy girl with wavy auburn hair and green eyes. In her place is a hard eyed woman dressed in black and spiked collars with a blue semi-mohawk.

Her life since graduating from her homeschool sounds like something almost out of Charles Dicken's tales of poverty and workhouses, an updated Oliver. Beth worked at every fast food place imaginable but because of her scanty education had troubles making change or doing some of the very basic tasks that were part of the job.  Beth fell in love with one of her fast food coworkers and ended up getting immediately pregnant because she knew almost nothing about the way her body worked. Her family threw her out of the house when it was obvious she was pregnant because she was setting a bad example for her brothers and sisters. Beth has been living from shelter to shelter never able to hold a job for long. Once her baby is born her parents use social service and the court system to get emergency custody of the child for them to raise and throwing Beth back out on the streets with no help.

That night I sat and held Beth's hand as she wept and wailed over losing her baby, the abandonment of her family and the fact that she had no options in live. She'd matured enough to realize most of her problems could be traced to the fact that her education was practically nonexistent.

Over the course of many moons I tried to help Beth, get her into drug rehab anywhere, put on the list for housing, helped her try to file for financial aid from the government. But nothing I did to try and help actually helped. Beth left rehab to live on the streets with bunch of rag-tag kids.

I fear her parents choice to keep Beth locked up like veal being raised in a box have doomed her to disaster, poverty and a life defined by chaos.