Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

I walked in to work on a Monday with a bounce in my step and a smile on my face, reveling in the incredible experience I had in Annapolis, Maryland that weekend. I was given an opportunity to be an extra in a movie that my brother starred in, wrote and produced. I got to be a vampire, one of the undead. Being an avid horror fan, I LOVED it. One of the biggest highlights for me was having my make-up done by R.J. Haddy from the SyFy channel’s reality show, “Face Off”, since I’ve been a fan of that show since it’s inception. Just being on a movie set and it’s inner workings was awe-inspiring to me. I met so many incredible people. People who could say whatever they wanted, do whatever they wanted, write, act, anything, without being judged. I walked into work that Monday on cloud nine. In my mind, I was a rock star, and invincible. Much to my dismay, the “real” world doesn’t work that way.
You see, on a movie set, you can be bipolar, openly lesbian, have tattoos, be inappropriate at times…you’re among your own kind…writers, artists, actors…I felt so comfortable there. No matter how insignificant my “role” was, I felt like I “fit in”. Yeah, not the case at my “real” job as a nurse in a long term care facility. Within a week of my personal triumph, I was fired after working there for 3 years.
This is where it gets pretty intense. I have tried so hard to stay away from playing “victim”, but I truly was this time. A victim of discrimination against my race, my disability, my sexuality, and when I spoke up for myself for the above mentioned, a victim of retaliation from the facility’s administration. I know I seem like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, as my mother refers to me. People who are close to me, family and friends, basically said, “AGAIN?” Do you have any idea what that feels like? You’re in a deep well, isolated, alone. no matter how loud you scream, no one hears you. When you try to climb out on your own, the walls are slippery and you just keep on falling back into the icy cold water. It’s disheartening. Defeating.
This is how my employment at this facility came to a demise. I was working on a snow day. Snow was coming down in buckets. Nurse’s don’t get snow days off like most people, so despite treacherous roads and limited visibility, we’re expected to get to work. In a snow emergency in a nursing facility, you’re expected to stay until your relief arrives. That was the word that came down to the units from administration that day. Funny thing is, the Director of Nursing wasn’t there. Now, you have to understand, I was in a 4 year relationship with a Director of Nursing and she HAD to be at the facility during a snow emergency to help out in case of staffing issues. Many times I had to dig her car out of FEET of snow to get her to work, so I found it curious that this facility’s Director of Nursing wasn’t there during a snow emergency.
This is where my invincibility comes into the story, or rather, lack thereof.
I love to create, whether it be drawing, photography, writing. I love to make people laugh, to have fun. This day was no different than usual. after all we’re in the middle of a snowstorm, in a nursing home, what’s wrong with a little comic relief, as long as it doesn’t hurt the patients or their families, right?
So that day, I found an empty patient’s room, took a “selfie”, and created a funny meme relating to the snowstorm. I found some blue dot chart stickers laying on the desk, stuck them on my face, and took the picture. I went to my photo lab application on my phone and using a meme generator, I wrote, “I can’t stay for mandatory overtime because of the snow, I somehow contracted measles.” I showed it to my staff, got a good laugh, exactly the reaction I expected, so, like with my art, writing, photography, things I create, I posted the meme on social media. My Facebook friends, well, I got over 50 “likes”, and comments like, “that’s cute”, “you always make me laugh”, “Love it, Betty…this is awesome”, “LMAO”, “LMBO”, “Ha Ha Ha”. I commented at one point, out of curiosity rather than malice, “DON MIA in snow emergency, hmmm.” I have a couple of Facebook friends who are DON’s themselves and got some comments back, nothing negative, however. I never wrote the name of the facility nor mention anyone by name. It was simply a curious observation.
That’s when it all went to shit. NOT invincible.
The next morning, I walk into work, still bouncing and smiling from my movie experience, even after a week, and the Unit 1 manager, an LPN like me, walks up with her finger in my face, reprimanding me for my comment about the DON. She tells me to delete the comment. So I did. Unbeknownst to me, it was entirely too late. This Unit Manager, who went to high school with my brother and cousin, who’s sister and I belonged to drama club together, who’s aunt was a patient in our facility, who I cared for and befriended, took it upon herself to take a “screen shot” of my Facebook post and comments, and proceeded to give an ENLARGED copy to the administration. I knew the moment she confronted me first thing that morning, I was going to lose my job.
That Unit Manager, who I grew to trust and considered a friend, betrayed me in a way that hurt me to the core. For what? I bought Easter candy from her son to help get the prize he wanted for selling the most candy. I even sat with her son one day while he was at our facility and taught him how to draw zombies. What did she gain by doing that? I mean, she directly took away my livelihood.
Why are people so mean? I’ve reviewed it over and over in my head to the point of nervous nausea and I just can’t figure it out. To me, that was the worst part of losing my job. I trust too much. I have faith in people as a whole because of my kind-hearted nature, so that sucked on so many levels and of course, I blamed myself for being too trusting.
After the morning confrontation regarding my Facebook post, and after the Unit Manager proclaimed, “someone took a screen shot and sent it to me” , which was later revealed to be a total lie, to alleviate her guilt, I suppose, I pondered my fate all day. I knew I was done. I continued smiling, you kind of have to when you’re in the “caring” industry, but the bounce in my step was gone. My cloud nine dissipated. I kept on working though, and as always, doing my job well. Then, I got “the call”. It’s the Director of Nursing. “Come see me in my office at 2pm.” My heart sank. I knew exactly what it was about. I finished my work as though it was the end of the day because I knew this wasn’t going to be good at all.
I went down to the DON’s office promptly at 2 o’clock. She tells me to meet her in the administrator’s office. My head down, knowing that meant something bad, I walked into the administrator’s office. I’ve had other run-ins with the administrator. He is not a nice man. He’s a bully, to women anyway. An overweight, unattractive bully. he tells me to sit down. I don’t want to, I’m too nervous. It’s the DON, the Assistant Director of Nursing, the administrator, and I. I felt myself sweating and shaking inside, on the verge of tears. I look at what he’s holding in his hands. It’s a printed, enlarged copy of my Facebook post. I can tell you what went through my head at that moment, “the Unit Manager, she really fucked me over.” The administrator confirming that it WAS the Unit manager, my alleged “friend”, who brought this to his attention. I about lost my mind! I was trying so hard to be strong, not to cry. He told me to sit down and shut-up. I handed him a copy of The U.S. Bill of Rights with the First Amendment highlighted, Freedom of Speech and expression. No, they couldn’t fire my or discipline me for my Facebook post. You know what I got fired for exactly? Taking a picture in a patient area, using my cell phone in a patient area…the administrator says, “I enlarged it, you can see the privacy curtains in the background. I checked, they are our privacy curtains.” WHAT????
So I say, “You want to play the cell phone game? OK, I’ll play.” Nervously, trying so hard not to cry, I find a picture of another nurse sitting at the nurse’s station, in the middle of the day shift, with a chart opened playing Farm Heroes on her cell phone in a patient area! You want to know how I know what game she was playing? I ENLARGED it! Of course the bully administrator tells me, “You need to worry about yourself.” Finally he says, ” You’re being suspended for three days and will probably be terminated.” That basically means you’re fired. One thing you have to understand about me, I’m bipolar, there’s no handle on my emotions when I’m cornered, scared, bullied, confronted, and ganged-up on. Remember, there are 3 of them and one of me.
I know why there are 3 of them, so they can corroborate and fabricated a statement in case I should call Human Resources at the corporate office. Naturally, I lost my temper at that moment and told the administrator, “I know I’m a damn good nurse! You people just fucked up!”, in a cracked, verge-of-crying voice. He said, “Get out of here!” and waved his hand at me. So I did.
I walked down the hallway with clenched fists, choking back tears, and who do you think comes walking up the hallway? The Unit manager who ratted me out. I couldn’t hold back. I said, “I hope you’re happy, you fucking bitch!”
She was acting innocent and says, “Who? Me?” I just kept walking back to where my things were so I could gather them up to leave so I could just get in my car and cry. Close on my heels are both the ADON and the administrator, like I was some kind of criminal. I just wanted to get out of there so no one would see me cry. I’m pretty sure they were trying to prevent me from talking to other staff about my situation. I would never physically lash out at another person because of anger, that’s just not my style. I’m a lover, not a fighter…but they followed me to the exit door anyway. Just as I predicted, I got in my car, and as soon as I was out of the parking lot, I started sobbing.
This all happened on March 6th. It’s been almost 2 months now. I keep beating the shit out of myself every day thinking of what I could have done differently to avoid losing my job. I used names on myself such as loser, fuck-up, idiot, moron. I can never do anything right, I guess I deserved this…I SUCK!
I got so depressed, so defeated.
Then I thought about it after a couple of days and yet another unsuccessful phone call to the corporate regional human resources person, I really didn’t do anything wrong. I AM A DAMN GOOD NURSE! The only thing I can think of that is wrong with me is that I’m a white, bipolar, lesbian and apparently that was an issue for my former employer. My rights were violated because I’m “different”. The thing is, I have no advocate. There’s that little New Jersey “at will” law, unless you belong to a union, and nurse’s did not have a union at this facility, only nursing assistants, dietary and housekeeping. They needed no reason to fire me, they could basically make things up if they wanted to.
Now I’m unemployed, depressed, broke, defeated. Where is my champion? Why doesn’t my story go viral? Social media led to this, why can’t it help me out a little? Where’s my pro bono attorney who will take my case to make the papers? Where’s my Al Sharpton to speak out on my behalf? Who has the right to treat me that way? Denying my rights as a person with a medically documented and treated disability, openly lesbian, and white, to make a living.
I could apply for permanent disability. My psychiatrist told me if I think I can’t work, she would help me with the paperwork, but I don’t want to “work the system” when I can be working at a career I absolutely love. I have NEVER lost a job for my nursing skill. I have never had ANY complaints from the patients’
or their families. As a matter of fact, I have an entire folder of cards, notes, and memos I’ve collected over the years containing only praise and grateful thank yous from patients’ and families. I have 25 years of nursing experience. I’m definitely not stupid. Why the fuck did all of this happen?
I brought something back from that movie set with me. Empowerment. Empowered to be different. Empowered to be who I am. A nurse, writer, artist, caring, smart, loving, funny human being. I was persecute unjustly for that by other human beings who are no better than me. I just don’t get it…

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Valerie

Posted: June 13, 2013 in Life
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I promised myself I would never fall in love again. I’ve been hurt too many times. Then Valerie came along. I have dated some incredible women lately. Women who are smart, sexy, funny, and somewhat stable. Valerie has stolen my heart, brought me to my knees, stopped me in my tracks. I have quite a few other women interested in me but none of them compares to Valerie. She’s stubborn, has a load of baggage, is emotional, menopausal, dramatic, and somewhat impossible at times yet I find her beautiful, complex, and intriguing. There isn’t a thing about her that I don’t like except her obsession with her ex girlfriend. I don’t claim to know anything about their relationship but an ex girlfriend is an ex girlfriend for a good reason. I’ve been sticking around only because my gut tells me Valerie is in love with me, too, on some level. I listen to her struggle every day but can’t interfere. It would be selfish.
I’ve repeatedly made lists in my head of all of her attributes: I love her laugh, her voice, the smell of her skin and hair, her hands, her perfect body. I love the way she kisses, how excited she makes me with her kisses alone. I could write pages about her. As a matter of fact, I have, in my journal.
What do I have to do to win her heart? I mean, if I haven’t in a way, already. What do I have to do to even get her to spend time with me in person? Win the lottery, wait on her doorstep? I have no clue what to do. Backflips, maybe, or can I just be me and have her fall in love with me for that alone? I think she already has but fear and apprehension are holding her back. She’s paralyzed by her past and waiting for some kind of divine vision that will make things right with her ex girlfriend when so much resentment and damage has already been done between them. I don’t profess to know about their interactions but it’s just typical of most relationships that have ended. Valerie ‘believes’ her ex still has feelings for her. There is no doubt with me. She doesn’t have to just ‘believe’. She would KNOW I’m a sure thing. I wish she would just let me in her heart and give me a chance. I know I’m not perfect but one thing I can do well is love someone. I wish she would let me. She deserves the best part of me.

I’ve tried the bar scene. I’ve met people at work. I even tried personal ads in the PGN. To no avail, all led to pretty much disappointment and heartache. Finally, I decided to try dating web sites on the internet, however that hasn’t been exactly all that successful either. What a bunch of dysfunctional, desperate, and indeed bat-shit crazy people. I’ve met some nice people, don’t get me wrong but it seems the majority of these people on these sites are there to exact some sort of revenge on their ex-girlfriends. To be honest with you, when my partner of 4 1/2 years and I split up, that was the first thing I did, signed up for a dating site. That was so dumb. By no means was I emotionally ready to date. I figured that out on my own without involving someone else in my emotional turmoil. That was in July of 2012. I didn’t sign up for online dating again until I found out my ex partner was with someone else and there was no point in pining over her anymore.
The first woman I actually started talking to in November of 2012 still talks to me to this day but only via text. I had maybe 3 phone calls from her. She is always “busy”, claiming she works a lot. We still have yet to meet in person but she loves me and wants to marry me. I guess she must be my cyber fiancé.
I met a park ranger, she was nice, but that didn’t work out after a couple of dates. I met a junkie who kept nodding off with a lit cigarette in her hand and burnt holes in everything throughout my house. She had terrible insomnia and would clean my house while I was sleeping which was a bonus, I suppose. I met a couple of nice women who became friends only, which is a good thing. You can never have enough friends.
Basically I felt like I was fighting a losing battle and continually striking out. Then I met Valerie…and my little cyber world turned upside down…

“Nowhere Man”

Posted: May 5, 2013 in Life
Tags: , ,

dad2

“He’s a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody”

When I was a teenager my parents split up. My Dad had a girlfriend but continued to stay with my mother as well. His life with his girlfriend was a secret to everyone. He spent time between both places, so I always referred to him as the “Nowhere Man”. He was with his family but usually when he was there he was drinking and abusive. When he left we “knew” but didn’t really “know” where he was, what his other life consisted of, so he was really “nowhere” to me.
On March 10, 2013, my father, Kenneth Ellis Arnold, Sr. passed away from prostate cancer. He was 65 years old.
The last week of his life I couldn’t go visit him. I could make all kinds of excuses as to why I didn’t visit him, but I won’t. The bottom line is, I didn’t want to watch him die. I knew it was close, I could see it in his eyes, I could see his fear. I’m a nurse, death is a familiar thing for me, but not when it’s your own, someone you love, your family.
I think about my Dad all of the time. He has so much potential in his life. So many things he could have accomplished. He was an alcoholic and never admitted it or sought treatment. He had a few health scares over the years and he would quit for awhile but always went back to drinking. He was much mellower in the last few years though. He became cranky rather than explosive. I attribute the alcoholism to his death. Perhaps he would have gotten more aggressive treatment for his prostate cancer if he wasn’t drinking.
I don’t want to remember my father as a destitute alcoholic. He had alot of attributes that I admired. He was handsome. All of my girlfriends from grammar and high school have told me recently that he was the “hot” Dad. He was smart. As a kid, I used to look through his old notebooks and drawings from when he went to school to be a steamfitter. His mechanical drawings were impressive. Meticulous and neat. His grades for these drawings were almost always “A’s”. That made me proud of him. Once, in junior high, I had a science project to make a kite out of household materials that would actually fly. My Dad built me a kite out of sticks from the yard, newspaper, string, and old torn up yellow curtains for the tail. I took it to school, so PROUD of that kite. It not only flew, I got an “A”. My Dad made me that kite! MY DAD! I’ll never forget that as long as I live.
He was my protector. Although at times he could be abusive, he would never allow anyone to hurt his kids. When I had boyfriends that were unsavory characters and were not taking “no” for an answer when we broke up, all Dad had to do was answer the front door and they never bothered me again.
He had a sense of humor. I remember many times at family functions when he had everyone laughing their asses off. Even in the hospital when he was in excruciating pain and dying, he was cracking jokes and being funny, telling funny stories. When I would visit him, usually on Sundays, we would have a beer together, just the two of us, and we would laugh. I cherish those memories.
And when he used to play softball. He was a power hitter. He knocked it over the fence often. He wasn’t the fastest runner, I inherited that from him, but he was good. His team always went to the championship. He taught my brother baseball and my brother ended up playing professional baseball for almost 10 years. Dad deserves some credit for that!
My father’s death has caused a small ripple in our family dynamic. Because of the “secret life” he had been living, after he passed away alot of old feelings resurfaced, for my brother and I mostly because we knew Dad differently than my sister, who is much younger than we are and doesn’t have the same experiences and memories that we do. I’m not going into detail about this “ripple” because it’s fixable and will heal itself in time. We are family and should love and support one another before it’s too late to make things right.
I have some regrets where my father is concerned. I wish I had spent more time with him these last few years. I enjoyed his company. The last time I saw him before he passed away he was actually bragging to his nurses about me. He told them I was a nurse too and that I was really good at art and writing. Finally, he acknowleged me after years of struggling for his approval. I will NEVER forget that day. The last thing we said to each other as I walked out of his hospital room was, “I love you.” And that’s what I want to remember most about my Dad.

The Vampires

Posted: January 17, 2013 in Life
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The vampires got her. They lured her in when she was weak and vulnerable. They fed on her until she was turned, until they drained her heart and it became empty. She is one of them now. Lost to the world of the living. She has become the walking dead. Her body is a shell. They’ve filled her with false promises and lies when her mind was too confused NOT to believe them. She is now living in darkness. I tried to fight to save her but somehow I became the enemy. My love alone was not strong enough. I kept her safe for as long as I could until my strength dwindled to almost nothing. My weapons were useless.I was smart enough not to believe the doctrine of their cult but could not convince her that it was all lies to entrap her in their world. Since she’s been gone, she has fallen deeper under their spell. She has been chosen by one of them to be used for whatever is left of her soul. My pain has turned to anger and I cannot get through to her. She doesn’t hear me. She is deaf to my voice now. All I can do is be afraid for her. That she’ll never walk in the sun again. Her once radiant beauty is encrusted with the dirt from the grave to which she must retreat now. It has seeped into her being, made her tainted and replaced the living part of her existance. I have no choice but to let them have her. I have to let her go. Their numbers are too great for me to fight alone. She’s too far gone to turn back to the world of the living. I had hoped at one time she would break away and heal herself but that hope escaped me when I knew one of them had singled her out and completely possessed her with more lies, preying on her sympathies, regailing her with stories of desperation and heartache. She unwittingly fell into the trap and now sees or hears nothing to make her understand that whatever is left of her has been consumed by evil in disguise. I have to let her go before I lose MY soul to this fight. It’s not easy to understand why a person once so good and caring can be turned into a monster like them. Why she would choose to become one of the living dead rather than a human with a heart and soul, I’ll never understand. My hatred for these vampires grows every time I see the emptiness in her eyes. I have to walk away. My heart hurts when I am witness to what they’ve done to her. Her path was chosen by their coersion, their lies, and the twisted wisdom of false prophets. It is not my path. Never was. I choose to remain in the world of the living. I cherish my heart and soul. I choose to walk in the sun.

Whatever. Not these days, it seems. My mother tells me I’m too old to be ‘lovesick’. Well, if you want to define ‘lovesick’ by today’s standards, I guess I’m feeling a sense of abandonment, I’m not really ‘in love’, just co-dependent. I’ll never understand why people in this world today don’t believe in love anymore. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, maybe it’s the artist and poet in me, but love used to mean something. Now it’s all clouded, corrupted and over-analyzed by society. Society’s sick need to define everything as dysfunctional, diseased, and imperfect. People used to do tremendous things for love. King Edward VIII of England fell in love with Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee, and was not permitted to marry her unless he abdicated the throne of England and lived in exile. Well, guess what, in 1936, he did just that, abdicated the throne and moved to Paris in exile, just to marry the woman he loved. I wish  someone would love me like that. Not to exclude same-sex relationships, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas met in 1907. They were together at a time when homosexuality was very taboo, but they remained together for 39 years until Stein’s death in 1946. They’re even buried together in Pere La Chaise Cemetery in Paris, France. I wish someone would love me for that long. I think another great love story that society kind of laughed at was John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Despite the controversy surrounding the Beatles break-up, I think John’s love for Yoko and the distraction of that deep love contributed greatly to the Beatles separation. He gave up the greatest rock and roll band of all time to be with Yoko, for love. I wish someone would make that kind of sacrifice for me. Call me a hopeless romantic…I guess all I can do is keep believing and hoping someday love will find me again…

‘Tis The Season…

Posted: October 12, 2012 in Life
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It’s that time of year again. Halloween. Time to tell ghost stories and go ghost hunting. Here’s a little story I wrote in 2005 about a haunting I experienced years ago. The names have been changes to protect the “innocent”…

Saturday, November 19, 2005 Cedar Brook Road

Recently, an old boyfriend of mine, who I hadn’t seen in 20 years, resurfaced when his “father” (step-father…I’ll explain later) became one of my patients in the nursing and rehabilitation facility where I work. That sure did dig up some old memories, especially about the haunted house that his family lived in on Cedar Brook Road. He and I dated when I was 18 years old…1984. We weren’t together for very long for reasons that aren’t relevant to this story, but i did spend some time at his house and I actually witnessed some strange occurances myself. In order to get the entire story about the “haunting”, I conducted casual “interviews” with my old boyfriend’s sister on my cigarette breaks. She requested that I don’t use anyone in her family’s names, so I have changed them to tell the story.

As I said, it was 1984. I used to hang out at Joe’s house and watch tv, have dinner, or a few beers. Mostly we sat at the kitchen table playing cards or just talking with his family or friends. There was a big picture window behind the kitchen table. Late at night, I could see the top of a tall man’s head walk past the window to come to the back door. Everyone came in the back door, the front porch was someone’s bedroom and the front door was kept locked. They had 3 or 4 small dogs that ran to the door whenever someone was coming in, so they all ran to the door barking, but there was no one there. I indicated to Joe that there was a man walking past the window to the door to come in but he’s not at the door. Joe just laughed and said, “That’s my Dad coming home from work.” But, Joe’s Dad had been dead for 20 years!

Joe’s sister, on her visits to the the facility where I work, explained, in detail, what happened to her father in 1964. At that time, Joe was in the hospital, he was about 3 years old, and his mother was pregnant with Joe’s sister, Dee. Their father, Joe Sr., was a foreman at Mrs. Paul’s Seafood in Braddock, NJ. He was out of work sick for the week but decided one night to go to work and check on things. His wife told him not to go, but he insisted.  He pulled up to the plant and got out of his car. A former employee, a Hispanic man, was waiting in the parking lot, not particularly waiting for Joe Sr., but someone of authority at the plant because he had been fired earlier that week. He asked Joe Sr., “Why was I fired?” Joe Sr. answered, “I don’t know. I was out sick all week.” Another shift supervisor emerged into the parking lot and the Hispanic man asked him the same question. The other man replied, “Because you don’t do your job!” It was then that the Hispanic man pulled a gun from his pocket and shot Joe Sr. in the chest. Joe Sr. turned around and started walking away and the Hispanic man shot him again, this time in the back. Joe Sr. kept walking! I’m not sure what happened to the other supervisor, but as Joe Sr. walked toward the entrance door of the plant, the Hispanic man shot him again, this time only grazing his thigh, however, Joe Sr. kept walking! Finally, he opened the door to the plant and said, “I’ve been shot…” Then, he fell to the floor and he was dead.

Now remember, Dee was still inutero when all this happened. She told me she hear this from her aunts. But a good, detailed acccount of the murder. Anyway, in the tradtion of old Italian families, it’s the “responsibility” of the unmarried brother to care for his dead brother’s wife and children, so I’ve heard. Joe Sr.’s brother, the man in the facility where I work, Mel, married his brother’s wife and took care of the family from 1964 until the present. Needless to say, Joe Sr. left this earth with obvious unfinished business. A pregnant wife and a very ill 3 year old. Aside from the fact that he died so young, unexpectedly, and violently. Seems to me like good enough reasons to be a “restless spirit”.

According to Dee, there was more than one ghost in the house on Cedar Brook Road. Not just Joe Sr.’s ghost, but “others”. Specifically, Dee doesn’t know. The source of the haunting, or “portal” was Joe’s closet in his bedroom. It had a trap door that led to the crawl space/attic. Most of the activity happened in that particular bedroom. Over the years, the family became so disturbed by the haunting, that they actually conducted a seance with a medium. Mel and Dee both told me the same account of that particular event.

The family and medium were all downstairs at the kitchen table doing whatever people do at a seance, holding hands by candle light and summoning spirits. Then suddenly, the entire upstairs became illuminated. The house had been dark except for the candles that were lit for the seance. Then, down the stairs came individual balls of light, one by one, as if in a line, waiting to be seen. Needless to say, everyone at the table was scared out of their minds, so the gathering hastily concluded. Dee couldn’t tell me how many balls of light she witnessed, but apparently enough to make the family move out of that house not long after the seance. The family thinks that there may be an old cemetery under where the house was built or somewhere in the yard. No one bothered to research the history of the area, they just couldn’t take it anymore and moved out.

Like I said, I had my own experiences at that place when I hung-out there, aside from seeing Joe Sr. coming home from work every night. This one night, Joe, another friend, Sue, and I were sitting in the front seat of Sue’s car (bench seats back then), Sue in the driver’s seat, me in the middle, and Joe in the passenger’s seat. We were in the driveway of THAT house. Suddenly, from the back seat, I felt someone pull on my hair. (I had long hair then, a mullet, to be exact, it was the 80’s). Sue’s hands were on the steering wheel, Joe’s hands were on his lap, and I certainly wasn’t pulling my own hair. I questioned both of them and it was obvious, neither one of them had done it. Well, Joe got out of the car, and Sue and I sped out of there quickly, at my insistance. I was a little scared, I think. That was only a “minor” incident. I saw a few more unexplainable things in that house. Dressers shaking for no reason, a globe from a lamp floating across the room and bowling over wine bottles, and invisible footsteps in the plush carpet as if someone was walking there when there was actually no one there. Just plain old freaky, unexplainable occurances.

After speaking to Dee about her experiences, some friends and I, who just so happened to be on a ghost hunting kick, decided to drive by the house on Cedar Brook Road and snap a few pictures of the place. It was inhabited and looked peaceful enough, but when I snapped pictures of the house, there was quite a large number of orbs. Once I got the photos uploaded into my computer and magnified them, the weird thing was, the window of the bedroom where the alleged “portal” was located, had misty faces in it, quite a few of them. So at that point, to me, the accounts of the seance became validated. I believe that my experiences in that house WERE of a paranormal nature. I’d sure like to find out if the current occupants have had any experiences. Maybe someday I could interview them, if my ghost hunting becomes something more than amateur…