That’s right. The new caregiver has a mouth on her that the owner obviously approves of. The tension here at the old ladies home is through the roof. Not to mention our blood pressure. We have all, all five of us, been so nervous and tense because of the new caregiver that we literally feel physically bad. I am the healthiest person here anyway. The two with diabetes don’t look so good, and my roommate, who has a tumor in her lung, expresses tension and the desire to move. She is generally a quiet lady who keeps to herself. Maybe I am a bad influence on her. The only person who doesn’t show tension is Melinda, who was born with a physical disability and uses a walker. Her left side works well. Her right side doesn’t. Melinda reminds me of what Jesus said about the little children, and how we must be like a small child when we come to Him. She doesn’t like this caregiver, but doesn’t let it get to her. She’s trusting, like a child, that all will turn out well.
I, on the other hand, have lost faith. Or gained my independence. One day, Donnie, the caregiver, told me to clean up the apple mess I had left on the table. It wasn’t my mess. Now, Donnie said this because she wanted to break my spirit and force me to do what she had told me to do. It was a quarter of an apple on the table. So when owner came that night, she told owner, and I gave my explanation to owner, whereby Donnie lied, in a panic, saying, ” She was the only one who got an apple!” I’m looking around wondering if I am in first grade again. Nope! Just here with two crazy women. I explained that everyone got an apple at lunch. Owner replied, Pick up your mess, Janis. Well, I was angry. Furious is more like it. I said, to the owner, I am not your slave! I pay to live here. Get your hired help to do it, or do it yourself! I don’t care! Owner was impressed. She told me once again, as though I were 6 years old, to pick up my mess. I said “No!” and walked away. I felt so free! Then I realized what I needed to do: call the Ombudsmen. I mean, really. Who in their right mind will go on about a piece of apple all day long? No one. Most people have too many good things going on to bother. I began to see what the owner was doing as deliberate abuse. I knew it was to me. I just never thought of it that way to the other people. Deliberate abuse. We pay her, she’s supposed to accommodate us, but she doesn’t. She demands the strictest obedience from each and every one of us. We haven’t even received toilet paper this month. We are to buy what we need besides paying an outrageous rent. Not according to the law, just according to Andria Wade, owner of Rose Blossom. She does what she wants. I feel a lot better since I got in touch with the Ombudsmen and advised them of the situation. Someone with authority and legal power is on my side. I am breathing so much easier you wouldn’t believe.