Recollections from a rehab – part eleven


Continued from recollections from a rehab part ten…

 

Now, for those of you thinking;

there can be no way that someone could admit to murder in front of a bunch of witnesses like that, including professional therapists, and get away with it’,

Here’s how it works in these kinds of situations from the facilitator’s point of view:

If they are inexperienced or otherwise not very good at their job, they may well immediately start flapping and squawking and make a huge song and dance about it by running around disclosing what they have heard to their fellow colleagues, management and/or the police.

So, let’s say the police are called and arrive at the rehab with sirens blazing and guns drawn, getting all moist and excited at the prospect of an easy arrest, and thus a couple of solved murders on their resume.  They go bursting into the therapy room having been given a description of the lowlife by the facilitator, grab him, slam him up against the wall and say:

“So, what’s all this we hear about you killing a drunk driver in Reno – when you were Chief of Police no less…huh?…huh? well now it’s time to pay the piper chief, you’re coming with us and we’re gonna throw you in the slammer and you’d better believe you’re never getting out pal…do you hear me…never!!”

The chances are his reply would be something along the lines of:

“Don’t know what you’re talking about, made the whole thing up”, perhaps followed by a short, dry fart…and that would be the end of it really.

You see, whatever he said in the group is legally classed as hearsay and unless someone is really, really wanting to confess to a murder and physically takes the police to the scene of their crime and actually digs the bodies up, that’s the way it has to be treated, and as of the time of me writing this i have yet to hear of anyone, ever having done that, although i have heard plenty of stories similar in nature to Joe’s…but hey, what ya gonna do huh?

Another thing to remember as well is that really bad people, those that might be likely to have ‘serial killer’ down on their CV, albeit in the small print, are highly unlikely to ever present themselves at the door of an establishment concerned with helping people make positive changes to their behaviour, unless of course they have genuinely come to a point in their lives where they would honestly like to learn a little bit about psychology and human behaviour with a view to at least attempting to stop stabbing people in the head and burying them in ditches, in which case when attempting to treat them, things could become a trifle legally…erm… questionable, although who am i to judge? At least they would be trying to reduce their intake of chemicals, which no one can deny must surely be a great first step on the long, long road to no longer killing children and the pets they love, calmly and with calculation, in the dead of night…agreed?…right then.

Also, bear in mind that addiction is a mental illness, one of the symptoms of which can often be compulsive lying, meaning it is usually prudent to take most of what one hears as a facilitator with a large pinch of salt, obviously there are exceptions to this but i think you get the gist of what i am saying right?

How do you know when an addict is lying?…their lips are moving!

So the days wore on and i ended up sharing a room with Joe when his roommate finished treatment and wandered on his merry way.  He was a fair few years older than me and i felt a sense of safety when around him and we grew quite close and talked about all manner of things.  He often spoke of his deep appreciation for his current employers, an elderly couple who were the owners of a successful restaurant down on the waterfront in San Francisco, of which Joe was the general manager.  He told me of how they had been completely supportive of him throughout this horrible period in his life, hadn’t shown a shred of judgment and told him to take as much time off as he needed, and by doing so had removed a whole load of stress he would otherwise have been having to deal with.

To add insult to injury, Joe had also recently lost his wife and recounted in tender detail how he had held her in her last hours as she was dying from cancer and the things he said to her as she slipped away, which in turn tapped into my recent experience with my mum dying of the same thing, but without the drugs i had been using to keep a lid on all of this stuff, causing the tears to flow thick, fast and often when talking to Joe and we really did become very close.

Joe also spoke fondly of his daughter whom he loved dearly, telling me all about her kids and her career and his relationship through the years with her, making me quite sad really that i haven’t yet had any kids, but hey, that’s just how things have turned out and i have no regrets, what’s the point? You do the best you can with the hand you’ve been dealt, and i have often felt quite thankful that i haven’t had any kids up to this point because i would definitely have been quite a challenge to have as a father and i wouldn’t wish that kind of work on anyone, it would have been unfair, not that i would have intended to hurt anyone in any way mind, but there are/were genetic factors at play and i have come to the realisation as the years have passed that perhaps it might be a good thing now for that challenging lineage to gently wind down and come to a close, with me, as my time here grows shorter and i come to observe that as it does, the thought of a long rest isn’t quite as unpleasant, nor indeed terrifying, as perhaps it ever once was.

One day about two weeks into his stay, Joe came to talk to me to say that the general manager of the rehab was starting to get on his case about him paying for his treatment.  Along with everything else, Joe had lost his wallet when he had been rushed into hospital, and when it came time to transfer over to the rehab had arranged to sort out his fees as soon as he was somewhat lucid and could figure out a way to transfer the funds to their account. His bank wouldn’t ok the transaction without some form of ID from someone standing in front of them and said he didn’t want to get his daughter involved as he didn’t want to trouble her and she probably didn’t have that kind of money to lend him upfront anyway.

I asked if there was anything i could do to help and Joe went back and spoke to the manager telling him of my offer but he said he couldn’t allow another client to get involved in financial transactions of that sort, leaving Joe to rack his brains and try to figure out a way to deal with this situation without actually having to physically go to his bank in San Francisco (about a 2 hour drive) to do so.

After a couple of days with the manager on his case Joe decided he had no choice but to go to San Francisco and get the money wired from his bank and booked a taxi to get him there.  He asked me quietly whether i had any spare pocket cash i could lend him until he got back for the taxi and such, so i gave him what i had which was about $150 and told him to be careful because he was still craving a drink and was soon to be out in the world again with no one there to stop him if he went for it.

He went first thing in the morning and was due back later that afternoon, so i went about my day doing the things you do in rehab, which are mainly lots of talking and a fair amount of eating.  The food was really good, all homemade but unfortunately organised by the fattest, sweatiest,  most miserable bastard of a cook you could ever have the misfortune of encountering in this, or any other, life; as long as you didn’t look at the guy whilst you were eating you were generally ok, but catch a glimpse? And you were fucked! Your cutlery dropped to the table amidst a whirl of disgusting images piped in live from the planet unhygienia with running commentary and stomach churning special effects.

I had gone back to my room after dinner at about 6.30pm just in time to meet Steve, the general manager who knocked on the door and asked me a few questions about Joe, whether i had spoken to him before he left? Had i lent him any money? Did he say anything to me about which bank he was going to? amongst other things.  He was looking flustered and i asked him if everything was ok but he said that he couldn’t really say and that i was not to worry.

Later that evening when everyone was watching a film, Steve came and spoke to us as a group and let us know that Joe was no longer a client of the treatment centre, that his name was not Joe and that everything we thought we knew about him was untrue, at which point quite a few people stated that they had lent him money, and cigarettes, and food and…and…and….and just like that, the man i had befriended and shared my life, my fears, my clothes, my coffee, my money, my cigarettes, my sadness, my laughter and my heart with for the past few weeks no longer existed, and as the anger and resentment began to rise, what hit me hardest of all, was that throughout all of our time together this man i knew only as Joe had never actually existed at all.

 

To be continued….

 

 

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2 Responses to “Recollections from a rehab – part eleven”

  1. johnmiddle@sbcglobal.net Says:

    Number 12 please……You have a book in the making here Drummerboy.

  2. This is very funny, interesting and moving. It would make a great book.

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