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The Field Trip. Part Two.

A lot of changes were made at The Foundry after covid. I was saddened when the organization laid employees off. In particular, my counselor, Ms. Donna. We had established a bond and I trusted her guidance. Ms. Donna helped me identify with fact versus truth. When I circled around my problems, she helped me focus on the importance of the present and forgiveness. Although, at first, my attention remained on the hurt that I continually spoke of over and over, again. Before she left, we met a couple of times, and when I say, my mental health had deteriorated, I am not joking. She kept the circle of feelings wheel on a coffee table in her office. When asked, "how are you feeling today?" I looked at the wheel with a blank stare. Saying, "I do not know. I am okay. I am here." Sadly, I was numb to my surroundings and cut off from basic cognitive responses. I was knowingly very aware of my odd behavior and mental confusion. I remained trapped in my head and inadvertently lost in my own mind.

Ms. Donna approached me and asked, "John is back from his illness. Would you like to schedule an appointment. I think it would be good for you."

I knew I needed prayer. John is a man of God and is in the deliverance ministry. I responded, "yes. what will he do? I do not want holy water and all of that." Ms. Donna reassured me, "it is effective prayer, and it is safe." I was skittish with my last experience at the other counselor's office when the holy water was administered on my hands. At this point, I longed for freedom, but was scared from my past experiences. It was like, another spirit was trapped in my body and roared its way out of me. If you are thinking this is far-fetched and hocus pocus- I did too until my own first-hand experience. Oppression is real. I was unaware of such spiritual encounters or the 'spiritual world' until it visited me. Ms. Donna and Tawana (the women's director) were determined to help set me free. I am so thankful for their continual support to this day. Ms. Donna left the Foundry. She has since returned and is making a difference in ladies' lives. In the meantime, Tawana became my new counselor. I had the best of both worlds because I had them both at one time and another for guidance.

As I waited, for God's timing for my prayer session, I worked at the thrift store and counted down my days until my next phase. With each phase out, I was closer to reuniting with my babies. I not only was taken on one loss after another, but I impatiently waited for the arrival of my divorce papers. Do you know what one of the worst feelings in the world is? Well for me, it was trying to find contentment when I had absolutely no control over my current situation. The very thought that I could not defend myself in my affairs with my husband brought on anguish and a mountain of anger. I felt like the victim. I could not believe he was kicking me down when I was already so low. In hindsight, God was teaching me that the battle belonged to him. The only thing I had control over was myself. I was weighed down mentally, physically, and spiritually. God was working in my life the whole time. I could not see it then, but I see it now.

During this time, Tawana scheduled a field trip for the girls who wanted to visit her mom's lake house. We had access to a boat ride, sunshine, swimming, sunbathing, and riding a Sea-Doo. This is the ultimate paradise. Especially for women who are locked behind a gate in the middle of the ghetto for treatment. The only locations we had access to be was the thrift store, church, outreach center (where we ate our dinner), and the local grocery store. Field trips are challenging when you house women from all different backgrounds, addictions, and mental illnesses. Sporadically, women who require more than the Foundry offers make a short-lived appearance. The Foundry is not equipped for extreme cases of mental illness. Not only does it disrupt the entire community, but it is also a huge distraction for women who are serious about change. It does not take long for the distractions to weave themselves out the door.

On the day of the field trip, all of the girls who had signed up to attend were so excited except for one girl named Cece. Honestly, I was shocked that Cece signed up for the occasion. Cece was an African American woman, ln her 30s, who continually had 'write-ups' for her behavior not following the rules. She intentionally sought out girls to agonize. At first, I thought maybe she was misunderstood. I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I look for the good traits in people. She was another kind of evil. When she walked by, she looked as if she would bomb the whole place. I am being very judgmental right now, and I know I should not. (This is exactly how I felt about her then.)

I had a wonderful time on the lake! It was nice to smell the fresh air, swim, laugh, and listen to secular music. We were not allowed to listen to secular music while at the Foundry. Music is powerful. Although, I did sneak and listen to secular music. It can take people to a different place and jar memories that do not need to be exposed. My best friend, Sonya, still does not listen to secular music because it carries a negative weight with her and "takes her somewhere she does not need to be." I respect that. I listen to all genres of music and enjoy it immensely!

Moving on, I do not remember much about Cece while at the lake. She kept to herself. She did annoy all of us girls with the radio. She complained as we turned up the music. She wanted it on a gospel station, I think to intentionally wreak havoc in the van. It was passive aggressive evil behavior. She negatively spoke against everything the other girls wanted. After we left the lake house, Tawana gave us permission to stop at a fast-food restaurant and stop to smoke. Our cigarette breaks were what we lived for! We made our stops with bathroom breaks. We were only about an hour and a half away from the Foundry from the lake house. In the meantime, Cece precedes to act like an immature child. She is sitting in the very back of the van. I am sitting in the front row seat. She is screaming about having to pee. We had stopped minutes earlier. We were not stopping again. We had very strict instructions and the van was tracked by a GPS system. We all had enough of her immature, demanding behavior. The music was turned up as we tried to drown out her talking.

All of a sudden, I turned around as her pants are down, buttocks up peeing in a cup. She then proceeds to walk to the front of the van hand off her cup full of urine and reached over someone to wipe her filthy hands on me. Every fiber of my being wanted to fight her. Given that I would have been kicked out regardless of the circumstance I did not. Obviously, fighting another participant is not condoned. We were all in shock! This grown woman has legit pulled down her pants with a smile on her face and laughed when her 'pee hands' touched me. I do not remember my exact words, but I did not reframe from cursing her as the van came to a stop. I was pissed. We stopped to call Tawana and smoke after the incident. It was humorous but not for me!

That was not her only incident. She wiped poop on the bathroom wall. But treatment had to carry up I will share my 14-day fast.

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