Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just an average day working in a group home....

I could hear the screaming from the the driveway as the old, black 83 Cougar idled down to what seemed like a relieved gasp.

"NO! I hit people right?!! I hit people!!"

Fuck. What a great way to start a shift. Kim's other personality was obviously on the war path and after a night of boozin', eatin' up a bunch of shit, I felt like total crap. Completely unprepared to wrestle with a miniature tornado whose entire goal was to claw,spit, bite.... basically create chaos every second her eyes happened to be open. When the "other one" took over, it was very much like stepping into Father Karras' shoes for a few hours, maybe longer depending on how strong the pissy possession hung on. I staggered in a zombie like state to the front door of the neatly kempt suburban home with the unnatural horrors that lived inside. Stopping just short of turning the door knob, stepping back, facing the sunshine, leaning into the cool spring breeze of a Michigan afternoon, it was impossible to give up already. I kept thinking maybe, breathing it in deep would somehow help ward off the evils that lay on the other side or just provide the strength to endure it. The crash of what sounded like several dishes against the wall killed the mood. Ducking my head, hands over face, I went for it.

"Stop it Kim! Shit!"

Carl had her in a wrap on the the floor but it was more like a midget trying to ride a bull than a full grown man subduing a tiny woman, weighing 110 pounds, standing no more than 4"9. When the "other one" was in control, she had the fortitude of THREE men his size. Sure, if he were allowed to just punch her in the face, Kim would have dropped like a stone, that was the bitch of it all. She was retarded, we were there to protect her, mostly from herself and it was an agonizing process much of the time.

Christina had been put on corralling the other residents out of harm's way while Deshawn fought the good fight alongside Carl, laying across Kim's legs. It was like Hell's version of Twister, the only winner being the one who didn't get hurt. So far, that appeared to be out the window. Carl had several bloody scratches down his forearms while Deshawn clearly had a swollen lip.

"NO! I kill people right?!!" That was the insidious question Kim's mind master would scream out over and over as it tried to crush the goodness that remained inside of her.

Putting all my stuff in the office, grabbing a dust pan to clean up the broken glass, we discussed how we would make the transition. I was there to relieve Carl but there was no way we could handle her in this state without him. Jesus, this wasn't worth the luxurious wage of $5.75 an hour, not by a damn site.

"I'll stay" Carl uttered reluctantly "But I gotta get a break. I'm seriously about to lose it and the beat the fuck out of her."

Somehow Kim had wiggled her head around just enough to sink her teeth into Carl's shoulder. I saw it before I think he even felt it and popped her lightly, open handed in the side of the jaw, forcing it to open and release.

"That's it! I've got to let her go! I'm going to choke her if I don't!"

"Do it, I'm ready." The "other one" loved fresh meat so it was a given she'd come straight for me as soon as she sprang to her feet. Still holding the broom, I held it out in front of me like a lion tamer as Kim latched on to the end, attempting to rip it from my hands. I ran backwards towards her room, intentionally pulling her while she stayed latched on to the bristled end.

"Open her door!!!" my mouth commanded to Christina who had made sure every other resident was safely tucked away in their own rooms. With all the momentum I could muster, I swung the broom around, pushing her in while Deshawn threw a blanket over her head to buy us a second, just long enough to seal her in.

To be continued.....

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