THE NUT HOUSE
About four hours after I got to sleep my phone rang. It was my parents. They said they were across the street at the new shopping plaza and needed to see me right away. It was seven in the morning. Something important must have happened for them to drive an hour to see me at that time. One minute later they were at my door.
It was my mother, father, and sister. They all came in with very sad long looks on their faces. In the six years I lived at that house my sister had been there only four times--three of them to see Nicole, the other to see our mother's father. Something very important must have happened that they were all there to tell me.
As soon as they walked in they surrounded me and started giving hugs. My mother began to show tears. They sat me down on the couch.
My mother spoke, "You know, we are only here because we love you. So know that we are here to support you. What we have to tell you is going to upset you, so please know that we are here for you."
I didn't know what was going on. Someone must have died. Oh no, not granny. Please don't let it have been granny. It must have been. Why else would they be there? Then my mother spoke again, "Mary called the house last night while we were out. She has reneged on the deal and is going to hold you to what she can get from the courts."
I could not believe what I was hearing. In what felt like ten minutes, I went from feeling the highest I had been since Nicole's birth, to the lowest I have ever felt in my life. There was a look of confusion on my face. My father spoke.
"She is obviously being told by some one else what to do. Either her father or her boss or her lawyer, but she is not making this decision on her own."
I started to cry, "How could she do this to me? We had a deal."
My father answered that rhetorical question, "Oh come on Louis, she knows the state is willing to give her more. All she cares about is the money."
I became enraged. I stood up and started screaming, "That fucking bitch! That fucking little bitch! I'm going to kill her! I'm going to meet her at her office and I'm going to kill her with my own bare hands the moment she gets out of the car!"
I was moving towards the front door when everyone started telling me how much they loved me and to ???? Mary. They said they would help me through this. I told them to leave me alone while I kept saying how I was going to kill her and love every minute of it. I went into the kitchen. My father got mad at my threats and yelled at me that he was going to call the police if I tried to leave the house. When he approached me I landed a punch on him. Then I threw my fist through a wall next to the phone in the kitchen. The second one went right through to the closet on the other side. I was feeling more rage then I had ever experienced in my life--including the time I snapped out in June of 1987 exactly three years ago. I kept saying how one of us was going to die.
I decided that killing Mary would be a sin. It would just land me in jail and Nicole without any parents. Karen might be awarded custody and I couldn't have that. She could very well end up like Karen, pregnant at the age of 15. The only thing I could do to save Nicole a parent was to kill myself. (As the state of New Hampshire says, "Live free, or die".) There was nothing left for me to live for except twenty years of hard labor stealing money for Donald Trump. I told everyone that my desire to kill Mary was deep and that I would go with them to the police station to turn myself in. I was in my robe, so I told them I wanted to take a shower first. They agreed and let me go to my room.
Killing myself was the only thing on my mind. I had a bottle of steroids, which I bought from Arnold. I figured a hundred of those should do the trick. If not, it would definitely shut down my kidneys. I got everything set up and took a shower. (I wanted to wake up and clear my mind.) I had locked both doors to the room and after the shower started writing a suicide note.
It was to my daughter. I wanted her to know why I did what I was about to do. I started by telling her how the casinos were all fixed to steal from people and told her never to go in one. Then I told her how her mother knew that but would not do anything to help me get away from those people.
My family kept asking me what I was doing. I kept saying I'd be right out. I sat at my computer banging away at the keys. The first page was off the screen and I was now on the second page telling Nicole how much I loved her and was not afraid to die. My parents kept pestering me. "What is the problem, Lou," my mother asked.
I snapped. I turned my head to face the door and screamed at the top of my lungs, "I'm sick of her goddamned shit! I'm sick of her shit, and I'm sick of this planet and everyone on it! And I'm sick and tired of stepping on buttons and hitting switches to steal from people to make Donald Trump look like a god damned hero when he's nothing but a fucking Mafia crook! One of us is going to die and I guess itís going to be me!"
The second I stopped I heard from the other side of the door, "Ok, that's it. Let's go." The door was kicked open and I saw two pigs coming after me. My bed was blocking their way, so they had to go around it. I quickly started downing the pills and ran to lock myself in the bathroom. They caught up with me and started getting rough. I gave in and did what they said. They threw me on the bed and slapped on the handcuffs. One of the pigs started writing down what was on the computer screen. I was afraid he might notice that some of it was missing, so I showed him how to dump the screen. I figured if he got a print out he might be less inclined to read it knowing he had had it and he wouldn't notice it was the end of a longer letter. The stuff about the games being rigged was off the screen, so that didn't print. They put me on a stretcher, strapped me down, and brought me to were they bring all the crazies at the Atlantic City Medical Center.
I was scared. Those cops heard me admit that the casinos fixed all the games. I was wondering what would happen if they mentioned it to one of the Boys. I had never met a cop who was not crooked. Also, the computer was not turned off and the confession I wrote was still there. All someone had to do was punch the "page up" key and they would have it. Last, I had been to Ancora in 1984. My belief about mental hospitals was that they are tools of the establishment to dope up people who are cracking from knowing too much. The objective: to keep them quiet.
There was one other thing I worried about; my new roommate was to officially move in on this day. He was a Stockton student, but he also worked in the casinos as a craps dealer for three years. He got a good reference from a mutual friend I trusted, but I still had my doubts. I couldn't trust anyone who was a dealer. He knew about computers and had one as well. What if he saw what I was doing? Would he turn me in to the Boys? It seemed like the beginning of the end. And it was.
They locked me in a small room to observe me. You would think they would put someone who just tried to kill themselves in a quiet room. Not these people, the room was so noisy it drove me crazy. The section was called P.I.P. (Personal Injury Protection.)
I obtained my medical records just before I cut out of New Jersey. Mary had won a court order that would allow her and her boyfriend access to them. I wanted to see what my chances would have been in court based on what was on them.
There was a form P.I.P. had to fill out on me. In question A., "Identification of the Case", it states (and I will do my best, the handwriting is like scratch): "25 yr. old, white, male, single, living in apt. alone, employed as a dealer at a casino, finished 2 1/2 yr. of college, primary language, English."
Question B., "Presenting Problem, 1. Referral Source: Galloway Township Police. 2. Chief Complaint: Threatening Suicide."
In the third question, C., "Sequential account of presenting problem (recent onset of symptoms, precipitation events, additional facts from other source)," they state what I said happened in the bedroom except they do not mention what it was I said to make the cops break down the door. They go on to talk about Mary and the child support and then it states: "He also feels people at work discriminate against him because he is a white male, He says they let other people get promotions over him because they're female or minorities." What was I going to tell them, that they don't like me at work because I refuse to learn how to use the buttons on the floor and steal money from people? Give me a break.
While in that room at the P.I.P. people were making observations on me for the doctor. He didn't show up until 4:30 pm, some eight hours later. I was pissed.
His name was Dr. Pritpaul Singh, M.D., a Hindu and a quack. He spoke to me for no more than five minutes and then asked if I would voluntary admit myself for psychiatric care. Yeah, right. Like I'm going to do that. He said that was fine and he was going to commit me himself. Now, why even ask if you're going to do it anyway? He never mentioned there was a difference and when I found out, it was too late.
Lucky for me there was one bed left in the nut ward of the Atlantic City Medical Center, Mainland Division, called One West. If it were not available I would have been off to lovely Ancora. One West turned out to be a joke compared to Ancora.
Pritpaul Singh asked my parents a few questions and determined that I was a manic-depressive. My parents. As if they knew me. I had not lived with my parents since August of 1979, nearly twelve years before this. What did they know about how I was? Every answer I heard them give was wrong. I wanted to reach over and rip out there throats for saying such lies and for putting me in a mental ward. Lucky for everybody they did or I would not be alive to write this book. Still, you would have had my confession and that would have made my death worth it--I think.
I found out early on from one of the other patients--a cocktail waitress at Harrah's--that Dr. Singh was a gambler; so right away I would not trust him. I also knew everything I said was going to be written down and that the casino would probably be interested in what I had to say. There was no way of knowing if they would use their power to get my file or if Singh was a crony doctor on the take. I was certain that other dealers cracked from the pressure and that the CCC had a built in system of keeping those people in line. (In fact, there was a blackjack dealer being released the following day.) This would have to include the services of crooked doctors who would try to brainwash the dealers into believing they were working in a safe and socially accepted environment--if the price was right. My paranoia was at its highest since I found out who I worked for six years ago.
Every day that quack had to make a report after he saw me. His handwriting is bad but there were times when he typed and made his thoughts more legible. And the sessions were just as I observed at Ancora in 1984; five minutes.
On the first day I met with Dr. Pretpual Singh, M.D., he wrote of our session, dated June 17, 1990, "Patient seen today. Speech over productive, pressured, irrelevant at times. Preoccupied with various stressors on his job and that he does not want to go back to his job. Angry feelings towards his girlfriend and that he is not willing to pay her child support at any cost [that was, right after the stunt she pulled] and that she is causing him and his family all this trouble for nothing. He admits to being impulsive and being oppositional in his behavior, when he is unable to get his way in a situation. He complains about various staff members and that they have not been giving him the proper care and medications and that he will be writing to the Senators about that. [And I should have.] Insight and judgment is limited to poor. [I think that after reading what you have so far you could say that I have more insight and judgment than this quack ever will.] IMP: R/O Bipolar Affective Disorder Mixed R/O Personality Disorder - Paranoid+other mixed personality disorder. Plan: Continue with Lithium 300 mg AM and 600 mg HS and Navane 2 mg AM & HS and Ativan 1 mg AM and HS. Limit setting. Provide structure and support."
Now, what was I supposed to say? Gee Doc, for the past six years I have been involved in a criminal enterprise which everybody thinks is legit and I have been stepping on buttons in the casino to steal from people I consider brothers and Mary knows that but she doesn't care because she is greedy and all she wants is for me to stay there and do that job so she can rape me for everything she can get when she would never do that job herself because she did it for eight months and knows it is run by the Mafia and the reason I wanted to kill her is because she knows this and won't help me and the reason I want to kill myself is because I would rather be dead than working for those gangsters for the rest of my life? (Breath.) I don't think so. I couldn't play that game.
Had I told him the truth one of three things would have happened. 1. If he was Mafia, he would have told them I squealed and I would have been whacked. 2. He might not have believed me, thought I was really crazy, and put me in Ancora, where I would have been doped up for the rest of my life. 3. He would have believed me, wrote it down and started treating me for it. That information, would in turn, have gotten back to Trump and I would have been killed. I would have either lost my life or my liberty. The only course I had was to lie and trick my way out of that hospital. The doctor already thought I was paranoid, no reason to prove it.
I met a lot of people on One West while there. One girl in particular was a veteran to the floor. We became good friends and she let me in on what went down on the floor and how I should act.
I let her in on my fear that they were trying to stop my thinking process by giving me Lithium. She was an old pro with that drug. She knew I was a Christian and said for me not to worry because since I was my mind was too strong for that drug to have any effect and I could not be brainwashed. She was right. (No wonder they could never get to me at work.) I walked out of that hospital feeling the same way I did when I walked in.
She knew I was hiding something and asked what it was. I couldn't tell her. She said most of the people were there because they knew something no one else would believe and that is why they went nuts. Then she told me her secret.
She said the first time she went in was because years ago she wrote a song that she sent to someone and that song became the number one hit in the nation. This may sound crazy to you, but it can't sound any crazier than the truth you have been reading so far and if it is true I hope the parties involved fess up to it because a woman's sanity is at stake. She said the song was Born In The U.S.A. and she gave it to Bruce Springstine. It was a hit for a while and he never once got in touch to thank her. One afternoon, while she was home alone, in her dirty house, he showed up with two girls and she freaked out on him to the point where he got up and left. Another thing that sent her there was after she sent a bunch of poems to Bob Dylan, which he took, put music to, and with which produced the Infidels album. He has yet to thank her. She showed me reviews on the album and how all the critics said it was not his style of writing. She also mentioned that he never plays any of those songs in concert, or at least when he plays in Atlantic City and only six or seven miles from her house. If this story is true I wonder if the two involved will admit it in fear of facing a lawsuit. All she wants is a thank you and for her husband to know she was not crazy before she dies from cancer.
I learned other things as well from her about the treatment and how to get out. One was to be visible to the workers. If I werenít a recluse it would work in my favor. Before that, I just wanted to keep to myself and out of sight. After that, I got a kick out of reading the report and how they would keep saying how visible I was on the floor each day. And above all, she said, yes them to death and tell them it was your entire fault no matter how you feel. She said if I kept blaming Mary for driving me to attempt suicide, I could never get out and they would send me to Ancora after one month of being there. I followed the advice; it helped.
Three days after the first report was written a second was. In that one, dated June 20, 1990 (although he dated it 4.20.90), he wrote, "Patient seen today along with his family. He is more rational and logical although still remains preoccupied with the 'sexy voice' of his girlfriend. [What ever happened to ex?] He feel's 'at top of the world'. [Good, he bought it.] Mood less labile. speech is more goal directed although still rapid at times. Not suicidal. [SUCCESS!] Insight and judgment limited. Family also notices positive improvement in Louis. IMP: Bipolar Disorder Mixed Plan: continue with Lithium and Navane and Ativan. Medication education. supportive therapy."
It was funny looking at how each day I would kiss more and more ass and they would keep writing how much I improved over the last. I still wanted to kill Mary. She was putting my family and me through hell. On the next day I decided to let the doctor know a little bit more of what was on my mind to see his reaction. I pointed out that the suicide letter (which never made it on the hospital record) was page 2 and asked him if he wasn't a little curious about what was said on page one. When he said he didn't seem to think it to be important I let him in on a half-truth. Maybe he would believe this and go a little lighter on me. Of our June 21, meeting he wrote: "Patient seen today. States initially 'I thought you were also part of the Mafia and that you also might have been against Mafia. [What does that mean?] I have learned to work along side with them. They control Atlantic City.' O: Patient has this elaborate paranoia towards Mafia and re- ported that he was writing about them on his computer and on the first page of his 'suicide note', he removed it from the screen because he was afraid that they were going to get hold of him. He exhibits fair impulse control. mood is less labile and he is cooperative with the treatment regimen. No over side effects from medications noted. Less ruminations towards his girlfriend Insight and judgment limited. IMP: Bipolar Disorder Mixed R/O Paranoid Personality Plan: Continue with Lithium 600 mg Am & HS Provide reality orientation, support and structure. Change to voluntary status."
Dr. Pritpaul Singh, M.D., was as stupid and in the dark about reality just as I thought he might have been. If I had told him the truth I would have spent the rest of my life inside Ancora all doped up. He mentioned in his observation that I had a "paranoia towards Mafia" and then he stated in his plan that I needed "reality orientation". I think this quack needs a bit of "reality orientation".
One lighter note, at least I was able to see Nicole while there on Father's Day.
I got a kick out of reading what was written the day I was discharged, two weeks after being committed. Pritpaul Singh wrote in this June 27, meeting: "Patient seen today. alone with Frank Santo, S.W. Patient presents with full range of mood and affect. Denies suicidal ideas or plans. insight concerning his marijuana abuse is limited. Feels he is strong to stop his habit on his own. [Yes, if I want to.] He was encouraged to attend N.A. Meeting. Judgement is fair. IMP Bipolar Disorder Mixed Marijuana abuse Plan: D/C today. prescription for Lithium 600 mg AM&HS Follow up in office." Yeah, right, like I was going to waist my money on those pills or see a quack that had no fucking clue about reality.
Frank Santo, social worker, was a total yesman. Stop following the sheep Frank. This man had obviously never smoked pot. He kept telling me it killed people and that it was more potent than it ever was. Good, that only means I have to smoke less to get high and that will save me money and tar in my lungs. Also, Frank never did his investigating because pot has never killed anyone in its entire history. I have been in hiding for five weeks now. I stopped smoking pot four weeks ago and I'm not seeing monsters or climbing the walls or feeling like I want to kill anyone unless I get to smoke some more. I'm not even looking for it. Finding a joint is the furthest thing from my mind right now. I am stuck in this hole, writing this book, trying to save closed minded sheep like Frank Santo from being fooled all their lives.
The Discharge Summary was a joke. The Final Diagnosis made by that quack was funny. There were the two, Bipolar disorder, mixed, which meant I was a manic-depressive, and Marijuana abuse, which meant I smoked myself into wanting to commit suicide. AhÖ.yeah.
The History Of Present Illness was as big a joke as the Final Diagnosis. It read, "The patient was brought to PIP by the police. Reportedly, he locked himself in his apartment, in the presence of his parents and threatened to kill himself as well as his girlfriend. He expressed an anger and paranoid feelings towards his girlfriend. He believes that she was trying to blackmail him, and that people on his job were discriminating against him. He expressed grandiose ideas, and 'I am trying____________/'. The patient took a handful of pills in the presence of the police, but he was made to spit them out."
What a joke. The blank line had hand written words, "to sell morals." Can you believe that? The cops said that the "grandiose ideas" I said just before they kicked down my door was "I am trying to sell morals." It seems that everyone is afraid to admit the truth. Go back to those same Galloway Township Police officers today and ask them what was really said. There is no way they could have forgotten that morning.
Under Past Psychiatric History they wrote, "He saw a psychiatrist as a child, as well as once in college." Now, I don't ever remember seeing a shrink in college. However, when I was a child I did, but not because of any mental illness. The first time was when I was around eight years old. I walked in on my mother and saw her doing something both my parents wanted to keep a secret from me. They told me I was crazy and brought me to a psychiatrist to further encourage me to forget about what I saw. In essence, they did something morally corrupt and tried to hide it by telling me I never saw it and I was crazy for even saying I had. (How fucked.) After a while they caught on that I was embarrassed to be seen going into that office so, out of the compassion of their sick, demented, little minds, they allowed me to stop going. That was mentioned in the medical report, but the real reason was not. And the only other time I saw a shrink was to discuss the problems I was having at school with the other kids always tormenting me about my eyes. I was having many operations and that doctor was part of the treatment. So lets hear it for Pritpaul Singh and his brilliant diagnosis. QUACK!
For Social And Personal History they wrote, "Presently he is employed as a craps dealer in the Trump casino. He has been smoking marijuana for the past 14 years [wrong, since I was 14--11 years], but does not consider that his problem." Oh, what, and you do? How blind are you? Of course I consider being "employed as a craps dealer in the Trump casino" my problem. Your problem is, you do not know what the real problem is.
Then, for Impression On Admission he wrote, "He was admitted to the inpatient unit with the diagnosis of rule out bipolar disorder, mixed, marijuana abuse, and dependence, and weight loss." What an idiot. When I got to the hospital he ordered me put on some kind of baby formula saying I had lost a lot of weight. That was why I was going to write my Senator. If the quack read my driver's license he would have noticed that under weight it read zero, which meant under 121 pounds. I was the same weight when they brought me in as I was exactly eight years ago when I graduated high school. How incompetent can a doctor be?
Last, but not least, on the last sentence of Hospital Course he wrote, "We obtained / background / information from his family." Like people I had not lived with for twelve years really knew who I was and what I was really like. Singh should have talked with Leif, he knew me better than my parents.
I feel that the license to practice psychiatry should be taken away from Dr. Pritpaul Singh. The man is totally incompetent. My reasons for doing something as stupid as that (other than because of Patrick Henry or New Hampshire) was anomie. That is the only reason people try to kill themselves and it is societies fault. Dr. Singh should have known that, but I guess he never read Derkheim. I knew I did not fit in with the people at work and their immoral acts had me so conspiracy minded that I felt there was no social group I could fit into and trust.
The moment I got out of the hospital I wanted to make Mary pay for taking two weeks of my life from me. I was behind on everything; bills, business, cash. I was on a two-month medical leave of absence from work and collecting disability, though, I didn't care. I had a new plan of starting over fresh, which involved not returning to Trump's. Maybe Mary would now see that I was serious about killing myself if she continued to insist I work for a gangster like Donald Trump all my life. But she did not care about what was going on with me. The court had only reduced my payments to $130 a week and Mary was still hell bent on seeing that I paid. I decided on a new strategy. For the entire month of July I never called Nicole.
My plan was simple. I wanted to show Mary what would happen to Nicole if she were to lose contact with me. I figured that Nicole would cry for me and Mary would have no choice but to give in. Mary was living with her sister, and Nicole shared a room with Erika. Erika was becoming a brat because her father, Phil Maycott, was neglecting her. I wanted to see if Mary cared enough about Nicole having a father to lighten up on me. If it didn't work, the plan was to drive my motorcycle through the bay window of her living room, guaranteeing my death, and giving Mary something to live with the rest of her life. I know it sounded crazy, but I was driven insane by her and her lawyer.
While I was not calling Nicole I noticed something; Nicole was not calling me. Mary obviously did not care if Nicole ever spoke to me again. I was desperate. I had one more trick up my sleeve. If she did not buy it I didn't know what I was going to do. But if she bought it, my life would be spared and I would once again have the future I had the night before I was awaken by my family.
In a letter dated July 28, 1990, I spoke to Mary about everything you have learned about our relationship going back to 1987, but I also added two paragraphs, which I knew she might listen to. I quote, "In October 1987 you quit your casino job and never returned. There is no reason why I should be forced into working a job you refuse yourself to work. You quit because you were sick and tired of stepping on buttons to steal from people and be involved in a criminal enterprise, which the rest of the world has no idea about. I cannot believe that you would force that on me when you know how I feel about doing that myself.
"The court is holding me to that job. When my disability runs out on Monday I will not be returning to that job as expected by them. My sanity cannot handle it. The reason I decided to kill myself was because my lawyer told me on June 14, to get used to working in the casino for the next twenty years. Well you know I would rather be dead than a slave to those gangsters, as would you."
Then I went on and talked more about killing myself and ended the letter with, "Think about it. I can play Phil or I can play me, it's up to you." By Phil I meant I could be an ass and not send her money or see my daughter like he was doing to Karen and Erika. Then I added a P.S., "I am a desperate man. This is not a bluff nor a joke. Please destroy it as soon as you finish reading it. Also, if you choose not to accept it I will send a copy of this letter to my parents, your parents, Judge Alvarez and to your lawyer. Please do not endanger everyone's lives by letting this information get out." I ended it, "Thank you for your time," but I never signed it.
The letter worked. She did not want everyone to find out what a selfish little bitch she was being to me, so immediately she accepted my terms and dropped her lawyer. Than she called probation and told them she was letting me out of the $130 a week and would be collecting the money on her own. I was so happy. I started making plans. I was going back to school!
I was seeing a psychotherapist at this time named Jay Albrecht, Ph.D., a brilliant man and a good Christian with a very kind soul. He didn't think Dr. Singh's Diagnosis of me being a manic-depressive was correct. He wasn't the only one. Remember the saying, it takes one to know one? Well, everyone in the hospital kept telling me I did not belong there. Anyway, Jay and I really hit it off. I can't recall what we did, but I know after Mary agreed to my terms I didn't need to keep seeing him. However, on August 9, 1990, I was able to get Mary to meet with the two of us at the Family Service Center in Absecon.
What I thought was going to be good for the two of us turned out to be a disaster. Mary didn't like the way the conversation was going and started a temper tantrum like a little girl. Then she got up and walked out. It turned out she started walking back to my house, which was five miles away. When the session was over, I drove home via a route I knew she would not have taken. That way I wouldn't have to feel guilty about passing her by without picking her up. She deserved it after the immature fit she threw in Jay's office.
Back at my house I blocked in her car so she would have to talk to me before going home. When she finally showed up she started screaming from outside for me to move my car. When I didn't, she got in her car and drove over the lawn to leave without facing me.
It was a great summer after I got out of the hospital, but there was one thing I was noticing; there was no way I could survive with my bills and go to school unless I went back to the casino. I also realized that the navane I was taking in the hospital helped me to relax. I asked the doctor at Family Services to prescribe the same pills for me to take at work and he did. Everything was starting to look good. I was even seeing Nicole every week again. I figured I could put up with Trump until I was out of school.