The Horrors of Extended Stay, Debilitating Depression, and a Plea for Help
I’m writing this now early Thursday morning. I have no idea what to do for anything longer term, my bank account went down to only $0.06 in it, I’m broke, and I’m hiding from extremely abusive family. All I really have left is PayPal for the immediate future. I write this in hope it’ll explain some of the horrific situation I’m in.
If anyone has additional questions or needs clarifications, please send me a Direct Message on Twitter (I accept DMs from anyone, assuming your client supports it) or try sending an email to “rosyna” @ <iTools, .Mac, MobileMe, or the iCloud domain name>. Although I prefer the Twitter route for some reason.
I thank everyone that’s helped so far from the bottom of my heart. You’ve saved me from something I can’t accurately describe. I don’t know how to properly respond to everyone. I’ve also not slept for over 30 hours due to frequent panic attacks and the always present insomnia.
The Horrors of Extended Stay and Getting Permanently Banned Due to a Gross Misunderstanding from a Spiteful Manager
Extended Stay America is basically a very cheap/basic motel designed for people that need to stay at a place cheaply but need to have things like a tiny kitchen (microwave, stove, refrigerator) and access to on-site guest laundry (that take quarters, they don’t have change machines or laundry supplies). They also offer extremely long term stays with absolutely no credit check and no need to sign anything other than what you’d normally sign at a motel/hotel. There are no utilities fees or anything other than a $20 monthly cost for Wi-Fi. They say they offer free internet access, but the speed is so incredibly slow, it’s unusable without paying for the higher 3.5Mbps speed (per device).
They’re also supposed to offer weekly housekeeping for stays over 8 days. For those that desire more, they charge an additional $10 each day. At least, that’s what they sell on their website.
If you view any of the reviews for pretty much any Extended Stay in Yelp, you’ll quickly get the idea that the majority have some “significant” issues. Sometimes they are just minor things like missing items, stains (normal wear and tear), or issues with other people staying there (noise). Since I know from experience that people are far more likely to write negative reviews, even if there wasn’t really any issue, I took it all with a grain of salt.
That was a horrible, horrible mistake.
First Experience: October-November, 2013
The first time I stayed at an Extended Stay was in October, 2013, after everything collapsed around me. I had no where to go and I couldn’t afford anything better. It was the best deal available on Hotwire for what I could afford as I had no incoming income. I also got it for a very short time, but was able to extend it thanks to some very, very nice people.
I had never stayed (or had even heard) of Extended Stay before, but I happened to get a location near an area in Maricopa country I had lived in for a few years when I was a kid. That made me happy as it was familiar. It could serve as an anchor.
When I got there, the people at the front desk gave me a piece of paper listing the housekeeping rules (as I was there for over 8 days) and it stated which day would be the cleaning day for my room. The front desk also had placards listing the housekeeping rules, the pet policy, and the cash payment policy.
My initial impression was fine. Nothing really wrong. When I took a shower, I had noticed there was some trash under the shelf under the bathroom sink. No big deal, I though. Then I opened the microwave, it was filthy, as if it had never been cleaned. Later, I tried to use the in-room coffee maker, it was also filthy. Not that I drink coffee, I was going to use it to heat water for tea.
Those problems really didn’t phase me much, I actually hadn’t planned on using the microwave. The only reason I opened it was to see the type of microwave and if it was powerful enough to maybe use it.
The bigger issue was the constant noise, especially around the weekend. Lots of people getting out of bars and being extremely loud. But even that wasn’t really an issue.
The severely huge issue: At 8pm one night an employee just opened the room door with another person behind her. I had a the blue “Do not disturb” tag that was in the room on my door. There was no knock, no nothing. She just came in. I was in bed and not wearing any pants. As soon as she saw me, she apologized and left, saying she thought the room was vacant and was visibly startled. I have no idea why she had thought that, but whatever.
Second Experience: End of January 2015
In January 2015, I was trying to move back to Arizona from Ohio but had no place to live. So I ended up using Hotwire to stay at a bunch of cheapish places in various areas I had fond memories of. One of the places Hotwire sent me to happened to be an Extended Stay in North Scottsdale.
It was a very nice Extended Stay compared to what I was expecting. At the front desk, they had the standard pet policy, housekeeping policy, and cash payment policy notices displayed. They also gave me the sheet listing my weekly cleaning day (I was only there for 8 days, so it’d only occur once). I had to ask for the “Do Not Disturb” sign because it wasn’t in the room.
It was also nice because they had a luggage cart and an elevator, two things the other Extended Stay did not have. The only real problem was the empty condom wrapper under the bed I found. The noise from people that had been drinking/partying didn’t bother me too much, I had other things to worry about.
The Worst Experience: February 2015 to July 2015 Part
Near the end of January, I was finally flat-out told that I would be unable to rent an apartment due to my horrible credit (I burned through everything in October to November 2013, trying to avoid abusive family). Not even paying in advance would be enough. I’d have to have a guarantor and that guarantor had to be either a family member (which isn’t possible as I’m trying to hide from abusive family) or an employer (I haven’t had an actual job since early 2012). Since I had neither, all my hopes were destroyed.
I had absolutely nowhere else to go, no fallback, and no hopes. My only option was to actually get a place with a long-term motel, Extended Stay. Sigh.
So I ended up getting a room at an extremely cheap Extended Stay in the area of Phoenix I had lived in for 11 years. My initial booking was for 50 days. Extended Stay gives massive discounts for longer stays but they also change their base price based on tourist seasons. This basically meant it was cheaper to wait until later to book more time.
Note that I had never complained about any of these issues to the staff until after I was banned. After having lived with spiteful, abusive family for almost a year, I was too afraid/paranoid the staff would retaliate and/or kick me out for “making waves”. So I basically just bit my tongue.
The strangeness started at the very beginning. When I first arrived, nothing was ready. I ended up waiting an hour and a half before they had a room ready. The number of people waiting kept piling up.
During this, I noticed they had the pet policy and cash policy posted, but there was absolutely no housekeeping policy.
When they finally had the room ready, I checked in and they flat-out told me they did not offer housekeeping services. If I needed towels or linens replaced with clean towels, I’d have to take the dirty ones down to the office and get them exchanged for clean ones. This runs counter to their website and everything else that documents every Extended Stay is supposed to offer housekeeping services.
Strangely, when I checked in, they only charged me for the first 30 days. After that, they told me my card would automatically be charged weekly. I thought it was weird, but whatever.
When I got into the room, I noticed an extremely strong, musky odor. I had already expected this due to the various Yelp reviews and I knew that olfactory fatigue would quickly kick in and I’d stop being able to smell it after a short time. I wasn’t sure what the odor was from and I did not recognize it. People tell me I have a good sense of smell, so I wasn’t even sure if others could smell it. While very strong, sharp odors give me horrible migraines, this was too musty for that.
I was too tired and too happy to be in a place that I thought was finally “safe” to care about the smell of something I couldn’t identify at that time and wasn’t about to give me a migraine.
I noticed there were no “Do Not Disturb” signs in the room, but that’s understandable considering they said they did not offer housekeeping, so there was no staff that would be disturbing me.
I started to unpack everything and noticed some odd, minor issues like missing lightbulbs in a lamp and a missing lightbulb in the fridge. Not sure if they had busted or if a former customer had stolen them. All I know is that it was a sign staff didn’t check.
Every so often, I noticed a horrible odor emanating from somewhere. It smelled like sewage. I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it or not because it didn’t match up with any event and would appear equally in the middle of the night and the middle of the day. I attempted to narrow it down, but could never find the source.
For whatever reason, they never provisioned my keycards for the entire stay and one day I got locked out of the room. Luckily it was during the hours the office was open (6:30am-10:30pm) and I was able to easily get the keycards working again. This happened repeatedly during my stay. I quickly learned to make sure to check that the cards worked before I left the room so that if they stopped working, I could go to the office immediately.
One night, a person in a room below me was complaining about noise coming from my room, as if someone was partying (there were a lot of partiers there because the place was so damn cheap). The staff even sent a security person up to check (they didn’t bother to call first). I was in bed, quietly watching anime on my laptop, getting ready to sleep. The hired security person saw that there was no one else in the room and left immediately. I then called the front desk asking why they didn’t bother to call me first and ask if I was making noise, she said they sent a police officer to my room to check. That was definitely not a police officer. I think she just said it was to scare me.
One day in late February, the maintenance man came by my room, saying the room below me (I was on the top floor) had a leak coming from the ceiling, right above their bed. This was odd because the room layouts were the same, so right above their bed was in the middle of my room, right next to the bed I was sleeping in. It wasn’t anywhere near the bathroom or kitchen.
This happened a few more times and they repeatedly checked my room for leaks, never finding any. I also didn’t like that they basically blamed me for causing the leak, despite never having found any evidence there was water anywhere on the floor.
At one point, the General Manager even came by and felt around on the floor. There was an area he said was damp in the middle of the floor, but when I put tissues down on the floor, nothing came up. On a hunch, I put a chair over the spot and put a shirt on the chair. Sure enough, within a few hours, it too felt damp. It wasn’t actually wet, it just happened to be right under the airflow from the air conditioner. That is, the dampness he felt was condensation unrelated to any leak.
They even sent a plumber up twice to check everything, he couldn’t find anything but still did some extremely basic work on the bathtub faucets, with the idea my actions were causing the leak.
Annoyingly, this leak kept happening over the months I was there. Sometimes I even went days without a shower or using the bathroom for anything other than to urinate just to prove that the leak wasn’t caused by something I did. And, sure enough, they told me it was leaking on the days I hadn’t used the bathroom, proving my innocence to me, at least.
After the initial reservation had ended, I went to the office again to extend my stay for some additional months. They had me sign a paper with the new rate information and the the length of my new stay. Since that was the only place any of that information was written down and it was a contract I signed, I asked for a copy of the page, especially since the day range listed was different from the day range I had asked for…
The person (which I later found out was a manger) flat-out said, “No”, I could not have a copy. Shocked that she said I couldn’t get a copy of the contract I just signed (with all its tiny print), I went back to my room, dejected.
At some point in the middle of June, I had accidentally dropped one of their towels on the floor and left it there because my OCD demanded I not pick it up. I had dropped it near the area the employee had previously said was damp, the area that was directly in the path of the air conditioner. The next day, I had noticed a huge wet, yellow stain had developed on the towel. This was what was leaking on the people below. I guessed this was the cause of the odor. I was disgusted.
I left the towel there as a sort of litmus test but didn’t say anything because I knew they’d have to tear up the floor to fix the leak in whatever drainage pipe was leaking. Even though none of my actions were responsible for the leak, I was very afraid they’d retaliate and kick me out, as I mentioned on Twitter.
The Worst Experience: July 2015 to August 2015 Part
Eventually they called the phone and told me they were moving me to another room on the same floor so they could fix the leak. Since I have incredibly horrible insomnia, I asked them if I could get the keycards to the new room while the office was open but move everything over that night, after the sun had gone down but before 6am. The person at the office said it was ok.
I woke up and started moving everything over at about 9pm. There was a lot of stuff to move as I had been there for 5 months by then. The new room did not have an odor at all. I didn’t bother locking the door behind me when I was moving stuff, as it didn’t seem anyone else was there and the distance was short. When I was nearly done, I went back to the first room to triple-check I had moved everything over and didn’t forget anything.
Suddenly, at 1:35am, one of the staff members just walked into the room I was in. I still have absolutely no idea what he was doing there. The office had closed at 10:30pm. The room I was the farthest from the office and was in the middle of the row of rooms on the second floor, equidistant to both staircases. That is, the room I was in was the least convenient room to enter at 1:35am; he had to go out of his way to enter it. He was alone. He must have known about the leak, so I don’t think he was there to “just use the bathroom”. Also, at that time of the year, most rooms were empty. He could have gone to any other room. All I can figure is that he wanted to do something in that room before the cleaning staff cleaned it as he knew I was in that room and that I was switching rooms the next day.
Either way, having someone enter the room at 1:35am scared the hell out of me. Again, because I was afraid of the staff retaliating or him denying it, I didn’t tell anyone else.
The new room was fine and had all the lightbulbs. The only downside was that the fridge part of the refrigerator was basically non-functional. While the freezer part worked fine, the cold wasn’t properly reaching the fridge part and every time I opened the fridge, the little cold air would immediately escape. This meant I could only keep things in it that didn’t need to be cold, like pickles and soda.
What I didn't notice until a week later was that this room had no door latch! Given the experience I had with staff barging into the room, this freaked me out immensely. There was absolutely nothing stopping people/staff from coming in while I was in the room. Strangely, I now notice someone mentioned this on Yelp on November 10th, 2014. I have no idea if it was the same room, but it seems to be an endemic problem.
To prevent anyone from barging into this room, I wedged my largest suitcase between the couch and the door. I did it under the naïve belief this would prevent staff from busting in again unannounced during the middle of the night.
Because they repeatedly said there was no housekeeping (I even heard the staff say it to others as they checked in) and due to my previously mentioned OCD, I had to buy my own basic cleaning supplies (toilet cleaning), bath towel, and garbage bags. The Extended Stay seemed to have one plunger that was often sitting outside, covered in filth. So I bought my own plunger from Target in case of emergency. The toilet paper I have to use, due to OCD, isn’t too toilet friendly. And I go through a lot of it. I mean an insanely huge, unreasonable amount of toilet paper. There are always empty rolls in the bathroom which I then put in weird stacks, also due to OCD, before eventually throwing them out.
Every so often, I’d empty the tiny trash can into the larger garbage cans that were outside. But they were almost always full of trash, as seen in the above photo. They were not taken out very often so they’d quickly stink up the place and collect flies. There was one or two at each corner, almost always in the state shown in the photo I took, shown above. If the garbage can was too full, it would have been extremely rude of me to put more trash in it, as the garbage cans were sitting directly outside the motel rooms. I feel bad about the smell the people in those rooms had to endure.
If I was awake in the morning, I’d go to the office to get some muffins (if they had any) and check the garbage cans. If they were not full, I’d then go back to the room, grab the trash, and put the trash from my room in them. If they were full, I’d wait a few days. Of course, I’d wash out the cups and food containers if they didn’t have a tight seal so they wouldn’t attract bugs, leak, or smell up the place. Remember, OCD, I know how to overcompensate.
It was bad enough that sometimes people put trash outside near my door, which would stay there in the hot Phoenix sun for days. Eventually it seemed someone moved one of the garbage cans upstairs and people started using that. This led to a number of flying insects getting into the first room I was in, necessitating me to purchase some bug spray. I only sprayed it on surfaces near lights as I wanted to remove the incentive for the bugs to remain in the room, not kill them.
Getting Unfairly Kicked Out, Threats of Violence, and Spiteful Retribution
It's important to remember this place is billed as a motel/hotel. That is, you pay for the rooms up front. When I had first arrived in February, they had charged me for an entire month and then afterwards seemed to charge me every 10 days or so and I would have to sign a new form whenever I extended the stay. Whenever I extended it, they made me sign a new copy of the contract they refused to give me a copy of. At some point they stopped billing me weekly and I had to pay for the entire stay up front.
Since May I had barely been able to live month-to-month and was extending my stay with Extended Stay every so often, as soon I got the money to do so with enough of a buffer in case something horrible happened. The day ranges I had thought I was asking for and paying for never actually seemed to be the day ranges they put into the computer. For example, if it was the 4th and I asked to extend my stay until the 25th of that month, they'd either charge me for 25 nights, 19 nights, or some other random number of nights.
In either June or July, they had put an extra three nights. The next month, it was short two days and my key card stopped working. I didn't find out they had gotten the dates wrong until I went to pay to extend my stay again and they told me I owed a small balance. I never got a phone call, no one ever knocked on the door, nothing. It was like they had forgotten me.
In August, I had extended my stay until August 26th with every intention to extend my stay longer. I had eaten Taco Bell the day before, which was probably a mistake. I woke up with horrible stomach pains and rushed to the bathroom. Due to my aforementioned OCD, I have to do this horrible, time consuming ritual that takes much more time than it should every time I use the bathroom. I knew I couldn't make it down to the office by 11am (check out time), but I didn't think it mattered given how no one bothered to contact me when they incorrectly entered the date ranges before.
At around 11:30am, while I was in the bathroom, I started hearing banging on the room door. I heard them force the door open. I screamed from the bathroom, “Hold on, I planned to extend my stay again”.
I heard a woman respond, “No, you won’t! You’re out of here! This room is covered in trash!”
I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. I immediately had a nervous breakdown while in the bathroom. Of course, I couldn’t leave immediately as I was kind of trapped in the bathroom. I had been at that Extended Stay for six months and I was suddenly being told to vacate immediately.
I called the front office to ask what was going on. I was informed, “the trash can was so full it was spilling over, there was trash all over the floor. Leave now or I’ll call the police."
I still had no idea what was going on. Nothing was covered in trash. I called up Extended Stay corporate and explained the situation. I told them how nothing was covered in trash and the only reason there was any excess trash was due to the filthy garbage can situation and the fact the place refused to offer housekeeping services, despite advertising one their website. The person at corporate put me on hold and called the manager.
The manager then flat-out lied and told the person at corporate that they offered housekeeping but I had opted out of it. I asked them to check my reservation to see if I had opted out of it. The person on the phone said no, there was no record I had opted out of it. Of course, the person of the phone took the manager's word over mine (although Yelp reviews of that location confirm the inability to get a cleaning when requesting it).
I later found out from someone at Extended Stay corporate, after they saw my tweets about Extended Stay kicking me out and called me, that staff are required to check the room at least every eight days if someone had actually opted out of housekeeping to verify the room wasn’t destroyed and no one was dead. No check ever occurred. Not even once.
I also wondered, if my room was so filthy, why didn’t any of the other staff members that had seen it during the leak debacle ever mentioned “covered in trash”. Well, I do know why. It’s because it wasn’t covered in trash.
I grabbed my credit card, called up Extended Stay corporate, and made a reservation for a cheap room at another location on the west side of Phoenix. I then put the credit card on a separator between the couch and the bedside stand so I could grab it on my way out.
Since I had been there for six months, I had a lot of additional stuff (clothes, OCD materials, cables) that I needed to pack before I could go to a different location. This meant doing triage and deciding what I could keep and could not fit into my luggage. Anything I couldn’t bring with me, I had to throw away in one of the garbage bags I had bought. I also had to throw anything that was partially used (like soap, conditioner, or that, due to OCD, I couldn’t use again).
I also had to throw away everything that was in the broken refrigerator/freezer.
While I was doing triage with no pants on, the cleaning lady came in. I explained the situation to her and she said my room seemed fine, there was no trash covering anything. She excused herself while I continued. About 10-20 minutes or so later, she came back (I had pants on this time) and told me she spoke to the manager and I might be able to stay there.
This gave me hope.
So I called the front desk and asked about the situation. The person that answered was very nice. I had spoken to her a few times in the office during the mornings when I extended my stays. She said she’d ask the manager. The manager gets on the phone and screams, “No, leave now! I saw your room, the cleaning person saw your room, and a police officer saw your room, it was filthy!”
I knew that was a complete lie because I had spoken to the cleaning person and she said she didn’t see a mess and there was also no reason to call any police officer to come by at 11:30am just to check the room. Furthermore, as I mentioned before when the noise complaint occurred, the person at the front desk had claimed the “security” person was a police officer in order to scare me. This meant, in all likelihood, the manager was the only person that saw the room at 11:30am. Why did the manager lie to me about who saw the room?!
Since I was having a nervous breakdown, a major depressive episode, and was still in shock, it took me a very long time to pack everything. Eventually the manager came by the room with an extremely big dog (the only reason to bring a dog was to threaten me with violence). She and the dog stood in the doorway until I finished packing and the taxi arrived.
At this point she had also claimed to have already called the Phoenix police and three officers were on their way if I didn’t leave immediately. I told her I was just waiting for the taxi. Of course, she never actually had any intention of calling the police as then she’d have to explain everything including why she threatened me with a dog.
I had a lot of stuff to pack and the items that couldn’t fit in my luggage ended up going into a normal tall garbage bag and a large red Target bag. The Target bag happened to have a lot of holes in it but it was stronger and thicker than the wimpy (cheap) garbage bags I had. Because of the holes, I was putting everything I had planned to put into the Target bag into smaller grocery bags before putting them into the Target bag so nothing would fall out.
When I was in the taxi about a block away from the Extended Stay I was just kicked out of, I realized I had forgotten to get my credit card. It was the only source of funds I had. I had no cash and there was less than a dollar in my bank account. I called up the Extended Stay and explained that I left it there and exactly where I had left it in the room. The manager got on the phone and told me she had put it in the Target trash bag, along with the tiny Orajel tube that was sitting next to the credit card.
I told the taxi driver I had no card, I removed everything from the Target bag, and searched frantically. It wasn’t there! I did find the Orajel tube, it was almost falling out of one of the holes. But the card was gone!
The taxi driver turned around and went back. I ran to the office, the manager (without the dog) then told me she put it in the same bag with the Orajel and to check where I had walked to see if it had fallen out. I retraced my steps and didn’t find it. I even went back to the room. The nice cleaning lady also said she hadn’t seen it. I freaked out.
I grabbed a clear garbage bag from the cleaning cart, went back to the taxi, grabbed the bag and placed it on the hot pavement, took everything out of the Target bag, searched the item, and put it into the clear garbage bag. It wasn’t there! The manager then came by and offered to “search” the bag as well. She lit up a cigarette and started looking through it. Of course, she never found it. I also looked through a different bag, which didn’t have it either.
I asked the manager why, if she had seen my credit card, she didn’t just hand it to me. She said I was walking out the door so quickly after picking up the bag that she just threw it in a bag whether than tell me. This made no sense since, due to OCD, I always take my shoes off when inside a room. This meant that I had to pick up the bag, walk to the door, stop, and put on my shoes. She could have told me about the card beforehand. She could have handed it to me. She did neither of these things.
She did it out of spite. She either stole the credit card, destroyed it, or threw it in the trash. There are no other options. I wanted to hope that I just missed it. But I searched that bag repeatedly, along with everything else I owned and never found the card.
I really hoped I was wrong, that it was just in some nook or cranny. I hate thinking badly of people. But I knew that look in her eye. I had seen it too many times before. It was the look of spite, hatred, and a gross sense of entitlement. Everything she did was to maximize her control and hurt me.
It’s possible she thought I could easily get a replacement or had cash, not knowing the credit card wasn’t from a bank. The card company doesn’t have branches I could visit. There’s no way to get it replaced other than to have it sent to my billing address which is in another state and would take 7 to 10 days.
Getting Banned From Extended Stay
I had accidentally let it slip to the manager that I had a pre-paid reservation at a different Extended Stay. That was a mistake on my part. She told the taxi driver (not me) that I would not be allowed to go to any other Extended Stay ever again. That I was banned from them.
While on the way to the other Extended Stay, I called the reservation line to confirm I had a reservation and all was ok. The person told me, “Yes, it is all fine and paid for” Sigh.
When I arrived at the other Extended Stay at about 5Pm and went to check in, the staff looked at the reservation, gave me a look that said, “You’re a monster”, and told me I was banned from every Extended Stay and I was not welcome there. I asked them when that had happened. The one person told me it was entered into the computer at around 3PM. They said it did not indicate why I was banned.
That means the manager at the Extended Stay I was just kicked out of didn’t ban me until she found out I was going to another Extended Stay. She did it out of spite.
People are usually banned from Extended Stays for grave offenses like domestic violence, prostitution, drug use, property destruction, or other vile crimes. That explains the horrified look the staff members gave me.
Even if, after some miracle, I get unbanned from Extended Stay, I can never go back to the Extended Stay I was kicked out of or the Extended Stay where the staff members had given me that horrified look. The worst part is that Extended Stay America keeps purchasing more and more extended stay franchises so even if they have a different name, they might be owned by Extended Stay America.
Debunking the “Trash Everywhere” Claim
I guess I should first mention that OCD is strange. By definition, people with OCD know their behavior is not rational. One thing may trigger an uncontrollable OCD response while another, similar thing may not trigger anything. For example, getting a little water on one hand may result in five minutes of scrubbing both hands under extremely hot water (possible the origin for “pain is the cleanser”). Conversely, getting a drop of milk might result in just licking it off your hand or wiping it on your pants.
(People that believe their compulsions are rational are given the label OCPD. It’s very possible for people to have both OCD and OCPD for different behaviors)
When the manager had first screamed to me “There’s trash everywhere!”, I asked, “Where?”. She responded by saying, “Everywhere, it’s even overflowing from trash can! It’s unsanitary!”
I thought this claim was a bit odd since the trash can was a tiny beige/gray 7 gallon thing from Rubbermaid Commercial Products. There was actually very little in it. The plastic bag liner wasn’t pushed in all the way, there was one empty Blueberry Kefir bottle in it, some kleenex, and a whole lot of barely used paper towels caused by my OCD getting triggered. The actual can was about halfway full.
Due to OCD, I also grab/collect napkins from every fast food place I go to, “just in case”. I keep some in my pockets and a few others on the counter. However, the counter was near the path of the PTAC unit’s air output. Whenever it could kick on, some of the napkins would be blown onto the floor. Since I was in the bathroom when the manager came in, I obviously didn’t have the chance to pick them up when the A/C kicked on.
Sadly, also due to OCD, I intentionally kept some napkins on the floor to step on ("the floor is lava”) when an extremely bad OCD episode occurs. This became much more problematic after I discovered that nasty yellow stain on the floor in the previous room with the leak. I became so incredibly paranoid of stepping in something…
Finally, since I was in the tiny bathroom, I was not wearing any clothes. The clothes I was wearing were in the floor but I’m not sure if the manager saw those.
I previously mentioned I use an insanely unreasonable amount of toilet paper. The above photo is from two days of not having my preferred brand. When I was doing triage and throwing everything away, I tossed all the toilet paper rolls I had collected into the trash.
All in all, after everything, I had a total of one and a half tall kitchen bags of trash. Most of it was toilet paper rolls and paper towels. When the manager came back up again, she tried to use that as proof the place was a mess, despite everything else being clean.
Later, she started accusing me of having trash on all the counters. That was just flat-out not true. There was absolutely no trash on any counter aside from a Taco Bell cup from the day before. She had misconstrued the items on the counter as being trash. I kept every single item that was on the counter, aside from the empty cup and the napkins.
I have recreated the items on the counter in the above photo. The photo is reversed because the TV was on the other side at Extended Stay.
I had paper plates in a plastic bag (OCD), plastic forks (OCD), a bunch of napkins (OCD, ran out), multiple containers of Blistex (OCD, I tend to buy one whenever I see them), paper towels (OCD, not shown, ran out), a whole bunch of failed and/or failing lightning cables along with USB cables, various charges inside a ziplock bag inside a plastic bag, some keys, assorted delivery menus, receipts, coupons, business cards, supplement pill bottles, trash bags, tea bags that I used with the hot water in the office, the box for an AirPort Express, two tiny sealed ketchup bottles, soy sauce packets, trash bags, a bunch of empty grocery bags for when I eventually had to pack up and leave, and some scissors.
Absolutely none of it was trash and I brought it all with me. Neither the taxi driver nor the cleaning lady that saw my room thought there was any trash.
The fact is that the claim of “unsanitary” was entirely bogus. Especially considering that it was proven in 1668 by Francesco Redi that spontaneous life does not exist. That is, complex life cannot arise spontaneously from nothing.
Even if it was covered in trash in twenty times the trash the manager thought there was, with no food (dirty items covered in organic waste) and no entry (bugs have to come from somewhere), my washed out containers kept inside the room could not have created an unsanitary condition. It also couldn’t have created a health risk for myself or others.
The cleaning lady put it nicely, “Even if I had dirty clothes all over the floor, what business was it of the manager?”
The garbage piling up outside… That created a smelly, unsanitary condition.
Desperate Plea for Help
In this section, I’ll talk about depression. When I say “you” when discussing depression, I really mean “me” as these are my experiences but it’s much easier to write about it if I can make it more impersonal.
When I got kicked out with my credit card stolen on August 26th, some extremely nice and kind people on the Twitters helped me get a safe place to stay and some food to eat. I will forever be in their debt.
I have no where to live right now. I have no job to get income. Being forced to move from Extended Stay meant I had to spend much more money on a roof and food (no refrigerator or microwave here) so the funds I had are gone. I have major depressive disorder that is destroying my life. I haven’t had any antidepressants for over a year (it takes at least 90 days to see a new psychiatrist and they demand to contact family). While I don’t see a future for myself, I’ve never been suicidal or a danger to myself, which has also prevented me from getting help as I’m told it’s incredibly atypical for a person that’s as bad off as I am to not be a danger to anyone.
I’ve been flat-out denied care because I am neither suicidal nor an abuser of substances. When I asked why, I was told because the therapists/psychologists/psychiatrists only know how to treat major depressive disorder by making the desire to live a goal. I’ve never lost that so it can’t be a goal for me.
I am also running away from extremely abusive, racist, dangerous family that I really don’t want to know where I am. To that end, I’ve used a pseudonym online for decades so that I could create a life separate from my family for when I could finally get away.
One side of my family is extremely violent, spiteful, and abusive. The other side of my family wants to get me committed to a place for people with drug problems. I’ve never drank or used drugs as there are way too many alcoholics and drug addicts in every side of my family. I grew up surrounded by those people.
I went to such a drug abuse treatment facility on October 1st, 2013 that was labeled a “mental health facility” because I had no where else to go. They took everything away from me including my only means to contact the outside world. They forced me to take a drug test. The first, cheap test came back initially as a false positive for meth, which they believed despite my denials. They forced me to participate in group therapy that talked about triggers for abusing drugs. As I said, I’ve never ever used any drugs.
I was telling the therapist there in a mandatory one-on-one session about my disastrous trip to Paris and how it was one of the worst times in my life. My depression got so bad in Paris that I missed the flight home and had to stay in the hotel three additional days before I could even get out of bed. Luckily, I had enough points saved up with Marriott that it didn’t cost me too much.
Somehow that made the therapist put “Wants to kill French people” in my file. I have no idea how she misunderstood my words so badly. When the drug test correctly came back negative, I was sent to another “building” next door. That building had an actual trained psychologist.
I told her the same story I told the therapist a few hours earlier and that’s when I found out about the “wants to kill French people” comment in the file. The trained medical doctor immediately recognized that I wasn’t a threat to anyone. I was just afraid, depressed, broken, and bad with words.
When I was 16 and in Ohio for a short time, one family member found out I never drank alcohol and tried to trick me into consuming some alcohol she mixed with something else because she thought it was something “I needed to experience”. Luckily, I noticed what was going on before it was too late.
The other side of my family forced a non-blood relative with bipolar depression to get admitted to an asylum. The did forced electroshock on her without her consent. The way she described it almost sounded like she lost a piece of her soul. She still has severe memory problems, years later. You’d think time would help.
That side of the family still thinks it was a good idea and suggests forcing me to do it as well.
On a happier note…
I don’t qualify for public housing since I do not have a criminal record, a substance abuse problem, children, or a spouse. As Public funds are first dedicated to helping people in one of those categories, I was repeatedly told that it would take 6-9 months to be on a waiting list. But then even if I got in, I’d just be paired up with people that fall into one of those categories.
I just want a safe place to be alone and rest. I can’t do that with six cents in my bank account. I have only a few days left before I am once again homeless and have no where to go. I need suggestions.
I had hoped to write a lot more about my life that led up to this situation I am in and more about the physical and emotional abuse I suffered from the end of April 2014 to the beginning of January 2015 but I ran out of time. If I get more time, I’ll elaborate on more if anyone is interested.
I need a safe place to stay, alone. That’s really all I am asking. My OCD tendencies, depression, and strabismus (along with the associated photophobia caused by two eye surgeries) make it impossible for others to understand me, as I learned when I was staying with family. It’s so much easier to deal with depression when there is no one around reminding you how alone you are.
The other issue is that whenever I am in the bathroom and someone knocks on the door, I have an immediate panic attack that lasts for hours. This has been true since October 1st, 2013. When I ended up living with family, they used to knock on the door intentionally because they “thought it was funny”. The only time I could safely use the bathroom was either at 2am or when they were going to be gone for at least 10 hours.