January 29,1986 to February 26,1988
The years 1983,1984 and 1985 was when my Life really was unraveling, spiraling, spinning and skyrocketing out of control with all of my unending drug and alcohol use and abuse. Plus I had been having a lot of nasty arguments at home with both of my parents. In their eyes I was throwing my Life away so most of our ugly conflicts and heated arguments were all centered on my self destructive behaviors and the total lack of direction of my Life at that point in time. Our loud disagreements were getting progressively worse in both their fury and intensity. You could cut all the tension in the house with a knife. I knew it wasn`t going to be long before things got even worse by becoming violent. It was only a matter of time before things ratcheted and escalated up to that dark level.
I was always getting into some kind trouble at McLean High School but I didn`t care in the slightest. I was in the 9th grade at the time. I was both buying and selling marijuana on the school grounds. I purchased and smoked the marijuana more often then I sold it. Most of the time whenever I had pot I usually smoked it up so quickly that I could never keep enough around to become profitable by being sold. I was always skipping school and when I was actually in school, I was constantly disrupting all of the classes I was in. I was always under the influence of drugs and or alcohol whenever I acted out and caused problems in my classes. Whenever I would cause a disturbance in class my teachers would make me leave the classroom and go see the school Guidance Counselor or the School Principal. I was on a first name basis with both of them. Skipping school and causing commotions in my classes were both happening all the time and I was always being punished with endless in-school suspensions. The funny and ironic thing was that I was spending more time serving all of the in-school suspensions then I was spending time in my actual classes. The teachers and counselors there were always meeting with my parents all the time. During my in-school suspensions days I would start the school day by going to this 16 x 16 room. There were ten desks in there each with these dividers on both sides so that you couldn`t see or socialize with the person sitting next to you. It was designed to keep and discourage the students from talking with one another. There were both girls and boys students in there from grades nine through twelve but mostly it was boys. My Teachers would come by in the morning and give the room supervisor all of my schoolwork for that day who in turn would give everything to me. The other students in there went through the exact same thing every day as well. The room was unusually quiet and you could hear a pin drop. Still, there were times when the room supervisor would say to people, “No talking” and “Do your work.” The ironic thing was that everyone was usually on their best behavior in there because they knew if they weren`t they would get hit with an out of school suspension.
One day my parents informed me that I was going away to this 28 day drug and alcohol rehab at Dominion Hospital in Falls Church,Virginia. Some of the faculty staff members at McLean High School had strongly suggested this idea to both my parents and they both liked it. It was made clear to me that I was going. I didn`t have any choice or say in the matter. So I entered Dominion Hospital Drug and Alcohol Rehab Unit one winter day in January 1985. The drug rehab was on the third floor of the building. During my very first week there I got violently ill with a 103 degree temperature plus I had the sweats really bad. I was really sick and for three days there and I didn`t get out of bed. I was so out of it. I was down for the count. I slept a lot. It was an awful and unpleasant experience. I was a mess. They gave me some kind of pills medication plus I drank a lot of Cranberry Juice with ice. Every couple of hours they would take my temperature in addition to taking my blood pressure twice a day. I was in agony there for three days and then my health quickly rebounded and I had a full and complete recovery.
One day out of the blue during my second week there I decided to escape. I just didn`t want to be there anymore. So one Tuesday night there was a 8:00pm or 8:30pm AA meeting on our ward. I remember the elevator door opened up and all of these AA members came spilling out. They were all showing up early before the meeting and filing out of the elevator. They were all talking loudly and causing a quite a stir and creating a big distraction and I decided to take full advantage of it. So at that very moment I quietly opened this one door leading to the stairwell and I slipped out undetected. Nobody saw me leave. I surreptitiously went down some flights of stairs and then exited that building very quickly. It was so very easy to leave the drug rehab ward because it wasn`t a locked ward. I was long gone before the staff discovered I was missing. After I had been out of the building for awhile it really hit me just how much it was freezing cold outside. I walked around for awhile and then I went over to the home of my friend Steve who lived in a house just off Gallows Road in Fairfax,Virginia at the time. Steve was a friend of mine back from our days as students at J.G. Whittier Jr. High School in Falls Church,Virginia. We just hung out and talked. I stayed at his house for a few hours and then I left. At some point while I was at Steve`s house I asked him if I could stay there and he said definately not. Steve wouldn`t let me stay there overnight because he knew I was big trouble and that I would most likely create and cause him problems at some point that he didn`t want or need. So I left Steve`s house and I walked and walked around town until I came to this old bridge. I went underneath this bridge in Poplar Heights in Falls Church,Virginia and I sat down on the cold ground and stayed there. It was an old bridge made of both wood and stone. There was this little creek that ran underneath that bridge. That old bridge had seen an awful lot of water pass underneath it over the years. I tried to pass the time by smoking some cigarettes that I had with me. I also tried going to sleep under this bridge with no success at all. The problem was this was the middle of January and it was freezing cold outside. There was snow on the ground. I was cold and miserable. It wasn`t long till I got fed up with the bitterly cold weather.
Around two or three in the morning I walked over to this 7-11 store which is located in Falls Church right where Route 7 crosses and intersects with the historic, “W & OD Bike and Walking Trail.” I used the payphone right outside the 7-11 and I called home. I remember talking with my mom. She was angry and upset with me for running away from Dominion Hospital. Nevertheless I tried really hard to persuade her and talk her into letting me come back home to live. She was very clever in that she kept me on that phone as long as she could to buy time while the local Police were contacted and also possibly so the phone call could be traced. While my mom and I were talking on the phone, unbeknownst to me at the time, my father went right next door to the neighbors house and by using their telephone he called up the local Police and he told them who I was and that I had escaped from Dominion Hospital in Falls Church. Like I said, I was talking to my mom on this public payphone outside the 7-11 when suddenly these two Police cars showed up from out of nowhere. They both totally caught me off guard and freaked me out. I instantly took off running as fast as I could down the “W & OD Bike and Walking Trail.” Both of the Police Cars literally drove up on the land and chased me down the “W & OD Bike path.” One cop car chasing me down the “W & OD Bike and Walking Trail” and the other cop car came at me from the opposite end. They both closed in on me being stuck right in the middle of them. There was no way out. Both of their cop car lights were flashing but their sirens weren`t on because it was like 3:00am. It was then when I stopped, gave up and I raised my hands high in the air and said, “You got me.” They both caught up with me,handcuffed me and put me in the backseat of one of the police cars. The whole scene was like something you typically see on Television or in the movies.
The Police then took me over to my parents house. I was kept locked inside the back of the police car while the officers went in the house and spoke with my parents. Yes it was cold sitting and waiting inside that police car but it was far better then being outdoors and sitting underneath that old bridge in the freezing cold. It seemed like the police were inside that house forever. It seemed like quite a long time. Both my parents were very mad and irate. They were incensed. One of the things that my parents told the police was that I couldn`t stay there at home and that I had to go back to Dominion Hospital and complete the 28 drug rehab program. The Police then drove me over to Dominion Hospital. They took me away in handcuffs to this locked ward which was on the second floor of the Hospital. I was given a physical exam by of the staff members. I was then interviewed by a Hospital Psychiatrist for awhile. I wasn`t allowed to return to the drug rehab because it was an unlocked ward and they didn`t want to run the risk of me escaping again so I was placed on a locked ward. I was a flight risk. So I was put in this Solitary Confinement Room (which ironically wasn`t locked) on the locked mental ward until morning.
One morning when we were downstairs at breakfast when this new guy on our upstairs second floor unit grabbed a hold of this chair that weighed somewhere between was sixty to eighty pounds. He ran full speed through this safety glass and the sliding glass door. He busted right through both of them. There was glass everywhere. He went outside and climbed up on the roof. This was the steepest part of the back of the building. He threatened to jump. They finally reasoned with him and talked him down after two long hours. He was kicked out of Dominion Hospital. He was deemed way to violent and dangerous both to himself and to others. I remember his parents came and picked him up and took him away.
The daily routine Monday through Friday was I would get up and we would all go downstairs for breakfast. We would then have school for a few hours. Then we would have lunch. Then it was right back to school for a few more hours. After school we had group therapy. We had supper and family therapy afterwards. I spent a month in the Mental ward At Dominion Hospital and then I was released sometime in late February or early March of 1985.
I stayed clean and sober for the next six months. However I eventually returned right back to my old ways of drinking and drugging.
On a winter Saturday afternoon in December of 1985 I was getting ready to go to an AA meeting with an older friend of mine named Ricky at the Independence Club in Alexandria,Virginia. I had first met Ricky at AA about one year earlier. I had been going to AA meetings (with and without Ricky) for the past year at that time in Northern Virginia towns such as Falls Church, Fairfax, Arlington and sometimes in Alexandria. My friend Ricky was in the Army at the time. He was in his early twenties. Ricky picked me up at my house in McLean,Virginia his 1963 green Volvo. The floor in his car was all rusted out from years and years of letting it sit outside. What happened was that over the years the road salts had eaten right through the bottom of the floor board of his car and as a result it was riddled with all of these dime size holes. It looked like Swiss Cheese. In the wintertime we would flick our cigarette ashes through those holes and throw our cigarette butts through those countless holes. Our plan was to go attend this AA meeting at this AA Club but at the very last minute we changed our minds and we both decided to go get drunk instead. It was a bad decision. He purchased a bottle of “Johnny Walker Scotch” at an ABC store on Glebe Road in Arlington,Virginia. So we were drinking and driving around on these various roads in Arlington and Falls,Church,Virginia. I got really drunk on that bottle of “Johnny Walker Red Label Scotch” plus I took a bunch of my anti-depressant medication pills. Those pills of mine were yellow and white colored and I ingested three to four times more dosage far more then my Doctor`s prescribed amount for me. I must have taken at least twelve pills. I overdosed really bad on both the booze and the pills. I was severley intoxicated.
We parked somewhere in the Tysons Corner Shopping Mall Parking lot. I kept on drinking away in the car. I wanted to get out of that car and go on into the Mall. Ricky told me not to get out of the car but I did anyway. He was trying to protect me from myself. Ricky didn`t want me to go into that Mall in my super drunken state and then do something stupid that would get me in trouble and land me in hot water. I got mad and told him to stay out of my way and to not follow me into the Mall. He knew I was trouble and he was smart enough to listen to me so he stayed in the car. I was aimlessly walking around Tysons Corner Mall for about two hours while totally drunk out of my mind and wasted on those pills. I went into Farrell`s Ice Cream Parlor where I once used to work. I had worked there as a busboy back in May,June,July and August of 1985. When I worked there I would get high a lot on “Whip-its.” There were cases and cases of whipped cream we kept inside the stock room. My co-workers and I were always doing those “Whip-its” on a regular basis. That Manager never actually caught any of us doing whip its on the job so to speak but he was always upset and endlessly frustrated that the nitrous oxide was always mysteriously missing from all the whipped cream cans. He would say “Another ruined again.” He strongly suspected the employees were getting high on the nitrous oxide but he never actually caught anyone red-handed doing it. It got to be a running gag of sorts between the employees who were getting wasted. So like I said earlier, I staggered on into my old place of employment which was “Farrell`s Ice Cream Parlor.” I was drunk as a skunk and falling all over the place. I saw some of my old co-workers there. They could all tell I was drunk and they all laughed. I ended up sitting in the back of the restaurant. Since it was a Saturday there were a lot of customers in there. I didn`t talk or argue with any of them. However a lot of them were looking at me and pointing at me. Like I said, some of my former coworkers instantly recognized me. They just laughed at me and told me I was drunk. I agreed with them. At some point the Manager (and my former boss) spotted me. He was upset. He could tell right away I was publicly intoxicated. He told me to leave to restaurant but I didn`t. I remember that back when I worked there in Summer of 1985 that all of the employees really hated this particular Manager guy with a passion. I started going off on him by loudly yelling a litany of vulgarities at him in front of all of the employees and customers. I then went to use the bathroom. I recall stumbling around in there in my extreme drunkenness. That`s the last thing I remember. I was blacked out for most of the rest of the night.
I found out much later after coming out of my alcohol blackout that my old boss Manager had called the Police on me. I also found out later on that I got into a loud argument and a violent fight with the Police officers after they arrived. I started bitterly arguing and violently fighting with the Police. Seven angry Police Officers to be exact. I was outnumbered and I got Billy-Clubbed all over like you wouldn`t believe. I was beaten black and blue all over my entire body. I had all of these painful and colorful bruises from the top of my head all the way down to my ankles. I both looked and felt horrible. Pain without end. Some of the worst pains I ever felt in my Life. It was just the worst. This resulted in me getting hit with criminal charges. The Police Officer who arrested me was a nice guy who honestly didn`t want to press any charges against me but his Supervisor insisted that he file charges on me, so he did. This was the very beginning of me getting hit with criminal charges. They got me for being drunk in Public and also for resisting arrest. I had crossed over into dangerous territory by fighting with the Police. Things were about to become even far more dangerous for me (Medically speaking.) At some point I stopped breathing. I stopped breathing at least eight times that night. I almost died several times that night. I was rushed to the Emergency Room at Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church,Virginia. I arrived there around 1:00am. I got violent once again and was physically fighting with all the Hospital staff. They kept having to revive me every time I stopped breathing. They gave me oxygen. They hooked me up to an IV which I`m sure diluted some of the alcohol in my system and that`s probably why I came out of my blackout. I had been blacking out for four hours or more. Both my parents were in the Emergency Ward with me when I came out of my blackout. My mom worked in that very same Hospital. My mom was a very high ranking nurse and very well respected who was pretty high up in that Hospital. She was the top “Nursing Coordinator” in the Hospital at that time. When I came out of my alcohol blackout I quickly realized that I was tightly bound and strapped down to this hospital bed. I could then feel all of the miserable pain from all of these endless bruises from my head to my toes from being Billy Clubbed by the Police. This was a rude awakening. Like I said, I was yelling and screaming at the Hospital Staff and fighting everyone around me and I honestly didn`t know why. I was cussing up a storm by yelling a tidal wave of obscenities and my dad was yelling at me to watch my mouth. I was struggling fiercely to get out of my restraints and free myself but I couldn`t get loose no matter how hard I tried. I very quickly assessed my situation and then I stopped fighting and swearing and I quieted down completely. After awhile they moved me to another room. Six hours later they released me. I had been there about ten to twelve hours. I was very surprised that they let me leave the Hospital. The Emergency Room Doctor was very afraid that I suffered from Liver Damage. I remember that when I left Fairfax Hospital it was late the next morning and the morning Sun was shining brightly. My parents drove me home from the Hospital. It was a silent car ride home. The hangover lasted three whole days. All of the pains from all of those nasty billy-club bruises all over my body lasted far longer then three days. I was in very bad shape.
The drinking/pills overdose coupled with the incidents at Tysons Corner Mall and my shocking behavior later at Fairfax Hospital all turned out to be the last straw which broke the camels back. Plus one day I had this big nasty argument with my parents. They called my Psychiatrist on the phone and after a long discussion it was then when my Doctor strongly suggested to my parents that they should have me admitted to Dominion Hospital. I knew all about the place for I had been there as a patient once before in early 1985. So I just went along with it and I said I thought it was a good idea. The reason I thought it was a good idea was because the homefront had been a very confrontational environment between my parents and I for a long time now.
So on Monday January 6,1986, I was officially admitted to Dominion Hospital which is located on 2960 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church, Virginia. I was put on a locked down ward where I stayed for one month. The Doctors at Dominion Hospital put me on a ton of Medications. The shrinks at Dominion Hospital put me through the standard tests that they put almost everyone through such as Cat Scans, I.Q. Tests and the famous “Rorschach Inkblot Test.”
I was roommates with this one patient who was eighteen or nineteen year old guy. He was severely mentally ill. He was bonkers and out of his mind. He talked all of the time day and night. He talked a lot about nothing. He ran his mouth nonstop. He was a bonafide Chatterbox. He talked all through the day and hours into the night. He talked when people were around. He talked when nobody was around. He drove me nuts. I lost a lot of sleep because of this guy. He wouldn`t ever shut up. Sometimes he would ask me questions and I wouldn`t respond and refuse to answer them and then he would just go right on talking all over again. The other patients didn`t like this guy either. I remember thinking to myself this guy is really crazy and he`s going to drive me insane. After three days of this lunacy I went directly to the staff at Dominion Hospital and I told them that if they didn`t get rid of this guy from my room that I was going to kill him. The staff took what I said very,very seriously. They weren`t taking any chances. They immediately transferred that guy over to another part of the Hospital so that we would be permanently seperated from one another.
There was this one woman patient who got into a big argument with one or more of the staff members about something. They tried really hard to reason with her and to calm her down and she wouldn`t calm down at all no matter what they said. Things went from bad to worse when she got violent and she was yelling loudly. It was a full on meltdown. Then these four big dudes overpowered her, physically restrained her and then they put her in a straight-jacket. She was instantly taken away to some private room and locked up against her will.
I was simply biding my time at Dominion Hospital. I knew it was only a matter of time before my parents insurance company money would run out and the Hospital would have to turn me loose and I would be free once again. After my time at was Dominion Hospital was over I thought I was going back home and to return back to my life at McLean High School.
While I was in Dominion Hospital,the doctors and or other staff members at Dominion had suggested to my parents that they should put me in this place called “Straight” in Springfield,Virginia. So my parents told me that they were going to be taking me to a place named “Straight” in Springfield,Virginia just for an routine interview. I had heard negative stories about this infamous place called Straight over the years but I always dismissed all these nightmarish and dark tales about the place because I never believed that I would ever end up there. I remember telling the other patients at Dominion Hospital that I was going to be going to this place called “Straight” for an interview. My friends at Dominion suddenly became very grim, serious and were very scared for me and they told me so. They tried really hard to talk me out of going there. They told me not to go there. They had friends who had been there and they told me what their friends had gone through while there. I dismissed everything that was said and I responded by saying,” It`s no big deal. I`ll be right back here (at Dominion) later on this afternoon.
I arrived at Springfield,Virginia Straight on the morning of Wednesday January 29,1986 which was one day after the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Tragedy occurred down in Florida. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral,Florida at 11:39 EST. My Day One Intake was conducted by the two oldcomers who were both on third or fourth phase at the time. They asked me all kinds of questions for a long time and then wrote down all my answers. At some point one of the oldcomers said to me, ” Your mom and dad have both decided that you`re going to stay here at Straight.” I quickly responded by saying, “No, I`m not. I`m going.” I got up from my chair to leave the intake room. I was heading for the door. That`s when it got physical, super fast. One of the oldcomers was super fast and quick and before I knew it he had put me in a “Full Nelson” wrestling hold. I didn`t have any time to react. He had me right where he wanted me. It was painful and I struggled for a bit but then I calmed down and I finally sat back down in my chair. I knew that I had been beat. It was a very humbling experience for me. Both of these oldcomers weighed over two hundred pounds each and there was no way that I was getting out of that room. It just wasn`t happening. There was nothing I could do.
Yes it was true that my parents had signed me into Straight. It was later on in the day both my parents came into the intake room to say goodbye to me. I was very angry and upset. I was so desperate to get out of there and I tried to seize the moment as best as I possibly could. I told my mom, “You told me all that was going to happen was I was coming here for an interview and then I could leave.”
My mom said, “I`m sorry.”
I immediately began begging both of my parents as hard as I possibly could to take me back to Dominion Hospital. The staff quickly shuttled both of my parents out of that intake room as fast as they could. The reason the staff did this was because they didn`t want me to talk my parents out of putting me in Straight.
Later on that evening I was beltlooped and taken from the intake room and escorted into the Open Meeting Room. A rap was in progress and all of the kids in groups were motivating. I was introduced to everyone in group. All of these heads turn and look directly at me. That endless sea of strange faces staring holes in me. It was right then and there when the shocking revelation hit me that all of my friends back at Dominion Hospital were right all along about Straight and how wrong I had been in not listening to them back when I had the chance.
I`m a quick study and I concluded right away that Straight was an insane place for countless reasons and I wanted out of there. So I started thinking, plotting and planning my copout escape ever since my Day One Intake. During my six months on first phase I learned that copping out from group and from hosthomes while on first phase was futile. I resolved to myself that I would copout right after I made second phase when I was back at my own home on familiar territory in Falls Church,Virginia. During my six months on first phase I never once put in to withdraw myself. I saw many other newcomers put into withdraw themselves but I never did. I had nothing against all of the people who tried to withdraw themselves and I never judged any of them negatively. It was just in my specific case I didn`t even bother because I knew that I wasn`t ever getting out of there through the official withdraw process. I knew my parents would never withdraw me if ever I put in to withdraw myself. I was there to stay whether I liked it or not.
At one point during my six months on First Phase at Straight both of my parents went to Fairfax County Court (on my behalf) because I had a Court Date stemming from the criminal charges from the previous December 1985 of my being drunk in Public at The Tysons Corner Mall and for resisting arrest with those Police Officers. My parents told my Judge that I was currently a client in a Long Term Treatment Center called Straight Incorporated in Springfield,Virginia. It was on that day when that Judge threw down the hammer on me by Officially Court Ordering me to Springfield,Virginia Straight. I was on a T & R talk with both my parents some days later when my parents freaked me out when they informed me of the Judge`s decision to Court Order me to Straight. I was totally and secretly shocked when I was told I was now Court Ordered to Straight.
I made second phase on Friday July 11, 1986. I went home for the first time in seven months. I was so surreal being back home after being away for the last seven to eight months. Being back at my own home I literally felt like I had just arrived on some alien planet. My family lived on Poplar Heights in Falls,Church, Virginia. Straight staff sent another oldcomer to stay with me at my home for a couple of days to keep an eye on me. For some reason I really don`t think the staff trusted me and I strongly suspect they sent me home with another oldcomer to see what I would do or to discourage me from copping out (or both.) You would think that the Straight staff would have assigned a very strict and no-nonsense oldcomer to go home with me but strangely enough they didn`t. Quite the opposite. The strange thing was that he was a very quiet,casual and passive person. By Monday night that specific oldcomer was long gone. He had gone back to the other hosthome where he had been staying at. That Monday night was the very first time in six months when I wasn`t around any oldcomers or newcomers at a hosthome. That Monday evening it was just my mom and I. My brother and father were away at a Boy Scouts event. My mom wasn`t feeling well at all that evening. I strongly suggested that she go take a hot bath to help her feel better and that`s exactly what she did. The second she started taking her bath was when I copped out. It was around 8:00pm. I took her car keys, some money from her purse (which was less then $10.00,) one pack of her Vantage 100 cigarettes. I took her car which was a little red 1983 Mazda 32.3. I was out of there in a matter of minutes. I was long gone by the time they figured out I had left. So I had a big head start on my parents and the Police. At some point later on that night both my parents figured out that I had escaped. My parents were furious that I escaped and that I stole my moms car. My parents didn`t waste any time. They immediately contacted both Straight and the Fairfax County Police Department.
I drove around Fairfax,Virginia for awhile. Driving and thinking and more driving and thinking. I needed to find a place to stay the night and fast. I also needed to get the car off the road as soon as possible because I knew the Fairfax County Police would all be looking for me (and the car) very soon. I drove over to one friend`s house in Falls Church,Virginia and he immediately turned me down directly by telling me right to my face that he wasn`t going to help me. I remember making several phone calls to a bunch of my other friends. At one point the thought did cross my mind that if I wasn`t able to find shelter somewhere that I would have to spend the night sleeping in that car. Some of my friends were home and some weren`t. The friends of mine who were home all refused to help me. Nobody seemed to want to help hide me. I wasn`t getting any help in my escape. They knew I was bad news. I was to hot to handle and they didn`t want to get burned again. They didn`t want to get into any legal trouble for helping and assisting me during my escape from Straight. They knew I was walking trouble and they didn`t want to get involved directly or indirectly in my situation. I really wasn`t surprised at all that my so called friends didn`t want to help me. To be honest I expected very little help from them right from the start. At some point in 1985 most of my friends had completely given up on me. I would smoke all of their post and drink up their booze. Plus they were sick and tired of all of my endless dramas and constant trouble making. They started avoiding me like the plague. So it was for a whole multitude of past and present reasons why my so called friends refused to offer any help or assistance to me on that night. My situation finally improved in my favor when I called up a particular friend in Fairfax,Virginia. I knew him from McLean High School. I told him what was going on and asked him if he would help me. He was cool and very understanding. He said I could spend the night in his downstairs basement on the one condition that I would be gone first thing in the morning long before his parents woke up. I agreed to leave his house first thing in the morning. So right after we made this agreement I then drove right over to his house. It was comical in that I was hiding, sleeping and buried so deep in this sea of dirty and smelly clothes in the family Laundry Room. At one point I got a very big scare when my friend`s mom unexpectedly came downstairs into the laundry room to get some clothes. I was so scared she would find me and start screaming and yelling loudly followed up by her calling the Police. Discovery would spell doom and disaster for me. Fortunately she didn`t see me and she left the room quickly. I had dodged a bullet for sure.
The next morning I left the house. I came back later on that afternoon around 1:00pm after my friend and his sister got home. He and his sister were both friends of mine who were both going to Summer School at the time. The four of us got stoned on this bong in his bedroom while listening to music by RUSH and Ozzy Osbourne. Somewhere around twenty to thirty minutes later into the stoning when my mood completely changed for the worse once I was really high and I got totally paranoid. My friend was looking at me and looking at me and looking at me. Suddenly I grabbed him by his shirt. I lifted him up in the air by his shirt.
“Did you tell anybody about me!? I yelled again. “Did you tell anybody about me!?
I could see the fear in his eyes. I could see the terror in his face. My hand was cocked back.
He shock his head no.
I said, “You know if you told anybody about me that I`m going to have to kill you.”
By getting physical with my friend I had crossed a line that I shouldn`t have. I was now officially persona non grata. If I had not done that I think perhaps he would have let me crash at his house for some more nights. They were all shocked and surprised that I had flipped my lid. I had lost it. They were right. Nobody asked me or told me to leave the house. They didn`t have to. I knew I had just worn out my welcome at that house by what I had just done. There was no turning back now. I left the house immediately on my own. I was so paranoid. So I got in the car and drove out of there as fast as I possibly could. I was really high. I was a mess. I was in Fairfax,Virginia. I drove by the Merrifield Post Office and Idewild Road. Being as messed up as I was, I was speeding quite a bit. I was super paranoid and thought I could hear these Police Sirens. I kept on hearing those red and blue police car sirens screaming louder and louder. My ringing ears felt like they were going to explode. I constantly kept looking in my rear view mirrors and I kept looking over my shoulders. I was in this constant state of heightened paranoia that I just couldn`t shake. I thought the Police were red hot on my tail and chasing after me. I was just trying to get away. I had to get away at all costs. There was nothing to get away from but I honestly thought there was. Visions of The Fairfax County Police cars chasing me down, running me off the road, pulling me out of the car and tackling me on the ground, slamming the handcuffs of my wrists, reading me my Miranda Rights and hauling me off to jail kept playing and replaying in my mind like a movie projector that wouldn`t turn off. My stress level and blood pressure went through the roof. I was driving dangerously. A shock to my system occurred when I swerved and just narrowly missed hitting these huge boulders on the side of the road. They were six to eight feet around. These were four to five of these mammoth boulders that were eight to ten tons each. Scared myself sober. Very glad that I wasn`t dead. It really shocked me. It put the fear of God in me. I had been speeding and going way to fast for that road. I honestly believe that the Hand of God intervened in my favor. Had I hit those rocks I know I would have been killed instantly and the car would have been totaled beyond repair. Had I died, people would have been reading my obituary in the newspapers. Had I been killed, the staff members at Springfield,Virginia Straight would have constantly used me an a negative example for years and years by spinning it Straight`s way by telling everyone that my tragic death was because I copped out and I didn`t graduate the Straight program. I should have died right then and there with blood, teeth,hair and eyeballs all over the place. It was one of the closest times in my Life when I almost did die. I kept on driving around wired on pure adrenaline for awhile with no specific destination in mind. I kept reliving and replaying that scary scene over and over and over again in my head. I was befuddled and grateful that I was still alive. Those mammoth sized boulders plus the shrill sounds of the police car sirens constantly running and repeating through my brain over and over and over again so I was as paranoid and as freaked out as one could possibly get.
I drove to a public payphone and called up my High School girlfriend Carmen. I told her everything that was going on with me. She was my first love and my partner in crime so to speak. We had first met back when we had some classes together during my Freshman year at McLean High School. She lived in McLean,Virginia. Like I said, I called her up and we decided to meet up in the parking lot of McLean High School. She got into my car with her backpack on. I asked her what the hell she was doing. She said she was going to run away with me. I said, “No, you`re not.” She insisted. She wouldn`t take no for an answer. I lost that argument real quick. It was over before it started. I should have known far better then to argue with a woman. Now we were both on the run and we were both now officially runaways according to Virginia State Law. At some point Carmen called up this guy named Alex and talked with him on the phone. Carmen,Alex and I had all been patients together at Dominion Hospital during my second stay there in January 1986. Alex said that Carmen and I could stay at his house for a few days. We drove out to Reston,Virginia to visit my friend Alex. We stayed at Alex`s home for two days and two nights. Carmen and I had the whole downstairs basement to ourselves. Unfortunately we couldn`t stay there longer. So Alex really helped us out once again by calling up a good friend of his named Tommy and making arrangements for us to go stay at his friends house. This was cool because this would buy us some more time. We then went to Tommy`s house who also lived in the posh town of Reston,Virginia. It was a really nice and expensive house. I knew Alex from my second time I spent as a patient at Dominion Hospital. On a very bright and sunny Summer day in July we all went out to Great Falls Park on the Maryland side which is located in Potomac,Maryland. It was the four of us. We all went swimming in the warm water. We were there a couple hours. We had a great time. It was beautiful Summertime weather with a sparkling, beautiful blue Summer sky with no clouds at all. We spent the time swimming, sunbathing and listening to music on this cool radio that we had brought with us. My girlfriend and I both stayed in this nice guest room at his house. We were there for four nights. Carmen and I were drinking a lot as there was a huge supply of alcohol at Tommy`s house. They had a lot of booze there. Oceans of it. There was beer and hard liquor aplenty. Tons and tons of it and then some. I remember drinking lots of Vodka. I made myself many screwdrivers. Carmen drank a lot of the wine coolers. That very last Saturday night there Carmen and I ended up getting really drunk on some hard liquor. I remember Carmen getting really sick from drinking to much booze. I remember holding her hair back while she threw up repeatedly into the bathroom sink. Tommy`s parents were also away somewhere on Summer Vacation and they were coming back home sometime on that Sunday. So this meant that we had to leave his house early on Sunday and keep moving again. We left the house right before lunch and drove out to a local Burger King to get some delicious, junk food.
We needed another place to stay so Carmen called up her friend Ruth on the phone and talked with her. The friend said we both could come over to her house. Her friend was going to help find us both a place were we could continue to stay on the run and hide out. So we went over to Ruth`s house who lived in McLean,Virginia. She was really nice to both of us when we got there. She said yes she would help us both find a place to stay. It was thirty to forty-five minutes later when we arrived at Carmen`s friend`s house. We came inside and talked for awhile. She left the room. She was gone for five to ten minutes and then she came back and dropped a major bombshell on us. She then said,” Carmen I called your dad spoke with him. I told him that both you and Mark are here. He`s gonna be here in a few minutes. He`s very upset.” Her dad lived just right down the street. What happened was sometime earlier that week was Carmen`s parents had called her best friend and told her that Carmen and I were both runaways and that if we ever called her or stopped by, for her to call her parents immediately. So that was exactly what she did. Carmen was very upset when she heard that news. Her best friend tried to talk Carmen into giving herself up. Hearing that news was like getting zapped out of a sound sleep with a cattle prod. The split second she gave us that grim news I jumped up and took off running right out of that house. Her dad was right outside the house hiding in the bushes like some midnight prowler up to no good. It was nuts. Her father was a high level and no nonsense cop who worked for the Washington,DC Police Department. He never liked me at all. He had always hated me for years because in his eyes I had corrupted his daughter. He was very mad at both Alicia and I. He was like a Raging Bull. We could tell from his facial expressions that he was beyond furious. His face was red. He had steam coming out of both ears. He was constantly yelling angry threats and nasty names at both of us. He made a very ugly scene outside and he didn`t care who witnessed it. He wanted to bust me in the head among other very violent things. He had a very dark heart. He was a dangerous person. He was full of venom and hate. He told me the Police were on their way. As soon as he could get to me he was gonna beat the crap out of me among other things. He wanted to break every bone of mine that he could. He also wanted to put me in a coma. He let me know all this in no uncertain terms. I had an ass-kicking coming and then some. I told Carmen that her father was out there waiting and hiding in the bushes. Then everything became very comical and cartoonish just like all of the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons. She went outside and tried to run past him and when she did I ran around the other side of the house. He didn`t run after me. He was to busy yelling at and chasing after Carmen. He was hot on her trail. The angry dad told me to stay right where I was and that other Police officers are gonna be here in a minute. I ran to the car and started it up real fast while he was busy chasing her down the street. I started driving. The car never stopped. With amazing precision I managed to wedge the car right between the middle of Carmen and her psycho father without hitting either one of them. Ten to fifteen feet ahead. My driving skills were very sharp. I slowed the car down just enough so she could jump right in and that`s exactly what she did. Carmen grabbed the door while the car was still moving and she jumped inside. At one point her father punched the back window of the car really hard. I almost accidently ran over her father. We then sped off. The other Police car arrived just as we were fleeing the scene. The other Policemen were coming in just as we were going out. The car siren wasn`t blaring but the colored lights were flashing from both cop cars. The cop car drove down to the bottom of the cul de sac and turned around to drive back up the street to chase after me. I drove up on somebody`s yard and took off. My heart was beating 1,000 miles an hour. My heart was in my throat. I lost him real quick which was crazy. I gave the police the slip and ditched them by quickly and quietly taking a series of side streets that the police didn`t know very well or didn`t know existed. We drove out to North Arlington and then we drove over to The Independence Club in Alexandria,Virginia. We attended an AA meeting there.
It was before or during that AA meeting when I decided that I was sick and tired of running and everything that went along with it. So I called my house and spoke with my mom. She told me that the Judge who had Court Ordered me to Straight was very upset with me because I had copped out. He was boiling mad and beyond livid with me and he was going to throw the book at me. He wanted to have me arrested and prosecuted for Grand Theft Auto and also for contributing to the delinquency of a minor since Carmen was 14 years old at the time. My girlfriends police father was furious that I had gotten the better of him and his Police friends during my copout by successfully escaping from him and the other cops with Carmen. Behind the scenes her cop father was privately pressuring my Judge to throw the book at me and then some. He wanted my Judge to sentence me with the maximum punishments. He was filling the Judge`s head with all these negative horror stories about me all of which made the Judge angrier and angrier at me. With all of the additional charges being filed against me I was looking at almost forty years in prison. So Carmen and I drove over to my house. We said our last goodbyes. My mom drove Carmen back to her house. My next door neighbor agreed to drive me to Springfield, Virginia Straight in his white Station Wagon while my dad sat next to me in the back seat and keeping an eye on me for the whole trip. He was watching me like a hawk the entire time and making sure I didn`t try to jump out of the car and copout all over again.
It wasn`t long till I was right back at Straight and it wasn`t long till I was strip searched. Soon I was re-introduced back to the group during a Sunday rap being held in that giant Open Meeting Room. I remember two or three phasers yelled at me from across the room but I didn`t care. I was then started over and I was put on front row with the other newcomers.
I knew that one day soon that I had a colorful Court Date with that angry Judge who was very enraged with me and who was planning to throw the book at me. This guy was one of those ignorant and brainwashed Judges who was all fired up and gung-ho to the extreme about Straight Incorporated. Both my parents and the Straight staff had told me that Judge was livid and boiling mad with me because (in his mind) I took that opportunity to turn my Life around with Straight and I threw it all out the window. The morning of the day of my Court date had finally arrived I was so overjoyed. I was in a very good mood. I was sitting in group and expecting at any minute for two oldcomers to come take me out of group and then take me to Court with a staff member. I had been looking forward to this Court date because ever since coming back to Straight from copping out, I was secretly planning and plotting to copout all over again once we arrived at the Fairfax County Court House. I knew the whole Court House area and Fairfax,Virginia area much better then Springfield,Viriginia. I didn`t care about all of the prison time hanging over my head. I had the whole escape thing planned out in my head. Once we arrived at that Court House I was gonna bolt. I was going to copout for a second time. I was all ready to go. I was primed and ready. I was set. I could almost taste Freedom again. So 10:00am rolls around. Nothing. 11:00am rolls around. Nothing. Noon rolls around and still nothing. Lunchtime. Nothing. Then it`s after lunch and still nobody ever came to pull me out of group. Then it`s exercise rap. Then it`s guys rap. Hour after hour of the day slowly goes by. Nothing. I got more and more anxious and worried with each passing hour throughout that day. It was like Chinese water torture all day long. It drove me crazy. With each and every passing hour I kept hoping against hope that my luck would suddenly and instantly change for the better even though it didn`t. Still, I kept hanging on and holding out hope that at some point during the day that someone was going to take me out of group and take me to Court. Finally, it`s night and we were all standing for the longest time in the dismissal line heel to toe in that giant Open Meeting Room. This one staff member is loudly reading out all of these home situations. Then this staff member yells to me from across the room. His voice was booming loud enough for everyone in the Open Meeting Room to hear him and they did. He said, “Mark Yacobucci, I proudly went to Court today with both your parents and I spoke with your Judge about you. I told him you are doing great here and we talked for quite awhile. From everything I told him today he is now very happy and very pleased with your positive progress here. He said to tell you that since you are doing so well here that all you have to do now is graduate the Straight Program and then you`re in the clear.” After I heard all that garbage my heart just sank to the bottom of the Ocean. Hope just drained out of me. I could have cried for hours and hours. At that point I really lost all hope. I became very,very depressed. The sharp daggers of reality shredded what little hope I had left to cling onto. Straight had illegally cut me out of the loop by not taking me to Court. My plans of a Courthouse escape which had kept my spirits up and my morale up ever since coming back from copping out would not be taking place after all. It was a crushing blow. That morning when I arrived at Straight I was so happy and looking forward to escaping. Now it`s nighttime and I`m as depressed as one can possibly be. What a difference a day makes.
I made second phase again rather quickly which was somewhere around six weeks later. I made third phase about two weeks after that.
I was on third phase in October 1986 when I returned right back to my old stomping ground which was McLean High School located on 1633 Davidson Road in McLean, Virginia. I had attended this High School for about a year and a half just prior to ending up in Springfield,Virginia Straight. My first week back at McLean High School in October 1986 was a nightmare. It was very strange and surreal just being back there. That week there were all of these numerous friends, acquaintances and strangers from my past who were constantly approaching me and starting up conversations with me. I didn`t want to talk with any of them. There were various people I knew and even people I didn`t know before who were telling me they were doing drugs and that they had drugs. So many of these people were constantly offering me drugs such as speed and pot for free. This was happening before,during and after classes on a daily basis. It was very amusing and ironic because so many of these so called “friends” wanted absolutely nothing to do with me for the longest time. There were so many times they would not tell me when parties were going on because they didn`t want me to show up and drink their booze and take all their drugs and now they all wanted to party with me. On my first day back I found out that I was in the same math class as my brother Jay who was two years younger then I was. The math Teacher introduced me to the entire class. We have a new student in our class. The entire class all turned and looked at me. They all looked like they had seen a ghost. It was all extremely awkward and embarrassing. One day at school I ran into my old girlfriend Carmen. The same person who was with me during my first copout from Straight. It was very uncomfortable for me because she was trying very hard to talk with me. At first I tried not speaking to her. She kept on talking to me in spite of my silence. She was unaware of Straight`s rule that forbade me from talking. I finally broke my silence and said to her that I couldn`t talk to her and she starting crying. She didn`t understand why I couldn`t talk with her. Carmen was persistent and she kept trying to talk with me on other days as well. All of these incidents got to be very stressful and very overwhelming plus I knew that it was going to be this way for quite some time. Each day at McLean High was more unpleasant for me then the previous day. I was having an extremely difficult time readjusting back to this School. It quickly got to the point for me where I just didn`t want to deal with McLean High School anymore (and everything associated with it) so I copped out from Straight for a second time. I didn`t want to go back to McLean High School and I didn`t want to go back to Straight either. If I never darkened the door of either place ever again in my Life how happy I would be. So I copped out and I quickly met up with my old friend Ricky at an AA meeting being held at The Independence Club.
I spent the night with Ricky at his apartment in Arlington,Virginia. Ricky and I spent a long time talking about Straight and other things as well. We made an agreement that I could stay there at his place for just that one night but that was it. I had to leave the very next morning at the crack of dawn. Ricky talked me into giving myself up because he didn`t want me to get myself in anymore trouble then I was already in. We spent the evening by watching random stuff on television. It wasn`t long before I decided to follow through with turning myself in. I didn`t want to at all but I was completely out of options and I knew it. The very next morning I called up my mom up at work. I didn`t want to make that call but I did anyway. We talked for awhile. Some time later she ended up picking me up and driving me to Straight. That car ride was very emotionally unpleasant and distressing because I knew all of the misery and darkness that was waiting for me at Straight. Once I arrived there I was quietly and quickly shuffled away to an intake room. My re-intake fortunately didn`t last very long compared to the other ones that other copouts had to go through. I was asked all these boring questions by brainwashed phasers if I did any drugs during my copout and I told them no. Then I had to do the traditional and humiliating strip search.
Afterwards I was beltlooped and escorted into that giant Open Meeting Room. The staff member leading the rap asked everyone in group to turn around and pay attention to the staff member beltlooping me in the back of group. The staff member re-introduced me to the group during a rap.
That staff member said to everyone, “This is Mark. He copped out yesterday and he didn`t do any drugs.”
Everyone in group already knew precisely who I was and they all started motivating super fast, simultaneously so they could all confront and blast me to pieces. All the chairs in group were screeching,shaking and rattling. The group machine was revved up and ready to destroy me. Everyone in that room wanted a piece of me. They all wanted to yell and scream at me in the worst ways imaginable. The sharks smelled blood in the water and they were all circling their prey endlessly.
Staff said, “No” and told everyone in group to put their hands down. They were all so disappointed they were denied the opportunities they all craved to lace into me and shred me to bloody bits in a Billion pieces. They all wanted my blood and now they couldn`t have it. Staff then said to me, “Mark Yacobucci you`re started over.”
That devastating news really stung me hard and completely blindsided me because I honestly thought all that would ever happen to me was that I would be put on an oldcomer setback. The reason I strongly believed this was because during my second copout I didn`t drink, I didn`t do any drugs, I didn`t commit any crimes, I was gone for only one day, I had willingly turned myself back in and finally that I was fully cooperative with everyone on my re-intake. So it was because of all of these factors that I really thought all that would happen to me would be that staff would put me on an oldcomer setback. Something along the lines of a 3rd phase 14 day refresher. How wrong I was. I was so wrong that I couldn`t have been more wrong. Everyone in group then said together in loud unison, “Hi Mark. We Love you Mark.” Strangely enough these were the exact same group of brainwashed people who just minutes earlier wanted to yell,scream and holler in my face over and over and over again for copping out. Only minutes ago they were all chomping at the bit to obliterate and destroy me and now they are all telling me that they Love me. Only at Straight Incorporated. After I was started over I was taken right to front row with the other newcomers and I sat down.
My last program at Springfield,Virginia Straight was from October 1986 to February 1988. Right after graduating I immediately started the six month aftercare in February and I finished it the following July or August. The six month aftercare is something which all Graduates of Straight Incorporated are required to successfully complete. The whole aftercare thing is a total sham. It`s Straight`s underhanded,dishonest and manipulative way of exerting and extending another 6 months of power,control,tyranny and oppression over a person`s life. After I successfully completed the 6 months aftercare in that Summer of 1988 and for many years later, I was always terrified of being put right back into Straight Incorporated.