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1986

Mercedes Rochelle Glisan, age eight years, was taken into protective custody on January 31, 1986 by Bakersfield Police Department Officer Don Martin. Early that evening, he had been dispatched to the scene of a fire accidentally set by the minor who had been left unsupervised by her mother.

Excerpts from court documents:

Mercedes Rochelle Glisan, age eight years, was taken into protective custody on January 31, 1986 by Bakersfield Police Department Officer Don Martin. Early that evening, he had been dispatched to the scene of a fire accidentally set by the minor who had been left unsupervised by her mother, Valerie Glisan.

According to Officer Martin’s report:

“On 01-31-86 at about 1920 hours, I was dispatched to 5101 Marsha, Apt 116, in regards to a fire which had occurred there. Upon arrival, I met with Captain Gocher (phonetic) for the Fire Prevention and Arson Investigation Division. He stated fire department personnel had just investigated and put out a fire in which Apt. 116 had been totally destroyed. Gocher stated through his investigation , he found that an eight year old female had been left alone at the residence. He stated in talking with the juvenile, she is constantly being left unsupervised by her mother and that the fire started as a result of the juvenile being left alone. I contacted the juvenile, Mercedes Glisan, and asked her what happened in regards to the fire. She told me that she had been left alone by her mother since about 3:30 pm. and she did not know where her mother was. Mercedes stated the power went off in the residence and it was dark, so she lit several candles inside the residence to provide light for herself. Mercedes stated she left the candles on, forgetting to blow them out and she went outside to play and then went out to a neighbor’s house. she said sometime later, she came back and saw smoke coming from the apartment, at which time a neighbor had notified the fire department who was responding to the fire. Mercedes told me that she is always left unattended by her mother as her mother leaves the apartment and goes to the Matchmaker Bar and several other places, and she does not know where her mother goes on these occasions.”

“I talked to Mercedes’ mother Valerie Glisan. She told me the reason she was not at her residence was because she had vehicle problems and her vehicle broke down on California and Stockdale. She stated she then had her vehicle fixed, at which time she responded back to the residence. She stated she does not leave her child alone but then talking with the child, she does state she is left alone numerous occasions. Valerie Glisan changed her story when I asked her again. She stated she has left Mercedes unattended several times but it is not her fault as she is always looking for work.”

Most of this is accurate. But what it fails to tell you is what really happened. My mom often left me alone. She left me alone so often that I rarely attended school and I ran amok through the neighborhood, which was nothing but apartment complexes. This particular night, as she left me, she gave me specific instructions to go directly to my friends house. Clearly, I did not. Instead, I messed around the apartment and discovered a plastic candle holder and mirror which was meant to be mounted on the wall with fake candles. I mounted them, attempting to fancy up the apartment for my mom and stuck REAL candles in them and lit them. THEN, the lights went out. I tried to check the breaker (because at 8 I was already an electrician). After I realized I couldn’t turn the lights back on, I went to my friends house, forgetting about the lit candles.

Some time later, I don’t remember how long, there was banging on her door. A man was yelling FIRE!!! and we all ran out of the apartment. I could see that my apartment was in flames and I panicked. I ran. I ran as fast as my little 8 year old legs could take me. I don’t know who grabbed me or where I was. I remember that someone told me they thought I was in the apartment and they tried knocking the door down to get me. In flashes I remember my mom came running up, it was like the movies, screaming, crying, hitting her knees in fear, anger, terror, all of the above.  I was in a police car being taken away. I was so terrified, I had bitten a hole in my bottom lip.

 

Update….

Yeah so, I may have gone into panic mode with my last post. I have a habit of doing that, overthinking and making things out to be horrific before they have even happened.

Hunter isn’t going to Pelican Bay. So maybe God heard me that night!!

It’s come to my attention that this blog has gotten off course and isn’t serving the purpose I originally intended. My original intention was to use this as a way to get my story out to hopefully help someone who has been through some of things I have and also to serve as a possible outline for a book.

It’s just turned into more of a whiny diary. So I am going to take a step back and re-evaluate it. Perhaps I’ll be deleted some posts that are irrelevant. However, I have transferred the blog to a Word document just incase I decide to get that book going! A typical book has 20,000-40,000 words and so far this blog is at 10,000. I have some writing to do!!

I’ll be back with quality posts rather than just pushing posts out there that are nonsense. Thanks for sticking around to read, those of you who haven’t left me yet!!

Toodles!!

It’s 10:23pm

I picked a horrible time to quit drinking.

After a brutal night of vomiting and wondering if I made an ass of myself last week, I decided that it was time to give it up. Again. For good. It’s been 7 days. But man. Life has a way of throwing a wrench into things.

My aunt who has COPD, has been having issues with her blood gasses. They’re high and she needs to be intubated or have a BPAP machine (basically shoots oxygen into your airways), if she doesn’t have that, then she will most likely slip into a coma. She’s currently refusing any assistance with breathing. It’s her decision but that doesn’t make it easy for my cousin to go through. So I’m sad for her and sad for my family as whole.

I wrote a couple of posts back that my oldest son was supposed to be getting out of prison at Christmas. Obviously that didn’t happen. The counselor had his dates wrong. Since then, Hunter has been placed into Ad Seg, administrative segregation, for fighting. Prison politics. If the “shot caller” tells you to do something, you so it or it happens to you. So Hunter was told to fight someone and he caused serious bodily injury (SBI) , the guy lost consciousness and busted his head open. He was still set to be released in August. But a letter I got from him today told me otherwise.

He will be sent up north to Pelican Bay to be in the SHU (secured housing unit) in a couple of months and he will be there until October. I’m not sure why he’s being sent there or why he can’t stay in the SHU where he is.

Let me tell you about Pelican Bay.

It’s a super max prison. The worst of the worst go there. The SHU is for serious offenders or validated gang members. Maybe Hunter was fighting to get validated, I don’t know. In the SHU, inmates are in solidarity confinement for at least 23 hours a day. They get an hour of yard time. That’s IF the correctional officers decide to let them out. The Pelican Bay SHU program is notorious for its mistreatment of inmates, leaving them in the hole for days. Solitary confinement drives people crazy. It’s not rehabilitation. It torture.

I’m scared for my son. I know that once one domino falls in this direction (inmates getting into the SHU etc) more domino’s fall and they only get worse. On top of this, he currently has one strike. If he gets another strike for the SBI, then guess what? He’s one strike from a life sentence for just being a dumb kid.

I’m scared. I feel helpless. All I can do is provide him with books, paper and money for food .

I need a damn drink. But I chose to have a good cry at my kitchen table in my underwear. If sons knew how much moms cried for them, they wouldn’t do half the crap they do, I swear.

I’m also very aware that now is the time that I need to be a praying mom. People praying for me is what got me out alive. But for some reason all I can muster is asking God to keep him safe and give him back to me.

Hello Neighbor!

Yeah. I’ve been gone a while. Guess I hit a mental block. But also I’m at the point in my story where I have to decide really how much I want to divulge. I mean, there’s a lot. I was a pretty shitty human being for a while. I did things to myself and to others that are pretty fucking disgusting. I also don’t want to vomit my story all over people.

So…. I’ll start where I went wrong…Again.

I had taken classes to become a CNA and was working in the skilled nursing unit at Memorial Hospital, when my friend introduced me to her boyfriend. *I’m going to exclude details about her because I’ve already done enough damage to her.*

He had dark hair, blue eyes and could sing (which twitterpated me). They both needed a place to stay, so I let them move in with Hunter and I. I did this knowing they both were on drugs. And not just pot. But THE METHS (thank you Michelle and Parker). And not just smoking it but slamming it, which was a whole new level for me. I hadn’t starting using at this point and I honestly don’t remember when I did but I remember when I allowed the drugs in, and thinking to myself “Self, you should tell them to get the fuck out of your house!” But I was like “Nah….It’s cool bro.”

Soon my friend and her boyfriend started fighting, horribly. And I had had enough of her (notice I said her) shit and kicked her out. Her. Not them. Not him. Her. Because I wanted this hot blue eyed guy all to myself. That’s what friends do. They justify their reasoning for wanting a girl’s guy, and takes him.

Did I tell you I was a piece of shit??

And that, my friends, is how I met my future ex-husband and my two youngest kids father.

I used to not give two shits about people’s feelings. I think this is because it was easier to treat people bad before they treated me bad. DEFENSE MECHANISM!!! But this doesn’t excuse my actions. Regardless of how I thought I felt about my friend, she didn’t deserve that.

Some years later, I did find her on Facebook and apologize for my actions. She ripped me a new one and made it clear she didn’t want anything to do with me.

I think that the reason I work so hard now to do good is that I’m making up for my past mistakes. But I’m learning that I don’t have to keep killing myself over my mistakes nor to I have to keep busting my ass to fix it.

That’s some personal growth for y’all!!!

I’ve been busy!!

Hi all!! I will be updating my blog soon!!

Just wanted to invite you to listen to my podcast! Ok, well not JUST mine, but still! Give it a listen. *Parental Advisement for language and topic* We talk about the Turpin family among other abusive and fucked up parents https://thegspotcast.com

Thanks!!

IT’S A BOY!!!!!

My first born, Hunter. This picture was taken in 2009, when he was 11 or 12 (I haven’t had enough coffee to do the math right now). I don’t have too many pictures of him. He doesn’t frequent my Facebook posts. Most people don’t know that I have a 20 year old son. Not because I’m hiding him, but because I’m not going to update my Facebook status with “Going to Pleasant Valley State Prison to see the boy today!” “Got a call from prison today!” Don’t get me wrong, those who need to know, know about my son’s story but I share it cautiously. When people ask about my kids- “Oh, what school do they go to? What sports do they play?” My normal response is usually- “Well, Arvy is excelling at football. Nicky hasn’t decided between a doctor or engineer. And Hunter, he’s on his own path right now.” How can I drop the bomb on them with “My son’s in prison.” It’s like “Oh, I have cancer.” Like I’m responsible for how they will take it. Because I don’t want to shock them or make them feel bad about asking. However, lately, I just say it. “My son is in prison.” More times than not, I get to hear about one their kid that has been down the same road, a cousin, a nephew or parent. Amazing what happens when you share  your story. Usually, you’ll find when you do that, the response is “Me Too.”

Hunter has been in prison for just over a year. We were expecting him  to get out either early next year or even in the summer. But it’s official. He’s coming home the day after Christmas. I’m excited and nervous. I miss my kid. I’m eager for him to have a new chance at life. But each time he comes home, it’s like bringing a new-born home. I don’t have clothes for him. Each time he either takes off or gets arrested, he loses everything. So we start from scratch. Will he last longer than a week out of incarceration, like last time? Will my shit get stolen….again? Will I be able to trust him? Will he get a job? Will he stick around and help me? Will this time finally be the time that he’s grown up enough to have gotten past the bullshit? Will the fact that I moved to a nice neighborhood and out of the drug infested area in which we used to live, make a difference? Will my “fancy” neighbors see him walking around the neighborhood and call security (because we live in THAT kind of neighborhood, with security, we’re legit!) saying that some thug is casing their houses? Will the parole agents come to my house and cause the neighbors to talk shit? Will I be able to afford to feed another person? Will my doors actually stay on the hinges? Will that walls stay fist-sized hole free?

So many unknowns. Sadly, my life is relatively calm when he’s jail. I’m not worrying about if he’s strung out somewhere, if he’s going to rob me, again, or if I’m going to get the call that I have to identify a body. Because that shit happens.

So, I start praying. That things will go right. That I will be able to handle this, again. That he will succeed. That we will all get along in the house. That the boys relationship finally be one of love and not hate, because the younger ones have watched Hunter destroy everything in his wake for the last 7+ years.

That I will finally be able to breathe again.

How I met your father.

I have been very fortunate to have people in my life to help me when I needed it the most. Most of them came from my church, not my family. Strange isn’t it? I think mostly it was because my foster mom believes in tough love and letting me figure it out on my own and my bio family was in no position to help me either. So there I was, 18, homeless with no idea where to go, what to do and no life skills to even know where to start.

However, my friend Kim and her mom, from church, stepped in and let me move in with them. Kim’s mom, Donna ran an in-home daycare, so during the day I helped in the daycare. I love kids so this was no problem for me, except for the bratty ones, but I even loved them too.

Kim and I had been friends for a while, but living together did test our friendship. She was on the straight and narrow and I was the wild one. I’m not sure how either her or her mom put up with me for so long, but they did and I am grateful for that. I finally got a job at Taco Bell and soon found a one bedroom apartment. Neither lasted long. My apartment was the go-to party pad and I barely had the job at Taco Bell before I walked out on my ten minute break. Somehow I managed to keep the apartment for the next month. During that time, it was one big drunken, pot filled party. I can’t even give a clear timeline of all this. I just remember that it was May or June of 1996, because that is when I met my soon-to-be baby daddy.

I met Tim at a “party” at his house or his friends house, I’m not sure on the details. Now, just to be clear, I think you all have gathered that my decision making skills really sucked at this time (sometimes they still do). I never really thought too far ahead about the consequences of my actions, who I might hurt, or how I might even hurt myself. I also never really thought about the consequences of having sex. I had a skewed sense of love for a long time, having no real role models to teach me how to have a proper relationship. I think in my teenage mind, I thought by having sex with someone, I might get them to love me. We all know that is not how it works. Anyhow, so I slept with Tim that night and a couple times after.

I knew before I even took a pregnancy test that I was pregnant. I knew that Tim was the father, though there was a chance he wasn’t (again, I was not the best at making good choices). Let me just stop for a moment to give you girls and boys some words of wisdom that I have acquired over the years of mistakes I have made. Be picky about who you sleep with. Be careful who you make babies with. You have to deal with them forever, and so does your child. I didn’t know Tim at all. We hadn’t even developed a friendship. I know that he had a girlfriend who was on vacation at the time. Other than that, I didn’t know much.

Again, my church family stepped up to help. Not Kim and Donna this time, but Kim’s sister Tara. She moved me in, helped get me set up with insurance and welfare. Her rule was that I had to go to college and pass my classes. So I did. I took a full load of classes and passed them all, all while my baby was getting bigger and bigger inside of me. I had no idea how I was going to raise this kid by myself. I was only 19. I remember crying and crying about it to myself. I had no help from Tim. When his girlfriend came home from her trip, she of course found out what happened and that I was pregnant. She was still in high school. A month after I found out I was pregnant, she found out she was pregnant too. I wasn’t the only one who didn’t make good choices. Never the less, there we were. Somehow, she and I became friends. Though there have been times when our friendship was strained, for obvious reasons.

On February 18, 1997, the first love of my life was born. Hunter was 8 pounds 12 ounces and 21 inches long. He was absolutely perfect. I swore to him that it would be me and him against the world and he didn’t need a dad because I would be enough.  Looking back, I wish I had let Tim be more active in his life. But I think that we do the best we can with what we have at the time.

.

Summer of 1995

high school

So how much trouble can one girl get into in just three months? How much can she set her life off course in that short amount of time? I mean look at her!! She’s so sweet, innocent and naïve.

I left my  home on my 18th birthday. I moved in with my best friend. She was quite the partier and troublemaker. She was the one who had the experience with boys and drugs. One would think that she’d be the one who’d find herself in a pickle. Not me. Ironically enough, she grew up to be a hippie dippie yoga instructor that has lived in Hawaii, backpacked through Guatemala and Mexico, married an Australian and lived in Costa Rica. I would take her life in a heart beat. But my life took a different turn.

Of course, I tried alcohol that summer. I don’t recall drinking a lot but I’m sure that’s because I spent a lot of time blacked out. Through my friend, I met more people. People who were a lot more knowledgeable in worldly things. Remember, I was a square Christian girl. The first time I smoked pot was on her roof top. I don’t think I got high that night though. Must have been bunk!

I lost my precious virginity in the backseat of a Honda Civic to my high school boyfriend.I never saw him again after that. I hear through the grapevine that he lives on the coast and spends his days surfing. Again, I’d take his life too!

Somehow my friend and I got mixed up with a group of “taggers.” For those who don’t know, taggers are the people who graffiti our buildings. And they usually come in gangs. So with that lifestyle is the usual gang activity. There were fights, guns and of course a lot of weed. A lot. So much weed. It was huge. The biggest weed ever. Sorry. That was my Trump impersonation.

There were other things too. Like meth. My other high school friend, we’ll call her “Barbra,” gave me my first taste of meth. And that was the end of the story. I was hooked. Though I still smoked weed, meth became my drug of choice. I was already skinny, but I lost even more weight. I got down to a size zero. It was a constant party. Hotels. Meth. up all night. Meth. Called my mom, she asked why I was talking so funny. I said I’ve been hanging out with a Texan, must’ve picked up their accent. Meth.

The day after my wild night in the back seat of the Honda Civic, I found myself traveling to Las Vegas with some of these people I barely knew. The date was June 24, 1995. Just 21 days after I turned 18. That should give a clue as to just how quickly I found myself in trouble. I traveled with these people my age that I barely knew. I had no idea why we were going. I was just a long for the ride. As we entered the Vegas area, one of the other cars in our group stopped to pick up a hitch hiker. An older man. Finally we got to Vegas. One of the guys I was with and I got dropped off outside a hotel. The driver of the car had to go to her dads and we couldn’t come. So there he and I were. Alone. No money. No idea when they were coming back. We went to the Excalibur. They have a buffet there. We snuck in, telling the attendants that our parents were in there. Quickly grabbing some frozen yogurt to eat, we barely had time to sit down and eat it before they caught on to our game. So we moved on. We found ourselves in front of the Luxor. It’s lawn is a nice place to nap.

Eventually, I began to panic. I thought I was stuck there forever. I began trying to call people collect. But to no avail. I imagined having to prostitute myself out to get home. I had a wild imagination. Luckily, somehow our group found us. And we all met up behind the Stardust. Cops had our other friends back there. The hitchhiker was in cuffs. Apparently, he was a wanted felon. The cops made us hold hands and swear not to pick up hitchhikers. And that was my wild trip to Vegas.

Pot. Meth. Partying. Repeat. That was my summer of 1995, before I was supposed to go to boot camp. Flash forward to a week before I was to be sent off. My best friend and I go to a party on a river bed. I barely knew anyone there. I probably shouldn’t have gone, but then I would have missed out on one of  the most pivotal moments of my life. Who would have known that one night would change my life forever?

We weren’t there long. Something hit my friends hand. Like a bee sting. Something hit my neck. Like a bee sting but worse. Come to find out, some asshole had an air pump rifle style pellet gun. The kind that shoots metal arrow shaped pellets. Not the round plastic pellets. No. The kind that get in and stay. So to the hospital we went. Actually just me. She was able to dig the pellet out of her hand. The doctors kept me over night trying to evaluate how they would remove it. They came to the conclusion, that they would have to cut my neck open and dig it out or they could leave it in. It wouldn’t move around, it wasn’t going to harm me. So there it stayed.

The following week, I went up to Fresno to MEPS. I got sworn in. I was ready to go. But me, being honest, opened my big mouth and told the lady “Hey, I have a pellet in my neck.” For those of you that don’t know- it’s cool to tell your recruiter stuff, but once you get in, you gotta keep your mouth shut. She sent me home. So that one week, and the previous events leading up to it, set my ship on a different course.

Imagine one event being a rock thrown into a pond. The resulting ripples go out for quite a while. That’s what I learned that summer. One event, one decision can effect your life for quite sometime.

*side note- I am still friends with a lot of those people from that summer. It’s amazing we survived.