It's very mercenary here. People seem to treat others, especially the economically exploited (from my personal experience, yes, but also from MANY conversations with other citizens of this place), as objects for exploitation. People get lied to and cheated a lot here, and I mean A LOT. So, folks are suspicious and afraid of others. And I mean REALLY afraid! I asked a neighbor for a ride today. He apologized profusely. Out of vengeance, someone who's angry with him had him investigated by an agency. He's still not out of the woods yet. So, he's afraid to have a woman in his car, lest gossip, rumors and accusations spread! There are MANY such stories here -- TOO many, for such a sparsely populated county.
People get set up by "the authorities" here. Seems "the authorities" are a weapon in people's wars against each other. And "the authorities" take sides. Viciously. A lot of people are depressed and angry here, isolated, scared and on guard.
It happened to me again today. I called county Animal Control, trying to get help to find my goats. They've disappeared from where a nice guy was boarding them; there are issues with the fence. They were pastured with only dry buffalo grass. There are green alfalfa fields all around. The goats haven't been seen in over a week.
My landlord took me up there about a month ago to check on them. The nice man's son and a young woman told me the gates to both the pasture and the goat pen had been violently ripped off and all the goats, his and mine, were loose. They showed me where boards were pulled off. They used one of my goats' collars as a temporary tie to keep the gate shut. They told me they'd have to repair the pasture gate before they would be able to let the goats into the pasture again. My landlord heard all of it. My landlord's a retired cop.
Now, teen kids sometimes remove stock gates as a prank. But they don't spend time and energy, tearing them up.
So, my goats have been gone for a week. Animal control hasn't heard any reports. He went up to check it out today and spoke to the nice man. I told animal control I'm suspicious of the repeated "escapes" by only my goats, since Willy's too old to jump a fence, and I find it an uncomfortable coincidence that the nice man's gates were vandalized, right after my goats moved in. He's never had that happen before.
And the people who trapped and abused me pass his place every day. So, I told animal control I was SUSPICIOUS, and I asked him to check their place, to see if my goats were there.
He left a note on their door, he told me.
I rode my bike up there to look for my goats today. I stopped at the nice man's place and he was angry. He said he didn't want to get in the middle of anything; that the people of whom I'm suspicious are his friends, that the note animal control left specifically said I had accused the PATRIARCH of that other family of stealing my goats! I never said any such thing!
Now, this patriarch is EXTREMELY cold-blooded, sadistic, cruel, nasty, sneaky. I saw him watch me walk the aisles in the local grocery, as he stood near the door, for a long time one day. I know he made a fake profile on Facebook and tried to "friend" me and a friend of mine. My friend's name was on a blog post. My friend lives in Ohio, in a city, and has no goats. The fake profile was about goats in New Mexico.
This patriarch keeps saying I burnt down his daughter's house where I stayed a month. I didn't. I know who did. I know it was an accident. But they "punished" me in very savage, ruthless, hateful and sociopathic ways. I barely made it out alive, barely saved my animals and my possessions. And that is not hyperbole; it is fact and people witnessed it.
He also keeps saying I'm going around telling people I'm afraid he'll kill me. Here's that inane, spiteful gossip again. I NEVER said that to ANYBODY in this county! I said I'm afraid of him. I said he's got guns. I said the behavior of his entire family toward me was bullying, cruel, petty and spiteful. I said I don't know what he might do. And that is all true.
I also know the adult family members are very invested in mind-altering substances: drugs and alcohol. And I know people who BRAG about getting drunk and high, who don't feel embarrassed by losing control while heavily under the influence, have lowered the bar of acceptability. And I know mind-altering chemicals alter the mind, the ability to think, rationality, impulse control, etc. while under the influence to the point of losing control, and that, with long-term use, that bar gets lowered to a very dangerous point. They are the center of the universe and everybody else had damn well better fall in line. Or else.
And this guy is big on "or else."
So, I don't know what the note animal control left said. I know the nice guy thinks I'm accusing people of stealing the goats. I'm suspicious. I said that very clearly to animal control. I also SPECIFICALLY stated that I DON'T think the patriarch did anything. If anybody in that family were to do something to my goats, I suspect his daughter. Her behavior toward me was very unethical, dishonest, abusive, disrespectful . . . she acted like a spoiled brat. I think she's a wannabe dominatrix, who doesn't get the FIRST rule of bondage, domination and sado-masochism is NOTHING happens without full consent of ALL PARTIES involved. I did not consent to her abuse, threats, tantrums. I think she's very, very unstable (apples don't fall far from trees?) and, given the specifics of the vandalism to my property, especially the slashing of every garden hose I owned, so I wouldn't be able to give my animals water, I don't think hurting my animals is beyond her.
But I never said she did anything. I said I am suspicious, that I have good reason, and I wanted THAT SPECIFIC FAMILY eliminated as possible suspects.
Somebody TOOK my goats. Oh, they might have wandered off the property -- the nice guy's goats got out both as animal control was coming AND going today. But they weren't reported to animal control. The nice guy's goats all come back home. ONLY MY THREE GOATS have not returned.
And where are their 3 leashes I hung on the nice guy's fence?
Now, the nice guy is telling me the gates weren't vandalized, when a retired cop heard his son tell me they were. And now the nice guy is claiming "illegal aliens go through here all the time" and took two of his goats and ate them. All of a sudden, I'm hearing this? He saw them steal the goats and eat them, and didn't stop them? And he's telling me he's friends with the patriarch because he thinks I caused trouble between he and that patriarch? Is that all?
See, I don't know who or what to believe. This place is a Twilight Zone of twisted realities, weird motives, exploitation, cruelty for entertainment, extortion, rumors. I've heard HORRIBLE and I mean GHASTLY rumors about one of my neighbors! HIDEOUS stuff! None of them are true!
I don't WANT to be afraid all the time! I refused to live like that when I was in that War Zone ghetto in Albuquerque, surrounded by drugs and guns and hate. I insisted on growing my garden and living in peace and letting the kids in the 'hood come to my house to play, eat, learn, study, cook, etc.
THIS place is a ghetto. The whole county. It's all a slum. The people "on top" even live in house trailers. They hoard. they have no manners. They're invasive and abusive. You know what Black folks say about white folks: what do you call the white spot on top of chicken poop? CHICKEN POOP! It's all chicken poop, but the ones "on top" think they ARE somebody! I haven't had a relaxed, intellectually stimulating conversation, full of curiosity, humor and interest, with anybody out here. It's all about mundane stuff. It's all about their particular superstitions. They live under the Milky Way, which is visible out here because of the lack of lights, but they never see it. They're in their houses, letting the blue tit television pump their heads with propaganda.
Yes, I have to assume my goats are dead. My friends, who I've struggled so hard to protect and shelter. I love them so deeply and have missed them so much.
I betrayed them. They trusted me to care for them and I didn't.
How do I live with that, and in such a heartless place, where I can't even tell anybody my grief?