Now I was on house arrest again. I wouldn’t be cutting off my bracelet this time. I was thinking a lot better. My friend came over and we had chicken that my dad made. I would eat anything. I would be vegetarian for a year after, but I think the most important thing is not to waste food. I was just thankful to eat normal food again. I would eat anything, although I was going to give this vegetarian thing a try. Being in jail for so long helped me quit smoking. I didn’t even have cravings for it anymore.
I was being monitored by GPS. The only places I was allowed to go for now was to therapy and the family restaurant so I could work. It was actually pleasant being allowed to work and go somewhere else. At first I didn’t like therapy at all. It was court mandated but at least my family picked out a therapist. His name was Jim. He was a religious army guy who worked in therapy. He tried some seven deadly sins worksheet with me but I think he stopped that after realizing that wasn’t working for me. I would go to therapy for a long time, at least until my probation was over. It was helpful going to therapy. We mostly talked about mundane stuff, and just talked about anything for a while. I remember something he said, “Maybe we are searching for something else than the mundane?” I didn’t really pick up on what he said at the time, but it makes sense. I was always searching for some special meaning. Maybe I should be content with what I have. After a while it was just nice talking with him. He always sent a letter to court saying how I was doing, and he always said I was doing well. At first I thought I just had to get through therapy and try to put on a good face for court, but I think it helped my mental state as well. I didn’t talk about schizophrenia or even my horrible experiences very much. I did tell him about Mordechai and that shit show, but not too much else. I didn’t talk about my dad or anything, I just talked about calming things. My parents came in for a group session one time, and I think that helped all of us.
Being able to walk to the restaurant was nice. I had lost my driver’s license previously because of a dui I got because of smoking weed. Maybe I’ll talk about it later. It was in my reckless high school days. I would be going to therapy for substance abuse as well. I got two birds with one stone in therapy. So it was nice going for walks again, even though it was very limited. The judge reprimanded me for walking around too much, but it turned out it was because we were near an airport and the signal was being interfered with. It said I was going to the airport and the graveyard. They learnt what was wrong later. It still felt bad being yelled at for something I didn’t do. It was nice being at the restaurant. I didn’t talk too much with my dad, but I did say sorry. I made bread, cleaned, and worked with customers. It was nice having something to do. Otherwise I would get drunk on my dad’s whiskey at home and watch movies. I really didn’t have anything to do. I would sit at my computer charging my bracelet and my cat, Shadow, would sit on my lap and purr. It was nice hanging out with the cats. They helped me not worry so much.
I was not allowed to drink, but I did anyway only sometimes. I knew when my probation officers would drug test me. They would drug test me every time I came in to see them in Racine and every time after court. I would later get away with smoking weed being on probation. I never smoked weed anymore. I severed my ties with my drug dealer and only hung out with a few friends. I was going through a tough time when I smoked weed on probation, someone close to me tried to kill themselves. Most of the time I stayed clean though.
I had two probation officers. One for mood and the other for the law. The one for mood was kind of like a case manager for the court. School was starting soon, after staying a year at home and working, and I wanted to go north up to Stout but when the issue was addressed in court the case manager said I couldn’t leave the county. It was really sucky, because I had my heart set on Stout. I was already accepted. In the end I would have to go to Parkside nearby. I studied mechanical engineering there for two years. At the start I was on house arrest, and had to attend classes with my bracelet buzzing because it was on low battery. I had to charge it whenever it started buzzing. I even had to charge it in the middle of a class one time. I kept to myself most of the time in college. I didn’t venture out of my boundaries and didn’t want to tell anyone I was on house arrest and probation. I dropped out of college because I couldn’t deal with the stress of going to college and being on probation. I would have to finish college again later.
Eventually the court made up their mind and said I could be off house arrest and just be on probation. I got my GPS bracelet cut off after having it on for so long. This plan was brought up by my lawyer. I would be on probation, have to meet my probation officers, and go to therapy. It was much better than going to a mental hospital for seven years. I started smoking cigarettes again because I was bored. My friend bought me a pack when I was on house arrest. I was filled with worry most of the time. Every time I went to court nothing would happen. I would be on probation for three years.
When I was 21, something great happened. My lawyer asked if I could be finished with probation, as my probation officers said I was doing well and my therapist said I was doing well. The case manager, who I initially didn’t like very much, came around and said I didn’t need to be on probation anymore. I thanked her for that later. I would always put on a good face for my probation officers, even if I really wasn’t doing well. I got good at it. Eventually it became the truth, however, and I really was doing well. I could never sleep before court dates, and would have nightmares. I would worry so much. I had to dress up for something I hated for a reason that didn’t make sense. On that last court date I was looking really swell, I was wearing these nice new black jeans and a tux undershirt. I was clean shaven. My parents were there. Even though the district attorney protested against having my sentence reduced, the judge okayed it and said we could be finished. I felt golden. I felt good again after feeling bad for so long. I gave my lawyer a hug and thanked her. I went home a free man, with nothing on my record. No felony, no mess. I was happy.