[Editor's note: Due to length, this letter was edited for publication in Sept. 21st issue of Desert Messenger. The typed letter arrived via snail mail. The author went to the time and effort of sending this 1,052 word letter, I felt important for the whole letter to be heard and published here: ]
I found your Sept. 7th editorial as well as the “NICE” ad to be relevant. I am not a Quartzsite resident, but live in a smaller town nearby. Hopefully, not for much longer. What I have endured here is especially puzzling because I am essentially a nice person, and have given anyone here little reason to hate me. Ever since I arrived here, I have gone out of my way to try to be nice to people here and get along with them.
They, in turn, for no seemingly valid reason, have gone out of their way to hate me. I have endured an enormous, unwarranted amount of hate and fear, which is why your editorial resonated with me. As far as the criteria for a healthy community is concerned, this town seems to be incredibly unhealthy, toxic.
Perhaps this is because, according to a longtime resident, this town is a mecca for alcoholics. She said that five out of six people here are alcoholics. From what I have witnessed, most of them spend their lives doing nothing but drinking all day in the local bars, while gossiping and spreading slander.
They rarely smile, never have anything nice to say about each other, and seem to be constantly angry. And I seem to be a convenient scapegoat for the receiving end of their anger.
For the past year, I have been enduring endless hate, as well as grappling with fear. You have said that every negative experience contains the seed of transformation, but I am having a hard time, at this point, understanding how any of this has benefited me. I am so exhausted from dealing with these people that I can barely function. You may say that going through this type of situation without succumbing one’s self, by sinking into the same hatred is positive. However, to live with this degree of negativity, no matter how much one may try to maintain a positive attitude can become exhausting.
I have been speaking in generalities. Now I will relate specifics. The day I arrived here, it began. In the first RV Park where I stayed, a man began to say things like, “I watch you, even when you don’t think I’m watching you.” And, “I can find out anything I want to about you, and you can’t stop me,” this sort of thing. At one point, he happened to show up at the same place where I was having breakfast. Afterwards, he said to me, “Cant’ you see how much everybody here hates you? Everybody in that room was throwing hate at you!”
At this point, I’d been here three weeks. Finally, I moved to another park. An acquaintance of his came by to say, “He knows where you are. He knows exactly where you are. You can’t hide from him.”
Meanwhile, I’d bought another trailer. The man who was supposed to tow it to my site towed it to his home instead, and removed all the tires. It took me a month to get it back. At the new park, I lasted one month. This is because the woman next door would step outside and scream at me every time I set foot outside. My van was blocking her view. Why didn’t I get the hxxx out of town, etc? At this point, numerous folks have told me to “Get the hxxx out of town because I don’t fit in.” Most of them are virtually strangers.
After I’d been here a few months, it became obvious that my mail was being tampered with. Packages vanished, or arrived a month too late. Or were torn open. On one occasion, the form I had to send to Social Security in order to keep my payment vanished. It was a registered letter and it never arrived, nor was the tracking number ever located in the computer. I had to travel 28 miles to another post office and post it again, just to make sure it got there. Meanwhile, local people were quoting things to me, repeating statements I’d made in the letter. This happens all the time.
In fact, ever since I got here, they’ve been quoting and repeating things from my personal journal, letters, and other things stored on the hard drive of my computer. One person told me that my tires might be slashed, and sugar put in my gas tank. A few weeks ago, I went out to discover that inexplicably, one of the brand new tires on my trailer was flat. Naturally, no one would help me repair it.
And that’s the thing; if I’m living in a place where no one will help me, how can I survive? This all seems to be an attempt to drive me out of town. Or personally destroy me. What I fail to understand is why.
But the worst of all is the sexual assaults. In the year I’ve been here, I’ve had my breasts grabbed countless times, been pinned down while the man tried to pull my pants down, etc. I could go on and on, but, I hope I’ve made my point.
How can a person find a middle ground or compromise or get along with people who quite obviously have absolutely no interest in getting along? At this point, it seems I have no choice other than to leave, because this is never going to stop. It only keeps getting worse. And while some may say this means I’m letting them win, why would I want to continue to live in this situation?
It’s a shame, because I’m actually a good person who would probably never think of doing any other things they’ve done to me. It’s a marvelous example of duality, but I’m at a loss to find the “gray”. Or to understand what constitutes the seed of transformation, because none of these people seem to be interested in healing the situation. I’ve tried for a year.
Yes, people make up the government. They should be heard. A diversity of opinions should be allowed. But if what I’ve experienced in this little town is really about what I think it’s about, it’s now a crime to disagree with the government. And you can be stalked and destroyed for doing it.
Name withheld to protect identity