September 8, 1978 typed letter to Jones


September 8, 1978

Dear Jim,

I should not even bother you with bullshit right now but if you are considering sending me away, I thought you should know where my head is at.

Firstly, I do not want to go. I have a better relationship with my child [Monique Bacon] than I ever have, and mostly because I have taken time to spend with her. She is very bright and at the inquisitive learning stage and I think her grandmother’s inconsistency and moodiness is already affecting certain mannerisms she is developing. I have felt guilty about taking time to spend with her because it is hours away from work that I have to take, but it has made a world of difference in her (and me too).

I like to work, but I hate the radio room. It is a lot of pressure and I always react to fatigue and pressure by crying. Some people lose weight, others bite their fingernails, others develop ulcers, well – I cry. It doesn’t mean I can’t take pressure, it is just that I let my emotions show in a more obvious way, but nonetheless any more manipulative than all attention-getters are. What I hate about the radio room isn’t the pressure, or the fatigue even, but the paranoia I always get from being so close to information I would prefer to not even have. (For example, today Carolyn [Layton] said to Sharon [Amos] that you were thinking about having Larry give something to [Joe] Mazor. I was not paying any attention and had my back to them, but I heard. Karen said, you mean you are going to have Larry give something to Mazor. This time it registered what they were saying. Carolyn said you were thinking about it. At this point I turned around and said are you going to give truth serum to Mazor, which I thought to be no more than an addition to the conversation. At this, Carolyn said, “I doubt if we will do it.” I doubt Carolyn meant any more by it that she had just talked too much in front of too many people. However this is just the kind of thing that makes me feel I am in the wrong place, but I have to be there because I am working there. I am not upset by it, but only using it as an example of how easily that place can create nonsensical paranoia.) I am not afraid of hard work or working in the fields. It would be a vacation from that room. I cleaned houses for middle-class housewifes from the time I was 12 to make money to buy clothes for school so I have not been pampered and I am not afraid to get my hands dirty.

The Georgetown radio is not as organized as it was before I left, but in many ways it is because I always knew everything that was going on, and now I am not able to keep up with everything because much of it is conveyed during the day when I am not there (mostly I mean the emphasis that you place in certain things I pick up from getting messages from you over the telephone), so I am caught in a Catch-22. I want away from there to spend time with Monique and always feel guilty. I want to thank you for making it possible for me to adopt Monique. I have several times almost asked, but was afraid of what kind of fight that will be with her grandmother and the legal hassles that will create. But I also have been afraid that the mother may someday try to take her back, and I really think the grandmother would even prefer the daughter to having her to me.

I know I am trustworthy, but I think I have emotional reactions to people and especially to what you say rather than just do my work in an unaffected way. I tried hard not to let my emotions be so much on the surface. I don’t know why I do. I always feel guilty afterward and know I put an extra burden on you. I only wish that people wouldn’t try to work around me when I am teary-eyed. It is not my breaking point.

I am not asking to be in the know. I prefer whatever responsibilities which do not directly relate to me, to avoid. My point of writing this


is more of an exposé of how I am thinking and what makes me paranoid.

This last trip to town opened my eyes more than any other trip I have taken to a capitalist environment. I knew then there was nothing there I wanted. After the first couple of days of selfishly indulging in eating what I wanted, I decided it (meaning food) wasn’t even a substitute for a communist environment. I will take rice and gravy and Jonestown any day. If I have to go, I only hope I am really being help with Mann and useful to Marceline (who I owe quite a bit for her pulling me out of a morass a couple of years ago), and useful in whatever. You don’t have to send me to prove to me you trust me. I know I am trustoworthy and I don’t need any proof.

I want to be completely honest about my insecurities as well as my strong points.

I felt a little disappointed when I heard Tom was living with Hattie. Not so much because I wanted him, but because he didn’t want me. I don’t think of Tom as a sexual partner but more of a companion to talk with about various things that we enjoyed together (music, reading, etc.). It could be memories that I miss rather than the person because those were relaxed days. I didn’t flip with Tom for several years before I came here and I don’t feel any hostility toward him or Hattie, only a blow to my ego. As ridiculous as it is, I don’t feel I should hold anything back from you.

I have no emotional or physical or image attachement to Mann. It is not possible to loathe anyone more than I do him. I am always afraid I am going to blow it and say eventually something I shouldn’t and I feel a great amount of insecurity I will blow it by my ignorance and say strategically the wrong thing. He tests me constantly (just like he does on the radio) and after a while I have to work at not being that sarcastic. I am too old and too sarcastic for this work. He does better with us via the radio. You understand men thoroughly and can wrap him around your finger. As much as I try to follow how you handle him, I failed miserably. (A question I have been too embarrassed to ask: Psychologically, what kind of effect wouldn’t give him for me to give him a blow job. He asks every single time we fuck and I cannot bring myself to do it, but I will if it will make him more accommodating to us. I was concerned it would give him some power trip besides making me gag, but I want to know the truth and let me make the decision.) The only reason I think I did better last time was because you set the stage for me, I wasn’t fatigued with Gtn [Georgetown], and I had a better outlook about my responsibility.

I feel that lately people have been trying to work around me since my crying episode about going to Port Kaituma. Crying is not unusual, it is just me. It puts a strain on everyone else, but I can’t seem to outgrow this thing. I have been this way since I was small. They called me crybaby and I cried more. Whenever people are obviously working around me, then it is obviously me and not them that are in the wrong. I am quite willing to work. Carolyn that day said that she thought I was upset about having to be accountable in the radio room. I have done a lot of reflection on that and I disagree that that is my problem. I wrote a thing up to Carolyn about the hours I was working not because I thought she was questioning my accountability with the work in the radio room, but more because I felt guilty that I didn’t work doing more things, yet I wanted to spend time with Monique. Even though I am only doing so many hours in the radio room, every time I walk down the path, I end up doing extra things and can spend 3/4 of a day doing things which are not even related to the radio, but still somebody needed to do. This is what I was reacting to. Accountability has been a problem of mine in the past, but because I know this, I always work extra hard to correct that one area or avoid anything happening.


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I try to avoid putting any of my moods on you and when I am a bit emotional, I will have someone else answer the phone. I am too paranoid and gave you an example. I am to image conscious or I wouldn’t be writing this. This is all I have to say about my state of mind because I am not bugged by anything except that my crying be misinterpreted and people think I am going to crack.

I lastly want to say out of concern that we get stuck with a plane fare which we do not need, is that if I have to go, Mann should be told to send a ticket because he will never refund it. I am not pressing this. I just know how he works. If he could get PT to pay it, he would. He is selfish as hell. It will take a week for it to be wired down and if I am to travel with Marceline, that is when it should be here. If I have to go, I would prefer going with someone as to by myself, but I will do whatever. I don’t want to go at all. I got the impression I would have to which is why I mention it.

Lastly again, I am quite concerned about having to go at this time. Your health is worse than I have ever seen and even though I can’t do anything to help, I don’t want to go when you are so sick. (I guess selfishly I am afraid something will happen while I am gone.)

Please forgive me for the pain I cause you.

Love, Paula