Objective 11, Book 4b
Objective 11 contains a bottle and a book. Naturally, the book is L. Ron Hubbard’s, “The Way to Happiness.” There are two podiums set up. One holds the book. The other holds the bottle. I am commanded to walk back and forth between the items. There is an entire set of commands for both objects. The commands are to be given until the Objective reaches EP (end phenomena). There are no breaks or bites. You can respond to the commands however you deem fit.
“Are you ready for this?” Brian asks. “Remember this Objective is meant to get you to open up and share personal things. It is not like the others.”
“Alrighty then,” I reply in my best Ace Ventura voice. “Let’s do this.”
“Look at that book,” he commands. “Thank you.”
“Walk over to it,” he instructs.
I walk over to it. My head is racing with ideas about what the Case supervisor, (C.S.) might want me to say. I try not to become overwhelmed and to simply run the Objective.
“Thank you,” he acknowledges. “Pick it up.”
I pick it up. I am reminded of the time I first discovered the book and mocked L. Ron Hubbard for plagiarizing Jesus. This causes me to giggle a little out loud. Brian is unsure about why I am giggling and I inform him of why. It causes him to chuckle too.
“Thank you,” Brian acknowledges. “What is its color?”
“It is several colors,” I reply.
“Good,” he acknowledges. “What is its temperature?”
“Awe man. I left my thermometer at home,” I reply sarcastically.
We both laugh. What a stupid question. Who knows what the hell temperature a book is? There has to be a bigger meaning or purpose to this question.
“I guess it is room temperature,” I reply.
“Good,” he acknowledges. “What is its weight?”
“Half a pound?” I question in return.
“Thank you. Put it down in exactly the same place,” he commands.
I oblige. Next I turn around and face the other podium. There is a green bottle sitting upon it. For a brief moment I am reminded of watching another student do reaches and I wonder if they use this bottle for alcoholics to reach for during that portion of the program.
“Look at that bottle,” Brian commands. I obey. “Thank you,” he acknowledges.
“Walk over to it,” he commands. I walk over, gradually. “Thank you,” he acknowledges.
“Pick it up,” he commands.
I pick up the bottle. What is the purpose of this? It is hard to focus on the task at hand, when like all Objectives before this one, it seems pointless and weird.
“Thank you,” he acknowledges. “What is its color?”
“I believe it is a putrid shade of green,” I respond.
“Thank you,” he laughs. “What is its temperature?”
“It’s cold,” I respond.
“Thank you. What is its weight?” He commands.
“I would guess two pounds,” I say without certainty.
“Thank you. Put it down in exactly the same place,” he commands.
I place the bottle back on its spot on the podium. Little Brian continues to give me the commands and I walk back and forth between the bottle and the book. I deliver a few cognitions about having the ability to put things down and to pick things up. I relate this to putting down the needle and drugs. He suggests that I am on the right track and I continue to run the Objective. Suddenly, I am overwhelmed with emotion. I feel tears welling up in the corner of my eyes and I have no idea how walking back and forth between a book and a bottle could create such a stir of emotion within me. I miss my daughter Natalia, badly. Suddenly, the reality of what my drug use has done to our relationship surfaces and I inform Brian that I have a lengthy cog. Unlike the Objectives before this, we are allowed to sit on the floor while we dictate our cognitions. Brian and I sit next to each other and he begins to record my dictation.
“I realize that so many times in my life I have chosen to pick up the bottle and put down the book. For me, the bottle represents drugs, alcohol and other unhealthy choices that I have chosen over the healthier choice of the obvious book. The book, for me, represents learning and growth. When I choose to pick up the bottle, I choose to stunt my growth and my emotional well being is left at a stand still. When I choose to pick up the book, I opt for growth and allow for myself to move into healthier realms of emotional and physical stability,” I cog.
“That is good,” Brian acknowledges. “Are you alright?”
“Yes. I just realize that I literally abandoned my child for the devil,” I cry out. Tears wet my face. I turn my head in an attempt to conceal them.
Brian wipes away at their slow, steady stream. “You didn’t knowingly do it. Heroin is the devil Liz. He had a hold on you. You were a prisoner in hell,” he says. “You are here now to get better for both you and your daughter. That is an admirable thing.”
“Thank you,” I reply.
Makayla walks over to check on our progress. We are not supposed to be coddled. Having, feeling and displaying emotion is welcomed. However, at Narconon, if someone is crying you are not supposed to hug them or wipe at their tears. It is seen as a means of quieting a persons emotion rather than allowing for them to really feel and work through it. Makayla does not reiterate these expectations. I am grateful that she does not scold Brian for comforting me.
“Looks good,” she says, after scanning the paperwork. “You still have a ways to go. Get up and run your twin on the Objective Brian.”
“Yes ma’am,” he replies.
We hop to our feet. Brian begins delivering the commands and I walk back and forth between the book and the bottle in obedience to the commands. I hold each item and guess their weights and temperatures. I will never know the meaning behind this Objective, but I know out of all of them, this one is actually causing me to think and feel. It is the only Objective that I have run where I have not felt angry and ready to blow.
“I have another cog,” I inform Brian.
“Alright. Should we sit down for this one?” He asks.
“Of course,” I reply, before joining him on the floor.
“I realize that for every action in life, there is a reaction. When you choose to act on impulse, like most drug addicts do, you don’t realize how that affects the people around you. You don’t think at all. You just do. You don’t see the reaction it causes others to have because you are completely consumed with the action of getting high. Drugs cause you to become selfish and unfeeling. For the sake of becoming numb to the pain, depression and stress in my life, I chose to get high. I never realized that choice would ultimately cause me to become numb to being able to love the people in my life who love me. Numbing the bad feelings has a side effect of numbing the ability to feel the good feelings too,” I cog.
“Good,” Brian acknowledges.
We both hop back up and begin running the Objective again. Class is nearing its end. The students begin to hand in their paperwork. This is our dinner break and because Buster and I have not EP’d the Objective and cannot end the session until we do, they have arranged for Aiden to bring dinner over to us. I think that it is still an interruption to the process, but who am I to argue? I am eager to complete this Objective and move on with my program. Aiden delivers a Spaghetti dinner. Buster and Bolts race over to the box and begin pulling out their plates of Spaghetti and garlic bread.
“Come on boo bear. Come get this gourmet cuisine,” Bolts jokes. We both laugh. I love Bolts. He always makes me laugh.
“Do you want to go eat?” I ask Brian.
“I am alright. I can eat after, unless you are ready to eat now?” He asks.
“I am good. I really want to finish this up,” I confess.
“Well lets do this. I got you girl,” he replies.
“Thanks boo,” I reply. “I have a cog.”
“Alright,” he replies. We sit next to each other on the floor. I find myself laying my head on Brian’s shoulder as I begin to dictate my cognition.
“I realize that I am in control of the choices that I make in life. God created us with free will. The power of choice. I have not succumb to a disease. I didn’t wake up with a drug habit. One might wake up to discover they have contracted Ebola or find themselves being diagnosed with cancer. It took a lot of bad choices to develop my drug addiction. I had to really work at developing my habit. I remember the first time I smoked heroin. It made me sick. Physically sick. I threw up. Any sane person would walk away, but not I. Despite having thrown up, I opted to hit the foil immediately after wiping the vomit from my lower lip. I was dedicated to becoming sick, with one bad decision after the next. There is no underlying issue that forced me to pick up a needle. I chose to pick it up. When I failed at hitting a vein, I chose to keep stabbing at my body. I didn’t realize the consequences of my choice, but I made my choice nonetheless. I chose to walk away from God. Hell, I ran away. I chose to withdrawal from school. I chose to quit my job after 13 years of employment. I chose to abandon my daughter and family. I didn’t wake up homeless. I chose to run away from home. I chose to chase the dragon and abandon all of my responsibilities. I chose to come to rehab. I am choosing life over death. With every Objective I drill and every book I complete in this program, I am choosing sobriety. I have a choice and for once in my life, I am confident that I am not only making the right choice, but I have the ability to continue making the right choices in my life,” I cog.
Tears are streaming down my cheeks again. Brian has been carefully writing down my words. Because the cognitions are longer for this Objective, I have had to stop and repeat myself a few times. Repeating these realizations have helped enforce their reality for me. I feel a sincere sense of release and realization. This is the only Objective that I did not fake my answers by attempting to cog what I thought the C.S. wanted to hear or spout out what other students have told me they were looking for on the EP.
“Great,” Brian acknowledges. “You are doing really well Liz.”
“I think I have EP’d,” I confess. “There isn’t anything left to say.”
“Alright. Let’s see,” he agrees, as he walks the papers over to Makayla.
I watch her scan them over and glance at the clock. We have been running the Objective for nearly three hours now. She wants to send the papers over at the same time that she sends over Busters. Once again, I feel like he is holding me back and he is not even my twin. However, she doesn’t feel the need to make us run it further while Buster and Bolts continue their session. Brian and I decide to break into our Spaghetti. Once Buster has run the session a little longer. Makayla decides it is time. We are not allowed to leave the course room until the folders return confirming that we have EP’d. Despite the fact that we are not allowed to have nicotine while we are running Objectives, Makayla allows for us to go out and have a cigarette. I am hopeful that this kind gesture suggests that she knows we have secured our EP’s and that we will be able to attest Book 4b.
Bolts takes monster hits off his vapor, once outside. Brian and I both break out and light our squares, (cigarettes).
“Can I get one of those?” Buster asks me.
“Hell to the naw bro!” I exclaim. “Don’t ask me for shit ever again. You still owe me two packs of cigarettes and like 10 boxes of CLE“s.
Buster hangs his head. Bolts erupts into laughter. “Lizzy boo bear. Do we need to separate you two? You’re not going to attack him like you did Vinny too Skinny, are you?”
Everyone burst into laughter. Bolts exaggerates his laughter with a, “Bwahahahaha” mocking sound. We both do this with each other. He continues to point at Buster while mocking him, “Bwahahahaha!”
“I can’t believe you brought up that asshole,” I laugh.
“I seriously thought you were going to knock his teeth out,” Bolts laughs. “Bwahahahaha. That would have been awesome.” Bolts changes his voice to a strong Brooklyn accent and attempts to mimic Vinny’s voice, “Or in Vinny’s words, that would’ve been awesome Liz. Fucking awesome.” I flick my ashes in his direction and glare.
“Yo. Can I get a square?” Buster asks Brian. “Fuck Vinny too Skinny.”
Brian reluctantly reaches into his pack and hands Buster a cigarette. “Bro you need to stop mooching and put cigarettes on your Walmart list. This ain’t no fucking free for all. Does my shirt say, Sams Club?”
“Bwahahahahaha,” Bolts laughs. Still pointing at Buster in a mocking manner. “Fucking Sams Club. Bwahahahaha.”
“You’re a fool,” says Brian. That is actually a phrase Brian says to Bolts several times per day. It’s cute. Just like him.
The four of us stand around shooting the shit while we wait on the van. Finally, Aiden makes his way back over with our folders. We follow closely behind him to see if we can attest the book. Makayla and Kentucky are inside and I can see Kentucky glancing over Makayla’s shoulder as she reads the C.S. notes. Kentucky smiles at me and I know that I have EP’d. Buster EP’d too. It is official. I am finally done with Objectives. Tomorrow I will move into Book 5.
We all load onto the van and make our way back across the street. Dinner is over and the students who live in houses are waiting at the bus stop for the vans to take them home. Of course, it’s not a literal bus stop. It is the area that houses some smoking benches. We call it the bus stop because the van stop doesn’t have the same ring to it. I am ecstatic to announce to my friends that I have completed Objectives.
“Book 5 is a cake walk compared to Objectives,” Noah announces.
“Seriously,” Keisha confirms. “There are a few patters you have to remember, but you should move through it quickly. I took my sweet time because I was waiting for Noah to get Juice through Objectives and be in the course room with me,” she confesses.
Noah smiles. I am not sure what Keisha sees in Noah, but they sure are cute together. It is unfortunate that he doesn’t particularly care for me, as Keisha is my best friend here. Hayden is a close second. Although, Hayden has become more and more distant lately. She insists it has nothing to do with me, but I can’t help but feel like it does. Wiggles is driving the van.
“Lets’ go,” he calls out.
Noah slides the van door open and we all begin to pile into the van. Misty and Adam Moon make their way to the back of the van. They are finally off of their no comm., but the staff and interns are always watching them. Wiggles insists that they separate or move up front where he can see them. Ryan Nicholas and Derek Lowry hop in with Hayden and I. I am still, majorly crushing on Ryan. It’s pathetic. He is so much younger than I am and I shouldn’t be obsessing, but he is ridiculously cute. I decide it is alright for me to enjoy my crush. To my surprise, Ryan sits next to me and throws his arm around me. What the fuck is he trying to do to me? I sigh a little inside. He smells so good.
“What’s up Liz. I’m about that action boss,” he laughs.
“We ain’t about that talking, we about that action,’ Derek Lowry chimes in.
“I attested Objectives,” I boast.
“I know you fucker. I hate Objectives,” he states.
“You’re right behind me bro,” I assure him.
“I’m trying to be behind you. Beat it up, beat it up,” he sings, while moving his hips in a sexually suggestive manner.
Oh my gawd! Seriously? What is he doing to me right now? He is gorgeous. I don’t know why he is suddenly flirting and being suggestive with me, but I am totally okay with it. His arm feels good wrapped around my shoulder. The van makes its way to the Blue House for drop off. The Blue House is for boys. In fact, the only girl house is the Ginger House. The Ginger house is next on route. There is a fire station between the two properties. After the Ginger House, the van drops the boys at the Big House across the street and then other boys at the Barn about a mile down the road. Sometimes I ride along for all the drop offs and circle back to the center. I don’t think ethics realizes it is so I can map out where the houses are and how to move around on foot between houses, in case I ever decide to sneak out and get laid. Tonight, I hop off the first go round.
“See you tomorrow,” Ryan calls out, as I jump from the van.
I smile,”See you tomorrow,” I reply.
Hayden slams the van door shut. Keisha, Justice, Misty and I follow her to the front porch. Sometimes we hang out on the porch and have dance parties, or just chain smoke and bull shit. Tonight is definitely a dance party night. I need to celebrate my major stable win. Violet and Boston pop out of the intern room.
“Hey girls. Is it a dance off tonight?” Violet asks.
“Hell yes it is,” Misty replies. “I’ll grab the speaker.”
“I’ll grab the hula hoops,” Violet chimes in, before booking it back to the interns room.
Violet is a Rave girl. She has an LED hula hoop. It is pretty badass. Hayden retreats to the kitchen to grab some food. The Ginger House, like the other houses, is stocked with Hot Pockets, Uncrustables, Yogurt and Cup of Noodles. We put several yogurts and Uncrustables into the freezer. Surprisingly, the Uncrustables are good frozen. Hayden hates that she eats a couple of them each night because they are extremely high in fat. However, she can’t resist and I ask her to grab me a strawberry one.
Tonight is a good night. It is a great night. We can hear the boys at the Big House laughing and joking around outside. We all dance and hula hoop, sharing our own jokes and laughs. As hellacious as this place is, there are some great times to be had and our Ginger House dance parties are most definitely in that category. We all take turns talking about the guys we like, the guys some are with and the guys that we wish we were with. I’ve yet to be with a guy, although the opportunity has presented itself a few times. Deep down, despite wanting that sexual release, I realize that addicts are codependent and it is not likely for you to find your soulmate at rehab.
Hayden hooked up with Derek in the bathroom at the lodge. Apparently while doing it on the counter, her ass was against the soap dispenser and soap dispensed the entire time they were getting it on. I can’t help but laugh every time I wash my hands in that bathroom at the image of her ass creating a soapy mess on the counter. Noah and Keisha haven’t hooked up yet, but you can see it happening. Misty hasn’t admitted to anything more than kissing Adam Moon. Justice is totally in lust with the ethics officer, John Tiger. However, I am not sure if they are hooking up and it would be unethical. He could lose his job. It doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. It does mean she isn’t talking about it, if it is. Meanwhile, I am obsessing over Ryan Nicholas and all the things I would do to him if given the chance. Night drags on until finally, we retire to our rooms and call it a night. I lay in bed anticipating what tomorrow may bring. I am so excited to be done with Objectives, but wonder what Book 5 has in store for me….
Today’s Theme Song- Blurred Lines- Robin Thicke
**DISCLAIMER: This is my personal experience at a Narconon Rehabilitation Center. This is not an expose or journalistic documentation. It is not meant to bash the program in any way, or suggest that it is the only rehab facility that works for recovery. I have been clean and sober since 09-27-13 and attribute much of that success to this program. All of the names in this series have been changed to protect the identity of my friends and sober family’s privacy! Thank you for reading!**