Last updated 7/31/2020
dear Jessieh Ruth Averitt, (and Casey Waite, if you still think I've never been treated badly)
invited me to move into a spare bedroom supposedly being provided for free
moved me into your room because you didn't actually check with your landlord that the other room was vacant
you initiate cuddling with quickly escalates to sex. I am on benzodiazepines 3x daily and lithium citrate and (soon) the antipsychotic Latuda. You are prescribed Adderall. I am highly sedated, you are on amphetamines. Your psychiatrist (who works at Bennington College) also encourages you to take LSD, if to seems to help. You encourage me to take LSD too, and try to kiss me and hook up with me while we're both on it.
I am mentally ill and was just looking for housing in Vermont. You used this opportunity to shame me for not working enough, showed me off like a pet to your friends and family, made me drive you to appointments several times throughout the week up to 1.5 hours away from home, made me watch movies about trauma and rape with you, made me go with you to get McDonald's so that you could eat because you have an eating disorder where you can only eat fast food while suffocating me on chain smoke in the car or persistently warning me that anyone in the restaurant could be a shooter.
Look, I have PTSD. The way you treated me was fucking insane and abusive. you said we could be roommates and make art together. now you’re telling me you’d NEVER want to make art with someone who needs a collaborator to feel productive, even though I’m the only one drawing and trying to work on creative projects. Casey Waite would later do a similar thing, inviting me to live in an artists’ residency under the guise of working on MacArthur folksong archiving, and then she ended up making me do all of the work on the project and shamed me for not doing more work. Not that I expect to get paid or popular for any of this, I just want to make art with my friends, but they seem to be in it for the popularity and clout and I’m sick of it.
You started asking me to marry you. You dissociate during sex into a different person, who speaks with an English accent and asks why we're having sex (I don't really know) and then starts talking to our cats. You fetishize all of your dissociated parts, like I should just learn to live with them, even though you're regularly dissociating during sex and I don't know what the fuck is going on.
You do this late into the night, keeping me awake for hours so that I can console you in a dissociated state. I get an average of 2 hour of sleep, because I ended up getting a job at the bakery and have to be awake at 2am every morning while you sleep in. From all the medication and sleep deprivation and sexual dissociation I start to hallucinate at work, and am put on even more antipsychotics (according to ProPublica's Dollars for Docs program, my psychiatrist was being paid off by the manufacturer), which in turn cause more hallucinations and sedation.
I start trying to leave. You get upset immediately, won't come home after work, start purging your meals to punish me and cut the shit out of your leg. You tell me you show your self-harm scars to David Anderegg, a Bennington professor and published author, and tell me he laughed and shrugged it off. By this point you have me doing part time work for multiple friends and neighbors of yours, because you don't think me working one job was enough. I'm exhausted, you make me apologizing for wanting to leave when you want to get married, you make me watch more TV shows about childhood abduction and rape while you sit there pissed off at me. You're still asking me to marry me.
I could barely function. At one of the side jobs you got me, doing house chores for Sherry Kramer, she will ask me to do three very basic things (pick up sticks, move a hose, empty mouse traps). Because I am so sleep deprived and overmedicated I cannot remember lists of two or more things, I can’t remember anything, I can barely perform my work and you are continuously shaming me for every possible thing, and keep telling me I don’t work nearly as hard as you.
My mom, who is insane about trying to get me married, invites you to our Thanksgiving. You come, I don’t know why any of this is happening, you try to woo my family, you tell me my mom is going through menopause, okay? Then after thanksgiving dinner you make me go to the movie theatre and sit through 12 Years A Slave, before driving another 5 hours to Vermont, when I have work in the morning and you don’t, you’re just always on amphetamines and have an insane amount of energy to push me around with and really love traumatic movies.
I left. Eventually you text me asking me why I left or something. I suggest you made me feel hurt. You attack me.
Several years pass. I make the posts about being coerced into sex by Kirin. You reach out again, this time asking if you made me feel uncomfortable. It's fine, I say, because you have bad trauma and boundaries. You seem relieved and tell me you're with a new group of women now who "love you more than anyone has ever loved you" and who you take MDMA with.
Huh. More than anyone has ever loved you? That kind of hurts. I sat up with you for hours trying to get you to stop cutting yourself and help you de-dissociate, and you don't think that was an act of love? I didn't do that because I wanted to marry or be in a psychical relationship, I did it because I was trying to help you.
But apparently all you want is sex and drugs that make you feel better?
You told me not to post about you without posting "the full story." Well here it is.
You tell me I have all the resources in the world and you have none. That's bullshit. People can be disenfranchised in many different ways, and I have certainly been fucked over.
This was the last housing situation I was in before Casey Waite, who basically denied me any right to trauma, and similarly shamed me into working more jobs than I felt comfortable with -- I am DISABLED, remember.
This isn't feminism. This is abuse being shifted onto a different disenfranchised person: me. And I will shout about it when it happens. Stop covering up for abuse in the name of social justice and stop fetishising psychiatric and recreational street drug solutions.
I've tried to help so many white girls who painted themselves as disenfranchised and they ended up taking advantage of me in every way possible. Feminism isn't about taking advantage of men and putting down disabled people, and I will name the people I was taken advantage of.
Jessieh Ruth Averitt -- don't act like I have resources because my family has money. My family's negligent entitlement has brought me more pain than anything, you don't fucking know. Your doctors always asked you for the most palty fees, because they know how you were disenfranchised and were able to play it up. You were able to graduate from Bennington without ever finishing your thesis for David Anderegg -- something a POC or cis male would never have been able to do.
You were an insider with faculty, who gave you free housing and well-paying jobs. Don't act like you don't have resources while you fucking rape me, let me lie in bed unresponsive because I'm so stressed out from antipsychotics and sedatives. and they blame me for being depressed, while you're blaming me for being a piece of shit man and piling all of your trauma on me.
Traumatized women don't need to be reassured that taking advantage of men and doing drugs and having more irresponsible sex is going to help them. They need real help. What Jessieh did to me played into both of our traumas, for the sake of her own sense of empowerment.
There are far more resources and support networks for women with PTSD than any AMAB or male demographic. There's a reason male suicide rates are so high, and it's not just because they're the most stupid, violent gender.
If you disagree with this or find it challenging, that's probably reasonable, but you are turning a blind eye to misandrist power structures that disappear men who are raped or traumatized and fall through the cracks.
I went to the pub sing. I had a panic attack and left. It was a bunch of old stubborn white guys trying to one-up each other with their favorite sentimental music. You will never eliminate discrimination in VT because you are swimming in it, like a fish in a bowl. I don't know how many times I have to explain this to you:
I was hit on by the director of the Vermont Folklife Center while doing an unpaid internship where I digitally catalogued the entire MacArthur collection. This is sexual abuse.
I was constantly pressured to drink on conflicting medication when the VFC archivist took me bar-hopping at the end of my internship, and during my (unpaid, and later I was paying them) "artist's residency" with the MacArthurs. This is ableist and irresponsible.
When I did a year-long "apprenticeship" with Tony Barrand, he was paid several thousand dollars, while only my gas was covered. He has MS and guilted me into helping him publish his book because he cosntantly complained he was dying. I was happy to help. He has not died yet, but I am severely disenfranchised and suicidal, and now he and everyone else from Marlboro/Brattleboro hangs up on my calls when I need help. I never received a copy of the book I helped format free of charge. This is economic discrimination against millennials.
When I lived at the MacArthur house, Robin MacArthur was regularly rude and standoffish to me, despite my autism and trying to be as polite as possible. She guilted me for being a man and not appreciating mothers more. When I tried to explain my mother had force drugged me as a child, Robin scoffed and gossipped about me. This is sexism (misandry) and ableism.
The MacArthurs moved friends of someone who raped me next door to me, pressured me into drinking to socialize. When I tried to explain that I was going off my medication and using cannabis to help manage seizures, I was questioned and stigmatized by all of the Marlboro neighbors.
When I interacted with people of color in Marlboro, Robin and Casey would attack or belittle me as though they knew I was a racist and put words in my mouth to make me feel ashamed. I am irresponsible. I grew up in central Jersey and am not a racist, and in general find people of color to be more sensitive to complex trauma than white people. Robin and Casey were a case in point -- they painted me as a racist instead of listening, and used me as a punching bag, which hurt because I am autistic and easily confused. This is not activism, it is hatred.
When I tried to bring this up with the VFC, and asked them to take down the MacArthur online collection that I had created because the MacArthurs covered up for my rape among many other things, they only removed the attribution that I had ever worked there. And they never paid me.
When #metoo was the big thing, you trended with #metoo. Now #blacklivesmatter is the hot topic, and you fancy that. Your organization and those you associate with capitalize on the commodification of cultural movements, and is inherently rooted in celebrating white normalcy, perverse sexuality, alcoholism, and economic domination. You fetishize POC, Native American, and immigrant culture in Vermont instead of empower those who truly suffer and die uncounted. You embody colonialism, and people will see through it.
I just remembered how when i was doing an unpaid 2-month internship at the Vermont Folklife Center, the VFC director came in one day while I was archiving and just started complaining about how he and husband got too high with their fuckbuddy and were super hung over. These were the working conditions under which the MacArthur Collection was digitized and archived online. This was not mentioned in the press briefing.
And then the archivist I was working under came in and said "don't molest the interns" sort of jokingly -- but also not?
And they were super nice but like what the hell? Why did i have to experience this, when I was just starting antidepressants and doing work for them for free.
And then the Vermont Folklife Center hosted a fundraiser that was a drag show, and the director was like in a leather thong/vest and I had to ask him to lead me to the bathroom, and it was super uncomfortable and he was super drunk.
Casey Waite and Anais Duplan were there, and they're social justice types, but they don't acknowledge when I come out about these kinds of thing, and I fear they'd accuse me of homophobia (even though I'm queer as hell).
I don't need older men hitting on me in workplace either so what's the difference? My allies have abandoned me, and my employers have exploited me.
I was the MacArthur artist in residence for over two years. I archived all of their folk music digitally for the @vermontfolklifecenter and assisted in editing a book of Margaret MacArthur's folksongs. I was brought there to do folk music research, but they gave me no direction, payment, and attacked me for making my own art to process my childhood trauma. They took most of my savings as "rent," which they raised without explanation when my roommate moved out (despite the artist residency) and moved friends of my rapist next door.
Robin MacArthur used to post "how little she made" as an independent author living in the woods, as a statement of transparency. That statement didn't mention the MacArthur trust fund, nor how they were siphoning off a disabled person's savings (mine).
When I moved out of the MacArthur house, because my trauma response was mounting, the MacArthurs went through my room and boxed up all of my possessions without my permission or notice.
The MacArthurs, a family who hoard their childhood instruments in museum-like condition, still haven't returned my drum set or made contact about it, my first real instrument that I got when I was 12. From what I saw, they only care about their own legacy and childhood trauma.
The MacArthurs don't care about people who are raped, regardless of personhood. From what I saw, they only care about their legacy. I regret contributing to the VFC.
I was raped by Kirin Schmidt and Casey Wait and Robin and Dan MacArthur covered up for it and painted me as a bigot and drug abuser while I was beginning transitioning and traumacentric therapies
Also as I was tapering off drugs I was forced to be on for two decades, they keep asking if I was doing heroin and telling me I needed to go back to coercive institutions and take medication that literally cause nerve death
I've never done heroin, but the MacArthurs pressured me into going to outpatient therapy to continue my forced drugging, and so I mostly made friends with kids on recovery there and tried to help them out. So yes, I did have friends who I was trying to help through heroin withdrawal. Stigmatizing me as a junkie for trying to help people is medical discrimination.
Yet Casey suggested that I reconnect with my ex-rapist while I was coming off medication. Yes I did this because I'm a gullible autistic idiot and it led to more flashbacks and dissociation, which again, was blamed on me.
Their response to me bringing this up, having severe PTSD reactions from it, and trying to start a dialogue with a group of people who spearheaded their local #metoo chapter?
Well, the ONLY member of the MacArthur family who reached out to apologize was Meg, who the family constantly warned me about as a mad person, and who was the only person who listened to my trauma, helped me find a therapist, or helped me find noninvasive seizure remedies.
Dan MacArthur, on the other hand, keeps reporting me to the police, who I told him many years ago aggressed me and did not listen to me.
Robin MacArthur, who once signed a book I bought from her "Our favorite adoptive MacArthur," simply said "I'm not doing this anymore." That's not solidarity. That's not demonstrating accountability for rape, forced drugging, nor all the other gaslighting they put me through.
Dan MacArthur said "you're welcome here any time" when I left confused about my rape. Megan MacArthur told me "welcome to the family" after I confided my childhood abuse in her.
When I tried to confide in Robin about my forced drugging, she scoffed at me (she was always quick to equate me with drug abusers), and suggested I use Instagram to help myself feel better instead. Well, now I am broadcasting.
Now they won't listen to my trauma, which involves them, because I'm "unstable."
Of course I'm unstable -- I've been raped, drugged, and beaten for decades. Why not just label me a "hysterical woman"? The people who guilted me into being an "ally" covered up for my rape and drugging, and stigmatized me locally for it.
This is gaslighting. This is victim abuse. This is saving face when you know you hurt someone.
As a former “artist-in-residence” at MacArthur Road, I am here to tell my story of how my art was condemned, my trauma was excused, and my so-called allies spied and gossiped on me as I tried to overcome a lifetime of trauma. I am having difficulty telling my story all at once, because it comes to me in flashbacks, so it will be hosted here and updated as I am able to piece together what happened to me without straining myself.
When I was aggressed by the police (for at least the fourth time), Dan MacArthur defended them because the chief was elected. When I was raped by Kirin Shmimdt, my college friends stopped talking to me. When I tried to go off traumatizing medication for natural remedies, MacArthur Road and Casey Wait painted me as a hard drug addict. When I was coerced into sex by an abusive ex-partner who purged and cut herself to stop me from leaving, I moved to MacArthur Road for relief. When I got there, Casey Wait and Robin MacArthur started attacking me as an enemy of #metoo and treated me as an abusive cis male. When I presented as nonbinary, I was met with suspicion at the school I worked at. When I tried to make art to express my trauma, because that is what the MacArthurs encouraged, I was told the art was too traumatizing and upsetting to show anyone.
I have had my life threatened by police. I have been raped. I have been drugged against my will. I have been spied on and gossiped about by my "allies." My goal in life is to stop institutional mismedication and mistreatment of the mentally ill. This affects men, women, nonbinary folx, white and black and all people.
I am reaching the end of my rope in terms of not having any of my pain validated. I don't know how much more art I can make. I don't know how many more times I can have my parents call the police on me, to have me force injected with Haldol, when I get upset during flashbacks to Kirin raping me and Casey and Robin and Dan excusing it.
This is what has happened to me, it is my truth, and I will name names if my abusers are not willing to acknowledge their role in overlooking institutional violence, while declaring themselves as empathic allies.
I was drugged and raped for years and Kirin and Casey and Robin pretend like I don't exist and they weren't complicit in traumatizing me. When I was aggressed by the police (for at least the fourth time), Dan MacArthur defended them because the chief was democratically elected. When I was raped by Kirin Shmidt, my college friends stopped talking to me, and the Macarthurs simply forwarded my reports to the police. When I tried to go off traumatizing medication for natural remedies, MacArthur Road and Casey Wait painted me as a hard drug addict. When I was coerced into sex by an abusive ex-partner who purged and cut herself to stop me from leaving, I moved to MacArthur Road for relief. When I got there, Casey Wait and Robin MacArthur started attacking me as an enemy of #metoo and treated me as an abusive cis male. When I presented as nonbinary, I was met with suspicion at the school I worked at. When I tried to make art to express my trauma, because that is what the MacArthurs encouraged, I was told the art was too traumatizing and upsetting to show anyone. I have had my life threatened repeatedly by police. I have been raped. I have been drugged against my will for decades, pressured by my friends and family. I have been spied on and gossiped about by my "allies." My goal in life is to stop institutional mismedication and mistreatment of the mentally ill. This affects men, women, nonbinary folx, white and black and all people. I am reaching the end of my rope in terms of not having any of my pain validated. I don't know how much more art I can make. I don't know how many more times I can have my parents call the police on me, to have me force injected with Haldol, when I get upset during flashbacks to Kirin raping me and Casey and Robin and Dan excusing it. This is what has happened to me, it is my truth, and I will name names if my abusers are not willing to acknowledge their role in overlooking institutional violence, while painting themselves as empathic allies.
Below are various pieces of art I have created that I believe illustrate my experiences...