Climate Anxiety Counseling: Kennedy Plaza/Burnside Park 6/23/17

Weather: Hot, thick air, windy; heavily clouding up later

Number of people: 3 stoppers, 1 walkby

Pages of notes: 5

People who recognized me, and I them, from previous years: 1

Dogs seen: 1

Dogs pet: 1

Money raised for Environmental Justice League of RI: $0.35



I left at 5pm because it was clouding up heavily and looked like it was going to pour, and I didn’t have my umbrella because it’s busted from the last time it poured. It did not, in fact, pour.

When I walked up to start my shift, three white or white-appearing cops were arresting a Black man. Another cop car pulled up around where the Greyhound and Peter Pan buses come, around 3:30, but didn’t stay long. Yet another cop walked by at 4:17.

The downtown Providence “safety” team takes the tables and chairs—which are set up in the shade—away at around 2:30pm, when the food trucks leave. If you can’t or don’t want to sit on the grass, the benches are left, but they’re mostly in the hot sun.

This was the second time I chickened out and didn’t tell an interlocutor the real reason why I won’t be having kids. I’m not sure why, but I want to tell the truth next time.


A conversation:

I get sick sometimes, I have no money, there’s drama with my girlfriend. I’m thinking of going down to the compassion center [for medical marijuana], but sometimes I think I have to go through the anxiety, putting what’s inside in front of me in order to overcome it. It’s hard to even have heavier conversations. People ask me about money, how they can help out—it’s hard to have time to spend with my son … There’s been good things recently, but I’m so used to negative things.

What are the good things?

I’m getting money from the government every month, so I have income. I’ve been good, clean, but– Things have never been good with [my son’s] mom, we started on mistrust, so even though it’s been good, I can’t talk to her. I feel like I should be with them but at the same time I shouldn’t. If I get a manic episode—you know about that? People recognize it too late. At first it doesn’t look like anything’s different. Everyone’s on my case to get help. [When I’m in that state] I’m so innocent, I’m so naïve, that I get in trouble, I accidentally do something.

What do you know about what sets it off for you?

I tried doing everything, meditating, exercising, doing everything good, and it still happens. It’s like you have control, you don’t have control. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I run from the place where I stay. I don’t want to have to go to the hospital every time I’m changing. Every time I think I’m doing the right thing, it’s not working. It’s been ten years.


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