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Elder Abuse Monologues

The following two monologues were presented at the San Francisco Consortium for Elder Abuse Prevention’s 2003 Rally, conducted on the steps of City Hall. They were performed by members of Stagebridge, the nation's oldest senior theatre company, which is based in Oakland, California.

Monologue 1
I think I was having a cup of coffee in the kitchen, or maybe it was in the dining room. I’m not sure. All I know is it hit me like a bolt of lightening. Oh yes. I was looking over my bank statement and I couldn’t figure it out and then it hit me. Jimmy was taking my money. He had got a hold of my ATM number and he was taking my money. I couldn’t believe it. This is my boy. My little boy. Why would he do that to me? Didn’t he know I would give him anything he asked for? Didn’t he already get food and a place to stay and my car? My savings account was almost empty. That was my rainy day money – my emergency pot.

Just right then, he came in. He’d been out all night and he didn’t look too good. I must have looked funny ‘cause he said to me: “What’s the matter, momma?” I couldn’t say anything. I just looked down and then he saw the bank papers and he came closer. He took the papers from my hand and ripped them up and threw them in the trash can. Then he said: “I thought you were too stupid to figure it out.” And he went upstairs to bed.

I must have sat there for another hour staring at my cold coffee and wondering what I had done to make him treat me like that. He broke my heart that day. He broke my heart.

Monologue 2
I am not yet a US citizen so I am not sure I should be standing here on the steps of City Hall in San Francisco. But, I wanted to tell you my story because it might happen to somebody else and I don’t want anybody else to feel bad like I did. When I came here from Mexico. I was so happy. I was going to live with my daughter, son-in-law and little grandchild. I was coming to America! Land of opportunity.

When I got here, my daughter told me that I could live with them if I gave her money every month. She said I could stay with them if I took care of my grandchild, and cleaned and cooked for them. My son-in-law yelled at my daughter all the time and me, too. He told me that if I did not do as he said, he would send me back to Mexico. I was so afraid.

Soon I started to lose weight and couldn’t sleep. One day I went to a senior center and when it was time to go home, I told them I couldn’t go home anymore. I just sat down and cried. In my country, older people are treated with respect. What has caused this bad luck to happen to me?

Now I am living in my own apartment. I had to pay a bribe to someone to get my place. I know that was wrong, but I couldn’t stand it at home anymore. At least now no one is taking my money and yelling at me. But, now I am alone. Alone in America, but not at home.

Last Updated: October 3, 2004  Top


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