The hypocrisy and double standards of Bachelor Nation

I grew up watching The Bachelor, Bachelorette and the spin off shows, now Bachelor in Paradise. It’s one of the few reality shows I enjoy watching, besides Survivor, my all time favorite show. I love watching the love story unfold, the personalities coming together to compete for the heart of the man or woman lucky enough to be chosen to find their special person. A large part of my interest is that I like to read people. To read the emotions and feelings they’re projecting and picking my four favorites I believe will make it to the end and then to pick the one I think will ultimately win the heart of the contestant. Am I right? Did my analysis come true?

I’m usually very good at the ‘art of reading people.’ Seeing through their persona to who they really are inside. To be able to see through deception and lies and see the truths behind their eyes. I’m no mind reader, but I can read emotions. Some would call that empathic or an empath, if you believe in all that.  So anyway, I really enjoy watching the show and seeing if I’m right, if I made the right picks and if they get together in the end. Did they get their happily ever after?

The show has recently changed. Did they get new producers? It went from keeping it mostly classy to a lot of trashy with scripted ‘characters’ and producer picks to purposefully spin things up and create drama. The show was fine the way it was. I’m not liking this new direction. I’m not the only one to feel that way. Yes, I understand ratings, but it’s going over the top in spinning things up and it’s feeling more like a soap opera then a reality love story. A little drama can be fun. Better them than me, right? But having to purposefully create a villain with scripted drama in every show is really ruining the original intent of the show. Even the spin off show is different, where prior contestants get together and co-mingle, getting a chance to meet the other contestants to see if they might have a chance at finding love. Now, there are hook ups before they even get together and scripted drama once again, to sway the minds of people and add their own political agenda’s into the mix. Creating cue words to be spoken over and over by the various contestants and leaking into our society through all the fans glued to the show.

I also feel it’s creating dividing lines in our nation of viewers. These scripted dramas put out for all to see with political undertones and ideas that not all viewers are ready to deal with or want. It’s one thing to allow the characters to evolve with everyday life put out for all to see, but it’s a whole other feel with ‘forced narration’ when purposefully spun and set up to create these issues and situations for our nation to debate on social media. One thing I am seeing over and over is the double standards that are alive and well in our society. Bullying is real and still alive and kicking. I also see hypocrisy.

A person’s reputation can be made or broken on this show.  These are real people with real lives and I think sometimes the fans forget about this. The cattiness is real. The pain is real for those who’s reputations are put on the line due to backstabbing and manipulation, lies and ‘drama’. I lost respect for the show, the producers, and several of the cast members after watching this season’s Bachelor in Paradise. Like I said, a little drama is fun, but the downright vicious behavior of some of the leads are absolutely disgusting and disgraceful.

It’s no longer about finding love and relationships but about digging up the most dirt and smearing each other on national TV for all to see and a nation of fans to debate and be divided over. A perfect example is Blake. Blake was one of my favorites as a contestant on The Bachelorette. I rooted for him! He’s sweet and likable, different, but endearing. I know sudden fame can easily get to a persons head. Attention, after possibly lacking it in life, can really be uplifting and exciting and provide opportunities that would otherwise, have never happened. I feel this is what happened to Blake. He’s young, single, living the dream with multiple girls interested and vying for his attention.

Being a simple fan, I can only go off of the information provided, using my inner senses to create the story and understand the situation. He dated one of the ladies from the show. He also chatted with other ladies on social media, hooking up with each other at various get togethers, some producer created and others on his own, just like any of the other contestants.  It’s what they do. Living up their moments in the spotlight and getting together for the parties and obligations as they all do. The relationship with the girl I mentioned, didn’t work out. They parted as friends. Friends with occasional benefits. Again, he’s single, his choice. From what I understand, he had his eyes on one of the future contestants of the, then, upcoming Bachelor in Paradise season. Again, I’m reading that he’s not the only one to start chatting with future contestants to see if they might want to hook up on the show. The other girl he was chatting with, who I call C girl, was very interested in Blake. That seems quite clear to all. She apparently wanted a relationship with him and based on the information provided, he didn’t. He did seem very friendly and chatty with her, as is his right.

There was a get together at ‘stage coach’ where many of the contestants attended a country music festival.  His friend with benefits showed up and they took advantage of their time together. As consenting single adults. Both of their choices. But then C-girl wanted to get together with Blake and apparently he said no. Based on the text messages that came out later, C girl wanted a straight ‘hook up’ no strings attached as implied in the conversation revealed on social media. She said, simply sex. He said, ‘That’s what they all say.” She got an uber to his room after he declined. She chose to show up at his room and she chose to ‘coerce’ him into sex.  Yes, he too had that choice. They both were drinking and drinks lower their inhibitions and shit happens sometimes.  Shit definitely happened this time.  His only mistake, from how I see it, is in not being adement about his no. Let’s put the shoes on another’s feet and flip the situation around. Can you imagine the backlash a man would get if he weaseled his way into a girls room and turned her no into a yes for ‘just sex’? The backlash would be atrocious with many thinking he would be taking advantage of her. But this was a female, rather than a male. Woman’s rights and all….

Again, two single drunkenly consenting adults. It happens. He made a mistake and he told her so. It never should have happened, but it did.  A lot of us have been there. We move on. The issue is that C girl went on national TV and purposely created drama with outright lies and viciousness to smear this guys name. Rather than go on the show to find love and focus on herself, she wasted multiple days spreading rumor and lies, stiring up the drama and making Bachelor nation turn against this guy, ruining his reputation for all to see. Remember, these are real people, and fans can be crazy.  As Hannah B stated on the Bachelorette, a comment I agree with, (but not in reference to Blake), she should have simply, “Stayed in her lane!” Instead she drove all over someone else’s lane, creating drama and spite, ultimately making her look like a desperate drama queen who felt like a woman scorned because most likely, she lied again, when she said, “just sex!”

Knowing how women can be, Blake was very right when he said, “That’s what they all say.” Some women are conniving enough to push themselves into the bed in hopes of keeping a man who has no real interest. A lot of us have been there and can relate but to lie on national TV because her plans didn’t work out for her was wrong on so many levels, it left a bad taste in my mouth and a disdain for the producers who ‘set it up’ for her to smear his name and try and ruin his reputation. I personally, applaud him for releasing the text messages. What else is a man to do? We all know that if he simply denied the accusations, no one would have believed him. I know he didn’t want to smear her name but he really was left with little choice if he wanted to get the backlash off of him and his family. I don’t blame him. I would have done the same. This isn’t small town drama, this is big time.

So the divided nation is up in arms over him sleeping with two different girls two nights in a row.  Remember, one was a friend with benefits, knowing he’s free to do as he pleases as he’s still a single man. The other was told no yet showed up at his door in her drunken state in hopes of pushing him into more than he bargained for. And yet, his eyes were on another, in hopes of winning her heart on Bachelor in Paradise. Oh the webs we weave. I just don’t understand how it’s ok to flat our lie to both Blake and to the nation of viewers but it’s not ok to be a single adult, playing the field, openly, while looking for love. Don’t a lot of them hook up off the show? Pot, meet Kettle.

The saddest thing I think I saw during one of the episodes was C girl throwing herself on Cam, only to get a rose, using him and discarding him the moment another man walked down those stairs. Poor Cam. She should have focused on herself and finding love rather than wasting the first few days bashing Blake. All she was left with to chose from was a Cam, knowing she only wanted a rose when he really wanted so much more. Then she went on to say how excited she was to meet Mike and was chosen for that date, which made me cringe. Poor Mike. The moment Dean walked down those stairs, suddenly, she’s all Dean, goodbye Mike, as she tosses aside another man to get her way with someone else. Apparently, their still together if I read that spoiler right. Funny that it happened to be Christina’s ex, since after all, it was Christina who dated Blake and was friends with benefits. It seems to me she may simply like going after her competitions ex’s. She sure did stir the pot on The Bachelor when sharing the spot like with Hannah.

So now Bachelor nation is divided on Blake with hate still spewing out of the mouths of the fans and I’m just disgusted with the whole thing. Fans are angry he was ‘hooking up’ outside the show, again, something that happens with many of them, and yes, of course, mad about the two girls, two nights apart, a mistake he admitted so let him move on from that. And that leads me to Demi. I have a like/dislike view of Demi. There are moments she’s hilarious and fun to watch and other moments she’s the epitome of mean girls. I don’t like that side of her. Demi is bi. No big deal, her choice. She went on the show to find love like the rest of them, right? Apparently, not so right. She has a girlfriend back home while she ‘figures things out’ and all Bachelor Nation can see is, “Awe, she’s coming out on TV.” The political agenda is strong. I don’t care that she’s coming out on TV, good for her, not the problem. I have a problem with the producers knowing she has a lady back home and allowing her on the show anyway, something that’s not suppose to be allowed, and yet the exception is made to drive home a political point, highly scripted and forced rather than allowing love to just happen.  And yet, no one is seeing a double standard here in regards to the girlfriend back home?

Let’s pretend for a moment that we don’t know who were talking about. Girl meets guy, they are super into each other. She spends a week putting all her eggs into one basket, totally digging the guy and giving him hope. He digs her back. After feelings have been developed, she suddenly confesses to having a ‘boyfriend’ back home that she’s still ‘trying to sort out.’ Bachelor nation would be going wild with the hate about now.

Switch it up. Guy meets girl. He spends all his time with this girl who really digs him. They are invested. He then tells her he has to be honest, that there’s a girl back home he’s been seeing and he’s not sure where his heart is….  Again, Bachelor nation would be up in arms, defending this girl and bashing this guy for even going on the show to begin with. You don’t go on the show to figure out if the person back home is right for you or not. You go there to find love with the contestants on the show!  But no, double standards and all that. Just because it’s a girl she has back home, somehow makes this right? To reiterate, I’m not bashing her for being bi. I’m not bashing her for wanting an open with relationship with multiple people.  If they are consenting, it’s their business, not mine. I have a problem with her going on to begin with. For not being straight up to begin with. For the producers creating a political show, purposely staging the drama to further their views, changing the original intent of the show and breaking their own rules to do so. Anyone else would have been outed. But because of the LGBTQ movement and producers wanting the show to go in a more liberal direction rather than letting it happen on it’s own, they allowed the rules to be broken and this double standard to exist. That’s my issue.

Didn’t Demi out a contestant on the Bachelorette recently for having a girl back home? Pot, meet kettle. Didn’t she vigorously ridicule Blake for having sex with more than one woman in a weekend even though he was open and single? Even more vulgar and classless was the comment she made on social media to another contestant who called out the hypocrisy. She involved his wife. We don’t go there. If you have a problem with someone’s free speech and viewpoint, it’s crossing the line to then viciously comment about the person’s family. I completely lost respect for her at this point. I might enjoy her funny banter with Jordan, but I can no longer look at her as a future lead to the show. She might want to work on that anger issue.

And talk about mean girls, another episode that seriously disgusted me was the airing of ‘mean girls’ when Blake injured his foot. To watch three grown ass adults completely ridicule this man and be ‘happy’ he got hurt, is just so wrong on so many levels. How is this cool? How is ok to see someone really hurting and to laugh and think it’s the funniest thing? I guess empathy is being lost in our new generation. I thought bullying was something we’re trying to speak out about and stop.  But no, due to catty women and notorious gossiping and lies, it somehow makes it right to kick a man when he’s down. Yes, let’s applaud that. Let’s glorify it and make it cool again. SMH. And Tayshia, I really liked you. I did. You lost my respect when you joined ‘mean girls’ for that catty bashing fest. I thought you were better than that. I guess I was wrong.

The point of the show is meeting people and finding love. To watch people’s love stories unfold and relationships form. The direction has changed and it’s more about catty drama and scripted set ups that leave a bad taste in my mouth. Seems the producers rather make people look bad, highlight bad behavior, and push the drama when these really are, real lives and reputations at stake. I know these people chose to be on TV and put their lives out there for all to see and judge. And yes, a lot of mistakes are made and people grow from them. Sometimes the attention can get to someone’s head and they get lost in the notoriety and attention from the show. It can happen to any of us. We’re human. But never is it ok to purposely lie on national TV to smear a mans reputation. Never is it ok to purposely mock and make fun of a man, especially while he’s ok. It’s never ok to throw stones when you yourself live in a glass house. How can hypocrisy and double standards exist on this level and not get called out? Or if you do, you get bashed for it. As our world is changing and people are advocating more for acceptance and equality and being treated with respect, we need to lead by example. It’s easier to sway someone with honey than it is with vinegar. We need to take a good hard look at ourselves and reevaluate how we judge another. Switch it up. If the shoes were flipped and it’s ok in reversed roles, then maybe we shouldn’t be bashing so much. If those shoes are on the other feet and that behavior would be atrocious, why justify it and glorify it? People really need to think before they speak. They really need to evaluate a situation before they openly judge and chose a side. Remember, there’s also two sides to every situation and somewhere in the middle, is the truth. Allow both sides to speak before jumping to conclusion. You might end up with egg on your face when you realize, the ‘truth’ wasn’t quite how it was relayed.

Bachelor needs to get back to it’s roots, the new direction isn’t enjoyable anymore. Yes, I can simply turn the channel, but like anyone else, I’ll share my thoughts before I do.

 

 

Frustrated Ramblings once again..

I’m tired of dying every day and being uncomfortable in my own skin. Of watching the light fade from my children’s eyes as another mention of “not right now” whispers through their ears and the ensuing frustration and defeat that washes upon their faces… my kids need me now. My hubby needs me now. My mother needs me now. My family needs me now. Tomorrow might not get here and time flies, moments pass, needs go unfulfilled looking for outlets and something to fill the void from avenues best left discarded.

I remember those times. My children are there now and yet I’m here, I see, I know, but I’m not present and I see this being fulfilled while my body falls apart and my mind wants to spiral. To be so dependent on a stinking little pill to wash away the pain and fatigue yet such controversy on something so tiny that gives me life in a way few will understand. No high needed or received, just relief, blessed relief from the torture my body inflicts upon me. Some days, not near enough,  leaving me so despondent, I rather wither away and free my family from the burden I feel I’ve become.

The negative thoughts and heavy weights weighing them down like a chain around their necks in a sinking ship lost at sea. To free them. To free myself. To put an end to the drain on this life and allow healing to begin and forward movement on their own journeys this life will bring. May they never be saddled with these illnesses that grip me so tightly, squeezing the life out of me. But it’s heritable. It’s the gift that never seems to end. One generation to the next. My burden, my cross to bear laid upon the shoulders of my tender children and the guilt that consumes me because of it. My fault.

Silent Echos

Crying a dozen tears,
collecting puddles along the way
Anguished over lost years
Waking to the same, each day

Feeling trapped, paralyzed with fear
Heavy chains pulled tight
Is there no one to really hear?
I toss and turn throughout the night

A body that won’t comply
An overwhelmed and angry mind
Struggling with the thought of goodbye
Will there be a rainbow that I find?
Or am I lost, lost, only to be left behind… DM 7/5/21

The Sacrificial Greater Good

I’ve been hearing the term, ‘The greater good,’ quite a bit lately. Apparently, it has it’s roots in Utilitarianism.

utilitarianism: the doctrine that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority; the doctrine that an action is right insofar as it promotes happiness, and that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the guiding principle of conduct. (via our lovely google dictionary).

On paper, it seems right. It often shapes our decisions in life and helps us to make decisions that would benefit the most. But what about those who become the sacrifice for this greater good? That is an often, swept under the rug discussion that can quickly turn ugly if not silenced quickly. I’ve had the unpleasant experience of being the sacrifice more than once in my life and it’s opened my eyes to an uglier side of society that has no room to take a true look at what that looks like. Closing their eyes and shutting down so they don’t have to face the harm that their decision could cause. Is it just their way of protecting themselves and their feelings about the matter rather than facing the ugly truths that exist?

I’ve noticed those that are ‘plugged in’ will have the same lines of thought, words of indoctrination (?), using the same style of language and lingo to justify their viewpoint and leaving no room to think outside that box. It’s a split society in those situations that have painted the picture as either black or white, ignoring the gray that sit in front of them as if it doesn’t exist. They will argue vehemently to defend their position and give you absolutely no room to simply discuss the fall out from that line of thinking. Instead of critical thinking and curious discussion, it’s near immediate ego insulting and name bashing against the one who sits outside the box both in thinking and in experience. Their way is the only way and anything else is pure selfishness.

Yet, life is not black or white. There are sacrifices to the greater good and their voices deserve to be heard. After all, isn’t it my sacrifice that keeps you going? Let’s look at WWII. Some of the most horrific and brilliant doctors and scientists committed some the most outrageous atrocities against mankind. On paper, if you asked anyone, most of society would be disgusted by their actions. But when you boil it down to the finer details, you can excuse them by this thinking of the greater good. Did we not learn much from their discoveries? Did our country not then hire some of those same doctors to keep the studies going? But that’s not something most want to think about or are even aware of. The uglier side of things, swept under the rug and justified by the thinking of the greater good. We simply learned so much, right? I wonder how those poor souls felt being forced to give their lives, their comfort, their humility suffering for the sake of others. How many universities, governments, corporations dipped their hands into the pot of human experimentation, ‘for the greater good,’ before laws were formed to stop the overt practice on human life? Just research the topic and you’ll be surprised how common this was. The people experimented on didn’t have a choice in the matter. That’s an ugly truth that simply is.

It’s easy to rationalize and justify thinking that simply wouldn’t happen again, after all, didn’t those laws come into effect? In the 80’s. We’ve evolved from that kind of behavior, right? No. Tigers don’t change their striped, they simply camouflage themselves much better and push the idea of the greater good, dressing it up in a beautiful wrap and calling it something pretty. Critical thinking and open debate began slipping further and further away from the curriculum taught in schools and universities and group think began. A world wide social experiment with deep effects into the minds of the plugged in. The idea of a different viewpoint becoming an anger inducing division of minds and a black and white scenario with no room for individual thought and discussion. It is ‘the collective’ and the divergent.

Those who’ve become the sacrifice, awakening to the injustices that hide beneath the fabric of this collective thinking of the greater good and the finer details that are hidden even deeper within. It truly explains the immediate silencing and ostracizing of those outside the box. The unplugging from the collective.

The Next School Shooter

Several years ago, a mother in my state wrote an anonymous post about her child being the next school shooter. It took a post like that for a doctor in another state to reach out and help her child. Yet no change took place in Idaho. Our mental health system here is a broken wreck, we know it, they know it, but no one is doing anything about it. It’s been years, yet here we are with the same broken system. A young girl, a 6th grader became the next school shooter. Thankfully for her, no one died. I sit here wondering what help she will truly be given and what changes won’t take place because of it.

I sit here and wonder if my child will be next.

Did you know the state of Idaho does not have ONE anger management class or sessions for our youth? Not one, so they say. My child has actually reached out and asked for help with this anger that comes out of nowhere and rages out of control. He hates it, we hate it, but how do you control it? How do you stop it from unleashing in the first place? Doctors want to throw anti-psychotic after anti-psychotic at them but it does NOTHING to help the child. My child doesn’t do well on meds. Period. We’ve tried so many of there damn drugs but not one has helped. He lives with extreme over the top anxiety and panic attacks and nothing has touched it. It took YEARS to even try a fast acting anxiety med in the first place because they were too concerned with addiction than helping my child.

So my child suffered for so long without help that it’s become out of control and beyond where it needs to be due to lack of help in the beginning when we needed it most. Addiction is more concerning to them than the actual wellbeing of your child NOW. Off label meds are used more often than medications meant for the issue to begin with.

One of the biggest issues with long term drugs is that it can weeks to months to be effective. So they trial a med, fight off the side effects, only to have it be ineffective or cause more problems only to finally stop it and trial another, and another and another, to no avail. At some point the child will refuse meds. And then rage at the worthless system he finds himself under.

The state of Idaho has no real respite for older kids. I am just now learning of one on the east side of our state yet no one had mentioned it to me before. Why don’t we have one in the most populated area of our state? There are plenty of respite ideas for those with young kids but not a damn true respite for our older teens that benefit both the child and the parents. So the government contracted with the Hay’s house. A local shelter in Boise that takes kids. Apparently, paying good money from the government of Idaho to the Hay’s house to provide the needed respite for our kids in the system. Guess what? They denied my kid.

After taking weeks to even try and get someone to call me back and then go through the application process and set up a tour. I simply got a phone call telling me they don’t take kids with autism. They also don’t take kids with health issues even though my son doesn’t have any needed equipment or really any special care beyond, let him rest if he needs to and don’t require physical activity if he’s hurting. So why are they getting funds from the government, likely from us tax payers to provide a service, ON PAPER, that they are refusing to provide? It’s funny and ironic that the court order in my kids case simply says, “keep seeking respite…” Yup, we’ll keep seeking but never find.

And they wonder why kids finally explode. They wonder why suicide rates are high and ever climbing. They wonder why kids take their aggression out as a school shooter. I wonder what help the poor girl didn’t get and how long they battled the system trying to find it before she finally snapped. So what change did this incident bring about? Likely not a damn thing.

Respite for teens should provide a safe place for teens to have both enjoyment and a break from their families while providing a break to the parents as well. If one is suffering, the other will too. So if a kid goes to a place like Hay’s house and can’t even keep his phone or certain personal affects while there, please explain how that is not much different from detention? So even if he did get accepted, I can only imagine the anxiety in the back of my mind worrying about how frustrated my kid would be not having access to his basic personal affects while supposedly getting a break from the household… I honestly don’t think that would provide a real sense of relief, ie, respite. But it would be better than nothing…. until we can one day get real services and respite for our teens. If it’s not too late.

I’m so disgruntled by our system, our state, our health care. They are admittedly reactive and not preventative. But even their reactive measures are subpar, always shoving a square peg into a round hole and not getting results while continuing to try.

I would love to start a non profit and create a teen respite center in our state. A center with input from the very teens who would utilize it. But how do I do that? I’m just a disabled mom with ideas, a lack of education in that area, and very little energy to walk on my two legs. But we need it. We need it desperately as do thousands of other kids in our state who are suffering like my kid is just like the parents who struggle and need that break but are too afraid to ask for help or have asked but haven’t been heard. My ideas are endless on this program I’d like to create.

I’d also like to fix the broken juvenile justice/mental health system in our state. A REAL solution that would benefit our children that really does look a lot like common sense but our system is stagnant, apparently slow to change and how does one be the voice of change? I HAVE A SOLUTION!! But my voice travels out and fades away and doesn’t reach the ears of those who might actually be willing to make a difference. How can I be heard? How can I share my ideas that would help our kids in at least two areas where our state has failed? I need legs. I need someone to be those legs to reach the people necessary and then convince them to simply start by listening. Listen to my proposal and lets start working on solutions rather than wait till something even more drastic takes place that finally gets someone’s attention.

Will my kid be next?

Screaming to no avail

Voice hoarse, throat scratchy, dry and painful

Emotions flat yet raging inside

My mind a swirling mix of emotions and thoughts

My body clinging to life when I dream of it simply letting go

Screams of silence

Echoing in the chambers within

Lost in the confines of unstable uncertainty

Pulsating into the depths of despair

Always screaming, forever silent

With a thousand faces yet none aware

I Understand..

There are so many issues that divide our society. From my own personal journey, I can truly understand both sides of many issues. There really is no black or white but various shades of gray that make up our feelings and frustrations due to our experiences in life. Those stuck on either side of the black/white issue, simply have not experienced or walked in our shoes. They are blinded by their own journeys in life. That does not make them wrong, it makes them simply ignorant of the experiences of others and unable to see how others got to the place in which they view their side of things.

Broken

Lost.. drowning. Chewed up. Spit out. Unheard.

Not all voices sound the same.

If I tell you I’m struggling, imagine it 100 times worse. If I get denied the services I requested, I must not be screaming loud enough. Not all voices sound the same. Listen to the ones who speak quietly. They’re the ones who hold back. They’re the ones that put on a brave front and try to hold down the fort. The rocks. When they tell you they’re breaking, then listen to them. If they tell you they’re broken, they broke a long time ago and you just ignored their pleas.

Scattered pieces flittering away on the breeze.

Remnants battered, having been tossed to and fro.

Hands trembling, long held out, reaching without purchase.

Voice hoarse and whispered from the cries never heard.

Mind spiraling into darkness, shattered, broken.

Broken.

Would it be better if I crawled into a ball and cried,

showing my hopeless despair?

My emotions are flat on the outside but I’m screaming deep within.

Just as I ‘don’t look sick’ with an invisible illness

My emotions are far deeper and more broken than you can imagine.

My brain stuck, deep in the muck, frozen in a paralyzed state

But you can’t see or you refuse to hear the truth behind my shattered words

A desperate cry, a plea for help, in the only way in which I know

because otherwise it will be too late…

Too late for you to finally show.

Our Backwards System

Our system has it backwards in regards to helping people with a mental health crisis. Let’s be honest, oh wait!! You can’t! That’s one of the biggest hinderances to people receiving help. You absolutely can NOT be truly honest.

The stigma with mental health is another huge barrier to those who truly want to seek help. In addition, it can be illegal in the sense that one can actually be CHARGED with a crime rather than simply getting someone the help that they need. Please explain how charging someone ISN’T counterproductive in helping someone struggling with mental health issues. Sure, let’s add the criminal stigma to an already added pressure of the mental health stigma. Not to mention, the criminal aspect follows you for the rest of your life and counts towards an offense in your file. No pressure, stress, or harm caused there, right??

Shall we talk about the lack of services, providers, and understanding in our community. You need help, but sorry, it’s a years wait and the providers currently available are fresh out of high school with little to no experience. In addition, all MUST fit into the same neat little box and benefit from talk therapy. It’s one size fits all. And here’s some medication while we’re add it. Don’t worry about the horrible side effects or the fact that you don’t process the medication very well. Try the next one in the same category. And the next. And the next… But we won’t give you something for that severe anxiety that could help you now cause it could be addictive.. so we just won’t prescribe it. But try this off label med instead… it can take a couple months to be effective… if it works for you.

Honesty… When being honest nets you a jail cell or someone coming into your life to control it in ways that they think are being helpful but in actuality make things tremendously worse and cause more harm…. Haven’t they learned yet? Maybe they’re the ones with the mental health problem since they repeat the same mistakes over and over thinking they’ll net different results. Not everyone needs to have their lives controlled and items removed and meds stopped due to the thoughts in ones head. Isn’t ‘talk therapy’ one of the ways in which they say will help? Just don’t talk about that! Or that! Or that!

If a person truly wants to end their lives, they WILL find a way to do it. It doesn’t matter what you remove from their presence, they’ll find a way if determined enough. Yes, we all have those negative thoughts in a crisis of anger that, well, sound terrible, but does that mean the person is actually going to act on it? Shhhh… let’s not discuss that either. You just might be charged for your negative evil thoughts.

How about simply offering ACTUAL help in the FORM that someone needs? Wouldn’t you think that might actually reduce the amount of stress and overwhelming depression a person is suffering? No, let’s lock them up instead and add more work, hassle, embarrassment, stigma and, oh yeah, more STRESS to the equation. How about finding out what their needs truly are and why they are suffering and find solutions that help them actually function? We don’t really have programs available like this.

A lot of my own stress and anxiety is from being disabled and trying to take care of my children, one which battles his own health and mental health issues. But they make getting a caretaker nearly impossible! Hell, I had to pay for my own wheelchair since I can walk to the bathroom in my own home. We have tools to help but we won’t allow you to use them until you’re so messed up you have no choice otherwise. And respite? A glorified babysitter that gets paid to sit there and make sure your kid isn’t causing harm. How about programs that actually allow them to do something THEY enjoy for once to actually reset and take a break beyond experiencing the same day in and day out that led to their need of respite in the first place. And yes, kids need respite too. Or another option is a children’s home type environment where you’re restricted on your rights and creature comforts which just simply adds to their anxiety and removes items they use as supports, such as cell phones. That doesn’t help the child, it just makes them feel locked up.

How do we fix this broken system?

Let’s Be Real

Life is like a panic attack with people constantly coming up behind you and saying, “Boo!”

Life is like an amputee, when you’re having someone hand you some water but they hold it out two inches too short to reach.

Life is like an insistent tapping noise when you’re dealing with major sensory processing issues.

Life is like being stabbed then having someone push on the handle over and over.

Life is like a migraine, and someone projecting flashing lights and high pitched noises in your face.

Life is like a funeral that no one shows up to.

Life is like giving a speech except you’re the one naked.

Life is like a nightmare that you can’t wake up from.

Reaching the door but it shuts right when you get there.

The window that’s stuck during a fire.

Limping with a broken foot and stubbing your toe.

The scream that never escapes your lungs.

The sleep that never comes.

When you tell someone that water is your favorite drink and they hand you a soda.

When you tell someone you’re diabetic and they give you candy.

Let’s be real… because most people aren’t. No one wants to hear your truth. Your struggles. No one wants to understand or make it better. It’s just lip service.

Our Broken System

Our system is set up for failure. It’s no wonder why we have such a high suicide rate in our state and in our country. From lack of services to stigma to getting healthcare to laws that make mental health a crime, people are not getting the help they need and our state will continue to climb with rising suicide numbers and public meltdowns and catastrophes.

When a person can actually understand why someone would enter a VA hospital and blow his brains out or shoot up a business, then you can understand the chaos our system creates and does very little to change things.

You can’t be honest with healthcare workers. Honesty can add more trouble, red tape, and a host of other problems. Suicidal? Let’s take your guns. Now we have the added stress of being unable to protect ourselves. Let’s take their meds. Now we have to suffer in even more pain. Let’s take their…. quit trying to control someone else’s life. If they truly want to die, they will find a way to do so.

There are no immediate services. I need help now. I need a good counselor now. I need respite now. I need mentoring now. Months of back and forth paperwork, wait lists, no shows…. Try being disabled and having to keep up with the back and forth, the paperwork, the frustrations and not understanding the process. No real help there even when you cry out for help because it doesn’t make sense and no progress is being made.

They’re hiring mental health service providers straight out of high school now. Very little if any training, no experience, and no real passion or drive to help kids who need it. Even the experienced ones assume cases are all alike and apply the same tools and jargon regardless of if it fits the client or not. Stuff the square peg into the round hole… And then basically roll their eyes in frustration when it doesn’t fit. Must be our fault.

It’s truly sad when a law has to be passed for mental health, in particular ptsd, to be covered by workers comp, in a career field that sees a lot of violence and death. How is that even a thing? How was that not covered? How in the hell can they think it’s ok to penalize someone for needing a mental health break? This is the stigma that our world suffers from. We must be strong with all things all the time. It’s not ok to crack when your world falls apart and your child shatters. Smile, nod your head, we’re fine.

Punishing a person criminally for having a mental health crisis. Yes, you read that right. It’s a crime in Idaho. What you say or do can be used against you. How does that make life easier on you? How does that truly help? Now you have a record. Now you’re court ordered to do things and if you’re not mentally right yet, one little slip up adds more charges. Now how does that help someone get better?

We have proven services that can help a person in crisis but insurance won’t cover those services. What they will cover has long waits, poor quality, and not enough staffing. If you don’t have money, you don’t get the best care. What kind of message does that send?

Let’s talk about drug use since it can go hand in hand with mental health. Yet, in our country, we make drug use a crime rather than put it where it needs to be, mental health if it’s beyond simple social use. Again, if you’re rich and high up in the political system, it’s ok, we’ll just cover it up, but the lower end of the totem pole, well, you have to pay society for your crime. And since it’s a crime, have you used any substance before? Of course not. Who the hell will be truly honest? It’s a crime. So how does one get help? It’s a broken system.

If you admit you use drugs, it follows you in your record then the stigma is attached which shows in the bias for any future treatment in the medical system and in the world. If you have mental health issues (sans drug use) it too gets attached to the record that follows you, full of bias in future treatment and lack of services to help you get back on level ground. It’s a broken system.

Should mental health not be one of the most important aspects of life to take care of? Do we not want a productive healthy society? What are the drawbacks to that? Why keep the system broken and people down? It costs more in the long run if they allow people to fall apart and stay there. It costs more in the long run if we don’t provide appropriate services to kids in need. It costs more in the long run if we don’t provide care giver help to families struggling. Why wait till it’s too late, or they’re so bad off it takes that much longer to possibly recover or they completely and absolutely snap? Why are there so many good services out there out of reach to people?

Between our medical system, mental health, insurance and the criminal justice system, we have allowed these broken systems to continue for too long without real fixes that actually provide quality care and real help to those who need it. So many complain about it but very little is getting done. Just my 2 cents….