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.

My Letter to a Local Restaurant

Disabled Life…

My whole world was flipped on it’s head when my health took a crash several years ago. I thought I’d recover. I usually do. I didn’t. I had to make a lot of adjustments. I rarely go out. Covid has given people a little taste of this existence but it also seems to have highlighted a lot of area’s that affect those who are disabled.  


I searched the website so that I could set up a reservation before making the drive out on a rare night I was feeling good enough to leave the house. There isn’t this option so I called to put my name on the list. The lady wasn’t outright rude but she did seem irritated. She told me there was a 2 hour wait and no, I could not put my name on a list. I had to show up in person.

 
It’s a 20 minute drive to *******’s one way. It’s easy for most people to hop in the car and run in to put their name on the list. It’s not so easy for me. Heck, just getting regular clothes on and making myself presentable is a huge task. I’m sure that’s hard to imagine for most people. How much is taken for granted. The ability to simply stroll your own neighborhood with a nice walk with your spouse, your children… just the ability to walk without pain. 

Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you. Maybe an option for online reservations or phone reservations could be a consideration in the future. It sure would make things a little easier on those of us with mobility issues. Thanks for taking the time to read my feedback.

Victim Impact Statement

My son’s case is next month and I’m already starting to stress about it. The case might not technically be in my name (my son’s case), but it IS against me. I plan on writing a victim impact statement as it was I who called 911 that day. It was I who followed my child’s crisis plan and picked up that phone. And it is I who am struggling with the aftermath of that ridiculous and mind blowing day that forever changed the way in which I view the local police department, crisis plans, and seeking medical help for my child. They have taught me to fear calling the police. They have taught me that a crisis plan is no more than an arrest plan. They have taught me that the police department values do not align with what they pretend it does and the juvenile justice system is no better.

I received a phone call a month after that 911 call to get an assist to drive my son to the ER (per his crisis plan). “Your son has a warrant out for his arrest,” she told me. I laughed. I thought it was a joke that is how far from reality I thought that call was. When she persisted, I told her she must have the wrong kid, what did my son ever do? They told me he assaulted a police officer….This is a felony charge… When the heck did this happen, as I knew that was completely impossible. My son is very polite with officers and he maintains himself to the best of his ability out in public. They advised me of the date this occurred and the only thing on the calendar for that day was the 911 call and ER visit. You have got to be kidding me… They charged him for melting down about going to the ER and not wanting to go willingly. Of course he didn’t, that why I called in the first place. He was committing self harm and melting down over being told he had to go to the ER for medical clearance which meant blood work. One of his biggest fears is needles and medical procedures. In fact he now has PTSD over this and anything medical related.

Would you charge a child for throwing a temper tantrum over getting a shot? What if that child actually kicked and thrashed and threw things? Pure fear radiating from the kid as he screams bloody murder and fights off any attempt to approach. No, that wasn’t my son that day. My son was verbal, completely broke in the brain in that moment but never struck out at the officers, never kicked, never punched or headbutted, he simply refused to walk himself, yelled all kinds of unpleasant stuff and made a mouth motion as if he was going to bite them when they were restraining him on the ground for not walking willingly. Absolutely no physical harm was done to any officer. Do I like the words that came out of my kids mouth? Absolutely not. My son has austim, severe anxiety and depression and when he is angry or completely afraid, he reacts verbally. That’s how he copes. That’s how a lot of kids with autism or DMDD cope. Most of the time they save it for at home and do well in the public setting. My child was home, not out in the community.

The Meridian Police Department have partnered with CIT. CIT is a program that works with police departments all over the country to change their approach on mental health calls with our juveniles. They are a program to keep kids out of the juvenile justice system and rather direct them to the right mental health services in the community to avoid wasting time and money on charging kids that are more suitable to getting help and not crime related. This actually seems common sense but in Idaho, they lack simple laws and procedures that actually get people help and do the right thing for the community. Instead, they have been charging people and punishing them for not having their mental health crisis under control. Even with this program in place, AND training currently going on in Idaho on working with kids with autism, they failed to utilize their agreement with CIT and implement the very program they agreed to. Not once did they call after that fateful day and ask if my son needed help with services or direct me to the appropriate places. Instead, they charged him with a crime and are punishing not only him, but me as well.

The prosecutor in this case is actually likable and seems to have some common sense. After speaking with him about what happened, he immediate dropped the warrant but the charges were not dropped. At one of the hearings, he informed the judge that he may be dropping the felony charge and he sought to do so, but his supervisor refused to allow him to drop the charge. He would still have the misdemeanor charge of resisting but for some reason, she wants both charges to stay. I don’t understand that. I was told that they typically continue charges to make sure my son is getting the mental health services he needs. So why keep both charges on the table? Why hasn’t anyone bothered to call and see what services he is actually already receiving or to share any further services that may be out there? I feel like I’m simply being lied to. I believe the prosecutor believes what he told me but the actions of his supervisor and the department don’t align.

Is this really how Idaho wants treat it’s disabled population? A population less likely to be able to defend itself. Simply throw charges on a kid who has no prior violent charges, who’s simply struggling to live his life and be left alone and they want to label him a criminal and punish him for having a fear of needles and going to hospitals. Again, would we charge a 7 year old, 8, 9, 10… for fighting to avoid a shot? I know that’s happened many many times in hospitals throughout the country when a needle comes out. Do we charge all those kids for this? How is it that much different from charging a freshly turned 16 year old with autism who has a real and absolute fear to the point of PTSD? And yet, he absolutely didn’t hurt anyone. Mind Blown!

So I’d like to write a victim impact statement. I and my son are the victims. You can not imagine the amount of stress and anxiety this has put on us both. I am disabled and stress exacerbates my conditions. My flare has not died since it started shortly after that call. I’m not going to elaborate further into my own mental health stresses but this was seriously the icing on the cake. This has harmed my family. There is no greater good in this situation. There is no inadvertently helping my child in this situation. After speaking to other families who have gone through similar, the services offered in Idaho are the very same services he’s currently seeking/getting and utilizing the very same company to evaluate and direct. We’re already enrolled in it on our own. And don’t get me started on the lack of services for our kids in this state or the waitlist for services. It’s appalling. That would be an entirely new post all on it’s own.

I just can’t wrap my head around it all. I just don’t understand why this is happening. We need real change in Idaho. Common sense changes that actually help our children. More programs to be available to them and more staff to fulfill the long waitlists for the services they do offer. We need to stop charging our children with crimes for things that truly should not be called a crime when it’s something as simple as a medical assist call per the very crisis plan set up by the doctors and mental health community for our children. I now fear calling the police. I’m now jaded in my view of the department. I’m now jaded in my view of the juvenile justice system. I’m now a very stressed out mom fighting the system and praying that common sense will prevail and by some miracle, the felony will be dropped from his charges. In fact, all of it should be dropped. I shouldn’t have to choose between accepting a misdemeanor we don’t believe in or risk having him labeled as a felon for the rest of his life for simply calling 911 that day per his crisis plan. I just needed an assist to get him to the hospital. This is not justice.

New tablet!!

I’m super excited to announce I will be getting a new tablet computer next week!! It will be much smaller and lighter than my computer so I will be able to blog more!!

I can’t type anything of length on my phone and my computer is really too heavy to lug around so I haven’t been on my blog much. With the new lightweight tablet computer I’ll be able to carry it, take it with me if I ever need, and keep with me in my sitting spot as it’s supposed to have superb battery life.

I’m excited!! Way too often I find myself deep in thought with words I want to get out of my head but they often get lost in my brain as it’s too much to type out on my phone, even with my stylus. My hands have been flared up. I don’t like to move if I’m comfortable in my chair so often I will avoid grabbing my computer. If someone grabs it for me I’m stuck with the weight and bulk of it. It doesn’t sit on my lap well and often slides. It’s super heavy!!

My tablet arrives Monday and I can’t wait to try it out. I’d like to start blogging my journey, my struggles, living with an invisible illness while trying to maintain a family, a child with special needs and health issues, a child feeling left behind, a husband starting to drown, helping me with tasks I always handled. Life has been very tough.

I also want to continue blogging about Idaho’s juvenile justice system and the unethical way they handle mental health and punish families for seeking help. How they create fear in calling the police and anger towards the system. Praying for change. Praying for dismissal. Praying…

Part 2: Juvenile (un)Justice in Ada County- Discrimination against those with mental health

My reply to someone feeling disconnected:

I feel what you are going through. I was angry at God for a long time. I’m still not back to where I should be. I’m stuck in the why me, why my child self pitty. I’m disabled. My childhood was not a good one but God truly pulled me through it well but then I got sick at 21. That was the beginning of my medical life. I had 2 miracle babies after being told I couldn’t but then one of my children was diagnosed with autism, depression, extreme anxiety and now several health problems. He wants to die. He has no friends. My level of disability is at the point of needing a caretaker. My other daughter is starting to struggle with health issues. My husband is worn out. Why? Why were we given more than we can handle? Yes, it’s more than we can handle when you can mostly only lay there all day wishing death would just take you and having little hope of getting better but to watch your kid struggle with chronic pain. To battle the legal system for calling 911 during a mental health crisis for your child and having then turn around and charge your child with a felony! My mind is blown and shutting down. Yet I have no choice but to keep breathing. I had returned to the Lord last year but out of nowhere, several weeks ago, it’s like the feeling just disappeared. I feel lost, adrift at sea with no control over my life, but I keep breathing….

Rarely do I talk about the suffering in my life. No one really wants to hear it. But this is my life. This is real. I’m tired of pretending that all is good. I’m tired of smiling when I’m crying inside. I’m tired.

The two most pressing issues in my life, is my kids health issues and the court situation looming over our heads. The court situation is very paralyzing. It literally can shut my brain down and send me to bed for the day. I have to shut it out but that’s not helping me make any progress on this case. Where is my son’s attorney? Not one phone call since court began. We have only a few weeks to submit all the motions and evidence (?) and yet I’ve not heard one thing about our strategy, our witnesses, nothing. Are they just waiting till I cave and accept a plea deal for my son? What gives?

I’ve started a petition, just need to publish it and share. I’ve never created a petition before, as far as I can remember. I feel insecure out it. I want change. It’s not fair to those of us battling this same issue that creates harm for our children and in the end, nets them nothing. So many have come forward with their own stories, very similar in nature and yet, in the end, they received no real help in this lacking state. It feels like such a lie, just get them in the system…

My kid is truly a good kid. He’s sweet natured inside and just wants to feel better and have a life. That’s it. There’s very limited resources in Idaho for mental health. They only want to throw anti-psychotics at our kids even when they’ve failed them and reacted horribly time and time again and yet they still try to throw those drugs at our kids… Why? It’s not what he needs.

So many service providers that fail to show up. Time and time again… My son can tell me which ones are clearly only working for a paycheck. He’s pretty intuitive. Our system truly sucks. Politicians don’t return our calls or answer our emails. But people are starting to reach out and if we can all come together, maybe, just maybe, we can bring some common sense laws back in to protect our children and change a very broken and archaic system.
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We should never fear calling the Police during a crisis… Part 1: My Journey with Ada County Juvenile Justice and Meridian Police Dept.

We should never fear calling the police during a mental health crisis. But that is exactly what I now fear. I will never utilize there service that we pay for, ever again, no matter how bad it gets. They have failed me. The Ada County Juvenile Justice Department has lied to me and they are not there to help your children as they are proving that.

Around September of last year (2020), my son had a complete and utter meltdown. Covid has been rough on our kids, especially those with autism or other mental health issues. Due to my child’s depression, we have a crisis plan in the event it is needed. I’ve never needed it before. That night, I did. 

I simply needed the police or ambulance to transport my child to the ER. My child had volunteered to get help but when he found out they needed blood work, he lost it. He hates needles, it’s part of his autism anxiety. I was afraid of him hurting HIMSELF, so I made that call. My son did NOT want to go to the ER and I alerted the officers of his diagnoses and his fear and that he was not willing. They said they may have to restrain him if he refused to cooperate. There was no mention of anything beyond that. My son was transported to the hospital in restraints. 

One month later I received a call. My son had a warrant out for his arrest. He was being charged with a felony assault on a police officer and a misdemeanor resisting charge.  They are charging him for ‘attempting to bite’ the officer even though he didn’t cause any harm, he’s a small kid and they had him on the ground putting a body wrap around him. 

Though I managed to have the warrant removed AND the prosecutor was willing to drop the felony, his supervisor would not let him. We have trial in April. They said they would drop the felony if we pled to the misdemeanor. This to me seems like blackmail. Why should we plead guilty to any crime when we simply needed help during a mental health crisis? They said they charge kids to make sure they’re getting the proper help they need… yet not one phone call to see how he is doing. Not one phone call to share any information regarding services. They didn’t even ask if he was receiving any services!  How is this helping my son?  If they were really seeking to only charge to help, then why wouldn’t the supervisor allow the prosecutor to drop the heavier charge and work with the other charge that remains? Again, this shows they don’t have his mental health in mind but are seeking to punish my child and for a crime that could follow him for the rest of his life and for what??? For calling 911 to help us get him to the hospital… Never again.

I’m a disabled veteran who is in the process of seeking caregiver support due to my disabling condition. Stress exacerbates my health issues. This has certainly put a lot of stress on my shoulders and added more to our plates when it wasn’t even necessary. Not to mention my son could have a felony record for life if the judge determines he’s guilty.  There are no laws to protect my son. Where’s the common sense? 

The Missing Piece

Have you ever noticed that most people carry the innate need for a utopian society? For the paradise we’re missing in our current lives?

Long ingrained in our DNA, a very glimpse of the Garden of Eden, the hope inside us to those who know God and the missing piece to those that don’t. How has the idea of a God spanned massive generations? The hope that never fades.

Many lost souls in our world seeking to fill the hole in their heart, turning to drugs, alcohol and other addictions searching for the peace they fail to realize is the Spirit of God. The Spirit that calls to us all in a still small voice to return to Him.

Keeping Your Eyes On God

The world is full of distractions. It’s almost as if satan keeps us ‘filled up’ with busy work to keep us wary, busy, and distracted thus keeping our eyes off God. The number one distraction in most of the lives of the people of this world is both our phones, computer’s second, TV third. Keep your eyes on God, folks!! We’re being distracted by the allusions of this world!

I liken our phone’s to the image of the beast. What other object draws our eyes and minds day in and day out, hour after hour? What other tool distracts us and keeps our eyes focused and off of God almost every waking moment? (I’m talking to all of us, even us who spend hours in Christian groups, feasting on the Word and sharing and learning together…)

Psalm 46:10King James Version

10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

It is indeed, an image.. an image that speaks. “And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.” (Revelation 13:15)

Even before Covid, people would discuss how kids would get together and dine at restaurants yet spend the whole time staring at their phones. The images sucking us in with games, apps, and busying our minds day in and day out, keeping our minds off God, keeping our minds from being still, activating and exciting our minds so that we don’t sleep well, we have headaches, we become irritable. Studies have shown that too much screen time interferes with a child’s development. What are we doing to our kids? What are we doing to ourselves? Where is the quiet time that we put our focus on God, being still, waiting to hear His voice?

I’m not saying that our phones/screens are indeed the image of the beast but it does make me pause. It IS a possibility and something to at least think about as the mark being on our hand represents action while being on our forehead represents believe or the mind. If we’re holding our screens to our face all the time we are certainly using our hands/action and our mind/forehead. It does indeed keep our minds stimulated and not still. Keep in mind too that tech is rapidly developing and there are plans to merge man with machine and tech to link us to the computer/phones so we’d be constantly plugged in and stimulated even more than we are now. Might seem neat on paper but what is it truly doing to us? What would God think about this?

God says during the last days it will be like in Noah’s days where they were eating and drinking, giving in marriage and going about life as we know it. For most, it will come as a thief in the night. Those who keep their eyes on God, it will not come as a thief as we will know the season is near, even at the door. Most of us are waiting on the book of Revelation thinking everything will be observed and we have time. But do we? If it could come as a thief, if it can be like in Noah’s time where life went on like usual, if it could come without observation….. Something to think about as our minds are being distracted and we argue over the details of His coming.

Revelation 3:3 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Matthew 24:42-44 42“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your LORD will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Luke 17:26-27 26“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

Matthew 24:37-39 37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

I know we have the book of Revelation for prophesy of what’s to come but it does not escape my mind that it will be like the days of Noah and the day will come like a thief to many… if that’s the case, we might not have all the outward signs we’re looking for. Just something to ponder which is why it’s so important to keep our eyes on God and to watch, wait, and be ready always. Put on the armor of God as instructed. Luke 21:34-36 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Keep watching. John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

https://hms.harvard.edu/news/screen-time-brain

https://www.level9news.com/coming-merger-man-machine/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4107706/How-man-merge-machines-Elon-Musk-reveals-thinks-AI-human-symbiotes.html

https://www.foxnews.com/tech/humans-merge-with-machines

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1197648/brain-computer-interface-bci-technology-work-speed-of-thought-facebook

Our Dead Reality…

My son recently opened his own online store called The Dead Reality. He’s still a kid, trying his hand at an online business with the desire to pay off his first car and make some money. Being stuck at home has been pretty hard on him. For someone who doesn’t have much exposures out of the home, I was actually pretty impressed with his store and how he put it all together. He’s most proud of the product Merch he created and put a wide variety of items from other sources, some a bit eyebrow raising, to include a wide audience.

Starting something new is hard. Finding advertising is even harder. It’s been his joy and his torment all in one as he sees so many view his store but very few actually purchase. How does one get a business off the ground? Trying to explain that even this little start up is giving him value and experience for future endeavors doesn’t soothe his anxiety or fear of failure. Being a teen is hard and raising one is just as hard.

In today’s society, his choice of the name of his store seems perfectly fitting. I actually like it… a lot. It seems more and more people are dead inside and simply zombified to their phones, computers, filling their time and minds with whatever is being blasted our way, rarely taking a pause and simply being still. Are we living in a dead reality? Thoughts to ponder…

His Store

http://www.thedeadreality.com

Talking to God on the Pot.. “Be Still!”

Yeah, I said that. I realized something lately that I felt was odd…. Let me rephrase that, I realized another odd thing about myself recently. I find that often, while going to the bathroom, I find myself talking to God more in depth and with more heart, talking away asking questions, and praying to Him. This is something that I really started to realize not long ago, maybe several weeks or even months ago but I never thought too much about it.

Today, while going to the bathroom, (just being honest), it hit me!! I finally realized WHY I talk more to Him while in those moments than any other (except very very recently as I’ve felt His pull and have turned my face to Him). Those are my quiet moments!! I once add these words to my calendar to show up for me once a month as a reminder to me, “Never Forget His Grace! Be Still, For I AM God!” That was something added during my mostly zombie time period (something for another blog) when I had a small moment of clarity. Today, that meaning, “Be Still!” truly spoke to me in my heart while sitting there praying. Those were my quiet moments. I was being still!

Most of the world today is inundated with an onslaught of online usage and things that fill our minds, our bodies, our brains with so much that rarely do we take that time to simply, “Be Still!” Rarely do we pull away from social media enough to de-clutter our minds and rest then spend those moments with God. Well, I guess I just ousted myself that as a toilet user, I don’t spend all that time on the phone. 😁 Those are the moments that my brain is finally at rest without distraction and I can focus on Him.

It started feeling a bit yucky to me.. I mean, I’m talking to God and I’m not covered… Anyway, I guess my self-conscious mind, via God’s whispers, shared that with me and now it all makes sense. We need more time without distractions to put our focus on Him in purity of heart and purity of mind. He’s been waking me up to a lot lately and I’m just grateful I finally realized why I do that and of course I plan to change that and to make sure I create that purposeful proper time to reflect on Him and to enter into prayer. No, I didn’t just imply that I’m a horrible person for praying on the pot or that we shouldn’t do so. I’m just sharing what I believe His Holy Spirit was showing me. We NEED more quiet time to Be Still and spend with Him. Of course I do now realize a proper time and place but if in true need, I’ll talk to Him in any quiet moment I can find but I will make sure to set aside time to put Him as my focus rather than all the social media and junk in today’s world keeping our minds busy and unable to simply, “Be Still!”

Set Up For Failure; War on drugs and Mental Health

Our country needs to legalize or decriminalize drug use. This statement might seem pretty extreme but I’ve been thinking about it for a while and when you see the big picture, it’s the only way that makes sense. I’m debating starting a petition. What we need are people to actually read the reasoning behind that statement with an open mind and not with the mindset that people just want to use drugs. I don’t even use drugs. Keeping drug use as a crime against society causes harm and hinders people from seeking help.

Merriam-Webster states that a crime is an illegal act for someone could be punished by the government. Especially: a gross violation of the law. (1). But there is also a legal definition of crime that allows for prosecution for breaking a law. The legal definition per The Free Dictionary by Farlex states, “n. a violation of a law in which there is injury to the public or a member of the public and a term in jail or prison, and/or a fine as possible penalties.” (2). 

Also from them is this statement, “There is some sentiment for excluding from the “crime” category crimes without victims, such as consensual acts, or violations in which only the perpetrator is hurt or involved such as personal use of illegal drugs. (See: felonymisdemeanor).”

Typically, to be considered a legal crime, it must be a violation of law against another person or property of another person. With drug use, the crime is simply against oneself. There is no crime against another for simply using a substance. And yet, it is considered a crime. I believe we need to change that and I have good reason for feeling this way.

The ‘War on Drugs’ has been going on since the 70’s. They’ve had 50 years, FIFTY YEARS to perfect it and have failed miserably. The only thing this war on drugs has accomplished is making drug use illegal, stigmatized drug users, stigmatized legitimate patients using a proper medication to relieve pain due to some abuse by others, and creating large barriers to people seeking help both mentally and medically.

There are various types of drug users. Those who use recreationally like any other person who likes a nice drink on occasion to unwind, those who use to drown their troubles and hide their pain due to some internal or external conflict in life, and those who can’t seem to function without drug use who are the legitimate patients addicted to a substance. Those with addictions need extensive help and therapy to fight their addictions and live drug free. The recreational users don’t need any kind of therapy as they use just like a person who drinks on occasion. Those who use for drowning their troubles likely need therapy to help manage the issues that drive them use in the first place.

With drugs being criminalized, seeking help places the individual in a very sticky situation where their very lives are at risk simply for seeking help. If they have children, their children can be taken from them. If they have certain careers, their careers can be destroyed. Just the fact of use being illegal sets barriers against those seeking help. The stigma as well keeps people quiet. I’m certain there is a large portion of users who desire help but the fact that use is stigmatized and the fact that use is illegal keeps them from seeking the help they need. There is also fallout that affects those who don’t even use illegal drugs who are looking for help. A ripple effect that spreads far and wide touching those who don’t even use illicit substances yet use legal medications that some have chosen to abuse, harming many pain patients who simply want to function in life and yet they are thrown into the stigma with those who use illegally thanks to misinformation campaigns, the media, and organizations seeking to demonize the use of opioids regardless of the reason for using them.

I would be remiss without mentioning the stigma of mental health which is often linked closely to drug use though not all mental health issues lead to drug use. The stigma of having anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges is just another barrier to those who wish to seek help. We desperately need to break those stigma’s paving the way for those holding close to the vest their mental hardships that may simply need, talk therapy.

I absolutely believe that by legalizing or decriminalizing drugs, our war on drugs would be successful in a way it never has before. Why repeat the same mistakes over and over and over that achieves nothing but more harm. Stubbornness? Pride? Some kind of deeper ulterior motive? Whatever it may be, it’s not for the American people as we’re the ones that are suffering because of it.

The fact of the matter is, people WILL USE DRUGS. That will never change. There will always be someone either seeking to get high or seeking to drown their troubles in some kind of substance legal or otherwise. I’m pretty certain this is an established fact. We know that for some, drug use can lead to dirty needles, spreading of disease, unsavory behaviors, and harm against oneself. The person inside has issues. They need help to find the reason why they are seeking out the substance to begin with. I’m not referencing recreational users. They’re in a different playing field and having been around many growing up, they don’t need help no more than a person who drinks alcohol to unwind on weekends. They just chose a method that gives them a different feel than alcohol. But those seeking to numb their pain, physically or mentally, are the ones I’m referring to in this article, the ones who need real help to keep them from spiraling further and to put them on the road to recovery. The way our society is set up, keeping drugs illegal is a barrier to receiving help.

Our country has slowly added some changes to help with some of the issues that are caused by illicit drug use, such as offering clean needles which is a good thing as we know, they’re going to use regardless so at least we can help decrease the spread of disease if their route of choice is the needle. Some countries have legalized or decriminalized the use of drugs and have shown much success in doing so. Maybe we can follow their lead.

By legalizing or decriminalizing drugs, we can lift the stigma attached to it. There are a lot of fears for someone to admit to drug use. For one, it’s illegal!! How can you expect people to get help if they have to admit to doing something illegal? That alone is a huge barrier for those who do want to seek help! If they have children, they fear losing their children. If they have a good career, they fear losing that career. So many reasons NOT to seek help all because of the legality involved and the record it will leave on the person for simply admitting it.

Imagine having your permanent record marked as a drug user then that person seeking medical help after an injury or for chronic pain. Now because of that label, that person is not only treated differently in the medical establishment but they can also be denied pain relief!! I’ve spoken to people that have had this happen. I also know a family of someone who was mislabeled as an addict who went through an extremely painful surgery and then was denied proper pain relief. He killed himself. Killed himself!!! And even sadder, he never misused his medications, he simply used a medication off-label for chronic pain that is given to those who abuse drugs, even though he never abused them. This very stigma smeared his permanent record, labeled him as an addict and then led to him being denied proper pain management. This also shows that those who do abuse drugs may not ever have proper pain management all for seeking help or being labeled as an addict. They are treated differently in the medical system. And people wonder why some refuse to seek help.

Legalizing can rid a huge portion of this problem. In time, the stigma will fade and people can simply reach out for help if they find themselves in trouble.

What about legitimate pain patients? Many of us, myself included, use opioids legally and yet there are people out there that abuse them with and without a legitimate prescription though studies have shown most illicit users don’t even have a legitimate prescription for the drug they are abusing so it’s not legal prescriptions causing the bulk of this particular drug abuse but a heavy handed organization and campaign has ruled with an iron fist to not only heavily tighten the availability of pain medications but to reduce the milligrams needed by even legitimate pain patients as if it’s one size fits all and assuming that after a certain dose, harm will be caused. Never in the field of medicine have I seen a drug that flat out limits the maximum dosage allowed when each individual is a person that metabolizes a medication differently and the reason why various dosages are created and prescribed. Tolerance to any substance can be built causing a need for higher dosages of ANY drug/substance and yet they put a limit on pain medications that allow those in chronic pain to function in society at least as much as able. How is this ok? Not only that, but they just attached a huge stigma against the use of pain meds to go so far as creating children’s books that talk about ‘mommy using opioids’ and needing help…. Wait what?? Wouldn’t it make more sense to talk about illicit drugs as a whole rather than single out one particular drug that used by many to keep someone functioning? Why put fear into a child about pain meds? Pain meds are good for those who have need of them and due to all of this, an even larger harm has been created in our society in the last few years due this campaign against opioids, no different than their ‘war on drugs.’

Hospitals given incentives to limit their use of opioids by paying out more money if they can use alternative means. There will always be those who abuse their roles and story after story was told of being left in severe pain from surgery after waking up and being denied opioids. Yes, that happened over and over as hospitals raked in extra funds for using Tylenol and in some places, lavender essential oil for pain. I truly feel like I woke up in the twilight zone and we’ve gone back in time to biting a stick for pain.

Legitimate patients using opioid medications to function were taken off of the medications without choice. Left to suffer not only the withdrawals of stopping this medication but also to suffer the effects of their chronic pain and debilitating condition without a proper medication to reduce the pain. They were left to suffer. I’m sure almost all of us were left in fear as we read story after story of patients having their life saving medication taken away from them, waiting for it to happen to us. Many who were on high dosages (higher than what some non doctor decided was the threshold) were suddenly tapered down (some without taper) to fit under this new imaginary number that the CDC determined people can’t go over. A recommendation, not law, that was also ruled with an iron fist with the DEA going after good doctors who refused to go by this “RECOMMENDATION.” What has our world come to? They just created more illicit drug users as some took to the streets in defiance looking for illegal ways to reduce the pain that riddles their bodies. Legitimate pain patients!! Some turned to suicide, refusing to live a life in severe pain without relief, care, or help. You’d be shocked if you knew all the numbers involved. They don’t talk much about that in the media. America’s dirty secret. The rest are left trying to function on doses that don’t work near as well as what they had prior, struggling to function. Some of us were lucky. I’m thankful I wasn’t over the ‘recommended’ limit but the fear of having my meds taken away is real not only for me but for those aware of the situation our pain patients are facing. Many patients have even refused surgery due to the stories of those left struggling with little pain relief after their own surgeries. No one wants to wake up in severe pain after being cut open and left to suffer.

Story after story run by the media about this crazed ‘opioid epidemic’ and all these deaths due to opioids and yet the real numbers tell a different story. Illicit drug use, not prescription medications, are the cause of these spikes in death. Illicit drugs cut with powerful substances being sold on the streets not in doctor’s offices. So why smear legitimate pain patients? Why punish legitimate pain patients? That’s pointing the blame at the wrong person and then punishing them for a crime they didn’t commit. Why?

If drugs were legalized we wouldn’t have this problem. If truth and justice existed we probably wouldn’t have much of a problem either but that’s doubtful to change any time soon. If we legalized and regulated drugs, we could safely allow those to continue a habit they would continue anyway but without the fear of what’s in it, without the fear of a tainted supply, without the need to limit good legitimate patients for a crime they didn’t commit. They could also make money off it if they so chose. There’s always money in drugs. Take the money from the cartels and black market that will always exist and put it into our states instead. Create REAL programs for those with addictions and those who need help with mental health problems. Imagine the facilities that can be created off the money made. Real facilities, not thrown together back alley rooms where people NEED to remain anonymous and help is limited. How about plush retreats that only the rich can attain. I’ve researched wilderness camps for my child, a nice nature retreat where he can reset and get guided help and focus on his anxiety and depression and you want to know what that would cost me? A mortgage in some places! Over $50,000 for short session with all the right tools in the right places that might actually help my child rather than the closed off room in a small office where they simply sit there and talk or at least try and talk as some children don’t want to talk about things going on in their heads. This boils down to rich vs poor and what’s available to each. It’s sad. Don’t we want a productive society? Don’t we want people to get help and better function in this world, able to give back? Yet our country places stumbling blocks in front of us, creates massive stigma’s and criminalizes behaviors that are not against society but simply against themselves creating those barriers that keep people from getting help.

We’ve done a good job at our institutionalized places of learning teaching our children about the dangers of drugs and the legalities around it but what have we done to teach them about love and compassion and seeking help in a world that tells them it’s bad to begin with? It’s a catch 22. We need to break that.

It’s really no different than someone who feels suicidal but can’t be honest about it without getting locked up or having their children taken away from them. The stigma is real. We’ve placed those barriers in society and then expect people to reach out and get help. Yeah, you might catch a few of them but most will simply bury those feelings and try and suck it up, never truly able to be honest or seek the help that they need. Then compound that by being a chronic pain patient on a legitimate prescription and the fear of having their meds taken away and what help is truly available for them.

Here’s an anonymous example of someone’s life:

Imagine living with chronic health problems, keeping a person disabled. They get a few hours relief each day from the pain meds they’re taking. This person’s a fast metabolizer of medications and already on the max dosage ‘recommended’ by the CDC so no more meds will be given to help with the pain. On good days, the meds work well for three hours but on bad days they only last one to two hours so there’s a lot of break through pain but a second script to cover that is no longer available. (And yes, many alternatives were tried and nothing other than heat which lasts maybe 30 minutes have been successful at reducing the pain.) They are only allowed one pill every 4 hours. But instead, they take the meds as needed, knowing their own bodies and making their own decision at how to handle it so they take the meds every 2 to 3 hours depending on the level of pain their experiencing. Yet, every time they see their doctor, they say all is good as they can’t be honest. They’re not allowed to be honest. Being honest will get their medication taken away from them. They know damn well they won’t get additional pain help and they know damn well they can’t be honest about not taking their prescription as prescribed. Is this person a bad person? Is this person abusing their meds? Is he a drug addict? In my view, the answer is no to all those questions. Our society has simply set up road blocks to being honest and receiving adequate care. And for the record, on really good days, he can space the meds out even further apart and sometimes save an extra pain pill for a rainy day so it’s not like he’s simply using them up for some kind of need/addiction.

Let’s talk about saving those little pills. Unlike some meds where you can be an adult and simply take them when needed, with pain meds, you are expected to take every single pill exactly as prescribed. If you admit you’ve had some good days going on and were able to reduce your usages by even one little pill, the next thing you know, your script will change, your meds will be reduced and you’ll be left to suffer when the good days end and the bad ones pick up again. We’re not allowed to be adults. We’re not allowed to be responsible for our own usage. We live under an iron fist and treated like junkies as we have our meds counted, our urine scrutinized, and treated like we’re criminals even picking up those meds at certain pharmacies. It’s dehumanizing. So no, if they caught wind that we had even a tiny little stock pile of extra pills for when pain gets brutal and knowing we won’t be given help during those days, that’s grounds to remove our meds.

Imagine in a disaster if things shut down, knowing your exact count and when your meds will run out. We’re not allowed to fill early and we’re not allowed more than a month at a time even though any other drug is allowed up to a 90 day supply. Not pain meds. We simply might use them before our prescription runs out. But truly, legitimate pain patients know better than to be so stupid. We know how many we get. We know if we were to run out early, we’re not allowed an extra fill. That’s drilled into us. Who in their right minds, who legitimately need them, would blow through their meds? How is 90 days any different than having our 30 days? We know the count.

Every time we see the pain doc, we have to fill out a form that asks lots of questions in relation to anger, mental health, depression, ect. Of course they also ask if we abuse our meds, take them beyond how they’ve been prescribed or for reasons other than what they were prescribed for. My honest thoughts? Who the hell would admit if they did? What if Janey discovered they helped her anxiety and on a really bad day she takes them for exactly that. What would admitting to that mean for Janey? She’d have her pain meds taken away as she signed a contract (another thing required of us) and would be considered to have broken that contract. So why ask? What about the example of the guy above? What if he admitted to taking them sooner than prescribed? Again, there go his meds. And obviously if you have some idiot getting pain meds to use for illicit means or to sell them, do you honestly think they’d admit that on that questionnaire? Seriously? What’s the point? You can’t be honest, you’re penalized for trying. Though the person using it illicitly shouldn’t be doing so via pain management route, even if they legalized drugs across the board. Those people would need to go a different route, however that would look like. Pain management should solely focus on those seeking pain relief.

I’ve often wondered why they ask questions about anger or depression. With so much fear of losing the only med that gives some sense of relief, would those meds be taken if you admit to feeling depressed? Angry at life? Suicidal? Again, these stigmas come to hinder people from seeking help in one of two ways.

What if someone was severely depressed and wanted to seek in treatment for their depression? There are two immediate and very logical fears that come to mind, having seen my own mother going through a similar situation. Suppose you admit yourself to a facility for some much needed help. What if your facility doctor decides you shouldn’t be on pain meds? What if they decide that your dose isn’t appropriate or that they fail to give your medications on time? Those are real fears and real experiences had by others. In my mother’s case, she takes one very small dose of pain meds each day for her restless legs. No other med has reduce that pain except her pain med. The doctor didn’t feel she needed it even though she’d been on it for years with great success. Not only did he try and deny her dose of medication but he attempted to have it removed. She won that battle but it was hell for months after having to rejustify and fight to keep on it.

Psychiatry is NOT pain management. Yet it was a group of psychiatrists that first attempted to control the facade of the ‘opioid crisis’ seeking out the CDC and determining their own recommended dosage limits and starting this war on pain medicine. They were quite successful to the point of states creating their own opioid tasks force with many many states not having a single pain management doctor on the panel. The very specialty in prescribing opioids and yet that type of specialist was excluded from the decision making and denied the input that would ultimately affect his job and his patients. Nor did they allow the insight of chronic pain patients when setting up this new guideline. It’s so mind blowing how this whole thing came about, how it was handled and how many rolled over and just accepted and allowed it. Those who fought back got penalized. I’m starting to think our country is slowly moving over to a dictatorship.

(1) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crime

(2) https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/crime

Set Up For Failure; let’s talk mental health.

One of the very first statements a counselor or psychiatrist will tell you is that if you mention that you are a threat to yourself or others, they will be obligated by law to report you. The immediacy of walls and defenses thrown up is a hindrance to getting real help and therefor the system is set up for failure before it even gets started.

What exactly constitutes a threat to your self or others? Obviously actions and a plan is part and most important (and understood) but what about thoughts? Are they acting like thought police, waiting to report someone for simply having thoughts and feelings of harming oneself or others?

What exactly does it mean when someone is reported? Will they be immediately taken away and locked in a padded room? Will they be flagged in the system and heavily watched? Will CPS get involved and disrupt their lives? Or will it simply allow for immediacy in a referral and moving to the front of the line? There’s so much uncertainty in this situation that it causes a major roadblock in seeking help. WHAT DOES IT MEAN??

There’s already a negative connotation and stigma attached to mental health. It’s hard enough to admit ones thoughts and feelings especially when they deviate from the norm. Our system is so set up for failure, there’s no wonder why bad things do happen and people turn to drugs, self harm, or snap and hurt others. Not to mention the dangers associated with being bullied in schools and lack of recognition from the adults who are suppose to keep you safe and help you. With conflict resolution just getting started in some of the schools, we’re simply barely scratching the surface. Today’s bullying is no where close to the bullying that went on in decades prior. With as many kids suffering from autism, health issues and mental health issues like never before, we need to change our system immediately to make sure no child is left behind in getting the help they need to feel safe, understood, and treated as necessary.

We absolutely must rid the stigma attached to mental health issues. We must decriminalize drug use and focus our funding on building more safe places for kids and adults to seek treatment. We must put our funding in training more medical personnel into understanding and treating those needing help. We must change our approach. God knows, what we’ve tried both on the mental health front and the war on drugs front hasn’t and won’t work. Why keep repeating the same failures over and over? Pride? Stubbornness?

I hate to say it, (sadly it’s true enough) that those with money typically get the best help available to them, state of the art facilities that provide real distractions, focused therapy and compassionate care that those without the finances don’t have access to. It was shocking to discover the cost involved in wilderness camps for teens. I could buy a house with the admissions charge they ask for. Yet, studies have shown wilderness camps as having a good success rate in achieving long term skills and recovery. A basic clinical facility with underpaid staffing and simply throwing one drug after the next at someone is not the answer and may drug and sedate a patient long enough to appear recovered but they will simply relapse shortly after leaving the facility.

All these millions if not billions of dollars thrown into the war on drugs and mental health treatment could be better managed and utilized if we give our system a real look at the successes and failures of our current system. Why not ask those seeking help both in past and present what they feel would help them? Why not survey the actual people going through their plight what they feel they need rather than relying on those at the top who aren’t knee deep into the viewpoints, feelings, and experiences of those seeking help? Wouldn’t their input be valid? Seems no different than those at the CDC seeking to put guidelines on opioid prescriptions for those with chronic pain without asking the very doctors and patients input from those who actually treat or have chronic pain. How could they possibly think that would be successful? You wouldn’t ask a plumber advice and guidance on electrical systems, right? How is this simple common sense lacking in our world today?

To be continued…

Another Conundrum:

There’s a medication that’s been around for decades. It’s meant to calm anxiety and panic attacks. You have a child with severe anxiety and panic attacks but no one wants to prescribe it because of that stigmatizing word again; addiction. So we’ll leave your child to suffer severe symptoms causing endless chaos to those around them, sucking the desire of life right out of him and anyone watching him suffer who’s obviously suffering with him because, he just might, become addicted… But we’ll shove other medicine down his throat that causes a lot of other side effects, symptoms and harm triggering even more anger, frustration, and now reluctance to see any doctor ever again or try a new drug intended to work more long term. And the system?? Well, it’s set for failure once again as there’s limited specialists available in the field of child psychiatry and often the wait is more than a year for someone to get seen and what’s a parent to do during that years wait while the anger is building and the symptoms go unaided causing so much more anxiety that he refuses to even see a counselor or leave the house or simply function…

And the services he has had, don’t even get me started there. A totally broken system.