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….

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