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.

Life’s Choices…

The chaos swirling in my mind pulls me deep into the pit of despair. I’ve found myself to be a fragile mess of sensitivity, shut down and paralyzed to life around me. I finally reached my limit and it’s broken me. I’m broken. I’m weak. I’m fragile. Something I’ve never wanted to be. Something I’ve never been. Something that just makes me sink deeper into myself and longing for a simple release from it all. Death doesn’t scare me so much anymore.

I went from being the rock, the picture of stability and strength to the mess I am now. And my choices have left me limited help and assurance. If only I can share the thoughts swirling through my brain. The deepest of the deep in my emotions, feelings, and view upon the matter. I feel stuck. I have absolutely no one to confide in all the secrets in my heart other than God and right now, I’m not so happy with Him. I’m pretty sure, he’s not so happy with me either.

I’ve made my bed and believe me, I’m laying in it. Hind sight… Not much I can do about it now. Choices… No point in the ‘if only’s’. Is this depression? I’m not typically a depressed person. I’ve always been fairly positive and happy go lucky for the most part, knowing I do suffer anxiety and that’s been pretty maxed out the last couple years. Can intense anxiety trigger depression?

It’s been coming at me from so many directions all at the same time, my life’s been flipped upside down and I’ve landed on my head, face first in the dirt and muck and I’m not sure quite how to turn it all around. I unhealthily day dream endlessly for financial winnings, the lottery, HGTV dream home, other sweepstakes, ect to at least lift the financial pressures and provide the financial security that can at least pay away some of the issues plaguing me. I can simply hire the help. I could know my children’s futures were taken care of. I could get out of the noose this home and our bills has tightened around our necks. It would solve a lot of our problems and pay to solve those that need more hands on deep work that seem only available to the rich.

The way our world’s going, I’m so ready for God to come back and fulfill the prophesies left unfulfilled in the Bible. Regardless of others beliefs, I believe it will happen. I believe it’s about that time. I’m not so happy with the world we’re living in and corruption is so deep and lies so tainted that we’re not truly free. We’re not truly living the ‘American Dream’ that allowed our country to be one of the greatest of the greats.

Having to come to terms with my health issues, knowing I will most likely never get better, that THIS IS my life. No cures, no fixes, no real medicine to treat the problem, only pills to mask the symptoms and provide some blessed relief from the pain and insomnia but nothing that helps the heavy limb fatigue that weighs me down. Nothing to stop the world from spinning upon rising and trying to fade to black. Nothing to stop the sensory issues that keep me hiding in a quiet corner, limiting my interactions.

This wasn’t quite the life I pictured for myself. This wasn’t my dream. I always hoped that one day a doctor would solve it. I just needed to hold on and find the right one. Took 15 years to put a name to a couple of the health issues I suffer with. 15 years!!! 15 years to be taken seriously. 15 years to have someone quit blaming anxiety or simply throw me into PT expecting all to get better. 15 years for someone to finally care and want to dig into it. And then she up and left me after being my doctor for a couple years. That was a crushing blow. But I’ve made some progress in getting my answers, a bitter little pill knowing that it will not get better.

Those who suffer ME/CFS seem to have a 5 year window. If you don’t get better within that time-frame, it’s your new buddy for life. I’ve had it for 20 years. Waxing and waning giving me bits of reprieve but always coming back until the last time it never left. It stopped waxing and waning at the mostly functioning level and now simply waxes and wanes at a disabled level. It also seems that a chunk of my medical conditions have also gotten worse with age/time. POT syndrome was like my ME/CFS in it’s waxing and waning though it had always been worse than my ME/CFS in a flare up. It can cause me to be just as weak and fatigued but it too seems to be hanging on and not giving me much reprieve. Just compounds the problem.

Then there’s my bone inflammation. I’ve never had an answer for that one. 5 years! 5 freaking years of intense deep severe bone pain that put me in a wheelchair and left me unable to walk far or without excruciating pain. No answers. Just inflamed hip/thigh bones that felt like they were expanding and ready to burst open, pulling my muscles off my bones along with it. I’m thankful it’s gone down. I’m thankful to have a reprieve from the intensity of that pain. Will it come back? I’ve felt inklings of the pain pushing to the forefront when overdoing it trying to walk, making up for lost time. It’s still quite painful to walk in my muscles and joints but the bones are holding. Every little niggle of bone pain though…. scares the hell out of me, jump-starting my anxiety with questions on whether or not it will come back. If they couldn’t give me a name for what I suffered, how can I know? The limbo it’s left me in is devastating and mind screwing as I simply don’t know if my ability to walk will be taken from me again. Granted, I can’t walk long without breaks or without pain but I can WALK!! Oh how so many take that for granted.

I’m one of those people who NEED to be productive. I’m a hard worker at heart and sitting here day in and day out watching life pass me by, watching things pile up, left undone, building my list of things need doing, just added to all the frustration and havoc swimming in my mind. I’m a doer. My release from anxiety, anger, and frustration is to clean or sing. I actually love to clean. How can one clean to release their frustration when they’re as disabled as I am? Yeah, kind of taking away my outlets for this bottled up frustration. I love to sing. Belting out a song as it washes away the tension and anger but guess what? Bet you never thought how much energy singing uses up. Guess what? It’s a lot. How something as simple as singing is taken for granted. Imagine being so physically fatigued and short of breath that you can’t even sing without wearing yourself out and putting yourself in bed to recoup. All of my outlets taken from me. The music finally came back to me this week. I can handle just a little more than I use to. It’s something.

My life’s journey has taught me a lot. Hind sight.. Oh hind sight. How do you impart your wisdom on your children and make them listen rather than having them suffer some of the same mistakes? How do you protect them from the health complications that can surely be passed down to them? They say many of what I suffer is not genetic and my kids have low risk of acquiring them. Guess what? My son has been suffering like I do. Imagine watching your child hurt from doing simple tasks. Imagine the pain and anger from watching your own child suffer physically knowing the end result and how your own medical journey took 15 years and no real treatment… Why? Doesn’t he have enough on his plate? That crushes me. I fear for my daughter.

Being such giving people and helping when able and watching your extended family walk all over you and take advantage of you after years of helping them… that’s crushing. Realizing that no, you’ll never have the full love and acceptance from a parent that you’ve been seeking all your 43 years. The reality that psychologically, that’s what I’ve been seeking and the crushing truth that the gene is simply missing in that one. It’s not going to happen. Time to toughen up on that front and quit seeking out the acceptance and need for that kind of affection. That ship has now sailed, door closed, chapter ended, reality has finally hit home. I can only do the best for my own children, giving them what I’ve never had and trying to correct my own mistakes from my own upbringing. Life is tough.

And why oh why do I have to have such heart?!!! Why do I have to care so much about others? Even those who take advantage of me, I worry about their own well-being and situation and my son says I’m too soft. I’m a bit of an empath so I can feel the emotions of others around me and even though I know some of them have made their own beds to lie in, I still feel the sadness and gut wrenching feelings for them and don’t want to add to their troubles even if they earned and deserve it. Maybe that’s why family takes advantage. Maybe they innately recognize my heart and know I’ll be the net to catch them when they fall. I don’t want to be that net anymore. I struggle enough trying to take care of my self, let alone, my children. Time for people to stand on their own feet and pull their big person pants on and take care of themselves. I’m burnt. I’m done. I just wish I didn’t have to feel the feelings I feel about it.

All the weight pressing me down and paralyzing me, numbing my mind and shutting me off till I’m simply not functioning anymore. The rock has crumbled. Pieces of me scattered about and broken down wondering how to put it all back together again. I fought so hard to rise above the ashes of my childhood only to sink into a pit of despair in my adulthood. The fighter in me weakened and left with little fight in me anymore. My children have suffered because of it. I feel the guilt from that. Why did my health have to continue to be taken till I was left a blob watching life pass me by and then more hell piled on top with all the other issues that have been added to it. Wasn’t my health enough? Yes, choices, some of my own choices are responsible for some of it. My brain no longer thinking as sharply as it once was and decisions made that never should have… hindsight. Will I ever be able to pull myself from this rut? Can I win the lottery?

Life’s Downward Spiral… Dreaming of the lottery…

I’m sitting here with a heavy feeling of depression in my gut and tears at the back of my eyes. I feel despondent and at a loss with gut wrenching disappointment and pain in my heart, dreaming of winning the lottery or coming into some money to pay off my debts and simply disappear to a new place far away from my current one. People have let me down. I have let me down. Family, what’s that anymore(?) have let me down.

What is wrong with people in our world?? Why is it that so many look to take advantage of others and then throw it in their face, blaming them instead of manning up and taking responsibility in life? Why?!

I’ve always been a giver, someone who would never leave my family to suffer without offering my hand. We’ve helped nearly every one of our family members at some point in life, even at the expense of ourselves, always at the expense of ourselves (my own family).

Finding out that family doesn’t have our back in kind, doesn’t care about all we’ve done, doesn’t even hold to their basic obligations is worse than a slap in the face. My son says I’m too soft. I’m a bit of an empath, absorbing the emotions of those around me and always trying to help those in need to the best that I’m able. We’ve made decent choices in life to get us where we are financially, living a middle class existence but even still have middle class bills so though we bring in more than some each month, we put out just as much, leaving us still struggling to stay on top of things. Yes, not the best choices and expensive bills. We could have done better. Hindsight..

We actually were doing better just a few years ago, finally paying off bills minus the mortgage and car and living in a nice house that we updated with blood, sweat, and tears as well as a lot of money. We didn’t bat an eye at an evening out for dinner or having a wild Christmas as we worked hard to get us in that place in life. (Or rather hubby did but my disability helps since my health was destroyed and so I guess I earned it by taking one for the team many many moons ago).

Yes, I spoil my children as is my right to do so and my money as well. It is not your business or anyone else’s why I do what I do or how I spend what I spend and most are long term consequences of growing up poor and living on the streets and not having the things my children now do so damn it, I earned that right!! And people who judge and think spoiled actions are the cause of certain behaviors from a child with disabilities can fuck off and try raising their own child with disabilities or maybe do a little research and realize that regardless of ‘things’ the children get, those with the same disabilities still act in kind. It’s the hand we were dealt and I know I’m not alone in this struggle as many many families have children with the same hardships and behaviors regardless of how their raised or the money they have. I’ve LEARNED that and it’s not hard to do a little research realizing the same so you can get off your high horse and quit assuming their, “simply spoiled..”

When you punch a 5 year old in the chest, leaving a red mark for hours, don’t you judge me. When you make your own decisions leaving yourself struggling financially, don’t judge me because we have and you do not. When you complain about having to pick up your own dog’s shit once a week saying my own dogs shits are bigger than her dogs shits… WTF? When you say that you want to live near us so you can help with our burden and don’t want to be a burden on us yet you move out leaving a room full of trash, not cleaned, furniture in our backyard and don’t bother to take care of your mess…. WTF? When you think your phone bill to me, that I pay for on my account, is not as important to pay as your other bills, constantly putting it off and paying late, leaving me asking for the money… WTF? (That’s all I’ve got for you, kid, cause you’ve grown up and become a man. Proud of you). When you call your son’s a pregnant wife a “fucking whore” just because and leave out pictures of his ex wife on purpose, someone you also hate… WTF? When you rant and rave during your son’s wedding, causing a scene and ruining the moment… WTF? When you look at my happy little ultrasound picture of the baby inside me and you say, “Looks like she has a penis nose…” WTF? When you purposely come out into the garage while my child is in a raging meltdown just to bate and record him, egging him on, WTF? When you ask whether I’m your sister or you landlord when I’m asking for money you owe me, WTF? When you lived barely paycheck to paycheck, sleeping on couches, cars, ect cause you didn’t have a home of your own and then you tell me living at my home is like living in a Palace and you’re grateful but then when money is due and you move out, not wanting to pay up and then complain about the living conditions, WTF?

I’m just sitting here with a heavy fucking heart thinking about, dwelling on, all the things family has said and done to me over the years and it just blows my mind. Yet we sold that beautiful home of ours to buy a run down giant fix me upper with tons of room and no storage so we can have a place for family to stay, mainly my mother who can’t afford to live on her own, and gave up our great neighbors, children’s friends, and a comfortable fat financial situation to live in a home at the top of our means, with credit cards and loans maxing out to do the necessary fixes to this crappy house and all I can think is hindsight…… Why the fuck can’t hindsight be foresight and work just as well in my disabled foggy ass brain? Cry me a river, I regret it all.

Now I sit here dreaming about winning the lottery after knowing where all the ungrateful family stands, wishing for that sliver of financial security again and a nice pot of gold so I can give what you gave and finally stand up tall against those who’ve thought it cool to simply take advantage cause we were in a good financial position and rather than working with us, you decided to work against us and act like an ass during the process.. That would be nice. My son says I’m too soft. Well I’m not so soft anymore. I’ve hardened my heart or will be after it’s done being broken and I finish my pity party, pull up my boot straps and start moving forward again. I dream of winning the lottery, knowing it’s not reality and like Murphy’s law, when your down on your luck, I already had the almost winning ticket with one number off on each one, like a taunt and a poke… and yet I still keep dreaming.

On top of all that, a man who thinks he’s rules the roost, taking money away from my mom’s spousal support, 4 of 5 hundred court ordered and yet he takes and she has no backbone or knowledge to get it handled, depending on me to help her while I sit here bitter knowing that she rarely helps in turn and yet on top of that money, he owes her 2100$ (ish) in tax money he stole, $1200 in the stimulus check wrongly deposited into his account, and half of a check sent from the escrow on the house they sold… He thinks he can continue to control and dominate her financially while getting away with it and ignoring the court’s order and so far he has. She just needs to file the paperwork which is actually not easy to find due to crappy court system but I’d already started it for her and she’s too intimidated to get it done, again, waiting on me. If I don’t help her then she’s stuck with very little funds to live off which means it falls on our shoulders in the end. That will change. Mark (his name, haha) my words. That WILL change. Only scumbags take money from others…. Seems a lot of those around.

I’m not perfect. I make my own mistakes, I’m a sucky parent, mostly due to being disabled and having severe fatigue and body wide pain keeping me laid up on my back most days and brain fog with sensory issues leaving me seeking peace and quiet due to brain overload and I feel the heavy guilt every single minute of it. The guilt weighs me down and drags me to dark places knowing I don’t provide enough of the emotional support my children need even though they are indeed spoiled, making it up in one area but leaving deficits in others and I hate myself because of it. If I had one wish between money and health, I’d choose health every time cause I have enough skills and knowledge to do great things and yet I sit here, a blob, doing nothing but day dreaming of winning that damn lottery.

This crisis with the virus has really given prime opportunity to see how family reacts and how seriously they take the health of others, namely myself who suffers too many health issues placing me at high risk. I found it to be the old folks, who are also suppose to be at risk, who could care the least, living with the mentality that they if they get the virus, oh well, not stopping to realize that those actions can directly affect me, or not caring in the least… Yup, I know where everyone stands now. A bitter little pill I’m left to swallow. Daydreaming about living in another state, Oregon maybe, and buying a little homestead with lots of trees, where I can live in my own little oasis in peace away from all those who don’t truly value family and put their needs above themselves, a trait ingrained into us military folks… So I sit and dream…..