Life Drama

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Huggles
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Life Drama

Post by Huggles » 29 Nov 2011 06:31 am

So, long time no post much of anything substantive. Here's where my life is and why I am angry, frustrated, and unexpectedly frightened.

My brother has a developmental disability and schizophrenia, or perhaps bipolar disorder. He currently lives in a residential home with another person, both of whom under the supervision of a private care group. I've never met his doctors. I barely know his caretakers. I don't know what medications he's taking or the detailed daily experience of his life or his treatment, or lack thereof. I don't know and I hate that I don't know. And I hate the reasons I don't know boil down to combination of my own mental illnesses, apathy, and cowardice. My mother is and has been his legal guardian for some years now since my parents separated. As has been observed by my father and me, and casually by the founder of the organization responsible for his care, my mother is not up to the task and in fact, though she vehemently denies it at any cost, has way of condescendingly speaking to and provoking him. Also, a fantastic ability to berate, chastise, and bully anyone so long as she doesn't perceive them as an authority figure. The result of which being me never having spoken to her as an adult or even a human being for over 15 years, and I still live in her house. It was only recently that after my father's absence from his life and treatment was due in great part to her obtaining guardianship and power of attorney over my brother. It took my brother spending a night in jail for assaulting a police officer and me crying hysterically in public for him to divulge this. We'll get to the exact details of recent events later. Suffice to say, I don't hate or even dislike my father, but I can't help but feel furious at the advice he told to give me which was to keep quiet out of fear of being kicked out of my house and denied access to my brother without any legal standing. An issue which keeps popping up again and again. I'm a completely broke college student with major depression, anxiety, and an obsessive compulsive disorder trying desperately to be able to support myself. I honestly don't think I have any reasonable means to support another human being at this point in my life, but I'm figuratively pulling my hair out at the incredible shit job everyone else seems to be doing. I've got one semester till I can transfer to a 4-year university and move out, but I feel like I'm already on borrowed time.

Let's back up a bit to what exactly has happened. My brother is a 6'2", 230lb, 32-year-old black man who at the time of writing this has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old child. At times, he has violent outbursts, directed almost exclusively to family members or care givers. During these outbursts, he clearly and obviously incapable of being reasoned with and completely not himself. Once subsided, he has no memory of the event in question, something that has been made even worse because of medicinal side effects. This was and is the only reason we decided that we could not keep him at home. He has to be with someone 24-7. I've gotten casually tossed into a stove and choked. My mother's been punched. I've had to had all the kitchen knives in my underwear drawer and spent a good 2-3 weeks be woken up by the police or the fire department banging on my bedroom door. We spent those initial months in and out of hospitals and coping centers, and have seen first hand what kind of care Social Security and Medicare get you in a public facility. Shameful as it is to say, he's done time in those places where they simply dole out the pills and then leave their "patients" to sit a room doing nothing. Providing nothing in the way of rehabilitation or even just simple stimulation aside from some chained up tv hanging from the ceiling. Then about 2 or 3 years ago we found "Susan" and that she'd had several residential homes not too far from us and a personal staff to provide assisted living to people with disabilities. He'd do little things like grocery shopping, visiting the library, or just wandering the mall. Occasionally, they'd take bigger trips; he's been to New York City and Detroit. All seemed to be going well aside from an outburst here or there and the odd trip to the coping center in our local hospital. Or perhaps, I just deluded myself into thinking that because it was better than a shitty asylum transplanted into the future from the 50's.

The alternatives I saw were so awful, I did nothing to personally investigate the time he almost died for fear of having to admit to the police and the judicial system that the people responsible for his care were incompetent and incapable of caring for him, thus remitting him to the care and mercy of our lovely governmental healthcare system. A short refresher, he was poisoned, I don't even know if it was fucking accidentally or not, when he and one of his aids at the time drank antifreeze that had been poured into a Hawaiian Punch juice container and left in that lovely spot by the kitchen where they bring groceries into the house from the garage. The aid only had a little sip before realizing it was off, but my brother being himself drank about 2 cupfuls of it. He was in a coma the same day they announced Michael Jackson had died. The poisoning was compounded with his medication and they were pretty sure he was going to die. The man responsible for this was fired, and claiming it as an accidental case of stupid, was never charged. This is how bad I thought the other options we had available were, that, or how much I chose not to care.

So enter what now, September? His primary care physician goes on holiday, leaving him and his monthly evaluation with another doctor. From my understandings of the events, some miscommunication occurred where he was prescribed a medicine that he had previously had adverse reactions to and had subsequently been removed from his regimen. A few days after this change in medications, he had a seizure. Leading up to and after the seizure he suffered severe memory loss, lethargy, and even more radical mood swings. During one of these episodes, an aid at the home called the police, and in the process of trying to subdue him, he struck a police officer. These officers chose to immediately arrest him, unlike any of times over the past few years. He was sent to a correctional facility alone and without his medication. Neither I nor my mother were allowed to speak with him during his overnight stay there. In the morning he was still in jail and the charges were put to him over fucking video court, with us in the courtroom, and him in jail without an attorney. He was later released for a hearing 2 weeks later. Released meaning that they probably stuck him on the corrections bus, alone, and dropped him the fuck off somewhere, alone. There were 3 or 4 groups of us between here and the neighboring city trying to find out exactly where and when he'd been released. My mom eventually picked him up, how, where and when I can't remember. Oh, and they wanted him to sign release forms while he was alone in the fucking jail. Yes. I'd really like my brother who can barely read sign papers given to him and take your word for it that there's nothing suspicious at all about that.

During the hearing, they drop the civil disobedience and disorderly conduct, but stick with the charge of assaulting an officer. His lawyer, who I finally meet that day, advises that we plea. Basically he had to admit he knew exactly what he was doing, he didn't, and promise that he wouldn't do again. He wouldn't go to jail, but he'd now have a record and set the precedent that he's admitted in court to be fully conscious of his actions. And what was the apparent other option here? Admit that he's crazy and that we can't take of him and that he's better off locked up somewhere for the rest of his life. So we take the plea. Fucking bullshit.

And now, again. The same thing. He's still recovering from the change in medication, still trying to find the right combination of medications, still not receiving any cognitive behavioral therapy that I know of, and being charged by the same officer with assault. And all the while I can't help but feel, this man I don't even know, is just a fucking prick. He's decided to become a lifeguard, jumped into the ocean to save someone from drowning, and then loses it when that person frantically trying not to drown, grabs hold of him and pulls him under. They've made it to the shore, but he's decided to charge them for attempted murdered and pushes for their punishment to be water-boarding.

This is my life and who I am, and for once I feel I can objectively state that it's pretty shit.

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AngharadTy
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Re: My mental ill and disabled brother might go to jail

Post by AngharadTy » 29 Nov 2011 06:44 am

Oh, man. That is a hell of a thing to go through. I'm so sorry... I hope you can use us as a place to vent, or ask advice, or anything at all we can help with, because you are our Huggles and NC is full of people who love you.

*hugs*
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Re: My mental ill and disabled brother might go to jail

Post by Fjorab_Teke » 29 Nov 2011 09:12 am

Wow, what Ty said. And i hope that something better comes through for him...and for you and your parents to get some sort of peace of mind for once.

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Re: My mental ill and disabled brother might go to jail

Post by Jessi » 29 Nov 2011 07:10 pm

Wow, Huggles... words and eloquence really fail me, but like Ty said, I really hope at the very least you can use this as a place to vent and turn to, and know you have many many listening ears and shoulders to rely on. I really hope things get sorted out in a way that it has the best results for your brother's care.

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Re: My mental ill and disabled brother might go to jail

Post by Huggles » 29 Nov 2011 08:06 pm

Thanks guys, it means a lot.

I emailed my instructor last night to tell him I wouldn't be in class today. Then I spent nearly all of last night trying to figure out what to do, and not getting any sleep. I've had insomnia for years now, but this was pure restlessness. This morning, I called a psychiatrist to make an appointment. I considered just packing up all my things, dumping them into my car, and staying in a motel just so I won't have to be here. But, then I realized that it's not even technically my car, it's my mom's.Then considered I waiting until my dad got off work and having him take me to used car dealership and just put one on my credit card, and then dump all of my stuff into it stay at a motel. I went to school for whatever reason, maybe to study all day, got breakfast and left immediately after eating since there's a good chance the streets would be flooded by the time I tried to leave. So now I'm back home again, eating mozzarella sticks and thinking I need a...nap.

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Re: My mental ill and disabled brother might go to jail

Post by Wingsrising » 29 Nov 2011 11:12 pm

I don't know what to say, except that that's awful that you and your brother are going through this. I'm so sorry, Huggles. :hugs:
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Re: My mental ill and disabled brother might go to jail

Post by Kantark » 30 Nov 2011 12:03 am

I don't know what I can add that hasn't already been said, I'm truly sorry to hear that you have this huge weight on your shoulders. I can only hope that someone involved with your brother's case takes a good, sensible look at this situation and sorts it out to his benefit. Stay strong, Huggles *hugs*
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Re: My mental ill and disabled brother might go to jail

Post by Jazzy » 30 Nov 2011 12:10 am

I'm so sorry, Huggles. Do you have anyone official that you can turn to for advice? Some citizens' advice body, mental health advocacy, or even a civil rights group?

Make sure you look after yourself, as well.

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Huggles
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Re: My mental ill and disabled brother might go to jail

Post by Huggles » 01 Dec 2011 11:30 pm

So, I've taken the day off of work and talked to some of the human resources people there to try go through my employer's something or other policy to try and get a lawyer or council or something. And I've talked to my dad and we've agreed to pretend that nothing's out of the ordinary to try and get into contact with my brother's lawyer through my mom. At this point though, if I can't figure out a way to get around her to try and fix things, I'm willing to lie my ass off and kiss hers and pretend that I wuv her very much and I'm very sorry about the whole passive aggressive nonsense she barely notices.

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Re: My mental ill and disabled brother might go to jail

Post by Themacwe » 08 Jan 2012 06:17 pm

Hey there, it's really tough to have a family member with schizophrenia... My best friend who I see almost every day, his brother suffers from I and every day is a struggle. His medications help, but the police are over every month or two due to some sort of incident. They also had to file several police reports due to assaults and such. It's very stressful and although I don't have even a close idea as to what it's like... I wish your family luck

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