A Discussion About Mental Illness

I suffer from mental illness. Also known as mental injuries. Those injuries are depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It makes me different from other people. It sets me apart in that life seems just more difficult than it would otherwise without those illnesses. Every person is unique. We all have “mental health” but not everyone has a mental illness. It’s different. It’s unique. It’s not exactly desirable.
What do I think of this? I’m sure a lot of people have mental health “issues” but staying in bed for 48 hours straight on the weekend feels somewhat debilitating. That is just one way my illness manifests itself. I have a lot of respect for people who work in the mental health field, such as my therapist and my psychiatrist. It takes a lot of compassion to work with people who have mental injuries that are chronic.
Then there are the crying spells. I do have times where I just need to cry to release the sadness. It’s a release of negative energy which has built up over time. But then again, I’m not the only person who can cry after watching a sad movie, right? I recently watched the movie “I am Sam” and cried twice throughout the movie. There were some very sad parts, and the sadness spills into my personal life and my emotions that I have just about daily living.


Sometimes living is hard. Sometimes I would rather be dead. But I know there are a lot of people who know me who would rather see me live my life, preferably a productive (meaning, happy) life, and I try to live up to those expectations. It takes a lot of patience, which I don’t always have. When life is going well I dream a lot of things about my future, such as buying a condo one day or going back to school.
Living takes a lot of grit. No one ever said life would be easy, and it really isn’t! It’s hard. We get tired, overworked, exhausted emotionally and physically, and then we have to recover. But living with a mental illness takes just a little bit more effort than it would for the average person to get through each and every day.


Being suicidal takes an enormous amont of effort and energy. With suicidality comes a lot of anxiety, anxious feelings that are intrusive and interfere with whatever else is going on at the moment. When I am suicidal I can’t work, I just sit at my desk making plans for ending my life and finding comfort in the fact that my life could end soon, that the emotional pain would soon go away. Suicide is not selfish, it’s an act of desperation to end emotional pain. If you ever come across a suicidal person, just listen and be there. No special words are needed, except your presence and for them to feel like they are not alone. Luckily I haven’t been suicidal for a number of months now. I am just living my life day to day doing the best that I can.

A Piece of Writing

What makes music so beautiful? What makes it so perfect? What makes it so special? Why is it that I am crying at the mere thought of creating such beauty when I know I don’t have the skill, but to listen. What is it about music which produces tears?


Watching the Soloist this evening, on my phone, since I don’t own a television, brought some humanity to my otherwise mundane days. I’ve felt lately that I have no purpose in life. Yes, I am my dog’s mom. I am a good friend to a few people. I am a sister and a daughter and a patient to a very special therapist. But there are days I wish that my life would just end.


I don’t have the skill when it comes to creating great melodies but I do have words and with my words I sing until I feel better, until I have created a picture of something that I could imagine swallowing whole, like swallowing a pill to make things seem better if only for a few moments.


Somewhere in life there has to be a purpose for me still being here. My mother has counted the number of times I’ve tried to take my life. Maybe it helps her. I’ve lost count and I dream of the end of my pain all the time. I just want my pain to end. When I looked up the year The Soloist was released, in 2009, it brought me back to my painful years of being abused. The feeling never quite leaves you, when you’ve experienced that much pain in your life. The feeling of being raped, of having every aspect of your life controlled and not having a say, it never quite leaves you. I want to keep practising saying “no” because my “no” was disregarded so many times. It just wasn’t a thing.


I feel like I have a wet beard because my tears have traveled down the length of my face and have stopped at the hairs of my chinny chin chin. And just like that, with the swipe of a long-armed sleeve, they are gone. My piano has been vacant for over two months, not being played, no sounds being produced. All I can do is sleep on the weekends. I don’t make a sound. I don’t disturb anyone but myself and the waves I make with followers on my Twitter account. It’s as if I don’t exist and I really don’t care to exist.


Pain makes tears seem easy. Some people who have experienced pain cannot bring themselves to cry, and they’ve envied my tears. It’s true! Tears are a way of releasing emotions that have built up, festering, for some time. They come and they go, just as emotions do. The pain comes, and then the pain goes, and somehow, I get to live in the present with the past in the past, once again, where it belongs.

Yet Another Suicide Plan Averted

It’s half past ten o’clock in the evening on a Saturday night. I was, frankly, supposed to be dead by now. I’m not sure what triggered me. Whether it was staying in bed all day for days on end and being angry with myself for that, or the violent television programs that I’ve unfortunately been watching. Whether it was triggered by a flashback of my traumatic past (I think I would remember a flashback) or by my incessant self-hatred, which also stems from being abused. All I can say is that my therapist is in the business of saving lives and helping people live their best life possible. I am grateful for him.

Twenty-four hours ago I sent a message to my brother saying goodbye. He promptly phoned me and we talked for a while. I felt better after we had talked, and less suicidal. My plan had been to go through with my suicide plan after seeing my therapist one last time for our regular scheduled session. But as usual, with a good night’s sleep, and with having spoken with my brother, I was much less determined to kill myself. And by the time my therapy session was over, I had decided to not go through with it.

Am I glad to be here still? Yes. Plus, death is violent, no matter how you try and sugarcoat it for yourself. Me causing my own death would have been a violent act. Plenty of people, including my dog, would have been left with confusion and heartache. It was very impactful at the end of our session when my therapist, who has known me for twelve years, said that he would have been sad if I had killed myself.

But I was so determined to do it. I was sure that this was the answer and solution to solve my pain. Not healing. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to be healed because that would take away the option of suicide as a way out. If I were healed, fully and completely, then I wouldn’t want to kill myself anymore. I’ve been suicidal for almost a decade, off and on. What would I be without the option to die by suicide? I would have to live out the rest of my life and, well, that scares the shit out of me.

I’m glad to be here still. I’m glad I get another chance at life. I get to have the option of having a family one day. I get to have the chance at holding my brother’s baby in my arms and becoming an aunt one day. I don’t have to end things now. I am “free, pure, and blessed,” as one of my former mentors used to say. Any positive self talk I can get, I will take it, as it’s far and few in between. I am here to stay.

So I’m here. “Free, pure, and blessed,” as a former mentor of mine used to say. I have my life ahead of me. For this damaged yet vibrant woman in her mid-to-late thirties, there will be a tomorrow. I have another chance at life. I have the opportunity to continue healing. I have the chance to grow. I might have a family some day. I might get to experience the joy of becoming an aunt and holding my brother’s baby in my arms. Just maybe, the darkest days won’t hold be captive any longer and I can break through the muddy muck of awful thoughts to find a morcel of hope which will carry me through until tomorrow, and then the next day and the next, one day at a time.

More On My Inpatient Experience

I am about to have my hearing with a court official. A lady who is a patient advocate came and spoke with me. She is going to speak on my behalf. I’m a little bit scared because the prospect of speaking with a court official is daunting. I’m so glad that I live in America. I think that the health system, especially for mental health, is better here than it is in the U.K., for example. Even the ability to have a court hearing is amazing.

An older, retired couple is coming to visit me at noon today. The doctor said that the levels of my liver went up today, which I guess is not good. My poo has been black, which is the charcoal they made me drink right after the overdose. I can’t believe that it’s five days later and the charcoal is still in my system. It was so disgusting to drink. Let me say one thing though: I think I’m glad to be alive right now. Had I died, my mother and my brother would have been devastated. You can’t recover from something like that, when someone close to you dies of suicide. I don’t know and cannot know what it’s like because it hasn’t happened to me, but I can imagine. I can imagine.

Now I’m just waiting. I don’t know if I will feel like typing this up later for my blog. My new roommate, Olga, is making her bed and straightening her things. There are some construction workers directly outside of the window so we have the curtains closed and the light on, instead of using the daylight. Honestly, right now, I am just waiting for my hearing and I am curious to know what the result will be, whether I’ll get to leave or not.

I am on a 14-day hold and I have 11 days left. That does not mean that I have to stay all 11 days if the doctor deems it safe for me to go home. I did not win my court hearing. The court official ruled that I am still a danger to myself and that I need to stay in the hospital. There is something called a writ of Habeas Corpus and it’s a hearing in the actual courthouse. To me it’s not worth it and I know I just have to work with my doctor and his treatment plan. My former doctor here, his wife died, and that is why he is not here. He must be at least 75 years old now.

My friends should be coming any time now. I put on a fresh shirt for them because I had sweated being out in the sun on the patio earlier today. My shirt stunk! I should probably get my hair trimmed at some point. It has been a year and a half since I last got my hair cut and there are a plethora of split ends.

It’s about late afternoon. I’ve definitely had urges to hurt myself. Definitely. I need to see my Samuel again, my little dog. I have to make it out so I can see him. My poor little dog without his human Mommy. Poor thing. I bet he misses me too.

When we were doing beading to make bracelets, I snuck some pieces of the plastic elastic band into my pocket and then once I was in my room I tried putting it around my neck. But it didn’t do anything so I threw all but one piece away. The bedroom doors have windows in them and the bathroom doors in the bedrooms have no locks. It’s better than in the ICU where the bathrooms had only curtains for doors. Damn it. I want to hurt myself so badly. But I am fighting the urge by writing. Writing is my anchor and my life vest; it keeps me afloat.

I got angry earlier and I was having anxiety. They told us at the wrap up group that we get 30 minute sessions on computers but the computer itself has a timer for 60 minutes. Rhonda, our floor staff, the lady with the red hair, told us to speak up if we want computer time. So I asked both women who were using the computers when I could return for my turn and they both said, ¨I don´t know.¨ I got angry on the inside. After telling a nurse about what had happened, I went back to my room and writing saved me yet again.

I took the velvet art I had made today and turned it into a postcard. I addressed it to my Mum and her husband and left it at the nurse’s station to be mailed out. Then, after I had gotten some decaf coffee from the kitchen, which was still open because the patients were finishing up dinner, my roommate started talking to me. Her name is Ana and she came to America when she was six years old from Russia. She is 27 and got married at the same age as me, at 22. Several people have told me that I look a lot younger than 35, so I guess I have that to my advantage. I need to get out of here so that I can see my dog and pour out my love onto him. I need to get out, I need to get out and I need to live and to stay alive.

 

My Experience of Being Inpatient

The inspiration to write doesn’t always come. Sometimes I just have to make the decision to write, sit down, grab a pen, and see what comes. Then, once I get going, writing becomes easier to continue. It seems less daunting.

I haven’t written any poetry since I’ve been here. Just a few pages in my flimsy hospital-issued journal. The first few days that I was hospitalized I just didn’t get up out of bed. Not at all. My body was completely exhausted after what I had put it through. The overdose of over-the-counter medication really messed up the functioning of my liver, but apparently the liver is one of the organs that, if treated well, can regenerate itself.

My doctor is going to d/c (discontinue) my one-to-one patient status. This means that I don’t have to have someone following me wherever I go, including to the bathroom and the shower, and having someone watch me while I sleep.

It’s snack time right now and one of the benefits of having a one-to-one is that I am allowed to go to places where other patients cannot go. I already had my snacks half an hour ago and right now we are sitting out on the back patio where the calming water fountain is and no one else is out here.

My inpatient doctor just added a new medication on top of the three I already take. He said he doesn’t want me to kill myself in response to me saying I don’t want to add a new medication. I can’t really argue with that.

I graduated from the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) to ITP (Intensive Treatment Program). It’s a step up in the world. Plus, not having a one-to-one any longer is a huge accomplishment and it’s one step closer to getting out of the hospital altogether. I have certain responsibilities at my job and in taking care of my precious Samuel, my adorable puppy who is no longer a puppy because he is eight years old now.

I am thinking about writing a poem. It’s nice to be thinking about that rather than thinking about ways to hurt myself.

We had our afternoon community meeting. I was able to get a shirt from the donations pile and I really like it. It has flowers on it and they are teal blue. The floor staff are talking about when they are going to be taking their lunch breaks and about a nonspecific incident that happened on Friday and who was the first responder.

I need to be off of my one-to-one so that I can shave my chin hairs. Most women, I´ve discovered, have the unfortunate pleasure of having to deal with chin hairs. Some pluck, some wax, some shave, and some do laser hair removal treatments which is what I have been doing.

A bird flew down to the ground near the entryway to the patio and pulled out a Fig Newton from under a chair. He was very bold. When he got done he flew away.

The Immediate Aftermath of My Suicide Attempt

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Today is mother’s day. I took an overdose several days ago and now my liver isn’t functioning so well. Basically, I damaged my liver. There is hope for recovery, physically as well as mentally.

On Wednesday, I left work early and headed to Costco. I had already made up in my mind what I was going to do. I know that a week from now, this is all going to be a blur and I won’t remember much of anything. The 24 hours following my overdose we like living a nightmare. I texted two of my friends what I had done. I also texted the crisis hotline. I pretty much passed out on the floor of the entryway to my home and my neighbour gave the cops the passcode to the lockbox under the stairwell where an extra set of keys was kept.

Before I realized it there were about ten people in dark uniforms inside of my home. By this point I couldn’t interact intelligibly, however, as soon as they got me on the emergency gurney, I fought them and tried to get out. So in addition to the seatbelts, they strapped me down by my wrists and my ankles.

Honestly, I can’t believe that people make such a big deal about wanting to kill themselves. I don’t get it, why saving a life is so important. Its like you feel all alone, isolated and hopeless and all of a sudden all of these people show up to try to save your life. It doesn’t make sense to me.

I just had my nurse read the previous paragraphs and what I wrote really touched her. She got tears in her eyes and she told me that life is a gift and that life is precious. Her name happens to be ¨Precious.¨

Just Your Average Sunday of Suffering…

Why do I have to suffer so much? Can I just please minimize my problems in a self-deprecating way and say that others have it so much worse? I have a car, a nice home, a good job, so how could things possibly be bad? Well, I could be dirt poor or super rich too and still suffer the same as I’m suffering now. Depression has nothing to do with socioeconomic status, although, those who have money get the best treatment options. For example, there’s a DBT program (dialectical behaviour therapy) but it would cost me an extra $1,100 per month and that’s just not in my budget. My roommate is listening to something upbeat right now and it’s driving me crazy. I want to tell her to shut it off.

It’s Easter Sunday. Happy Easter, everyone! Well, the “happy” in there is just a figure of speech and well-wishing but it does not apply to my Sunday. I actually made it to a church service, the last of four services offered by my church. It started at 11:30. I cried when the band played the introductory songs. Then during the service, I cried a bit more. Then when I went for prayer at the prayer team at the end of the service I cried a lot more. I told her that I wanted her to pray that my depression doesn’t kill me. She’s obviously experienced with knowledge in this area because the first thing she asked me was, “have you ever attempted?” That was just over six months ago, my last attempt, but I’ve attempted many times before. Her second question was, “Do you have a plan.” I answered “no” and I was being truthful.

There’s a traditional Italian cake called a Colomba and it’s very similar to the Pannetone they have around Christmas and new year’s. My Mum sent me one and that’s literally all I’ve eaten today. I finished off the day, after a long nap which prevented me from self-harming, with some beans, cooked kale and sundried tomatoes mixed together. The rice had gone off so I had to throw that away. Yesterday I stayed in bed all day. From 10:00 PM Friday night to 9:00 AM Monday morning I’ve been out of bed for a cumulative four hours. My back was hurting this morning from having been in bed so much. Being asleep during the day and having nightmares just seemed easier to bear over being awake and having to deal with the reality of being alive.

I didn’t want to die yesterday, but today I was on Twitter and saw an article about a young woman who had suicided. There were photos of the self-harm scars on display and it completely triggered me. I went from wanting to cut myself to thinking about jumping off a bridge or somehow drowning… okay. I’ll stop there. Let me just say that I let my imagination run a bit wild whilst I was texting with the crisis line. They have my name saved because they knew my name without me telling them. I guess I text in for help a lot. Their main concern is that I don’t have a plan that I’m going to carry out immediately and if I do they would try to get me help. It’s mainly just someone to talk with when the most painful and overwhelming emotions are happening.

Now I’m overwhelmed and exhausted just having typed out that last paragraph. I’ve been wanting to write a post all weekend but just haven’t had the energy. I barely have any energy now. But the last time I showered was Wednesday night so that’s one thing I have to make myself do tonight. I don’t know what it is, but in my mind showering is one of the hardest things to get myself to do. The actual act of it isn’t but it’s the stories I tell myself in my mind that make it hard. I would just rather never shower and at the same time, I can’t go to work with a greasy head of hair. I discovered dry shampoo which is amazing, so amazing, but since my last roommate moved out six months ago I haven’t bought any. I would always just use hers, with her permission of course.

I got behind on handwashing dishes so I am running the dishwasher now as they were beginning to pile up high in the sink. I don’t consider having to run the dishwasher a failure, however, I do feel bad that my roommate has to put up with my dirty dishes being in the sink. I do not know how some people are just so diligent about washing a dish right after using it. That almost never happens for me. I just don’t have that kind of motivation, perseverance, diligence, or whatever you want to call it.

I think that’s about enough from me for today. I thank you for attending to my words, my lovely reader, and for being a part of my life for these few moments which you have spent reading my journal entry. Thank you for letting me be a part of your day and I truly wish you all the best. Even though I suffer from depression, I am a loving and caring person. It’s much easier to love other people than myself. That’s why I tell my therapist I love him, because if I can’t love myself then I at least have someone I can love. Everyone needs love in their life.

A Reflection on Coming Back to the Present Moment

I have just been waiting for this moment, a moment where I can sit down and have the motivation to write a journal entry in my blog. I think about it a lot but the actuality of doing it is more daunting, even cumbersome. So here I am on a Sunday morning drinking French Vanilla coffee from a special mug with my small dog in my lap and laptop off to my side. I can hear birds chirping as I have my patio door open, which typically is a rare occurrence. The weather is so nice outside, I just decided to slide the door open.

These are sensory things, grounding things, things to keep me in the present moment. If I notice what is around me, and follow my senses of touch, taste, sound and smell (am I missing one?) then I can stay in the room. However, my mind wanders and goes to other places, far-off distant lands which have nothing to do with my present surroundings. I suppose that is called dissociation. I can be sitting with my therapist and he can be talking and I won’t have registered any of the sentences because I was still busy in my mind bringing myself back to the present moment. My therapist is kind and patient and he doesn’t mind repeating himself for me.

Last week I was suicidal. That was maybe a week and a half ago actually. When I am feeling suicidal it’s like there is an emergency happening in my mind and there are invisible and silent alarm bells going off in my body telling me that I am in crisis. I can be sitting quietly at my work desk and someone could walk by and not notice anything unusual, whereas in reality I am panicking and frantically texting with the crisis hotline to get help and calm the emotional storm. But that’s really what it is, isn’t it? It’s a big storm, something you really have no control over, but you have to hold onto the fact that it will eventually pass and the waters will be calm again and the clouds will be gone, letting the sunlight shine in. For many years I lived in a fog of dark, dark clouds and the possibility of the sun shining into my being was close to nil. These days, things are different. I still feel suicidal but I seem to be able to get out of that state more quickly than ever in the past.

Just over six months ago I took an overdose to end my life. You see, however, I didn’t really want to end my life as in dying. I wanted to kill myself as a punishment to feed my self-hatred and mostly to end the suffering which consisted of overwhelming emotional pain and a deep sea of sadness. There is more sadness these days in my life than anger. Yesterday, seven years ago, is the day I packed up my car and left my abuser. It was either going to be leaving him or kill myself because I couldn’t go on living like that. I have many memories and at times they are intrusive, and I find it best for me not to verbalize any of those memories, lest they become more real and concrete in my mind to the possibility of retraumatizing me. So these images and memories come up as flashes in my mind which involve the visual aspect of memory as well as thoughts and words associated with that memory. As long as I don’t say any of this out loud then the images will fade away. If I were to describe them it would just extend my discomfort.

Those images, those flashes of memory, used to scare me and make me feel that I was living those moments over again and again. I couldn’t sleep with the light off because many bad things happened to me at night. I have to remind myself even now, that nothing he did to me was ever my fault. He was ill in his mind and the things he did to me were not okay and not normal. The sad thing is though, that it was my normal. I didn’t know any different. I was young and naive and I didn’t believe in divorce. Even though I’m the one who physically left (he changed the locks to our home right away) there was a big part of me that couldn’t imagine life without him. He had controlled every aspect of my life including what I wore and how I got my hair cut. I had no say, and when I did try to refuse or speak up or say no, it would be met with emotional turmoil because, in a sense, he punished me by making me feel bad and by making me believe that everything that happened was my fault and not his.

That’s enough talk of the past. I just realized I was starting to go to a bad place in my mind and I needed to come back to the present. I was verbalizing things from the past which are better left there, in the past. I can hear my dog snoring in my lap, which is very comforting and which I happen to think is adorable. My coffee is now luke-warm but still tastes good. I think I am going to make scrambled eggs for breakfast and of course, I have to use a whole bunch of salted butter, to make it really good! You see? Now I actually have a smile on my face and there is less tension on my cheeks, forehead and eyebrows. I’m back where I need to be, in the present where I can hear the birds singing. My roommate just woke up and her noise will also help keep me in the present.

From suicidal one week to looking to become a first-time homebuyer! Really. Due to circumstances, which is that my landlord wants to sell the place I live to me or to someone else and that I can’t afford it, I have begun to work with a real estate agent. I know nothing about home buying and now I am about to hopefully become an expert at it. I can’t afford much but I am hoping to buy a two bedroom, two bathroom condo. My commute to work will be extended by at least an additional half hour if not more because I cannot afford to live any longer in the central location of town where I live now. So there you have it. I’m thinking about my future whereas just prior to that I didn’t want my future to be continued at all. It’s just that, I don’t actually want to die. I just want the pain and sadness to end. That’s what plagues me. That’s what makes me suffer. That’s what needs to change and I myself need to make that happen. I’m going to keep working hard at it every day and when bad things come up in my mind, I will always do my best to come back to where I am in the now, the present, the reality of things. For memories can seem real but they are not and they are not happening any longer. That’s the hardest thing, to remember they aren’t actually happening when I’m remembering them.

Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it. You know, very few people read these words that I write yet I appreciate every single person who lets me know they read my journal entry by clicking on the “like” button. It warms my heart that my story, my experience, my words, became a part of your life if only for five or ten minutes whilst you were reading this. Thank you for existing, thank you for being you, thank you for gracing my words with your attention, and I hope your day continues with peace and comfort. Just remember, when you are suffering, you are never alone. Let me say it again: you are never alone.

Sometimes

Sometimes I just want to shout out. But not Hallelujah. It’s more like, “Aaaaah! Urg. Ugh. Grr. OMFG.” Yeah, that’s what I want to convey. I just can’t stand having mental illness sometimes. I mean, it’s an illness, a real illness and it’s not the same as a physical illness so people don’t always give it credit. Damn the stigma.

I’m travelling up North to see my brother and my Mum is flying in. He’s going through a divorce but we still intend to enjoy the trip. My Mum bought squid ink pasta because I had brought some to her from Italy last year, but do you know how expensive this stuff can be?? It’s crazy expensive and it doesn’t taste much different than regular pasta. It’s a normal thing in an Italian grocery store but not in America.

I’ve been spending a lot of time cultivating my online community on Instagram. It just feels good to connect with people who are also passionate about mental health. I’m not much of a person to pick up a book and read and I definitely don’t spend my time watching television or movies, it just doesn’t interest me. So if I spend my time on Instagram, then so be it.

I’ve started to perform my poetry. I’ve been writing for years and years and now I am finally making it a point to “get out there” and let the world know that I exist. Of course, it always starts small, like at an open mic in my town and my community. But I would like for more people to know about my poetry one day. I happen to think it’s very good! I put my heart and my soul into my poetry and it really consumes my life outside of work.

Work was stressful this week. I didn’t feel suicidal until Thursday but Monday and Tuesday were long and by Tuesday night I was craving alcohol to drown out the noise and depression in my mind. Wednesday I gave in and had a glass of wine at a restaurant that is within walking distance from my home and I got incredibly drunk off of it. Then the next night I had some bubbly at an event. I think I’ve gotten it out of my system now. For the last five weeks straight I have been crying during my therapy hour. It’s like the trauma memories all build up inside of me and then I can release it when I am in a safe space, such as therapy. Thank God for my therapist and God bless him.

I like that I can talk and write without a filter here. I mean, for the most part, my blog is anonymous, meaning I don’t share my given name. Eventually, I might come fully out with my story of past abuse and resulting depression, including many years when I was suicidal every single day. But for now, I just enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts and feelings and my life experience as it unfolds. I am grateful to you, my reader, for soaking in the words I have written and letting it be a part of your experience today. In a way, you are experiencing my experience through my sharing. I think that is a beautiful thing.

My grandmother’s third death anniversary just passed and I didn’t make the time to call my grandfather for the occasion. I should probably call him today. Duty calls (to make a pun). Oh, I’m so punny! I love that expression. Hey, I’m just trying to have fun with words here leading off of a not so happy subject like my grandmother’s death three years ago.

So now both of my grandmothers are gone and I have one grandparent left, on my mother’s side. The word for “maternal grandfather” in Hindi is “Nana” and that’s what we call him. The word for “paternal grandfather” is “Baba” and that is what my cousins call him. It’s not very complicated when that’s what you grew up knowing all of your life.

There is an organization for at-risk youth which I volunteer with a few times a month. Even though it makes for a longer day, working 8 hours and then being with the kiddos for two and a half more hours, it gives me energy. I enjoy it so much that it regenerates my energy and fills me with happiness and hope. This job means so much to me. If entry-level positions in the mental health industry didn’t pay so little, that is what I would be doing full-time. But since I have to pay the bills and rent, I work at a bank. I do pretty good work there too.

Today I have to do laundry, go grocery shopping and maybe to Target to get paper towels and water filters which we are out of. But I’ve literally been putting off some of these tasks for over a month. Every weekend which comes around just wants to be filled with poetry creations and through my art I have no time for practical things such as getting a filter for our drinking water jug.

Right, so now, this is long enough and I bid you farewell until the next time. Thanks for taking the time to be a part of my life experience by reading. Loads of love!

 

 

 

Letter to the Victims Compensation Program

Letter from the Victims Compensation Program:

“You recently submitted the application listed above for crime victim compensation.”

“We reviewed the application and found that we do not have everything we need to consider it complete. We need additional information before we can continue to work on your application. Please provide the following information on the attached form and return it to us by mail or fax within 10 days.”

“No good cause reason for late application”

“The law states that an application for compensation must be filed within three years of the date of the crime, three years after the victim turns 18, or three years from the time it could have reasonably been known that a crime took place, whichever is later. Additionally, an application based on any crime eligible for prosecution under Section 801.1 of the Penal Code may be filed any time prior to the victim’s 28th birthday. The Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) may, for certain reasons, consider extending the filing period.”

“You submitted your application past the filing time limit, but did not tell us why. To help us determine if the filing limit can be extended, please answer the questions on the attached Late Reason Reply Form.”

“The law authorizes the Board to establish maximum rates and service limitations for reimbursement of outpatient mental health counseling services. Regulations provide an incremental approach to outpatient mental health service limitations. A claimant is limited to an initial number of sessions (15, 30 or 40) depending on how he or she qualifies.”

 

My response: The crime did not just take place in 2005. It was 6 years of abuse that I suffered, which ended in 2012. As a result of crimes committed against me I have suffered 4 years of mental health issues including suicide attempts. I did not have the courage or emotional strength to go to the district attorney with my story until last month because I was previously too suicidal and would have likely made another suicide attempt had I come forward sooner. The DDA was willing to open the case again based on my previous suicidality and I am asking you to reconsider as well. I did not know the victims fund existed prior to June 2016.