Please excuse my absence…

Hey, thanks for coming. It’s been a busy and intense few weeks, so I’ve been too busy avoided writing. If I’m honest, I’ve avoided any scenario where I might have time or reason to think too deeply about what’s been happening.

So, baby steps, right? Below is a bulleted list of events, at least what seems relevant to the story, in the best facsimile of a timeline that I can muster right now.

  • On Friday 5/14/2021 someone I care about (they’re now named SICA) was admitted to the Emergency Department Psych-Holding-cell thingy.
    • They were admitted via Police escort after asking several neighbors to call the police on them.
    • During this pilgrimage SICA wore only his socks, and continually smoked pot both on the road (legal here) and in various sheds/garages of said neighbors.
    • His first visit happened around 7:30 AM, and continued through the day until he was picked up by local PD around 4:15 pm.
  • SICA had been increasingly manic for months, with changes in behavior, mood and habits first noted earlier last fall.
    • This coincides with a dramatic increase in his pot use, changing from an occasional user to what appears to be habitual daily use. Judging from the smell & his behavior he’s stoned during almost all of his waking hours.
  • SICA’s spouse ultimately granted his request and called 911. While waiting for emergency services she attempted to give him his shoes; but he insisted she just ‘leave them on the edge of the sidewalk’ and kept his hands raised, feet in socks, facing the road until the police arrived.
  • SICA is adamant that he isn’t in need of psychiatric help, but that is all a ‘miscommunicaiton’ due to his wife’s incompetence.
    • He also insists that if they ‘just went to couples therapy’ everything could be sorted out.
  • SICA, in addition to just being off/manic over the past few months, went full-on crude n’ cruel when admitted to the ‘psych holding cell’. He sent text messages, made facebook posts, and repeatedly expressed himself in a way that was…alarming at best.
    • This behavior included calling the house 8-15 times in a row, leaving increasingly agitated messages & occasional veiled threats.
    • He also started a text chain with his wife and adult son, making demands, accusations, and more thinly veiled threats.
    • From May 14-May 17th he was held under 24 observation. I was told repeatedly he would be Sectioned (Admitted for 72 hours for psych evaluation because he’s considered a harm to himself or those around him)
    • I was told this by the crisis clinicians who did his initial evaluation, and by members of the Crisis staff who had interacted with him throughout the weekend. (Yes I was on a release of information for SICA & could legally obtain said information….which I had to prove to each new shift nurse who answered the phone…)
    • BUT THEN…. Monday morning I called to do my morning check-in and was notified that a bed had been found for him, and he would be moved to an actual psych ward where therapeutic intervention could occur!
      • Remember: up until this point he had been in the Emergency Department Psych-Holding-Cell, on a renewable 24-hr observational hold until he could be admitted.
    • I was then notified that he would be given the option to voluntarily admit himself, and if he refused he would be sectioned. When I asked about the reasoning for this the clinician told me something along the lines of “He’s more likely to stay for treatment if he goes voluntarily”.
      • Ok, sure lady, I’m not a mental health worker but I’ve been on this ride before and have yet to see it play out like that. But sure, yeah, you do you…
    • On May 18th he was seen for the actual psych eval, at which point he exercised his right and requested to leave ASAP.
    • He was discharged 72 hours later with a minor medication adjustment, per the law. This is despite the family continuing to advocate for their safety & that they felt unsafe, a lack of conversation regarding a “Safe Discharge Plan”, and zero plan for further supports/treatment.

So, here we are. Nearly two weeks later. SICA continues to be aggressive towards his family. His moods cycle rapidly, his memory is spotty at best, and he is ignoring recommendations from the Psych he saw (as well as his PCP) that he should refrain from smoking pot.

Why haven’t I posted? Well, this whole ordeal has left me spinning a bit. I went through all of this with my Mom on multiple occasions over the years. From involuntary admissions to bed searches to Safe Discharge plans…I’ve run the gamut. While I’m glad I was able to use that experience to help those I love, and in some sense reframe my interactions with these systems, it’s still left me with a lot of shit.

Shit like remembering how my Mom acted in the ward. How one day she was like a frightened child but three days before she’d been trying to physically hurt me for reasons I can’t remember/never know/will never understand.

Also remembering my Dad’s advice, and how he helped me to understand that what she was going through wasn’t something I needed to go through with her. That supporting her didn’t always mean I had to “be there”, and that my own life needed living outside of her issues.

Then, of course, there’s remembering all those years Dad wasn’t there and I did it alone….

I think it’s sufficient to say it’s been intense.I’ll update if it continues to be relevant for my life, but mostly I plan to write more regularly. What I *actually* write is anyone’s guess, buuuut I’m guessing grief will make an appearance.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for coming & see you soon,



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