Tuesday, May 20, 2008
It started first thing in the morning. My brother had called me to let me know mom was missing again. As he was telling me about the charade the night before, with the police creeping up on him while he slept because my mother had gone to the police station and started to file a complaint against him only to walk out when the officers left her alone for a minute. They had no choice but to look into the matter. Mid-conversation she slammed into the house, in a rage asking if my brother and father were having fun. She started slinging insults and acting down-right-out belligerent. My brother hung up with hopes of my mom swinging at one of them again, so they could press charges and hopefully get her into the system with some psychological, medical attention she so desperately needs.

Not a half hour later, my father was on the phone again letting me know he had called 911 and intended to get the police out there to take her away. She had kicked and hit him - but at a whole of 90lbs, it hardly hurt and he felt stupid for attempting to press charges; but hoped it may actually get her help as he’d been previously advised.

The next time the phone rang, it was my father with an officer who told me that pressing charges will do mom no good, since it will restrict my father from being able to go over and help her, and really he is the only one trying to make sure she eats. The same officer said she could not arrest my mom or have her taken to the hospital again. Suicide is not a crime here, according to Ruth C. The police are not the right people to be in contact with, she insisted. We needed to get in touch with a doctor because they have the authority to have my mother evaluated against her will, according to the Mental Health Act of British Colombia.

We decided pressing charges wasn’t the best option. We decided to take the day and as a family try and get help from the medical society. Our first stop was a clinic that specializes in Mental Disorders & Addictions. Being a public holiday, they were closed. So at the advice of the officer earlier that morning, we headed off to the Royal Jubilee Hospital. The officer said they had the mental facilities and a doctor would see us even with my mother absent. Not to any of our surprise, we were not received there. We were told we needed to contact EMHS, the Emergency Mental Health Society, a society we have been in contact with for more than 10 months now and has done nothing to help us - except maybe neglecting to make the right diagnosis during the 45 minutes they evaluated her (after she had been arrested for kicking my brother in the balls and spending the night in jail), and thus helping her become a full-fledged alcoholic by sheer neglect.

After being turned down there, we headed off to the walk in clinic my mother frequents. Perhaps a doctor who had seen her there a couple times could help us, by giving us the authority to having her evaluated against her will. Don’t misunderstand, at times, my mother is willing to get help. She even cries often that she has tried the hospitals and the police and no one will help her. I even have her on video stating this. But she gets frustrated not getting the help she needs - probably because she is not able to coherently explain the symptoms or the problem she perceives (she has tried to press charges against my brother and my father and she has tried to get the hospital to document bruises she claims are from police brutality, but as far as we know, never once explained ALL her symptoms and problems to one person in authority). Part of losing your mind just might be the inability to articulate yourself accurately. Anyway, she then gets stubborn and refuses to seek help; angers at anyone who suggests it. She’s given up time and time again.

At the clinic, the doctor on call was not the one my mother sees. None the less, he has access to her files. He should be able to help us make some assessment; after all, the police officer that morning told us a doctor at the clinic should have the authority to have her evaluated, and we most certainly should be trying to get that done as a family immediately. The doctor on call was flabbergasted at the suggestion. He explained legally he had no right to help us, especially because he had never even met her. The tapes couldn’t help him. Legally, his hands were tied, even if we somehow convinced her to go in and see him, and since my mom is a danger to herself, it’s the police’s responsibility to hold her and get the evaluation done.

So back at square one, we headed off the police station again. We asked to speak to the same police officer who had given us the brilliant suggestions that morning. As stubborn as I’d ever known a person to be she asked , “Do you think we wouldn’t help you if we couldn’t? We see these situations all the time, we see worse and more often than not, even when we do call EMHS, they are let go within the hour for one reason or another.”

A year ago, my whole family had a brilliant future. My parents were wealthy, healthy and had the ability to retire and travel the world for the rest of their lives. Today, my mother looks like a drunken malicious baglady and she acts like one too. She’s nothing more than skin and bones, my guess weighing less than 90lbs. The system failed to help her when she initially begged them for help with physical and mental conditions. They almost forced her to self-medicate through alcohol and now that she’s a drunken alcoholic, they refuse to treat or even attempt to diagnose her apart from being alcohol dependant.

Over the past year, trying to get her proper help we have contacted EMHS, the NEED helpline, Police, the hospitals, the clinics, The Umbrella Society, and the Quadra street clinic. We’re still being shuffled in circles from one administration to another. The society so far that seems to be even trying to help us, is The Umbrella Society. And for that we say thanks. Otherwise, every other department or society agrees something has to be done, but denies having the authority to help; sending us somewhere else.

Right now, my mother is missing.

This morning I called the Mayor. City Hall had the Saanich police call me, who have promised to try and get her re-evaluated by EMHS. This morning I talked to a clinic with hopes of finding help and the receptionist there confided in me that she had lost a loved one because the system failed her in exactly the same way. An officer told me just recently they had a case where a gentleman was in and out of the system for similar things for years, until finally he killed himself. I WILL NOT STAND BACK AND LET THE SYSTEM KILL MY MOTHER.

I intend to start petitioning the Prime Minister of British Colombia. And if my mother dies or kills someone in the process, I honestly believe I will have every reason to sue every and any organization that has refused to get her the help she needs so far.

0 words of wisdom:


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No matter where I am, I'm lost and learning to like it. I'm a living contradiction, and the best lies I tell are the ones I tell myself.
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