Wednesday, June 27, 2012

An interview published with yours truly

I was recently honored to be interviewed by Priya Menon for the blog Cure Talk. You can read the interview here:

Thank you for your kindness and generosity, Priya!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Blossom! Grow!

May our heart's garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

About 14 years ago some friends and I formed an email group, we referred to as our "garden" of friends. We picked flower nicknames for ourselves. Christa, always one to tell it like it was, became Snapdragon, sometimes referred to by me as Snappy. Sara, always a ray of sunshine, became Sunflower, or Sunny. Alisun, who couldn't make up her mind to focus on one flower became Alisunlilyfairyfirefly. Karrie, who wanted to be a little different from us all, was Karrot. Lauren, my close friend to this day even though we have never met in person, became Wildflowyr.
And I became Daisybee. Because, as Snapdragon put it, "daisies grow through cracks in the sidewalk". And as Ali put it, "you might be a busy bee, but eventually you're going to get stung in the ass." And I liked daisies and bees. In fact I was a bumblebee for Halloween once when I was about two. So, hence, my nickname.

Later, some of us in the garden created Sick Chicks and Twisted Sisters, a group for advocacy and support of women and girls with disabilities, because we all had chronic illness like Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, and that was how we met online.

Then, things fell apart. The friendships mostly ended. I lost my mind. But today, Lauren is a photographer and freelance writer, and also still my Wildflowyr friend.

So, I post this flower video to encourage you to blossom, each in your own way.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Crisis Intervention Team Training Pinellas June, 2012

Today was CIT training! It was my once-a-year turn to speak to the police. I made jokes better this time than in previous years when the anxiety was overwhelming. Just picture it (well, okay I am putting pictures here but you don't see any police in them), one girl labeled with mental illness talking to 40 law enforcement officers wearing guns. And she says, "And then the voices told me to shoot myself." Yeah, I never thought I would get to this point. I am actually comfortable speaking now, and everyone who gave feedback said I did a great job, so that was really nice.

More importantly, Crisis Intervention Team training teaches law enforcement officers how to respond when people are in crises, and it decreases shootings. Research has shown this to be true.

A hostage negotiator asked me how to talk someone out of psychosis, and I explained that, well, you can't. I'm afraid I don't know what you can do if you're a hostage negotiator and you're talking to someone with hostages who is hearing voices, but what I said was that he could try talking very calmly and ask them to listen to his voice and focus on what he was saying rather than the other voices.

Do you have any advice for police officers who deal with people with mental illnesses or other crises? Feel free to leave a comment and share!

I am slightly disappointed my dad is in the Bahamas right now with a large portion of my family except three of us who were ceremoniously not invited because we're not perfect enough for our dad, and I'm more than a little worried about Social Security, and yes, I am still hearing things. But I'm happy I talked to the police today, and they were an attentive and receptive audience.

Long live CIT!

Also, Episodes of Schizophrenia by Jessica Leach and Jennifer (me) will (hopefully) be published by Chipmunka in the future. It's the graphic novel based on my life that I mentioned here before.

I am being interviewed for a website called where this blog has been mentioned before.

I got an email telling me about this video: There is a Fault in Reality. I haven't watched it but it sounds interesting though controversial. My computer is too slow for films.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Social Security Administration is utterly incompetent

As if I need this right now, I got home today to find a letter from Social Security in my mailbox. It is almost identical to another ridiculous letter that they sent me three years ago. The letter claims that I had jobs during periods when I certainly had no job, and that I worked at three places for the entire year of 2005, when I was actually in the hospital for half of that year under a court order. It also claims that I had a job in Florida from 1998 until 2007 when I actually lived in Maryland from 1998 until 2000 and in Virginia from 2000 until 2004, and I only worked at that place for a few months, not NINE YEARS.....

I can't believe they could screw up this badly three years ago, and then, after I've cleared that all up, screw up in an identical fashion now. It is unbelievable to me that the government employs people who are this incompetent.

I do not work full time. I have not ever worked full time, except for a month or so in my entire life. I am not able to support myself with a full time job. I was in hospitals for about 20 visits during the times when these morons think I had a goddamn job.


Incidentally, you can read the posts from 2005 on this blog to see precisely how sane I was at that time in my life when they think I had three jobs. I was so sane I bought a handgun and almost shot myself in the mouth with it. Yeah, I was so capable of working. I guess that's why a judge had me locked up half the year. Because I was working three jobs? While locked in a psych ward???!!!

I really didn't need this today. Annoying.

Doublespeak and "You'll walk home."

Caller: "Can you help me apply for graduation? I want to graduate this summer and when is the date?"

Me: It's July 21st.

"Jew Lie 21st?" (July 21st?)

(Here we go again. Sigh). Yes.

"Okay, thank you."

Okay, have a good day!

"You do die." (You too. Bye).


.....That was my last phone call at work. I handle about 100 phone calls a day at the call center at the college where I work. 99% of them include someone telling me "die", at the end. Instead of "Bye", I hear, "Die". Instead of "Would you do this?" I hear, "Would Jew do this?" because they also call me a Jew. When I say "thank you" to someone, then instead of saying "you're welcome", I hear them saying, "You'll walk home." This is a reference to when the second Holocaust occurs and my delusion says I'll be walking to a concentration camp in north Florida. This is an old delusion that started about ten years ago, and only comes back when I'm unwell.

So this is going on all the time now. On the phone. In person. If you want to understand what I'm talking about, just count how many times you thank someone for something in a day. Then imagine that every single time you did that, they returned the favor by reminding you of your impending torture and death. It's really pleasant.

I'm on 120 mgs of Latuda and 50 mgs. of Risperdal Consta, so it's not like I'm lacking drugs. But the old crap returned and it hasn't left.

It's what I call double speak. I've always called it that, and not because of George Orwell. It's just the term that fits. I hear two things at once. Sometimes, I hear three at once. One of them is what the person is really saying, and the other things are what I just hear them saying. Since I know it's happening, I can obviously tell myself, "They didn't really say that". But it sounds real nonetheless. It sounds terribly real.

My apartment is a mess. Drama continues in my family. I won't go in to details about that at the moment.

But I'm still living my life. I go to work, and I went to a conference in West Palm Beach a week ago for the weekend. I was okay there. It was fine. I will be going to the NAMI meeting where I might be elected onto the Board of Directors Thursday. I went to physical therapy today before work. I went to the movies Saturday. I went out to eat Friday. I see people (not as in hallucinating, but really visiting people), sometimes. So, on it goes. I still live. My therapist is only working part-time now, so it's really hard to get an appointment with her. My doctor is gone, and I haven't met the new doctor yet. My case manager is out of town, but I wouldn't really be calling her about stuff like this anyway.

Life goes on.