Hello? Where have I been, for crying out loud? Time does fly…

I just realized that I haven’t posted since 2013… And that was about – ick – Jodi Arias? WTH??  I’ve had many ideas and meant to write posts, but the reality is, I got sick in 2013 – like, debilitating sick, and it never went away. So now I’m disabled for-reals, and one of the most annoying and difficult aspects of the illness is cognitive impairment. Usually the most effective way for me to communicate is sort of stream of consciousness style, so that’s probably what you’ll be getting. The cognitive problems are caused by constant dizziness, or at least that’s what the specialist said, and that makes sense. So, no dementia for me, thank goodness, at least not yet! My mom had it and it sucked…not the Alzheimer’s type, luckily, which is only one form of dementia.

But I digress… I do that a lot (more) now, sometimes I have to keep sort of talking around a topic until my brain can find it’s way through the maze and get to the yummy cheese prize, at which time I’ll either make my point or have forgotten what the hell point I wanted to make or how it fit into a theory or opinion, or my favorite – complaint! I’ve realized that I COMPLAIN A LOT. Part of it is the comedy factor, I make myself laugh which is a great coping mechanism (not sure if my audience responds the same though…my cats and dogs aren’t always quite on board with it).

I think the reasons behind all my complaining are multifactorial, but at least one other reason is that I’m pissed off – A LOT. Be nice to your family if you have one – if something happens and you get sick, it’s nearly impossible to navigate “the system” on your own, it’s imperative that you have someone to help you, and they need to know a lot about you and your history, so family is best. Don’t count on government agencies because almost all of the people you’ll talk to will have their heads up their asses and be super lazy, they’re sick of their jobs and/or their bosses and coworkers are sick of theirs, so even if they’d like to help you no one will give them the training and information in order for them to help you.

I’m talking about even giving you a useful phone number. 98% of the people you’ll talk to who are supposedly there to help you are too fucking lazy to actually find out what various agencies, organizations, volunteer groups, etc., provide, so they’ll give you a phone number and you may spend weeks trying to reach someone and get help only to ultimately find that you don’t meet the criteria or they don’t provide any services. That kind of thing. Over and over and over. When you have cognitive impairment as part of your disabling illness, this kind of thing can exacerbate your illness for months, during which time you can’t accomplish anything besides rest and try to recover from the setback. Non-productivity at its worst

Oh, and don’t expect to be able to rely on your friends. Once you’re too sick to be easy to spend time with and don’t have mundane, pointless, simplistic things to spend hours babbling about, and you can’t just go and meet for coffee or lunch without a service dog or extra effort and requirements (all reminders of your illness to your friend, making them feel bad in any number of ways) – well, very soon you won’t be seeing much of that “friend”, and the phone calls will dwindle, and the texts and emails will dry up right about the time your phone calls are no longer returned. Maybe some of them will be returned, months after you called them, because gosh, they’ve been soooo busy! But they keep thinking of you and meaning to call! And they love you! And they’re promising with so much emotion that they’re going to spend more time with you! That’s about the time you’ll stop hearing from then altogether.

It’s not because they don’t care or they don’t still love you, and they really do want to be there for you – but you’re not easy in any way. There are many things that your illness may trigger in them – I’m not saying they’re vapid, uncaring or selfish, there are many reasons it may be too difficult for them to deal with your situation. Often they aren’t even aware of what’s being triggered by your illness, and they don’t understand WHY they’re not in touch with you and just being there for you, because they truly want to be. It’s rough on everyone.

For the rare friend(s) you may be fortunate to have who can and do stick it out with you, they could very well turn out to be your lifeline. It’s not trite like it may sound…it’s not easy to explain, but many moments, many days, many nights, many weeks, many months, perhaps even for many years, they may be the only person you have in your life who you can feel emotionally “safe” to contact, send a text saying ‘hey, how are ya?’. The only person you can call if there is an emergency. The only person who wants to help you, and will help you, and never make you feel an ounce of guilt or anything-negative about it.

They’re not helping you because you’re an awesome person, they’re helping you because THEY are an awesome person, and they genuinely, sincerely, desperately feel for your situation, care about you, and WANT to help you. These rare friends can and will save your life and your sanity, just by being who they are – truly good, kind people. I’m incredibly lucky to have one of these friends, and her husband is the same as she is, and will help me out any time I need it. And they’ve looked me in the eye and told me, with grave tones of seriousness so that it’s impossible for my attention to wander, that I am not alone.

I love them. My cats and dogs love them beyond description even if they may not have seen them for months – my kidz, as I call them, are the happiest and SUPER excited, and shower them with affection… it’s one of the most beautiful things ever, to witness how they respond to these people – it’s true, animals KNOW.

Advertisements

#JodiArias – which came first, the gun or the knife, and the ever-important “Why?”

I’m watching Dr. Drew’s show from last night and there’s a lot of discussion on which came first, the gunshot wound or the knife wounds.  Of course this is a very important point.

But why is no one talking about the question of, if she did use the gun first, why not just keep shooting him?  Did the gun only have one bullet in it, and if so, that in itself would be ridiculous (after all, she went to Walmart for crying out loud, and could’ve bought some there if needed).  And surely even Jodi isn’t stupid enough to only have one bullet, given all the planning and trouble she went through to get to Mesa and kill Travis.  So for the sake of this particular argument, let’s assume there were several bullets in the gun.

(A caller on one of the HLN shows brought up this point about “why-didn’t-she-just-keep-shooting?”, so I’m not taking credit for the question, this is just my theory on the order, and Why.)

The answer is fairly obvious – but despite all of the enormously vile sickery we’ve been exposed to over the course of this trial, maybe we’re just not quite ready yet to go there.  But I’m gonna go there. 

The reason she didn’t just kill him by shooting him, however many shots that may have taken, was because the knife created more pain, more terror, more grisly wounds, and overall, involved more cruelty, which she delighted in.  It took more of her time and energy to kill him with a knife than it would have to kill him with a gun, and it allowed her to revel in, savor, and indulge in the killing.  It took a lot of strength and endurance to create that many stab wounds, many of them deep, in such a short period of time.  Using the knife was satisfying, and it met her needs to butcher him viciously.

That’s what Jodi Arias wanted – the sweet, sweet pleasure of stabbing him in the heart, literally and figuratively, over and over and over….as many times as she had to, and as many times as she could.  Notice most of the stab wounds on his back are centered, as are most on his front torso, aka in the heart area, including the 3-4″ deep stab wound very close to his heart.  The photo that shows him holding his hands over his heart was ‘directed’ by Jodi-The-Murdering-Photographer, and was for her sick pleasure.  She told him to hold his hands over his heart just before she stuck the knife in.

Desperately trying to escape, by the time Travis made it to the bedroom area Jodi realized she had to end it because he was too close to making it out, so she slit his throat.  She let him get that far because she wanted to prolong the agony she was causing him, stabbing him all along the way down the hall, because it was incredibly satisfying for her.  This is partly why she appears so happy-go-lucky and unburdened in those crazy TV interviews – committing the murder so viciously was like taking a massive weight off her back.

And then she shot him in the head just for good measure.  Once she got all her needs met (i.e., stabstabstabstabslitstabstabslitstabstab, etc.), she simply shot him once to make sure he was dead.

The gunshot wound is non-personal, and was likely emotionally unimportant for her.  All of the stab wounds are very, very  personal.  Some would say “intimate”, even.

Best Jodi Arias Trial Watching Blog

If you’re not already following it, I have to recommend tamaratattles.com if you’re at all interested in the Jodi Arias trial.  Not only are her posts great, but some of the funniest, smartest, and all-round entertaining comments can be found there!

(She has tons of other topics she posts about, too…probably something for everyone there.)

I love it when I come across things like this…these folks make me enjoy humanity for a while.  And that’s not an easy thing to do.

The Jodi Arias Trial & Twitter – one aspect of it’s potential affect on future trials

Below is a conversation I’ve been having on twitter…I avoided explaining that the evil lifeblood of twitter is that (other than celebs & others who use it to promote themselves & make money) many people use it as a tool to “explore”, shall we say, their pent up aggressions and frustrations in a fairly anonymous manner, without having to face real consequences.  Why did I avoid it?  Because this woman seems like a nice person and there’s no point in making her feel even more animosity towards tweeps.

For example, I used to tweet almost solely about politics through a different account, and politics-on-twitter is the epitome of social media hate, vitriol, viciousness, take-my-side-or-I’ll-tell-my-3000-followers-to-block/attack-you-mercilessly, boundless bullying, death threats, stalking, and general out of control scumbaggery.  It’s the nature of the beast – don’t enter that den unless you can take being ripped to shreds – or perhaps worse, watching others being ripped to shreds, sometimes for months, as they’re ganged up on by dozens of people who were supposedly their “friends” just last week, or the previous day, or the previous hour.  And it never ends because politics never ends.  It’s not like a trial that ends, or celebrity scandals that blow over, etc.  It is INSANITY.

So I guess I’ve seen (and occasionally been somewhat involved in) some of the worst that twitter has to offer.  From taking a brief look at this woman’s twitter stream, she just discovered twitter last year…she’s still discussing things thoughtfully and rationally.  Yay!  I’m happy to have a dialogue with someone like that on a topic we may be in disagreement on. It’s refreshing and – omigawd, as I was typing, some words came outta my fingers that actually made some sense. So I’m sharing here….

remarks on twitter hate1
remarks on twitter hate2

remarks on twitter hate3

remarks on twitter hate4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The point I made at the end is what this post is about.  Not only is an expert witness fair game, but especially when that expert witness is being paid by the state’s tax payers.  Even though my tax dollars aren’t paying for the witnesses in the Jodi Arias case, or the defense team of #Jirk, I was born in Arizona and lived there for more than half my life so although I’d have the same opinion in regard to any state, Arizona’s a little closer to my heart.

Rather than scaring all potential defense attorneys and expert witnesses away, as @NCasserly believes (I don’t think this country will ever run out of attorneys and experts who will sell their moth-eaten souls for money), but I think this kind of online uproar over these expert witnesses will have a positive effect.  Eventually potential experts will realize they had better be extremely well prepared, and have done their jobs properly and impartially, before coming into the courtroom and testifying.  And the defense attorneys will hopefully prepare them better – #Jirk did pretty poorly in that sense, and didn’t seem to have even explained to LaViolence what kinds of Q’s and A’s would be involved in cross.

I testified in court once, just briefly, and was only told what the subject matter was, not a peep about cross examination, which by now, most of us know is a very, very different animal than direct.  I was shocked when the attorney for the other side posed a question as a statement of fact, and he did it quickly and very smoothly right after asking several “easy” questions.  Fortunately, there was only one question like that and it was completely contrary to the truth so my answer came out very naturally and enthusiastically as to the truth.  I can’t even imagine what it’d be like in a criminal trial – the attorneys must prepare witnesses for exactly what cross examination consists of, and the witnesses must be very well prepared to face it, confidently.

Jodi Arias’ Defense Team (#Jirk)

I’m behind a couple of days with watching the Jodi Arias trial coverage, so I just finished watching cross examination, and have begun with redirect.

This evokes four things in me:

1.  I want to send Jennifer Wilmott a couple of cases of helium so maybe her voice would be more tolerable.

2.  I want to duct-tape LaViolence’s mouth after 10 words per answer for every frigging question.  (I also want to ask her how she can talk so damned much and not get a sore throat.)

3.  I’m falling asleep.

4.  On the plus side, I don’t have to take quaaludes to slow down to Nurmi’s speed in order to tolerate him.

Can Juan Martinez please do ALL of the questioning in this trial?

More for those sick of LaViolette

I was googling the spelling of Alyce LaViolette’s name because in this post commenter Ria is capitalizing the V, and I wasn’t since I thought they weren’t capitalizing it on the little identifier doo-hickey thingies at the bottom of the TV screen.  Anyway, I guess the V is capitalized.  I should’ve known Ria would be trustworthy by now.

During my search I came across this post, which might be worth a look for folks interested in more opining on Le Beeyotch Of Bullshitte, Alyce LaViolette.  The post is a bit long for me so I didn’t make it through the whole thing (not a knock against the author whatsoever, it’s just because I can’t bear reading about this woman for too long), but it looks like some nice discussion has been going on in the comment thread.  For those hungry to engage in a lil’ round or two of brouhaha, you might find some fodder there.

As an aside, I hate her frigging name.  It’s pretentious and I think it’s fake.  (I have no basis for that, other than the trusty ol’ gut feeling.  But I’m thinking of changing my name to Lyzz LeMonne and see what I can get out of it.)

Jodi Arias, Juan Martinez, Alyce Laviolette, and Snow White

To Jane Velez-Mitchell (@jvelezmitchell):  Thank goodness there’s one person on @HLNTV with their brain functioning.  I just went through the ceiling, finishing up watching the trial coverage from Thursday, and could not believe how every “expert” and guest on the HLN shows were freaking about Martinez’s cross examination of Laviolette.  JVM actually had to explain the importance of his approach to the commentators and guests this morning.  Whaa????

To HLN:  your “experts” and guests are completely out of touch with the reality of the general population (aka JURORS!).  Their whining made me want to slap some sense into them.  (Oh wait – should I not say that because this a domestic violence “expert” witness???  Give me a break.)

I thought Samuels liked to hear himself talk – he had nothing on this woman.  Laviolette did not provide a single bit of evidence that Arias was a victim of domestic violence – instead, she droned on and on and on, essentially forcing everyone to attend her little DV seminar while she collects $250/hr for re-victimizing the murder victim and throwing a massive pity-party for his murderer.  It was a damned boring party – except for the parts where her testimony was actually showing that Travis was the victim of abuse by Jodi…too bad that evidence doesn’t seem to be admissible, though.

When Martinez started cross-examining Laviolette, she very quickly started getting snarky.  She kept looking at the defense table and smiling wryly (you know patronizing people can be, like when they have their little secret clique and have already decided how they’re going to “deal with” someone they don’t like).  At times she looked at the jury box and tried to do the same with them – nearly even rolling her eyes – but I got the sense that none of them were playing along because she’d quickly drop her eyes and wipe that snarky smile off her face.

She was smirking at Martinez, and right off the bat refused to give straight answers to his questions and then quickly started arguing with him – does she not understand this is a courtroom?  She’s testified in court many times, right?  And then she quickly commenced with challenging him.  Who the hell does she think she is?  He’s not there for a tea party, he’s prosecuting a confessed killer and this “expert” is behaving like a – there’s no other way to say it – a catty brat, and a bit of a bitch.  I actually think she should have been admonished for coming dangerously close to contempt of court.

If she were truly confident in her assessment of Arias, she would have no need to argue with Martinez, she could simply answer his questions with confidence and be able to back up her statements and findings.  She can’t, and thus her catty-bratty attitude from the starting line.  Completely unprofessional, especially considering the “expertise” she supposedly has.

If I were a juror, just that amount of cross examination that was conducted on Thursday would have discredited her in my mind.

Laviolette asked Martinez to speak to her in the same way she was speaking to him – if you ask me, that’s what he did…just a little bit louder.

Controversy on Michelle Williams’ Native American Photo

So I came across this, which refers to this, which is a post by a really pissed off and offended person named Ruth Hopkins.  She’s really mad that the actress Michelle Williams is on the cover of a British magazine dressed like a Native American (or maybe I should say American Indian, which is the term Ms. Hopkins uses).

All kinds of asses have had fires lit under them by this!  Mine remains normal temperature, though.  I don’t get it.  I’m a big believer in educating people on the history of minorities’ struggles especially in America where we sweep so much under the rug, and while some stereotypes are fairly harmless, many contribute to and cause real harm.  Racism is something we should all take very seriously, and…well, “pass the word”, so to speak.  When we learn something, pass it on.  That’s how we educate (schools certainly didn’t back in my day, I don’t know how well they’re doing these days).

the source of the brouhaha

the source of the brouhaha

So I think there is genuine education that Ms. Hopkins can bestow upon the masses (I recommend reading what she says about L. Frank Baum), and a tad bit is mentioned in the article.  Unfortunately, the focus is a raging rant about the photo, which makes sane people not want to read the entire thing – she goes so far as to call the photo “redface” and compares it with “blackface”, which IMO is pretty offensive to blacks and anyone else offended by blackface.  (I’m not using the term African American because that’s presumptuous – many blacks in America aren’t African Americans and don’t like being referred to as such.)  We have a well known history of how “blackface” was used in this country, and what it looks like.  No one knows what “redface” is, and I wonder if Ms. Hopkins coined the term for hyperbole.

Anyway, there’s the photo above, and you can decide for yourself.  Below is a comment I left on the blog (parts of which I could have written better to make my point; the part about Baum’s & Williams’ connection wasn’t meant to imply her intent, I was just trying to say that sort of information would be more…informative).  I’m not interested in going back to “discuss” because I know I’ll be skewered by the self-righteous blowhards who are so prevalent on the internet, who just like to yell, accuse, bully, name-call, finger-point, whatever, while proclaiming and trying to shove their own superiority down your throat.

But they always seem to forget to make a valid point, for some reason.  I have better things to do with my time.  Like writing my own post about my thoughts on the matter….

P.S.  I think Ms. Hopkins may be saying that The Wizard of Oz must be removed from Earth.  That is, if you extrapolate from the logic she’s using in terms of Michelle Williams and Baum’s work & racist history.

Meanwhile, does Ms. Hopkins, or any of the other people outraged over this photo, have documentation as to Michelle Williams’ ancestors?  Her DNA?  Her Ancestry.com site?  Anything?  For all we know, she could be 8/10 American Indian, and be celebrating her heritage.

le comment:

Firstly, I have no idea whether Williams is or isn’t aware of Baum’s history, but I certainly wasn’t, and I’d bet the vast majority of Americans aren’t.  Does this kind of history mean that no actor or other performer can ever partake in any works by any American historical person who had a racist history?  If so, then the arts in America had better come to a screeching halt.  All Fords must be set on fire and production stopped immediately.  We learn from the past but we can’t let it control our present or future, or it “wins”.  Your point would be much better made if you focused more on the educational aspects rather than a photo, which detracts from your very valid and important points about Baum & his history, and Williams’ connection.

I’m a member of a minority race, and wouldn’t be offended if a white person dressed up as a person of my heritage for a magazine photo, so long as the intention wasn’t to portray my race in a clearly negative or derogatory manner, such as engaging in offensively stereotypical behavior.   In that vein, I fail to see the justification for the correlation between ‘blackface’ and ‘redface’, and do not see how this photo constitutes ‘redface’.  Forgive my possible ignorance, but I do not understand why this photo is offensive.  I understand that many do, but I do not.  

Unless, that is, it’s because she’s white.  In that case, perhaps the perpetrator(s) of “racism” should be reconsidered.

My Wish for 2013

I started writing a post about this subject right after the Connecticut killings but it requires a lot of research which was a bit too much at that particular time (and still is, actually).  Maybe sometime I’ll finish it, when I can stomach it.  For now, these are my thoughts.

I wish that people were talking about care for the mentally ill in America, and making it a priority.  I wish we were screaming about it.  Yes, we need some form of gun control, but young people (and kids) weren’t shooting up schools and malls and wherever else they could find masses of people – until America was deinstitutionalized.

We should never go back to the way things were in institutions, we’d need the same controls and regulations that regular “medical” hospitals have.  It would cost a lot of money.  It would save a lot of lives.

This is just the beginning.  I worked in the mental health field around the end of the era of deinstitutionalization.  NO ONE but the super wealthy can afford to keep their kids (or adults) in in-patient facilities once their insurance runs out (if they even have insurance to cover it for any period of time in the first place).  And unless the patient is a *significant* danger to themselves or to others *at the time of their release* – they will be sent home.  This is a big reason that our homeless population ballooned – because they mentally ill are dumped on the streets if they have no one to take care of them.  Relatively few people can handle taking care of a severely mentally ill person, let alone an adult.

For the adolescents who are dumped back home and into society – well, if they “do something” (like torture and kill the new family puppy or molest or rape their little sister or brother), then they’ll be allowed back in – but not for long.  It’s just the way it is.

Look into it, deeply – research it – the unavailability of affordable care is far worse than you might hink.

These severely mentally ill people who have been dumped back into their homes and into society, sometimes go on to kill people, including little kids.  What’s next, a Day Care center with infants and toddlers?  Why not?  We never thought an elementary school would be a target.

Or for those who don’t kill other people, they grow up and raise kids who do, because they weren’t equipped to raise healthy kids.  Because their own mental illness was never properly treated. This is how these societal “trends” happen.  You see the first wave, which many people easily associate with whatever major change has occurred recently…but the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc., waves become distanced in time from that major change and the association becomes forgotten.  Everyone asks, “what’s happening, why are people suddenly doing this?”…you have to go back and look at what major societal change occurred around the time the events began.  It’s clear in this case that deinstitutionalization created this trend.

Well, that and the ubiquitous use of psychotropic drugs – “antidepressants” beginning with the straight SSRIs like Prozac and Paxil.  Those drugs were meant to be an adjunct to therapy – to allow the patient to become stable enough to participate in productive therapy.  Instead, they quickly became the only “treatment”.

Your doctor (who has no specialized mental health care qualifications whatsoever) gives you a prescription and then just adjusts the dosage now and then – no therapy, and in fact, if you seek therapy, you will almost certainly only be able to see a social worker – a LCSW.  It’s very uncommon to be able to receive therapy from a psychologist or psychiatrist.  This topic is FULL of problems and is clearly not working.

I live in Portland, Oregon, and we’ve had several “incidents” of this type…so it does hit home.  Kip Kinkel was just 15 years old when he killed his parents and then shot up Thurston High School.  I still hear about the Clackamas Town Center Mall shooting every night on the news. I don’t hear anything about the 11-year-old boy who held a gun on a woman in a church parking lot in December…I guess that’s because the police discovered they could arrest the father.  A 7-year-old was with him when he did this.  What of this 7-year-old?  Who knows.  He was carrying the bullets for the gun, so he wasn’t some innocent bystander who inadvertently got mixed up in this mess.  And will that 11-year-old get the psychiatric treatment he needs?  Highly doubtful.  So there will be more victims in his future.

It’s a certainty that these mass killings (and many other heinous crimes, many of which are violent sex crimes) will continue unless we start treating our mentally ill citizens.

It’s barbaric, the way America treats (and does not medically treat) our mentally ill.  I hate it when I see people interviewed on TV calling the killers “pure evil”.  Maybe they are, I don’t know – but I do think that America, the country that’s supposed to be the leader of the Free World, is perhaps most guilty of being “evil” for denying it’s citizens proper mental health care.  We should be bombarding Congress with pleas and demands for the proper care of our mentally ill.

But I get the feeling there is still so much stigma with mental illness, that we collectively, subconsciously, turn a blind eye and look for other villains to blame…whatever or whomever they may be.  Mental illness makes people uncomfortable…it’s awkward and ugly, and it’s easier to just look away.  And so the killings will continue.