The world I seek

Heaven on earth is what I seek, but in vain. Why then do I bother? What kind of place am I talking about though? Utopia, heaven or just a place where everything makes sense? Even I don’t know to answer that yet. So let me think of some options; a world of mainly nature, living off the land, back to basics, the simple life consisting of just the necessities. Or is it the world I live in now with technology, luxuries, conveniences, where nothing is left to want and everything is readily available 24/7. Or some fantastical fusion of the two? The balance of the two would seem optimal but perhaps impossible.

Since I never had to live off the land or fend for food, that sounds like a lot of work to me. Now, my only exposure to such a way of life are stories I’ve heard from the older generations and TV shows/movies. But for as laborious as that way of life appears to me, it also holds a peaceful allure.
Life was about doing what was essential for living and enjoying the little free time you had. Everything from sun up to sun down was a form of labor, hard physical work. From pumping water, hunting, getting the fire going, tending crops and livestock, and who knows what else. But it filled the day, people had purpose, and people depended on each other. Worries were real concerns that had potentially tragic/deadly outcomes.

To me life today seems so superficial; homes filled with useless bric-a-brac, irrational tirades over petty issues and egocentricity prevails. Sadly, I am guilty of being a person influenced by the excesses of this age. It’s a shame that with all the technology we have to make our lives easier, we’ve made our lives harder. As much as I love technology, I hate some of it too. Technology has brought our world together by “shrinking the planet”. A flight around the world today takes about 24 hours compared to a ship sailing taking up to a year. Communications from continents apart are moments away with the Internet or a phone, whereas a written letter could take months. But at the same time we are drifting apart socially. Concerned only for ourselves and not our community or neighborhoods. People exist in their homes and jobs, not in community gatherings anymore.

Shelter, food, water, and clothing the basic needs. Anything beyond is superfluous! Now one could argue the need for tools and other implements which I agree would be useful, but not life sustaining.
Since I have a house/shelter, plumbing/water, fridge-pantry-grocery-trees/food, closet full of clothes and shoe my needs are met and exceeded a hundredfold (purely put to make the point)(I have no way of actually quantifying that number). Now add in all the extras that I do not need, that bog down my mind. Linens, decorations, paint choices, new styles, upkeep, replacement, bigger, better, faster, more, more, more. It becomes overwhelming and I long for less. Simplicity. Comfort.

But the world has got me by the throat, as a child born into an advanced civilization in a superior affluent nation, I’m a product of excess. My comforts and afforded wants from childhood to present, have psychologically imprisoned me to believing my wants are needs. Comforts as heating, cooling, soft big bed, cars, TV, music and my plethora of tools. Every tool, from paints to router, that I use for my artistic outlet are a comfort to me. They are a way for me to escape through creating. So I’ve attached myself to things of this world to achieve happiness. Though I’m not too concerned, with my creative mind I could use pretty much anything to create and build (whew what a relief, thought I was having a psychological revelation into the depths of my existence).

Anyhow, what do I do about this contradiction within me? Do I get rid of everything for a life of true freedom, or do I remained mentally chained to this world of things. The battle within me continues daily. Overwhelmed by phone calls, junk mail, housework, paperwork, accumulation of stuff! How nice would it be to just be! I guess that’s what vacations are for. Nonetheless I remain hostage to the 21st century luxuries of comfy beds, HVAC, indoor plumbing, and my iPad. So I guess my choice is the world of now, because I’ve yet discovered how to merge the two.


Government salaries

Not an op-ed, just pasted info from government websites. Boring numbers. Needed a place to keep the info available.

President- 2011 federal income tax returns, filed jointly, AGI of $789,674, paid $162,074 in total tax, tax rate of 20.5%. And paid Illinois state tax $31,941.

Vice President- 2011 federal income tax returns, filed joint federal, AGI of $379,035, paid $87,900. Paid $13,843 Delaware tax and $3,614 Virginia tax.

2005 — $162,100 per annum
2006 — $165,200 per annum
2007 — $165,200 per annum
2008 — $169,300 per annum
2009 — $174,000 per annum
2010 — $174,000 per annum
2011 — $174,000 per annum
2012 — $174,000 per annum
2013 — $174,000 per annum
Note: Since the early 1980s, Senate leaders — majority and minority leaders, and the president pro tempore — have received higher salaries than other members. Currently, leaders earn $193,400 per year.

Is it true that . . . Members of Congress do not pay into Social Security and when they retire they receive a pension equal to their congressional salary for the rest of their life?

The answer is no. All members of Congress pay Social Security taxes in the same amounts as they would if they were employed in the private sector at the same salary level. The amount of a congressional pension varies and depends on years of service, age at the time of retirement, and salary.
The facts: before 1984, Senators and Representatives did not participate in the SS program. Members of Congress were covered by a pension plan, called the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), that did not require payment of Social Security taxes and did not provide Social Security benefits. In 1983, Congress passed a law (P.L. 98-21) that required all federal employees first hired after 1983 to participate in SS, including Congress to participate in SS as of January 1, 1984. Because the CSRS was not designed to coordinate with SS, Congress directed the development of a new retirement plan for federal employees, called the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), which does coordinate a federal pension with Social Security.
Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at age 62 having completed at least five years of service. Pension at age 50 having completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service. Pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law, the starting amount of a member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80 percent of final salary.

Housewife duties?

While trying to clean the house today my mind started to wander and wonder just what is expected of a housewife/mom. I tried looking up the answer on the Internet to no avail, well no creditable source. However, I did find a 1955 good housekeeping article and a 1950s home economics book page, I couldn’t confirm the validity of either. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough, but without making an official query to the Library of Congress or visiting DC, I’m left only with the Internet as my source for searching. Additionally, there were plenty of opinions of what is expected of a wife, but NO! So that leaves me to draw my own conclusions and henceforth my opinions on what is expected of a housewife.

Before I put together my list of what I think I should do, I will draw upon what I’ve been brought up to believe are a housewife’s duties, what I’ve seen from housewives/moms; from my youth, while in Italy, from foreign cultures that I’ve been exposed to, and lastly, from my perspective that I consider realistic expectations with consideration to individuals abilities.

Now for the most part my thoughts on what a housewife does, is probably not too different from the general consensus, is cook and clean. That would be the concise version of what a housewife does. It is what I saw my mom, grandmothers, and aunt do. Even as a FT working mother, my mom came home and cooked dinner for us. Some weekends she’d make breakfast(we usually wanted cereal) and we always had a clean apartment(that may seem insignificant, but some of my friends apartments were filthy, and I liked my clean apartment.)

When I was older I told my mom how much I appreciated her doing her best to provide for us despite her difficulties in being a working single mom; that her cooking after a full day of work and keeping a clean home had not gone unnoticed, though at the time it went unappreciated is was not forgotten. I also asked her, what kept her going or what was her drive for those things, because I do not have whatever is needed to do the same. Basically she said that’s the way she was raised and taught and as the youngest of six, each one of them was required to help around the house(maybe not the boys as much as the girls but that’s another topic). She learned how to do laundry(on a washboard), cook, and clean starting at six years old. In part of such, she didn’t want to laden us with all that she had been subjected to, and besides that, it had become part of who she was, what she did and what was expected of her. The same seems to go for one of my grandmothers, however she was the eldest of ten born to immigrant parents, being raised by Italians in America. Now unless you been to Italy(or a country with similar wifely duties) this wouldn’t mean much to you, so I’ll try to enlightened you.

Based solely on my first and only trip to Italy, where I spent 3 weeks living with a friend and her family. I witnessed and heard about the expected choirs of an Italian wife. Mornings were spent getting oneself presentable for the day, getting the local daily fare for the day’s meals, starting laundry, tidying up, start preparing for supper(which is their biggest meal, midday). Supper should be ready for the husband when he comes home from work(as the custom is a 4 hour midday break)so he can eat and nap before returning to work for the remainder of the day. After supper she usually cleans up, does more laundry, may or may not nap, and starts preparing for a light evening fare. They did have washers and dryers, but everyone hung their clothes out to dry and they ironed everything and by everything I mean sheets, undies, everything, ok maybe not bras. This is an everyday routine that was expected. As an American this was overwhelming to me and I was ever so thankful for being an American housewife! But to their(Italian government) credit, housewives are given a monthly stipend when they reach a certain age, as acknowledgement to their life of work(being a housewife).

Understandably, times have changed and so have the expectations of a housewife in the past 50 years, but probably more so in the past 25 years, but that trip abroad was only 11 years ago albeit, it was a small town. Now I realize small towns tend to evolve slower than cities so that could be part of the reason women seem so submissive there. Although, I’m not quite sure that being burdened with endless household choirs and cooking all day to shopping all day at the mall, getting your hair and nails done regularly, while someone else cleans your house is evolution?! So, if many cultures, if not all, have similar housewife duties, then is cooking and cleaning all a married woman has to look forward to? Maybe. First lets do away with the word “duties” and replace it with “functions”. Functions of a housewife, much better choice of wording; to me, “duties” seems oppressive whereas “functions” denotes more of something needed. With that, ‘cooking and cleaning’ is an essential part of a home. Without cleaning one would wind up living in really disgusting stuff. Without cooking your left to eat food prepared by others, which is another topic altogether.

Functions of a housewife in today’s world in an affluent nation(well was, who knows now). Essentially, cooking and cleaning, but realistically that generalization does not work for 100% of the people. For as many types of personalities, interests, talents and other things that make us uniquely us, there are many functions of a housewife unique to that individual. To say that each wife/mom is expected to do the same thing is foolish, creating a sense of failure from the start, trying to set standards based on another’s achievements will only leave some women feeling, defeated, unworthy, incapable, hopeless, inferior and ultimately depressed. Now, yes there may be women out there who can do it all, and many blessings and kudos for you, sincerely. But for the rest of the women out there, including myself, I say you need to have an honest and open discussion with your husband about what he expects from you. Let me back track a bit here.

Let me state that having a home, family or simply a marriage requires equal work from both spouses. But for the subject at hand a housewife, who generally does not have a paying job, takes care of matters concerning the house and/or kids. And at some point an agreement was made that someone would stay home, usually to care for a child or children. Now when the kids are young lots of leeway needs to be given in regards to housework, but when they reach the schooling age, I’d say its time to talk to each other to get an understanding of what is expected, in regards to housework, that is if one remains home(unpaid)while the other works(income) and the children are in school all day. This may sound unnecessary but it worked for me. For years I struggled with what i thought was expected of me, what should I do, was it enough, too much, did he even notice what I did, did he care, etc… And it’s was surprising that he simply wanted a clean kitchen to come home to and to wake up to. And clean clothes when needed(he did not want to run out of clothes to wear to work). Anything more was great, but as long as I met the minimum he remained content. Cooking, however, became a sore spot when one child like it and the other didn’t, add vegetarianism and the complaints about the meals having starch and not being healthy, I lost it. I stopped cooking and told him “you want healthy meals, you cook”. Which he does now, on occasion I cook, but its what I want to make without regard to who will or won’t like it.

Now for the list of what I think a housewife should do:

That’s right nothing, it’s none of my business, it’s between you and your husband.

Now that I got that out, I remembered what was expected of me, I had forgotten about our agreement.

But just for kicks and to drive home what a wife/mom does here’s a list for real: (just for clarity it is NOT a daily list, though it is neverending)
1) Cleans- Toilets, mirrors, sinks, tub, shower, refrigerator, floor, fans, cabinets, stove, oven, the car, outdoor furniture
2) Washes- Car, laundry, dishes, coolers, blankets, pillows, couches, chairs
3) Vacuums- Car, carpets, rugs, draperies, tiled/hardwood floors
4) Shopping- Clothes, shoes, gifts for parties, groceries, medicines, toiletries, school supplies, filters
5) Dusting- Furniture, pictures, window sills
6) Children- Changing diapers, feedings, washing, cleaning ears and noses, clipping nails, brushing teeth, brushing hair, changing clothes, cleaning spills and food, never ending picking up toys, homework help, potty trains, teaches, cuddling, playing games, reading, napping, on-call 24/7
7) Chauffeur- Medical appts, dental appts, extracurricular activities, birthday parties, school functions, field trips
8) Nurse- Bandages cuts, applies sunscreen or sunblock, aloe for burns, gives medicine, takes temperatures, makes chicken soup, has saltines and ginger ale for upset tummys
9) Secretary- calls to schedule dental, medical, hair cut, & ortho appts, manages a schedule for numerous events that occur within a years time , plans trips
10) And the list goes on…

One of the best things that helped my husband understand what I actually do, is when I was gone for 2 weeks and he had to take care of the kids and house himself. The other thing was having him realized that though he does go to work his job begins and ends whereas mine does not. I may not clock in as early as he does, but I don’t get to clock out. Don’t get me wrong, I adore, respect and value my husband. He is amongst the greatest blessings God has given me and I’m fully aware of this. And believe it or not he feels the same about me.

Adult ADHD and me

This topic is more a mini autobiography to help me gain some insight into how to deal with my ADHD issues. Funny thing is the more time I have on my hands the less productive I am. One would think someone who was hyper would be productive, well at least that’s my thinking.

In adults some of the symptoms are:
Poor time management, losing track of time
Difficulty initiating tasks
Difficulty completing and following through on tasks
Seeks constant activity
Easily bored
Intolerant to frustration, easily irritated
Impulsive, snap decisions and irresponsible behaviors
Loses temper easily, angers quickly

For myself I am going to add to this list:
Lack of motivation
All or nothing mentality
Seriousness or urgency does make me react
Non stop thinking
Lose focus

Now fortunately I’m medicated for this, so a few of these symptoms are quite under control. But I did have an issue with temper/irritation issues for many years. However, never knew it was related to this. And I also thought it lessened because of my age/maturity and SSRIs I take. Who knew?

As a child I can’t recall being ADHD. I was always on the go, playing, riding my bike, running around outside, the joys of childhood. School may have been another story. I did well in school, but I remember not wanting to do book reports, so I didn’t. I didn’t like reading and I still don’t. Amazing that I received a 2yr degree. In college there is a lot of reading and if I wanted my degree I had no choice in the matter; so I’d put on my headphones, turn up the volume, read and do my homework. It was the only way I could stay focused, if I didn’t drown out the world, the world would capture my attention, even if only for a moment. Still this was of no concern to me, it was just the way I was. Back then I didn’t have time to be bored, I was so busy with school, my daughter, my family, friends and socializing on weekends, that life flew by.

Fast forward 10 years- got married had 2 more kids, wasn’t working anymore but being a mom of toddlers still keeps one quite busy and honestly I can’t remember those days all that well 😛
After i stopped nursing, I began taking my SSRIs. But it wasn’t until 3-4 years after that, that my hubby recommended that I begin medication for ADHD. Now thinking back as to why he thought I needed it is… When the kids were to young for kindergarten, there’s not much I got done at home. With feedings, diapers, spills, baths, shopping, etc… Life was just busy and unpredictable, at least for me. So not much was expected of me then. But when the all the kids were in school all day, there were no excuses left! At least that’s what my husband had hoped.

However, I never knew what the day held for me. How I longed for those manicky days when I could clean for hours without stopping. Those days are few are far between, maybe 1 or 2 a month if I’m lucky. I was constantly taking naps because just walking and looking around my house caused me to become overwhelmed and I’d crash. After years my husband finally decided to have me medicated for ADHD. And what a blessing that was! No more naps, I could concentrate and get things done, but I have been on the same med for about 5 years now and I think it’s not working as well as it use to. I’m starting to nap again and getting overwhelmed by all the things in my house.

So I will consult with a doctor to increase the dosage as one way of dealing with my ADHD but I’m still looking for a internal way. Which is what I’m hoping this blog will help me uncover.

Holding down a job was not too much of a problem if it kept my interest. However since I don’t need to work I have no desire to work. I paint and quilt and now blog. But if I had to do any as a job I’d get bored and stop. Housework and all that goes with it, I find entirely monotonous and boring, which causes thoughts to start bouncing around in my head, even with the music on. Now I’m lost as to what to write next. So until I can re-read and reorganize my thoughts on this, I’m leaving as such.

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Amending the 2nd Amendment

Amendment II (1791)
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Today I took time to read Obama’s “gun control policy”, boring, as with most legal mumbo jumbo. However, what did catch my attention was the numerous costs that were in it, a total of $4,419,000,000. And yes, that is 4 billion with a B.

Monies for more police, training, researching gun crimes, mental health people, more organizations and so on. Admittedly, a few things make some sense; but the entirety is bunk, more on that in a bit.

Obama announces 23 executive actions. Interestingly enough there is no term or definition for “executive actions” to be found, except within the CIA: “CIA’s Black Operations. This involved a policy that was later to become known as Executive Action (a plan to remove unfriendly foreign leaders from power)”. I find this a bit comical that they would use such a phrase, whether it has a hidden meaning or not, is too soon to tell.

So more on the policy: (blah, boring stuff!)
Require background checks(bgcks), close loop holes, keep the mental ill from getting guns. LOL
Private sellers don’t need to do bgcks, so this just says that a seller would have to sell through a licensed gun dealer, this makes sense to me. But read on and I hope I’ll make my point. This excerpt comes from the policy itself: “A national survey of inmates found that only 12 percent of those who used a gun in a crime acquired it from a retail store or pawn shop, where a background check should have been run.” Okay, so maybe I’m reading this wrong and my interpretation of what I think it says, is what I find hysterical. The way I read it is, only 12% of the surveyed inmates acquired a gun legally! That would mean the other 88% did not. And of those 12% we know nothing of the circumstances that led to their incarceration. I bring that up because, a law abiding person can be pushed to a limit and become a criminal: a woman is constantly battered, she finally gets the courage to do something about it, she buys a gun and shoots her abuser. Legally obtained gun in the hands of a otherwise law abiding normal person, pushed to the edge. And the premeditation makes for a difficult charge to be dismissed as self-defense.

Next they want to merge the mental health records with the government data base so those with dangerous mental problems can’t purchase guns. However, I was unable to find what constitutes a dangerous mental problem, I find this troublesome. And they want to improve mental health care! LOL why am I laughing read my schizophrenia blog.

They want to make tougher laws on people who illegally traffic arms. LOL, another joke. Is the government going to penalize itself for the “fast and furious” fiasco, where our government lost track of 2000 weapons, which made their way to the Mexican drug cartel.

Well that pretty much sums it up, additional proposals include: more police on the streets, which I am all for; training for extreme violent situations; research on violent crimes and on violent video games; research for gun violence prevention- oh wait now that’s a good one to comment on, you want less crime? How about scaring the hell out of potential criminals?! There was a time when horse thieves were hung, thieves had their hand cut off and a sexual offender was castrated(maybe not in this country, but a fabulous idea nonetheless). I say this because criminals are not afraid of the law now, they know the system almost as well as the lawyers. So how’s that for research? I’ll take my $20 million now, thank you!

Common car courtesy

Driving is a privilege, don’t take my word for it. Here’s the proof:
Az L&S 28-3151 Driver license requirement B: A person who is licensed under this chapter is entitled to exercise the privilege granted by this chapter on highways and is not required to obtain another license to exercise the privilege by a county, municipal or local board or a body with authority to adopt local police regulations.

Now that I got the boring legal stuff out of the way, let me say that I am not always the most compliant driver (mind you that even going a mile over the speed limit is an infraction, not usually enforced, thankfully) but I do try to be courteous.
This morning I was reminded of that, my children keep me in check. The driver in front of me was driving slower than I liked, but as Quinn pointed out they were going the speed limit, so I had to chill. I’ve told my children that I have no right to get mad or upset at someone driving the posted speed limit, but when they are going 5 miles below the posted limit I do get bent. And when they’re 10 miles below, I am yelling at them telling them to turn on their darn “hazards”. I know well enough that some people have car issues and have to drive slow, so if their “hazards” are on I respect that they are considerate, and remain calm.
So after I dropped off the kids, I’m waiting at the light to turn left, a car perpendicular to me made a right hand turn into the right lane of a 4 lane rd(2 going east, 2 going west), after he turned he was parallel to me. Moments after he turned a car (which did have the light) flew through the intersection, slammed on his breaks and laid on his horn. My thought was, what the hell is your problem? The second car had more than enough time to move into the left lane and there clearly were no other cars present. Additionally, he remained behind the first car the entire time until I couldn’t see them about a mile to 2 down the road! Seriously?! He clearly was in excess of the speed limit, had plenty of time if he was paying attention to the road, and had another available lane to move into. In my opinion he had no valid right to get upset!
Now, if he was driving the speed limit and the other lane was occupied and the first car decided to turn into his path because he couldn’t wait 2 seconds for him to pass, then he’d would be justified in his honking like a madman.
So what have we learned here?
If you are abiding by the laws, yell, scream, honk, or ignore those rude drivers. However, if you’re the offender, you may want to check yourself before you react. (Was I speeding, did I have my turn signal on within the require 100′ before I turned-not the second before you turn-ugh!)
And know the laws, I swear I don’t know where people got their licenses from. Omg, I mean really who does not know that on the highway the left lane is for passing? Drives me nuts. The left lane is for passing, if you are driving slower than the flow of traffic stay to the right. I’m not linking or posting all the statutes.
Well that’s this mornings rant. 🙂

Schizophrenia or am I the crazy one?!

Jan 23, 2013. Introduction- The woman, Lu, whom this story is about is a foreigner. She came here after meeting her now husband in her own country. Her husband is 20 years her senior and he has children her age. This is only relevant after the fact, because for years she had told me how they didn’t like her amongst other things which I’ll reveal later. English is her second language, and all her family and lifetime friends live abroad. After she moved here she took ESL classes and progressed in her English in all aspects; reading, writing, speaking and audial understanding. She has been living in the US for almost 8 years give or take a year.
At this time, I need to make it clear that I do not have any background in psychotherapy or anything of the like. My only experience with mental illness is my own and that is depression. But I would like to point out(as ridiculous as it may seem) that I did use tactics I saw used in the criminals shows I watch. Laugh all you want, but they worked up to a point. One being that I played into her delusions to keep her trust, but not so much to add to her psychosis. Fact is someone could actually be in her computer.
I put this information here at the beginning of this story to give the reader some understanding to her difficulties and isolation, which I hope will be made more evident as the story progresses. And that I believe I acted with caution, caring and understanding.

The story begins on the 7th of January, after my husband got a call from his friend Red, asking if his wife and kids could spend some time at our house. He then asked me if it was ok for Lu, Ed(4yo) and Sue(1yo) to come stay with us for a while, I said fine. After he got off the phone he told me how Red has been dealing with Lu’s wild accusations, and that he had been confiding in him for about six months but the last month had gotten considerably worse. She accused him of inappropriately touching their son, taking away her passport, phone and Internet, infidelity, she told him people were following her and ridiculing her everywhere she went. My husband told me not to mention any of this to Lu, because she already feels and fears that Red is trying to take her kids away from her. He also let me know that he thinks she has schizophrenia but he can not say for sure. The next day Lu called me and asked if she and her kids could come and stay for awhile, again I said yes. She then told me that her and Red were having problems, that he doesn’t help with the kids or around the house and she has no where to turn. I reassured she could come here and we could talk and she could relax a little because we’d help with the kids while she was here. She said thank you and that she’d talk to Red and ask him to bring her here. A few days went by and Friday the 11th she called asking if I could come pick her up. Now because English is her second language, I brought a friend with me who speaks her first language, so there would be minimal misunderstandings. Now before I left to go to Lu’s I made a conscious decision not to pass any quick judgement based on what my husband said or by the incidents told to me.

Day 1-After we arrived at her house, she had some errands to run, I drove in the car with Lu and my friend followed behind in my car. As we were driving Lu asked if I read license plates, I do. She pointed to a plate and asked me if I knew what it said, I did not. She told me that in her native tongue they use numbers as letters, and that the plate said “lawyer” in her language. Then she pointed to another one and another, each one was a word aimed at ridiculing or meant to intimidate her. At that moment a plane was flying low(airport nearby) and she leaned over, pointed to the plane, and said whispered to me “see they’re following me”. Still whispering she asked if I knew about them, the “secret society”. She told me not to say anything, they’re watching her everywhere, then she said I probably shouldn’t have told you, now I’m going to be in trouble.
We got to her house and we all talked, she went in and out of these types of breaks from reality.
But the story that really got me concerned was when she told me that she thinks Red touched Ed’s bottom area, and that she couldn’t tell anyone because “the Jewish people control everything”. I told her that he needs to be check by a doctor because if he is being molested someone needs to pay! She moved in close to me and said, “no, please don’t tell anyone the secret society will kill me if they find out”. Other random things that she had said that night were that her husband has video cameras in the house, and that her phone and computer are bugged.

Day 2&3- Lu and I had many talks these 2 days so I can not say with certainty what was revealed when. But in those two days I mentioned a number of times “mental illness”. I wanted to put it out there in the general sense, mentioning; anxiety, depression and bipolar that they all are mental illnesses, and many people have mental illnesses. I for one have depression and I take meds for it and it is well controlled and in check. However, she was not happy about my comment and emphatically denied having any mental problems, stating that her problem was her husband, that she was stressed and he was trying to make her out to be crazy so he can take the kids away from her. Do you know how hard it is to reason with someone who is having a break from reality trying to gently, covertly tell them they are crazy, when that’s the very thing they are afraid of?! Impossible!

Day 4- revelation?! That morning Lu let me know that Sue showed her that she probably does have some mental illness and that she’d get counseling. A break through I thought. Though to some extent I do believe that children are protect by angels and may be able to feel things that adults can’t, but where is that line drawn? To further this incident, her daughter also pulled on her earrings which made Lu take that as a sign that her daughter wanted her to remove whatever was blocking her ability to listen, that she needs to listen and pay attention more. Later she thanked me for letting her come to my house and teaching her so much. She told me she gets it now and understands a lot more and realizes she needs to focus more on her children. Then she asked about the program, is that how I learned all this stuff(I’m guessing it was having an organized pantry and a cordless vac and other things that make my life a little easier), had I been in the program too? When I told her no she got a little mad and said I didn’t have to lie!

Day 5- she feels better and leaves. She feels as though she has learned a lot, and understands what she needs to do and she has to take her son to his classes, because that’s what a good mother does.

So in addition to everything above, for about 4 years, she has told me on several occasions that she thought that Red was cheating on her. At those times I tried to reassure her, tell her to find some evidence, something and I just listened also. Because in truth it may have been a possibility. Men cheat, not all men but it could happen. As it turns out he did not. On some of those occasions he’d actually been in meetings with my husband. Now in those years I had no inkling that she had any mental issues other than the typical stresses of a mom with a new baby. Being a stay at home mom with a baby while your husbands at work, no family or friends close by to help or talk too, limited English at that time, understandably cause that type of fear(which was my thought). Shortly after Ed was born there was a family get together. Red, his children, Lu, the baby, family and friends were all there, after that party she told me that his family pricked her sons finger to get blood to check his DNA. Back then my thought was “wow” these are some really mean people, can’t they let their father be happy and get on with his life. Another time she told me that they would pinch her son just to make him cry. Again never thought anything past what she had told me, I tried to comfort her and support her as much as I could whenever there were these family occasions to go to. Sadly, now I think those incidences may have been indicators to her evolving psychosis.

Progression- I believe she may have had schizophrenia almost unnoticeably for years and then the birth of her first child was the first stressor to set it off. That’s when she started talking about Red’s family and the things they said or done. Later she became suspicious of her husband having affairs. But even during those couple of years she was still very social. Than, I believe her second break was after the birth of her daughter, she became more withdrawn. It was one of those things where you think of it for a minute than dismiss it as nothing. Now that I look back I notice that they did’t come to our family events anymore, there was always an excuse. But the last break which is the one that has me the most concerned is that her mother is ill. Her mother is abroad and Lu received notice in December that her mom needs surgery and she was waiting for Lu to come and visit and that’s when she’d go in for the surgery. So Lu starts looking for her passport, it’s expired! She snaps mentally, she accuses her husband of taking her passport, her phone, the Internet, her CC. She doesn’t trust him to help her with anything. Two weeks later is when we got the phone call that started all this. When she was with me I did help her get the papers for her to travel back home.

Indicators- “secret society”, Jews are in control of everything, in a program at my house, video cameras in her home, her phone is bugged, computer is bugged, she is being followed, messages in pictures that she has taken, messages in license plates, her husband wants to prove she is crazy so he can take her children away.

Husband- before I got to involved I asked him point blank “do you want a divorce?” He said no, he still loved her, he’d like to make it work because the kids need their mother, but he can not go on with the way things are. This is a 60yo man, I may be deluding myself, but I’m certain most 60yo men maybe even women would not want the job of raising 2 young children by themselves.

My efforts- now with all these happenings bouncing around in my head, I start reading and looking and learning. Schizophrenia, paranoia, the law, where to go, how to get diagnosed. My conclusion is she has paranoid schizophrenia or a brain lesion that mimics it. So reading that PS is the easiest to treat out of the 3 types you can get, and that it is progressive, it is forever and stressors can cause major psychotic episodes, I get started looking for help. After looking at dozens of possible psychiatrists or treatment facilities near their house(which is way out there) I find nothing. Than there is the added complication of her not having an medical coverage, why because she refused to sign the papers because she didn’t trust Red. I did get her to sign them but the insurance doesn’t go into affect until 2/1. Finally, I find a general behavioral health number to call, Magellan, I explain my story and the fact that she is not a danger to herself or her kids(only important fact), however he thinks I should take her to a psychiatric center, one that is free. We go downtown wait our turn, she goes in and wants to talk alone. I ask the people at the front desk how is the person going to help her if she doesn’t know she schizophrenic? That’s not what they do there! Great! I have a fricking melt down outside a psychiatric center because no one sees what I see. So back to her house. More breaks with reality and I about to go home, I’m in my car and we’re talking she tells me again it’s Reds fault her counselor knows this and agrees with her and everyone she talks too tells her she needs to get away from her husband that he is no good for her. I realize at that moment if this is true no one will ever see passed what she tells them about her husband. I return to the house and start a process to have her rights removed to have her admitted into a hospital. They informed me they’d call within 24 business hours.

Finally the call- I relate some events to the woman along with my concerns and she assures me that I’m doing the right thing, but that I do need proof. Because ultimately it’s my word against hers. Great! So in order to prove that she’s crazy and no one is video taping or recording her, I have to videotape or record her. Yup I find it ironic too. I let her husband know that I’ve gotten nowhere. He decides to let her go to see her mom with the kids. Now in my mind I’m freaking out. I’m thinking ok she is going abroad with her kids, undiagnosed schizophrenia, her mom has an ulceration on her breast almost the size of my hand(breast cancer?) and may die, if that happens Lu is going to have a major psychotic break. At wits end I go to church and ask for help, the wonderful lady there gives me a number she uses and they come to your house if needed. I received 2 more phone calls that day from Red about incidents with Lu. After the 2nd call for him, I call the crisis line and again relay the story, they offered to meet me at her house. They came, took notes, asked questions, gave some numbers for family counseling and left. For the 3rd, 4th or 5th time I was told as long as she is of no harm to herself or others there is nothing we can do. I said ok I get it so I’ll call you when she walks into a school and shoots 26 kids. They didn’t like that answer and told me to call when she becomes a threat.

Hello- people do you not read your own information on schizophrenia? It is progressive, it is forever, there are no warning signs for a major psychotic break, stress exacerbates schizophrenia, and it easily controlled with medication.

Complicating matters- to make things even worse, she will not take any medicine without talking to a counselor to diagnose her. So how long do you think it will take her to tell someone who is controlled by Jews or the SS that they are after her? Or will she continue to convey the stress and anxiety of a controlled housewife left to tend the kids alone? Lets just suppose after 6months of therapy it is finally realized that she has schizophrenia, then the challenge of convincing her that the meds aren’t going to cause kidney or liver problems. Oh yes she looked the pill I gave her and it had side effects, no more of those pills! This is smart woman, she is not stupid by any means.

Almost the end-that night when the crisis people left and I had exhausted every resource I could find, I came straight out and told her I believe she has schizophrenia. She said ok. I turned to her and said it was that easy? She replied I’ve been called whore, bitch, stupid, what’s one more name. Ugh! I told her it was not an insult, I am seriously concerned for your health, if its not schizophrenia than it may be a brain lesion or something in your brain, but you do have a problem. And my fear is that you are going to another country and no one knows what you may or may not have, your mother is ill, and if you have a major episode and no one knows you have schizophrenia, I will not be there to help. She assured me she’d get counseling there, that she knows doctors and psychologists there, and she’d be fine. The problem is I don’t speak the language and since I never know where she is in her lucidity she may or may not know doctors there.

The end- has yet to be written yet because she is still here waiting for her travel documents.

UPDATE- Sept 13, 2014.

Lu and the children have been in a foreign country since about Feb 2013. She is with her family their and has since gotten an apartment, but unable to get a job. Throughout this time nearly 2 years her schizophrenia has been progressing in its disease. In the beginning upon her arrival “home” no one noticed any oddities in her behavior and they had actually believed her stories about being treated poorly by her husband and others whom she was in contact with here in the US.

But after several months her father was the first to notice something amiss with Lu. He even talked to Red about it, but denied that fact when confronted by Lu on the subject. Well now her mother has finally noticed and realized that Lu has problems.

However, what brings me here today to update is answered prayer. Ever since this began and I reached a dead end on my part, I felt helpless and ineffectual, so I did the only thing left that I felt I could do and that was to pray. I had exhausted every mean available to me within the parameters of the law that were reasonable, that is to say, I did not pursue the avenue of removing her personable rights by audio or video taping our conversations to prove my allegations of her delusional ramblings.

Essentially after the last resort of telling her my concern and hoping against all hope that she’d listen to me and start some type of therapy and take medications that would slow the progression of the disease, she instead took my statement as an insult. Whereupon I realized that at that point the only person that could help now was God. So I prayed.

As of today, I was informed that Lu started attending church some time ago and was befriended by a couple there who happen to be in the mental health field. Red had gone to visit Lu and the kids as he typically does, when this couple happened to come by her apartment to check up on her and the kids. This couple and Red had a lengthy discussion and he confirmed what they had suspicions of, that Lu has schizophrenia.

Red found out through them that this church has formed a group that had decided to look after Lu and the children. So now Red has contacts, which he didn’t have before, that will update him and will act as the liaisons for him and the situation going on abroad. This should help him out a lot because he only knew what Lu would tell him, which wasn’t much, if it was even factual.

In case you’re wondering the children are doing fine. As a mother Lu continues to love and mother her kids in all the proper ways; feeding, cleaning, clothing, etc… The only area she has neglected is sending her son to school out of fear, which she compensates for by taking them out to the library, park, etc, instead.

Well that’s all the info I have for now. I’m so thankful that God answers pray even if it does take years to happen, His timing and understanding is perfect, my no so much.