CNN reporter Trish Turner wrote about Creigh Deeds interview with Anderson Cooper.
"A sensitive, beautiful child" who was "full of love," is how Creigh Deeds, Virginia State Senator, remembers his son. Two months ago, at the age of twenty-four, Austin "Gus" Deeds, "stabbed his father multiple times before taking his own life."
Why did this sensitive, beautiful child commit such a heinous act? Mental illness. Gus Deeds was no longer in control of himself when he used the knife to stab his father. The mental illness that had been brewing for several years took over.
Creigh Deeds's son displayed "a pattern that was on-again, off-again for months." Mr. Deeds discovered his son was having severe issues the day before the attack and obtained an emergency custody order, a Baker Act, which was enforced by the local sheriff's department. "Mental health professionals at the Community Services Board evaluated Gus Deeds and determined that the boy was not suicidal, and Gus was released." Mr. Deeds had a sinking, ominous feeling that his son was coming home to him frustrated, unhappy, and untreated. The following morning the ominous feeling turned into reality. Creigh Deeds said, "The system failed my son."
The system often fails the mentally ill. Unless you have money and status or commit a crime it is extremely difficult to be heard and helped. "Deeds says he knows that part of the law won't change, but he is determined to get legislation passed that mandates an up-to-date database of psychiatric beds available in the state. Deeds has also introduced a bill that would mandate a 24-hour period during which a mental evaluation must occur. Right now in Virginia, it's four hours with a two-hour extension."
I feel lucky to have received support and help for my son during his most difficult times. Unfortunately it came with a price and pushing to get what he needed. The fight is not over, and sadly is never over for the mentally ill. It is a lifelong illness that needs constant monitoring, but a happy and fulfilling life can be obtained with determination and support.
"Life goes on. Now there's a little bit of focus on mental illness. If we can make a change that will save lives, we have to do it. I've got no choice."--Creigh Deeds
To read the full article follow the link below.
I am sad to say that I haven't had any synchronicity moments this past week, but I will relate an "in-tune" moment from my writing. While writing my memoir I have had to come up with different names for people in the story to protect the privacy of the individuals. Some people's names are similar to their real name or have significant meaning to me.
One particular name I used for a doctor that was random was Rothberg. It was a one time use for an on-call psychiatrist my son saw while at a facility. I have learned that most names of insignificant people can be deleted and I could have just referred to this person as the on-call psychiatrist, but I didn't, and the professional editor noticed it. She mentioned the occurrence of the one-time name and said it came as a surprise to her, because Rothberg is her maiden name. Interesting coincidence? "in-tune" moment? or synchronicity? So, I have decided that Rothberg will appear in the memoir as a more prominent figure instead of the one-time occurrence.
Please share your synchronistic moments with me, I'd love to hear them.
If you have never been hated by your child you have never been a parent.
-- Bette Davis
I love this quote by Bette Davis. We can't be our child's friend and also be their parent. They won't always like us. There was a terrific article by Kathy Caprino in Forbes magazine last week about parenting. She said, "As a parent myself, I’ve learned that all the wisdom and love in the world doesn’t necessarily protect you from parenting in ways that hold your children back from thriving, gaining independence and becoming the leaders they have the potential to be." She interviewed leadership expert Dr. Tim Elmore to "learn more about how we as parents are failing our children today — coddling and crippling them — and keeping them from becoming leaders they are destined to be."
The article then shares Dr. Elmore's seven damaging parenting behaviors. I will summarize them, but I encourage you to read the full article.
1. We don’t let our children experience risk
If parents remove risk from children’s lives, we will likely experience high arrogance and low self-esteem in our growing leaders.
2. We rescue too quickly
When we rescue too quickly and over-indulge our children with “assistance,” we remove the need for them to navigate hardships and solve problems on their own.
3. We rave too easily
When we rave too easily and disregard poor behavior, children eventually learn to cheat, exaggerate and lie and to avoid difficult reality.
4. We let guilt get in the way of leading well
If your relationship is based on material rewards, kids will experience neither intrinsic motivation nor unconditional love.
5. We don’t share our past mistakes
Share with them the relevant mistakes you made when you were their age in a way that helps them learn to make good choices.
6. We mistake intelligence, giftedness and influence for maturity
Intelligence is often used as a measurement of a child’s maturity, and as a result parents assume an intelligent child is ready for the world.
7. We don’t practice what we preach
As parents, it is our responsibility to model the life we want our children to live. To help them lead a life of character and become dependable and accountable for their words and actions
I can certainly see parenting mistakes in these seven behaviors that I have made. I encourage you to take charge as a parent, read the whole article, and make the changes needed to raise children that are self-sufficient, mature, and full of leadership potential.
"Care enough to train them, not merely treat them to a good life. Coach them, more than coddle. “--Dr. Elmore
Youth suicide prevention is a subject that is close to my heart. Prevention can lock the door to suicide. Knowing the signs is the key to this door. Youth suicide is the second leading cause of death in ages 10-24, after accidents, in the United States.
"One of the most telling risk factors for youth is mental illness. Mental or addictive disorders are associated with 90% of suicides. One in ten youth suffer from mental illness serious enough to be impaired, yet fewer than 20 percent receive treatment. In fact, 60% of those who complete suicide suffer from depression. Alcohol and drug use, which clouds judgment, lowers inhibitions, and worsens depression, are associated with 50-67% of suicides."--Jason foundation
Know the signs of risk in your own teen, friend, or student. It is important for teachers to know the signs of suicide. According to the Jason foundation, only twelve states in the United States have mandatory teacher training in suicide awareness. This should be fifty. Check out their site below and find out about mandatory teaching training in suicide awareness. There are many suicide awareness programs on the web, if this one doesn't have what you need look for another one.
http://www.sptsusa.org/ (the society for the prevention of teen suicide)
I have recently come across two great websites for drug addiction and they made me think. Drug addiction affects the lives many people, not just those with the addiction. My son had a different kind of addiction, but all addictions are tied together with mental health and all addictions are hurtful. There are some great resources out there for those of you that may need them for yourselves or your loved ones. Check out my resources page for helpful books, websites, and blogs. One of them may help you.
The two websites that I discovered on drug treatment are:
"ALLTREATMENT.COM IS A DRUG REHAB CENTER DIRECTORY AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE INFORMATION RESOURCE. OUR WEBSITE IS DEDICATED TO EDUCATING OUR USERS ABOUT DRUG AND ALCOHOL ADDICTION."
"At Drugless.org, we are dedicated to providing people with information on drug treatment, intervention, prevention, and other related subject matter. If you or a loved one need help, you can rely on us for high quality information and assistance."
Check them out for yourself.
I hope you are not getting tired of hearing about my synchronicity moments, because I am finding them fascinating. I would love to hear yours and post them with your permission.
Lately I spend my days in the editing and rewriting process. I never realized how much work is involved after you think you've done all the work. I wrote the book, sent a sample to a professional editor who gave me suggestions on improving it before I sent it to her for a final edit. Now that she has professionally edited it I have to go back and rework it to make sure it is tighter, stronger, and less repetitive, etc., etc., etc. It is an enormous undertaking. It took me a year to write the book and I have been editing for six months and think I'm only half-way done. However, I do think it will be worth it in the end.
Okay on to my moment. I have my manuscript on the computer and a hard-copy with the line-by-line editing next to the computer. When checking for things like repetitive words, I use the locate program and find all the same of one word. I then go page by page on the computer, while referring to the edited version. The page numbers are no longer the same because I have cut and changed so much since receiving the edited hard-copy back, and they are double-spaced so don't be afraid of the amount of pages. Today I was specifically looking for the word "told" to make sure it doesn't appear too many times on a page, like said, it is impossible not to use it, but I try. I have my pile next to me and it is 476 pages. I see that on the computer I need to look at page 253 of the hard-copy, which may or may not be the exact page I need, but I always start with the exact number and move on from there. The manuscript is open to some number in the 200's. I grab a stack of pages from the top to flip over and I have picked up the exact amount of pages to be on page 253. This surprises me and I say, "Wow, a synchronicity moment." I write down the page number so I can remember it and continue working. About ten minutes later I am looking for page 438 and guess what? That's right, I open the stack to the exact number of 438. Very cool and bizarre that it happened twice. I wonder what this is trying to tell me. I do promise the book will not be 476 pages long.
Have a happy Monday and write down your synchronicity moments.
I was deeply disturbed and saddened when I read this article about the police shooting a young man in his own home during a psychotic episode. This could have been my son. Parents of the mentally ill often call police officers out to their home to help contain or transport a child having an episode. We expect the police to be professional, supportive, and helpful; not life threatening. Please follow the link below and read the article. This is something that is immensely important. We must learn from this tragedy so it does not happen again. My heart goes out to the parents of this young man. I hope they can find peace during this distressing time.
I read a CNN article new year's week about the lives of five different people. The one that stood out to me was the story of a man who in his teens had a drug addiction, a criminal record, and was sentenced to jail. The young man phoned his father in anguish. His father told him to breathe. Not just ordinary breathing. He told him to pay attention to his breathing and to count each breath, so that he could be in the moment and not think about the past or the future. Through this breathing technique the young man discovered meditation. Each breath helped him to think only of the present, recover from his past, and move toward a positive future.
I got up this morning and put laundry in the washing machine. I checked the pockets of my jeans before depositing them in the wash and the movie "Somewhere in Time," with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour, crossed my mind. I recalled the part when Christopher Reeves is talking to Jane Seymour, after he has successfully gone back in time to find her. He is wearing an old suit from the era that he purchased at a second hand store. He digs through the pockets and comes across a modern day coin that changes his perspective and sends him back to his own time.
I put my clothes in the wash, still thinking about this movie, left the room, and sat with my husband for a cup of coffee. He tells me about a dream he had the previous night. In his dream someone is transported back in time and has a romance with a person from the past. I told him about my moment with the laundry and thought the movie was very much like his dream.
"Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see."--Carl Jung
2013 is over and the new year has started. I know I'm a little late, but Happy New Year. I have been working hard and thinking about my year to come. What will it bring? This quote from C.S. Lewis is inspirational.
I plan on bringing many exceptional things into this new year. I wish health and happiness to everyone. With each day that passes may you find opportunities for growth and wisdom.
"A new day presents new challenges. New challenges present opportunity, and growth shall result." --Matthew
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