Schizophrenia: Walk In My Shoes Part 2 – The Saint Could Not Save Him

Schizophrenia:

A Walk In My Shoes

Part 2:

The Saint Could Not Save Him

I had met him through a mutual friend in November 2002. Dan was tall, lengthy and had hardly any muscle tone to him. As I grew to know him, love him and observe him as I always did with people I got to know, over the years I noticed his muscle mass was shrinking. I had taken him to a doctor to test his testosterone levels and they were quite low, but the doctor said, “That’s because of his age. He’s nearly 40, this is expected.” That diagnosis, in 2008, didn’t set well with me. There was something else going on.

A few years later, in October 2012, an old classmate had come into town, finding me on Facebook. We started chatting it up and soon he came to visit to meet my husband Dan. It had taken a week to catch my husband’s work schedule from Boeing to get a chance for the two to meet on a weekend, but little did I know what an eye opening encounter it would be.

I had to nearly force Dan to come meet this old classmate. He was reluctant to do so because it was something new to experience. He never did well with new interactions. New situations, even new foods he had a hard time dealing with, but he trudged along for my sake. All I wanted to do was help him have a better life than the one he was so poorly raised in. After a few minutes, Dan came out of his study.

“Dan, this is that classmate I told you about. This is Chris. We were in NJROTC together in senior year at Marysville-Pilchuck High school,” I smiled feeling the excitement rise in me and behind that excitement of hope in adding Chris to the current group of friends. I had hoped that Dan was going to be much more coherent and sociable.

Dan stepped back a bit, rubbed his neck and stuttered feeling the kitchen counter top with his hand for something to brace against as his anxiety kicked in, “Uh, hi,” is all he said.

“Nice to meet you, Dan. Tara’s told me a lot about you,” Chris extended his hand in greeting, but Dan did not take it. Instead his hazel green eyes widened and within seconds had scampered off quickly down the hall back into his study not saying a word as he closed the door behind him. Chris stood there for a few seconds dumb struck to Dan’s peculiar style of greeting. Without missing a beat, “There’s something really wrong with him,” he thumbed down the hall, raising an eyebrow.

At this point, I was still party in denial of what Dan’s mental state really was. I had been studying about schizophrenia for nearly six years prior cause I had a feeling something was wrong. The novel I had started writing in summer 2009 about a character with schizophrenia was just a cover so I could continue to study on the subject.

“Oh, that’s just how Dan is. That’s normal for him,” I chimed with a smile, but I felt an unease with those words. I knew right then that there was something wrong with my husband of nearly ten years.

“Really, Tara? Of all people, I never knew you to be this thick headed. I know you can see he needs help,” Chris advised as I listened to the tone in his voice of concern for me. It was then I realized that I could no longer hide the fact that my husband of ten years could not be saved by me. It was that very thought: I can’t save him had crossed my mind, is when I knew Dan’s family had not told me the truth about their son. I could feel my heart break when I realized his family’s betrayal.

If they had told me about his mental illness, I would have changed tactics to either find him the help he really needed or I would have left him at the alter. If they had told me the truth first hand I probably would not be writing this right now. I would have gone off to other things, but being the good-natured, whole hearted person that I am, I couldn’t stand by and let no one love him. I tried to love him were his family had failed in not loving him in return.

Little did I realize that Dan would never be able to replicate the love I had for him, back to me. He had no mental understanding of how to love fully due to his residual schizophrenia. It was not until a week after the divorce papers were turned in on January 26, 2012 that I had asked the question again to his half sister.

“Now that I’m divorcing your brother, what the hell is wrong with him?” I fussed. I was tired of the games his family was playing trying to keep me as the angel to care for him.

“What do you care anymore? You’re leaving him,” she fussed in return.

“I have to know so I can be at peace with all of this. I need to know, now tell me, what is mentally wrong with Dan?”

She sighed heavy, “Dan was diagnosed with residual schizophrenia and anti-social personality disorder. He was a sick baby all the time. He was skinny. Had a hard time drinking milk cause he was always so dirty. He constantly had diarrhea, so it was hard to keep him clean. Mom would just leave him on the bed on a towel without a diaper just crying,” at this point I began to cry. I could picture it perfectly as to how he was treated and my heart just turned to dust. “You shouldn’t cry over this. It happened decades ago,” she added. How could his half sister say such a thing about her baby brother? “Besides, I am to blame in treating Dan so poorly, too. I called him weak and I didn’t stand up to him when Glenn,” their stepfather, “would call him names and hit him. I should have stood up against the abuse and loved him more. I’m grateful that Dan had someone so wonderful to love him. It’s a shame you’re leaving him like this.”

I was furious.

I wanted to reach into the phone and smack her face.

I wanted to go back in time and steal little baby Dan away from that awful place!

After that, I called his biological father. You might be asking yourself right now – ‘Why didn’t she ask these questions early on while they dated?’ Oh, I did ask these questions but I kept getting the run around from all of his family, even his biological father until the end.

“What’s wrong with Dan?” I would ask his biological mother Jill.

“Let Dan tell you,” she always said.

“What’s wrong with Dan?” I would ask his stepfather Glenn.

“Let Jill tell you,” he always said.

“What’s wrong with Dan?” I would ask his half sister.

“Let Glenn tell you,” she always said.

Then it came for me to ask his biological father who was hard to get a hold of due to his very busy work schedule and better life with his wife of 20 something years.

“What’s wrong with Dan?” I asked, the first words out of my mouth over the phone. At this point I was at the end of my rope. If his biological father sang the same song as the others, I don’t know how I would react.

This is what I found out from his biological father after I backed up what he told me. Here are my findings. Again, just as in Part 1, all psychological information will be coming out of Writer’s Digest book Writer’s Guide To Character Traits second edition by Linda N. Edelstein, PH.D. Published in 2006. If you want to reference back to Part 1 http://www.psych2go.net/walk-shoes-part-1-brothers-mind-lost/ for the first collection of technical findings, by all means, please do.

Traits Of Children and Adolescents Who Have Later Become Schizophrenic

This disorder is rarely seen in children, and there are few definitive hallmarks in childhood that can predict a later schizophrenic problem. Though there are several characteristics that might indicate a predisposition toward schizophrenia, most children who display some of these traits will not go on to develop a mental illness.

(The above bold text I expressed in the above paragraph is because now, since 2012, there are a small handful of children born with schizophrenia that have been successfully diagnosed. These children are part of a life long study of the mental illness to find a cure. A little later in the article you will understand why I mention this now.)

Possible Early Warning Signs of Schizophrenia in a Child:

    • Is unresponsive, withdrawn in infancy; has poor muscle tone

    • Is irritable in childhood; flat in affect; easily distracted

    • Has low re-activity in childhood and adolescence; poor motor functions such as coordination and balance

    • Is shy and introverted; rarely joyful (girls, all ages)

    • Is disruptive; displays inappropriate behavior (boys, all ages)

    • Is unresponsive in adolescence; has poor eye contact, little facial expressions, and lack of voice inflection

    • Is socially incompetent in adolescence

His half sister, during the good times of my marriage to her brother Dan, would tell me stories of how silly he was while growing up. She would jokingly recount, “He could barely hold that large iron skillet with two hands while he tried to chase me around the house cause we were arguing as to who’s turn it was to do dishes after dinner. I can’t believe he was trying to hit me with that iron skillet when he couldn’t even lift it off the ground!” she laughed.

Dan replied, “What? I don’t remember that.” I was surprised at his remark. How could he forget such an important part of his childhood even though his family didn’t know that their son had a mental illness so strong as residual schizophrenia.

During the first few months of getting to know Dan, I found I was falling in love with him. Then one day, in the first week of January 2003, Dan came down with mononucleosis. His parents brought him home to Camano Island to get healthy. I offered to clean his apartment the entire time he was ill. I cleaned his apartment for one reason: to express how much I loved him. It was not to give up my power as a woman. It was out of real love that I wanted to express in this way. It took a week of back breaking labor from ceiling to floor in every room of the Edwardian style house apartment. A single bedroom, with a large square living room with fireplace and hallway attached to the original kitchen.

Later, when Dan was relieved of his illness of mono, the kissing disease, I saw how much further his muscle mass had diminished. The doctor that did a check up on him was surprised that I had not caught the disease since it was so easily transmutable by sharing of silverware and kissing. I had relayed where he got the disease, but he did not believe me considering his mother and stepfather had told me that Dan was born with a compromised immune system.

“You caught mono from your roommate you had living with you for two years. The same person that introduced you to me – classmate Jenny from Marysville-Pilchuck HS.” She had, all throughout those years of school got around. I knew better than to hook up with her that night during the sleepover at Dan’s apartment that late November in 2002.

Onward with my investigation of Dan’s mental state, as I gradually got to know him through his family, I asked a few questions here and there. The case was building. It was then I could not keep this all to myself. Over time I would force him to go to doctors for different medical situations that came up. As I studied, I found that schizophrenics are born with compromised immune systems. The more Dan got sick from odd things, the more I dug into his medical history through the books I read.

This is what he had during my marriage to him in chronological order.

    • Mononucleosis

    • Staph infection

    • Concussion at work

    • Staph infection a second time

    • Concussion at work a second time

    • MRSA once

    • Concussion a third time, along with hairline fractures of his L12 vertebrae when he landed on the stairs backwards

    • Blocked right sinus due to 2in polup which was removed, sight of his own blood pouring out scaring him half to death

Doctor said to me and him, “If you get a third staph infection, the antibiotics will no longer work for you due to your immune system.”

Doctor said to me and him, “If you get another MRSA infection, the antibiotics will not work on you and could counter act against your already compromised immune system.”

Doctor said to me and him, “If you had landed on your T1 vertebrae, which is connected to the nerve system for your lungs, you would have died instantly due to your lungs collapsing.”

As I mentioned a few times already, that schizophrenia can cause low immunity with or without it being a genetic disposition. The reason behind a low to highly compromised immune system in schizophrenia I would say has a lot to do with the chemical imbalance of the brain. What can enhance the low immunity further to also make schizophrenia worse, could be a protein allergy from cows milk. Dan had an allergy to cows milk and breast milk in general, but it was heightened during his teen years with milk having hormones being injected into cows. The high levels of testosterone, a hormone injected into cattle to bulk up muscle size and increase milk production, can cause a low testosterone level in a child born with schizophrenia. This would then create a compromised immune system. With this in mind, what the doctor said to Dan was spot on – with his compromised immunity he was born with and the low testosterone level, it would counter act with any antibiotics he was given to fight off any infections in the future. His body could not produce the amigo-acids needed to build stronger red blood cells to maintain muscle mass which then drastically lowered his testosterone levels and lessen his white blood cell count.

(Now, I will go on record right now that I may have gotten some of my information wrong from trying to remember this from memory. If in fact I have gotten some of the info wrong in the above paragraph, please let me know.)

As to what Dan’s biological father had told me over the phone in mid January 2012 was quite shocking.

“As you may know, I’m divorcing your son,” I began.

“No, this is the first I’ve heard of it. No one told me, not even Jill,” the inflection of his voice was absolute shock. “What brought this on to happen?”

“Dan has not held up his part in the marriage. I’ve done all that I can, but he hasn’t come through. He ignores me at every turn since the second year of marriage. He had odd mood swings. He eats the same foods all the time. He clams up when I confront him on things that are not rational to get in trouble over. He would get into false fits to make me unhappy and then when I’m crying my eyes out and in crisis he would turn around to treat me like a child who needs healing. He got a reaction out of me and kept doing it over and over. Frankly, I’ve had enough. It’s like raising a child that won’t grow up,” I took a breath. My emotions were getting the better of me, “Tell me, Lee, is there something about Dan I should know?”

Lee took a long sigh, “So, Jill never told you, I see. Tara, Dan was a very sick baby when he was born. His mother had mental issues herself and it was hard for me to get her to stop doing drugs during the first trimester of her pregnancy with Dan. It wasn’t until after Dan was born that I divorced Jill and then shortly after she found Glenn who would care for her small family. I dropped all contact from her after that. When I tell you it was hard for me to reach her, I mean it. She was a difficult woman to deal with even when she wasn’t using acid. There was something wrong with her, too.”

At this point, I realized looking back at Jill’s own behavior that she exhibited symptoms of schizophrenia, particularly paranoid schizophrenia with a hint of residual, too. I hadn’t the heart to tell him of her true mental state as it was far too late to do anything for her and to leave him with a possible burden of guilt along with, would have been bad on my part. I felt he knew inside his heart how really mentally unstable she was.

He continued, “She also drank Diet Coca-Cola, nearly five cans a day, every day since she was married to me. I had looked into it that with the mix of drug use and the constant consumption of the Diet Coca-Cola which has the sweetener aspartame in it, both factors kept eating away at her brain. Whatever was left of her genetics, I’m sure she passed on schizophrenia to Dan.”

Then it dawned on me. Glenn had tried for decades to get Jill to stop drinking the soda, but she refused. Jill was in a trance to consume the same foods and drink all the time. Exactly the same behavior as Dan. She would black out and her short term memory loss got worse. Not to forget, that Glenn continued to bully and name call Jill, too. All the while, Glenn not knowing that he had married a mentally unstable woman who desperately needed medication to control her ever growing symptoms of schizophrenia and at last, she was on medication for her seizures. Her seizures were caused by the constant consumption of Diet Coca-Cola and the drug use in the past had eaten away at her brain. Her brain looks like Swiss cheese, the doctors said, which Glenn had told me later about.

With this realization that Dan, my husband of nearly ten years, was born with residual schizophrenia due to a woman who herself was schizophrenic and took drugs and drank a nasty artificial sweeter to make it all worse without her being conscious of what she was doing to a fetus so early in gestation. Never mind the fact that with the constant bombardment of verbal, physical and mental abuse from Dan’s stepfather, half sister, and possibly countless school piers bullying him making his mental state worse, he would have still had schizophrenia even if Jill never took drugs or ever drank the soda for decades.

To conclude part two, Dan was born with schizophrenia and with the abuse he was given he also developed anti-social personality disorder. When someone hides crucial information about someone just for the sake of protecting them from possible harm, is in fact harmful. To expect a person to suddenly swoop in to care for your ill adult sibling or adult child just cause it is covenant to do so, is also harmful. If you love your family member who is so ill in the mind, you would be in good graces with them and medical professionals if you would not hide the facts from everyone cause you are ashamed.

Shame and a hint of false pride is what kept his family from helping Dan get the proper care he needed. Along with the fact, that now in the year 2015, neuroscientists are finding new workings in the brain of how sensitive a chemical imbalance can be. How malleable the brain is from auditory, vocal and physical stimuli during early development is so very crucial these days.

Join me again for Part 3 – Schizophrenia: A Walk In My Shoes – The Ones Left Behind, where I will discuss about classmates, customers, neighbors and friends that I watched in horror as the disease, they might not even know they have, consume their lives into a viscous cycle.

A Walk In My Shoes Part 1: Brother’s Mind Is Lost

Schizophrenia:

A Walk In My Shoes

Part 1:

Brother’s Mind Is Lost

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was awake in my bedroom at the Canyon Creek Apartments in Phoenix, Arizona. I couldn’t sleep, so I listened to my New Kids On The Block album Hangin’ Tough. I turned down the music cause I felt a tension in the air. I could hear my mother in the living room waiting for my brother to come home, who was twenty-one of age at the time in 1991. The door slammed shut and my brother was in tears, nearly screaming at the top of his lungs.

I’ll call him, Travis.

“Travis, now calm down, honey,” mother cooed as I heard her follow him slowly into the kitchen. The kitchen and my bedroom shared the same wall. I didn’t even have to press my ear to it, I heard everything as though the wall was never there.

“No! I won’t calm down!” he yelled, his tone was fussy, growling almost, teeth clinched as he spoke.

“Shhh…you’ll wake Tara,” she soothed, getting slightly closer to him. I can tell in the location exactly as to where she stood before my brother. The walls acted like sonar bouncing their two voices right into my ear. My father, this whole time, was asleep in the bedroom down the hall, as far as I knew.

Travis began to cry. “I can’t calm down!” he growled.

“Did you take anything tonight?” she asked calmly knowing previously his past interactions with friends he hung out with.

“No! I can’t make the voices stop! Stop yelling at me!”

“I’m not yelling at you,” she spoke so calmly I was stunned. Where had she learned to be so cool under such pressure, I thought to myself.

A drawer opened. His fingers fondled around for a few seconds in the silverware container and then slammed the drawer closed. “Make them stop!” he growled, half yelling.

“Travis, take the knife away from your throat. Honey, please.”

I could hear his stance change. I could hear his foot move forward toward mom. All the while my hand was relaxed, open palmed, on my Joey McIntyre poster as I tried to calm my sobs. My other hand lay on the white of the wall. At that very second I could hear him move his arm outward. A slightly heavy jacket rustled as his arm moved forward toward my mother’s chest. I knew were the knife was headed.

“You can’t stop them! I want to die!” he cried, tears choking his words as the emotions poured out.

“Put the knife down. Here, give me the knife,” after those words were spoken by my mother, her full cool in action, the clatter of the knife was laid on the counter top.

“What’s wrong with me!” he sobbed into mother’s chest.

All the while, I cried. My body shook. My tear filled eyes I wiped with my left hand. I remember like it was yesterday – my tear soaked fingers trailing down the poster leaving streaks behind.

schizophrenia schiz·o·phre·ni·a [skit-suh-free-nee-uh, -freen-yuh] n. Any of a group of psychotic disorders usually characterized by withdrawal from reality, illogical patterns of thinking, delusions, and hallucinations, and accompanied in varying degrees by other emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disturbances. Schizophrenia is often associated with dopamine imbalances in the brain and defects of the frontal lobe and may have an underlying genetic cause.

My brother had been in the Navy from 1988 to 1991. He was dishonorably discharged having done something against regulations while he worked in computer programming. He had also been caught too many times selling and using drugs on base. These were not symptoms of his schizophrenia. Even way before that, when he was little, Mom had told me stories that he was a very overly hyper child. Always getting into trouble and was hard to deal with especially in his teen years. He had dropped out of high school during his Sophomore year. That is when all his mental upheavals really started.

However, in 1996 he suffered a nearly fatal car accident in the state of Washington, were my family had later moved to. My brother was the middle passenger in the truck. A Marine friend was sitting on the right and a friend to them both, a blond woman drove. The light to turn left was green. Just as the driver made the turn half way, another driver ran the red light broad siding into the truck. The Marine died instantly. The driver of the truck my brother was in only bit off half her tongue.

My brother had the worst of it. Broken legs in two differently places. Broken left arm and broken right wrist. Shattered jaw. Closed head trauma. He was unconscious on impact. He was kept in a chemical induced coma for six weeks for his brain injury to heal. To encase his brain, a metal plate was placed over the opening. Due to his previous issues with the beginnings of schizophrenia from his teen years into his early 20s, this closed head injury activated it a hundred fold. The doctors and psychiatrist diagnosed him as: Paranoid Schizophrenic.

Now, to the technical information that I have studied for years. How I come to find schizophrenia so fascinating and kept up with my studies on the subject, even though I never went to college to obtain a degree, was when I unknowingly married a residual schizophrenic (that subject will be for ‘Schizophrenia: A Walk In My Shoes Part 2: The Saint Could Not Save Him’).

All the information I fill this article with, up to this point, are all coming from one book: Writer’s Guide to Character Traits (second edition) by: Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D. Published by: Writer’s Digest Books, copyright 2006.

Early Warning Signs of Schizophrenia:

None of these signs by themselves indicate any mental illness.

    • Sleep disruptions; inability to sleep or unusual waking hours

    • Paranoid behaviors

    • Withdrawal from family and friends

    • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention

    • Deterioration of personal hygiene

    • Rambling or disorganized speech

    • Flat or expressionless gaze

    • Unusual sensitivity to stimuli such as light or noise

    • Smelling or tasting things differently

    • Steady, noticeable decline in school or work performance

    • Threats of self harm or harm to others

    • Can demonstrate sexual promiscuity

    • Opposition to authority; truancy, vandalism or theft

    • Feelings that others are watching or laughing at him

    • Extreme preoccupation with religion

    • A growing sense of deja-vu

    • Believing that independent events are connected

    • Irrational fear or anger

I can not stress this enough – the list above shows all the basic signs. It takes a combination of them, each person is different in combos of symptoms, to exhibit full on or medium functionality with schizophrenia. A regular person can experience ‘deja vu’ at some point in their lives or many times in their lives, but for a schizophrenic they experience it often to the point it can make them paranoid to take precautions that can endanger themselves and others.

The most common food that I found that my brother did not like and still does not like to this day was – tomatoes. I found this to be strange, so I looked into it years later. What I found confirmed even more that my brother had a chemical imbalance in his brain that caused his schizophrenia. A schizophrenic will absolutely hate the taste, texture, and smell of tomatoes and bananas due to the potassium compounds in the fruit. The smell especially triggers a reaction to their frontal cortex instinctively to stay away from the fruit. It may seem irrational to normal people, but to a chemically damaged brain it is a sign that there is something wrong. Now, there are people who don’t like tomatoes for other reasons, but a normally healthy brain will still try to consume something new.

As for the preoccupation with religion, in a normal person they will do ritual actions that make them happy. A ritual is only something someone does constantly at the same day and same point of time. This does not mean the person will ‘worship’ their toothbrush in the morning. This means a normal person has a routine that they are comfortable with every single day. In a schizophrenic the constant actions of something religious in scope can become so obsessive they take it as full on reality. A fabulous thing my brother said more than once in 1993 to 1998 – “I am an angel from God! I am here to guide you into the righteous light!” He would scream this during false arguments with my parents just to get a reaction from himself onto others. He would then go into a fit and slam the front door screaming at the top of his lungs. He was not under the influence of cannabis. However, cannabis can induce more schizophrenic behaviors if someone does not know they have the chemical imbalance.

Not to be confused with ADHD, having a lack in concentration for a schizophrenic person is sporadic and has no pattern. What can make them lose concentration easily can be the voices in their mind or the basic stress of being in a crowd of people that are talking all at once. For a regular person, losing concentration can stem from being overly interested in different stimuli all at once or being easily bored with one subject you are working on and then needing something to awaken you to get back on track. A normal person will take breaks if they are becoming distracted, but for a schizophrenic taking a break from distraction is very difficult to master if at all.

Those are just a small handful of what my brother exhibited in many combinations of onset schizophrenia when he was not on any medication. In the list above, he experienced nearly the whole thing in varying degrees throughout his 44 years of life so far. Today, for the last five years or more, he has been on three different medications to maintain the symptoms. At this time there is absolutely no cure for schizophrenia.

Traits Of A Person With Schizophrenia:

Internal –

    • Experiences bizarre delusions; alien thoughts are inserted in the mind

    • Has disorganized speech: rambling, incoherent, wandering from topic to topic, provides answers that do not respond to questions

    • Has bizarre thinking patterns: unusual associations, illogical connections

    • Experiences disturbed moods: may go from very stubborn to peaceable

    • May exhibit peculiar behaviors: disheveled appearance; lack of hygiene; inappropriate sexual behavior; agitation; talking to self; jumping around

    • Is confused; responds to internal stimuli, not to cues in the outside world

    • Hallucinates; any sense can be affected but the most common is auditory: hearing voices that comment, threaten, or instruct

    • Is anxious, apprehensive, and plagued by self-doubt

    • Is socially alienated and feels misunderstood

    • Is usually expressionless in speech with little body language

    • Shows inappropriate affect; laughs or cries without reason, or shows no emotion

    • Feels estranged from self; does not feel real

    • Has difficulty concentrating; poor memory

Interpersonal:

    • Avoids new situations

    • Can be out-of-control and impulsive

    • Withdraws from others; is secretive and inaccessible

While growing up with a brother with schizophrenia, I found myself keeping away from all that he exhibited toward the family. His outbursts of raising his voice because mom, dad and myself would be talking nearly at the same time, he would be overwhelmed and yell to us to shut up. Whenever the television was turned up load cause dad’s hearing was going, and if anyone, even one other person was talking along with, he would get visibly agitated. He would then demand the sound be turned down. The slightest argument, or hint of it from my parents to supposedly scold me over something minor, my brother would raise his voice to shut everyone up and then burst out of the room saying, “I can’t take this anymore! Will you all just shut up!”

The worst onset of his schizophrenia was a day I will never forget. He was hyped up on cannabis that was laced with something. He had been gone for a week and my parents were worried sick. He came home one afternoon totally out of his mind. An argument, as I would call it a false argument ensued. I don’t remember what exactly was said, as I was traumatized by his outburst to block it out. I remember coming down the stairs in the house we lived in in Marysville, Washington. I had enough of it. I sat down in the leather chair and yelled at him to just leave the house. He then got into my face, nearly nose to nose yelling at me. I do not remember to this day what he said to me, but I remember gripping onto the arms of the chair shaking. Both my parents rushed behind him grabbing his arms and both saying, “Don’t you touch her!” My father then rushed to get the camcorder to video tape the event. My brother noticed this right away and changed his tactics. He acted normal again as though everything was fine. He then stormed out of the garage yelling at our parents that they were being paranoid.

I was then fussed at for starting a bigger argument. I was in tears and my mother said, “Why are you crying over this? He didn’t do anything to you. You have nothing to cry about.”

What they did not know and still do not understand to this day, now that I’ll be 35 of age this year, because of my brother’s wild behavior due to schizophrenia has caused me to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are other factors for my PTSD that I will be discussing in a later article about that subject alone.

As for now, I will conclude this article by saying this to all readers: If you love someone no matter if they are a family member or a dear close friend, even in school, and they exhibit symptoms of schizophrenia you must guide them to the help they need. Schizophrenia is a quiet mental illness that the person does not know they have. Their consciousness is so removed from reality it takes a healthy person’s mind to recognize that there is a problem. However, there will be times that the one you love can not be saved. No matter how many times you try, a schizophrenic person may never find treatment. There are those that are just coherent enough to allow the realization that they have a problem.

At this time there is no cure only medication treatments and years of psychotherapy will a person with this mental illness be able to cope with their daily lives on a schedule.

In the next article, I will discuss my experiences being married to a schizophrenic and show examples of other people I came in contact with over the years from school all the way into my working retail career.

2014 in review – This is facinating…

Check out the map of where my views are coming from. This is fantastic!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 610 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 10 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

First Interview With Rebel Ink Press

http://www.rebelinkpress.com/RebelReasoning/?p=1599

My very first interview with my publisher Rebel Ink Press.

Have a stop by to get to know me a little better and about my first novel “Soul’s Little Lie” book 1 coming next year.

You guys have no idea how excited I am about this. One little step at a time, ya know? With each book I wrote, I’m that much closer to my dream goal! I’m so happy and overly excited! You should see the smile on my face right now.

Been Around Schizophrenia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxktavpRdzU

I laugh at the numbers in which you were given about Schizophrenia. My brother has paranoid schizophrenia and takes meds and drinks along with. 3 of my classmates in high school have schizophrenia – 1 is in prison for murder, 1 committed suicide, 1 is under house arrest for life and not allowed to leave Everett, WA cause he’s a level 3 rapist and takes a heavy cocktail of meds (this one I also dated for a month in high school before I discovered the truth, I nearly was raped by him, too). An ex boyfriend from high school, his step sister, one of the twins, has schizophrenia and lives on the streets. In the apartment building in which I lived with my husband, there were 3 schizophrenics – 1 now lives on the streets his name is David, 1 might be dead now, but was in a mental hospital after she was removed from the apartment due to how she lived in a hoard of filth, and 1 just left everything she owned and left, don’t know what happened to her.

Oh, my now ex-husband, has retental schizophrenia all his life and has never taken meds. His family never told me until after the divorce what his condition was. I found out on my own the hard way and left before he did more physical damage to me. Another neighbor next to the apartment building brought a woman in to help her, she had schizophrenia and committed suicide three years later. I know of 20 other schizophrenics I’ve seen, interacted with cautiously cause all of them didn’t take medication. Half of them were physically dangerous. All these people I’ve come to know, including my brother, all live in Everett, Washington. Everett used to have a mental institution, but was shut down in the 80s. Now, most of these people walk the streets with no meds cause they can’t afford it even with Obamacare. They don’t even know they are that mentally ill to get help.

Now, there’s the story of a family in Tacoma, WA back in 2008, I think it was. The father went to work. His 10 year old son went to school. The wife and her two younger children stayed home. The husband’s grandmother had lived with them for nearly five years under medication and living in the attic just fine. She was coherent and normal, took her meds every day….Until one day, she stopped taking them. Within three days time her mind reverted back to it’s original schizophrenic state but snapped. The father came home, the son came home. What they found shook the state of Washington to it’s core. The mother and the two children were found dead in the kitchen. The grandmother had committed suicide.

Now, tell me again that schizophrenia is not dangerous? That the numbers are a 1% of the population? 1 in 4 people now know someone or has someone in their family with some form of schizophrenia. It used to be 1 in 9 people 15 years ago. The numbers have exploded due to people’s awareness of symptoms and meds being given only if someone can afford them.

My brother can barely afford his meds to keep down ‘the demons’ in his head. The insurance companies cut him back at least four times a year cause THEY THINK he’s overly dependent when they don’t understand how much he needs them that badly to function. When he doesn’t have his meds, it only takes 3 days for his mental disorder to go wild. I won’t go into any further details as this hurts me to know that you and your production group think that it’s only 1% of the population. Well, news flash buddy, I’ve lived through all that 1% which is getting bigger. I’ve seen it all my life. I know things I shouldn’t, but it has kept me alive.

Mini Essays on Many Subjects

You know, I’ve been really busy going through as many videos of Philosophy Tube channel as I can. I think I should post all my ‘mini essays’ into one lump sum for you, cause now, my mind feels like it’s about to explode.

Death: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNgZ2Tb2tkM
I’ve come to realize this over the years of my life….you may quote me if you’d like – “There is no death. Only the flesh fades away. Energy transforms into other energy that is cycled through all of existence. From life there is death and from death there is life.”…..I know I may have mixed up a few other famous philosphiers quotes subconsciously as my own, but the gits of it is – there is no death.

Camus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixPJnbJL9PY
I came to realize that notion of what Camus said nearly eight months ago way before I ever heard or him or his views on life. I came to that realization of my own existence and have accepted the pointlessness of it all and yet am now free to make my life my own with purpose which then makes me happy. I’m glad I realized such a ‘reality’ because I was tempted to end my life again for a third time. Every time I realize such a break through, soul of me has breathed new life into me and I can then move forward. I’m glad I’m not the only one who had such awakens, even if to me I’m many years later on that fact. It’s a good thing.

Slut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA8O4ptxVxc
I have over the years lost a video in which someone described the full; real definition of the word: slut. The YouTube channel was called Hot For Words. In this video the Russian woman explains why the word ‘slut’ in today’s context is actually wrong in how it is used. I’ve loved this eye opening discovery ever since and express my new (now many years old) knowledge to every one I come across online or in real life…..Slut means – an untidy woman wearing ragged clothing, on hands and knees scrubbing the floor with brush and bucket of water. (think Cinderella in the Disney animated film where she’s doing just that ‘being a slut’) A untidy, disrepectful woman who has no respect or honor in how she acts toward herself and others in what she wears and how she acts (non-sexually)….I’m not telling people out that they are wrong in the context, but to change up their view points in how they use words. How they can learn about them to better their own self well being of education.

Environment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvz_5Jqe2_M
Seeing the world as I grew older, I watched my peers do bad things, act in negative ways toward each other in a heard mentality. My mother smoked cigarettes from age 21-65 and has had emphazima for the rest of her life. I watched her cough up ‘lung cookies’ and have difficulty breathing for many years. I learned from her mistakes and never picked up smoking. I learned from my brother’s mistakes of drug use and drinking to excess and I never did drugs or drink to excess. I learned from my father’s mistakes in not taking care of mom to get her help when she needed it and from his mistakes on not stopping the abuse she put toward me. I then learned right away to not be abusive towards others. I also learned from my peers. I learned from the bad teachers in my schools, which then later I continue my education freely. I learned from observing my surroundings. I calculated what works for me to make my life simpler and better that would later help others as they came into my life. A chain reaction of good actions….Now, with 7billion humans on this planet, still making a basic impact on it’s environment negatively due to culture processes of learned actions (monkey see, monkey do), it will take maybe two generations to realize what our elders had caused is something we don’t need to repeat in the sake of tradition. However, there’s a bigger issue which humanity has no control over what so ever….Human kind is so argent of itself that it has the audacity to think that it has any impact at all. This blue/green ball in which we are spinning around on in a galaxy is a biosphere of life. The Planet is a living, breathing, moving and feeling being. Well, in which connects to its whims and actions to better or worsen life, has consequences of its own actions through destruction into creation. No matter what we do in supposedly messing up this spherical home planet we have, Earth and the forces of nature itself, will in time shake us off like fleas. When nature does this, there is NOTHING we can do about it and to think we can is what can cause us to experience the worst consequence of all existence – poor actions towards each other cause our demise.

Kant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3xGDTn-Fcw
sips fresh cup of creamy coffee and bites into English muffin with Nutella spread Every few videos of subjects I enjoy from your channel, I take five to ten minute break to absorb what I learned or reinforced what I’ve already learned. All together, I have been sitting here since 10am EST letting my mind swim in all you have expressed. Now, my mind feels like it’s about to explode cause reinforcing what I’ve already learned in the course of 30 years, I’m nearly, I guess, at capacity until something else comes up…..The Aborigines believe that all humanity from it’s most basic forms up to now, came from ‘the dream time’. Dream time, I have come to realize after 20 years of mulling this through, is humanity was created from thought of another higher being, but not created by a religious or metaphorical being. Each individual is the observer to which our own ‘higher self’ is dreaming of ‘the self’. Each person plays out a role to the greater scheme of plans to reach a final conclusion of existence. Each person is the center of Universe playing out it’s own consciousness in trying to understand why Universe was placed into existence. A physical being with mind consciousness, within a conscious internal self, within the subconscious, within a dreaming, within another reality beyond the thinking physical actor/actress who is the dreamer onto itself playing their part. (A continuous loop of fractal reality, Universe, within a Universe) Each person is created by their own Higher Self seeing how that individual (You and myself with our own view points of our conscious existence) that Soul can learn from Universe in how to make all consciousness to it’s full potential collectively as ‘Dream Time’ keeps moving the ‘Sleeper’ onward.

****
I’m on a roll this afternoon. I’m not sure if it’s the coffee or my mind that has made me acutely aware of my surrounds and Soul of me, but I am enjoying the ride.

Where Muses Live

Okay, bare with me here folks…I’m having an attack of oddity this morning…I got into NKOTB back in Oct. 10, 1989 seeing them in a teen magazine at Fry’s Grocery store in Phoenix, Arizona. Saw Joe’s photo and I was hooked. Now for 20 years I thought I was late to the New Kids fandom. I had very few friends while growing up and the few fans I did find were quiet, reserved, overly shy and didn’t talk much. I was teased for like the band. I was even bullied physically when I thought I could trust someone to get me the Step By Step album (which I found it was a bootleg and the three girls beat me up afterward). I ran home crying and screaming in fear to get away.

Nearly a year before, in the Autumn of 1988, my family and I left New Orleans, Louisiana for Phoenix, Arizona. In mid October, a month after being in Arizona, I come to find that New Kids were filming the You Got It (The Right Stuff) music video at Lafayette Cemetery. When the video played on MTV I screamed a loud realizing the exact path in which they took was where I was nearly a month before.

In 1991, New Kids did a mall tour to promote the cartoon series by ABC. I was there on a basic shopping trip with my parents to Dillard’s at Paradise Valley mall at 1:50pm in the early Autumn. I had not heard of or saw the advertisement for it until I walked into the store seeing the poster display right at the door. I squealed a loud and noticed the time. I was too late. The show had just ended nearly 20mins before I arrived. However, as I passed the ad, something caught my eye to the right in the woman’s clothing department.

Three oddly dressed men nearly thirty feet away from the main aisle were in between round racks of clothing staring at me. I took a step, looked to my right again and saw what I figured years later was Joe, whispering to Donnie at his right. I turned my head back toward them a second later and they were gone. Their terrible excuse for disguises did not work. From right to left: Donnie, Joe and Jordan are my guesses still to this day.

Then there’s the terrible news about the last tour cause of Jon’s anxiety. That damn People mag article I didn’t not believe for a second. It was rushed and fake. I knew something was up. The sad part to this for me was, my mother had bought tickets for the show in Phoenix in April or May 1994, but within two days after receiving the tickets I heard on the news the concert and tour was canceled. I cried my eyes out for two hours straight.

After all that in which I missed, came close to (swing and a miss, ya know), I dropped everything to do with the band up until 2001, but then again, I never left that love for the band in a soulful way. So, today I find the music video You Got It (The Right Stuff) was filmed on November 14, 1989. This made me realize I was never late to the New Kids Blockhead party after all. I was nearly right on time or a bit fashionably late with seconds to spare.

Now, from all that I remember in every detail possible as though it were yesterday, I’ve come to realize something even deeper. Psychologically I’ve clutched onto something that kept me alive. I had worked so hard, in a quiet manner, to experience the band in person, that unbeknownced to me, I had prepared my mind for a greater adventure into the psyche in which I write novels. The dates in which I mentioned above are all connected to time periods of my novels and character(s) interactions. There is no shame at all in realizing where and how my muses stepped into my mind or how they orchestrated the inner workings of my writings. Every single author has their muses in which they gravitate to regularly. For myself, however, I am one of those peculiar people who remembers exact locations, dates, times, and other details and then mixes it all up like a well cured stew and serves it to the world. It may take years to cure, but it will be well worth the hard work.

Coming to realize all of this, I feel liberated. I feel at peace mentally and spiritually. Comfortable in the fact that my muses, will never leave me as long as I love myself and realize where they came from, when they stepped into my heart and made a home there.

Now, back to writing book 2 “Soul’s Little Lie: Broken Roses”.

Soul Consciousness

Soul observes the surrounds of life through a mirror of light. The mind does not recognize fantasy or reality as separate while it is awake or sleeping. The eyes are a reflection of the internal mirror. Once all lessons of life have been learned, Universe rewards Soul with paradise. But what is paradise? Another life Soul wants to learn more from in a unique path that it has not yet experienced. Hence the constant cycle of energy transforms into other energy – there is no death, only the flesh dies and Soul keeps on eternally going onward onto new paths of learning. This is why Universe placed life into consciousness so to learn from itself why it ‘Universe’ came into being in the first place. – Tara B. Dobbs

Short Story: Three Coffee Pots

I wrote this little short story back in 2010 while I was still married. The situations in this story are all true. Enjoy the laughs. Let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Thank you.

“Three Coffee Pots”

By: Tara B. Dobbs

Coffee can be drunk in many ways. This smooth hot or chilled liquid can be drunk at any time of the day or night. It only takes seconds to prepare into the machine, and takes minutes to create through the machine. What kind of machine you buy from a store, given by a friend, or find at a thrift store can make a different in the taste of that first cup you pour out of the pot. It’s not just how the beans are roasted that makes the difference, it’s the machine that really makes or breaks that first cup in the morning. Here I shall give an in depth comparison between three totally different machines. The very lives these machines lived and some that are still living.

The first one, a very unlikely candidate for any bachelor living in an apartment, was a 32 cup restaurant coffee dispenser. My boyfriend, now husband, had been living in the same apartment in Everett, Washington since 1996 after being honorably discharged from the Army after the Gulf War. He would tell me stories of the ‘Army coffee’ he consumed then. How black and very, very strong it was.

Joking that, “There’s Army coffee and maintenance coffee. Army coffee are these little single serving packets in a soldier’s MREs. Pour twenty of these into one cup, you’ll be awake all day, but you’ll crap your pants. Then there’s maintenance coffee or gentleman’s coffee. You can degrease parts with it and strip rust right off of steal.” I shuddered to think of such horrors if they were ever true.

When I moved into the apartment in the Spring of 2003, I met the coffee machine. There it was, sitting proudly on the mantel corner of the fireplace. It’s shining, tall cylindrical body but slightly dulled silvery appearance, with a black top and black four legged base gave a looming presence. He had told me stories of how he came across this machine and I could only imagine the stories it could tell if it could talk.

“I bought it at a restaurant supply store that two friends introduced me to when I first moved here,” he said proudly as he unplugged it at the base taking it off the mantel and carrying it to the kitchen. Opening a can of Foldgers coffee, he proceeded to make a whole pot full – a 32 cup maker full. “I bought the machine, a three pound chocolate bar, and a five pound can of coffee. I had no furniture, but I at least had a coffee maker.”

“You drink out of this?” I asked, turning my nose up at it.

“Yeah. I make it on Monday morning before work and drink out of it all week. It saves me time and money this way,” he replied as I nearly lost my cookies.

“I’m so glad I don’t like coffee,” I added as I walked out of the kitchen.

As time passed, I watched in horror as he would do the same thing every week. Make a machine full for a whole week. Making the coffee from this machine for more than three people at a party or basic gathering is a logical idea, but for one man alone? No way.

One day, in late 2003, he headed off to his parent’s for the weekend to help around their house. It was late and I was bored. Casually I walked up to the mantel and glared at the tall; silvery beast. Unplugged it from it’s base and carried it to the kitchen saying, “You’re mine! Finally I get to see how dirty you really are.” I had only seen him once clean the machine out and this was my chance to clean it myself.

The water ran in the sink taking longer than usual to heat up. I opened the top, poured out the contents and looked inside. To my astonishment I didn’t see a ‘clean’ basin, as he had claimed was clean. Looking with the kitchen light there were crusted burnt coffee grounds and coffee liquid at the base and around the sides. Filling the basin with hot water and loads of Dawn dish soap, I let it soak for a few hours. I could remember the elbow grease it took me to wash it. It was a serious workout to say the least. After an hour of scrubbing, the inside and outside of the basin shone brightly like new chrome on a classic car.

Once he came home I made the 32 cup amount for him.

“What did you do to my coffee maker?” he asked, seeing how clean and shinny it now was. “You cleaned the taste right out of it!” Of course he was joking. If he wasn’t, that may explain his upset stomach he sometimes got from drinking from such a dirty machine.

All was well for many years. He still used it as usual making the full 32 pot. Until one day, in mid 2005, I started to protest to him that he should get a new coffee maker. I loathed that monstrosity. Drinking so much coffee was unhealthy in many ways. I soon told his stepfather of the situation and urged me to get rid of it.

“It’s healthier to drink just the first cup. After that, the coffee becomes acidic and can rot the lining of your stomach over time. How can he drink so much and let it stand in the pot heated for so long?” the old man was sickened by the thought. I agreed with him completely.

For a whole week I protested to him. “You can’t drink out of that thing forever. You keep drinking coffee from it all the time even after work and from that you stay up for hours on end. I wake up in the middle of the night sensing that you’re not in bed and I find you drinking more at the your computer desk.”

One faithful day, he tried to make another pot full. After pouring the water and putting the grounds in the filter, he turned the switch. Nothing happened.

“You broke it!” he yelled. I came running from the bedroom seeing him taking it apart. “You broke it with your hate. You broke it with your hatred for this machine!”

Looking inside the mechanics of it, I saw that one of the wires had frayed and broke away. “The maker died on it’s own. I knew it was going to die soon.” I got up and danced. I was elated that it had died finally. “This means you have to buy a new coffee maker! You have no choice now!”

A few days later, we went to Starbucks down on Colby Ave. There we purchased the Starbucks Barista Aroma coffee machine. It was a little pricy, but I figured it would be worth it. The amount of coffee made was considerably less than the restaurant 32 cup machine. He could easily make two cups or just twelve cups at a time. By this time also, I grew a taste for coffee starting with Starbucks Frappachinos.

You might be asking, ‘Why not buy a more basic brand like Mr. Coffee or Black and Decker?’ My experience with those in my parents’ home is just the same as any other ‘basic’ coffee maker. Brewing the coffee and then letting it stand in the pot on a burner creates an acid that can be toxic to the stomach. The Starbucks coffee pot itself was made like a thermos, so there is no worry of burning. However, drinking from a full 12 cup pot over time isn’t good either. It’s only good at the fist cup that is poured.

Just like the 32 cup maker, my now husband, we married that very year, would still make a full pot of coffee just for himself on the weekends. It took me many, many months to get him to stop drinking a full 12 cups in one day. Again, just like the old restaurant maker, he would stay up late hours having drank the whole thing and not gone to bed. He did after much whining off, drink one cup or two cups a day. Not much else went wrong with this coffee maker until late 2009.

I had called Tulalip Casino Resort to see if they had any rooms available during the Valentine Day weekend. Sure enough, they had one room left. A room with two queen sized beds on the top floor where children were not allowed. Not only was this a spur of the moment outting, I wanted him to have a nice birthday on me. We got to the room and found a Keurig coffee maker on top of the open bar. I thought it was the cutest one cup coffee machine ever.

The first day there, I made him a cup. I did as instructed by the manual. Soon after the cup was ready. The coffee came out perfect every time. The samples on the bar even had tea and hot chocolate. I had myself a cup of Earl Gray tea the next morning. I was so impressed with the machine I knew I had to have one.

Once we came home from our little weekend, just like clock work he made a full pot of coffee with the Starbucks brand machine. As he did so, the machine started to act up. I cleaned it afterward with vinegar and hot water a few cycles through. All was great, until I saw him drinking the whole pot again to himself. I finally realized what I had to do.

With the money I had left over from grocery shopping one day in the Spring of 2010 at Fred Meyers grocery store, I picked up one of the Keurig basic models and a few of the assorted K-Cup packages. I couldn’t wait to take it home and make my first cup. If not for myself to make the first cup, at least for my husband when he came home from work. Of course I couldn’t help myself and made a cup anyway. I like having creamer in my coffee. Never black, I could never stand it black. The machine was so easy to operate, of course all coffee makers are easy to operate, but this machine at least to me was special.

After a few days of using it, at least one cup for my husband and one for myself each day, the machine stopped working. I cleaned it out like it suggested, hot water and vinegar. Still nothing. I then proceed to call the company to see what could be done. They instructed me to mail in the K-Cup part of the machine with a special number taped on it. I did so and then a few weeks later a new Keurig machine came in the mail. I turned on the new machine like normal and it worked just fine. Along with this new machine they sent an assorted collection of K-Cup coffee flavors and brands. It was fun trying out each one as no two coffees or teas are created equal.

Now, it had seemed my husband had been successfully whined off of a large amount of coffee. Starting from 32 cups, then to 12 cups, 6 cups and then 4 to 2 cups. Now he drinks one cup in the morning before work, and one cup before bed. However, if I’m deep in sleep, he’ll make a second cup and I’ll know this because the leftover grounds have been dumped into the sink. Call it, woman’s intuition. You’re probably asking, ‘what ever happened to the Starbucks machine?’ we still have it and use it for company when needing to make more than one cup.

I do, on occasion think about the large 32 cup coffee machine that graced it’s presence into my life. I can only imagine the stories it could tell of the long nights that my husband stayed awake typing at the computer. The faces of friends and family walking past it and stopping only for a moment to refill their cups with the brown ‘bean juice’ contents inside. Did the 32 cup maker have a soul? I’d like to think so. Even though I hated that my husband drank so much of the boiled brew for days on end, I did not hate the machine itself. The 32 cup restaurant coffee maker lived a long life a top the mantel of the fireplace. I will admit that I too took at least one, maybe two cups, from it in the morning just before it died, but only when I cleaned the machine myself. I believe this coffee maker had no fuss about me pouring creamer into the cup afterward. All it cared about was making my husband happy all throughout it’s life in that simple apartment.

A few months just before the coffee maker died, I drew a picture of it, depicting it shining in all it’s glory. Inked it in black with hatch markings and stippling dots. Immortalizing it forever on card stock paper for an art project exam. The simple inked art piece still lays in my portfolio folder to this day. Sometimes, just sometimes I wish the coffee maker never died. I knew the coffee maker died only doing what it loved most – brew a full pot of coffee for anyone who needed a cup at any time of day or night.